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China - Holidays, Flights and Hotels

China and The Far East

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Flight Time to China from the UK
Approx 10 hours to Beijing Approx 11 hours 15 min to Shanghai

China is composed of a vast variety of highly different landscapes, with mostly plateaus and mountains in the west, and lower lands on the east. As a result, principal rivers flow from west to east, including the Yangtze (central), the Huang He (central-east), and the Amur (northeast), and sometimes toward the south (including the Pearl River, Mekong River, and Brahmaputra), with most Chinese rivers emptying into the Pacific.

Most of China's arable lands lie along the two major rivers, the Yangtze and the Huang He, and each are the centers around which are founded China's major ancient civilizations.

In the east, along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea are found extensive and densely populated alluvial plains; the shore of the South China Sea is more mountainous and southern China is dominated by hill country and lower mountain ranges.

To the west, the north has a great alluvial plain, and the south has a vast calcareous tableland traversed by hill ranges of moderate elevation, with the Himalayas, containing the highest point Mount Everest. The northwest also has high plateaus among more arid desert landscapes such as the Takla-Makan and the Gobi Desert, which has been expanding. Due to a prolonged drought and perhaps poor agricultural practices, dust storms have become usual in the spring in China. Dust blows all the way to southern China, Taiwan, and has even been measured on the West Coast of the United States.

During many dynasties, the southwestern border of China has been the high mountains and deep valleys of Yunnan, which separate modern China from Burma, Laos and Vietnam.

The climate of China varies greatly. The northern zone (within which lies Beijing) has a climate with winters of Arctic severity. The central zone (within which Shanghai is situated) has a generally temperate climate. The southern zone (within which lies Guangzhou and other southern provinces) has a generally subtropical climate.

The Palaeozoic formations of China, excepting only the upper part of the Carboniferous system, are marine, while the Mesozoic and Tertiary deposits are estuarine and freshwater or else of terrestrial origin. Groups of volcanic cones occur in the Great Plain of north China. In the Liaodong and Shandong Peninsulas, there are basaltic plateaux.

Information provided by Wikipedia

Flights to China | Chinese Resorts and Hotels | Car Rental in China

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Hayes and JarvisHayes and Jarvis -

Hayes & Jarvis has been creating award-winning specialist long haul holidays for travellers for more than 50 years. It now operates to more than 50 worldwide destinations ATOL (No 1275), ABTA (No V1464)

Nothing can prepare you for a holiday touring China and the Far East. As if set in two separate worlds, one half lies in an Ancient Kingdom, with a Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, which once guarded dynasties of emperors and the people they reigned. On the flip side of the coin is the other half, pushing forward at an electrifying pace, moulding mighty metropolises and the world class hotels in Beijing alongside a colonial, Maoist past. -

For luxury and last minute budget holidays to China and the Far East. offers a fantastic array of incredible China travel deals. Whether booking a hotel, flight, holiday or car hire, is your one stop travel shop.

Virgin HolidaysVirgin Holidays -

Luxruy and budget holidays and resorts and tours in China.

Other great wonders in China include Beijing's Forbidden City and the amazing Shanghai Museum, home to art and ceramics dating back thousands of years. When you've filled up on culture, you can feast upon the incredibly varied food, from spicy Sichuan to southern stir-fries. In the cities you'll find modern bars and nightclubs, while out in villages such as Zhouzhuang, famous for its canals, life hasn't changed much in 100 years. Cruising the River Li in Guilin, you'll feel total peace. A couple of days later, you could be shopping for Britain in Shanghai's copious Western-style shopping complexes, where the bargains come thick and fast. Dine with Beijing's young professionals in its smart restaurants, or try backstreet noodle bars where you can eat with the workers for next to nothing. In mountainous Tibet, experience the top-of-the-world views and feel the spirituality as you explore its ancient temples and holy sites.

Flight Details - Virgin Atlantic flights to Shanghai depart daily from London Heathrow. Air China flights to Beijing depart daily from London Heathrow.

Flying Time - Approx 10 hours 10 min to Beijing. Approx 11 hours 15 min to Shanghai.

Thomas CookThomas Cook -

Cheap Family holidays & last minute deals.

Home to some of the world's greatest man-made and natural wonders, China remains as mysterious to the Western traveler today as it was centuries ago.

eBookerseBookers -

Cheap Flights, Hotels, Airline Tickets, Car Hire and Holiday Packages in China.

OpodoOpodo -

Flights, hotels, car rental, city breaksand package holidays.

Nothing can prepare travellers on cheap holidays to China for a first glimpse at the country's economic powerhouse, Shanghai. The skyline of neon signs and space-age buildings rising from the water is a sight to behold. Dominated by the hub of the city, the Bund, the waterfront bustles with life 24-hours a day. The pace is fast and furious, and definitely not for the fainthearted.

Kuoni TravelKuoni Travel -

Travel and stay in China in style and luxury with

A vast,spectacular, beautiful country of contrasts in landscape, climate and culture,the world's most ancient traditions wedded to the world's brightest economic future, a land of a thousand million souls, where peaceful rice fields and monastery villages exist alongside buzzing ultramodern mega-cities. In short, a magical destination of memorable images and amazing experiences!

Bustling Beijing, venue for the 2008 Olympics, where the Forbidden City, Ming Tombs, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square await exploration.

Other thrilling cities: Shanghai and Hong Kong, offering colonial charm, superb shopping, distinctive regional cuisine and a full calendar of colourful and fascinating festivals.

The Great Wall of China - one of the greatest building construction projects ever completed, a testament to human engineering, ingenuity and endurance, and an undoubted wonder of the world. Snaking its way thousands of miles from the mountains of Korea to the sands of the Gobi, the wall has captivated and astonished visitors throughout its remarkable history.

The imperial glory of Xi'an, particularly the 8,000-strong army of life-size Terracotta Warriors assembled to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor.

British Airways HolidaysBritish Airways Holidays -

Book affordable hotels and car rental with BA Holidays.

NetflightsNetflights -

For flights to Asia and China.

Singapore AirlinesSingapore Airlines -

Singapore Airlines is internationally recognised as one of the world's leading carriers. Our route network spans over 90 cities in almost 40 countries including the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.

See below for further online travel agents with offers on holidays to China

Public Holidays in China
January 1 - New Year's Holiday
February 18 - Chinese New Year
May 1 - Labour Day Holiday
October 1 - National Day Holiday

Visa Requirements for China
Entry requirements for UK nationals: UK nationals require a passport and visa for entry to China.

Tipping is not necessary and sometimes considered an inappropriate gesture, but under certain rare circumstances - such as a doorman allowing you into a building at a late hour - a tip is welcome. (A 1 tip would suffice for the above example.) The exceptions to this rule are in upscale businesses where you are rendered some type of service.

Taxi drivers do not require tips. However, in areas such as Beijing that are heavily touristed the drivers are now used to tips and some even ask for them. In some places, there's a flat fuel surcharge added to the meter fare.

Staff in small eateries do not expect tips. They would find it very strange to get 100 and be told to keep the change. Leave a few yuan on the table and their most likely reaction would be to chase you down the street to return it.

When presenting a business card or any other important piece of paper, it is always considered polite to hand it with both hands at the same time, with the thumbs and index fingers holding either side of the document. Accept one the same way.

If you smoke (and even if you don't), it is always considered polite to offer a cigarette to those you meet, as long as they are of adult age. This rule applies almost exclusively to men, but under certain circumstances, such as a club, bar or tea house, it is OK to apply the rule toward women, particularly in the larger, more cosmopolitan cities. If someone offers you a cigarette and you don't smoke, you can turn it down by politely and gently waving your hand. The same applies to alcoholic drinks or food offered during a meal. An alternative to the alcohol drink tip is to turn your "wine" cup upside down (if it is empty!) and place it on the table in such manner, but do this with a smile. Note: When toasting, it is best to look directly in the eyes of those you are toasting with. Keep in mind that although the Chinese love to drink copious amounts of alcohol, public drunkenness is frowned upon. If you see some people getting or being obnoxiously drunk in public, by no means think that it is OK -- it isn't.

Try to avoid political topics, as they usually lead nowhere and can even cause problems. Many Chinese hold to their beliefs quite rigidly and it is rather rare to find a politically open mind. Those who are open and knowledgeable about political issues, tend to keep such ideas to themselves and those very close to them, so don't expect a quick breaking of the ice in this field. To a lesser extent, topics of history are met with a similar attitude. On the other hand, religious topics are easier to discuss. Note: Do not discuss Tibet or Taiwan political issues unless you fully agree with the policies of the PRC regarding these matters, as they are almost invariably met with varying degrees of hostility.

It is usually best to spit the bones found in food directly on the table or a small plate for such purpose, or skillfully take them out with your chopsticks and place them there, rather than using your fingers. This may be totally unacceptable to most people from other countries but it is the rule in China. Sticking your chopsticks into your rice and leaving them there is considered taboo, as it is reminiscent of sticks of incense burning at a shrine or funeral and therefore you are seen to be wishing death upon the people at the table. Also, if someone clears his/her throat and spits on a restaurant floor, accept it, as it is also very common indeed throughout most of the country.

A small gift taken to a host's home is always very welcome.

As a traveller, you may find that your language, color of hair and skin, behavior, and manner of dress will draw long and sustained stares, especially in rural areas or outside the major cities. While there is a great deal of diversity in China, it is also true that in some areas people have little or no contact with people outside of their village or social circle. Do not be put off by this fact or you may spoil your own time in China.

The Chinese tend to be very concerned about correct behavior and "saving face", and also tend to be very conscious of social status. Pointing out mistakes or failings, even for innocent and/or justified reasons, may cause intense humiliation and embarrassment for the person on the receiving end. This does not mean that you have to accept a significant error or mistake that has a negative effect on you; it means that if you must point out a problem or give criticism, do so in the most polite (but firm) manner that you can.

There is a strong difference between members of the in-group and strangers, although there is a fair gray area between the two. However, this is common worldwide, so there is no need to think about this issue too much.