Standard Chinese (Mandarin). Basic English is somewhat understood in major cities, but unlikely further afield.
Renminbi (yuan) (RMB). Cashless payment options are accepted almost everywhere, though some RMB currency is helpful to have.
Largest City: Shanghai
Population: 1.4 billion
Best Known For:
The Great Wall, Terracotta Army, Giant Pandas, factories, diverse and exotic cuisine, the largest population in the world.
Varied. Distinct dry seasons and monsoons. Cooler in the north and mountains, warmer near the southern coasts.
Hot pot, dumplings, Peking duck, chow mein. Huge regional variances with a never-ending diversity of strong flavors and dishes
More About China
China is an intimidating country from a Western perspective. The sheer number of people, vast differences in language and culture, and the massive size of the country. However, China is one of the world’s oldest civilizations and has jaw-dropping scenery and architecture, magnificently grand cities, and some of the best food around.
China has an incredible 113 cities with over 1 million people, with Shanghai home to an eye-watering 24.3 million. These mega cities are impressive in their size with modern skyscrapers, transportation systems, and crippling traffic jams. Yet each city has historic pockets, food markets, and hidden gems. Outside of the major cities, The Great Wall of China is the most famous attraction, as are countless temples, monasteries, and the tropical province of Hainan. The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is home to the seeming floating mountains made famous from the movie Avatar.
No trip to China would be complete without an in depth sampling of their diverse cuisine. The cuisine from each of China’s regions are equally famous and delicious; think Szechuan for numb and spicy goodness, Hunan for even spicier, Cantonese for natural flavors, and Fujan for abundant ingredients. No matter what you try, it will almost always be delicious.
China is so large and diverse, that whether you prefer mega cities, remote mountains, or relaxing beaches, you can certainly find it here.
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