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Last updated : Nov 2009
China Sports
China Sports - TravelPuppy.com

Approximately 300 million Chinese people use the bicycle as their main means of transport and, not surprisingly, bicycle rentals can be found everywhere, even in smaller towns. Visitors should be aware that car traffic has increased in China, especially in Beijing, where pollution and traffic levels are high. Major roads outside cities are also busy.

Hiking and trekking

China’s main natural attractions are its waterfalls, scenic mountains, , caverns and great lakes and rivers. Permits are not required for hiking, however a trekking permit is mandatory (and pretty expensive) for visiting more remote areas. For additional information about individual hiking or trekking and for a list of specialised tour operators, contact the China National Tourist Office (see Contact Addresses section).

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (also called the ‘roof of the world’) is among the world’s most famous mountaineering destinations. Some of the world’s tallest mountains define the southern border of Tibet, including Mount Everest (or Qoomolangma), 8848m (29,021ft), Namcha Barwa, 7756m (25,445ft), around which the Brahmaputra River carves an amazing gorge to enter India, and Gurla Mandhata, 7728m (25,355ft). Of the 14 peaks on earth above 8000m, five are in Tibet.

The Tibetan approach to Mount Everest offers much better views than the Nepal side. About 27,000 square km around Everest’s Tibetan face are designated as the Qoomolangma Nature Reserve. For foreign travellers, the Everest Base Camp is the most popular trekking destination in Tibet. The two access areas are Shegar and Tingri, on the Friendship Highway to Nepal, however visitors should be aware that these treks are very difficult and that the altitude requires some acclimatisation. Four-wheel-drive vehicles can also transport visitors to the base camp along the Shegar track. For details on how to enter Tibet, see Tibet in the Resorts & Excursions section or the Visa - Passport section.

Winter sports

Ice skating is possible on Beijing’s lakes during winter. Downhill and cross-country skiing is offered in the North-east provinces.

Martial arts

The ancient ‘shadow art’ of Tai Chi, a sequence of connected movements performed in a slow relaxed manner using the entire body, while focusing the mind, is a traditional practice in towns all over China, especially in the early morning hours, and visitors wishing to learn or participate are welcome.