Travel Tips And General Information For Your Trip To China


Travel Documents
All passengers traveling to China: U.S. passports must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of arrival in China with at least (2) blank pages, excluding pages 22, 23 & 24 (NOTE): amendment pages do not count as visa page).                                                                                                                                                               
Visa Processing
Visa for China Americans traveling to China, whether for business or pleasure, require a visa, even for few hours, you will need a China Visa, which should be obtained in advance. You are exempt from this requirement if you travel and stay ONLY in Hong Kong or Macau.

Chinese Customs Procedures
The flowing items may be imported China by passengers staying less than 6 months without incurring customs duty: 400 (two cartons) cigarettes; two bottles (up to 75cl) of alcoholic beverage; a reasonable amount of perfumer for personal use. There are no restrictions on importing such items for personal use: medicine, camera/camcorder, personal jewelry. Chinese customs authorities may enforce strict regulation concerning temporary importation into or export from China of items such as antiquates, banned publications, some religious literature. Professional recording equipments are not allowed without an import permit.  Pornography (photographs in mainstream Western magazines maybe regarded as pornographic), radio transmitters/receivers, weapons, inflammable and explosive items, certain drugs are prohibited to be taken into China. Merchandise labeled as: cultural relic” or “antique” may not be taken out of China without an official export license. It is advised to contact the Embassy of China in Washington or one of the Chinas consulates in the United State for specific information regarding customs requirements.


Upon Arrival
You will proceed through immigration and passport inspection. You will then proceed to the baggage carousel and claim your checked luggage.  Go through Customs and present your “Customs Declaration Form” which you have filled out during your flight. Continue onto the main arrival hall exit where you guide will be waiting (Holding a sign which says “ China Travel Service, USA ). You are encouraged to wear the name badge for easy identification throughout the trip especially upon arrival.


“Travel Light” is the best advice we can give you.  Baggage is at owner’s risk throughout. While traveling on domestically within China without international connecting flight, you will be allowed only 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of checked luggage. Carryon bags are restricted to one person with a combined total dimension not exceeding 45 inches.  Internationally you will have two piece of checked luggage allowance per person weighing up to 50 pounds per piece. Excess baggage charge and insurance is at the owner’s responsibility.   Hence, you might want to do your souvenir shopping around the end of your trip.                                                                          
Baggage allowance and charges are subject to change. We strongly recommend baggage issuance as China Travel Service (U.S.A.) does not assume any responsibility for loss or damage to baggage or passenger’s belongings.


We suggest that you dress casually and comfortably throughout your trip. There are no occasions where you will be required to wear formal clothing on your tour. Comfortable and reliable walking shoes are a must to enjoy the sightseeing tours. A collapsible umbrella or raincoat is also advisable although you can purchase these items in China as well.


Breakfast is served in your hotel in either Western buffet or Asian buffet style. Fine meals are included and are served in local restaurant during your day of sightseeing as specified in the itinerary. For free days of leisure, only breakfast is included. For your enjoyment and comfort, we provide a variety of Chinese meals and also Western dinner (Diamond deluxe series) is included, A fixed supply of beverages, one glass of local beer or soft drinks or mineral water is served with the meals at no charge. Additional beverages, including alcoholic beverage, are available at a modest additional charge.    


Drinking Water
Although "tap water" in China is theoretically safe by World Health Organization standards, we do not recommend you to drink it. In most modern hotels in the larger cities they operate their own "in-house" water treatment systems providing safe drinking water throughout the hotel.  Other hotels provide thermo bottles of safe drinking water.  Bottled mineral water is also available in your hotel mini-bar at an additional charge.


Standard voltage in China is 220 and wall plugs vary from city to city. Some hotels supply a plug with a 110 current adapter in the bathroom, but we suggest you to bring along your own adapters and converters for your electrical appliances.


Money Matters
You will have to change your U.S. dollars to Chinese currency for all purchases in China. Airports, hotels and many tourist facilities have a currency exchange counter where you can exchange travelers checks and/or cash at the official exchange rate, which is the same throughout China for that given day.

 Due to a black market in foreign currency we suggest that you do not exchange money with any strangers.
The currency local people use is called “ Renminbi” is often abbreviated to RMB. The basic unit is Yuan, Ten Jiao make one Yuan; ten Fen make one Jiao. Thus 100 Fen make one Yuan

If traveling to Hong Kong please be aware that they are still using Hong Kong Dollars, they do not use Chinese Renminbi.

Travelers Check
Traveler checks are recommended as the safest and most convenient way to carry your funds. Beside the advantage of safety, traveler checks are useful to carry in China because the exchange rate is actually more favorable than what you get for cash. Check from most of the world’s leading banks and issuing agencies are now acceptable in China- stick to the major companies such as Thomas Cook, American Express and Citibank and you will be OK. However it is only acceptable in the bank instead of shopping centers.                                                                                                                                                                       

ATMs / Credit Card
At the present time, ATMs that work with foreign currency are hardly found out.  Credit cards are accepted in major cities and tourist hotels and stores. International hotels, department stores and shops frequented by foreign tourists generally accept them. Cash advance by credit card is not common and is only possible at a few assigned banks.


Local Transportation / Getting Around
Most major sites are included in your sightseeing program and transportation is provided in an air-conditioned vehicle. If you wish to do some sightseeing or travel to some place on your own, you will find taxis are readily available.  Fares are generally quite inexpensive and most taxis are metered.  Taxi rates can be different depending upon the 'grade" of the taxi. Taxi drivers don't necessarily speak English so be sure to get directions written out in advance in Chinese. Hotel staff and local guides will be happy to help.


Tips for tour guides and drivers are not included in the tour price.  We suggest $8-10 USD per day per traveler. The people expecting tips include your National Guide (N/G will be assigned for group size over 15), local Guides and Drivers, Bellboys and Luggage van driver. Tips for Yangtze River Cruise are additional and will be paid onboard. Tips to restaurant and hotel waiters are not expected.  Chambermaids and porters should also be tipped when appropriate and is the same as going on any trip worldwide. If you are in a hotel bar, tipping is customary. 


 Your tour guide might not be an expert on gemstones, porcelain, jade, paintings, etc., so if you intend to purchase items of this nature, please do some research before departing and have an idea of what you are looking for as well as the price you are prepared to pay.  In addition, please carefully check the quality of the products, and always ask for a receipt with product arrow WE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING REFUNDS.


Some public health departments recommend a long list of inoculations, while China, Hong Kong and the U.S. government do not require inoculations for travel within China.  Currently, vaccinations are not required for your trip with the exception of anyone traveling from or via infected area. As health requirements change without notice, we recommend you consult your personal physician or public health service for the update requirement or any recommended inoculations prior to your trip. In general, tours are quite active and require a good deal of walking. Traveling into Tibet involves of quite high altitude and with extreme temperature fluctuation. Traveler requiring special assistance must be accompanied by an adult travel companion who will be responsible for such assistance and China Travel Service (U.S.A) is under no obligation whatsoever to provide any special assistance during the trip. Please inform us prior to the time of reservation for any physical disability or medical condition which may require any special assistance during the trip.


Local / Emergency Contacts   
A completed contact list of China Travel Service (U.S.A.), Inc branch offices are listed in your final itinerary for your easy access to communicate with our local representatives.  24 hours emergency contact is also available for assistance after office hour in the event of flight delays, irregularities or other occurrences may incurred beyond its control due to unforeseen circumstances during the trip. 


China is approximately at the same latitude as the United States and enjoys the same seasons during the same time of the year. 

Average Daily Temperature in Asian Cities


Beijing 15/34 19/39 30/52 45/67 55/79 64/86 70/87 68/85 57/78 45/66 31/50 19/37
Chengdu 36/49 39/52 46/61 54/70 63/78 68/82 71/85 70/85 65/77 58/69 48/60 39/51
Chongqing 42/49 44/52 51/62 59/72 66/78 70/82 76/90 76/91 68/79 61/70 52/60 45/51
Guilin 41/53 43/54 50/62 60/72 68/81 73/86 76/91 75/91 71/87 63/78 53/68 44/58
Hong Kong 57/65 57/65 62/70 69/77 75/83 79/86 80/88 79/88 78/86 74/81 66/75 60/68
Kunming 34/59 37/62 41/68 48/74 57/76 61/74 62/75 60/75 57/72 52/68 44/63 36/59
Lhasa 13/44 19/48 26/53 33/60 41/66 48/72 50/71 48/70 45/67 34/61 23/52 15/45
Shanghai 32/45 34/47 41/54 51/65 60/74 68/81 76/88 76/88 68/81 58/72 47/62 36/51
Xian 24/40 28/45 37/57 48/68 56/78 65/88 70/89 69/88 59/76 49/66 37/53 26/43
Bangkok 69/89 73/90 76/92 79/94 78/93 77/91 77/90 76/90 76/90 75/89 73/88 69/88
Chiang Mai 57/84 60/90 66/94 72/97 74/93 75/90 74/89 74/88 73/88 71/88 66/85 59/82
Phuket 75/90 75/91 76/92 77/92 77/90 77/89 76/89 76/89 75/88 75/88 75/88 75/88
Hanoi 56/66 59/67 64/73 70/80 75/88 78/90 79/91 78/89 76/87 71/83 65/77 59/71
Ho Chi Minh City 70/88 72/91 75/93 78/94 77/93 76/90 75/89 75/89 75/88 75/88 73/87 70/87
Siem Reap 67/89 69/91 79/94 77/95 77/95 76/92 76/90 77/89 76/90 75/88 72/87 68/87

We hope you have a wonderful trip and thank you for choosing China Travel Service (U.S.A.) Inc. for your travel arrangements!