Throughout its long history, China has changed several names. Once upon a time, China was called “Celestial”, “Middle Country”, “Flowering Xia”. But from the name change, the Chinese remained the same people as before. Now China is one of the most influential countries in the world. Every year, tens of millions of tourists visit China to see this unique country in person. Any traveler will be interested in China – there are a huge number of attractions, ski and beach resorts, beautiful nature, friendly people and delicious cuisine.
Geography of China
China is located in East Asia. In the north, China borders with Mongolia, in the northeast – with North Korea and Russia, in the northwest – with Kazakhstan, in the southwest – with India, Bhutan, Pakistan and Nepal, in the west – with Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, and in the south with Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar (Burma). The total area of this country, including the islands, is 9,596,960 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is more than 22 thousand km.
The shores of China are washed by three seas – East China, South China, and also Yellow. The largest island in China is Taiwan.
From Beijing to Shanghai is the Great Plain of China. In the north of China there is a whole belt of mountains. In the east and south of China there are small mountains and plains. The highest peak in China is Mount Qomolangma, whose height reaches 8,848 meters.
More than 8,000 rivers flow through China. The largest of them are the Yangtze, the Yellow River, the Amur, the Zhujiang and the Mekong.
According to itypemba.com, the capital of China is Beijing, which is now home to about 17.5 million people. Archaeologists say that the city on the site of modern Beijing already existed in the 5th century BC. BC.
Official language of China
The official language in China is Chinese, belonging to the Chinese branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family.
The dominant religions in China are Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. In addition, many Muslims and Christians live in China.
State structure of China
According to equzhou.net, China is the People’s Republic. Its head is the President, who is traditionally also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.
Chinese Parliament – National People’s Congress (2,979 deputies who are elected for 5 years by regional people’s congresses).
Climate and weather
The climate in China is very diverse, due to its very large territory and geographical location. Basically, China is dominated by the dry season and the monsoon season. There are 5 climatic (temperature) zones in China. The average annual air temperature is +11.8C. The highest average air temperature is observed in June and July (+31C), and the lowest in January (-10C). The average annual rainfall is 619 mm.
Sea in China
The shores of China are washed by three seas – East China, South China, and also Yellow. The total length of the coastline is almost 14.5 thousand km. The largest island in China is Taiwan.
Rivers and lakes
More than 8,000 rivers flow through China. The largest of them are the Yangtze, the Yellow River, the Amur, the Zhujiang and the Mekong. As for Chinese lakes, among them one should first of all name the Qinghai, Xingkai, Poyanghu, Dongtinghu and Taihu lakes.
History of China
The history of China goes back thousands of years. Archaeologists say that Homo sapiens appeared in China about 18 thousand years ago. The first Chinese dynasty was called the Xiayu. Its representatives ruled China from about 2205 BC. e. until 1766 BC e.
There are 17 dynasties in Chinese history. In addition, in the years 907-959 there was a so-called. era of the Five Dynasties.
The last Chinese emperor (from the Qing Dynasty) abdicated in 1912 (or rather, Empress Longyu abdicated on behalf of her infant emperor son) after the Xinhai Revolution.
It was after the Xinhai Revolution that the Republic of China was proclaimed (in 1912). In 1949, the People’s Republic of China was formed, which still exists today.
The culture of China is so unique and diverse that dissertations should be written about it. The basis of Chinese culture is Confucianism and Buddhism.
For tourists in China, we recommend visiting traditional local festivals, which are held almost without interruption. The most popular Chinese festivals are Lantern Festival, Lichun, New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, Harvest Festival, Remembrance Day (Qingming Festival), Mid-Autumn Festival, Winter Solstice, “Little New Year”.
Wedding traditions are very interesting in China. Every bride in China should be able to cry. Usually a Chinese bride starts crying 1 month before the wedding (but no later than 2-3 weeks before the wedding). If a girl cries well before marriage, this is a sign of her virtue.
Girls learn how to cry for a wedding from the age of 12. The mothers of some girls even invite special teachers to teach the bride-to-be how to cry properly. When Chinese girls turn 15, they go to visit each other to find out which of them is the best cryer and exchange experiences on this important issue.
When Chinese girls cry about their marriage, they often sing songs about their “unhappy life.” The origins of these traditions go back to the era of feudalism, when Chinese girls were given in marriage against their will.
As such, there is no single Chinese cuisine – there are Chinese provincial cuisines. The staple food in China is rice. The Chinese have come up with a lot of ways to cook rice. Beans, meat, vegetables, eggs and other products are added to rice. Rice is usually eaten by the Chinese with pickles, bamboo shoots, salted duck eggs and tofu.
Noodles are also very popular in Chinese cuisine. The first mention of noodles in China dates back to the Han Dynasty, and during the Song Dynasty, noodles become very popular among the Chinese. Chinese noodles can be thin and thick, but always long. The fact is that among the Chinese, long noodles symbolize the longevity of human life.
At the moment, there are hundreds of noodle dishes in China, each province has its own way of cooking it.
The Chinese are very fond of vegetables, which are, along with rice and noodles, the main food in China. Note that the Chinese prefer not raw, but boiled vegetables. In addition, the Chinese love to salt their vegetables.
It is possible that more eggs are consumed in China each year than in other parts of the world. The most exotic Chinese egg dish is salted duck eggs. Fresh duck eggs are soaked for 1 month in salt brine, resulting in a very tasty product.
Great importance in Chinese culinary tradition is attached to fish. The fact is that for the Chinese, fish is considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity. During the holidays, fish is the main dish on the family table. One of the most popular fish dishes among the Chinese is fish stew with brown sauce. Fish must be on the table of the Chinese during the celebration of the local New Year, because. it will bring prosperity in the coming year.
Another popular dish in China is tofu (bean curd). It is made from soy milk. Tofu is low in fat, but high in calcium, protein, and iron. Most often, tofu is served with spices and marinades.
Meat plays a prominent role in Chinese cuisine. The Chinese eat pork, beef, lamb, poultry, duck, and pigeons. Most often, the Chinese eat pork. The most famous Chinese meat dish is Peking Duck. Moreover, Peking Duck must be eaten in a special way – it must be cut into 120 thin pieces, each of which consists of meat and skin.
An important part of Chinese cuisine is soup. When preparing soups, the Chinese use meat, vegetables, noodles, fruits, fish and seafood, eggs, mushrooms and fruits.
In general, we recommend that tourists in China definitely try six dishes:
- “Peking Duck”, Beijing
- Rice noodles, Guilin
- Bun Soup, Shanghai
- Hotpot (stew with vegetables), Chengdu
- Dumplings, Xi’an
- Dim Sum (small dumplings of various shapes and fillings), Hong Kong.
The most popular soft drink among the Chinese is green tea, which they have been drinking for over 4,000 years. For a long time, tea has been used as a medicinal herb in China. As an everyday drink, tea began to be used in China during the Tang Dynasty. It was from China that tea came to Japan, where the famous Japanese tea ceremony then developed. However, the Chinese ceremony rivals it in complexity and symbolism.
Traditional alcoholic drinks in China are rice beer and vodka, which is infused with a variety of ingredients.
Landmarks of China
According to official information, there are now several tens of thousands of historical, cultural, archaeological and ethnographic monuments in China. Many of them are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (Temple and Tomb of Confucius, Temple of Heaven in Beijing, Yungang cave temples, etc.). The top ten Chinese attractions, in our opinion, may include the following:
- The great Wall of China
- Terracotta warriors in Xi’an
- Temple of Confucius near Qufu city
- Potala Palace in Lhasa
- Fujian Confucian Temple in Nanjing
- Temple of Heaven in Beijing
- Tibetan monasteries
- Yungang Buddhist Caves
- Shaolin Monastery on Songshan Mountain
- Lingu Ta Pagoda in Nanjing
Cities and resorts
The largest Chinese cities are Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and, of course, Beijing.
Due to its geographical position, China has excellent conditions for a beach holiday. The most popular beach resorts are Qinhuangdao, Beidaihe, Dalian, Hainan Island (and the city of Sanya on this island). By the way, the tourist season in Sanya lasts all year. However, the entire island of Hainan is a year-round beach resort, where the sea temperature ranges from +26C to +29C. Even in January, on Hainan Island, the average air temperature is + 22C. The beaches on Hainan Island consist of white fine sand.
Most Chinese beach resorts have traditional Chinese medicine centers where tourists can improve their health if they wish. So, even on the island of Hainan there are thermal springs.
In general, many hotels in China offer spa services to their visitors. The skill of Chinese spa specialists, including massage therapists, is highly rated in many countries around the world. Traditional Chinese spa programs include hot stone massage, aroma massage, whitening, Tui-na massage, body wrap, Mandara massage, Mandarin massage. A mandatory attribute of a spa in China is herbal tea.
China also has several dozen ski centers, although there are few foreign tourists there. Basically, these ski resorts are designed for local residents. However, it will be useful for an inquisitive traveler and mountain skier to visit Chinese ski resorts. In recent years, more and more tourists from Russia, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore can be found at Chinese ski resorts. So, Russian tourists most often go skiing in China to the province of Heilongjiang (this is the northeast of the country). Tourists from Australia and Thailand prefer the Beijing-Nanshan ski resort.
The ski season in the ski resorts of China lasts from mid-December to the end of March.
Tourists usually bring silk, green tea, porcelain, folk art products (embroidery, ceramics, engravings, etc.), jade, Chinese paintings, parchments with samples of Chinese calligraphy, wines and alcoholic beverages, traditional Chinese medicinal products from China as souvenirs. traditional medicine (from herbs, rhizomes, etc.), including ginseng.
Ukrainians need to get a visa to visit China.
The official currency in China is the yuan (the international designation of this money is CNY). One yuan = 10 jiao. In large Chinese cities, credit cards are widely accepted.
Tourists can carry foreign currency to China without restrictions, but it must be included in the declaration. You can export foreign currency from China in the amount of no more than 5 thousand dollars (or how much was declared when entering the country), and no more than 20 thousand yuan. As in other countries, China prohibits the import of firearms, drugs, and pornography.
When buying art objects in China, we recommend that you keep receipts from the stores where they were purchased. Otherwise, you simply will not be able to take these items out of China.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine:
Postcode: 01901, Kyiv, Grushevskogo str., 32
Т: (044) 253-13-29
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in China:
Postcode: 100600 Bejing, San Li Tun, Dong 6 Jie N 11
Т: +10-86 (10)
6532-63-59 Email: [email protected]
110 – Police
119 – Fire brigade
129 – Ambulance
The difference with time in Kyiv is +6 hours. those. if in Beijing, for example, it is 10:00 am, then in Kyiv it is only 04:00 am.
In China, tipping is not required. However, the Chinese will be grateful to you if you leave 5-10% for tea. Tipping is most common in Hong Kong and Macau. Foreign tourists can leave 5-30 yuan to the waiter for excellent service.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to visit China. However, doctors still recommend tourists to be vaccinated against malaria, rabies, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B before traveling to this country.
The People’s Republic of China has a fairly low crime rate. In Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, foreign tourists feel confident and safe.
Only in the southern province of Guangdong, the level of violent crime can be called high. In this province, the Chinese police officers walk around with weapons (in other provinces – no).
However, this does not mean that foreign tourists in China cannot become victims of crime. Therefore, in China, we also recommend tourists not to forget about their own safety and be careful.
In general, in Chinese cities, as noted, for example, by American tourists, it is much safer than in Los Angeles.