Exploring China

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC) since 1949, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 square meters), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area, depending on the source consulted. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities(Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

The rapid Chinese's growth has improved the tourist infrastructure. China has become one of the most visited countries in the World. Nearly 50 million tourists travel to China every year.

Currency and exchange
RMB is the legal tender of the People's Republic of China. At present, paper bills come in six denominations including 1 yuan, 5 yuan, 10 yuan, 20 yuan, 50 yuan and 100 yuan. There are three types of coins with denominations of 1 jiao, 5 jiao and 1 yuan.

Both banks and international airports have exchange service counters. In China, ATMs are everywhere except for some remote towns and villages.

Banks usually work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Banks are closed on Sundays and holidays.

This convenient exchange rate converter can convert tourists’ foreign currency into the corresponding amount of Chinese yuan. The worldwide exchange rate converter is available at: www.xe.com

China Weather

WEATHER is one of the biggest concerns a traveler has especially if visiting a country for the first time. With a country the size of China it is even more important as there can be extremes in climate from North to South especially in the winter. The daytime temperatures in Harbin in the winter would be around -30°C (-22°F) and night time temperatures be even lower. While the temperature in Shanghai would be over 35°C (95°F) for most of summer. So before you travel to China it is strongly recommended that you check the conditions first. China is vast, and the climate and conditions vary widely from region to region.

Electricity in China
Electricity in China is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. This is twice the standard voltage than in North America and some Latin American countries which run on 110V 60Hz.The standard wall plug in most households in China has a grounding pin and two power conducing pins in a V-shape:

The British type socket is also found throughout China and is the prevalent type in Hong Kong.

So when bringing electrical appliances to China, or devices that require recharging, such as your photo and video cameras, rechargeable batteries, iPods, Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and the like, you need to determine what kind of voltage your devices function under, and whether you will be needing a converter.

If your device's electrical plug has a different shape than the one above, you may need an electrical adapter.

Emergency phone numbers

Police: +86 110
Ambulance: +86 120
Fire: +86 119

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