Location: China, world’s third largest country after Russia and Canada, is located in Southeast Asia, with Pacific Ocean on its east coast. It has borders with as many as 14 countries, including India.
Climate: China is a massive country and the climate varies from region to region. It has a variety of temperature and rainfall zones, including continental monsoon areas. In winter most areas become cold and dry, in summer hot and rainy.
In the northeast the summers are hot and dry and the winters are freezing cold. The north and central regions have frequent bouts of rain coupled with hot summers and cold winters. In the southeast there is plenty of rainfall, semi-tropical summers and cool winters. Flooding can occur in the central, southern and western regions.
Rainfall increases from southeast to northwest, because the eastern seashores are influenced by the summer monsoon far more than inland areas. In summer, a southeast monsoon from the western Pacific Ocean and a southwest monsoon from the equatorial Indian Ocean blow onto the Chinese mainland. These monsoons are the main cause of rainfall. Rainy seasons are mainly from May to September.
Currency: Currency of China is called Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY). The currency code for Yuan Renminbi is CNY.
$1 = CNY6.47
CNY 1 = Rs10.22
Cuisines: China boasts one of the world’s greatest cuisines. Chinese food is famous all over the world. Chinese cuisine has countless delicious and fantastic dishes. Chinese cuisines are a harmonious integration of color, taste, texture, shape and presentation. They emphasize on fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Chinese cuisines have originated from diverse regions of China as well as from the Chinese people living in different parts of the world. Diversity of geography, climate, costumes and products has led to the evolution of what are called the ‘Four Flavors’ and ‘Eight Cuisines’. Diversity in Chinese cuisines also represents China’s long history. Every dynasty which ruled China kept adding to the cuisines. These got perfected under Qing Dynasty.
China can be divided into several regions with distinct styles of cooking. The ingredients used are based on the natural and agricultural products of each region.
In Northern China, for instance, foods are salty and simple, with wheat as the staple food and involve use of fewer vegetables. Noodles and dumplings are made of wheat. In Western China, emphasis is on halal food with lamb as the main meat. Food in Eastern China tends to be lighter and sweeter. In Central China lots of spices and seasonings are used in food. In Southern China food is on the sour side and many minority populations groups eat chilies every day.
Chinese use different methods for cooking these foods. These methods include boiling, stewing, braising, frying, steaming, crisping, baking, and simmering and so on.
Things to Do: China is such a vast country and there are so many diversities in every aspect – be it physical features of the country, cuisines, culture, language, or art works and religion. In China while once can enjoy the Great Wall of China, Forbidden City and terracotta warriors on one hand, there are so many national parks to explore as well.
Experience the indigenously built high speed trains of China and enjoy the bustling cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing or Hangzhou. Embrace a giant panda and enjoy the plethora of authentic Chinese dishes.
There are some breathtaking rice fields to look at and some lakes are scintillating. Explore these and get indulged in some rock climbing, trekking and many other activities.
Visa: For someone willing to go to China for tourism reasons, a visa is required. Visa can be applied for through an authorized travel agent.
Following documents are required for getting a Chinese Tourist Visa:
Visa application form duly filled in with a recent passport size photograph pasted on that.
The passport of the applicant should be legitimate for at least six months and must have at least two blank pages.
Visa fee in the form of Demand Draft must be deposited along with the application form. Visa expenses for China would come around Rs6,000
Proof of Finances including Covering letter from applicant’s company or bank statement. The documents should be presented in their original form.
Confirmed return flight ticket and its photocopy.
Hotel booking information.
The China Tourist Visa is generally offered for 30 days only and is normally a single entry. Processing time for Chinese visa is normally four to five working days.
Flights: There are some direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata to cities in China. Delhi is connected to Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou by direct flights, while Mumbai is connected to Chengdu and Kolkata is connected to Kunming. There are also a number of connecting flights via Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur.