China kept itself to itself for thousands of years, and foreigners still find it difficult to penetrate the inner depths of this fascinating and enigmatic country. There is a great deal to discover in this, the world’s most populated country, with more than 1.3 billion citizens, and the third largest in the world territorially.
The People’s Republic of China has been under communist government since 1949, but is currently undergoing social and economic development. Emphasis is being placed on tourist facilities and infrastructure. China is opening the doors to its wealth of historical and cultural treasures and visitors are flooding in to be amazed and awed.
China’s attractions are so many and its landscapes so vast, you’ll need a lifetime to explore this fascinating and impossibly diverse country. That said, the must-see sights are fairly obvious and highly accessible, and, as previously restricted areas open up, the list of world-class attractions keeps growing. In addition to big draw cards like the Great Wall, the Xi’an Terracotta Army and the Forbidden City, you get to choose from a huge range of cultural treasures, traditional temples, incredible landscapes, wonderful national parks and fascinating festivals.
One of the most amazing sights, however, is the one you can see in every Chinese city every day: the incredible pace of modernisation reflected in the energy of the people, frenetic urban development and relentless embrace of capitalism, with all its virtues and vices. These are probably the impressions that leave the deepest mark on visitors to China.
Time Local time is GMT +8
Communication: The international access code for China is +86
Currency: The official currency is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY), which is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen.