WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO CHINA
• China is very vast in its territory. The climate varies a great deal from region to region.
• The best months to travel are April, May, September and October.
• In many parts of the country, the summer is very hot (may exceed 40°C) and the winter is very cold (as low as -20°C).
• Rainy season is usually between June to August. The eastern coastal area is often impacted by typhoon in July and August.
WHAT TO PACK
• Basic medication (such as Imodium), adaptor, water bottle, walking shoes, insect repellent, sunscreen
• Big shopping malls usually open at between 9-10 AM and close at between 20:00-21:00.
• They are open 7 days a week.
• There are some convenience stores such as 7 eleven, which are open round the clock.
• The currency used on mainland China is called RMB, which is divided into denominations of Yuan, Jiao and Fen.
• Credit card is accepted in 4 or 5 star hotels, and some shops and restaurants. However, non-local credit card is not as widely accepted as local credit card.
• Therefore it is always necessary to have some cash in RMB with you.
• You can change money into RMB at the reception of most 4 and 5 star hotels, or on the currency conversion machines available in those hotels.
POPULAR SHOPPING OUTLETS
• Almost every city you go to , there are shopping malls and supermarkets at the down town area.
• In Beijing, famous shopping areas include Wang Fujing shopping street and Xi Dan shopping area.
• In Shanghai, the Nanjing Road shopping street, and Huai Hai Road shopping area.
• Tap water is not drinkable. Drink boiled water or bottled water please.
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
• Tipping is not compulsory, but it is important source of revenue for your tour guide and tour driver. At 4 or 5 star hotels , it is customary to tip the porters for their service. You don't need to tip at the restaurant.
• Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
• Respect the local customs and culture, and avoid imposing your beliefs or behave in disrespectful manners.
• Obey the Chinese laws and regulations, and behave accordingly.
• China is home to 56 ethnic groups, all of whom have played a critical role in the development of the various languages spoken in China. Linguists believe that there are 297 living languages in China today. Standard Chinese is the official language in mainland China.
• Always take very good care of your passport, travel document, personal belongs and valuables.
• Smoking is strictly forbidden in most of 4 or 5 star hotels.
• China uses 220 V electricity. There are three types of plugs used in China – three-pronged angled pins, two flat pins (the most common) or two narrow round pins.
WHAT THINGS COST
• Cost varies from place to place.
• At the local super market, a bottle of water is 2-3 Yuan, a can of beer is 5 Yuan.
• Always take extra care of your belongings at all times.
• At the airport, if you need a taxi, please follow the road signs to go to a legal taxi stand to get a taxi. For example, at the airport of Beijing and Shanghai, there are designated areas where you are supposed to go to get a taxi. (Anybody asking if you need a taxi before you make it to the taxi stand is illegal.) Taking an illegal taxi is unsafe and costly.