Travel in ChinaWhy China?• Colourful people• Tradition, modernity and rapid change• Endlessly interesting cuisine• Thriving art scene• The focus of the world’s attention
Travel in ChinaChina Trivia - Did you know?1. China is the most populous nation in the world2. The Terracotta Warriors are life-sized and have different faces, hairstyles and expressions3. Ice cream was invented in China4. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, organisers refitted hundreds of toilets after complaints from foreign athletes about having to squat5. Some of the first forms of currency in China were made of shell, satin or jade6. There are more than 40,000 characters in the Chinese language7. There are more people who speak English in China than in the USA and Europe
Travel in ChinaCommon Misconceptions1. Chinese tourists take more tours around London than any other nation2. If the population of China walked past you in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction3. The Great Wall of China is visible from space with the human eye
Travel in ChinaThings to consider before you go…• Visas – Book an appointment online at your nearest embassy. Processing time is 4 days, or 3 days for express service. Visit www.visaforchina.org.uk for more detailed information.• Vaccinations – There are no compulsory vaccinations, but Typhoid and Hepatitis A are recommended. Ask your GP for more information or see www.netdoctor.com at least 1 month before you travel.• Toiletries – It can be difficult to get hold of western cosmetics in China, so take a stock of all the deodorants, sanitary products and make-up that you use.• Tissues – Wherever you travel in China, you will find that public toilets leave a lot to be desired. Always carry tissues in your bag.• Phrase book – A phrase book is ESSENTIAL for your first few months in China. Gestures have little power. The Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrase Book is excellent. For those of you who are interested in wowing your Chinese acquaintances, try The Beijinger published by New Run Media.• Safety – China is a relatively safe place to travel.Look out for pickpockets, but otherwise women should feel comfortable travelling alone.
Travel in China CitiesBeijing - Things to see and do• Try the 10km Great Wall hike from Jinshanling to Samatai• Take in a Beijing opera at one of the many opera houses• Hang around Tiananmen Square at dawn or at dusk to watch the evocative flag ceremony• Don’t miss 798 Art District, the old electrical factory transformed into a concentration of contemporary art galleries and studios• If visiting in winter, try Mongolian hot pot for a hot and steamy meal• Go to a modern, midrange to high end restaurant for the best Beijing duck• Don’t miss the night market for a taste of starfish, silk worm and all manner of barbecued creepy crawlies
Travel in China Wild ChinaTibet – Getting there• Visa – You will need a separate visa to enter Tibet’s borders. Travel regulations are constantly changing and it is best to keep in touch with your tour company• Tour Guide – Foreign tourists must be escorted by a tour guide, although this is subject to change
Travel in China Wild ChinaTibet – Things to see and do• The Jokhang Temple is the spiritual heart of Tibet, sitting in the centre of Lhasa, circled daily by devoted pilgrims and surrounded by a bustling, religious market place• Visit the Potala Palace for an impression of the unity of religion and state in the holy city• Explore the breathtaking lakes and mountains surrounding Lhasa
Travel in China Wild ChinaPersonal Recommendations• Take the train for some fantastic views and to avoid the effects of altitude sickness• Make a trip to Gyantse to see where the British attacked• Visit Tibet at Chinese New Year when tourists are few and you may stumble across some Tibetan new year celebrations• Spend time ‘people watching’
Travel in ChinaCulture Shock• Expect to feel frustration and confusion• Expect days when you feel insignificant in a huge, bustling city• You will feel panic when problems arise that you don’t understandDealing with Culture Shock• Don’t be afraid to have a coffee or a coke in one of the many western cafes or restaurants in China’s cities• Try to laugh about your frustrations with friends or other travellers
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