Home » Travel and Vacation Tips » China Travel Tips

China Travel Tips

China travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.
Info about China, Beijing (Cost of living)
Submitted by M19639
How much money do I need for life in Beijing?

Generally, Beijing is relatively cheap compared to Europe or North America. How much money you spend depends on your lifestyle, however. A rate between 5 and 10 Euro/day ... view more should be a realistic amount to calculate with. Also add in costs of any traveling, going out, or sightseeing that you might want to do.

A random list of prices in Chinese Renminbi (1 Euro = 10 RMB):
- Bus ticket: RMB 1
- Can of soda: RMB 3
- Taxi: RMB 10 (for the first 3 km) (2 RMB per additional km)
- Dinner at a Chinese restaurant for 4 people RMB 20 each
- Fast food: RMB 20
- New bicycle: RMB 120 - 400.

What are exchange rates between the Euro and USD and Chinese currency? Approximate exchange rates:
- 1 USD = 7 RMB
- 1 EUR = 10 RMB.

Note: RMB = renmin bi - The People's Currency.

Packing - Advices
Submitted by M16946
Here is some advices for your packing list:
- Print out the confirmation letter and itinerary you get from us and bring one copy with you.
- The passport with all necessary visas
- International Airline tickets
- ... view more Wallet & Credit cards & Traveler's checks
- Your medical record & First-aid kit & Medicines & Vitamins
- Clothes suitable for the season (please check the weather of your destination before you come) & Comfortable shoes
- The Dress standard for most places in China would best be described as "smart casual", if your tour involves some formal occasions, then a set of formal suits would be recommended.
- Raincoat and/or umbrella
- Hat, Sunglasses & Sunscreen, depending on the season and your destination
- Insect repellent. Especially for summer months and for travelers who is going to visit rural areas.
- If you wear glasses, we suggest you bring two pairs with you in case that you lose one pair.
- Bottled water: if you don't think you can agree with the drinks in China so fast, especially when you bring your children with you, we suggest you bring some homemade bottles of water for the previous several-day consumption.
- Address and telephone number list on a sheet.
- Converter (power adaptor) if you have one or it is necessary for you to have one.

Packing - Note
Submitted by M16946
- Try to make your check-in luggage light, because according to the regulation in China, the luggage allowance for the first class ticket holders is 40 kg (88 pounds) per person, 30kg (66pounds) per person for business ... view more class ticket holders, 20 kg (44 pounds) per person for economy class ticket holders (adults), and some of the airports are very strict.

- "Carry On" luggage for air travel in China is limited to 2 pieces for first class travelers and one piece for business and economy class travelers. The dimensions of each shall not exceed 20X40 X55cm and the total weight shall not exceed 5 kg. The carry on items in excess of the above mentioned piece, weight or dimension shall be checked-in as checked baggage according to regulations.

Beijing Travel Tips
Submitted by M19639
Money: The money used in Beijing is the Chinese RenMinBi, or RMB for short. The Chinese call it Yuan or Kuai (in Beijing). There are approximately 8 RMB to the US dollar.

Weather: Weather in Beijing comes in four ... view more seasons with two extremes. In summer it can be oppressively hot, and winter freezing cold.

Safety: On the whole, Beijing is a pretty safe place. Your greatest dangers include crossing the road and paying much more than you should for your souvenirs.

Where is Beijing: Beijing is located near the north east corner of China and is the nation's capital city. It is surprisingly far from any other cities in China which you may have heard of.

Bargaining / Haggling: Bargaining is part of the culture of Beijing and in most places, especially markets, you'd better be well prepared.

Fake Goods: Fake brand names are still rather easy to find in Beijing despite China's entry into the WTO, so be careful, unless that's what you're shopping for.

Groceries: Grocery shopping in Beijing is becoming more and more western by the day. Almost all home comforts can be found, if you have the money.

Beijing Shopping Tips 1
Submitted by M16946
Beijing is not only the No.1 tourist destination of China but also a true shopper's paradise. Beijing is full of areas that sell wonderfully unique Beijing items. Things like Peking (Beijing) Opera masks, handmade ... view more toys, Shadow Puppets, and traditional clothing are all available.

Wangfujing Street: Located near Tiananmen Square, very few visitors to Beijing fail to miss this famous shopping street. It is Beijing's hippest and most fashionable shopping area. There are many shopping malls and smaller shops located along this street. This street offers name brand fashions, jewelry, books, tea, and a number of shops that were founded hundreds of years ago.

Nanluoguxiang (South Gong and Drum Lane): Visiting Nanluoguxiang Lane is a unique experience. Many of the streets shop owners are local designers and artists. Here visitors can purchase handmade pottery, have paper cuts made to order, and purchase a custom tailored clothing. The lane has numerous cafes and the atmosphere here is one of creativity.

Liulichang Street (Glass Street): Named for the colored glazed tile factories that were located along the street, Liulichang Street became a commercial area in the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. This street offers wonderful mementos of a trip to China. The street features shops that sell calligraphy and art, jewelry, traditional hand painted fans, Chinese ornaments, and antiques both real and artificial. Many of the shops are built into the style of the Qing Dynasty.

Beijing Shopping Tips 2
Submitted by M16946
As capital of China, Beijing has been a center for commerce for centuries. Shopping in Beijing is different from shopping in Hong Kong or New York, since not only famous brand name fashions are available, but also many ... view more local products from around China that cannot be found anywhere else. There are many unique shops in Beijing that have been in operation for centuries and still offer the same high quality products that they have always offered.

Maliandao Tea Street: For anyone interested in Chinese tea, this street is an absolute must. It is the largest tea market in Beijing and offers visitors some of the finest teas from throughout China. Shops offer everything from tea, to exquisite items used in the making and enjoyment of tea. Shop owners are happy to give visitors a sample of different kinds of tea and demonstrate how it is brewed.

Dashilan Street: Famous for its ancient architecture, Dashilan Street is home to many of China's oldest brands. Many of them date from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Tongrentang Drugstore was founded by Emperor Kangxi's Imperial Doctor in the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. Its doctors still create prescriptions the way they did hundreds of years ago. The Ruifuxiang Shop has been selling silk and fabric for over a hundred years.

Panjiayuan Antique Market: A major attraction for visitors from China and across the globe, the Panjiayuan Antique Market sells something for everyone. Founded in 1992, it occupies an area of over 48,500 square meters. The market offers paintings, jewelry, jade, folk arts, books, and antiques, both real and imaginary.

Things to do in Beijing
Submitted by M16946
Beijing is a modern cosmopolitan metropolis, and a major transportation hub that welcomes visitors with gracious hospitality. It is an ancient city with all of the modern amenities a visitor could want. Visitors to ... view more Beijing inevitably feel overwhelmed and upon leaving Beijing always feel like there was so much more they did not have time to explore.

Peking (Beijing) Opera: Peking Opera is the national essence of China. With a history of about 200 years, it has been the passion of most of China. Peking Opera has become popular in Western countries because of its dazzling costumes, mysterious facial makeup and exciting martial arts. It is highly recommended to include a Peking Opera performance in your Beijing tour. The best place to appreciate Peking Opera is in Beijing's Capital Theatre.

Acrobatics: Acrobatics is a traditional Chinese performance art with a long history. The acrobatic performances are breathtaking, often humorous, and always unforgettable. Beijing has many acrobatic troupes, the most famous being the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe, which has performed throughout China and has received numerous international awards for their breathtaking feats.

Wang Fu Jing Snack Street: This snack street is full of delicious snacks that are from every part of China. The Cafes in this street are extremely popular with locals and visitors. The restaurants offer wonderful food in a romantic atmosphere. Once full, visitors can go shopping in Wang Fu Jing Shopping District. It's a good choice to go at night.

Bars: The city has innumerable bars and nightclubs in an unlimited variety of themes. It is said that any visitor to Beijing can find their perfect bar. The most recommended bar street in Beijing are San Li Tun Bar Street. "The Boat" is recommended because it is the only one bar that locates in a boat in Beijing. The atmosphere is romantic and exciting. Besides bars, visitors to Beijing can visit its many night clubs, massage parlors, tea houses, and KTV.

Beijing Tips and FAQs 1
Submitted by M16946
1. What is the weather like in Beijing and when is the best time to travel Beijing? - Beijing being located in a temperate zone is quite dry and windy. Winters can be quite cold and summer is usually hot. Spring and fall ... view more are the ideal times to travel to Beijing. The best time to travel Beijing is, generally, May, September and October. Autumn is the greatest season of Beijing. The mature time is so stirring that people cannot help out into the sunshine, finding pleasure of picking, enjoying the most natural and richest color of the season: the flaming maple leaves, the golden corns, the dark green water, and the crystal clear blue sky.

2. What should I take along with my Beijing tour? - It is recommended that you bring comfortable shoes. You will undoubtedly being doing a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must. Sunscreen is recommended, as well as carrying plenty of bottled water with you, which can be purchased in any supermarket, or hotel. If you are photography lover, do not forget your camera, film and batteries, or you will never forgive yourself.

3. What kind of vehicles is available for getting around in Beijing? - In Beijing, tourists will find many options for getting around, such as taxis, buses, minibuses, pedicabs and of course by your private driver. There are also cars and bikes for rent.

4. What are Beijing accommodations like? - There are many star rated hotels in Beijing as well as a lot of small hotels to choose from.

5. If I want to look for antiques, where will be the good place for me to go? - We suggest you to go to Panjiayuan and Liulichang. The two places will be very suitable for you.

Beijing Tips and FAQs 2
Submitted by M16946
6. What cuisine options are there in Beijing? Are there other options besides only local foods? - The cuisine available in Beijing is quite diverse. The Beijing food has an almost endless variety, and is far more ... view more delicious than anything you can find in a "Chinese" restaurant in the west. We highly suggest you try the local foods especially the Peking (Beijing) Roast Duck. We are certain you will love it. There are also many Western restaurants in Beijing as well as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway and KFC.

7. Will there be problems with the language barrier? - If you travel to Beijing with us, you do not need to worry about the language barrier. You will have a private English-speaking tour guide, and most of the staff in the star rated hotels in Beijing can speak English.

8. Where can I see the local Beijing people do the morning exercise? - There are many place even at the sides of the streets you can see the Beijing people do the morning exercise. But the best place is Temple of Heaven. In the early morning, the temple attracts thousand local residents to perform their regular routines of exercise, such as traditional Chinese music, calligraphy, Peking Opera, martial arts, or Tai Ji exercises. It is quite peaceful and entertaining to watch the people all around you. And if you feel like it, you're always welcome to join.

Beijing Local Cuisine 1
Submitted by M16946
Beijing food is famous for its diversity and style. Beijing cuisine is unique in China because foods from all parts of China can be found there, as well as a huge variety of Western foods. No other place in China has the ... view more diversity of cuisine Beijing has. Besides food from other areas, Beijing has also been developing its own style of cuisine for almost 5,000 years and come up with some amazing local Beijing foods including the world famous Peking Roast Duck.

Peking (Beijing) Roast Duck: Beijing Roast Duck (also called Peking Roast Duck) is the most famous of all of Beijing culinary dishes. With its tempting color, crispy skin, tender meat and the gorgeous appearance, Beijing Roast Duck is known as one of the best dishes in the world. A tour to Beijing is not complete without trying this delicious dish. The most famous two Beijing Roast Duck restaurants are Quanjude and Bianyifang. Each has its own method for making Beijing Roast Duck.

Quanjude roasts its ducks in an open oven. The duck is marinated in their special marinade, and hung in the oven over a wood fire, so the smoke from the fire can help flavor the meat. Date, or Pear wood is used, and it takes approximately 40 minutes for the duck to be fully roasted. Bianyifang roasts its ducks in a closed oven which uses a straw fire. Before being put into the oven, the duck is filled with soup, so that the duck is roasted on the outside, and boiled on the inside, which adds a unique flavor to the duck.

Spring Rolls (Chun Juan): Very popular in Western Chinese restaurants, Spring Rolls in the west are sad imitations of the amazing ones that are available in Beijing. The ingredients used in Beijing's Spring Rolls are almost limitless and each restaurant has its own specialty.

Beijing Local Cuisine 2
Submitted by M16946
Manhan Quanxi (Manchurian Han Imperial Feast): One of the most formal and beautiful of all Beijing cuisines is the Manchurian and Han Imperial Feast. It is a very large banquet that came from the Qing Dynasty Imperial ... view more kitchens. Because it was originally intended for the Emperor, the food was not only wonderfully delicious, but exquisite in appearance.

Many people who are fortunate to partake of this fantastic feast have difficulty eating the food because it is like destroying a beautiful work of art. The feast consists of 320 different dishes from the Manchurian and Han cultures. The meal is held for three whole days and encompasses six banquets. According to historical records from the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1735-1796), the meal consisted of "Thirty-two Delicacies", which were the more exotic dishes in the feast. It consisted partly of the Eight Mountain Delicacies, the Eight Land Delicacies, and Eight Sea Delicacies.

The Eight Mountain Delicacies consisted of camel's humps, bear's paws, living monkey's brains, ape's lips, leopard fetuses, rhinoceros tails, and deer tendons. The Eight Land Delicacies consisted of goat brains, chicken brain, duck brains, and rare birds and mushrooms. The Eight Sea Delicacies consisted of sea cucumbers, shark's fins, and bird's nests. These are but a few of the rare ingredients used in the dishes. Now many of these items come from endangered animals and are no longer allowed to be used as food.

The endangered ingredients In the Manhan Quanxi Imperial Feast has been substituted with similar ingredients. The most famous restaurant for eating the Manhan Quanxi Imperial Feast is the Fangshan Restaurant located in Beijing's Beihai Park. The restaurant was founded by former imperial chefs after The Qing Dynasty fell. They took the dishes formerly only eaten by emperors and offered them to the public.

Beijing Local Cuisine 3
Submitted by M16946
Peking (Beijing) Hot Pot (Beijing Huoguo): Another very popular dish is Peking Hot Pot. Originating in Mongolia, the dish came to Beijing when the Mongolians ruled China and made Beijing their capital during the Yuan ... view more Dynasty (1271-1368). Hot Pot is similar to fondue. A specially made brass pot is used. Charcoal is burned in a chimney and a brass bowl is mounted around the chimney. A broth is put in the bowl and the charcoal heats the broth. Meats, vegetables, and snacks are then put into the broth and cooked. Mutton is traditionally used. The mutton is cut so thin that light can be seen through it. It cooks almost instantly and is then dipped into a sauce. Diners cook the food themselves and never fail to have a wonderful time.

Snack Streets: Beijing has many snack streets that offer delicious snacks for visitors. In China snacks are called "Small Eats", which is exactly what these dishes are small dishes that are made to be conveniently eaten and carried. A very popular way to eat dinner in Beijing is for families to head out in the evening to enjoy the cool night air and take a stroll. As they stroll down the snack streets they stop at venders that catch their eye and purchase something. They continue strolling while eating their food and when it is gone, they purchase something else. This continues until everyone is full. It is a wonderful and highly recommended way to enjoy a culinary Beijing tour. Spend the evening, chatting with friends, walking along and eating. There are many snack streets in Beijing, such as Longfu Temple Snack Street, Xidan Snack Street, and Dong Hua Gate Snack Street.

Exchange money in China
Submitted by M17441
Changing Money can be done in a number of ways. Most hotels will have a foreign exchange service and will exchange cash and travelers checks. As with hotels everywhere, the exchange rate will not be the official bank ... view more rate. Most large banks will exchange money and travelers checks. It is a requirement that you produce your passport to complete the transaction. Banks will only accept foreign bank notes that are undamaged. Notes that are even slightly torn will be rejected. Travelers Checks can be a secure solution if traveling for a longer time.

Cash withdrawals from Visa and MasterCard: credit/debit card are possible at the main branches of the Bank of China in each city. A small fee is charged by the Bank and charges are also applied by the bank/credit card provider.

Bank of China ATM machines are compatible with Cirrus and Pulse so cash withdrawals are easy to complete using these machines. Only use ATM's that display the Visa and MasterCard symbols. An English menu will appear when you insert your card. The exchange rate that is applicable through ATM's is good and this can be a very convenient way to organize your money. Locations for ATM's are available from your card issuer. Limits for withdrawals on each transaction differ but US$250 per transaction is common.

China Airline Buggage Allowance
Submitted by M17441
Carry-on baggage: The maximum Carry-on baggage allowance for each economy class passenger is 5kg. First class passengers can have 2 pieces of carry on luggage. All other passengers can carry on only one piece. The size ... view more may not exceed 20x40x55cm. Carry on baggage in excess of the limit is subject to an excess baggage fee and must be carried as checked baggage.

Check-in Baggage: Adults and children are entitled to a free checked baggage allowance of 40kg, for first class, 30kg, for business class, and 20kg, for economy class while traveling on domestic airlines in China. No free baggage allowance is granted to infants. Groups traveling together are able to combine their baggage allowance if they check in together.

Prohibited Items: The following items are prohibited and cannot be carried in checked or carry on luggage: Flammable, explosive, corrosive, poisonous, radioactive, polymerizable and magnetized materials. Passengers are forbidden to carry arms, sharp or lethal weapons during flight. Security inspection Passengers and their baggage (including checked and carry on baggage) are subject to the security inspection before boarding the aircraft.

Note: Bottles, including bottle of alcohol purchased at the airport may not be allowed to be carried as cabin luggage.

Transportation in China
Submitted by M17441
Airline Service: China has radical improvement in its civil aviation industry in recent years. Air tickets are no longer difficult to obtain. Currently, China has 798 civilian aircraft of various models, of which 406 are ... view more transport airplanes with 57,000 seats and total tonnage capacity of 7,488. international routes, major domestic routes and popular tourist routes are flown by advanced airliners.

Buses: Most of Chinese tour buses have luxurious seats, large windows, a loudspeaker system and air conditioning. There are two deficiencies with big tour buses. First, the seats are a little small for westerners. Second, they usually have no luggage compartments, so luggage has to be transported by a separate vehicle.

Taxi: Taking a taxi is very convenient in major tourist cities. You can take a taxi at a hotel or along the street. A reminder, however: take a hotel logo with you to show the taxi driver, so that he or she can get you to the hotel. Taxi service is available in more than 400 Chinese cities.

Train: Trains in China offer hard seats, soft seats, hard sleepers and soft sleepers. Train rides offer spectacular views of the Chinese countryside. There are shuttle trains between major tourist cities. Trains travel at three speeds: Local, fast and express. Ticket reservation service is available at travel services and hotels. Express trains link Beijing, the nation's capital, with capital cities of all the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, except for Tibet.

previous 25 tips  -  1  -  [ 2 ]  -  3  -  4  -  5  -  next 25 tips