Best time to travel to China
Spring (March – April) and autumn (September – October) are the best times to visit China, the highest areas of Tibet, Qinghai and Sichuan are best visited in high summer (June – September). In these seasons, the temperatures reach 20 °C to 30 °C during the day, but keep in mind that the nights can be bitterly cold and the weather conditions can be very humid. Big holidays, especially the Chinese New Year, are best avoided as it is difficult to find accommodation during these times.
Currency: the currency in China is renminbi. The unit is the yuan, which is divided into 10 jiao and 100 fen.
Currency abbreviation: CNY (ISO code), RMB – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
banknotes with a value of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 RMB are used. There are also 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 and 2 RMB banknotes, but these are used less frequently. Coins are issued in amounts of 0.1, 0.5 and 1 RMB (frequently used) as well as 0.01, 0.02 and 0.05 RMB (less frequently used).
1 US dollar = 6.8 RMB
1 euro = 10.1 RMB
1 Swiss franc = 6.7 RMB
China is a huge country that is strongly shaped by the different landscapes. China, in particular, has a very large number of different sights and attractions, so that not all of them can be listed.
So there are some special buildings in China, as well as places to see. One of the most interesting is the Summer Palace. It is located west of Beijing right on the Westerberge and near Lake Kumming. The palace with the entire complex covers about two hundred and ninety square kilometers and was intended to protect the emperor from the scorching hot summer.
On the grounds of the Summer Palace, there are artificial landscapes that include all elements of Chinese garden architecture. Of course, Ying and Yang were not forgotten either.
Also worth seeing is Tiananmen Square. There is also the People’s Hall, where the seat of the Chinese government is located. On the north side of the square is the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which is also the entrance to the Forbidden City.
Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in front of this gate. Tiananmen Square is considered the largest square in the world. Up to three million people have been to parades here. There have also been various mass rallies here, such as the student demonstrations against the Versailles Treaty in 1919. In 1976, the Zhou Enlai memorial assembly was held here, as were various demonstrations against Mao. The last event was the demonstration of thousands of hours in 1989 for freedom of the press and democratization of the country. But this ended bloody.
In 1999, Tiananmen Square was renovated.
The Jin Mao Tower is very special. It is 421 meters high and is the tallest building in China. It is the fifth tallest skyscraper in the world. The tower is located in the financial district of Shanghai and impresses visitors with its eighty-eight floors.
The huge tower was built between 1994 and 1998. The Jin Mao Tower also has the highest observation deck at a height of 340 meters across the country. If you want to enjoy the view of the city from up there, you have to pay an entrance fee.
Under no circumstances should you miss the Oriental Pearl Tower. The highest television tower in Asia is located in the Pudong district. It is 468 meters high and is one of the main tourist attractions in China. More than two million visitors come every year. The Oriental Pearl Tower is also the symbol of the city. It was opened to the public in 1995.
The tower has a special architecture. It consists of eleven balls of different sizes, which are supported by columns. The architect of the tower was Jia Huan Chen.
The absolute highlight when visiting China is the Great Wall. The first walls were built by Chinese princes over two thousand years ago to protect the various empires from invaders. These walls were expanded after the unification of the empire by the first emperor of the country “Qin Shihuangdi” in 221 AD to protect themselves from the horsemen from the steppes. The wall as it is now comes from the Ming Dynasty. It was intended as protection and an option for a messaging system. At regular intervals there are towers on the wall, which were then used by security guards. Messages were transmitted from the towers to nearby fortresses. This system made it possible to successfully ward off enemies. Back then the wall wasn’t that big, nevertheless, today it has an extension of 7000 kilometers. The Great Wall is currently one of the seven wonders of the world.
One of the highlights among Chinese religious buildings is the Imperial Palace, which is located in the center of the capital Beijing, exactly in the Forbidden City. The foundation stone of the palace was laid in 1406. The construction took more than fourteen years. Until 1911, more than twenty-four emperors lived here, who ruled the country from here. The Imperial Palace covers more than 720,000 square meters and is protected by city walls over ten meters high. The 50 meter wide city moat should also serve as protection. The building style of the palace in the Forbidden City alone is impressive. It clearly reflects the imperial power and the strict hierarchy.
If you are traveling in the Forbidden City you should also see the other sights on offer, such as various shrines or temples. If you are wondering where the name comes from, you can easily find out. Since the people were not allowed to enter this city earlier, the city is called Forbidden City.
A visit to the Temple of Heaven is also an absolute must. The Temple of Heaven, also called Titan by the locals, was created in the 15th century. In China’s imperial era in particular, it had an existential significance for it. Here the emperor sacrificed according to ancient rites in order to offer harmony between nature and order. Have namely been through z. B. Natural disasters destroyed harvests, this was perceived by the people as heaven’s dissatisfaction with the emperor’s rule. In such a case, the subjects were entitled to rebel against the ruler.
Other interesting sights include the Confucius Ancestral Temple, the Tomb of the First Qin Kaier, the Ming Tombs, etc. There are also some interesting museums to see in China.
Nature lovers are not neglected in China either. There are many natural beauties to see here, such as Huangshan Mountain, the Mogao Grottoes, the Longmen Grottoes, the Yuan Grottoes or the Gobi Desert.
Air China (CA) is the country’s national airline. In addition, numerous other airlines offer flights to and from China. This includes:
Lufthansa (LH), Nepal Airlines (TG), Quantas Airways (QF), Air France (AF), Air Astana (KC), Cathay Pacific (CX), Air New Zealand (NZ), Aeroflot (SU), Air Asia ( FD), Iran Air (IR), Air Canada (AC), Air Macau (NX), United Airlines (UA), Singapore Airlines (SQ), All Nippon Airways (ANA), Shanghai Airlines (CSH), Lao Airlines (QV ), Garuda Indonesia (GA), Asiana Airlines (OZ), Viva Macau (ZG), Austrian Airlines (OS), British Airways (BA), China Eastern Airlines (MU), China Southern Airlines (CZ), Miat Mongolian Airlines ( OM), Dragonair (KA), El Al Israel Airlines (LY, EVA Airways (BR), Japan Airlines (JAL), KLM (KL), Korean Air (KE), Koryo Air (JS), Malaysia Airlines (MH), Northwest Airlines (NW), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Thai Airways International (TG), Tiger Airways (TR), Trans Asia Airways (GE),Uzbekistan Airways (HY) and Virgin Atlantic (VS).
Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai are China’s main international airports. The Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) – Chek Lap Kok – located on the island Lakau. It is one of the most important airports in Asia and the hub for airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Air Hong Kong, Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express Airways.
The Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is located about 20 kilometers northeast of the city center. It is the largest Chinese airport and the second largest in the world after Atlanta.
Shanghai has two international airports, Hongqiao Airport (SHA) west of the city and Pudong Airport (PVG). It is located in the east of the city.
there are regular shipping connections between China, Japan and South Korea. For example, ferries operate between Shanghai and the Japanese cities of Kobe and Osaka and between Tianjin and Kobe. There is also a ship connection between Qingdao and Shimonoseki.
Ferry routes between China and South Korea run, for example, between the international South Korean port of Incheon – near Seoul – and the Chinese port cities of Dandong, Tianjin, Weihai, Qingdao and Dalian.
Several times a week there are services between Urumqi, the capital of the Chinese province of Xinjiang and the Kazakh capital Almaty.
Trans-Mongolian Railway trains run regularly once a week between the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar and Beijing. The route leads via Datong. The return trip takes place about two days later. There are also two trains a week between Hohhot (capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region) and Ulaanbaatar. The Transmongolo Railway connects Beijing with Moscow over a distance of more than 7,500 kilometers.
With the Trans-Siberian Railway, travelers can also get from Moscow to Beijing. In Vladivostok, travelers have the choice to switch to a branch route to China. Another option for the trip from Moscow to Beijing is the Trans-Manchurian Railway. The distance covered is then more than 9,000 kilometers. Chinese intermediate stations are Harbin, Changchun, Shenyang, Shanghaiguan and Tianjin.
International express trains run several times a week between Beijing and the North Korean capital Pyongyang.
Trains connect the Chinese city of Harbin with the Russian city of Vladivostok several times a week. The Trans-Siberian Railway connects Moscow and Beijing. The train crosses the border at Manjur.
If you want to travel from China to Vietnam, you can apply for a corresponding visa in Beijing or Kunming. Visas for China are available in Hanoi. Travelers should note that the border between the two countries is only open during the day.
Trains run weekly between Beijing and the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. The trains also stop in Shijiazhuang, Zhenhzhou, Changsha, Hankou, Wuchang, Hengyang, Pingxiang, Yongzhou, Guilin and Liuzhou Nanning.
China borders Afghanistan, Bhutan, Indian, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Vietnam. China also has border crossings to the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Zones.
The borders to Afghanistan, Bhutan and India are closed.
Hong Kong is a good place to cross the border to China by land. From there there are a number of border crossings.
From Urumqi (Xinjiang Province), travelers can travel to Kazakhstan via the border stations Alashankou, Jimunai, Korgas and Tacheng. All border crossings towards Kazakhstan can also be reached by bus.
A border crossing between China and Laos is possible between China’s southern province of Yunnan (Mengla district) near Mohan and the Laotian province of Lunag Nam Tha near Botan.
Burma Street, built in 1937/1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War, is currently the only traffic route between China and Myanmar. The approximately 1,154 km long road runs from Yangon via Lashio and Kunming to Chongqing. A border crossing is possible from China, but only on a tour organized by a Chinese travel agency – with permission and visa.
The 920 km long connecting road between Lhasa (Tibet) and Kathmandu in Nepal is a spectacular route through the Tibetan plateau. It reaches its highest point at 5,220 meters on the Gyatso-La-Pass. Popular travel options are renting a vehicle suitable for off-road use from a travel agency or renting a vehicle with a driver. Visas for Nepal are available in Lhasa or on the Nepalese border. Foreigners wishing to travel from Nepal to Lhasa must use tours organized by tour operators in Kathmandu.
Visas to North Korea are difficult to obtain. If you want to travel from China to Norkorea, you should contact tour operators.
A car trip to Pakistan along the Karakorumstrasse – one of the highest international roads – and over the 4,800-meter-high Khunjerab Pass are an exciting and mostly good way to travel from China to Central Asia or vice versa.
There is a weekly bus service from Kashgar (Xinjiang Province) to Kyrgyzstan. It leads via Irkeshtam to Osh. Visas for Kyrgyzstan are available in Beijing and Hong Kong.
Buses run daily from Kashgar (Xingjang) via Tashkurgan to Sost in Pakistan. The trip takes about two days.
The Kulma Pass (4,362 meters high) connects Kashgar with the Tajik city of Murgab. There are bus connections between the two locations several times a month, but these are not always available to foreign travelers.
Travel in the country
China is a country of great distances. Travelers with little time should therefore use domestic flights. China’s network of domestic flight connections is very extensive and the fleet of civil aircraft is growing steadily. Across the country, airports are being modernized or newly built.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC; Zhongguo Minhang) is the civil aviation authority for numerous airlines. These include Air China, Spring Airlines, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and China Southwest Airlines. There are also some smaller domestic airlines.
The Caac publishes combined international and national flight plans in English and Chinese twice a year. They are available in the airports and in the CAAC offices. From there there are also shuttle buses to the respective airports.
There are ferry connections within China mainly between the cities of the coastal regions and the offshore islands, such as Hong Kong, Hainan and Putuoshan. An important ferry connection is the Yantai-Dalian route.
The best-known river shipping routes include the Yangzi from Chongqing to Yichang and the Li from Guilin to Yanshuo.
A fleet of ships operates from Hong Kong, which connects it to the surrounding islands and other parts of China, such as Shekou, Macau, Zhongshan or Zhuhai. Tickets can be bought at the relevant terminals or in the travel agency.
Traveling by train in China is an efficient way of traveling. The Chinese rail network covers almost all regions of the country. The trains are often crowded, but apart from that they are quite comfortable as well and they bring travelers to their destination at a reasonable speed.
Most modern ICE trains run between larger cities. Most trains have a dining car. Luggage can be stored in almost all train stations. The prices of train tickets vary depending on the type of train, class and length of the route to be traveled. It is advisable to reserve a seat when purchasing a ticket. In many cases it is also advantageous to book the tickets a few days in advance.
Tickets are available at train stations and in many cities in special sales outlets. Many hotels and travel agencies also offer a ticket booking service. Online bookings are possible, for example, via China Trip Advisor or China Train Timetable. Timetables are available through Travel China Guide for a fee. Further information on China’s rail network can be found on the Railways of China website.
Car / rental car
Traveling in China with your own vehicle is not without its problems due to the control by state authorities. There are rental vehicles in Hong Kong and Macau. A Chinese driver’s license is required. It is easiest to rent a car and driver, or to have it rented by hotels or tour operators.
Long-distance buses are an excellent form of transportation in China. The connections are well developed and thanks to new roads and highways in parts of China, bus trips are getting faster and faster. Further advantages are the simple availability of bus tickets and, in contrast to train tickets, the lower price. In addition, long-distance buses also travel to smaller towns and villages that are not accessible by train.
Buses from private companies often run between the larger cities. The vehicles are comfortable, clean and well equipped. Tickets for sleeper buses, which are mainly used on very long journeys, are about twice as expensive as those for buses with normal seats. If you want to travel to higher areas in winter, you should have enough warm clothes with you.
In Chinese cities, in addition to bicycles, the most common means of transport buses. The connections are numerous, most places are connected to the bus network and the prices are low. However, the constant overcrowding of the buses is problematic. Another problem is the slow flow of traffic, in which the buses keep getting stuck. If you want to use local buses, you should always plan enough time.
Tickets that show the bus routes are mostly sold outside the train stations by flying dealers. Tickets are available from the bus driver.
Some cities, such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjin, Guangzhou and Tiajin, have subway systems. In Chongqing there is a monorail in the local area, in Tianjin, Wuhan and Hankou there is an inner-city rail system.
In the local transport sector, travelers in China also have a variety of transport options available, for example motorized and closed tricycles, taxis or cycle rickshaws.
China’s cities and their tourist attractions can be explored by bike. Except for a few hilly cities, such as Chongqing.
Cyclists should take good care of themselves in Chinese traffic. There are hardly any helmets. Only a few bicycles are equipped with lights. Therefore, special care is required when driving in the dark. In some large cities, cycling on the main roads is prohibited. In this case, the sidewalk is an alternative. Otherwise, in most cases there are enough bike paths available. In many large cities there is a small fee for parking or parking a bicycle.
There are repair stands for bicycles in almost every street corner in larger cities. Repairs are inexpensive.
China’s rural areas are easy to explore on longer bike tours. However, due to the size of China, it is also advisable to use other means of transport such as train, bus or boat. The streets are usually in good condition, but there are always exceptions. It is also important to pay attention to traffic on land tours. In remote areas, wild dogs can be dangerous. Bicycle
offices are available in almost all tourist centers. Many youth hostels and some hotels also rent bicycles. Bicycles can be rented by the hour or day. With tours lasting several days, however, it is worth buying a bike. Some rental agencies also offer electric bicycles or scooters.
If you rent a bike, you should also pay attention to working brakes and possible damage so that you cannot be held liable for them later.
For longer tours or longer use it is worth buying a bike that can be sold again later. There are numerous bicycle dealers and good local bicycle brands in China. A good lock is important because theft can occur frequently.
The city of Beijing has many interesting sights and attractions to offer its visitors.
For example, you shouldn’t miss the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City. The palace is the most famous sight in the country. The Imperial Palace of the Forbidden City has long been the center of the Ming and Qing emperors.
Only since 1911 has there been no emperor here, since he was forced to abdicate in the Xinhai Revolution.
The style and appearance of the palace are difficult to describe. You should have seen it in order to correctly grasp the impressive building.
The name of the Forbidden City district comes from the fact that it was not accessible to the ordinary people of the country.
Tiananmen Square has achieved a notoriety. Peaceful student demonstrations were bloodily crushed here in 1989. Thousands were killed. Tiananmen Square is one of the largest in the world with a size of forty hectares. The space is so huge that up to a million people could stay here without any problems at the same time.
In the center of the square is a memorial to Mao Zedong, a Chinese hero.
The National Stadium is also worth seeing. It is also called bird’s nest by locals. The stadium was planned by the Swiss architect Herzog & Meuron for the 2008 Olympics. The foundation stone was laid in December 2003.
However, the inauguration did not take place until April 2008. The stadium is 330 meters long, 220 meters wide and can accommodate up to 91,000 visitors.
In China, art and culture is an important asset, which is particularly noticeable in the city of Beijing. There is a long list of different museums in the city.
There would be z. B. the China Art Gallery. There are avant-garde and progressive paintings to admire, even photographs. Unfortunately, the explanatory panels are only in Chinese. Nevertheless, you can get a good insight into Chinese art here.
Another interesting museum in Beijing is the Museum of Chinese History and Revolution. Here you will find some documents and information on the history of China and also some contemporary art collections to visit, as well as regularly held cultural exhibitions.
The National History Museum is also worth a visit. The building was built in 1950. You can see the portraits of some great naturalists, such as Darwin and others.
Furthermore, human remains and human testicles are exhibited here. You can even see dinosaurs here.
Other museums in Beijing include the Poly Art Museum and 789.
The Central Chinese Television Headquarters in Beijing is the most controversial and daring building in the world. It was designed by architects Ole Scheerer and Rem Koolhaas. The complex statics alone are completely impressive, as are the two inclined towers in the L shape. You should definitely take a look at it, because the fantastic building can hardly be described in words.
The Gulouist in Beijing is a two-story drum tower. It was built entirely of wood under Kublai Khan in 1272. It is 47 meters high. The tower actually had a musical purpose. Its use has often been changed over the centuries. So it once served as a clock tower, folk culture hall, etc.
Today only one of the twenty-four drums from 1272 is preserved.
An observatory had already stood at the site of the observatory. Their remains can still be seen today. Today’s observatory dates from the thirteenth century and was built at Kublai Khan’s request. Over the centuries it became the property of both Muslims and Christians.
Right next to the observatory are astronomical instruments from the Ming Dynasty to visit, an interesting garden, as well as a museum.
However, the sights listed so far are only a small part of what Beijing has to offer.
Shanghai in China
Shanghai is a huge city with as many sights.
So one should not miss the city’s botanical garden. There are more than nine thousand plant species to see here. More than a hundred species of the orchid are already represented here.
The Huangpupark is also worth a visit. It is a holdover from the time of British colonial rule. During this time, Chinese and dogs not serving are not allowed to enter the park. This ban was closely monitored by the Sikh soldiers. Some special permits were later issued. Today, all residents of Shanghai like to visit him to practice their Tai Chi exercises.
Other parks in the city are Longhua Park with the Martyr Monument and the Yu Yuan Garden.
There are some interesting markets to explore in Shanghai. So you can buy cheap side and brocade goods at the Dongjiadu Cloth Market.
In the Taikan Lu Art Center there are various shops with modern boutiques, but also various art exhibitions and various cafés.
At Xianyang Market you can buy souvenirs for those who stayed at home or branded goods.
The insider tip for souvenir hunters is the Yu Yuan Bazaar. Here you can buy paintings, calligraphy, pearls, wood or jade carvings.
There are also some museums in Shanghai.
There is the Shanghai Art Museum. There is an extensive collection of Chinese art to admire.
In the Shanghai Museum you have the opportunity to get an excellent overview of the various art and cultural trends in the country.
Tibet can shine with an unspeakable vastness and originality of the landscape. The Tibetan residents are friendly, nature-loving people. A trip to Tibet is certainly something very special.
Tibet’s geographic location is between the 78th and 102nd east longitude and the 28th to 39th north longitude. It is an autonomous region in the southwest of China and lies between Nepal, Bhutan, the Indian state of Sikkim and the inner-Asian desert areas.
The capital is Lhasa, at 3,658 meters above sea level. The Tibetan highlands are scenic in Tibet dominant. Surrounding high mountain ranges are Kunlun in the north, Himala in the south and Karakorum in the west as well as the east- Tibetan-Chinese highlands.
There are only a few areas where agriculture is possible, where barley, apricots or vegetables are grown. Otherwise, cattle breeding with sheep, goats, horses or yaks predominates.
Many of the numerous monasteries and cultural monuments in Tibet were unfortunately destroyed in the Cultural Revolution and only partially rebuilt.
You don’t have to stay in Tibet for seven years like Brad Pitt in the film of the same name, but once in a lifetime you should take a look at these exhilarating landscapes.
Tibet stretches from the highlands over the edge mountains in China and the neighboring Tibetan countries on an area of 2.5 million km². In this area you will find beautiful plains, impressive rivers: an unspoiled nature that shows all its beauty.
Tibet is divided into different regions. In the northeast you will find the so-called Amdo, which also includes the Qaidam Basin, the southeast is known as Kham and Gyarong is the region of the far east. The highland steppes are named Changthang. Central Tibet is called Ü-Tsang and also extends to the areas in the southeast and the Lhokha region.