China flag vs map

China Shopping, Culinary, and Accommodation




Prices are set by the government. Bargaining is not allowed in shops and department stores, but it is quite common in markets. An export permit is required for antiques over 100 years old; this is marked by an official red wax seal. In the shops there are inexpensive souvenirs. Some items are difficult to obtain. The best souvenirs can be found in the local factories, shops and hotels that specialize in handicrafts. Jade jewellery, embroidery, clothing made of silk or cashmere wool, scrolls, calligraphy, paintings and carvings made of bamboo, stone and wood are recommended. Big cities like Beijing and Shanghai also have large department stores with a wide range of products. Shop opening hours: Mon-Sun 09.00-19.00.

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The evening entertainment program is generally pre-arranged and the majority of visitors follow a pre-arranged sightseeing itinerary. The guides are helpful and friendly. Most tours include pre-arranged restaurant visits, as well as opera, ballet and theater evenings. Karaoke (abbreviated as OK on signs) is a popular form of evening entertainment.



Chinese cuisine is known around the world for its diversity. Meals are often served with steamed rice. Specialties include dim sum (usually steamed appetizers in small bamboo baskets that are wheeled around the restaurant on tea trolleys, from which the guest helps himself). Known to the west, Cantonese cuisine is just a regional flavor. There are eight different schools of Chinese cuisine, named after their places of origin: Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejian. To give a rough overview of Chinese cuisine, it is best divided into four regions: North Chinese cuisine: Beijing cuisine, also known as Mandarin or Shandong, is very varied. The focus is on pasta and spicy sauces; frying is the preferred cooking method. The best known are Peking duck, with crispy duck skin served in wafer-thin rice flour pancakes with cucumber, spring onions and Hoi Sin plum sauce, and Chinese fondue. Raw meat or vegetables are cooked in boiling hot chicken broth in a cast-iron pot and served with various spicy sauces. Another specialty is Shuijiao, dumplings stuffed with pork, chives, and scallions.South China Cuisine: Cantonese cuisine relies on boiling, steaming, and sautéing to preserve the natural flavor. In addition to chicken, pork and beef, snakes, dogs, cats and turtles are processed. There are cha siu bao (dumplings stuffed with pork chunks), har gau (steamed shrimp dumplings), and shiu mai (steamed minced pork with shrimp). Hakka cuisine is mostly simple, with salt-fried chicken being delicious. East Chinese cuisine: Shanghai and Zhejiang cuisine is rich, sweet, and often features pickled fruits and vegetables. Specialties are hot, sour soups, seafood, pasta and vegetables. Shanghainese dishes consist primarily of shredded ingredients simmered in soy sauce or fried in sesame oil with lots of garlic and pepper. Western Chinese cuisine: Sichuan dishes are spicy with chilies; a specialty is grilled meat and chicken in spicy soy sauce with peanuts. Drinks: Chinese tea, mostly green tea, often with ginger, Flavored with jasmine or rose petals, is world famous. Popular Chinese wines and spirits include Zhian Jing (rice wine served hot), Liang Hua Pei (strong plum brandy), Kaolian (whisky), and Mao Tai (rice liquor). The most popular beers are San Miguel and Tsingtao.



There are now over 5000 tourist hotels with a room capacity of around 400,000. More than half of the hotels are categorized according to the international star system. Air-conditioning, en-suite rooms, meeting and banquet halls, banquet halls, Chinese and international cuisine restaurants, bars, swimming pool, sauna, beauty salons, medical and other service facilities are generally standard facilities. Some hotels also offer shopping arcades, business centers, banks and post offices. Rooms are easy to find and inexpensive by European standards, although prices in 5-star hotels have increased significantly in recent years. The other hotels are generally clean and functional. Information from Hotel Association China Tourism Hotel Association, 9 A Jian Guo Men Nei Avenue, CN-100740 Beijing. (Tel: (10) 65 20 11 14 or 65 12 29 05)



The most important religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Islam. Christian, Hindu and Lamaist minorities. (Officially, China is atheist.)

Social Rules of Conduct

Cultural differences can sometimes lead to misunderstandings between the local population and visitors. In hotels, dining cars and restaurants, suggestions for improvement are often welcome; they are then carefully examined. Chinese are generally reserved. The rule is: courtesy before confidentiality. One should refrain from making critical remarks about China’s political leadership and show no sympathy for Taiwan. The full name of the country is “People’s Republic of China” and it should also be used in correspondence. They shake hands to greet each other. Sometimes a foreign guest is greeted with applause. You applaud that. In China, the family name is given first, For example, Wong Man Ying is addressed as Mister Wong. If you are invited, you should always arrive a little before the agreed time and bring a small gift such as fruit, chocolates or a souvenir from your home country. Stamps are also a popular gift. When visiting friends, the children are happy about small gifts of money. It is customary to issue counter-invitations. During a meal, you toast each other with each new course. Up to 12 courses can be served, and while it’s not considered an offense to eat little, it’s considered polite to try each course. If you are invited to a Chinese festival, you should inquire beforehand about the traditionally required gift. Restrained everyday clothing is appropriate, revealing clothing should be avoided. Smart attire is expected at some social events and in some restaurants. Smoking is generally permitted. Non-smoking zones are marked. However, smoking in Beijing is banned in all public buildings such as hotels, restaurants, cinemas and theaters and in public squares. This smoking ban is to be extended to the entire country in the future. Photography: Photography is prohibited at airports. Photography is also prohibited in some temples. Permission should be obtained before photographing military, industrial or government buildings. Tipping is considered an insult outside of the large, international hotels. In the tourist centers, however, the service staff is happy to take 10 percent,


Best travel time

The climate varies greatly from region to region, ranging from alpine in the mountains to subarctic in the far north and tropical in the south. A satellite photo of China reveals at a glance where most rain falls and which regions are very dry: the northwest, west and north except for the northeast edge appear in tan in the image, while the extreme north and northeast and the east and the south of the country are bathed in lush green. Most rain falls in the summer months.

In the east, between Beijing and the Yangtze River, there is a temperate monsoon climate. The climate changes from there in a southerly direction into subtropical and in the very south into tropical climate.

In the coastal areas there is a humid climate due to the influence of the monsoon.

From the Takla Makan in the west to Beijing there is a desert climate with hot summers and cold winters.

The best travel time is from April to June and September to November. The north has more hours of sunshine than the south.

As a result of climate change, the regions are increasingly struggling with heat waves, drought, water shortages and floods. The north-west is increasingly struggling with drought, the north-east with heat waves, among other things, and in the north the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia with water shortages. In the south, flooding and drinking water shortages are becoming increasingly common.

Country data

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Area (sq km)



1,439,323,776 (Source: homosociety)

Population density (per square km)


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China flag vs map