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China Hotels and Flights

7 nights from

£692 per person

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Ancient kingdoms and rapid progress

From climbing the Great Wall to strolling along bustling Shanghai’s Bund River; China offers an experience like no other.

A land of captivating culture, historic landscapes and futuristic developments, China boasts the perfect mix of tradition and innovation; a true country of contrast. One minute, you’ll find yourself exploring the lush rice fields and traditional Chinese villages before venturing to the busy, cosmopolitan cities the next. Each day you spend in China will be different to the one before.

Travel around on the futuristic, high speed bullet trains; visit the thousands of Terracotta Warriors in Xian and challenge yourself to the Great Wall of China; just remember to wear comfy shoes. What’s more, China is deemed one of the best culinary centres on earth, where you’ll get to try everything from fresh street food to Michelin-starred dishes for a feast you won’t forget in a hurry.

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China Tours (10)

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China Multi Centre Holidays (6)

Let us show you the world on our group and private tours.

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Our favourite time to go to China

Weather

Avg Max TempAvg Rainfall
JAN
16°C
29mm
FEB
18°C
57mm
MAR
20°C
43mm
APR
24°C
120mm
MAY
26°C
218mm
JUN
28°C
463mm
JUL
29°C
496mm
AUG
29°C
569mm
SEP
27°C
358mm
OCT
26°C
137mm
NOV
22°C
24mm
DEC
17°C
37mm
Our Favourite Time
Rainy Season
Find more about Hong Kong

Autumn Season

Autumns are short in Hong Kong, lasting from September to October. Temperatures are still warm without getting too hot, humidity drops to more comfortable levels, and rainfall is significantly reduced compared to the summer months, although showers do occur.   

Our Favourite Season

Hong Kong has enough air conditioning and indoor attractions to make it a great year-round destination. But the weather is at its best from October to April, with less risk of rainfall, lower humidity, and more comfortable temperatures.  

Spring Season

Spring is a lovely time to explore Hong Kong. The weather from March to May is warm, humid, and often overcast. May is the hottest month of spring, with showers marking the start of the May to September monsoon. 

Summer Season

June to August sees soaring temperatures and humidity levels that will make you thankful for air-conditioning. Meanwhile, frequent thunderstorms and showers bring around 80 percent of Hong Kong’s annual rainfall. Both factors make summer the best value for money. 

Winter Season

November to February is the coolest and driest time of year. Days are mild and evenings can be chilly, so it’s a good idea to pack some warmer clothing. Many people consider winter the best season to visit Hong Kong.  

Avg Max TempAvg Rainfall
JAN
-4°C
0mm
FEB
0°C
0mm
MAR
7°C
17mm
APR
14°C
26mm
MAY
20°C
44mm
JUN
25°C
72mm
JUL
27°C
185mm
AUG
26°C
156mm
SEP
21°C
55mm
OCT
14°C
35mm
NOV
5°C
17mm
DEC
-1°C
0mm
Our Favourite Time
Rainy Season
Find more about Beijing

Autumn Season

Autumn is the best season for many, with more comfortable temperatures, very little rainfall, and plenty of sunshine in September and October. The autumn leaves are stunning, blending from red to gold. November sees rapidly decreasing temperatures, averaging around 10°C.  

Our Favourite Season

Our favourite times to see Beijing are April to June, and September to October; before and after the monsoon rains and stifling heat of July and August. June is hot, while the other months enjoy cooler weather ideal for sightseeing.  

Spring Season

Temperatures are on the rise in spring. From April onwards Beijing is warm with plenty of sunshine; more than nine hours a day on average. It can be windy at this time, which brings the occasional sandstorm.  

Summer Season

June to August is hot, humid, and wet. Beijing encounters around half its annual rainfall in July and August, and temperatures are scorching. Despite the weather, this is peak tourist season. June is cooler, drier, and the most pleasant summer month.  

Winter Season

Beijing is bitterly cold in winter. There is very little rain, but snow occasionally settles, giving sights like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall a whole new look. Skiing and bathing in hot spring are popular winter activities in Beijing.  

Avg Max TempAvg Rainfall
JAN
1°C
8mm
FEB
3°C
11mm
MAR
8°C
26mm
APR
15°C
40mm
MAY
20°C
44mm
JUN
25°C
64mm
JUL
26°C
90mm
AUG
25°C
83mm
SEP
21°C
87mm
OCT
15°C
56mm
NOV
8°C
23mm
DEC
2°C
9mm
Our Favourite Time
Rainy Season
Find more about Xian

Autumn Season

Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit Xian. September and October encounter a mix of sunshine, showers, and comfortable temperatures. November is significantly colder, when locals warm up by running the City Wall Marathon. 

Our Favourite Season

Summer is peak tourist season in Xian, but we love to visit in spring and autumn, when the weather isn’t too hot, wet, or cold for sightseeing. March, April, May, and October see the city at its best.  

Spring Season

Temperatures increase quickly from March to May, bringing warm sunshine and gentle breezes that make sightseeing a pleasure. Pack a coat in March, and summer clothes by May. Spring sees occasional rainfall and dust storms.  

Summer Season

Xian is very hot and humid from June to August, often uncomfortably so. Indoor attractions are a good idea in the midday heat. Summer sees 10 or 11 rainy days a month on average, with July the hottest and wettest month of the year.  

Winter Season

December to February is cold and dry with little rain or snow. January encounters the most biting temperatures, dropping as low as -4°C. The traditional Lantern Festival brings colour to Xian City Wall in January or February.   

Avg Max TempAvg Rainfall
JAN
4°C
39mm
FEB
6°C
59mm
MAR
9°C
81mm
APR
15°C
102mm
MAY
20°C
115mm
JUN
24°C
152mm
JUL
29°C
128mm
AUG
29°C
133mm
SEP
24°C
156mm
OCT
19°C
61mm
NOV
13°C
51mm
DEC
7°C
35mm
Our Favourite Time
Rainy Season
Find more about Shanghai

Autumn Season

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Shanghai, with enjoyable weather that is neither too hot nor too wet. September sees more rainfall than the rest of the season, and tourist numbers are thinning out by early November.  

Our Favourite Season

Shanghai is at its best in the spring and autumn months, avoiding the winter chill and the hot, wet weather of summer. Depending on when you go, temperatures are cool to warm but always comfortable for exploring the city.   

Spring Season

 Although March is still cold, it’s a comfortable heat for sightseeing. April and May are warmer, with welcome sunshine and occasional rainfall. Cool evenings and gentle breezes mean you will need a jacket or coat. 

Summer Season

Summer can be uncomfortably hot and humid in Shanghai, particularly in July and August. This is also the wettest time of year, although the downpours can be a welcome relief from the summer heat.  

Winter Season

The winters are chilly and dry in Shanghai. January is the coldest month of the year, with temperatures often dropping below 0°C. December and February are cold, but a little milder, and the city does not see much snow.  

Avg Max TempAvg Rainfall
JAN
8°C
88mm
FEB
10°C
98mm
MAR
14°C
147mm
APR
20°C
214mm
MAY
24°C
354mm
JUN
27°C
437mm
JUL
29°C
223mm
AUG
29°C
140mm
SEP
27°C
87mm
OCT
22°C
70mm
NOV
17°C
64mm
DEC
11°C
52mm
Our Favourite Time
Rainy Season
Find more about Guilin

Autumn Season

Autumn brings dry weather with warm, sunny, clear days. The landscape bursts alive with autumn foliage, making it a good season to see Guilin. 

Our Favourite Season

We like visiting Guilin between September and November. The picturesque scenery and sparkling rivers comes alive under the golden autumn light and the days are pleasantly warm and sunny but lacking in humidity. 

Spring Season

Guilin has pleasantly warm springs with some sunny days. Temperatures stay quite cool throughout early spring, but warm up quickly towards summer. Monsoon season starts in March (and goes through August) so you will experience rain and humidity in the spring. 

Summer Season

Summer in Guilin is hot and humid, the monsoon season extending through to August. The wettest month of the year is June, although you will see plenty of sunny days after that. A heavy haze usually clouds the city by mid morning. 

Winter Season

 Morning mists rise over the rivers and lakes are accompanied by cloudy, drizzly days throughout the winter in Guilin. The temperature is cool, but not freezing, although the wind chill factor makes it feel colder than it is.

Excursions in and around China

Map Key:
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Flight Information

There are a number of carriers offering flights to China from the UK.

Direct Carriers: British Airways, Air China and Virgin Atlantic offer a direct service from the UK.

Indirect Carriers: Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, KLM and Air France offer indirect services to China.

Departure Taxes: An international departure tax of CNY120 (approx. GBP8) must be paid at Chinese Airports (unless it is included in your flight ticket price). Taxes on Chinese domestic flights (CNY 50, approx. GBP4) are payable unless included in your flight ticket.

Visa Information

British Citizens are required to have a visa to enter China, which you can apply for from the Chinese Embassy in London. Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in China. Please contact the Chinese Tourist Office for up to date country and visa information on 0891 600 188.

Currency

The official currency in mainland China is the Yuan Renminbi. In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Dollar is used. Both currencies can be bought in the UK. You can only take 20,000 Yuan Renminbi in and out of China, but the import and export of the Hong Kong Dollar is unlimited. In China, UK Pounds (excluding Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes) and traveller's cheques can be exchanged at airports, hotels and branches of the Bank of China. The exchange rate is the same everywhere, so there is no need to shop around for the best deal.

How to get your currency

Cash is king in China, where credit cards have yet to really take off. You may be able to use your Visa or MasterCard in some places, especially the major cities, but try to carry enough cash as a rule. Cash machines can usually be found in airports, hotels, shopping centres, and banks, as well as in major cities and towns. With better exchange rates than for cash, traveller’s cheques are a good idea if you are visiting the main tourist areas, but may be harder to cash in other parts of the country.

Currency code

CNY

Tipping

People tend not to expect tipping in China. It used to be refused, but is now becoming more common in hotels, restaurants, and with guides and drivers. Many mid-range and high-end restaurants add a service charge, but cheaper eateries do not expect a tip. Neither do taxi drivers.

Health

Hepatitis A, B, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid and Malaria immunisation are recommended. Yellow Fever immunisation is required if arriving from an infected country. All travellers should be up to date on routine immunisations. Please contact your GP for the most current information.

What to pack

Spread across such a vast country, the weather on China holidays ranges from sun to snow. Check the weather report before you go and pack accordingly. Make sure you leave room for new purchases, and if you want to treat yourself to some well priced, good quality tailoring, take your favourite clothes along so you can get copies made.

A camera for snapping all those incredible sights;

Layers

jumpers and jackets in winter;

A waterproof jacket;

Cool

lightweight clothing in summer;

Comfortable walking shoes for exploring;

An electrical adapter (the power supply in China is 220 volts at 50 hertz).

China Specialities

A country as huge as China doesn’t have one national cuisine. Instead, styles vary by region with Cantonese (Guangdong) cooking most familiar to us in the UK. Northern cuisine, like Peking duck in Beijing, is filling and hearty. Southern, including Cantonese, is the most exotic, with varied dishes like dim sum and the use of unusual meats like dog, snake, and turtle. Eastern cuisine, including the food in Shanghai, is rich, sweet, and sour, with a lot of seafood. And western cuisine, including Sichuan, tends to be bold and spicy, with classic dishes like kung po chicken.

Peking Duck
Beijing’s most famous dish is glazed with syrup and slow roasted until it turns a glossy red-brown colour. The crispy skin is so good that authentic eateries dish up more skin than meat, sliced in front of you by the cook. Wrap your duck in a thin pancake, smother it with hoisin or sweet plum sauce and add cucumbers or onions.

Dim Sum
A religion in Hong Kong, dim sum consists of bite-sized portions, usually steamed, served in bamboo baskets and shared. There are thousands of dim sum delicacies available, including pork buns, spring rolls and shrimp dumplings. Going for dim sum is known as yum cha, translated as ‘to drink tea’, which is traditionally served with the meal (or vice versa).

Mongolian Hotpot
Like a Chinese version of fondue, Mongolian hotpot is a communal meal centred on a large pot of simmering broth, into which a variety of uncooked meats and vegetables are dipped, cooking them on the spot. Eaten for over a thousand years, it is believed to have all kinds of restorative effects on the body.    

Street Food

Street food might be a little less common than it used to be, but we still think the route to experiencing the real China is through your stomach. Follow your nose to back alleys and markets, letting your taste buds discover slippery dumplings, pan-fried noodles, stuffed rice balls, grilled kebabs, warm wonton soup, and tea eggs, hard-boiled in green tea and soy sauce. In Beijing, Wangfujing night market has all these delights, not to mention some more unusual and acquired tastes, like skewered scorpions. Be careful to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean, fresh, and cooked right in front of you.

Baozi
Follow clouds of steam to find these much-loved stuffed buns, crammed with an endless choice of different fillings. The steamed dough might be filled with beef with ginger, mushrooms and diced tofu, carrot and coriander, pork, or chicken. Buy a selection and tuck in before they get cold.

Jianbing Guozi
Found throughout China, watch street vendors make this crispy pancake by cooking the batter on a hot skillet, cracking an egg on top, scattering it with spring onion, and rolling it up crepe style for a tasty portable snack.

Shengjian Mantou
Known as Shengjianbao in the rest of the country, these more-ish fried buns are a Shanghai classic. Filled with pork and gelatine that forms a salty liquid inside the bun, they really do melt in your mouth. Garnished with spring onion and toasted sesame, they taste best just out of the pan, just be careful not to burn your tongue.   

Average Prices

Tourist hotspots like Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong can be expensive but, as ever, it depends where you stay, where you eat and what you do.

On average, a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant could set you back 120 Yuan Renminbi, with a domestic beer about eight Yuan Renminbi. In the shops, a 1.5 litre bottle of water might cost around five Yuan Renminbi. And in Hong Kong, a three-course meal will cost you in the region of 300HKD

 

 

National Dress

As with any culture, the Chinese national dress has evolved over time. Ancient Chinese clothing, referred to as the hanfu, consisted of loose-fitting, wide-sleeved robes tied with a sash. Later, the social hierarchy began to dictate how people dressed, and the higher the wearer’s rank, the more flamboyant their attire. Outfits moved from unisex and simply cut, to gender-specific, with outfits like the cheongsam, a slim-fitting, high-cut dress, coming into style for women in the 1920s. Early in the People's Republic, Chairman Mao inspired Chinese fashion with his high-collared tunic, known as the Mao suit.

Customs & Traditions

The most populous country on Earth can be a culture shock, but it’s a fascinating one. With a sense of history and tradition dating back thousands of years, Chinese people have an understated pride in their nation suited to their generally reserved manner. The concept of ‘saving face’ governs social interactions, with failure to perform a duty bringing shame on individuals, families and communities. As a communist state, the country is officially atheist, although Confucian philosophy is a popular code for life, with its focus on responsibility to the community and deference to elders, who are placed above their juniors in the social hierarchy.

When it comes to etiquette, try to keep the following in mind:
•    In China, the family name is always used first
•    A handshake, or sometimes a simple nod of acknowledgment for women, is the usual form of greeting 
•    There is little to no touching in conversation, except between those who know each other well
•    Most Chinese speak in an indirect manner and do not usually volunteer information. This may mean you need to ask questions.
•    Anger is expected to be hidden and arguments in public are considered offensive
•    Smiling is not always a sign of happiness; it can also signify worry or embarrassment
•    Ask permission before taking photographs of people, military, or government buildings
•    Use your whole hand, palm flat, to point, rather than your index finger
•    Do not put your feet on the furniture or use them to move anything
•    Avoid sticking your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice as it symbolises death. Try not to suck or bite your chopsticks either
•    Avoid whistling or snapping your fingers at anyone
•    Avoid wearing revealing clothes, which may cause offence
•    Spitting in public is quite common

Wildlife

From deserts and mountains to grasslands and rainforests, China’s diverse habitats are home to nearly 500 mammal species, 1,189 birds, 320 reptiles, and 210 amphibians. The country’s rapid economic development has endangered habitats and the creatures that live within them, with over 900 nature reserves established to protect them. China’s most well-known animals include giant and red pandas, golden monkeys, Siberian tigers, Chinese alligators, red-crowned cranes, and white-flag dolphins.

Giant Pandas
Sadly one of the world’s most endangered species, the giant panda is still found in the bamboo forests of Sichuan, but rarely spotted in the wild. You can see these beautiful bears up close at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre, where the captive population has risen from 6 to 83 since 1987. The centre is also home to red pandas, rare birds, and a museum.