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China Overview

There are numerous things about China that make it an ideal travel destination with lots to explore. It is a huge, densely populated country which can be divided into seven provinces or regions; a good thing to know about China before you go! Northeast China, home to cities such as Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang, or ‘rust belt’ cities, is characterised by vast forests and long, snowy winters. North China and the Yellow River Basin area hosts the hub of Chinese civilisation and boasts the capital city, Beijing, along with Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Henan, Hebei, and Tianjin. Still in the north but further west lie a mix of grasslands, deserts, and soaring mountains. Here, cities such as Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang sprawl out. The southwest of China is an exotic haven popular with backpackers. Spectacular scenery makes this region a breathtaking relief from the hustle and bustle of large city life, and is home to Tibet, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou. Further south in the central regions, a tropical climate reigns over rich farming areas, mountains, and stunning river gorges. Anhui, Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, and Jiangxi are all nestled in this region. China’s leading trading centre is located in the Southeast alongside cities such as Guangdong, Hainan, and Fujian. Finally, east China, or the ‘land of fish and rice’ hosts beautiful little water towns as well as the country’s new, cosmopolitan economic centre, Shanghai.

For many centuries, art and science have been important focus points when talking about China; standing proud as the leading civilisation it has overtaken the rest of the world in these areas. This forerunner with its rich, decadent history and modern way of thinking makes everything about China a fascinating discovery.

Covering such a large expanse of land, and boasting an almost unbeatable population means China is home to a diverse array of cultures, languages, and customs. Officially, there are 56 recognised ethnic groups with Han coming out on top, claiming over 90% of inhabitants. Other minority groups include Koreans, Tibetans, Mongols, Uighurs, Kirghiz, and Russians.

The government and political party is a fact worth knowing about China before you head there. Today, China supports a one-party authoritarian state which is strictly governed by the Communist Party of China.