If you're considering visiting China, congratulations! You've chosen a beautiful, vast continent to explore, whether you decide to backpack and take in the Great Wall of China, head for the cities of Hong Kong and Beijing or get off the beaten track and explore the mountains and temples that abound here. But there are a few things you'll need to consider before booking – China tours can be expensive, so you don't want to make the wrong decision!
Pick the right time of year
China is a vast continent, and temperatures can vary depending on the region you plan to visit, but as a rule, winters are very cold, no matter where you are. The best time to visit is usually in the spring or autumn months – in the North and North-east, temperatures can drop as low as minus 40 in the winter months! Summers are typically very hot most places, with temperatures in the Hong Kong region reaching an average of 38 degrees centigrade between April to September. Humidity can be high too, which can be an exhausting experience if you're not used to this type of climate. If you're going to be backpacking or doing a lot of hiking or other activities, it is best to come when the weather is cooler, but not cold.
China on a budget
China is no longer fantastically cheap, unfortunately, but it does depend on where you go! As you might expect, cities such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing and Guangzhou are the most expensive, but even when staying in a city it is possible to get by on less money than you might expect here. Get a sense of where the locals shop and eat; haggle at markets, stay in budget accommodation and experience the real China by enjoying street food whenever you can and dining at local neighbourhood eateries rather than tourist traps offering world cuisine.
Get organised before you go
You'll need to apply for a 30-day single-entry visa to visit China – in the UK, you apply to the visa processing centre, which costs £35 (plus a £30 administration fee) and it can take between 10 to 14 days for your application to be processed. Don't forget you'll also need travel insurance – make sure it covers you for the destination you're travelling to and that if you plan on taking part in activities such as hiking or rock climbing, you take out extra cover to ensure you're protected.
Our priority is customer satisfaction, and to achieve this we aim to give you a personalised service. You can be assured that when booking with us there will be no hidden costs. We do not cut-corners to save money, and all hotels and restaurants are of a high standard and quality. To us you are an individual, not just a number. Our staff have either lived or travelled in China and Indochina, creating and personally running tours, for over 20 years. Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of people travelling to Asia is second to none.