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China travel guide

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)

House along the water in China

What does travelling in China Cost?

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).

Adventure tours in China

Skyscrapers Shanghai China

Essential China - 21 days

Encounter the essence of China in all its wonderful diversity — climb the Great Wall and stare down the Terracotta Warriors before heading down south on this three-week tour of China's cultural and natural highlights. 
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Chinese local walking on great wall of china

Beijing to Shanghai Adventure | 8 days

China can be intimidating, what with its Great Wall, Forbidden City, and army of Terracotta Warriors. This eight-day trip will wipe away any worries — you'll have an expert Chief Experience Officer (CEO) leading the way and you'll hit the highlights in the company of other young travellers. 
Landscape of China at sunset

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.

Do I need a visa for China from the UK?

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.

What is the climate 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!

STA Travel Blog

9 foods to try in China that you (probably) won't find at your local takeaway

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