China


A Visitor’s Guide To China

There are few countries in the world that hold the mystery and might of China, and despite the fact that it has opened up significantly to the outside world over recent years, it is still a fascinating and often baffling place to visit. With over one in five of the world’s population living under Chinese rule, it is a varied and diverse country with a magnificent heritage and history matched by the modern thriving cities. While there are many things that Chinese culture has introduced to the world, one of the most important is the invention of toilet paper, which was first created for the Chinese emperors in the fourteenth century.

The majority of China is open to visitors that would like to explore the country, but there are still a few areas which are closed to visitors. There are very few public demonstrations held in China, but the US government does advise visitors to avoid any such event because of the potential for trouble.

The Top Visitors Attractions In China

The Great Wall Of China – No one image is more representative of tourism in China, and while it isn’t visible from space as the urban myth claims, it is still a huge relic of Chinese history with the total of the walls stretching over 3,800 miles.

The Forbidden Palace – The Imperial Palace in Beijing was the seat of government in China for over five hundred years, and is a stunning reminder of the power and wealth that the emperors of the country could wield.

The Terracotta Army – This massive collection of terracotta statues was buried with one of the first Chinese emperors in the third century BC, and includes infantry, chariots and cavalry, all in an immense series of pits that can be viewed in Shaanxi province.

Wuyi Mountains – The distinctive rocky slopes of the Wuyi Mountains offer some of the most beautiful natural scenes in China, and a cruise along the River of Nine Bends is a very popular trip in this part of the country.

Dazu Rock Carvings – Situated in the south west of the country, the Dazu Rock Carvings are a series of religious carvings and statues that were carved during a period of six centuries by monks and nuns from the seventh century onwards, totaling a spectacular fifty thousand statues in all.

The Giant Pandas Of Sichuan – The natural icon of China is the Giant Panda, and in Sichuan province lies much of the remaining population of these gentle creatures, with several sanctuaries that offer visitors the best chance to see a Giant Panda in its natural habitat.

Tian Shan Mountains – Located in the east of the country on the border with Kyrgyzstan, the Tian Shan are a part of the greater Himalayas, and offer some excellent climbing and some of the best high altitude scenery outside of Tibet.

The Li River – The magnificent karst rock formations along the Li River in South China climb hundreds of meters above the riverbed, and a cruise through these majestic cliffs surrounded by bamboo forest is truly a sight to behold.

Lashan’s Giant Buddha – At over seventy one meters high, this sculpture of the Buddha carved into the rock is impressive both for its scale and the foresight of its creators, as drainage pipes were included into the sculpture which are still functional today, over 1,200 years later.

Mogao Caves – This network of caves in the northern Gansu province is home to some of the world’s most impressive collection of Buddhist art, which has mainly been painted on to the walls of the caves and is still spectacular even today.

Where To Stay In China

Beijing

Days Inn Forbidden City – Wonderfully located for many of the major sights in Beijing, this great hotel offers comfortable accommodation at a good price, and has a fine range of facilities, including a lovely garden.

Jianguo Hotel – This beautiful hotel has a stunning garden which is perfect for relaxing after a day exploring the city, and a wonderful interior that really does convey a great sense of grandeur, while it is also very close to a subway station offering great links from which to explore Beijing.

Shanghai

SSAW Hotel Shanghai – Just a short distance from the city center, this hotel offers some excellent views over the skyscrapers of the business district and is particularly good as a base from which to explore the city.

Okura Garden Hotel – The beautiful garden is a wonderfully relaxing feature in such a bustling city, and this hotel is great for those looking to combine grandeur with convenience, as it is centrally located and perfect for those looking for a relaxing city break.

Guangzhou

Landmark Canton Hotel – This luxurious hotel is a wonder of modern hotel design incorporating an outdoor tennis court and a spectacular lobby, while being close to local transport links and also enjoying an indoor swimming pool, sauna and gymnasium.

Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich Hotel – An impressive hotel in an imposing location, this is a great choice for business or leisure travelers, with impressively equipped rooms and a stunning indoor swimming pool.

Chengdu

Buddhazen Hotel – Making the most of traditional Chinese design features, this charming hotel is a wonderful place to stay while visiting the city, and enjoys some delightful gardens as well as spa, massage and sauna facilities to help visitors to truly relax.

Rhombus Fantasia Chengdu Hotel – This modern stylish hotel has been tastefully decorated throughout and offers accommodation with all the modern facilities you would expect, while also offering visitors an outdoor swimming pool with its own bar.

Cuisine

Chinese cuisine includes some of the most diverse and varied food available, and every region has its distinct styles of cooking that utilize the crops and foods that are produced in that area. Peking Duck is widely recognized as one of the greatest exports of Chinese cooking, while the small Dim Sum dishes are typical of Cantonese cuisine, where several small dishes are eaten as a part of the meal. Kung Pao Chicken is one of the most famous dishes from the Sichuan region, and is a spicy stir fry using peanuts and other vegetables along with chillies to make a very popular dish, although less spicy versions can be tasted throughout the country.

Currency And Visa

The national currency of China is the Yuan, and is tightly regulated by the Chinese government and generally exchanges for slightly over six Yuan per US Dollar. It is important to book a visa in advance when traveling to China, and American visitors will usually have to pay a fee of around $140 to obtain a tourist visa. It is also worth bearing in mind that some areas such as Tibet and some areas of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Sichuan do have significant travel restrictions and may require a further permit, or in some cases cannot be visited at all.

Internships In China

There are many opportunities to work and volunteer in China. Some quick internet research can help you narrow down your options to the one that will best suit you.

There are groups such as Gi2C Group who provide tailor-made internship programs and career opportunities for interns to work for companies based in China.

Further Reading