China

China

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Dynasties and empires are only the beginning.

China is home to the world's oldest continuous civilization. But continuous doesn't mean the same. Dynasties rose and fell, leaving behind amazing treasures. Like the ancient palace of Yinxu, from the Shang Dynasty; the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, from the Quin, and the Great Wall, which took several dynasties over 2,000 years to complete.

China also gave us four inventions that decidedly changed the world: the compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing. The last two led to the invention of paper money, also by the Chinese.

The history of China is as rich as the country is vast. And the natural wonders it counts as its own are like a who's who of geography. Including the Gobi Desert, the Himalayas (shared with India), Mount Everest (on the border with Nepal), and the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. With a coastline that's 9,000 miles long, bounded by the Bohai, Yellow, East and South China Seas, bordering 14 nations.

China is old. And big. Too big to tackle on your own. If you'd like to embark on a journey around China, call VIVA Travel. We're your first step.

Other things to do:

  • Visit the Forbidden City in Beijing
  • See giant pandas in Chengdu
  • Check out the Giant Buddha of Leshan (223 feet tall)
  • Take pictures of the Li River in Guillin
  • See the Hanging Temple in Shanxi
Climate: 

Temperatures range from 18°F (-9°C) to 82°F (28°C).

Time Zone: 

Universal Time Coordinated, UTC+08:00

Language: 

Standard Mandarin

Currency: 

China Yuan Renminbi (CNY)

Electricity: 

220-240 volts. Travelers from the US and Canada need a plug adapter and step-down transformer. For hair dryers, curling irons, etc., a plug adapter and voltage converter are required.

Tipping Customs: 

Tipping is not generally expected in China. Tipping of 10-15% is greatly appreciated in cities and finer restaurants. Be sure to check your bill as a 5-15% service charge is sometimes included. 

Safety: 

Travel in China is generally safe. The greatest risk to travelers is traffic accidents.

Communication & Technology: 

Wi-Fi is widely available in China. Providers include China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom.

Smoking: 

Smoking is prohibited in public spaces such as restaurants, bars, offices, shopping malls, and public transportation.

Travel Documentation: 

You must obtain a visa prior to arrival, and have a passport with at least six months' validity remaining

Airport: 

Beijing Capital International Airport (BJS) 

Car Rental: 

You can rent a car in China, but it is recommended that you also hire a driver. Local companies are reliable and affordable. 

Public Transportation: 

Public buses, taxies, and bicycles are the most common ways to get around. In some modern and developed Chinese cities, subway, light rail and even Maglev trains are also available.