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..
In China tipping is not necessary and is certainly not expected. Taxi drivers and small eateries do not require tips and sometimes it’s even considered as an inappropriate gesture. The rare exceptions to this rule are in upscale businesses where you are rendered some type of service.
It is considered polite when presenting a business card or other important pieces of paper, to hand it with both hands at the same time with the thumbs and index fingers holding either side. This rule applies also when receiving one and one should spend a moment to examine it.
If you smoke it is considered polite to offer a cigarette to those you meet if they are of adult age. This rule applies exclusively to men however in venues such as tea houses, bars or clubs it is also appropriate to offer it to women.
When toasting make sure you look directly in the eyes of those you toast and always remember even though the Chinese are great drinkers, public drunkenness is not accepted. Try to avoid discussing topics about politics and history as many Chinese hold to their beliefs rigidly and rarely have an open mind. Topics about religion are easier to discuss.
When catering for Chinese friends always order too much food otherwise you will appear cheap and stingy, and when you are invited to a meal make sure that you tell your hosts when you are full otherwise they will continue to order food. If you find bones in your food it is important to spit them directly on the table or small plate, never use your fingers, and under no circumstances leave your chopsticks in your rice, this is considered taboo. Also don’t react if someone spits on the floor of the restaurant as this happens everywhere in China and is the accepted way.
It is considered rude to talk loudly and one must be prepared as a traveller to attract long stares from many of the Chinese – to them westerners look and dress quite differently. Be polite when dealing with errors or mistakes as saving face is incredibly important to the Chinese. Failing to do so could lead to intense humiliation and embarrassment for the Chinese.
Although there are no laws against homosexuality the government does not recognize same-sex relationships and it is still considered taboo. Regardless of this violence against gays and lesbians is quite rare.
Bartering is normal with locals engaging in bartering behaviour that some travellers may take offense to, however negotiations usually remain calm. As a tourist every vendor will try to make you overpay so start at 15% of the calling price and barter from there. Be careful not to start too low as this will likely cause the owner to ignore you and think that you are not worth their time. If you can arrange a local person to do the buying for you vendors charge the lowest price to people who speak their dialect.
Chinese religion is primarily composed of Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Most Chinese people have a combination of beliefs and practices from these four traditions and it is very rare for only one to be practiced to the exclusion of the others.
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