China


















 


Beijing - Shanghai - Click here for Terms & Conditions
Packages

HOTELS CONFIGURATION

Price
per person US$

Beijing

Shanghai

***
Coral

Tianlun Sohghe Hotel
Longhu Hotspring Hotel
Harmony Hotel

Mason Hotel
Warner Hotel
Grand Pacific Hotel

305

****
Pearl

Novotel Peace Hotel
Reward International Hotel
Schengen International Hotel

Somerset Grand Hotel
Novotel Atlantis Hotel
Oriental Riverside Hotel

410

*****
Diamond

Great Wall Sheraton Hotel
Crowne Plaza Hotel
Celebrity International Grand Hotel

The Regent Shanghai Hotel
Hilton Shanghai Hotel
Intercontinental Hotel

585

(rates ae subject to change without any prior notice)


About China

China is the largest country in East Asia and the most populous in the world with over 1.3 billion people, approximately a fifth of the world's population. At 9.6 million square kilometres, the People's Republic of China is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area, and the second largest by land area. Its landscape is diverse with forest steppes and deserts (the Gobi and Taklamakan) in the dry north near Mongolia and Russia's Siberia, and subtropical forests in the wet south close to Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. The terrain in the west is rugged and high altitude, with the Himalayas and the Tian Shan mountain ranges forming China's natural borders with India and Central Asia. In contrast, mainland China's eastern seaboard is low-lying and has a 14,500-kilometre long coastline bounded on the southeast by the South China Sea and on the east by the East China Sea beyond which lies Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.

China's importance in the world today is reflected through its role as the world's third largest economy nominally and a permanent member of the UN Security Council as well as being a member of several other multilateral organizations including the WTO, APEC, East Asia Summit, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization. In addition, it is a nuclear state and has the world's largest standing army with the second largest defense budget. Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world's fastest growing economies and the world's second largest exporter and the third largest importer of goods. Rapid industrialization has reduced its poverty rate from 53% in 1981 to 8% in 2001.

Transportation

Transportation in the mainland of the People's Republic of China has improved significantly since the late 1990s as part of a government effort to link the entire nation through a series of expressways known as the National Trunk Highway System (NTHS). The total length of expressway is 45,000 km at the end of 2006, second only to the United States. Most of the expressways, however, require tolls.

Private car ownership is increasing at an annual rate of 15%, although it is still uncommon because of government policies which make car ownership expensive, such as taxes and toll roads. Private highway driving is becoming more common, being almost nonexistent ten years ago.

Domestic air travel has increased significantly, but remains too expensive for most. Long distance transportation is dominated by railways and charter bus systems. Railways are the vital carrier in China; they are monopolized by the state, divided into various railway bureaus in different regions. At the rates of demand it experiences, the system has historically been subject to overcrowding during travel seasons such as Chunyun during the Chinese New Year.

Cities such as Beijing and Shanghai both have a rapidly expanding network of underground or light rail systems, while several other cities also have running rapid transit. Numerous cities are also constructing subways. Hong Kong has one of the most developed transport systems in the world. Shanghai has a Maglev rail line connecting Shanghai's urban area to Pudong International Airport.

Culture

For centuries, opportunity for economic and social advancement in China could be provided by high performance on Imperial examinations. The literary emphasis of the exams affected the general perception of cultural refinement in China, such as the belief that calligraphy and literati painting were higher forms of art than dancing or drama. China's traditional values were derived from various versions of Confucianism and conservatism. A number of more authoritarian and rational strains of thought have also been influential, such as Legalism. There was often conflict between the philosophies, such as the individualistic Song Dynasty neo-Confucians, who believed Legalism departed from the original spirit of Confucianism. Examinations and a culture of merit remain greatly valued in China today. In recent years, a number of New Confucians have advocated that democratic ideals and human rights are quite compatible with traditional Confucian "Asian values."

Sports and Recreation

China has one of the oldest sporting cultures in the world, spanning the course of several millennia. There is, in fact, evidence that a form of football was played in China in ancient times. Besides football, some of the most popular sports in the country include martial arts, table tennis, badminton, swimming, basketball and snooker. Board games such as Go (Weiqi), and Xiangqi (Chinese chess) and recently chess are also commonly played and have organized competitions.

Physical fitness is widely emphasized in Chinese culture. Morning exercises are a common activity and often one can find the elderly practicing qigong and tai chi chuan in parks or students doing stretches on school campuses. Young people are especially keen on basketball, especially in urban centers with limited space and grass areas. The NBA has a huge following among Chinese youths, with Yao Ming being the idol of many. The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, were held in Beijing.

Many traditional sports are also played. The popular Chinese dragon boat racing occurs during the Dragon Boat Festival. In Inner Mongolia, sports such as Mongolian-style wrestling and horse racing are popular. In Tibet, archery and equestrianism are a part of traditional festivals.