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China is a wonderful country which harmoniously combines beautiful nature, grand architecture, ancient traditions and bustle of modern life. It does not matter how you will decide to start your acquaintance with China, the journey will be fantastic anyway. In Beijing you can see the Forbidden City, a stunning imperial palace built in the 15th century; visit the Temple of Heaven, where you can feel the cosmos energy and take a tai chi lesson; and watch charming giant pandas in Beijing Zoo. In Xian there is the famous Terracotta Army, hundreds of life-size models made to be buried with the First Emperor Qin in the 3rd century BC. In central Lhasa you can see the world’s highest ancient palace – the breathtaking Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lama, now a museum. Nature lovers will like the Yellow Mountains, a fabulous land of fancy pine-trees, rocks and mystical clouds; West Lake in Hangzhou, which is equally tremendous in all seasons; and the majestic Yangtze River, unhurriedly travelling through vast expanses of China.

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China, the official name the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the most populous country in the world (over 1.35 billion people live in China); ranked third in the world in area after Russia and Canada (around 9.6 million square kilometers). China borders 14 states: Vietnam, Laos, Burma, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, and North Korea. The capital of China is Beijing. The official language is Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin.

The national currency is the Renminbi (its basic unit is Yuan). Be prepared to pay mostly in cash, as credit cards are accepted in hotels, some restaurants and big stores or malls. ATMs are widely spread. You can exchange currency at the airport, banks and exchange offices.

China’s terrain consists of plains in the east, hills and low mountains in the south, large mountain ranges in the west and high plateaus in the north. Due to the country’s size the climate is very diverse – from tropical in the south to subarctic in the north.

Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN)

Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU)

Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport (SZX)

Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG)

Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (XIY)

Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG)

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH)

The Great Wall of China, which attracts so many tourists from all over the world, is also a fantastic diving site. In 1981 the Chinese government decided to flood some territory where the Great Wall ran, in order to resolve water shortages in Tian Jin, so part of the Wall is covered with 5-35 meters of water. While exploring the underwater wall you can find a gate to a tower and explore it from inside. The visibility is about 3-5 meters because of lots of algae and mud.

Another unforgettable diving site is the sunken Lion City at Qiandao Lake, Zhejiang Province. The city had been inhabited for 18 centuries until in 1959 the construction of a new hydroelectric power station began and it was decided to erect a dam. Lion City’s amazing white temples, paved roads, memorial arches, and houses went under water and created stunning diving place. The depth is from 26 to 40 meters.

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