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From the awe-inspiring skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the ancient Great Wall, the mighty Yangtze river to the incredible Terracotta Warriors, China is a fascinating country where centuries old traditions blend with new age flair, where rugged natural scenery and cutting edge cities both have their place.

China Fast Facts

Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in China is Mandarin, but you will also come across Cantonese, Wú and Hakka amongst others.


Name: Renminbi
Code: RMB
Symbol: ¥
100 RMB is approx £11

Time Zone

Time zone: China Standard Time (UTC+08:00)

Top cities in China

It's no secret that China is one of the world's most visited countries. Famous for its rich culture and history, China has a number of ancient national cities that are waiting to be explored. Check out our top recommended destinations below.







Hong Kong

China Fast Facts

The typical cost of a domestic beer in China is ¥5.00 (approx 56p) whereas the average cost of imported beer is ¥19 (approx £2.13).

A typical lunch in China can be anything from rice and noodles to even dumplings for breakfast. The cost of a meal in a local restaurant in China ranges between ¥15.00 (approx £1.68) and ¥35.00 (approx £3.92) but you can also find Western breakfast food like coffee which usually starts at ¥7.00 (approx 78p).

Taxi fares can range between ¥8.00 (approx 90p) - ¥50.00 (approx £5.60) depending on where you travel. Top tip: Most taxi drivers will not speak English, so make sure you have your destination of choice written down on paper beforehand!

Given the language difficulties and strict systems in the country, it can be difficult for independent travellers to get around China easily. However there are public buses and trains available in all key cities.

The great thing about some hostels in China is that staff are friendly and speak English. Accommodation can range from ¥25-50 (between approx £2.80-£5.60) per night.

The cost of a night at a budget hotel in China will range from ¥60-90 (approx £6.72-£10) with the cost of a double room in a midrange hotel costing between ¥200-600 (approx £22-£67).

Traveling to China

China Highlights


Volunteer with Pandas

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Great Wall of China

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Travel Visas

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The Trans-Mongolian

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China Adventure Tours

Beijing to Shanghai Adventure
Hong Kong to Beijing - 15 days
China offers a wide range of historical attractions, natural marvels, off the track villages, amazing people along with urban delights that no traveller can refuse. This tour gives you the chance to enjoy real China in a truly unique and affordable way. Enjoy comfortable, clean and safe accommodation while traveling with fellow travelers from around the world.
Was £962 | Now from £865 | 10% off
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shanghai to beijing
Classic Shanghai to Hong Kong Adventure - 8 days
Connects with both nature and modern life, beginning with Shanghai’s sleek skyscrapered skyline and a train to the limestone karsts of Guilin. Next, you’ll strap on your boots and hike into the countryside around Longji to wander the picturesque rice paddies. A perfect balance.

Was £799 | Now from £699 | Save £100

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china tour
China Express - 8 days
From the Great Wall to Terracotta Warriors, with the perfect blend of guided activities and free time to explore on your own, this adventure is made for those who want to get a taste of China in a short amount of time.

Was £899 | Now from £699 | Save £200

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What are China's visa requirements?

Holiday visa: British nationals need a visa to visit mainland China and this must be obtained prior to arrival from your local embassy. Once in China you need to register where you’re staying within the first 24 hours. If you’re staying at a hotel this is done on your behalf when you check in, alternatively you can do this at the local police station. You must also have a passport with at least 6 months validity remaining. If you want further details of entry requirements, then contact the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre.

Working holiday visa: There are currently no working holiday agreements between China or any other countries, but you are able to volunteer in China. Volunteering opportunities can include teaching English, Panda Conservation, or local community projects.

What's the weather like in China?

The climate in China varies between seasons and regions, for example, in the north east it is hot and dry in the summer, and winter is freezing cold. This is similar to the north and central regions, however they have more frequent rainfall. 

Looking for more inspiration? Then check out our STA Travel Blog!

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