In China, the recent surge of private wealth has begun to effect a remarkable transformation. For much of the past 25 years, travel in the People’s Republic has been more an experience than a pleasure. No longer.
For those who remember the days of identical Mao suits and millions of “Flying Pigeon” bicycles, the ubiquity of change is startling. In the major cities, stylish boutique properties are beginningto appear, and elsewhere, impressiveresorts now bear comparison to the leading international competition. Modern airplanes provide a web of convenient and reliable service, while the road network has improved beyond recognition.
In short, travel opportunities now exist that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago.
CLIMATE: From October-April, the winds are dry as they blow outward; from May-September, they reverse, and moisture is pulled in from the ocean. China is a big country, however, nearly as large as the United States, so the climate is regional. For example, the south is subtropical, while the north endures sub-zero winters.
TIME: 13 hours ahead of New York (EST).
CURRENCY: Chinese renminbi yuan (CNY). Fluctuating rate valued at CNY6 = US$1.00 as of January 2012. Note: Amanresorts quotes rates in US$.
U.S. EMBASSY: Beijing, Tel. 10-8531-4000. Consulates: Guangzhou, Tel. 20-8518-7605; Shanghai, Tel. 21-3217-4650.
DIRECT DIAL CODES: To phone hotels and restaurants in China, dial 011 (international access) + 86 (China code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Passport (valid for six months beyond end of stay) and visa. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov
GENERAL INFORMATION: Visit tourismchina.org before your trip.