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Soak up China's ancient history in Beijing, Xian and cosmopolitan Shanghai.
a Destinations d > China > China Adventure > Need to know
One of the most cultural, scenic and historically diverse destinations on the planet, China is a land of incredible contrasts and is developing at a staggering speed. Experience the imperial grandeur of the streets of Xian and Beijing with iconic treasures such as the Terracotta Army and Forbidden City and the classical Chinese gardens, Buddhist temples and caves. See giant pandas amongst the mountain landscapes and medieval water villages which trace their history back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
With vast topographical extremes China's climate can vary considerably. It's generally a temperate climate with cold winters and warm summers. During the winter months average temperatures in the north can drop below freezing and summer can produce temperatures above 30 degrees.
In China’s capital and its cultural heart, traces of the past are everywhere,
often side by side with modern developments. Discover Beijing’s Hutongs,
the famous alleyways with traditional courtyard style homes, and explore
the immense Forbidden City.
GREAT WALL OF CHINA
Arguably the most recognisable symbol of China, the Great Wall consists
of numerous walls and fortifications that were constructed by independent
kingdoms and is today considered one of the most impressive architectural
feats in history.
In 1974 peasants digging a well east of Xian stumbled upon one of the most
important archaeological finds of the 20th century, the cache of 8,000 lifesized
terracotta figures of soldiers arranged in battle formation.
YANGTZE RIVER CRUISE
Asia’s longest river, the Yangtze, flows from the glaciers of Tibet’s eastern
mountain range to Shanghai. Pass through spectacular landscapes on a river
cruise and witness river and rural life.
Pingyao is the best-preserved medieval city in China. Explore the ramparts
of the city by foot and discover some of the ancient Ming and Qing
residences that have now been converted to restaurants.
Tibet is the roof of the world and is without a doubt one of the most
remarkable places to visit in Asia. It offers fabulous monastery sites,
breathtaking treks and stunning views of the world’s highest mountains.
China’s public transport is comprehensive and good value: you can fly to all regional capitals and many cities, the rail network extends to every region, and you can reach China’s remotest corners on local buses. Tibet is the one area where there are widespread restrictions on independent travel (see Getting there), though a few other localities around the country are officially off-limits to foreigners.However, getting around such a large, crowded country requires planning, patience and stamina. This is especially true for long-distance journeys, where you’ll find travelling in as much comfort as you can afford saves a lot of undue stress.
Mandarin – 63%, (Official) (Nth and SW China) Wu – 7%, (Shanghai and surrounds) Cantonese – 6%, (Sth China, HK, Macau)
The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor on (+64) 9 373 3531. Vaccination against hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to China. Frequent or long stay travellers should consider vaccination against hepatitis B. Vaccination against rabies (particularly if working with animals) and typhoid (particularly when travelling to areas with poor sanitation and hygiene) should be considered by travellers. Care with food and beverage selection is also recommended. There is a medium risk of malaria in some parts of China, dengue fever also occurs, thus insect avoidance measures and anti malarial medication may be necessary depending on your itinerary. Tick-borne encephalitis is present throughout Europe and Asia, predominately in forested areas during summer. Tick avoidance measures may be required. Vaccination against Japanese encephalitis is recommended for those spending at least 4 weeks in rural areas of the transmission zones. Please consult a medical practitioner or The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. New Zealanders travelling to China should ensure they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. Medications that are legal in New Zealand may be illegal in other countries.
Electrical Plug type: Australian, Japanese, European and British Voltage: 220-240 volts (same as Australia) Modem Plug Type: USA (same as New Zealand) or British Special Tip: In China the official plug type is Australian, but you may encounter European, Japanese or UK power sockets. Source: Korjo Travel Products. To purchase electrical/modem adapters, or for further information on this matter, please view the Korjo adapter guide at www.korjo.com.au.
Country Code for China: +86 Offical Travel Advice: Visit www.safetravel.govt.nz International Operator: 115 Emergency Services: Police - 110 Fire - 119 Emergency - 120 or 999 These services may not always have English speaking staff. In this case, you should have a local call on your behalf or contact an Australian mission.
Shopping is great in China and you can expect to be able to buy many things at a much better price that at home. Please however be warned that if a bargain price for a world famous brand seems too good to be true... it probably is! Bargaining is a national pastime in China so you will find that most retailers except for department stores, large shopping malls will be prepared to bargain. The regular working time generally is from Monday to Friday, with Saturday and Sunday off. The Chinese people usually work between 08:00 and 18:00 each day, with a lunch break from 12:00 to 14:00. However, local variations may occur due to the time difference or policy in different cities.
In China, traditionally there is no tipping. However, hotels that routinely serve foreign tourists allow tipping. An example would be tour guides and associated drivers. Many Chinese people think tipping is a corrupt European custom.
Official travel advice regarding visas is available by calling 04 439 8000 or visiting their website www.safetravel.govt.nz
Greetings are formal and the oldest person is always greeted first.Handshakes are the most common form of greeting with foreigners. Many Chinese will look towards the ground when greeting someone. Address the person by an honorific title and their surname. If they want to move to a first-name basis, they will advise you which name to use. The Chinese have a terrific sense of humour. They can laugh at themselves most readily if they have a comfortable relationship with the other person. Be ready to laugh at yourself given the proper circumstances.
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