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The Appeal of China

China is another world. The third-largest country in the world, China is bound to the north by the deserts of Mongolia and the west by the Himalayas.

Given its size, China’s plant and animal life are very sparse. Industrial pollution and urbanisation have destroyed much of the natural habitat.
Thankfully destroying temples and sacred monuments has stopped, but it seems that the rivers and grasslands have become a new target. Despite this there are many places still wondrous to the traveller and tourist alike whether you love the calm grasslands on the Inner Mongolia or the hustle and bustle of the metropolises.

Due to the vast area the country covers you cannot expect to see all you’d like in just two weeks, so sticking to a loose itinerary is the best way to see many sights.

The culture and obvious love of their own history is apparent with the colourful and exquisite artwork and statues which adorn buildings and monuments. Despite China’s obvious historical problems the country does seem to be getting back onto its feet. It welcomes tourists and has over 28 million visitors every year. Although there are a few areas of the country that are safe to be avoided, there are still the original sights that many are flocking to see.

The best time to go is during March-April and September-October. The climate year round is unpredictable and ranges from almost freezing to unbearably sticky. In the far South the humid weather lasts from April to September and coincides with the rainy season. Often you will find the days during spring and autumn between 20-28 degrees and the nights often raining heavily or bitterly cold.

Facts for the traveller:
Currency: Renminibi (RMB). The basic unit is the Yuan.
Average costs: a budget room: US$30-40 (east) US$10-15 (west)
Meal out: US$10-15
Time: GMT/UTC plus eight hours.

On average the eastern side of China is more expensive than the western side. An approximate budget for a day in eastern China would be US$35-40. You may notice that you will be charged a ‘tourist price’ most of the time, this is encouraged by the government.
Tipping isn’t expected and bargaining is fine – in stalls and shops but not in large stores.

Health Information
Rabid dogs are common in China. Bilharzia (blood flukes) in central China and Dengue fever in the south. Cholera has emerged in the west and malaria is rife in southern and coastal areas. Immunisation for the following is essential:
Hepatitis A and B
Japanese Encephalitis,