Beijing is located on the western coast of China on the Pacific Ocean. Beijing stands at the northern tip of the North China Plain. Beijing lies at approximately the same latitude as Philadelphia in the U.S. and Madrid in Spain. The city is 39% flat land and the other 61% is quite mountainous area. Beijing is surrounded by the Yanshan Mountains on the west, north and east while the small alluvial plain of the Yongding River lies to its southeast. Beijing faces the Bohai Sea, and the area is also called the Beijing Bay.
In November Beijing slowly begins to turn wintery, and the first snow usually falls in this month. It is very dry. The average low and high temperatures are respectively at -1 °C (31 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F). Prepare winter clothes such as sweaters and a padded coat.
The official language of the congress is English and all printed materials will be published in English.
Time used in Beijing and all over China is called Beijing Standard Time. It is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 8).
The electric voltage in China is 220V/50Hz and the standard wall socket has three-connectors (L, N and E).
Tipping is not expected by service attendants in China, except for tour guides, hotel porters and housemaids.