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General Information

Useful Information

Population (2011): 1.37 billion

Capital: Beijing

Main cities: Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Chongqing, Hong Kong

Health requirements: yellow fever immunisation essential if arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatits A, typhoid, polio and malaria advised (depending on area visited)

Currency: renminbi yuan (RMB). US dollars are best. Credit cards accepted.

Exhange rate (approx): RMB9.65 = £1

Tipping: service charge normally included.

Time: GMT +8

Electricity: 220 volts. Adaptor required.

Driving: on the right. Vehicles can be hired in Beijing, Sanya, Shanghai and Hong Kong. International licence required.

Public holidays (2016): include January 1; February 7-11; March 8 (all women half-day); April 4; May 1; June 9; September 15; October 1-5.

Language: Chinese Mandarin

Religion: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism

International dialling code: 00 86


Getting There

Major gateways: Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (SHA), Guangzhou Baiyun (CAN), Hong Kong (CLK), Macau (MFM)

Typical flight time from UK: 9-12hrs

Transfers: Beijing (16 miles/26km) airport - bus 50min; taxi 35min | Shanghai (8 miles/13km) airport - bus 30min; taxi 25min

Ports: Guangzhou, Xiamen, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hong Kong



Southern China is hot and humid with cool winters, while the north and centre have high rainfall, hot summers and cold winters and the north-east has hot, dry summers and severe winters. Beijing has a continental climate.



There are more than 6,500 hotels throughout China with between three and five stars.


Major events

  • Chinese New Year, Spring Festival (January/February)
  • International Labour Day (May 1)
  • National China Day (October 1)


Top attractions

  • Great Wall of China, Beijing
  • Summer Palace, Beijing
  • Terracotta Army, Xi'an
  • Three Gorges, Chongqing
  • Giant Panda Breeding Centre, Chengdu


What to eat and drink

Main cuisines: Cantonese, Sichuan, Huaiyang and Imperial.

Drinks: tea, rice wine


Phone 0161 260 0335 or complete our online China application form and then submit by post.

Standard Tourist Visa for China: Apply Online

Standard Business Visa for China: Apply Online

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