Language: Official language is Standard Mandarin with regional dialects, followed by Wu and Cantonese
Climate: China has a variety of temperature and rainfall zones. In winter most areas become cold and dry, in summer hot and rainy. China is also subject to monsoon season which affects different areas of the country from April to October.
Time Zone: CST – China Standard Time
International phone code: 86
Currency: Yuan Renminbi (CNY)
Transportation: Rail is the primary mode of transport with an extensive network servicing the entire country, including more than 10,000km of high-speed rail service. There are five classes of seating ranging from first class to standing travel class. Fifteen cities possess rapid transit systems along with travel by taxi, bus and pedicab. Major cities and tourist destinations are well serviced by air, with 500 airports and nine domestic airlines, including the three largest: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern Airlines.
Historically, homosexuality in China was regarded as a normal facet of life and has been well documented since ancient times. Opposition to homosexuality and the rise of homophobia arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries with the Westernization efforts of the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China.
People's Republic of China: Homosexuality has been legal since 1997, but Chinese people tend to have mixed opinions about sexuality, and are reluctant to discuss their sexuality in public. Though there are no laws against homosexuality in China, films, websites, and television shows involving gay themes tend to be censored or banned. There is no obvious gay scene or community, and same-sex marriages are not recognized anywhere in the country.
Nevertheless, while openly displaying your sexual orientation in public is still likely to draw stares and whispers, gay and lesbian visitors should generally not run into any major problems, and unprovoked violence against gays and lesbians is almost unheard of.
Hong Kong: Homosexuality was legalized in 1991, and the age of consent (16) was equalized with heterosexual acts in 2006. Same-sex unions are not recognized, and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights outlaws government discrimination, but not private discrimination.