China

Almost everything is written about China. In one hand you can experience that ancient traditions are still happening, on the other hand the skyscrapers and the modern face post Beijing´s 2008 Olympic Games coexist in curious harmony. What is a constant is the rapid pace of life in their cities, the crowds of people everywhere and the beauty in the simple things.

A great example of this is the Forbidden City in Beijing´s heart and in front of this the famous Tiananmen Square with an 100 ft. horizontal screen where they are constantly passing images of the different wonders that are still hidden for most people in this huge Country.

 

 

General Information

 

China is 3rd largest country in the world, a massive, world’s most populated state. Its very diverse in its landscape: from Gobi desert in the north to the tropics of Hainan in the south, from Tian-Shan mountains to Himalayas, it is cut by massive Yangtze and Yellow rivers.
The man-made heritage of the country is impressive as well. China has one of the world’s earliest civilizations and it has given the world the four great inventions: papermaking, compass, gunpowder and printing.
There are many great cities and sights to see in China, however as a part of Trans-Siberian journey, we are inviting you to discover Beijing.

Sería muy difícil generalizar con respecto a China y su gente; son cientos las culturas que conviven en este enorme País (el tercero en extensión), el más populoso del mundo, los innumerables destinos a visitar, el claroscuro entre la modernidad tecnológica y la austeridad de la vida rural.
Culturalmente es una de las cunas de la civilización del hombre y le dió cuatro importantes inventos que cambiaron el mundo: el papel, la pólvora, la brújula y la imprenta.

 

El territorio dentro de las fronteras políticas de China es increíble, los contrastes en los paisajes desde el desierto de Gobi a los Trópicos de Hainan en el Sur, pasando desde las montañas Tian Shan a los Himalayas y el Tíbet, cortado por los enormes ríos Amarillo y el Yangtze, hacen de este destino un lugar casi inagotable para aventurarse en él. Otro paisaje icónico y único es la impresionante Montaña Amarilla (Huangshan).

Estamos, sin duda, frente a uno de los destinos más fascinantes y diversos del mundo.

 

Hay muchas grandes ciudades y lugares para visitar en China, sin embargo como parte del recorrido del Transiberiano lo invitamos a descubrir Pekín (Beijing).

Beijing, por sí misma, es una ciudad que muestra miles de tesoros al viajero; por un lado están las típicas visitas obligadas como la Ciudad Prohibida, la Plaza de Tiananmen, el templo de la Gran Campana, el Palacio de Verano del Emperador y un poco más alejado, la Sorprendente Gran Muralla China. Pero lo que podría ser más llamativo para los aventureros es caminar por las callejuelas de la parte antigua de la ciudad, llamados Hutong. 

Lo amable de Beijing es que todo el casco antiguo de la Ciudad fue planeado y cuadrado de acuerdo a los puntos cardinales, por lo que orientarse se hace fácil cuando se trata de elegir hacia donde moverse a pie o interpretar los mapas para turistas que se encuentran en todos los lugares turísticos.

 

MONEY

Official currency of China is called Yuan. In China it is also called renminbi or colloquially “kuai”.
The exchange rate is approximately 6 yuan for 1 usd. The rate is heavily controlled by the state and hasn’t changed much over the past 10 years. To exchange dollars to yuan in China, one needs to go to the bank with the passport. There are numerous ATMs around Beijing, so credit cards can be used during your stay in China. Note: there have been numerous cases of credit card fraud when paying in bars or tea houses, it recommended to use cash when going out or pay close attention when fixing the bill.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Most big hotels have free Wi-Fi or broadband internet for their guests.
Budget accommodation also offers free Wi-Fi as well as 2-3 public computers.
To stay connected via phone is important to check the roaming charges associated with telephone communications. If you need to use post office, there are various restrictions on what you can / cannot send. Post offices are numerous and relatively efficient.

Visas

Most nationals need visa to enter China.

You will receive an official visa invitation from Trans-Siberiano to enter China during your journey.

Tourist visa can be obtained not earlier than three months before the date of travel. Contact us for more information.

 

 

Security

China is one of the safest places to travel to. Even though Beijing is a very big city, foreign tourists are safe in most parts of it. Some small crime like pickpocketing may still happen and usual big city precautions should be taken.

It is important to be careful when crossing the road as pedestrians don’t have same rights in China as they have in western countries. Don’t rely on pedestrian crossing and also check before starting to walk.
Taxis are safe to ride, they have meter and are clearly marked. It is sometimes difficult to catch a taxi as drivers avoid foreigners, therefore allow enough time to get to places if you plan to use taxis.
Always have copies of your documents kept separately from the originals and have a list of your country's embassies with telephone numbers and addresses in case of emergency.

 

Please make sure you have good insurance for the duration of your journey. Your insurance have to cover medical assistance as well as any abruptions during your journey.
It is good idea to have a supply of basic medication from home.
Always use bottled water for drinking. Remember that change in climate conditions and diet may also affect your journey.

 

Clima

China is a vast country with wide-ranging climatic conditions, so a decision about the best time to visit should be based on the regions you plan to visit and the kind of weather you enjoy.

China has 4 seasons. Beijing is located in the north east of the country and climate in this part of the country is characterised by short windy springs, long hot and rainy summers, beautiful warm autumns and cold winters.
Some of the best time of the year to visit Beijing is late spring in May or towards the end of summer, in August-September. June and July are great times to visit as well however it is hot and humid.

Throughout the spring months (April to May) temperatures in Bejiing rise quickly day to day. They also vary greatly (around 12C-14C) between day and night. Spring is a windy, dry season, frequented by heavy sandstorm. Cold winds are also frequent throughout spring months. In early spring, the temperature may drop abruptly. Sandstorm hits Beijing frequently in spring and may delay trips

Summer months in Beijing (June to August) are long and hot with plenty of rainfall. Average summer temperature is 24C with the temperature peaks reaching 40C.
About 70% of the city's rainfall happens in summer. Heavy rainstorms are common throughout the summer, and may occur on sunny afternoons without warning. Summer is the most popular travel time as for foreigners visiting Beijing so for the local tourists, therefore expect crowds everywhere you go.

Autumn (September to October) is perhaps the most attractive season in Beijing, when there is plenty of sunshine and cooler temperatures.

Winters in Beijing (November to March) are cold. The monthly average temperature is below 0C from December to February. In January, the monthly average temperature is below -4C in Beijing's plains. It seldom rains in the winter but there is plenty of sunshine. Enjoying the snow scene on West Hill, skating in Beihai Park, followed by a steaming hotpot with mutton slices will drive out the chills. Skiing and hot springs are the most popular activities in chilly winter. Be sure to bring winter clothes, including wool sweaters and down coats.
In winter, average temperature is -5 C with snowfall.

 

Travel notes

1) Arriende una bicicleta en Beijing, así podrá recorrer de manera mucho más rápida la ciudad, encontrar los Hutongs (clásicas callejuelas) y conocer la parte antigua de a ciudad

2)  Póngase calzado cómodo para la visita a la Gran Muralla China, se camina mucho.

3)  El final de la primavera y el principio de Otoño son las mejores épocas para ir a China.

4)  Evite los feriados públicos cuando viaje a China, todo estará sobrevendido y los lugares llenos de multitudes de gente

5) Coma en Restaurantes locales, la comida está recién hecha y los precios son Buenos.

6) Los chinos son muy supersticiosos;

      - A ellos les gusta mucho el Número 8 es un símbolo de todo lo auspicioso

      - Por otra parte ellos tienden a evitar el Número 4, está asociado a la muerte. Muchos edificios no tienen el cuarto piso.

      - Ellos aman las figuras redondeadas, dorados y el color rojo; la primera está asociada a la Tierra y a la Prosperidad, la otra al fuego y al hogar.

 

7) Habrá mucha gente que se le acercará muy amablemente hablando en inglés u otros idiomas para mostrarle una “galeria de arte de un amigo” , esa es una de las formas de llevarlo a una tienda de souvenirs o “salón de té”,  en ésta última intentarán estafarlo.

8) Dar propinas es aceptado en restaurants, pero no supera más del 5-7%

9) El Metro es una Buena manera de transportarse en Beijing, está todo bien señalizado en inglés.