available in China
Reserves and Wildlife
China is home to both the world’s oldest living civilization and the world’s largest human population. The Great Wall of China, temple-topped mountain sides and sprawling rice terraces are just some of the wonders to behold. With a whopping 65 cities to choose from, a traveller could spend years touring this massive country. In Shenzhen, experience a city rapidly evolving, in Chengdu visit giant pandas while in Beijing – the historic capital – visit the Great Wall, The Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. China’s terrain varies greatly, from the lakes of Tibet and deserts of Inner Mongolia to Yangshuo’s breathtaking karst pinnacles and the tropical beaches of Hainan.
Zhangjiajie National Park is the inspiration for the set of the fantasy film Avatar, and is even more magical in real life. Located in central China, and comprising 243 peaks and more than 3,000 pinnacles and spires, this park is completely otherworldly. Most of the park is covered in thick, natural vegetation, which is home to over 150 species of animals including the rhesus monkey, golden pheasant, musk deer and giant salamander. The landscape offers a variety of beautiful sights, including thundering waterfalls, limestone hills, glittering streams and misty mountain tops. This park is a wonderful spot for hiking, climbing, adventure safaris and even a cable car ride.
Guilin Lijiang National Park, located in Southern China, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The park is best known for its karsts, limestone cones and hills, which look like nothing else on earth. Each karst has been given an interesting name such as ‘Five Fingers’ or ‘Dragon Head’, based on what it resembles. The Li river runs from Guilin to Yangshuo for 83 km and a boat safari on this river is one of the best ways to view the magnificent karst hills. Other fun activities include village tours, bamboo rafting and cycling.
Jiuzhaigou (‘Nine-Village Valley’) National Park, is famous for its bright blue lakes, snow-white peaks, frozen waterfalls and beautiful Tibetan villages. The park boasts over 200 species of bird, as well as a variety of endangered animal and plant species. Among the endangered wildlife is the giant panda, Sichuan golden monkey and the Sichuan takin. The Jiuzhai Valley is part of the Min Shan mountain range on the edge of the Tibetan Himalayan Plateau and stretches over 720 sq km. In this superb park, travellers can walk or hike, tour the nine ancient villages, or go on a photography safari led by a guide.
- May-Aug High Season. Summer downpours. Visitor hot spots will be crowded. During the first week of the May holiday period accommodation prices peak.
- Feb-Apr, Sep & Oct Shoulder Season. Warmer spring days, cooler autumn days. Accommodation prices can peak during October holiday season. The best times to visit China are April-May and Sept-Oct when many of the popular places have the most tourism-friendly weather. The north has fresh weather and clear skies.
- Nov-Jan Low Season. In the north and in high altitude areas it’s bitterly cold, only warm in the far south. Tourism is quiet, apart from Chinese New Year when its busier and expensive.
- Capital – Beijing
- Currency – Renminbi
- Languages – Mandarin
- Size – 9,600,000 square kilometers
- Population: 1.393 billion (2018)
- The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for China: measles, hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
- Malaria is a risk in some very remote areas along the China-Myanmar (Burma) border in Yunnan Province and Motuo County in Tibet. There is no malaria present in the usual places tourists will visit.
- A yellow fever certificate may be required if travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever.
- Diverse culture, landscapes and experiences
- Breathtaking scenery and beauty
- Huge biodiversity and wealth of wildlife
- Mouth-watering cuisine
- Architecture and ancient history
- Language barrier can be a problem outside major cities and tourist sights
- Crowds during Chinese holidays
- Vast distances
Arriving in China
- Beijing International Airport, and other major airports, have good train, bus and taxi services to the city centres.
- With such vast distances, transport by bus and rail needs pre-planning due to the distances involved and periodic shortages of tickets.
- Flights are affordable and excellent for long distances, but delays are common.
- Trains are very reasonably priced and efficient. The high-speed rail is more expensive.
- Buses are cheaper and slower than trains but crucial for remote destinations.
- British and other nationals normally need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao.
- All visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 inclusive need to make their visa application in person at a Visa Application Centre. As part of the application process, biometric data (scanned fingerprints) has to be provided.
- Biometric data may be checked/collected by the immigration authorities when entering China to register your entry to the country.
- Check with the Chinese Embassy if you need a visa or not.
12-Day Wild Side of China: A Nature Odyssey
- 12 Days
For wildlife lovers and back country trekkers, this is a fantastic route and the very best safari to...
Departures:Jan, Feb, Mar, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Start/end:Start in Xi'an, end in Chengdu
18-Day Bird Watching and Wildlife in Western Sichuan
- 18 Days
As the homeland of giant pandas, Sichuan Province is best known for its fiery cuisine and beautiful landscapes....
Departures:Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sep, Oct
Start/end:Start/end in Chengdu
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