and Tour Tips for China
China is a large country at a size of 9,596,960 sq km. China was
only partially open to the world from 1980 onwards and has been
a communist country for many decades. Although there is much progress
in the travel industry and infrastructure of China, there remain
areas that need to be improved before it can match the level that
most tourist would require.
much of the fun for travelling in China remain that it is different
from the rest of the
world. China will be the host nation for the Olympics in
Year 2008 and World Exposition in 2010. Travel facilities
and infrastructure in China will be improving quickly as we approach
Year 2008 onwards.
is rich in culture and history. Visit the Great Wall of China
Beijing, sip Chinese tea in Xiamen, dance with ethnic tribes in
Yunnan, check out 19th Century European buildings in Qingdao,
suntan at Hainan Islands, Ski at Harbin – there
are just so much to do and see in China! Go travel China now!
are some travel tips to make your travel in China
for Chinese Visa
China require entry visa from most countries. Apply at the Chinese
consulate or through your travel agent before travelling to China.
Visit our Apply
for Chinese Visa section for more information on the types
of visa available and application procedures to apply for one.
The weather in China can be extremely diverse; tropical in south
of China to subarctic in north of China. Weather also change with
the time of the year. Check early for weather and be prepared with
right seasonal clothing.
Exchange in China
The unit of currency in China is known as Renmembi(RMB) or Yuan.
Get some Chinese Yuan in your local country before travelling.
exchange foreign currency for local currency in the banks or at
the hotel only. Banks tend to give slightly better rates than
Take note that some banks close for a noon siesta between 12-2pm.
other Asian countries, you are not likely to find currency exchange
kiosks in shopping malls or tourist sites; hence, do stock up
careful if touts on street approach you on the street to exchange
money. Note that such transactions are illegal and you have no
legal recourse if there is a problem.
2006-2007, the exchange rate is about US$1 to 8 RMB or Yuan.
Today, 2010, one US$ will only fetch 6.9 Yuan.
Most better class hotels and shopping centres in China take Credit
Card or Travellers cheques. Smaller hotels and shops take cash
out of the bigger cities, credit card and ATM cards tend to be
almost impossible to utilize. Cash is still king in Chinese business
trade; so carry plenty of cash whenever neccessary and especially
if you're not travelling in the larger cities.
when you see the Visa or Master sign in a shopping mall, do not
be happy too early. Many such malls take only the Chinese issued
Visa or Master cards; not the international issued ones.
notes are common in China. Check carefully before accepting change,
especially if it consists mostly 100RMB notes. You can feel a texture
difference where counterfeit notes is concerned.
of English in China
Most civil servants, custom officials, police, hotel staff and
typical men in the street do not speak English or at best a smattering
signboards and notices will carry both English and Chinese.
However, be aware that some translations can be so notorious that
one can hardly understand what was it's original Chinese intention.
not expect hotels or shops to understand English. Only the very
big or business-class hotels will have staff that will understand
or speak English.
young people can understand basic English if you speak slowly. Even
if you hire a professional translator, do not be surprised that
they do not have a good grasp of English. Ensure you engage
the services of a professional service provider that can supply
Social Security in China
China is generally a safe country. However, hang on tight to your
wallet especially in crowded, popular tourist sites in tourist cities
such as Beijing and Xian.
tourist cities also has a lot of touts in the streets touting
from currency exchange to jewelleries to female companionships.
Avoid at all cost! See our China
Public Security page for more
be aware of counterfeit shops, unlicenced taxis or traditional
medicine shops. These are best avoided to prevent troubles to
Caucasian tourists are less likely to be cheated then Overseas
borned Chinese because the cheats would not have the neccessary
language abilities to carry out their cheating tasks.
Domestic Travel within China
Bus, train, ferries and domestic flights systems in China are
quite well developed but tend to be always packed due to
the large population.
the crowd at the train or bus stations and book your tickets
hotel tour desk or the nearest tour agent. Prices are likely
to be competitive and tickets will be delivered to your hotel
Again, avoid ticket touts who approach you in the streets.
buses are cheap (US$0.10 or YS$0.20) and you may want to try out.
Taxis are convenient and are available at all hours. Starting fares
differ from each city and may be as cheap as US$0.70 in Weihai and
US$1.50 in Shenzhen.
travel in China during peak holiday seasons or
book tickets well ahead if you need to travel during peak holiday
Local Hotels in China
There are a good choice of hotels in China ranging from one star
to the most luxurious 6 stars. Most of the time, the rooms are
and clean and in my opinion, cheap does not mean bad. Note that
you're unlikely to find the hotel reception being able to speak
English once you are in a 4-star or lower class hotels.
the last few years, many clean budget hotels, such as Budget
Inn, Super 8, has sprouted up all over China. These budget hotels
are clean, comfortable, safe, located near transportation hub
and very low cost.
are many websites selling China hotel rooms on the internet. You
can also check out the travel counters which are available in most
train, bus stations as well as airport.
ahead if travelling in peak seasons.
Peak Tourist Seasons in China
Chinese New Year: Date varies but generally late
January or early February.
May Day: First two weeks of May
China National Day: Middle two weeks of October
travelling during these period. Book rooms and travel modes way
early if need to travel. Believe me, the crowds during these period
of time will be scary. What do you expect when the entire
Chinese nation of 8 billion people are on holiday as well!
Local Chinese food is absolutely fabulous. Try as much Chinese
as your wallet or stomach can afford. Restaurants are available
everywhere and open to late hours. Most restaurants will have
menu that include photographs of the various dishes. Better yet,
simply point at the food that your next door table is having,
if it looks delicious!
avoid street side stalls and drinking directly from the taps if
you have delicate stomach.
Telecommunications in China
Mobile phone coverage in China is good in most locations. Global
auto-roaming within China is not a problem. If your planning to
travel to China using services like prepaid
cell phones will
help keep roaming cost's to a minimum.
Internet in China
There are cyber-cafes everywhere in China, especially in tourist
areas. Most are patronised by young people playing online games
but you still can check your Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail. Access may
be a bit slow for international websites.
will need to show your passport as China has tight
regulations at Internet Cyber Cafes.
facilities in China
One of the worst experience many has with China is the atrocious
toilet facilities. Things has improved very much but it may still
be a good idea to empty your stomach or bladder at every opportunity
in a hotel, restaurant or departmental store. Public toilets and
toilets in small shops can be a nose hazard!
* Useful China travel tips *
Try to get a English speaking tour guide at every
opportunity you can. China has a rich and wonderful history and
culture and without a guide, somehow, the flavour and significance
of most tour sites can be lost.
tip: Hang around a group that has a English speaking guide if
cannot afford or find one!
ask for a receipt from a taxi driver so that you can complain if
you have been cheated or for tracing purposes if you happen to leave
your camera behind in the taxi.
to take the namecard for each hotel that you are staying at as these
cards will have a Chinese address and the map of
your hotel location. This is useful if you need to seek assistance
to find your way back as the English version or pronounciation of
a hotel or a street name may be quite different from the Chinese
a tiring day, check out Chinese foot reflexology
or Chinese TuiNa (Chinese massage). Wonderful for
the body after a hard day and very cheap to boot. Simply look out
for shop signs that shows two feet! They are everywhere.
friends with the Chinese whenever you can. They love to meet foreigners
and will make good tour guides. Just buy a small present as a small
token of appreciation.
more information about Chinese business culture and etiquette, check
out this interesting China
Book. Or email
us for further information.