As the third largest country in the world, China is a land of towering mountains and panoramic landscapes shaped by the rich history of dynasties, emperors and revolution. With such a vast territory to cover, visitors often stay for several weeks and still just see the tip of the iceberg. From the Forbidden City, to the Great Wall of China, as well as the Terra Cotta warriors in Xi'an, the ancient wonders never cease to amaze first time travelers. The capital, Beijing, is most noted for the orderly design and symmetry of the city, and the government controls the republic from here. Shanghai, or the 'Pearl of the Orient' as it is often referred, is vibrant and even a little risqui,it is known for its liberalism and gaudiness. Whether it's a camel ride in Inner Mongolia, horseback in Xinjiang or a cruise along the Yangtze River, there are a number of ways to see the splendors of the countryside.
Spring (March-April) and autumn (September-October) are the best times to visit China. Daytime temperatures range from 68°F to 86°F in these seasons, but the nights can still be cold and sometimes wet. Understandably though, weather varies considerably in such a large country. During winter temperatures in the north might reach 18°F, while in summer, the temperature sits in the mid-80s. In the far south, hot and humid summers last from April through September and coincide with the rainy season. Typhoons (hurricanes) can hit the southeast coast between July and September. Northwest China experiences dry, hot summers and very cold winters.
With an area of about 3.7 million square miles, the People's Republic of China is the 3rd largest country in the world. It stretches 3,123 miles across East Asia, with a varied geography featuring off-shore islands, fertile lowlands, foothills, sunken basins, plains, plateaus and towering mountains. There are 50,000 rivers, numerous lakes and the world's highest mountain peaks.
Major Holidays & Events
China traditionally celebrates:
January 1-3 - New Year's Day
late January-early February - Chinese New Year
late January-mid February (depending on lunation) - Spring Festival
April 4 or 5 - Qingming
May 1 - May Day
5th day of the 5th lunar month - Dragon Boat
August 15 of the lunar calendar - Mid-Autumn Day
October 1-3 - National Day
Other holidays include Women's Day, Youth Day, Children's Day, Army Day, Arbor Day and Teachers' Day.