FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: This is my first trip to China, which tour do you think I should take?

A: You should consider this from two aspects, time and money. If you don't have enough time, the Standard Tour and The Three Gorges Cruise Tour are the best, as they cover the most interesting places in China and need only about 10-12 days. The River Cruise Tour is very attractive because of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, where you can really relax on the cruise ship while enjoying the picturesque natural sights and historical relics, and you will find it quite worthwhile. If you prefer to spend more money on your tour, you can stay at the most deluxe hotels (top five-star hotels), otherwise you can choose four-star. Of course, either way you will still experience the same travel services with high quality.

Q: I'll go to China with my wife and child, can we share one room?

A: Yes, you can. We will arrange one extra bed in your room for your child, and you'll charge it as an extra bed instead of a single room. If you don't need the extra bed, no extra charge.

Q: Is a Chinese Visa needed to travel in China, and how can I get it?

A: Yes, a Chinese Visa is required for people of foreign nationalities who travel to China.

Q: Is travel insurance necessary?

A: Yes. Please check your medical and accident insurance policies with your insurance agent. We strongly urge every client to purchase travelers' insurance.

Q: What to pack for my trip to China?

A: We strongly suggest you PACK LIGHT and bring casual clothes. Laundry service is available in hotels with reasonable charges. Plastic bags are convenient for separating laundry or wet clothes in suitcases.

Q: What is the baggage allowance?

A: Baggage allowance differs between International and China domestic flights; and varies between carriers. In general, trans-pacific flights allow two pieces of check-in luggage per person. For China domestic flights, only one piece of check-in luggage (no more than 44 pounds or 20 kg) is allowed. One standard carry-on is allowed per person for both international and China domestic flights. We recommend that you pack a duffel 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, a fee may be imposed for extra piece of excessive weight. All baggage should be locked while traveling.

Q: Can I drink the tap water in China?

A: No. You can use the tap water to brush your teeth. We recommend that you drink only bottled water or boiled water. Bottled water is available at hotels and local stores.

Q: What sort of bathrooms can I expect?

A: Staying in the 4 or 5 star hotels, you will have well-equipped bathrooms including towels, toilet paper, slippers, soap, hair shampoo and condition, teeth brush and tooth paste and hair dryer. Bathrooms will be cleaned every day and every item will be changed or replaced.  When you are out sightseeing, you may occasionally have to use Chinese toilets (squatters).

Q: Are the local restaurants good to eat in? Is the food cooked safely?

A: Please get the restaurant guide from the hotels or ask your guide.

Q: Is it safe to wander around the cities by ourselves or do we need a guide all the time?? Is there crime or a concern about being robbed?

A: It is comparatively safe to walk around at night in China. You should be careful your purse or wallet when you are walking alone due to thieves. Purses or bags should be put in front of you when you have meals in the restaurant rather than hanging at the back of the chairs. Crime or being robbed is rare in most big cities. Policemen patrol on regular basis.

Q: Will my cell phone work if I bring it?

A: You cannot use your cell unless it is 3-channel system. You may get a card to phone with your cell.  GSM cell phones are used, so you may be able to get a different SIM card that works.

Q: If I become ill, are the hospitals good?

A: Chinese hospitals are very good and efficient. You don’t need to wait and make an appointment in advance. We have hospitals for Chinese people and also for westerners. There is a difference in price. Hospitals for westerners have a better environment and faster service than the Chinese hospitals. Staff can speak English in hospital for westerners, but staff can not speak English in Chinese hospitals. You will need an interpreter to go with you if you want to go to Chinese hospitals. In general, both are good for treatment if you get sick.

COMMUNICATIONS

International phone calls can be made direct from hotel rooms. Long distance phone calls will be charged to your room. All hotels have Business Centers handling fax transmission and telex or cable services.

Hotel front desks provide convenient postal services to travelers. Most of them have mailboxes and sell stamps and postcards.

Most hotels are equipped with satellite receivers and can provide a range of foreign TV entertainment and news channels including CNN.

HOTEL ACCOMMODATION

China tourism authorities adopt international standards to classify all hotels in China. Aside from guest rooms, a four-star hotel usually has several restaurants serving Asian and western cuisines, a swimming pool, full-service business center, gymnasium/health club, shopping arcade, Karaoke bar, tennis courts, clinic, banking and postal service, beauty salon, etc. Many international hotel chains also have properties in China.

LANGUAGE

All Chinese people speak Putonghua (Mandarin), the national language based on the Beijing Dialect. Many students and young people are studying English or other foreign languages. Visitors might be approached for impromptu lesson practice. Tourist hotels employ staff fluent in English and other languages, who can write down addresses or instructions in Chinese for taxi drivers or others. All major streets in cities are signposted in Pinyin Chinese system of romanization which makes it easy to get around with the help of a map.

MONEY

The name of Chinese currency is Renminbi (RMB) or Yuan (dollar). Banknotes are in 100 Yuan, 50 Yuan, 10 Yuan, 5 Yuan, 2 Yuan and 1 Yuan. Two new banknotes, 200 Yuan and 20 Yuan, are being introduced into circulation. There are also coins for smaller denominations such as 10 Fen (cent), 20 Fen, 50 Fen and 1 Yuan. Foreign currency in cash and travelers cheques can be exchanged in all major hotels and banks. Major credit cards of the world are also acceptable at tourist hotels and Friendship Stores.

TIME

All of China observes only one time zone, Beijing Time, or GMT + 8. When it is 12 noon in China, it is 6 PM in Hawaii and Anchorage, 8 PM in Vancouver and Los Angeles, 9 PM in Denver, 10 PM in Chicago and 11 PM in Toronto, Montreal and New York, all in the previous day.

WORKING HOURS

Shops are open seven days a week, from 8 or 9 AM till 7 or 8 PM. Restaurants in hotels have longer opening hours. Most people in China work 5 days a week. Saturday and Sunday are statutory holidays. The longest and most important public holiday is the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). which usually falls in late January or early February. The Spring Festival lasts 4 to 7 days.

TRANSPORTATION

Taxis are plentiful in all major cities and can be found at airports, train stations, hotels, major department stores and restaurants. Taxis can also be flagged on the street. In smaller cities you can arrange for a taxi through the hotel in which you are staying. Few cabbies speak English so you should have your destination written in Chinese. China domestic air and train tickets can be arranged at most hotels.

CLIMATE AND CLOTHING

China's climate ranges from year-round tropical heat in Hainan to Siberian conditions in the far north and classic desert weather in the far west. Clothing is usually dictated by the weather. In winter it is a good idea to wear layers of garments so as to be able to strip down when necessary. In warm weather clothing should be casual and designed for comfort.

BEIJING

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Fahrenheit

28

32

40

60

75

78

80

76

68

55

40

36

Celsius

-2

0

4

15

24

25

26

24

20

13

4

2

SHANGHAI

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Fahrenheit

40

42

50

65

72

80

82

80

75

62

50

42

Celsius

4

5

10

18

22

26

27

26

24

16

10

5

GUANGZHOU

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Fahrenheit

58

60

69

71

80

83

83

81

78

70

60

57

Celsius

14

15

20

21

26

28

28

27

25

21

15

14

XIAN

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Fahrenheit

32

38

50

56

72

80

78

76

60

52

40

30

Celsius

0

3

10

13

22

26

25

24

15

11

4

-1

KUNMING

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Fahrenheit

50

52

58

65

68

68

70

67

65

62

55

50

Celsius

10

11

14

18

20

20

21

19

18

16

13

10

LHASA

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Fahrenheit

29

34

41

46

54

60

61

60

57

48

39

32

Celsius

1

1

5

8

12

15

16

15

14

9

4

0

CHONGQUING

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Celsius

5.5

7.2

11.5

16.5

21

24

25

25

21

16.9

11.9

7.1

WUHAN

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Celsius

3.3

5

9.9

16.2

21.6

26

29

28

23

17.6

11.2

5.5

HANGZHOU

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Celsius

2.1

3.7

8.5

14.8

20.2

24

28

28

23

16.9

10.4

4.1

SUZHOU

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Celsius

2.1

3.7

8.5

14.8

20.2

24

28

28

23

16.9

10.4

4.1

WUXI

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Celsius

2.1

3.7

8.5

14.8

20.2

24

28

28

23

16.9

10.4

4.1

NANJING

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Celsius

2.1

3.7

8.5

14.8

20.2

24

28

28

23

16.9

10.4

4.1

GUILIN

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Fahrenheit

47

48

56

65

74

79

83

82

78

69

59

50

Celsius

8

9

13

18

23

26

28

27

25

20

15

10

HONG KONG

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Celsius

15.8

15.9

18.5

22.1

25.9

28

29

28

28

25.2

21.4

18

Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions!

Bowen Travel Ltd. - Travel Tours of China