China Tour

If you want to travel, China provides a lot of opportunities!

Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance do I need to book a tour?
China-Explorer suggests booking as far in advance as possible to ensure the best air and hotel availability. Full payment is required immediate if reservation made between 30 to 15 days before departure.

Can I call and ask questions before I make a reservation?
China-Explorer will be happy to answer any question you may have.

What months in China are considered High season, Shoulder Season and low Season?
Generally speaking, the High Season refers to May, September and October; the Shoulder Season refers to March, April, June, July, August and November; the Low Season refers to January, February, and December.
In addition, different cities, hotels and cruises have exact concept of the High Season, the Shoulder Season and the Low Season respectively according to their own practices.

What is China's time zone?
All of China observes Beijing Time, GMT+8. China doesn't observe day-light saving time in the summer as some countries do.

What days are the workdays in China?
Five working days in a week is the official government regulation. Working hours are 8 hours a day, normally from 09:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. with two and a half hours break for lunch. All the government offices, institutions, schools, hospitals and other units do not work on Saturdays and Sundays, except some factories whose "weekends" may be within the week to avoid the electricity high peak. The emergency clinic is open when the hospital is closed. Shops are open everyday, normally from 08:30 a.m. to 09:00 p.m.

What are the major state festivals and holidays in China?
1) China Spring Festival (China's New Year)-One week-ten days long / exact dates, refer to the Lunar Calendar , usually between the end of Jan. to the beginning of Feb.
2) International Labour's Day-One week, starting from 30th Apr-6th May.
3) National Day-01-8th Oct (01, Oct, 1949 was the day when new China announced its' founding of People's Republic of China).
These are the major ones, usually round up holidays to 10 days for almost all China.

What do I need for international travel?
You will need a valid passport, which has at least 6 months validity from departure date, and a visa to China.

What should I pack for my trip to China?
The rule is to pack lightly, and bring casual clothes. A sturdy, comfortable pair of walking shoes is a necessity. A sports coat and a nice shirt for man, and one or two dresses or pantsuits for women will suit the most formal occasions to be encountered in China. Travelers should bring shirts, sweaters and jackets that can be worn in layers to suit a range of climates. Shorts (for both men and women) are fine for summer days though not recommended when visiting religious shrines. Remember, dress for Comfort, not for Style.
Sunscreen lotion and sunglasses, a light raincoat or an umbrella is needed. Camera & film, extra batteries and a charger be sure to pack.

Why should I bring a converter?
Throughout China (including Hong Kong), 220 volt/50 cycles is used. Appliances designed to operate at 110 volts will need a Converter, although some 4 & five-star hotels are wired for use of 110-volt electrical appliances. Two-phase and three-phase sockets are commonly used in hotels. You may also need an adapter plug in order to use your electrical appliances. If you forget it, try to ask the room service.

Where do I change money for RMB in China?
You can change money at banks, airports and major hotels. The rate is the same everywhere. China currency is Renminbi, abbreviated and commonly used as RMB. The basic RMB unit is the yuan, and subsidiary units are the jiao and fen. 10 jiao equal a yuan; 10 fen equal a jiao.

Can credit card be used in China?
Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and state-run shops in major cities. Accepted cards include Visa, Master Card, and American Express

May I take Chinese currency to China for my convenience? Is it illegal to import or export Chinese currency?
General you need not take Chinese currency to China since you can easily exchange you US$ into Chinese RMB in hotels and banks. However if you would like to have local currency upon your arrival in China, it is okay that you may take a volume of Chinese currency less than 6,000 RMB without declaration at the customs. You are required to declare your import of Chinese currency exceeding 6,000 RMB

How do I meet my guide upon arrival?
After you have cleared custom formalities and claimed your baggage(s), please proceed to the exit. Your guide will be waiting for you there and holding a sign with your name.

What about the Chinese tour guides?
Tour guides working for China-Explorer are highly-motivated, well-trained, licensed specialists who are proficient in English or other languages.

Do we eat Chinese food throughout the trip?
All breakfasts are western style buffet with fruits, cold and hot cereals, Chinese dim sum etc. Lunch and dinner are Chinese food. The round table dining accommodating 8-10 people provides an opportunity for quiet camaraderie.

What are the hotels in China like?
Chinese hotels offer the standard services at the international level. Tourists who have been to Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin and Xi'an note that hotels in these cities match any tourist hotels in New York, London, Paris or Sydney in services and facilities. In a recent poll, many foreign tourists rated very highly services at Chinese hotels.

Is the tap water drinkable?
Tap water is not drinkable except in some of the hotels. Usually all rooms in the hotels are equipped with thermos bottles. Hot boiled water will be offered by the hotel free of charge. Call the front desks if you need. Bottled mineral water is sold for around 3 yuan, and is widely available in stores, restaurants and street kiosks. Sometimes a bottle or two is provided free in your room by the hotel.

Can I travel to Tibet independently?
According to the Chinese official regulations, you cannot travel to Tibet independently. You have to book a tour package to Tibet through a travel agency. You need a special travel permit to enter Tibet in addition to a valid China visa. China-Explorer can arrange any tailored tour packages to Tibet for you. Please contact us for further details.

Should I make a reservation with you first, or with an airline?
You can make the international flight reservation as soon as possible if you have confirmed the final itinerary.

What is cable transfer or wire transfer? How can I do it?
All the banks in the countries deal with this kind of business. We will send our bank information to you. You only need to ask for an application form of the wire transfer and fill in it accurately according to the requirement. If you have any questions, you can ask a favor from the bank clerk.

What evidence of payment do I get from you after payment is made?
We will send you a formal confirmation through email or a receipt of the total payment by fax as soon as we receive your payment.

What guarantee do we have if we send our money to your bank by wire transfer?
We will inform you once we receive you payment by email or fax. Also we will fax you the receipt of your payment. In China every travel agent is imposed to deposit a certain amount of money to a guarantee fund at the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). So we have to serve our guests as your itinerary states. Otherwise our fund would be deducted and refunded to you if the complain meets the tourist law. Please keep the receipt your bank gives you if you wire transfer a deposit.

How about the Taxi in China?
In most cities, the taxi tends to be a small local-made car painted in either red or yellow. In large cities, there are luxurious sedans at a higher rate. Taxi brings great convenience for travelers and citizen. It'll stop when customer waves his/her hand. Standard services provided by taxi companies surely make travelers satisfied. Taxi fares vary from city to city but they are always clearly marked on the taxi window, about CNY10 for first 3km and CNY3/km for extra distance.
Most taxi drivers do not understand much English, although those in tourist cities are encouraged to learn and speak some simple English. Non-Chinese speaking visitors are advised to have their destinations written down in Chinese and show the address to the cab driver.

Can I travel through China by train?
In China, railway has been one of the most important transportation methods since 100 years ago. With the speed of 140 km/h now railway net has spread throughout China. Many people choose railway when they travel outside, because the speed is fast while the cost is comparatively low.
Classes on Chinese trains include hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper, soft sleeper and private box. Train tickets are pre-sold within 7 days before departure.
Fast expresses are operated between main cities, with few stops in between.
Hard Sleeper = 6 berth per compartment; Soft Sleeper = 4 berth per compartment;
Deluxe Soft Sleeper = 2 berth per compartment (the deluxe soft sleeper between Beijing & Shanghai equipped with private washroom)
Certain trains do not have deluxe soft sleeper, if you wish to have a private compartment on your own, simply book all 4 tickets in the compartment.

What vaccinations are required for a visit to China?
Currently, no vaccinations are required by law. We advise you to check with your doctor or clinic for the most up-to-date medical information. Those vaccinations usually recommended for a trip to China include those against Tetanus, Hepatitis, Diphtheria, Cholera,Typhoid and Malaria.

Do I need to bring my medical records?
We suggest that you bring your medical records with you when you travel. The absence of your medical records may make you disoriented when emergency occurs. The medical record should include your blood type, immunization record, allergies, medications you are currently taking (both prescribed and non- prescribed), your doctor's name, address and telephone number.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to send us an email. Our expertise, patience and willingness will make you have all satisfactory answers.
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