From the Terracotta Warriors in Xian to the iconic Great Wall of China, the ancient Forbidden City and the sprawling Tiananmen Square in Beijing and the mighty Yangtze, there are many bucket-list items to be seen and experienced in China. A frenetic mixture of modernity and tradition can be experienced in the world’s most populous country, where even in the hyper-modern city of Shanghai, the historic Yu Gardens and traditional stone-gated shikumen homes can be found amongst towering skyscrapers, and centuries-old traditions still pervade at festivals.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: Beijing
- Currency: Renminbi
- Time Difference: Despite its size, the whole of China observes China Standard Time throughout the year (without Daylight Saving). China is 8 hours AHEAD of GMT, and 7 hours AHEAD of BST. Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan all follow corresponding times, but with different names (Hong Kong Time/Macau Standard Time/Taipei Standard Time)
- Flight time: 11 hours and 25 minutes direct to Shanghai, or just over 10 hours for Beijing. Just over 11 and a half hours direct to Hong Kong. For flights to Macau, you can connect via Shanghai or Beijing, flying for 16 hours and 15 minutes. Direct flights to Taipei are from 13 hours and 15 minutes.
- Official language: Mandarin
- Entry requirements: Visas are required for mainland China (including Hainan Island), and more information on Chinese visas can be found here - For further information on the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong or Macau, or Taiwan, please read here.
- Vaccinations and Health: You should always ensure that you travel with adequate travel health insurance. For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/49/china#Vaccine_recommendations. If vaccinations are required, it is generally advisable to arrange an appointment with a health professional four to six weeks before departure.
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china
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