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Capital : Beijing

Currency : Renminbi Yuan

Electricity : 220v (converters are required and may require adapter)

Time Zone : China is the largest country with one time zone GMT +8

Government : Communist state

Land Size : 9,596,961 km2

Language : Main language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are hundreds of local dialects

Population : 1,338,612,968

Religion : Mostly Taoist and Buddhist

Documents

Canadians traveling to Mainland China, whether for business or pleasure, require a visa, which must be obtained in advance. There is a separate entry visa for Tibet. You do not require an entry visa if you are visiting only Hong Kong or Macao for up to 90 days stay.

Driver's License

We do not recommend renting a car or driving in China. However, you can hire a driver with a car depending on where you want to go.

Weather

Spread over such a vast area, China is subject to the worst extremes in weather, from bitter cold to unbearable heat. Travel to China is possible year-round, as long as you're prepared for what the season can throw at you. Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to early November) can be the best time to be on the road, as you avoid the blistering heat of summer (June to August) and stinging chill of winter (November to February/March). Autumn in Beijing, for example, is particularly pleasant, as are early spring and autumn in Hong Kong. Summer is the busiest tourist season and is reflected in prices.

China Vacation Tips

All foreigners should carry ID at all times as spot checks are common and failure to show evidence in ID will result in a fine or detention. The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can be exchanged only within China's borders. Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities. Tipping is not officially recognized, although the practice is becoming more common among travel guides, top-end restaurants, tour bus drivers and hotel staff. If wanting to tip leave a gratuity of 10%. We recommend an escorted tour or a Yangzi River cruise to ensure the best vacation experience. Call West's Travel for availability and rates for China.

Top 5 reasons to visit China

1) The Great Wall of China

2) Ancient civilizations and unmatched history

3) Suits all budgets from very affordable to Luxury

4) Chinese Culture

5) Ultra Modern bustling cities with shopping