Home>>>Chinese culture>>>>Chinese Architecture

China Tour Overview

China has become an important tourism destination in Asia, and the fifth large tourism country in the world. China has a big step improvement in tourism in last 20 years. At present, China is fast on its way to becoming a country with developed tourism, and constantly improving tourism facilities and services.  Friendly Chinese people welcome tourists from all the world and try to make all the visitors feel like at home.

As the third largest country China satisfies nearly all need of a tourist: a modern metropolis with pioneering fashion, an ancient town with historic relics, a ski resort, a sunshine beach, a river cruise, an alpine trekking and so on. From the summit of a high peak like Mt Everest to an isle in South China Sea, from Great Namjaqbarva Canyon to lush Mongolian Pasture, from Taklmakan Desert to Huabei Plain, travelers with Dreams Travel have left, are leaving and will leave their footprints everywhere in China, or Zhongguo called in Chinese, which means Central Country, covering an area of 9,600,000 square kilometers.

China's tourist resources can be primarily divided into three parts: natural landscape, human landscape and folk customs. The vast areas of the land and long coastline have blessed the country with magnificent and colorful landscapes. Here, you can see gorgeous canyons, as well as steep mountains; evergreen tropical rain forest, as well as snow-covered mountain ranges; desolate deserts, as well as crystal lakes. The major natural landscape types in the world can be found in this beautiful land. To appreciate the wild beauty, you can go to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau where wild lives will show you the toughness of life. To appreciate the majestic beauty, go to Himalaya Mountains, which will tell you what is the limit of height. To appreciate the elegant beauty, please visit the winding rivers and tender water towns in southern China.

The long Chinese history and splendid culture have left countless sites of historic interest. The industrious Chinese ancient laboring people had created innumerable world wonders such as
Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors and Forbidden City, accompanied by the circulation of many stories and allusions. To understand the splendid Chinese culture, you are suggested visiting places of historical interest. Generally speaking, the historic relics in China can be classified into three groups: holy place of religious culture, rock paintings and grottos, and famous historical and cultural cities. To see the holy place of religious culture, you will get to know how the three main world's religion as well as Chinese native Taoism developed in the country. The rock paintings and grottos are the gem and the symbol of Chinese ancient art treasure. China has over 100 historical and cultural cities, many of which have a history of over 1,000 years. Strolling in these cities, you will feel time slowly flowing backwards, and this is perhaps the best way to understand their glorious culture and history.

A foreign tourist may wonder how the largest population in the world has been centralized so long or he/she may be interested in the diversity of lifestyles in China . Dreams Travel takes their clients into the depth of different cultures to see the great traditions and religions.

Time-honored history and brilliant Chinese civilization endow the country with numerous historical and cultural relics. Vast field gives birth to many beautiful mountains and rivers. This was an old and rich country sending an air of mystery. Nowadays, great treasures are greatly appreciated by tourist from all over the globe to explore

Main Airports
Beijing Capital International (PEK/BJS) airport is 28km (18 miles) northeast of the city. To/from the airport: Buses and taxis area available (journey time - 40 minutes). An Airport Express subway line between the airport and central Beijing opened in 2008.

Guangzhou Baiyun International (CAN) airport is 12km (7 miles) north of Guangzhou (journey time - 25 minutes).

Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) airport is 13km (8 miles) southwest of the city (journey time - 25 to 40 minutes). It is mainly served by domestic flights.

Shanghai Pudong (PVG) airport, in the eastern financial district, is 30km (19 miles) from the city center. To/from the airport: Buses and taxis are available (journey time - 50 minutes). Pudong is a major international airport with the Maglev magnetic levitation train and an underground link (due for expansion to connect Pudong with Hongqiao by 2009). The Maglev takes passengers to Longyang Road, where it is possible to connect to the Shanghai Metro.

Facilities: All the above airports include duty-free shops, banks/bureaux de change, ATMs, post offices, business facilities, Internet, bars and restaurants.

Getting There by Water
Main ports: Fuzhou (Foochow), Guangzhou (Canton), Hong Kong/Kowloon, Qingdao (Tsingtao) and Shanghai.

Several major cruise lines offer cruises to China. There are regular ferry services linking Chinese ports with Kobe in Japan and the west coast of Korea (Dem Rep). There are regular ferries between Shanghai and Osaka in Japan. Regular ferry services operate between Weihai, Qingdao, Tianjin and Shanghai in China to Incheon in Korea (Dem Rep). There are regular fast ferry services between Hong Kong and Macau and a number of towns and cities in Guangdong province, including Shenzhen and Zhuhai, operated by Chu Kong Passenger Transport Co (tel: +852 2858 3876, in Hong Kong;
www.cksp.com.hk) and TurboJET (tel: +852 2859 3333, in Hong Kong; www.turbojet.com.hk).

Getting There by Rail
International services run from Beijing to Moscow (Russian Federation), on both the Trans-Mongolian Railway (via Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia) and the Trans-Manchurian Railway (via Zabaikalsk in northern China). The Trans-Siberian Express operates two weekly services, a train to Russia servicing Moscow and Beijing via Harbin and a China train via Ulaanbaatar. A service operates between Nanning, in Guangxi province, and Hanoi, Vietnam. A second cross-border service runs from Kunming via Lao Cai to Hanoi. There are also services from Beijing to Pyongyang (Korea, Dem Rep). Owing to demand, it may be necessary to book up to two months in advance. 
 
A regular train service runs from Hong Kong to Guangzhou (Canton). There are several trains daily. Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (tel: +852 2929 3399, in Hong Kong;
www.kcrc.com) has express trains servicing Kowloon to Guangzhou and an indirect Kowloon to Lowu service. The services between Shanghai-Kowloon/Hong Kong (journey time - 25 hours) and Beijing-Kowloon/Hong Kong (journey time - 24 hours) both run on alternate days. There are twice-weekly trains from Almaty in Kazakhstan to Urumqi. There are three types of fare: hard sleeper, soft sleeper and deluxe soft sleeper.

Further information on rail services is available from the Chinese Ministry of Railways (
www.chinamor.cn.net, in Chinese only).

Note: Travelers on the Trans-Mongolian or Trans-Manchurian Railways are strongly advised to search their compartments and lock the doors before departure, owing to an increase in smuggling via this route.

Getting There by Road
The principal road routes into China follow the historical trade routes through Myanmar, India, the former Soviet republics and Mongolia. It is also possible to travel from Pakistan to Xinjiang on the Karakoran highway. Motorways exist between Guangzhou and Shenzhen and Guangzhou and Zhuhai. These roads link the cities of Dongguan, Zhongshan, Foshan, Jiangmen, Huizhou and Shunda to Hong Kong and Macau. Motorway links to major cities in neighboring countries are few.

Overview
The following items may be imported into China by passengers staying less than six months without incurring customs duty:

• 400 cigarettes (600 cigarettes for stays of over six months).
• Two bottles (up to 75cl each) of alcoholic beverages (four bottles for stays of over six months).
• A reasonable amount of perfume for personal use.
• 50g of gold or silver.

Prohibited Imports
Arms and ammunition (prior approval may be obtained courtesy of the travel agency used), imitation arms, pornography (photographs in mainstream Western magazines may be regarded as pornographic), radio transmitters/receivers, exposed but undeveloped film, loaded recording tapes and video, storage media for computers, political and religious pamphlets (a moderate quantity of religious material for personal use is acceptable). Any printed matter directed against the public order and the morality of China.

Note:
 Customs officials may seize audio and videotapes, books, records and CDs to check for pornographic, political or religious material. Baggage declaration forms must be completed upon arrival noting all valuables (such as cameras, watches and jewelry); this may be checked on departure. Receipts for items such as jewelry, jade, handicrafts, paintings, calligraphy or other similar items should be kept in order to obtain an export certificate from the authorities on leaving. Without this documentation, such items cannot be taken out of the country.

ChinaTravelTips       ChinaTravelTips    Tips on how to prepare for a China trip 

 Chinese Etiquette  Chinese Time Difference  Chinese Etiquette
 Chinese Adoption  China Food and Drink  Medical Issues in China
 Safety & Security in China  China Health & Medical Service  Preparing for Travel in China
 Travel Documents  China Accommodation  How to make travel Plan?
 Travel Insurance  China Transportation  Where to Go For China Tour?
  Tibet FAQ  Shopping in China  Travel Costs in China
 More Silk Road Tips  FAQ  Departure for your China Travel
 More Yangtze River Cruise Tips     More Travel Tips  Health issues during China Trip



Internal Travel:

Getting Around By Air
Most long-distance internal travel is by air. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) oversees air travel in China and operated as the country's sole civil airline until it divided into a number of regional airlines in the late 1980s, since consolidated into the three major state-owned groups of
Air China
(
www.airchina.com.cn or www.air-china.co.uk), China Southern (www.airchina.com.cn/en) and China Eastern Airlines (www.ce-air.com or www.chinaeastern.co.uk). They operate the bulk of domestic flights in China, China Southern being the largest airline in fleet size and number of passengers carried. Since the beginning of 2005, several private airlines have also begun to spring up, including some budget carriers. International airports in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have recently undergone massive upgrades with stylish new terminals added.

China's airlines operate about 1,000 domestic routes, serving over 150 cities. Tickets will normally be purchased by guides and the price will be included in any tour costs. Independent travelers can also book through the local Chinese International Travel Service (CITS), which charges a small commission, popular online agent Ctrip.com (
http://english.ctrip.com) or alternatively buy tickets in booking offices or at some hotel travel desks. It is advisable to purchase internal air tickets well in advance if traveling during April, May, September or October. There are multiple daily connections to Hong Kong from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as well as other cities. Since December 2008, you can fly directly to Taiwan from 21 cities on the mainland. Flights are always overbooked so seats must be confirmed before travel. Inevitable delays in services must be taken into account. Airport announcements are generally in both Chinese and English.

Note:
Safety records have improved greatly in recent years, and Chinese airlines now almost exclusively operate aircraft from Western companies such as Boeing and Airbus with average fleet ages of six to eight years.

Getting Around by Water
All major rivers are served by river ferries, especially the Yangtze. Coastal ferries operate between Dalian, Tianjin (Tientsin), Qingdao (Tsingtao) and Shanghai. There are regular ferry services between mainland China and Hong Kong, conditions on which vary.

Getting Around by Rail
Railways provide the principal means of transport for goods and people throughout China, with the railway network expected to be extended from its current 125,528km (78,000 miles) to 160,934km (100,000 miles) by 2010. The routes are generally cheap, safe and well maintained. Routes operate between major cities; services include Beijing to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Harbin, Chengdu and Urumqi. There are three types of train, of which Express is the best. There are four types of fare: hard seat, soft seat (only on short-distance trains such as the Hong Kong to Guangzhou line), hard sleeper and soft sleeper. Children under 1m (3ft) tall travel free and those under 1.3m (4ft) pay a quarter of the fare. Generally rail travel is comfortable but time consuming due to the vast distances between destinations. High-speed intercity trains traveling up to 350kph (218mph) link Beijing with Tianjin, and Shanghai with Suzhou and Hangzhou.

The first passenger train on the 1,142km (710mile) Qinghai to Tibet railway from Golmud in Qinghai to Lhasa in Tibet completed its two-day journey in July 2006. It is the most elevated rail route in the world, reaching an altitude of 5,072m (16,640 feet). Services now operate to Lhasa from Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

Getting Around by Road
Traffic drives on the right. It is possible to reach 80% of settlements by road. Roads are not always of the highest quality and driving standards are erratic. Distances should not be underestimated and vehicles should be in prime mechanical condition as away from the cities China is still very much an agricultural nation without the mechanical expertise or services found in the West. From Beijing to Shanghai is 1,461km (908 miles), and from Beijing to Nanjing is 1,139km (718 miles). A superhighway links Beijing and Tianjin, and a 138 km (86 miles) four-lane toll highway links Hangzhou and the port of Ningbo in the Zhejiang province. 

Bus: Reasonable services operate between the main cities. Buses are normally crowded, but reach parts of the country that trains do not. There are some more expensive luxury buses. The main long-distance bus station in Beijing is Liuliqiao (tel: (010) 8383 1717). In Shanghai, the new Zhongxing Road long-distance bus station is at the northern end of the main train station (tel: (021) 6605 1111).

Car hire: Available, but a three-month residency permit and examination are required to gain a local license which makes self-drive car hire impossible in practice for visitors. Cars with a driver can be hired on a daily or weekly basis.

Getting Around Towns and Cities
There are metro systems in Beijing, Shanghai and several other cities including Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Nanjing. Hong Kong has its Mass Transit System, and tramways and trolleybuses operate in a number of other cities. New lines are under construction in Beijing and Shanghai. A new system is under construction in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Xi'an, Harbin, Qingdao and other cities. Guides who accompany every visitor or group will ensure that internal travel within the cities is as trouble-free as possible. Most cities have public transit systems, usually bus

Taxi: Taxis are available in large cities from most hotels and shopping districts, and are generally permitted to stop at the passenger's signal. It is best to check if the taxi is metered. If not, then it is important to agree a fare beforehand, especially at railway stations where it is best to bargain before getting into the taxi. Drivers are not normally tipped. Visitors should have their destination written down in Chinese characters before starting any journey as most drivers do not speak English. Hotels often provide cards with the hotel address and that of several key attractions or points in the city. Taxis can be hired by the day. 

Most people travel by bicycle or public transport. In most cities, bicycles or other types of rickshaws are available for short rides.

Journey Times
The following chart gives approximate travel times (in hours and minutes) from Beijing to other major cities/towns in China.

  Air Rail
Shanghai 1.50 11.30
Chengdu 2.25 26.00
Kunming 3.00 40.00
Guangzhou 3.00 21.00

China World Cultural & Natural Heritage List

 China participated into this international organization in 1985. In 1999, China became the member of World Heritage Committee. China began to apply for items of world heritage in 1986. From 1987 to 2009, there were 38 sites wirtten into the List of World Heritage in China. 27 are cultural heritage sites, 7 are natural sites and 4 cultural and natural sites. Besides, there are also four intangible cultural heritages in the world. China is ranked to be the third place in world-heritage-site possession. The sites listed into the List of World Heritage will be the international places of interest, and they also will be assisted by the World Heritage Fund. It also could be the tourism destination for world tour.
 
China Major CitiesAttractions
 China is incredible in many ways. The list of sights and things to do here is endless, not to mention the rich culture and wonders of this country. A few notable must-sees include the barren highlands of Tibet via the Silk Road to the bewildering Forbidden City at Beijing, the magnificent Great Wall of China. There are also the amazing thousands of Terracotta Warriors and Horses at the tomb of Qin Shi'huang in Xi'an, the intriguing citylife of (Shanghai), the breath-taking scenic beauty of Yunnan and the original Asia's world city - Hong Kong. Guilin and Yangshuo have the reputation of having the most beautiful landscape under heaven, with green hills, clear waters, pretty rocks and fantastic caves. China - experience this truly spectacular place!
 

China Major Tourist Attractions
  As the third largest country China satisfies nearly all need of a tourist: a modern metropolis with pioneering fashion, an ancient town with historic relics, a ski resort, a sunshine beach, a river cruise, an alpine trekking and so on. From the summit of a high peak like Mt Everest to an isle in South China Sea, from Great Namjaqbarva Canyon to lush Mongolian Pasture, from Taklmakan Desert to Huabei Plain, travelers with Dreams Travel have left, are leaving and will leave their footprints everywhere in China, or Zhongguo called in Chinese, which means Central Country, covering an area of 9,600,000 square kilometers.