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FAR EAST
 
         
 
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CHINA           Far East Enquiry Form
   
     
 
                                                           

China, the land of the dragon, is forever linked to its ancient civilization and culture. Spectacular world treasures such as the Great Wall of China, The Forbidden Palace, Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, amongst others, epitomize the greatness of China’s rich and lavish history.

Not to be outdone, modern China offers spectacular architecture and towering skylines amidst the traditional style, culture, exquisite cuisine and friendliness offered in the ‘old style’. The panda, a native to China and well know globally, epitomizes all that is Chinese.

China holiday
                                                           
China holiday
 

WEATHER    Back to top

China covers extensive territory and has a complex topography; therefore the weather differs from region to region. The south east, below the Nanling Mountains, tends to be very wet with high temperatures all year round. In the central Yangtze and Huaihe river valleys there are four distinct seasons with very hot summers and extremely cold winters, and rain all year round. The dry north experiences a short but sunny summer, with long bitterly cold winters. The coast is humid and experiences monsoons during summer.

Beijing

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

4

5

8

18

33

78

224

170

58

18

9

3

Rainfall (inches)

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.7

1.3

3.1

8.8

6.7

2.3

0.7

0.4

0.1

Min Temp (°C)

-10

-7

-0.8

7

13

18

21

20

14

7

-0.7

-3

Max Temp (°C)

1

4

11

20

26

31

31

30

26

20

10

3

Min Temp (°F)

15

19

31

44

56

65

71

69

58

44

31

19

Max Temp (°F)

34

40

52

68

80

87

88

86

79

67

50

38



Shanghai

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

47

61

84

95

104

174

145

137

138

69

52

37

Rainfall (inches)

1.8

2.4

3.3

3.7

4.1

6.8

5.7

5.4

5.4

2.7

2.1

1.5

Min Temp (°C)

0

1

5

10

15

20

24

24

20

14

8

2

Max Temp (°C)

8

9

13

19

24

28

32

32

28

23

17

11

Min Temp (°F)

32

34

40

50

59

68

75

75

68

57

46

36

Max Temp (°F)

46

48

55

66

76

82

90

90

82

73

62

51



Xi’an

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Rainfall (mm)

7

11

25

52

63

52

99

72

98

62

32

7

Rainfall (inches)

0.3

0.4

1

2

2.5

2

3.9

2.8

3.9

2.4

1.3

0.3

Avg Temp (°C)

-1

2

8

14

19

25

27

26

19

14

7

1

Avg Temp (°F)

30

36

46

57

66

77

81

79

66

57

45

34

                                                           

GOOD TO KNOW    Back to top

Approximation of what things cost?

  • Glass of wine                          US$ 3 – 4
  • Beer                                      US$ 1 – 2
  • Bottle of 1litre water                US$ 1.50
  • McDonalds burger                   US$ 1.50 – 2.50
  • Set Menu                               US$ 5 – 8
  • Taxi (1st 3km)                          US$ 1.50 – 2.50

Time: Local time is GMT +8.

Electricity: Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Plug types vary but the two- narrow-pin types are most common. Adapters are generally required.

Money: The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can be exchanged only within China's borders. Traveller’s cheques, preferably in US Dollars and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance are limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities.

Approximate Currency Exchange Rates

CNY 1.00 =

USD 0.12

GBP 0.07

CAD 0.14

AUD 0.17

ZAR 0.89

EUR 0.10

NZD 0.20

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only. Please go to our Currency Converter for the latest rates.

                                                           

Language: The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are hundreds of local dialects.

Passport/Visa Note: Visa applications should be made at least one month prior to departure for China. Passports must be valid for at least six months for a single or double entry visa and at least nine months for a multiple entry visa. Visas are granted only for the points of entry indicated in the passport. All documents necessary for further travel and sufficient funds to cover intended period of stay are required. Period of validity is stated on visas, and care should be taken when reading dates on visas for China (People's Rep.) as they are written in year/month/day format.

Health: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas. There is a risk of malaria throughout the low-lying areas of the country, and it is recommended that travellers to China seek medical advice before departure. A total of 18 human cases of avian influenza ('bird flu') have been reported from China since November 2005 (four from Anhui Province, three each from Hunan and Sichuan Provinces, two from Fujian Province, one from Shanghai, and one each from Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Hubie, and Liaoning Provinces). Twelve of the cases were fatal. Travellers are unlikely to be affected by bird flu, but live animal markets and places where contact with live poultry is possible should be avoided. All poultry and egg dishes should also be thoroughly cooked. Outbreaks of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) are officially over, but travellers are warned to remain vigilant for this viral disease. The last case occurred in April 2004. Altitude sickness can occur in the mountainous regions of Tibet, Qinghai, parts of Xinjiang, and western Sichuan. Outside city centres, visitors should only drink bottled water. Western-style medical centres with international staff are available in the major cities and usually accept credit cards. Health insurance is recommended.

China holiday
China holiday


Tipping: Tipping is not officially recognised, although the practice is becoming more common among travel guides, top-end restaurants, tour bus drivers and hotel staff. Tipping is not expected in most restaurants and hotels. Large hotels and restaurants often include a service charge in their bills, usually of about 10%.

Safety: China is generally safe, and there has been no evidence of a threat from global terrorism. Occasional protest-related bombings have occurred but these are not directed at foreigners and tend to be isolated incidents. Serious crime against foreigners is rare but does occur, particularly in isolated or sparsely populated areas. There has been an increase in the number of muggings and robberies at Beijing International Airport and the Jianguomenwai area of Beijing, as well as in Shenzen, bordering Hong Kong. If trekking alone, including following parts of the Great Wall, it is advisable to leave an itinerary and expected time of return with a third party. Travellers should take extra care in street markets and at tourist sites, which attract thieves and pickpockets, and around the popular Expat bar areas at night where lone foreigners have recently been attacked. Travellers should be cautious about using pedicabs in Beijing, as tourists have been mugged and demands for money made by pedicab drivers; women in particular have been targeted. Seasonal heavy rains and typhoons cause hundreds of deaths in China each year, such as Tropical storm Bilis in July 2006, which caused extensive flooding and landslides, killing more than 178 people.

Customs: The Chinese have three names, the first of which is their surname, or family name. As a result visitors should be prepared for hotels mistakenly reserving rooms under their first names. For clarity surnames may be underlined. When addressing Chinese people the surname should come first and official titles should be used. Chinese handshakes last longer than those in western countries, and in conversation it is customary to stand close together. Visitors can find some Chinese are very much regimented. Politeness in Western terms is foreign to them, and they rarely bother with pleasantries. Avoid ever having to use a public toilet.

Business: When meeting people for the first time it is normal to shake hands and say "ni hao", which means "how are you". The Chinese are strict timekeepers and being late for a meeting is considered rude. Business cards are exchanged at the start of meetings in China and it is customary to have one side printed in Chinese and one in English. When giving or receiving business cards, or a gift, it is customary to hold it with both hands. During a meal or reception your host is likely to offer a toast; you may be expected to offer him one in return. Business hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. A five-day week is more normal in larger cities. Workers take their lunch break between 12pm and 2pm and it is not unusual to find offices empty during this time.

Communications: The international access code for China is +86. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Telephone communication within China is good and improving all the time. International Direct Dialling is available in most cities. Phone cards are widely available and calls can be made from post offices and hotels; phone booths on the streets are usually for local calls only. In hotels, local calls are generally free or will be charged only a nominal fee. Mobile phone networks are very advanced. Operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most non-North American international operators. Internet cafes are available in most main towns.

Duty Free: Travellers to China do not need to pay customs duty on 400 cigarettes (600 cigarettes if stay exceeds six months); two bottles of alcoholic beverages (not more than 0,75 litres per bottle), or four bottles if staying longer than six months. Perfume for personal use is allowed. Prohibited goods include arms and ammunition or printed material that conflicts with the public order or moral standards of the country. Also prohibited are radio transmitters and receivers, exposed and undeveloped film and fresh produce. Strict regulations apply to the import or export of antiquities, banned publications, and religious literature. All valuables must be declared on the forms provided.

                                                           
CONTACT US

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