Practical information on traveling to China
Tips for Traveling to China – Useful Information
Time difference: during the summer it is 7 hours later in China than in the UK. During winter it is 8 hours later in China.
Best time to travel: The best time to travel is during the months of April to October. However, it is best to avoid the first week of May and the first week of October. These are the Chinese national holidays.
Language: Mandarin Chinese is spoken in most of China. However, countless dialects are also spoken. English is gaining popularity in China, but you still won’t find many people who speak English, especially in rural areas of China. Carry a Chinese pocket dictionary with you.
Currency: The official Chinese currency is known as the renminbi (‘people’s money’), RMB for short. The monetary unit is the Yuan. Hong Kong has its own currency: the Hong Kong dollar. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US dollar. It is accepted in Guangzhou (Canton) and Shenzhen.
Tips: Tips are common for guides and drivers. They generally rely on tips for a large portion of their wages. It is not customary to tip in restaurants.
Visas: You will need a Chinese visa to travel to China. You will need to apply for your own visa at the China Visa Application Service Center (CVASC). A single entry Chinese visa will cost you around £ 60. This is made up of a £ 30 visa fee and a £ 30 processing fee.
Phone calls: Calling home during your trip to China using your mobile phone is generally not a problem, but it can be a very expensive affair. Internet Phone (IP) cards are the cheapest way to call home. You can buy these cards at newsstands and hotels in larger cities. If you want to use your own mobile phone during your trip, it is best to buy a prepaid SIM card from a Chinese phone store.
Internet: Almost all parts of China offer Internet access. You will find more and more cafes and bars offering mobile internet in China.
Photography: Chinese are usually honored if you want to take a photo of them. However, don’t forget to ask their permission first. Taking photos or video at military sites in China is highly illegal. Many museums, palaces, and temples either do not allow you to take pictures or only allow you to take pictures for a fee. It is better to always be attentive to the signs placed on photography and to be careful.
Voltage: Electricity in China is 220 volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. Better to carry a universal plug adapter.
Hygiene: Using public toilets during your trip to China will be quite an experience. The level of hygiene is often poor and you will have little privacy. Make sure to add toilet paper or tissues, antibacterial wipes, and disinfectant to your China Travel Plan packing list.