Explore China


Chinese Embassy & Tourist Board Information in the UK:

Chinese Visa Application Service Centre
London, UK
12 Old Jewry
EC2R 8DUTel: 020 7776 7888
9:00am to 4:00pm (Monday to Friday)
Chinese Visa Application Service Centre
Manchester, UK
71 Mosley St
M2 3HRTel: 0161 236 1070
9:00am to 4:00pm (Monday to Friday)
Chinese Visa Application Service Centre
Edinburgh, UK
19 Canning St
Tel: 0131 229 2519
9:00am to 3:00pm (Monday to Friday)
Chinese Visa Application Service Centre
Belfast, UK
1 Stranmillis Embankment
Tel: 0131 229 2519
9:00am to 3:00pm (Monday to Friday)

Key Information:

China is the world’s fourth largest country but the top most populated with over 1.4 billion people.

Full Long-form Name: People’s Republic of China (PRC)

Short-form Name: China (CN)

Capital City of China: Beijing

Main Cities in China: Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Chongqing

International dialling code for China: 00 86

Electricity: 220 volts. An adaptor is required.

Health requirements when visiting China: Yellow fever immunisation is essential if you are arriving from an infected area. Precautions against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and malaria advised (depending on area visited).

Emergency Phone Numbers in China:

Police – 110 | Fire – 119 | Ambulance – 120

Chinese Currency:

The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan ¥ (RMB)

The Renminbi Yuan (RMB) is China’s main currency but US dollars and credit cards are also widely accepted.

China Climate:

Southern China is hot and humid with cool winters, while the north and centre have high rainfall, hot summers and cold winters and the north-east has hot, dry summers and severe winters. Beijing has a continental climate.

Time Zone in China:

CST (China Standard Time)

UTC +8:00

8hrs ahead of the UK

Common Languages Used In China:

The official language of China is Mandarin but some areas still use simplified or traditional Chinese. English is also spoken in China amongst other languages.

Useful Chinese phrases:

English Pinyin Phonetic
Hello Ni hao Nee how
How are you? Ni hao ma? Nee how ma?
Goodbye Zaijian Z-eye-gee-yen
Thank you Xiexie See-air see-air
You’re welcome Bukeqi Boo cur chee
Sorry Duibuqi Dway boo chee
No problem (it’s okay) Mei guanxi May gwan see
I would like to go to… Wo qu… Wor choo
Hotel Fandian Fan d-yen
How much is… Duo shao qian Door show* chee-yen
Too expensive Tai guile Tie gway-la
Toilet Cesuo Sir swor
Ladies/Gents Nu/Nan Noo/Nan

Arriving in China:

Major gateways: Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (SHA), Guangzhou Baiyun (CAN), Hong Kong (CLK), Macau (MFM)

Typical flight time from UK airports: Nine to twelve hours (9 – 12 hrs)

Transfers: Beijing (16 miles/26km) airport bus 50min; taxi 35min

Shanghai (8 miles/13km) airport bus 30min; taxi 25min

Ports: Guangzhou, Xiamen, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hong Kong

Driving: On the right. Cars and motorcycles can be hired in Beijing, Sanya, Shanghai and Hong Kong. International licence required.

Accommodation: There are more than 6,500 hotels throughout China with between three and five stars.

Chinese Culture:

Religion: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism

Main cuisines: Cantonese, Sichuan, Huaiyang and Imperial. National dishes – Wontons, Peking duck, dumplings, chow mein.

Drinks: Tea, rice wine, Moutai

National sport: Basketball

 Chinese Economy:

Highly regarded for its manufacturing capability, China is the great economic success story of the past 30 years. It is now the largest trading nation in the world and plays the most important role in international trade, and has increasingly engaged in trade organisations and treaties in recent years.