T he following questions are those frequently asked by our clients before they board their flight departing for their China trip. You probably would ask the same questions. That's why we have the questions listed below with the corresponding answers. Of course, we are absolutely open to you if you put forward with your other questions which are much beyond the ones listed below. Meanwhile we are grateful to your updated answers from your latest experience of China travel.
What Shall I do if I lost my travel documents?
Have the contact numbers (Trans-pacific airliner and your country's embassy / consulate) in several places; hand-bag, wallet, note-book; always bring you with extra photos (passport size). When the unfortunate happens, you must:
- Contact your guide and the tour operator and have them note the lost; and tell the land operator in the last city of your trip in China to assist you to clear the Chinese immigration processing with your particular situation.
- Call the airliner's office wherever it is available to report the lost with the flight number. If the number is not remembered, tell them your flight date; destination and full name (There might be some fee by the airline to replace the lost ticket). Contact your country's embassy / Consulate in next stop-over city or city near you to report the lost item(s). Follow their instruction to replace a new passport.
How many luggage can I bring with me?
Trans-pacific flights allow two pieces of checked luggage per person. Travel within Asia permits only one piece (not to exceed 44 lb. or 20 kg). One standard carry-on is allowed for both international flights and travel within Asia. We strongly recommend that you travel light with a flexible bag in your suitcase to use as an additional piece of luggage for your return flight home. If you do travel with more than one piece per person you are required to pay any excess baggage fees on the spot. All luggage must be locked while traveling.
What kind of travel documents should I bring for China travel?
A valid United States or Canadian passport for at least 6 months after the arrival date is required for all tour participants. Visas are required for China and Indochina. Nationals from other countries should check with their travel agent or airline for visa requirements. It is the ultimate responsibility of the passenger to have prepare travel documentation. Meanwhile, keep one's mind clear about the expiration date of the visa and leave the countries before it becomes invalid is the way to be free from any penalty imposed on the visa holder when he / she leaves the countries.
Is it safe to drink tap water in China?
It is not encouraged to drink tap water anywhere in China. Because there is lack of habit of drinking tap water in China, so the standard of hygiene of tap water may vary from place to place. Usually in the hotel rooms there are equipped with thermos bottles with boiled water, which is usually hot. Hotel front desks may be called to delivered thermos bottle with boiled water at no cost to the hotel guests.
Can I bring with me the voltage switch for my razor, hair dryer, etc.?
You are encouraged to do so. However, the electrical voltage in China is 220 and up. Some deluxe hotels are equipped with the voltage exchange adapter sockets, some are not. Double check with the front desks when you check in.
Can I use my credit cards in China?
Yes. You may use your credit cards like Visa, Master and American Express cards, but they are not widely accepted in China by the shops though. Credit card symbols are displayed in the visible place in shops and hotels indicating credit cards are accepted.
Can I bargain while I am shopping?
Big stores, department stores and shops in hotels usually do not bargain. However, when you wondering in the small shops or surrounded by stalk sellers, you may start your bargain by half of the offered price, even by 2/3 of the price. Because in the Chinese vendors' minds, foreign travelers are usually willing to pay high, so they always raise the rates to the 'foreign level'.
Can I arrange my own meal rather than the pre-arranged restaurants in the tours?
The pre-arranged restaurants by the land operators are usually approved by the tourism administration in terms of hygiene and quality. Usually, our programs covers the daily breakfasts in the hotels and lunches during the tours because of the reason of time-and money-saving. If you select your own restaurants during the tours, you might loose the chance to get together with your guide to continue the programs afterwards. Ideally, you may have your own arranged meal for dinners. But, when the itinerary goes to remote areas not in the metros, like Dali, Li Jiang in Yunnan Province, take the pre-arranged meals is a wise way.
Is it safe to keep the films in the luggage through the X-ray check?
Because the new technology is adopted by the airports for the safety check of the passengers by air, those high speed films like 400 might be damaged by repeated X-check. Take them out of your luggage before the luggage goes through the check.
What shall I know about taxi in China?
Taxi in China, just like other countries', charges by meter. If you still are not sure the for the accuracy of the meter, ask someone, for instance, the bell boys of the hotel who might know about your destination.
How shall I tip in China?
You don't have to tip the waiter / waitress in restaurants because the restaurant usually charges 10% over the bill; you don't have to tip the taxi driver but "keep the change" for the left-over of the payment is always welcomed. You don't have to leave tips on the table in the hotel room before you are out for sightseeing. You DO need to tip the guide(s) and driver(s) when you take a tour no matter what kind package. Usually $2 per person pre day.
Can I bring weapons in and out of China?
Positively NO. China is a country with very tough rules on weapons. Any forms of weapons; fire arms, knives and explosive, as well as tear gas are prohibited in and out of the country. If you have bought a knife as a souvenir, remember to keep the receipt from the gift shops, and lock it in the checked luggage throughout the trip. China, like any other country in the world, especially since the "Reform and Opening" in the early 80s', cannot be free from crimes. Nevertheless, the safety of the foreign tourists to China is guaranteed by the government, even at the situation when the relations between the countries fall into a temporary low. Please check the latest statement of the travel tips and Announcement by the US State Department.
How to keep belongings safe while in China?
Take out the valuables with you from your luggage and leave them in the safe of the front desk; lock your luggage all the time in the hotel room when you are out and check-in en route from one place to another. Hold you hand-bags in the front when you are walking through a crowds. Always ask someone you know to keep eyes on your belongings while you are temporarily absent from it. Ask your guide about his / her advice about the safety after you arrive in an un-familiar city.
Do I have to buy travel insurance?
You are automatically entitled with an insurance if you purchase a tour program from us. However, you are still encouraged to purchase additional insurance because the insurance provided is only for traveling within China, and limited to the terms and conditions of the land operators.
How can I make purchase from vendors?
"Shopping around" is always the right advice. Look at the tag price and ask the current rate. Usually the tag prices are bargain starting prices. If, however, you are still not sure that you have the right price, look at the customers around you who are purchasing the same products.