Everything You Need to Know About China

Everything You Need to Know About China
By admin


China is the world's most populous country and is the fourth largest country in terms of total area, measuring 9.7 million square kilometres. The ancient Chinese civilisation thrived for many millennia, controlled by ruling monarchies across a series of dynasties. The 20th century was a particularly eventful time with the final dynasty ending in 1911. From there the Chinese Republic was in power until 1949, when a communist uprising establsihed the People's Republic of China following a three year civil war. The latter half of the 20th century saw China emerge as a modern communist nation and cast much of its agrarian past aside. The upheaval was not without consequence however, as tens of millions perished in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Today China is the world's second largest economy and has become a global tourist destination, being particularluy popular with Australian visitors, who have been visiting in ever greater numbers in the past two decades. Major cities like Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu and the capital Beijing are massive drawcards as is the mighty Yangtze River and the phenomenal Three Gorge Dam.

Highest point: Mt Everest (8848m)

Population: 1.343 billion

Currency: The yuan. One Australian dollar is equal to 6.5 Chinese yuan.

Time difference: China Standard Time is two hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Visas: Australians travelling to China need to ensure they have at least six months validity on their passports after the duration of their intended stay. A visa for travel is also required and can be obtained from your local Chinese consulate.

Innoculations and insurance: Standard vaccinations for hapatitius, tetanus, diptheria, rabies and tuberculosis are recommended. H5N1 flu has also been detected in China. Taking out comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended.

Travel advisory: The Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommends visitors to China exercise normal safety precautions. A high degree of caution is suggested for those travelling to the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

Flights: China Southern Airlines now flies twice daily between Sydney and Guangzhou, twice daily from Melbourne and three times a week from Perth. Between January 29 and February 28, Brisbane flights increase to daily to connect with thrice weekly flights from Cairns.

Tours: For guests who wish to immerse themselves in the country, the 20-day Incredible China, priced from $5780 is a great way to do so. This guided tour begins with a flight to the coastal port of Xiamen and while there includes a short boat trip to the tiny isle of Gulangyu.
This tour also features a visit to Wuyi Mountain National Scenic Area with its dramatic red peaks, sheer rock faces and twisting rivers where guests join a trip in a series of small traditional bamboo rafts.
Bustling Shanghai, Xian, famous for the ancient Terracotta Warriors, and capital Beijing are also on the program along with a Yangtze River cruise through the Three Gorges and equally fascinating Three Gorges Dam.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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