Travel Tips for China China is a large country at a size of 9,596,960 sq km. China was only partially open to world from 1979 onwards and has been a communist country for many decades. Although there is much progress in travel industry and infrastructure of China, there remain parts that needs to be improved before it can match level that most tourist would require.
However, much of fun remain that it is different from rest of world. China will be host nation for Olympics in Year 2008. Travel facilities and infrastructure will be improving quickly as we approach Year 2008.
Chinese is rich in culture and history. Visit Great Wall of China in Beijing, sip Chinese tea in Xiamen, dance with ethnic tribes in Yunnan, check out 19th Century European buildings in Qingdao - there are just so much to do, see and learn in China!
Below are some travel tips to make your travel in China easier:
Entry Visa China require entry visa from most countries. Apply at Chinese consulate or through your travel agent before travelling to China.
Extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north. Be prepared with right seasonal clothing.
The Chinese unit of currency is known as Remembi(RMB) or Yuan. Get some Chinese Yuan in your local country before travelling. When in China, exchange foreign currency for local currency in banks or at hotel. Banks tend to give slightly better rates than hotels. Take note that some banks close for a noon siesta between 12-2pm.
Most better class hotels and shopping centres take Credit Card or Travellers cheques. Smaller hotels and shops take cash only. Once out of bigger cities, credit card and ATM cards tend to be almost impossible to utilize. Cash is still king in Chinese business and trade.
Counterfeit 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.
Understanding of English
Most civil servants, custom officials, police and hotel staff and men in street do not speak English or at best a smattering of English.
Most 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.
Do not expect hotels or shops to understand English. Only very big hotels will have staff that will understand English.
Most young people can understand basic English if you speak slowly.
Social Security 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.
These Chinese cities that are popular with tourist also has a lot of touts in streets touting tourist from currency exchange to jewelleries to female companionships. Avoid at all cost!
Bus, train, ferries and domestic flights are quite well developed. Avoid crowd at stations and book your tickets through hotel tour desk or nearest tour agent. Prices are likely to be competitive and tickets will be delivered to your hotel room. Again, avoid ticket touts who approach you in streets.
Local 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.
Avoid travel during peak holiday seasons or book tickets well ahead.