The official language spoken in China is Mandarin, but you will also come across Cantonese, Wú and Hakka amongst others.
100 RMB is approx $14
Time zone: China Standard Time (UTC+08:00)
The typical cost of a domestic beer in China is ¥5.00 (approx 70c) whereas the average cost of imported beer is ¥19 (approx $2.70).
A typical lunch in China can be anything from rice and noodles to even dumplings for breakfast. The cost of a meal in a local restaurant in China ranges between ¥15.00 (approx $2) and ¥35.00 (approx $5) but you can also find Western breakfast food like coffee which usually starts at ¥7.00 (approx $1).
Taxi fares can range between ¥8.00 (approx $1.10) - ¥50.00 (approx $7.20) depending on where you travel. Top tip: Most taxi drivers will not speak English, so make sure you have your destination of choice written down on paper beforehand!
Given the language difficulties and strict systems in the country, it can be difficult for independent travellers to get around China easily. However there are public buses and trains available in all key cities.
The great thing about some hostels in China is that staff are friendly and speak English. Accommodation can range from ¥25-50 (between approx $3.60-$7.20) per night.
The cost of a night at a budget hotel in China will range from ¥60-90 (approx $8.70-$13) with the cost of a double room in a midrange hotel costing between ¥200-600 (approx $29-$87).
Holiday visa: US nationals need a visa to visit mainland China and this must be obtained prior to arrival from your local embassy. Once in China you need to register where you’re staying within the first 24 hours. If you’re staying at a hotel this is done on your behalf when you check in, alternatively you can do this at the local police station. You must also have a passport with at least 6 months validity remaining.
Working holiday visa: China doesn't currently have any working holiday agreements with other countries but there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in China. Do your bit for Panda Conservation, teach English, or aid the community by lending a much-appreciated hand to local projects.
The climate in China varies from region to region since the country is massive! In the northeast the summers are hot and dry and the winters are freezing cold. The north and central regions have frequent bouts of rain coupled with hot summers and cold winters.