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Explore a country that’s home to almost a fifth of all people on this planet…

Mysterious and beautiful, China is an incredible country to explore.

See All Holidays to China

China: Land of the Dragon

Escorted Tour Pace 2

From the Imperial treasures of Beijing to the cosmopolitan streets of Shanghai, you will see the most iconic sights and incredible highlights of China on this great-value tour.

From the Imperial treasures of Beijing to the cosmopolitan streets of Shanghai, you will see the most iconic sights and incredible highlights of China on this great-value tour.

Far East Discovery

Escorted Cruise and Stay

Encounter the varied scenery of the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea on this unforgettable cruise.

Contrast the fast pace of city life with the calm of island living on this fascinating cruise to Ko Samui, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.

Grand Tour of China

Escorted Cruise and Tour

Discover the very best of China on this comprehensive tour-and-cruise visiting Shanghai, Guilin, Xi'an, Beijing and more.

The Lhasa Express

Escorted Rail Tour

Travel in a group of 20 or fewer Saga guests, to discover China's ancient secrets and let the world's highest railway carry you across the Tibetan Plateau to atmospheric Shanghai…


Chinese -

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language, especially across northern and south western China. There are many other dialects spoken here too, such as Jin, Wu and, particularly useful if you’re buying a microwave, Ping.


In general you’re not expected to tip anyone in China. Local tour guides are the only exception as they rely on tips to boost their income.

Population and size

China has a population of around 1.4 billion making it the most populous country in the world, accounting for approximately 19% of the entire planet’s people!

Population distribution is strikingly uneven though, with the majority choosing to settle in the east, near the coast, where all China’s major cities have been established.

At 9,706,961 square kilometres, China is almost 40 times bigger than the United Kingdom!


Yuan Renminbi - The Chinese currency unit is the yuan, which is divided into 100 fen.


Although officially an atheist country, there are a significant amount of Buddhists (as evident in the many beautiful temples) and Taos.

The Chinese greet one another with a simple handshake. The peony, along with the plum blossom, are the two traditional floral symbols of China.

China is proud of her many people, long history, resplendent culture and distinctive customs.

Among her greatest gifts to the world are the ‘four great inventions’ (paper, gunpowder, printing and the compass).

Chinese arts and crafts, including painting, calligraphy, operas, embroidery and silk are distinctive and unique.

Martial arts, which have only recently begun to enjoy popularity in other parts of the world, have been part of Chinese culture for centuries, and Chinese literature testifies to the country's rich heritage.

And, of course, there’s Chinese cuisine, which has been exported to every corner of the globe.


To the uninitiated, China’s written language is pretty baffling, and the spoken word is notoriously hard to grasp too, but you might be able to manage a few of the basics…

Thank you - Xiexie, roughly pronounced as syeh-syeh

Hello - Ni hao

Goodbye - Zaijian

Yes - Shi de

No - Wu


China is eight hours ahead of GMT.


Most electric sockets are 220 volts AC and are usually the two or three-prong American type. You will therefore need an adaptor for British appliances.


Due to its size, China has a range of climates.

Most regions experience hot, dry summers and cold winters, while certain areas in the north, south, west and centre of the country also experience substantial rainfall throughout the year.


Tap water in China is generally not safe to drink, so we recommend you only drink bottled mineral water throughout your stay. You should also be aware that there are high levels of air pollution in some of China’s major cities and industrialised areas, which may irritate respiratory conditions.

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre – see, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad at

Passports and visas

Before your plane lands in China you will be given an entry card to complete. With your visa obtained in advance, entry into China is usually smooth and uncomplicated.

You’ll also need a current passport valid for the duration of your stay, which you’ll need to carry with you at all times.


Smoking in enclosed public places is banned, however this law isn't always adhered to, especially outside of developed cities.

Flight time

London to Beijing takes around 10 hours; to Shanghai Pudong it takes around 11 hours. There’ll be plenty of time for watching films and sleeping then.