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Welcome to China

 

 China, one of the four oldest civilizations in the world. has a written history of 4,000 years and boasts rich cultural relics and historical sites. For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences . It is the inventor of compass, paper, gunpowder and printing.

The Great Wall, the Grand Canal and the Karez irrigation systems are three great ancient engineering projects built 2,000 years ago.

China is a country of great contrasts, with picturesque rural landscapes and congested cityscapes, and natural beauty that ranges from the untamed to the idyllic - from the windswept plains of the Gobi Desert and Mt Everest's notorious northern face to Yangshuo's gorgeous karst scenery.

China is huge and wild enough to satisfy your explorer instinct, and is a great rollercoaster ride for anyone with a little time and an instinct for travel.

 

Official name:

People's Republic of China

 

Area :

9,596,960 sq km

Capital :

Beijing

 

Administration:

23 provinces , 5 autonomous regions , 4 municipalities , 2 special administrative regiond (Hong Kong , Macau)

Population :

1,284,303,000

 

Government:

Communist republic

Ethnic groups:

Han Chinese (92%), plus 55 ethnic minorities (Zhuang , Uygur , Hui , Yi , Tibetan, Miao , Manch , Mongol , Buyi ….)

 

Location :

Eastern Asia , bordering the East China Sea , Korea Bay , Yellow Sea and South China Sea. Sharing border with  Russia to the North , North Korea to the East , with Mongolia , Kazaktan , Kyrgyztan , Tajikistan , Pakistan , India , Nepal … to the West , with Burma (Myanmar) , Lao and Viet Nam to the South

Language

Standard Chinese , Cantonese, Mandarin and plus minority languages

 

Climate :

Extremely diverse ; Tropical in South to subartic in North

Local Time

GMT+6

Although the land from East to West  spreads up to 3 time-zones but China has only one time zone, the standard time is Beijing time. China does follow the daylight saving time system from mid-April to mid-September.

 

Religion

Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism (no stats available); Islam (14 million), Christianity (7 million)

 

Currency

Yuan (CNY)

Business Hours

The working days are Monday through Friday. Official hours are from 8:00am to 17:00pm with one hour for lunch

 

Electricity supply

AC 220 V, 50 Hz

 

 

 

Public Holidays

1 Jan

New Year's Day

Feb

Chinese New Year/Spring Festival

8 Mar

International Women's Day

1 May

International Labour Day

4 May

Youth Day

1 Jun

International Children's Day

1 Jul

Birthday of the Chinese Communist Party

1 Aug

Anniversary of the founding of the PLA

1 Oct

National Day

 

 

 

Festivals and events

FESTIVAL

TIME

WHAT’S ON

Chinese New Year

(or Spring Festival)

1st. day of

the lunar calendar

starts on the first day of the lunar calendar, which usually falls in February. Although it officially lasts only three days, many people take a week off. Ear plugs are handy at this time to dull the firecracker assaults, and prices of hotel rooms tend to go through the roof.

Lantern Festival

15th day of the 1st lunar month

 This isn't a public holiday, but it's big and it's colourful. It falls on the 15th day of the 1st moon (around mid-February to mid-March) and marks the end of the New Year celebrations. The famous lion dances occur throughout this period.

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

January 5-February 5 every year in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province.

With 190-day freezing season, the northeastern city of Harbin is known as a “City of Ice” and a cradle of the ice-and-snow culture in the world. During festival is the Ice lantern show, snow sculpture display, and international ice and snow sculpture competitions; winter swimming, ice hockey, speed-skating, alpine skiing, and cross-country skiing competitions; and ice and snow film festival exhibitions of paintings, calligraphy and photograph, folklore shows, ethnic song and dance parties, weddings on an ice-covered river. A participation in the ice-snow festival can be compared to a visit to a fairyland of crystal palace.

Zigong Lantern Show

Early February – Early March. in Zigong, Sichuan Province.

During the show, a “dragon” pieced together with porcelain dinner-sets, and a “peacock” fashioned out of glass drug bottles strung together, are displayed along with thousands of lanterns. The lanterns, which as a rule are marked by superb craftsmanship, are woven of thin bamboo strips and covered with colorful silk fabrics or paper; they are grouped into several hundred clusters to form a spectacular show of forms, colors, lights, movements and sounds

Hainan Int’l Coconut Festival

3rd day of 3rd lunar month , in Hainan Province: Haikou, Wenchang County, Tongshi, and Sanya .

The coconut tree is the emblem of the Hainan Island, known also as “Coconut Island.” , , during which time the island province’s coconut-associated cultural heritage and ethnic habits and customs are displayed. Lantern display in the Coconut City, the Coconut Street, gala celebrations among ethnic Li and Miao people, international dragon boat racing, ethnic martial contest, variety shows, weddings in Li and Miao traditions, and sacrifices to ancestors

Luoyang Peony Festival

April 15-25 every year in Luoyang, Henan Province.

“The peony of Luoyang is the most beautiful under heaven”, as the saying goes. The peony, the emblem flower of Luoyang, is lauded as “queen of flowers with ethereal color and celestial fragrance.” . Full-length variety shows, flower watching, lantern show, exhibitions of traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting and photography, symposiums, and business talks. At the Wangcheng Park and the Botanical Garden, banquets are arranged for peony admirers, and all kinds of snacks and refreshments are served as well

Qintong Boat Festival in Yangzhou

April 4-6 every year in Qintong Town, Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province.

This is a typical folklore activity. During the festival boats from nearby fishing villages converge at Qintong Town for a few days of rejoicing. Theatrical performances, dragon and lion dances, and other folk dances are staged right on board the boats. Boat races are also part of the festivity

Water Splashing Festival

April 13-15 every year in Jinghong, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province.

Dragon boat races, the firing of indigenous missiles, dances to the accompaniment of the beating of drums on a pedestal shaped like an elephant’s legs, peacock dances, sightseeing, country fairs, and water-splashing festivities. During the festival pouches are tossed between unmarried men and women as tokens of love

Tomb Sweeping Day

in April,

sees Chinese families spend the day tending the graves of departed loved ones. Hong Kong hosts one of the liveliest annual Chinese celebrations

Dragon Boat Festival

Usually held in June (5th day of the 5th lunar month),

the festival honours the poet Qu Yuan and features races between teams in long ornate canoes. Many Westerners take part in the races, but plenty of practice is needed to get all the paddles working as one.

Yunnan Yi Torch Festival

24th –26th days of the 6th lunar month in Shucun Town , Lunan Yi County, and the city of Chuxiong , Chuxiong Yi, Yunnan Province.

According to a legend among the Yi people in Lunan, once upon a time there lived a demon king who terrorized the local people. During an uprising the local people bound torches to the horns and hind legs of a herd of goats and eliminated the demon king by lighting the torches and driving the goats into its lair. On the 24th day of the 6th lunar month the local people lit torches for an entire night’s merry-making in celebration of the victory. Archery, horse racing, bull fights, and wrestling. Torch-holding dances around a bonfire at night.

Qingdao Int’l Beer Festival

Mid-August every year in Qingdao, Shandong Province.

Full-length variety shows, parades of artistic floats, fashion shows, fireworks display at the beach, sports competitions, a symposium on beer-making technology, and business talks

Shaolin Int’l Martial Arts Festival

September 10-15 every year in Zhengzhou, Henan Province.

The worldwide fame of the 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple is attributed to its consummate martial arts dating back more than a thousand years to the Tang Dynasty. The city of Dengfeng, where the temple is situated, has become a center of martial arts. A good variety of Shaolin martial arts performances and contests, and exchanges between martial arts from around the world. A cruise on the Yellow River gives some idea about the landscape and folklore along this mighty river

Special prayers are held at Buddhist and Taoist temples on full-moon and sliver-moon days.  Temple and moon-based festivities include Guanyin's Birthday (late March to late April), Mazu's Birthday (May or June), Ghost Month (late August to late September), Mid-Autumn Festival (September or October) and the Birthday of Confucius (28 September).

 

 

SAO MAI TOURIST COMPANY LTD.

SAIGON OFFICE

HANOI OFFICE

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Hoan Kiem Dist. Hanoi

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Fax. (84-4) 9423316 / 8647360

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