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Air travel

There are many international carriers between Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong to the capital city or the metropolis of your country. Please check it at your local travel agency.

International departure requires check-in at least 2 hours prior to departure.

Airport Tax
Airport Tax of the domestic flights is 50 yuan, of the international flights is 90 yuan. Payable at a special airport tax desk before check-in only in Chinese currency.
Domestic Airlines in economic class only permit free baggage allowance of 20 kilos ( 44 pounds) per person.
Business Hours
Business hours for most shops are usually open between 9:00am-9:30am in the morning and close between 8:30pm-9:30pm at night. Offices are closed for a one hour lunch break. Supper is taken around 6:00pm or 7:00pm.
In spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) you will need a linen jacket or woolen sweater over light clothing. In summer (June to August) cool cotton garments are recommended. In winter (December to February) a light cotton-patted coat will keep you warm enough in the south; but in the north a heavy woolen coat or down parka is a must. Late spring and late summer are often rainy, especially in the southern part of China, so it would be wise to bring some wet weather gear with you. And of course, good walking shoes are essential at any time of the year.
Weather conditions and temperatures in China vary considerably which provide endless year-round variety for visitors, from ice festivals in the north to tropical beach resorts in the south.
While China is a year-round destination, the months of May, September, and October are ideal months for travel anywhere in the country. In the north, the winters are cold, and summers warm, with moist monsoon air streams making it hot ( 80% of China's rainfall occurs between late May and early October).
All visitors entering China must fill out customs declaration forms upon arrival. Reasonable amounts of money (currently up to USD$5,000), alcohol and cigarettes. Certain valuable items, such as camera equipment, computers, and gold, must be declared on the form.
Notes: Tourists may bring 8mm, 1/2 inch VHS, or small-format digital video cam-corders by declaring the equipment upon entry, provided that the tapes produced in China are not intended for commercial use. But professional audio/video recording equipment requires special authorization. Importing arms and ammunition, culture, or ethics is forbidden.
Drinking Water
Hotels will advise guests if tap water is safe to drink. Complimentary bottled water may be offered in some hotels.
The electrical current in China is 220 volts. China uses both a 2 and 3-pin power outlets. For your convenience, it is recommended that you bring your own adapters. Some hotels do provide adapters. But to be safe, bring your own.
Accommodation in China ranges from (3 star) Tourist Class to (5 star) Deluxe hotels. Hotel rooms are modern, well equipped and have private facilities, television, IDD dial telephones and mini bars. Hotel facilities include restaurants - serving both Western and Chinese meals, coffee shops, swimming pools, gyms, shopping arcades, business centers, post offices and banks. Rooms have twin beds rather than a double bed, where triple share accommodation consists of twin beds (2 single beds) plus a rollaway/fold-up bed. Tap water is not drinkable.
Chinese is commonly used in China. It is one of five working languages designated by the United Nations and has been used for over 6,000 years.
Breakfast - American Buffet style ( 3-5 stars Hotel ), Chinese style breakfast in the very small city of the silk road tour or Tibet tour.
Lunch / Dinner - will consist of between 6-8 dishes with meat, vegetable, soup, rice etc, plus one glass of Beer or Soft drink supplied with plenty of Chinese Tea. We try to bring out the many diverse taste buds and culinary delights of China with many local cruisines. Occasionally, we like to spoilt you with various Banquets - Peking Duck, Dumpling Banquet, Hot Pot Dinner. If you require special meals due to religious or medical limitations, it may be difficult at times to pre-arrange due to menu inflexibility. Please advise your tour guide well in advance to see if we can assist.
Chinese hospitals in major cities are of an excellent standard. Doctors are trained in Western medicine and are generally very experienced. If you have any medications you must take ensure you have an adequate supply to cover the whole trip. Please seek advice from your General Practitioner about inoculations and other health information relevant for China.
Money / Currency / Credit Cards / Traveller's Cheques
China's currency is the Renminbi (RMB), usually called the "Yuan". 1Yuan = 10Jiao (in 1, 2 & 5) = 100 Fen (in 1, 2 & 5). In China, foreign exchange is under the control of the Bank of China, so all the hotels have foreign exchange, which offers similar rate to the Banks. The official exchange rate is around USD 1= RMB 8.08 Yuan. Hong Kong's currency is the Hong Kong dollar, whilst Macau's is the Pataca. Both currencies are worth 7% more than the Renminbi.
Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners Club, Federal Card and JCB credit cards are accepted at most hotels and state-run shops in the major cities. Travelers should be prepared to pay in Yuan when shopping in smaller shops, restaurants, and in smaller hotels.
The Bank of China has exchange desks for foreign currency and traveller's cheques with convenient hours at all hotels, airports, friendship stores, and other shopping areas. Besides the advantage of safety, traveler's cheques are useful to carry in China because the exchange rate is actually more favourable than what you get for cash. Cheques from most of the world's leading banks and issuing agencies are now acceptable in China - however, stick to the major companies such as Thomas Cook, American Express, and Citibank.
Newspapers, Books, Periodicals
English newspapers and magazines such as The China Daily are available for free in many hotels. Foreigners can also buy books and maps in foreign-language bookstores or Xinhua Book Stores.
Postal Service
Postal services are available at the front desks of hotels and post offices. To use standard envelopes, ensure that you write the postal code, and be sure to use enough stamps. International courier services are also available in most post offices and express mail agencies. Many stores can send items to almost anywhere in the world.
China is considered one of the safest countries in the world to travel. Crime is very low throughout China, and there are virtually no crimes committed against tourists visiting China. Even during the late evening hours, travellers have little to be concerned about. The Chinese are friendly and hospitable, and Chinese law is quite strict.
Seasoned travellers recommend taking a few simple precautions to avoid potential problems. When in particularly crowded areas and while traveling through airports, train, or bus stations, keep an eye on your baggage. Pickpockets and petty thefts are usually the only problems to be on guard against. All Chinese hotels provide an in-room safe or locked security boxes at the front desk.
0086 - IDD code of China
110 - Police
119 - Fire
120 - Emergency
112 - Telephone repair desk
113 - Long distance operator
114 - Directory enquiries and information
115 - International operator
116 - Long distance directory enquiries
117 - Time
121 - Weather
Time Zone
Time is the same throughout China. Beijing time = GMT + 8 hours ( GMT: Greenwich Mean Time )
Nowadays, tipping is very popular in China although the Government does not encourage it. We suggest USD 4-5/per person per day as tips for all the tour leaders, national & local guides, hotel bellboys and coach drivers; as a gratitude for their service.
It is not customary to leave tips at local restaurant. Normally, you do not need to tip at hotel restaurants, as the bill includes 15% service charge.
Television and Radio Broadcast
Most hotels have satellite transmitted English or Japanese programmes. The China Central Television (CCTV) Station transmits English news and other TV programs. Local radio broadcasting stations transmit English programs on 1251AM and 91.50FM.
Chinese railway services boast domestic and international operations. Travel from Hong Kong may reach Guangzhou (Canton) by first-class rail service in less than two hours. The Trans-Siberian Railway connects China to Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Other international train services include Beijing to Pyongyang, Beijing to Hanoi, and Urumqi to Alma Ata.

The domestic service falls into such categories as high speed trains, fast trains, tourist trains, expresses, and through passenger trains. High speed trains run mainly from Guangzhou to Kowloon and from Guangzhou to Shenzhen. Same-day fast trains shuttle between major cities. Tourist trains make the journey pleasant for those bound for major tourist cities. The sleeping carriages running on China's railways are partitioned into compartments each containing four cushioned berths arranged in upper and lower berths. It is called "the soft sleeper".

Taxis are a convenient means of transportation in various cities in China, with fares ranging from 1 to 2 yuan per km. Simply raise your hand, and a taxi appears in no time. But you'd better choose a taxi with a business permit, and before you disembark from a taxi ride, ask the driver for a receipt.
Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have subways going through the downtown areas. A subway ticket costs between 3 and 5 yuan.
In many tourist cities such as Beijing, bicycles are for rent in hotels. People can also look around in Beijing for a man powered three-wheeled vehicle called a 'trishaw'.
Charged toilets can be found in the streets and tourist places in large and medium-sized cities; use of such a toilet costs 0.20 or 0.30 yuan per person. Washrooms in airports and large shopping centres are free of charge.
Visas for individual travel to China are quite easy to get. You may apply directly to the Embassy of the People's Republic of China or one of several Chinese Consulates in your country. You can download and print China Visa Application forms from one of the websites of the Chinese Embassy or Consulates in your country.
Tap water is not drinkable.

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