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Wonderfully diverse in its geographic, cultural and culinary make-up, China is a country like no other. Technologically and socially developing at a completely unprecedented rate, its already enormous cities are spreading outwards with every passing day. However, despite appearances, China’s apparent modernity is still based on an ancient civilization that has existed for over four millennia.
Travelling around China is relatively cheap and easy, however you may well come up against many challenges in a country where relatively few people speak English. The main tourist sights – the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army and the Yangzi gorges – are very spread out thanks to the sheer size of the country, so it’s vital that you plan your trip accordingly. Also, don’t forget that the writing system is not the Latin-based type which we’re used to, and foreigners are sometimes viewed with intense curiosity by locals. But despite appearances, you’re actually likely to find that Chinese people are generally kind and hospitable.
Don’t forget of course there’s the amazing cuisine. Delicious Peking duck in Beijing is an absolute must, as is a Chóngqìng hotpot or seasoned ròujiamó (shredded pork in a bun). Then finish off with a piping hot bowl of Lánzhou noodles in a Silk Road street market – you won’t regret it!
Here are five things you may not have known about China, which you’ll want to make note of before packing your bags:Time Difference: UTC +8 hoursCurrency: Chinese Yuan Native Language: MandarinWeather: China is truly massive and each part has its own distinct climate. However, as a guide, China has sweltering summers and chilly winters. The cool autumns (September and October) and warm springs (end of April to beginning of June) are often considered the best seasons to travel to China.Sales Tax: 17%
Here’s everything you’ll need to know about flying to China from Australia, including flight times and entry requirements.
Flights from Australia to China generally take around ten hours, with direct flights available from Sydney, Alice Springs and Adelaide.
Flights from other cities in Australia, such as Melbourne and Canberra, will have to take indirect routes, which will take a little longer.
Australian citizens don't need a visa if they are holidaying in Hong Kong for less than 90 days and not visiting mainland China, or if they are transiting in mainland China for less than 24 hours and will not leave the airport. If you require a full visa, you must obtain this visa prior to travel.
The following airlines offer direct flights from Australia to China:
- China Airlines
- China Southern
- Cathay Pacific
If you’ve never visited China before and are wondering what the ‘must-see’ sights and attractions are, here are our top ten:
- Mutianyu Great Wall
- The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses
- The Bund (Wai Tan)
- Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha)
- Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
- Victoria Peak (The Peak)
- Temple of Heaven
- Forbidden City - The Palace Museum
- Hong Kong Tramways (Ding Ding)
- Star Ferry
If you’re searching for that bucket list trip to China, then look no further than Globehunters. You’ll find the best deals on flights, hotels and car hire with us, and every booking is protected by ATOL and IATA for extra peace of mind.