China is situated in eastern Asia on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. China's continental coastline extends for about 18,000 kilometers, and its vast sea surface is studded with more than 5,000 islands, of which Taiwan and Hainan are the largest.
Land Formation and Rivers
China's land drops off in escarpments eastward to the ocean, letting in humid air currents and leading many rivers eastward. Among the 220,000 kilometers of rivers the Changjiang (Yangtze), Huanghe (Yellow) and Zhujiang (Pearl river) are the most famous. China has beautiful scenery, with mountains and ranges, highlands, plains, basins, and hills. The highlands and hill regions account for 65 percent of the country's total land mass, and there are more than 2,000 lakes. The highest mountain peak is Qomolangma (Everest), the highest in the world, 8,848 meters above sea level; the lowest point is the Turpan Basin, 154 meters below sea level.
Weather and Climate
China has a continental climate, and a latitude spanning nearly 50 degrees. Much of the landmass is situated in the temperate zone, with the tropical and subtropical zones to the south, and reaching the frigid zone in the north, so temperatures differ strikingly across the country. The northern part of Heilongjiang Province has long winters but no summers, while the Hainan Island has long summers but no winters. The Huaihe River valley is marked by distinctive seasonal changes, but it is spring all year round in the south of the Yunnan - Guizhou Plateau. In the northwest hinterland, the temperature changes dramatically. China's high tundra zone is situated in the Qinghai - Tibet, where the temperature is low in all four seasons, and incredibly low in winter. Some desert areas are dry all year round.
There is strong competition in the travel and tourism business in China.? There are many reputable and ethical agencies, and there's the others.? It's worth remembering that if an operator is offering a trip which seems amazingly cheap, then the difference will be collected some other way.? Sometimes guides and drivers will pay the agency for the right to guide the visitor, (“buying” travelers), and they will then find ways to recover this from the visitors.? Sometimes the agency will use non-accredited suppliers, for example for river boats, rather than those which meet the government standard. ( China Travel Agency)