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Facts about China. From ancient times to the modern renaissance.




China, a country with thousands of years of history, offers a unique blend of culture, heritage, tradition, natural magnificence and folklore. You can explore the millennium -old Chinese culture in Beijing, the famous terracotta army in Xi'an, the beautiful karsts mountains of Guilin, the Great Wall as a symbol of the ancient Chinese civilization, some of the highest mountains of the world in Tibet, the busy and modern cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong for shopping. China is divided into 23 provinces, five autonomous regions and one special administrative region which each has its own unique specialties and secrets for discovering. Chinese cookery is well-known for its variety of local cuisines and styles which should be certainly tested in their motherland. Beijing ranks first in China in terms of the number of imperial palaces and temples of the Ming and Qing dynasties. For sure you should visit the Summer and the Winter Palaces, the the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City with the Tian'anmen Square and Peking Opera.


Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China. A center for politics, economics and culture, Beijing has developed into a world-class metropolis in which the modern world is blended harmoniously with the glory of an imperial past.


China is situated in eastern Asia along the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. China's continental coastline extends for about 18,000 kilometers, and its vast sea surface is studded with more than 5,000 islands, of which Taiwan and Hainan are the largest.


China, as the world's most populous country, has a population exceeding 1.2 billion, which makes up 22 percent of the world total. To bring population growth under control, the country has followed a family planning policy since the 1970s.


China, with a recorded history of 5,000 years, is one of the world's oldest civilizations.

In the 21st century ¬—≈, China entered a slave society with the founding of the Xia Dynasty, thereby writing a finale to long years of primitive society. The Xia was followed by the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties, which encompassed the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. In 221 ¬—≈, Qin Shihuang established China's first centralized autocracy, the Qin Dynasty, thereby ushering Chinese history into feudalism, which endured in a succession of dynasties, such as the Man, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing, until the Opium War of 1840. The economy and science and technology were relatively well developed in ancient China. By the Shang Dynasty some 3,000 years ago, the Chinese had mastered the art of bronze metallurgy and invented iron implements. Many distinguished thinkers, scientists, artists and writers had added to Chinese civilization. The contributions to world civilization of ancient China's four inventions: papermaking, printing, powder, and the compass, as well as remarkable achievements in mathematics, medical sciences, astronomy, agriculture, and architecture, are universally recognized.

The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution of 1919 led by Sun Yat-sen toppled the rule of the Qing Dynasty, put an end to more than 2,000 years of feudalism and culminated in the establishment of the provisional government of the Republic of China. The People's Republic of China was founded on October 1, 1949. Today, China is implementing reform and opening policies and has established a socialist market economy, thereby charting the course for socialist modernization with Chinese characteristics.


With a broad area, China's topography is very complex. The outline descends step by step from the west to the east. Mountains and hilly land take up 65 percent of the total area. There are five main mountain ranges. Seven mountain peaks are higher than 8,000 meters above sea level. The Bohai Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and South China Sea embrace the east and southeast coasts.


China has 50,000 rivers that each covers a catchments area of more than 100 square kilometers, and 1,500 of these cover a catchments area exceeding 1,000 square kilometers. Most flow from west to east to empty into the Pacific Ocean. The main rivers include the Yangtze, Yellow, Heilong, Pearl, Liaohe, Haihe, Qiantang and Lancang. The Yangtze, at 6,300 kilometers, is the longest river in China. The second longest, the Yellow River, is 5,464 kilometers. The Grand Canal from Hangzhou to Beijing was a magnificent water project of ancient China. It is 1,794 kilometers long, making it the longest canal in the world.


China abounds in natural resources. It leads the world in many proven mineral deposits. No country in the world boasts more wildlife than China, many of which are native to China, such as the giant panda, snub-nosed golden monkey, and Chinese alligator. China's Dawn Redwood and Cathaya argyrophylla are known as living fossils.

To protect the nation's native animals and plants, especially endangered species, China has established more than 700 nature reserves.


Great differences in climate are found from region to region owing to China's extensive territory and complex topography. The northern part of Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China has no summer. Hainan Island has a long summer but no winter. The Huaihe River valley features four distinct seasons. The western part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is covered by snow all year round. The southern part of the Yunnan - Guizhou Plateau is spring-like all the year, and the northwestern inland region sees a great drop of temperature in the day. Annual precipitation also varies greatly from region to region. It is as high as 1,500 millimeters along the southeastern coast. Decreasing landward, it is less than 50 millimeters in northwestern China.

Ethnic Groups

China is a multi-racial country with 56 ethnic groups, including Achang, Bai, Bonan, Blang, Bouyei, Korean, Daur, Dai, De'ang, Dong, Dongxiang, Derung, Oroqen, Russian, Ewenki, Gaoshan, Gelao, Hani, Kazak, Han, Hezhen, Hui, Jino, Gin, Jingpo, Kirgiz, Lahu, Li, Lisu, Lhoba, Manchu, Maonan, Mongolian, Monba, Miao, Mulam, Naxi, Nu, Primi, Qiang, Salar, She, Sui, Tajik, Tatar, Tu, Tujia, Va, Uygur, Uzbek, Xibe, Yi, Yuigur, Yao, Tibetan, and Zhuang. The Han people account for 92 percent of the population. No matter how big or small the ethnic group, all peoples share equal rights.


China is a multi-religious country. Various religions exert different influences on the individual ethnic groups. Islam is followed by the Hui, Uygur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Tatar, Dongxiang, Salar and Bonan peoples. Buddhism and Lamaism are followed by the Tibetan, Mongolian, Dai and Yugur. Christianity is followed by the Miao, Yao and Yi people. Shamanism is followed by the Oroqen, Ewenki and Daur. Many Han believe in Buddhism, Christianity and Taoism. The Chinese people enjoy the freedom of religion.


China is divided into 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the central government, and one special administrative region. The 23 provinces are Hebei, Shanxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Fujian, Taiwan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Hainan. The five autonomous regions are Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Guangxi, and Tibet. The four municipalities are Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Chongqing. Hong Kong is the special administrative region.

Language and

Chinese is commonly used in modern China. It is one of the five working languages designated by the United Nations. The majority of the 56 ethnic groups have their own languages. As a written language, Chinese has been used for 6,000 years.

Chinese cuisine

Chinese cookery takes a unique place in the world's culinary arts. The country is reputed as a "kingdom of cookery." A variety of cuisines have formed out of different local products, climates, traditions and eating habits throughout the centuries. Cuisines of various styles and local dishes and snacks attract many tourists from abroad.

Local Cuisine

Guangdong cuisine: One of China's four most famous cuisines.

It uses a great variety of ingredients, some very unusual, such as snakes and insects. Freshwater and marine fish and other living creatures make some of the best Guangdong dishes.

Shandong cuisine: Shandong soups are famous and green onion is commonly used as a seasoning. Shandong cuisine is best represented by its variety of seafood dishes. Sichuan cuisine: Sichuan dishes are famous at home and abroad for their spicy taste and the flavor of Chinese prickly ash. Huaiyang cuisine: Huaiyang cuisine includes dishes from Yangzhou, Zhenjiang and Huai'an in Jiangsu Province.

Special Cuisine

Palace cuisine: Dishes in this category originated from the imperial kitchens, where dishes for emperors and empresses were meticulously prepared. Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty brought Huaiyang cookery to Beijing. Empress Dowager Cixi introduced Western food into the Qing imperial kitchen. Different dishes are selected for different seasons. Vegetarian cuisine: Vegetarian dishes have a long history in China and constitute an important part of Chinese cuisine. Medicinal cuisine: Also called food therapy, medicinal cuisine is an important part of Chinese food.


Inbound and outbound passengers must accept health quarantine inspections by frontier quarantine services if so requested. Persons carrying such objects as microorganisms, tissues from the human body, biological products, blood, or blood products cannot enter or exit unless they apply with a health quarantine service and accept required quarantine inspections. Persons who enter or leave China carrying, or consigning for shipment luggage or objects that may cause the spread of contagious disease are obliged to treat or destroy such articles as foodstuffs, drinks, and aquatic products if they are contaminated by contagious diseases. Persons arriving from areas infested with yellow fever must present certificates of inoculation against yellow fever to the quarantine department when entering China.

Any person not having the above mentioned certificate will be detained for observation until the sixth day after leaving the infested area, or such person may be inoculated and detained until the time when the inoculation is deemed effective. Health quarantine services are obliged by law to prevent any foreigner suffering from AIDS, venereal disease, leprosy, mental illness, or active tuberculosis from entering China.


The splendid Chinese culture and the hospitable Chinese people offer foreign tourists rich cultural and recreational activities including operas, such as Beijing Opera, Shanghai Opera, and Henan Opera; acrobatic performances; and folk singing and dancing. Foreign guests can get to know China better by joining in the celebrations of traditional festivals of China's 56 ethnic groups. All hotel guestrooms are equipped with television sets where one can watch English programs on CCTV as well as local television stations. Foreign television programs are also available in hotels with satellite receivers. Many hotels have music bars, teahouses, bowling alleys, electronic arcades, movie theaters, health centers, sauna and massage rooms, swimming pools, and dance halls. Foreign visitors can take part in sports activities, such as learning Chinese martial arts and Tai Chi.


The electricity in China is 220 volts, but the bathrooms of many luxury and medium-grade hotels also have 110-volt sockets.

Drinking water

Only a few luxury hotels provide drinkable tap water, so don't forget to ask the hotel whether the tap water is drinkable. Boiled water is available in all guestrooms, and bottled mineral water is on sale everywhere.

Work and rest

The working week in China is from Monday through Friday. Most people do not work on Saturdays and Sundays. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with one or two hours for lunch.

  • New Year's Day January 1, one day off;
  • Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) The first day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, three days off;
  • International Labor Day May 1, one day off;
  • National Day October 1, two days off.
Chinese Currency

Chinese currency is issued by the People's Bank of China.

The standard unit of Chinese currency is the Renminbi (RMB), also known as the yuan. The subsidiary units are the jiao and the fen. One yuan equals ten jiao, which in turn equals ten fen. Yuan, jiao and fen are issued both in bills and in coins. Chinese currency is issued in the following denominations: one, two, five, ten, 50 and 100 yuan; one, two and five jiao; and one, two and five fen. The symbol for RMB is ¥.

The circulation of foreign currencies is forbidden in the People's Republic of China. All expenditures in China must be settled with RMB. The Bank of China and other designated Chinese banks can convert foreign traveler's checks and cash in 22 foreign currencies and the New Taiwan Dollar into RMB. These banks can also issue RMB against foreign credit cards. The following currencies can be converted into RMB: US dollar, British pound, German mark, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Austrian schilling, Belgian franc, Canadian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Swiss franc, Danish krone, Dutch guilder (florin), Norwegian krone, Swedish krone, Singapore dollar, Malaysian ringgit, Italian lira, Macao Patoka, and Finnish mardda. Some hotels, restaurants and stores in China also provide foreign exchange service. The daily exchange rate is issued by the State Administration of Exchange Control. A foreign traveler may have the remaining amount of RMB convened back into foreign cash and brought out of China within six months of entry into China, upon presentation of a foreign-currency conversion receipt.

Photo. Beijing. China.

Photo. Beijing. China.

Photo. Beijing. China.

Photo. Beijing. China.

Photo. Beijing. China.

Photo. Beijing. China.

Photo. Beijing. China.

Photo. Beijing. China.



Classic tours



- Facts about China

- Beijing

- Xi'an

- Shanghai 



- Beijing. Summer palace

- Beijing. Great wall

- Beijing. Forbidden city

- Beijing. Tian'anmen square

- Xi'an. Terra cotta Warriors and
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- Xi'an. Huaqing Hot Spring

- Xi'an. City Wall

- Xi'an. The Greater Wild Goose Pagoda



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