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  Maren & Kirk

China

Facts about country

Capital Beijing

Population

1.2 billion (mainland)

Main Languages

Putonghua (Beijing Mandarin dialect), Cantonese

Electricity

2 Plug System 220 50 HZ

Currency

Renminbi (RMB)

Exchange Rate for US $ as of Oct 2001

8.26 Yuan per 1 US$

Safe to Drink Tap Water

No

Size

9,596,960 sq km (mainland)

Transport

train, bus, plane, taxi

Cash Machines (ATMS) Yes
Credit Card Usage Yes
Religion Officially Atheist; Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Muslim, Christian
Measurement System Metric System

Recommended Budget per Day in US $ 

Total Budget per Person Accommodation Meals Transportation Other
40 $ 10 $  10 $  10 $ 10 $

Main things to See (we give descriptions only on places we visited)

Things to See  Visited Brief Description Recommend (10 is best 1 is don't bother)
Beijing Y Beijing is the capital of China with a lot to see and visit. The main attractions are the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Great Hall of the People, Great Wall of China (a little outside the city), the Summer Palace, Mao Zedong Mausoleum, Temple of Heaven Park, along with many other things to see. 9
Shanghai Y The most modern city we have seen with sky scrapers being put up everywhere.   7
Xi'an Y We only visited the Army of Terra Cotta Warriors Museum. It was very well done, even though the warehousing covering the finds were a little too modern for our taste.  They also seem to let people take all the pictures they want, even thought the guide book says it is not allowed 8
Xining Y In town there is not much to see, but a short bus trip to Huangzhong one gets to see the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism Monastery.  It is the birthplace of Tsong Khapa, the founder of the sect.  8
Yangtze River Y This river will change dramatically in the next few years when the dam is completed. We did not have great weather, but we were glad we visited, though it is really far out of the way if one has only a short time in China. 8
Guilin / Yangshou Y Here are some amazing limestone karst peaks.  In Guilin they pop up in the middle of the city where one can climb up for a fee.  Yangshou is a real tourist town, the only one we found in China that caters specifically to tourist, with western menus, internet cafes, and most signs in English.  The green peaks surround the town and are really beautiful. 8
Hong Kong Y Hong Kong is no part of China, but it is completely different and if one leaves China for Hong Kong, one has to get another Visa to get back into China.  From Victoria Peak one has great views of Hong Kong Island and Kawloon.  8
Tibet Y Tibet is an Amazing place and well worth the money and effort to get there.  The people are special and the monasteries and temples are very interesting. One should get there before it changes forever. 10
Macau N
Taishan N
Nanjing N
Karakoram Highway N

Longgong Caves

N
Turpan N

Popular activities and Tours (Being not included does not mean they do not exist)

Hiking / Trekking X
Scuba Diving
Historical Sites X
Sightseeing tours X

Ballooning

Bungy Jumping

X

Safaris

X
Boat tours x
Fishing x
Horseback riding X
Canoeing X
Camping X
River Rafting x
Sky Diving  
Abseiling  
Surfing x
Windsurfing x
Kayaking x
Sailing x
Mountain biking X
Rollerblading  
Motorbike x
Sand boarding
Snorkeling x
Water Skiing x
Skiing
Bicycling X
Others 

Feeling and Opinions on China

China was a pleasant surprise since we had heard so many horror stories about how unfriendly and bureaucratic the people were.  Well they turned out for the most part really friendly and helpful. The sites in China are amazing and well worth seeing even though they are far away from another and takes forever to get there, unless of course your budget allows you to fly. China is also not cheap.  One thing that made us a little ticked was when one enters Hong Kong from China and only had a single entry Visa to China, one needs to apply for a new Visa in China if one wants to come back.

  

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