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• In Shanghai, it is common practice for taxi fare increases after 11pm. However, one can usually bargain for a 20% discount, which will get fare back to pre-11pm rate. Be strong with taxi drivers, never-the-less, keep your cool, smile and negotiate.
China Travel Tips – Shopping
• China Travel Tips - Shopping - China is a shopper’s paradise, Markets, Bargains; Top labels… anything and everything if you have time. With clothes, larger (Western) sizes can be quite hard to find, however in major cities where you get a lot of tourist traffic, you can find them.
• Electrical gear, DVD’s, Cameras, stuff like this is not worth buying in China, Hong Kong is still best place for this.
• Store hours in major cities are from 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
• Visa card is still best card to carry, with ATM’s in good supply all with PLUS access etc. There is usually a surcharge for use of VISA, MasterCard or other forms of credit card.
• Wait on purchasing if you can, look around to get a feel for prices. The Chinese are VERY experienced at selling and know that we halve opening price when bargaining. In markets go for 25% of what they first ask; go so low that they let you walk away. This will give you an idea of bottom price. The resulting end-price will probably be around 40% to 50% of where they started.
Whatever market people say, they are used to pushing and haggling for best prices. Do not worry about being too hard, they are used to it and will not sell you an item unless they make a profit. Don’t be concerned with apparently hurt body language when you go low – it is all part of game. As soon as they have wrapped up your first purchase, they will try to sell you something more. Remember to keep smiling and having fun while bargaining.
China Travel Tips – Medical Treatment and Records • Most hotels will have a doctor that you can see. In major hotels English will be spoken.
• Always take a small first aid kit, cold remedy, headache tablets at very least. WATSONS is a very large chain chemist. Most of remedies, tablets etc, that you may require should be in these shops. These shops are all over China.
• There is a great network of pharmacy type shops; these are indicated by a Green Cross. There will always be a 24 hr Green Cross pharmacy in city you are in. It is handy to carry a Phase book, as no one will speak English, however you will end up with something that will help.
• INPORTANT POINT – for most of mass produced packet type medicines, packaging will be written in Chinese on one side, English on other. However in shops you only see Chinese side. Have a good look, turn packs over, it gives you a lot more confidence knowing you can read package.
• If you have a specific medical issue, take records, most of Doctors will have OK written / reading English, even though their oral English will be poor.
China Travel Tips – Telephone
• Using phone is as easy as at home. However person picking it up will not speak English or have very broken English… Major 4- or 5-Star Hotels will all be OK.
• What is worth doing is buying a Chinese Telecom SIM card, they are about RMB100 and with this you get RMB50 in calls, other 50 is for price of SIM card; this SIM card will go into all major brand phones and work OK.
By doing this, people can reach you within and out of China if there is an emergency. If you have a couple of phones, you can short (txt) message each other (SMS). Also you are able to call your tourist guide, hotel etc if you have any major problems. It is a cheap way to keep in touch.
NB.Before you buy a Chinese SIM card, check that it will work in your Cell / Mobile phone. There are plenty of China Telecom shops that can help. China Travel Tips on when NOT to move around China. • Spring Festival, this would be Chinese New Year time, around end of January / Early February
• Early May; Labour day Holidays
• Early October; National Day Holidays
Of all China Travel Tips National Day is biggest one. Millions of Chinese travel at these holiday times of year. Most are travelling back to home towns or visiting family. Hotels, trains, planes, cars, buses, and roads are all crowded to maximum. Major congestion, everywhere.
Also travel fares are at their full price. No discounts are offered! Stay in one place and enjoy where you are. It’s best and causes fewer hassles.
China Travel Tips – TV
• If you want to watch TV, most of major hotels will have cable and if you are in smaller places, national channel, CCTV9 is in English. Over last couple of years it has got a lot better, with some great China Travel Tips programs, news and views on people and places around China.
China Travel Tips – Airport Tax • There is a “construction fee” at almost all airports.
Domestic flights RMB 50 International flights RMB 90 – which is to be paid in local currency. Just recently, tickets are being tissued with Construction Tax included; however make sure you have Tax money with you just to make sure.
I hope some of these China Travel Tips will come in handy and will make your trip to China that little bit easier.
If you have been to China and wish to share your China Travel Tips, please feel free to contact me anytime.
John Mckenna http://www.Travel-the-Real-China.com
Hi I'm John Mckenna, I am from New Zealand and have lived in Shanghia China now for 3 years.
I own and operate http://www.Travel-the-Real-China .com my site provides experienced based Travel and Tour information on the wonders of Travel in China, the Real China, Ancient China, China at its very best