All visitors travelling to China require a current passport which has at least 6 months..Travel Health
Before you enter China make sure you organize travel insurance and declare any existing..Local Currency
The official currency of China is the renminbi (abbreviated form RMB) and its base unit..Weather
China is a large country and its weather ranges from extreme heat to the bitter cold...Local Customs
In China tipping is not necessary and is certainly not expected. Taxi drivers and small..Languages
Standard Mandarin is the official language of China with many regions, especially the..Transport Options
Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai are China’s main international airports and there are..Travel Tips
One thing you must try is Chinese massage. It is available all over China for a very..Local Food
There’s an enormous variety of food in China and you should relax your inhibitions and..Local Timezones
Although China spans over 4000 miles, there is one standard timezone (GMT + 8 hrs) which..Dutyfree Limits
The following items may be imported into China by passengers staying less than six..
Standard Mandarin is the official language of China with many regions, especially the southeast and the south of the country having their own dialect. All dialects are tonal and pronunciations vary widely with often a liberal dose of slang and terminology. Other dialects include Wu, Cantonese, Minnan and Mindong. Most Chinese speak Mandarin as well as their own local dialect. It would be helpful to learn a few simple words of Mandarin before you go to China as any attempt is appreciated with the locals. Written Chinese uses the same characters and meanings in all parts of the country.
Most Chinese are taught English at school however the emphasis is on written grammar rather than spoken English resulting in few who are able to participate in a conversation. There is the exception for those who have studied English at university level who generally have a very good standard of English. When conversing it is usually helpful to simplify your English without sounding condescending. There are more people who can communicate to foreigners in English in major cities than in smaller towns. In rural areas English is very rarely spoken.
China has the most Internet users in the World with Internet cafes abundant throughout the country. It is cheap to use but most Internet cafes will require you to show identification and usually only provide simple access. Burning to CDs is expensive and difficult to find however simple business services such as printing, fax and photocopying can be provided by most small shops. Some hotels provide access from your room with others providing a wireless service; quite a few cafes also provide free wireless Internet service. Be aware that public computers are not secure so do not use passwords or other private banking details on them. You may find some websites are blocked; this is because the Chinese government has implemented a policy of Internet censorship. The majority of blocked sites are those involving pornography and politics.
The Chinese Postal Service is generally reliable and efficient but to ensure delivery it is helpful for incoming mail to have the address written in Chinese. Also do not seal outgoing packages as they will not send them without checking the contents thoroughly and most Post Offices will refuse to send CDs and DVDs.
International fax services are available at most large hotels for a low fee however telephone services are often more difficult. It will require a calling card to make international calls. These are quite cheap and can be bought locally . Look for IP Telephone Cards which for around 100 Yuan. For International direct dialling the prefix for calls into China is 00 and for overseas calls you would dial 00-country code- area code- tel number. Cellular or mobile phones offer very good service in China however due to the different network service systems, most foreign- bought mobile phones can’t be used, so it is suggested to purchase a phone once you’re in China.
Beijing is widely considered one of the world’s great cities. It has a population of approximately 22,000,000 and is..Shanghai Information
Shanghai of the past may conjure up images of narrow back alleys and dim smokey opium dens, speeding rickshaws and..Xian Information
Xi'an is like the dignified old man who has lived on your street since you were a kid. He's been there forever, always..INDEX OF ALL LOCATIONS