ABOUT Stretching more than 4,800 kilometres. from the western shore of the Pacific Ocean across the face of Asia, China is a country of immense size and variety. China offers travellers an unbelievable array of experiences, from the ancient to the ultra modern, from the familiar to the exotic and from Hong Kong to Shanghai, one international event leads to another. China's geographic area is slightly larger than the U.S.A; it covers similar latitudes, with the lion's share located in the temperate zone. This provides endless year-round variety for visitors to the country, from ice festivals in the north to tropical beach resorts in the south.

CLIMATE China, a vast land spanning many degrees of latitude with complicated terrain, climate varies radically. China has a variety of temperature and rainfall zones, including continental monsoon areas. In winter most areas become cold and dry, in summer hot and rainy. See local areas for more detailed climate.

BEWARE There is a general threat from terrorism in China. This reflects both the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks and the possibility of terrorist attacks by groups opposed to the Chinese Government. You should avoid becoming caught up in public demonstrations and large gatherings. The Chinese authorities enforce public order strictly and you may face arrest, deportation or detention. Foreign journalists have been intimidated, assaulted or detained for trying to report demonstrations. If you become aware of any large gatherings or associated violence you should leave the area immediately. You may also risk becoming a target yourself when general anti-foreign sentiment runs high. You should keep yourself informed of developments, including by regularly checking this advice, and follow the advice of the local authorities. Tibet - avoid becoming involved in demonstrations or calls for Tibetan independence. The authorities regard videotaping or photographing such activities as provocative. On the whole, travel to China remains safe for visitors and most visits are incident-free. However, remain alert and keep your valuables, including passport, in a secure place. In public places, ensure you keep your belongings with you at all times. Serious crime against foreigners is relatively rare.