Travel and tour tips for China
China is a large country at a size of 9,596,960 sq km. China was only partially open to the world from 1980 onwards & has been a communist country for many decades. Although there is much progress in the travel industry & infrastructure of China, there remain areas that want to be improved before it can match the level that most tourist would need. However, much of the fun remain that it is different from the rest of the world. China will be the host nation for the Olympics in Year 2008. Travel facilities & infrastructure will be improving quickly as we approach Year 2008.
Below are some travel tips to make your travel in China less hard: China is rich in culture & history. Visit the 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's so much to do & see in China! Entry Visa China need entry visa from most countries. Apply at the Chinese consulate or through your travel agent before travelling to China. Climate very diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north. Be prepared with the right seasonal clothing.
Foreign Exchange The unit of money is known as Renmembi(RMB) or Yuan. Get some Chinese Yuan in your local country before travelling. When in China, exchange foreign money for local money in the banks or at the hotel. Banks tend to give slightly better rates than hotels. Take note that some banks close for a noon siesta between 12-2pm. Payment facilities Most better class hotels & shopping centres take Credit Card or Travellers cheques. Smaller hotels & shops take money only. twice out of the bigger cities, credit card & ATM cards tend to be impossible to utilize. money is still king in Chinese business & trade. Understanding of English Counterfeit notes are common in China.
Check carefully before accepting alter, especially if it consists mostly 100RMB notes. You can feel a texture difference where counterfeit notes is concerned. Most signboards & notices will over both English & Chinese. However, be aware that some translations can be so notorious that one can understand what was it is original Chinese purpose. Most civil servants, custom officials, police, hotel staff & men in the street do not speak English or at best a smattering of English. Most young people can understand basic English if you speak slowly. Do not expect hotels or shops to understand English. Only the big hotels will have staff that will understand English. 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 & Xian.
These tourist cities also has a lot of touts in the streets touting tourist from money exchange to jewelleries to female companionships. Avoid at all cost! Domestic Travel Bus, train, ferries & domestic flights are well developed. Avoid the crowd at the stations & book your tickets through the hotel tour desk or the nearest tour agent. Prices are likely to be competitive & tickets will be delivered to your hotel room. Again, avoid ticket touts who approach you in the streets. Local buses are cheap (US$0.10 or YS$0.20) & you may want to try out. Taxis are convenient & are available at all hours. Starting fares differ from each city & may be as cheap as US$0.
70 in Weihai & US$1.50 in Shenzhen. Avoid travel in China during peak holiday seasons or book tickets well ahead. Local Hotels there's many web-sites selling China hotel rooms on the web. You can also check out the travel counters which are available in most train, bus stations as well as airport. there is a nice choice of hotels in China ranging from one star to the most luxurious 6 stars. Most of the time, the rooms are safe & tidy & in my opinion, cheap does not mean bad. Book ahead if travelling in peak seasons. Peak Tourist Seasons May Day: First one weeks of May Chinese old Year: Date varies but generally late January or early February.
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