Archive for the ‘Shaanxi Travel’ Category

How to use ATM in China

Saturday, June 9th, 2018
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Plan your China tour? Generally speaking, China is a very ATM friendly country, especially in the large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hongkong, Macao and the list can be much longer.

Most of the local ATMs machines accept Visa and Master. CITIBANK card and HSBC are also very popular in China because Citibank and HSBC have an agreement with UnionPay.

For other cards, you may check the ATMs you are going to use and see if they have the logos and signs for your credit cards.

Then how to use ATMs in China?

 

ATMs in China

 1. It is a good idea to get most of cash you are going to use in China through ATMs by using your credit card or debit cards, and dont’ be bothered with great amount of cash before your departure carrying from your home country.

2. Don’t forget to inform your credit card company that you’ll be visiting China or oversea so they don’t block your purchases.

3 Scan your cards (front and back), keep emergency numbers separately in case you lose your credit cards.

4. You should take some home-currency cash with you to exchange at the airport or your hotel upon arrival for taxis or other small expenses, mainly in case that ATMs don’t work or run out of money. Takes one ATM card and possibly a back-up.

5. The major ATMs of the local banks in China include Bank of China, Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and China Agriculture Bank.

VISA and MasterCard debit cards work in most Bank of China ATMs. For the ATMs of the other major banks, please look for a network symbol on the machine that matches a network symbol on the back of your card. CITIBANK card and HSBC card can work in most ATM in China because Citibank and HSBC have an agreement with UnionPay.

6. Most Atms distribute the foreign languages including Chinese(simplified), Chinese(traditional), English, French, Spanish, Portuguese…

7. Most Chinese banks distribute 100 yuan note(You can withdraw 100 yuan minimum.). Check out “How to recognize Chinese currency?“.

8. Most ATM cards issued by major networks can be used in China, transaction fees may be different though, most charge around RMB20 or RMB30 for a one time transaction of RMB2500.

If you are using an ATM Debit card, usually the charges are comparable to drawing money in your own country. If you are using a Credit Card, it can be extremely expensive depending on your bank and how long you take to pay back the money.

9. Keep your ATM receipts so you can re-exchange your Chinese currency back for your home currency on your way out.

10. Basically taking cash out of the ATMs in China is very safe.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free China Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to China.

China join-in small group tours.
China Private Tours.
China Train Tours.
China City Tours.
China Provincial Tours.

Further Readings


Top 10 China experiences China’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains
The Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China The most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Old Towns in China The Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China

Any questions, just drop a line

Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian

Friday, April 27th, 2018
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Plan your Xian tour? It is advisable to have a side trip to Huaqing Hot Springs after or before visiting Terracotta Warriors in Xian. You may wonder if the site of the “Hot Springs”is worth your visit or whether you need to bring your bathing suits.

Well, “hot spring” is really a misnomer in this case. Generally speaking Huaqing Hot Springs refer to a huge park sitting below the northern slope of Lishan Mountain, 32km east of Xian Bell Tower, and 8 km west of Terracotta Warriors Museum.

The park is rebuilt on the royal palace in Tang Dynasty ( 618 -907 ), which mainly comprises the royal gardens and the royal hot springs. The royal hot springs are an excavated site, kept original, an artefact without actual springs running and housed in a museum in the park.

Tips
tips-11. Why Visit Huaqing Hot Springs
So why the bother to visit a big park since there are tons of parks in China. Before deciding whether to visit the park,  you may consider the following factors relative to the park:

1) Romantic Love Story
This is the actual site of romance of Emperor Xuanzang (685-762) and Lady Yang (719-756 ) at the Pear gardens in Tang Dynasty ( 618 – 907 ).

The Marble Statue of Lady Yang

The Marble Statue of Lady Yang

There were hot spring pools built for the emperor , concubine for leisure and recreation. It is an interesting insight and perspective into Chinese history and culture.

Crabapple Pool built 747 for Lady Yang

Crabapple Pool built 747 for Lady Yang

2) A Park with Nice Landscape Gardens and Buildings
The park is a history repackage of the former royal gardens with traditional Chinese architectures.

There is a peaceful Nine Dragon Lake, pavilions, palaces, fruit gardens and hot springs with the backdrop of the picturesque Lishan Mountain.

Gardening and Landscaping in Huaqing Hot Springs

Gardening and Landscaping in Huaqing Hot Springs

3 ) Xian Incident
Nationalist Chiang Kai-shek (1887 – 1975) once also frequented this imperial palace. Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese political and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975.

This was the place where he was “kidnapped” in the famous Xi’an incident of 1936. He was forced to forge the alliance between the KMT and the Communist Party against the Japanese. The incident greatly increased the status of the Communist Party at the time.

Chiang Kai-shek‘s Temporarily Office in Huaqing Hot Springs

Chiang Kai-shek‘s Temporarily Office in Huaqing Hot Springs

4) The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Evening Show
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show is presented on the real-scene in Huaqing Hot Springs with the backdrop of Lishan Mountain and the ponds, pavilions, corridors and palaces in the background.

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show

The performance is adapted on the same name poem written by the famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772-846) retelling the lament of the court concubine Yang  Yuhuan and  Emperor Xuanzong.

If you are interested in Chinese history, especially Tang Dynasty,  and Chinese landscaping, Huaqing Hot Springs are worth your visit.

2. How to Get There
The park of Huaqing Hot Springs is located about 32 km to the east of Xian Bell Tower and 8 km west of Terracotta Warriors Museum. Basically, people would combine Terracotta Army and Huaqing Hot Spring on the same travel route.

1) Take Tourism Bus No.5 (306) directly from Xian Railway Station to Huaqing Hot Springs Station; or take Tourism Bus No.5 (306) from Terracotta Army.
Bus fare: RMB6
Estimated  Bus Ride Time: 45 minutes ( Railway Station to Huaqing Hot Springs)

2) Take a free shuttle bus from Xian North Railway Station to Huaqing Hot Springs; or from Terracotta Army to Huaqing Hot Springs.

3. Entrance Fees & Opening Hours.
Entrance Fee:
RMB 150 (Mar 1 – Nov 30)
RMB 120 (Dec 01 –  Feb)
Children below 1.2 meters: free of Charge
Opening Hours:
07:00 – 18:00 (Mar 01 – Nov 30)
07:30 – 18:30 (Dec 01 – Feb )
Suggested visit time: 2-3 hours

4. Everlasting Song of Sorrow Evening Show
The performance is presented on the real-scene in Huaqing Hot Springs. It is adapted on the same name poem written by the famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772-846) retelling the lament of the court concubine Yang  Yuhuan (719-756) and  Emperor Xuanzong (685-762) .

In the story,  Emperor Xuanzong fell deeply in love with his beautiful concubine Yang Yuhuan ( Yang Guifei ). His love diverted his focus on his ruling duties and caused much trouble to his country that led to a military coup.

The ministers and the soldiers around Emperor Xuanzong thought that it was  the concubine Yang  Yuhuan who had caused the chaos. Later under the pressure,  Emperor Xuanzong had his favorite concubine Yang Yuhuan killed to save the country.

The poem-turned drama is presented in four parts with a preclude and 10 scenes. The four parts include “Fall in Love”, “A Sweet Couple”, “Goodbye to Love” and “Meet again on Fairyland”.

Show Time:
Twice performances a day ( Valid from April through October )
20:00 – 21:10; 21:40 – 22:50
Entrance Fees:
RMB 220 ( east or west side area):
RMB 260 ( central area);
VIP area: RMB 988/888/588

5. Combo Tour of Terracotta Army
Both Huaqing Hot Springs and Terracotta Army are on the same eastern travel route from Xian’s city center, which can be combined to have a day trip.

6. Stay Overnight in Lintong
Lintong District is one of nine districts of Xi’an. The Terracotta Army and Huaqing Hot Springs are both located in Lintong. If you have enough  time in Xian, you may stay overnight in Lintong after a heavily scheduled combo tour of Terracotta Army and Huqing Hot Springs.

Alternatively you can separate the comb day tour into two days – first day on Terracotta Army and the second day on Huaqing Hot Spring with the first night on the Everlasting Song of Sorrow Evening Show.

Tip: Hassle-free Xian Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Xian guided tours:

Xian City Day Tour from US$69
Xian Terracotta Warriors Day Tour A from US$85
Terracotta Army and Song of Everlasting Performance from US$135

Xian 2 Day Tour Package from US$170 p/p
Xian 3 Day Tour Package from US$235 p/p

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xian
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Best Time to Visit Xian

Any questions, just drop a line.

Plugs and sockets in China

Saturday, April 14th, 2018
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Before packing for your Beijing Tour or China Tour, it is necessary to have some basic knowledge of the electricity in China, its plug and socket system as well.

We’ve rounded up the following quick guide for new visitors coming to Beijing China. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
____________________________________________________________________

Kindly Reminder:
Now many of the small carry-on devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes,  hair dryers and electric razors are made with international standards using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ) with two-prong charger plugs.

And you don’t have to use an adaptor while traveling in China. In addition, you can use the two-pin sockets easily here in China with your two-prong plugs.

Before leaving for China,  make sure your electric devices use 110/220 volts and your plugs have two prongs.

By the way, most of the chargers for lap tops are made with three-prong plugs which may not fit into the three-pin sockets here in China and you need to buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. In addition, check out the Voltage for your lap tops to see if they fit into 220 V. If not, you need to use a converter also.

If you have some questions with your plugs, sockets, and Voltage while traveling China, please read the full article.

What Voltage is Used in China?
Basically there are two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world. One is the standard of 110-120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz (mostly used in USA), and the other is the standard of 220–240 volts at 50 Hz (mostly used in Europe).

China uses generally 220V, 50HZ, AC (Hong Kong is 200V; Taiwan is 110V).

Just list some of the Country Voltage Frequency:
Argentina 220 V 50 Hz
Armenia 220 V 50 Hz
Australia 240 V 50 Hz
Austria 230 V 50 Hz
Belgium 230 V 50 Hz
Brazil 110/220 V 60 Hz
Brunei 240 V 50 Hz
Bulgaria 230 V 50 Hz
Canada 120 V 60 Hz
China, People’s Rep. of 220 V 50 Hz
China (Hong Kong) 220 V 50 Hz
Czech Republic 230 V 50 Hz
Denmark 230 V 50 Hz
England (UK) 230 V 50 Hz
Finland 230 V 50 Hz
France 230 V 50 Hz
French Guiana 220 V 50 Hz
Germany 230 V 50 Hz
Great Britain (UK) 230 V 50 Hz
Greece 220 V 50 Hz
Holland (Netherlands) 230 V 50 Hz
Hong Kong (China) 220 V 50 Hz
Hungary 230 V 50 Hz
Iceland 220 V 50 Hz
India 230 V 50 Hz
Indonesia 127/230 V 50 Hz
Ireland (Eire) 230 50 Hz
Israel 220 V 50 Hz
Italy 230 V 50 Hz
Japan 100 V 50/60 Hz
Korea, South 220 V 60 Hz
Luxembourg 220 V 50 Hz
Macau 220 V 50 Hz
Malaysia 240 V 50 Hz
Mexico 127 V 60 Hz
Netherlands Antilles 127/220 V 50 Hz
New Zealand 230 V 50 Hz
Northern Ireland 230 V 50 Hz
Norway 230 V 50 Hz
Philippines 220 V 60 Hz
Poland 230 V 50 Hz
Portugal 230 V 50 Hz
Romania 230 V 50 Hz
Russia 220 V 50 Hz
Saudi Arabia 127/220 V 60 Hz
South Africa 220/230 V 50 Hz
Spain 230 V 50 Hz
Swaziland 230 V 50 Hz
Sweden 230 V 50 Hz
Switzerland 230 V 50 Hz
Taiwan 110 V 60 Hz
Thailand 220 V 50 Hz
Turkey 230 V 50 Hz
United Arab Emirates 220 V 50 Hz
UK (United Kingdom) 230 V 50 Hz
US (United States) 120 V 60 Hz
Venezuela 120 V 60 Hz
Vietnam 127/220 V 50 Hz

Converters
If you are from the countries where the standard of 110-120 volts at a frequency of 60 Hz is available, you need to have converters for your domestic electric devices to be used on your trip to China. You may prepare yourself a converter with a socket of your home country’s standard.

A converter is an implement that converts the input from 220V to 110V or 120V for your device. Most laptops have international converters without any problem.

Plugs and Sockets in China
At present, there is no global standard for plugs and sockets. Traditionally the plugs and sockets are classified into several regional standards in the world like American standard, European standard, British standard, South African standard and Chinese standard.

The standard for Chinese plugs and sockets is set out in GB 2099.1–2008 and GB 1002–2008. Chinese plugs and sockets are similar to those in Australia.

A Chinese plug may fit loosely in an Australian socket, but thick pins of an Australian plug may not fit easily in a Chinese socket. In China, the sockets are installed upside-down compared to Australian ones.

A standard socket on a wall in China has two pins on the upper part and earthed three pins on the lower part.

 

 

Chinese Standard Socket on a wall – Two Pins and Three Pins


You may buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. Most of your hotels in China offer free use of plug adaptors.

A portable plug

A Chinese standard portable socket

 

A Chinese three-prong Plug

A Chinese three-prong Plug

A Chinese two-prong plug

A Chinese two-prong plug

 

Plugs and Sockets in use

 

Plugs and Sockets in use

 

Sockets and plugs in use

Sockets and plugs in use

As you see, in China, some locally made electric devices have two-prong plugs and others three-prong plugs. If your devices cannot fit into the two-prong or three-prong plugs, you need to prepare yourself for a plug adapter or a converter with a socket of your country’s standard.

Kindly Reminder:
Now many of the small carry-on devices like cell phones, cameras, electric toothbrushes,  hair dryers and electric razors are made with international standards using 110/220 (combining the two main standards for voltage and frequency in the world ) with two-prong charger plugs.

And you don’t have to use an adaptor while traveling in China. In addition, you can use the two-pin sockets easily here in China with your two-prong plugs.

Before leaving for China, make sure your electric devices use 110/220 volts and your plugs have two prongs.

By the way, most of the chargers for lap tops are made with three-prong plugs which may not fit into the three-pin sockets here in China and you need to buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. In addition, check out the Voltage for your lap tops to see if they fit into 220 V. If not, you need to use a converter also.

Add On
How to recognise Chinese currency
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers
What to Bring for China Trip
Top 10 Places to Visit in China

06611Tip: Hassle-free China Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for China guided tours:

China Highlight Tourfrom US$1050 p/p
(Beijing Xian Shanghai)

China Splendid Tourfrom US$1365 p/p
(Beijing Xian Guilin Shanghai)

China Romantic Yangtze River Tourfrom US$1675 p/p
( Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River, Yichang and Shanghai)

China Mysterious Tibet Tourfrom US$ 2070 p/p
(Beijing Xian Lhasa Shanghai)

Further Readings


Top 10 Places in China
Chinese Phrases for Travellers
Plugs and sockets in China
What to Bring for China Trip
How to recognise Chinese currency
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
How to get a Chinese Visa

Any questions, just drop a line.