China is a very diverse country in terms of its culture, culinary background, and geography making it one of the most interesting Asian countries. The cities here are like never-ending urban sprawls dotted with skyscrapers, modern architecture, and Chinese temples. However, those who seek some quality time near nature won’t be disappointed as well.
The country is characterised by extremely dense population which adds to its cultural merit making it one of the most socially diverse places on Earth. Once part of the Silk Road, China will also enchant you with majestic mountains, green pastures, and blue river valleys.
Chinese capital will leave an unforgettable impression on all travellers who choose it as their first stopover in China. Beijing comes across as a moloch of a metropolis whose cityscape is dotted with tall skyscrapers, advertisements, and large shopping malls. After you brush off the first overwhelming impression, it’s best to direct your steps to such places as Tian’anmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, and the Observatory.
Not so far away from the capital, you’ll find the marvellous Great Wall that stretches from the Gobi Desert to Shanhaiguan. For more natural wonders, head for Manchuria. Dalian port is a place offering stunning panoramas, and in Shenyang you’ll be enchanted by the interesting local architecture with many small restaurants and markets. Other urban jewels here include Changchun and Harbin, where the famous Ice Festival is held.
The arid area around the Yellow River is also worth consideration. Xi’an is considered one of the most popular holiday destinations with plenty of top-notch accommodation options and dining venues. Its greatest tourist attraction is the Terracotta Army. The city itself is located at a magnificent and picturesque backdrop of the Hua Shan mountain range. Its summits are riddled with plenty of temples which add to the ambiance of this place.
Don’t forget to explore the sand dunes of Shapotou, see the colourful architecture of Yinchuan, or learn more on Chinese industry in Baotou. Nearby, you’ll find another extremely popular highlight, which is the fabulous Tomb of Genghis Khan. To top up the Chinese adventure, you can also visit the Yungang cave temples and Datong, with the nearby Hanging Temple. For more religious architecture, try travelling to Luoyang and the excellent Shaolin temple located in its vicinity.
Even though Hong-Kong and Macau follow left-hand traffic, you might be surprised to find that China follows right-hand traffic. If you see no central lines on the road, you are obliged to drive in the centre. In such a situation, two approaching vehicles should simply move to their right in order to pass each other without a collision.
An International Driving Permit is not widely accepted across China. What’s more some parts simply consider it to be illegal and moving without a local driver’s licence will guarantee you 14 days spent in jail.
When it comes to drinking and driving, the allowed blood alcohol level is 0.02% so even one larger drink may take you beyond this limit. It’s best to avoid drinking before hitting the road altogether. Penalties that you might receive for breaking this regulation vary from CN¥ 1000–2000 to three years in prison or five years of driver’s licence suspension.
If you would like to rent a vehicle, this option is available in all major Chinese cities and at international airports. The wide choice of interesting rental vehicles available at renowned car rental companies will cater to the needs of the most demanding tourists.
The general rules concerning speed limits are the following: 30 km/h on single carriageways, 40-80 on the China National Highways, 70 km/h on wider urban roads with 2 to 3 lanes/central reservation, 100 km/h on city express roads, and 120 km/h on highways. Exceeding the speed limit will guarantee you a fine of CNY200 for speed that is over 10 km/h above the limit. If your speed is 50% over the area limit, your penalty may be as high as CNY2000.
China offers travellers an extensive toll road system. Interestingly, it has as much as 70% of the world’s toll roads. The amount to be paid is mostly dependent on the road type as well as the distance that you would like to cover. These are always well-maintained and offering top-notch driving experience.