If you are looking for ancient history, urban wonders, picturesque landscapes, or cultural experiences, China has all of this and more.
For first time travellers to this beautiful and historic land, here are some interesting facts worth knowing. China is located in eastern Asia along the western shore of the Pacific Ocean. It spreads over a vastly diverse geographical area of 9.6 million square kilometres (about the size of the USA or Europe), and is home to approximately 1.4 billion people (more than North America and Europe combined).
The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent of the country's total landmass, and there are more than 2,000 lakes dotting the landscape. The highest mountain peak is Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) in Tibet, the highest mountain in the world extending 8,848 meters above sea level. Among the 220,000 kilometres of rivers, the Changjiang (Yangtze), Huanghe (Yellow River) and Zhujiang (Pearl River) are the most famous. The Yellow River Basin is the cradle of Chinese civilization, as the many cultural-historical sites along its banks can confirm.
In a country the size of China, one would expect to find several time zones. However, the whole country observes the same local time since it has only one timezone. The time in China is 7 hours ahead of the Central European Time Zone (CET).
Due to its geographical size, China has different types of climates. In the west and north there is a continental climate with very cold winters and hot summer months. The climate in the south is more subtropical/tropical. Although the winters are warm and dry, summer is characterised by heavy rains and even hurricanes along the coasts. The best time to travel to the south and southeast parts of China is between June to October so as to avoid the typhoons and landslides that hit the region in other parts of the year.