Best Things To See and Do in China


China, officially known as the People's Republic of China is a vast country in Eastern Asia (about the same size as the United States of America) with the world's largest population.

With coasts on the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and the South China Sea, in total, it borders 14 nations. It borders Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam to the south; Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan to the west; Russia and Mongolia to the north and North Korea to the east. This number of neighboring states is equaled only by China's vast neighbor to the north, Russia.

China is a very diverse place with large variations in culture, language, customs, and economic levels. The economic landscape is particularly diverse. The major cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai are modern and comparatively wealthy. However, about 50% of Chinese still live in rural areas even though only 10% of China's land is arable. More than half the total population, some 800 million rural residents, still farm with manual labor or draft animals. Government estimates for 2005 reported that 90 million people lived on under ¥924 a year and 26 million were under the official poverty line of ¥668 a year. Generally, the southern and eastern coastal regions are more wealthy while inland areas, the far west and north, and the southwest are much much less developed.

China is a huge country with endless travel opportunities. During holidays, however, millions of migrant workers return home and millions of other Chinese travel. Travelers may want to seriously consider scheduling to avoid the major holidays. At the very least, travel should be planned well in advance to ensure your trips to China smooth and perfect. Every mode of transportation is crowded; tickets of any kind are hard to come by, so it may be necessary to book well in advance (especially for those traveling from remote western China to the east coast or in the opposite direction). Train and bus tickets are usually quite easy to buy in China, but difficulties arising from crowded conditions at these times cannot be overstated. Travelers who are stranded at these times, unable to buy tickets, can sometimes manage to get airplane tickets, which tend to sell out more slowly.
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