From basic knowledge on China trip, how to get a Chinese visa, when to go, what to pack, how to get to China, to practical travel advice and China tour packages.
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Hong Kong China
General Information on How to Plan Your China Trip
When to Go"When to go" largely depends on your climate preference, your vacation time, personal taste and tourist seasons in China. China has a continental and seasonal climate. Southern areas are in the tropical or subtropical zone while northern areas are in the frigid zone. Climates in different areas are complicated. Every season here has its charms and pitfalls!
China in Spring (March - May)
Spring in China is a season of recovery, commonly warm with a little rain. Spring can also be delightful with the average temperatures roughly the same as in autumn, at about 10°C - 22°C.
China in Summer (June to August)
Summer in China can be extremely hot with temperatures well above 30°C. You can go to summer resorts in some northern cities of China. Summer is also the rainy season, so travelers should not forget umbrellas, light raincoats and rubber shoes.
China in Autumn (November - February)
Autumn is a season which is suitable to visit any city of China. Normally, the most comfortable season of the year in China is early autumn (September to early October). During that period, temperatures are mild with a limited amount of rain. Autumn is a harvest season. The sky is bright and clear. Your eyes are filled with the most beautiful view of the natural world.
China in Winter (November - February)
Winter can be incredibly cold especially in the north， but off-season travel can also offer its rewards. For example, the Harbin Winter Ice Lantern Festival is a charming event. The southern China in winter is not that cold.
Whenever you decide to travel to China try to avoid 1-3 May (Labor holidays) or 1-7 October (National Day) when hard-working Chinese get a one week holiday; School Summer Vacation (July and August) and Winter holiday (China Lunar New Year). It is extremely crowded everywhere, especially in some hot destinations in China.
Tip 1: Take a Chinese Phrasebook
There is such a wide varity of Mandarin phrasebooks on the market. You may choose a useful Chinese phrasebook for Chinese travelers. If you meet any difficulty on your trip without any English speaking people around, you can turn to your Chinese phrasebook for help.
Tip 2: Bring some cash on hand
Cash is widely used in China though credit cards have become more and more popular. Some restaurants and stores don't accept credit cards. If you travel to some remote area, you will find paying cash is the only way of local payment.
Tip 3: Take Hand Sanitizer & Wet Wiper
It is very useful to have hand sanitizers and wet wipers on hand to clean your hands after dining, going to toilet or traveling in some crowded public places. It is advisable to carry alcohol pads to clean the ones in the restaurants.
Tip 4: Prepare for an Electrical Converter and Adapter Plugs
China uses generally 220V, 50HZ, AC (Hong Kong is 200V; Taiwan is 110V). A standard socket in China has two pins on the upper part and earthed three pins on the lower part. You may buy a portable plug adaptor at your home country or here in China. Some of your hotels in China offer free use of plug adaptors.
Tip 5: Do not Drink the Tap Water in China
Some hotels provide bottled water for free, use that even for brushing your teeth. Buy bottled water, or boil your own using the electric water heater found in every hotel room.
Tip 6: Bring Toilet Paper
Always bring tolet paper with you since most of the restrooms in China don't offer toilet paper except hotels.
Tip 7: Prepare for a photocopy of China Tourist Visa
Always prepare for a photocopy of your China tourist visa in case you lose your passport.
Tip 8: Always Carry one of the Hotel's Business Cards
Most hotels in China provide business cards (contact cards on the front desk). Please always take it for an easy return to the hotel.
Tip 9: Don't Forget to Ask for a Local Tourist Map from your Hotel
Most hotels in China provide free tourist maps. These maps are basically more informative than the maps in your China guidebook. But usually your hotel doesn't put them on the hotel front, you have to ask for it!
Basically there are four kinds of visa most frequently issued:
L Visa–Tourist visa. Issued for visiting China, sightseeing, family visits or other private matters.
F Visa–Visit visa. Issued to those coming to China to conduct business (giving a lecture, undertaking research…)
Z Visa–Work Visa. Issued for the holder to work full-time in China.
X Visa–Student visa. Issued to those coming to China to study for longer than 6 months.
Where to apply for your China visa
You are mainly requested to go to the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country for visa application in person or use a visa service.
1) First search the official website of the Chinese embassy in your home country.
2) Study the requirements for the visa application.
3) Contact Chinese embassy by email or on phone.
4) Prepare for personal documents for the allication.
5) Pay the visa fee and wait for your Chinese visa.
Official visa service web: www.visaforchina.org
How to apply for Chinese tourist visa
To get Chinese tourist visa, you must offer the documents below to the Chinese emabssy or consulate in your home country. Your valid passport which must have at least six (6) months of remaining validity with at least two visa pages.
1) China bound air-tickets
2) China Hotel confirmation
3) Tour Confirmation letter from a local travel agency in China
4) Other requirements
Visa renewal or Extension
The agency in charge of visa matters inside China is the Public Security Bureau (PSB). If you lose your passport in China, or you are going to extend your , you should turn to the PSB.
Please visa renewal, please contact the Entry & Exit Administration of the Public Security Bureau if you have more questions.
Add: 2 Andingmen Dongdajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: +86 10 84020101
The 51 Nationalities Eligible for 72 Hours Free Visa Stay include:
1) 24 Schengen countries in Europe:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
2) 13 other European countries:
Russia, Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.
3) 6 American countries:
The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.
4) 2 Oceanian countries:
Australia and New Zealand.
5) 6 Asian countries:
Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
1. Requirements for travelers of the 72-hour transit without visa policy
1) Citizens from one of the 51 countries
2) Must be transit passenger to a third country (region).
3) Must hold the related tickets
2. Disclaimer Statement
Tour Beijing gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability for the accuracy or the completeness of the information on 72-hour free-visa stay policy. Please confirm with your airline and authorities concerned to make sure you are entitled to this free-visa policy.
How to Book a Hotel in ChinaFor the past 20 years, the Chinese government has gradually established an fairly effective hotel star rating system which has classified all qualified hotels in China into five categories - Five Star, Four Star, Three Star, Two Star and One Star ( or youth hostels). The higher level of a hotel's star rating system, the better service and high rates you will expect. But The number of stars of a hotel may not necessarily match its service level.
5 Star Hotel
the 5 star hotels in China will offer you a good night stay with full range of moden room facilities. But the hotel rates are also very expensive usually ranging from USD100 to USD500 per room per night.
4 Star Hotel
You will feel very comfortable for most of the 4-star hotels in China. but some 4 star hotels are far below your expectation and you would like to stay in a clean and cozy three star hotel.
3 Star Hotel
There is a big difference between the quality among the three star hotels in China. The three star hotel rating is decided by the local governments with strong local protectionism. Some of the three star hotels are clean and comfortable; some are just rundown and shabby. Most of the three star hotels have no websites which make it quite difficult to book online.
2 Star Hotel
Strangely enough, 2 star hotels have comfortable facilities comparable to some 3-stars. But the problem for many 2 star hotels is that very few staffers can speak English. So if you are able to manage it, you may get some good rates.
One Star or Youth Hostel
Youth hostes are getting very popular in China. Low rates with simple and basic facilities. The rooms are clean and safe too. The staffers are always helpful and resourceful. Most of the staffers at youth hostels can speak English.
What to see in ChinaChina is a vast and extraordinary country extending thousands of miles from the deserts and plateau in the west to the ocean on the east. China has a history of over 5,000 years with one of the most rich and textured histories of all civilizations. If it is your first time to visit China, the China Top 10 below will be very useful in planning your maiden trip to China by its highlights.
|Lhasa Tibet||Jiuzhaigou Sichuan||Lijiang Yunnan||Zhangjiajie Hunan||Silk Road in China|
Upon departure, note that Chinese law stipulates that antiques dating from 1795 to 1949 be accompanied by an official certificate stating their provenance and that antiques dating prior to 1795 may not be legally exported.
Time DifferenceChna only has one time zone - Beijing Time, eight hours ahead of Greenwich (GMT + 8). Australia (EST) are 2 hours ahead of Beijing. Noon in Beijing is 2pm in Melbourne.
CommunicationFree Wireless access
1)When you arrive at Beijing airport, or other major airports in China, you could easily get wireless internet within its arrival or departure hall. The Starbucks, Mcdonald's and cafes at the airport also offer internet connections (Some need Password, but you can get it form their frontdesks).
2) Internet at hotels
Internet is available in most hotels. If you don't have a laptop with you, you could use the computers at the business centers of these hotels. If you have a laptop, you could use the broadband acceesible in your room. Some hotels also offer free wireless internet in the cafes or lobbies in their hotels.
3) Wi-fi at some Cafes, Starbucks, Mcdonald's, internet cafes and some larges stores
Some Cafes, Starbucks, Mcdonald's and some larges stores offer wi-fi service.
4) Wireless connections at some public places
More and more public places offer wireless access including Wangfujing Street, Xidan Commercial Street, Railway Stations, Financial Street, Yanshan and Zhongguancun area.
Airmail letters to Your Country should take between four days and a week to reach their destinations. Mark envelopes "air mai.par avion". Stamps are sold at the post office counters: there are no machines.
How to Make a Phone in China
China's country code is 0086 and Beijing code is 010: Shanghai 021; Xian 029;
Call a fixed phone
If you are going to call a fixed phone in a particular city in China, please dial the exit number of your home country + 0086 (China's country code) + city code ( Beijing's code) + phone number. Take dialing tour-beijing.com: 0086 – 10 – 67160201.
Call a cell phone
If you are going to call a mobile phone in a particular city in China, please dial the exit number of your home country + 0086 (Chinese country code) + cell phone number. Take dialing tour-beijing.com emergency cell phone 0086 - 13520598855
How to Use toilets in China
China's reputation for horrible public bathrooms is quite known. But things are changing to the better now in some big cities like Beijing. The local government in Beijig is doing a lot to improve the state of the toilet facilities. Now you will often find public toilets rated with stars.
How to Give a Tip in China
To tip or not to tip in China is a question which has confused many foreign visitors. Those against tipping in China argue that China has no tradition of tipping; those for tipping in China think that China is changing and tipping has become more and more popular as a kind of etiquette as well as bonuses for service providers like those in the west.
Questions & Answers: