IslamiCity > Travel
> Program to China
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs):
- What is
IslamiCity’s travel study program?
The program provides adult Muslims (young adults/students and older,
life-long learners alike) an opportunity to travel and learn about their
Islamic heritage, as well as interact with their Muslim brothers and sisters
in other parts of the world. The program is supervised and expects proper
Islamic adab (behavior)
of all participants. Please note that this is not a deen-intensive or
intensive Arabic/religious studies program. The focus is on history, culture
and society, relying on the insights and knowledge of expert guides and the
lived experience of Muslims in China.
- Who is the program
The program is specifically designed for adult Muslims over the age of 18,
and teenagers 14 yrs. old and over who are accompanied by a parent or older
relative. The program seeks to strengthen bonds of brotherhood / sisterhood
between participants and their peers in the country visited. Of the tours
organized by IslamiCity since 2001, the youngest participant was 12 years
old and the life-long learner was 78 year old.
- Why should I
participate in this particular tour?
There are two distinct reasons why you should participate in IslamiCity
Education Tours. (1) Tours organized by IslamiCity are always educational
and fun in an Islamic environment and context. They are supervised with
Muslim experts of the area. (2) IslamiCity tours are very reasonably priced
compared to other tours. We invite you to call a Tour Operator in your city
and ask them to quote you a price for a comparable tour (Islamic & with
a bilingual Muslim Chinese guide) to surprise yourself.
- How much does the
program cost and what does it include?
There are two different cost models. One without
airfare and the other with
airfare. Both will offer the same services with the only difference
being the inclusion of round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to China offered
in the second package. All participants will stay in comfortable 4 star
hotels (double occupancy) for 12 days/11 nights, and there will be private
ground transportation throughout the tour. Three halal meals daily will also
be included. Entrance fees to all monuments, museums are included as well.
Both options exclude (a) a $8-10 tip/day for the Guide(s) and Driver(s), and
(b) airport tax of $6 for each domestic flight and about $9 for the
international flight departing from China.
- What travel
arrangements need to be made? Do I need a visa?
Participants are responsible for making their own travel
arrangements from their points of origin to and from Los Angeles.Click
here to learn all about
Visa requirements for China or contact the nearest Chinese Consular Office.
Visitors of all nationalities need a visit visa to China.
- When should I
deposit & what are the payment terms?
You should pay a non-refundable deposit of USD $200 to reserve your
space as soon as possible and no later than 30
days before the departure date. The balance amount must be paid by 21
days prior the date of departure. This allows us to make the necessary
arrangements. For further details on this, please read Terms section.
- Why such a heavy
Primarily this is to offset the costs that IslamiCity will be liable for to
the service providers (hotels, airlines & the local tour operators) in
China. Finding a bilingual tour operator in itself is a challenge and for
IslamiCity it is even more challenging because we look for Muslim bilingual
- Who is conducting
IslamiCity staff will handle pre-trip arrangements and oversee the program,
and a staff member will accompany the tour to escort the group, handle
logistics, and document the tour with photos and video. Please email for
further details. The local tour guides in each city are bilingual in English
and Chinese, and are hired by our partner Mariah Mah, a seasoned tour
operator who specialize in serving Muslim tour groups visiting China from
all over the world.
- How many cities
will we visit?
We will visit 4 major places - Beijing - Xian - Hohhot - Shanghai. Within
each major city, we'll see many interesting sites and mosques. Each city is
carefully picked for its Muslim history and tourism value.
- Will we interact
with local Muslims?
Of course, Yes. We will be visiting Muslim communities and will meet Muslims
from all walks of life. We will also meet community leaders and members in
several informal gatherings so that you may ask questions about life as a
Muslim in China and other matters. IslamiCity encourages you to read the
online journal and watch videos, athttp://www.islamicity.com/travel/china/journal.asp.
- What are the
arrangements for daily prayers?
You can pray Fajr in your hotel room. The daily itinerary will have time
allocated for congregation (Qasr) prayers for Duhr/Asr and Maghrib/Isha.
Friday prayers are scheduled to be prayed in congregation in the the local
mosques of the cities that we'll be visiting on Fridays. In most cases, we
try to arrange a meeting with the Imam and the local leadership after Friday
- What will the
accommodations be like?
We will be staying in exceptional quality hotels. Accommodations will be
clean, pleasant and comfortable. All rooms will have two beds, one for each
person in the room. These hotels are 4 Stars with all the standard amenities
found in quality U.S. hotels. Most of these hotels also offer internet
service, which was very popular among the earlier tour participants. In fact
one of the hotels had high speed (T1) connection right into the room. The
bandwidth cost in hotels and/or nearby internet cafes is very reasonable and
- What is the meal
All meals all the time will be Halal. Breakfast will be at the hotel,
typically an extensive buffet with omelets, pastries, fruits and coffee/tea.
Lunch & Dinner meals will be at a fine dining restaurant equipped to
serve foreign tourists. We will do our very best to provide the best food
that is available, halal, fresh and clean. You can order your preferences
outside the prescribed menu at your own expense. Chinese hospitality is
exceptional. They feed you until you literally refuse to eat! There has not
been a single instance during the earlier tours that any of the participants
craved something and they didn't get it. It was a lot of fun, authentic
halal chinese cuisine all the time. Only once some participants adventured
to visit the local KFC for chicken nuggets with a coke!
- What should I pack?
It does get hot during summer in China. We suggest you pack light
clothes. A few pairs of jeans and a bunch of t-shirts would in fact do.
Remember that you can bring back some good stuff and cheap also, so leave
plenty of room in your luggage. Make sure you've got a good pair of sneakers
& sunglasses. Make sure your favorite toothpaste flavor and a bottle of
over-the-counter drugs, such as Tylenol, Malox etc. is handy. A good digital
camera or a traditional one with lots of picture rolls is highly
recommended. Make sure that you bring along your USB interface if you do
decide to download it on your laptop and/or upload them for your family back
home from an internet cafe. A journal diary is highly recommended. Visit
your local library and read up about China in general and in particular the
places that are listed in the itinerary. Alternatively, go to any search
engine and you'll find tons of information. If you need any assistance, drop
us a line at .
We will be delighted to assist you.
- What happens when I
get late & everyone is waiting for me in the bus going to wherever?
From earlier experiences, unless there's a very (provable) legitimate reason
for lateness, no one is going to forgive you. Next stop the latecomer gets
to load and unload all the bags from the bus! Please try to be respectful
and value the time of other participants. It is rather challenging to get a
group of people on time. Bring along lots of patience and leave the vices
such as anger & frustration at your point of origination.
- Would I stay with
my best friend in the hotel?
Chances are, yes. But if you don't for any reason, please don't worry. Take
it easy. You'll be staying with Muslim friends. It is in fact encouraged to
sometimes stay with a person you don't know. This way you will make new
friends and get to know other people while acquiring the skill of traveling
and living with others.
- What happens if
& when a planned flight is changed to train?
In fact this happened in the past. Reason was some government agency came in
and grabbed X number of seats and so happened that those seats were ours. Of
course most of us were fuming. There's zero recourse. Remember you are in
China! If and when that happens, we make every effort to ensure that we get
an equivalent alternative. Once, when the group of 23 people could not fly,
12 participants volunteered to travel by air-conditioned first class train.
When both parties met and exchanged their info the following morning, it
seemed the group that traveled by train enjoyed the most. So keep it cool
and things will work out. No one is deliberately out there to con anyone.
IslamiCity feels greatly indebted to every single member of the earlier
tours for their exceptional support and flexible nature that made the tour
so much more enjoyable. Alhamdulillah.
Refunds and Processing Fee: If
you must cancel your trip we request you to do so in writing (an email is
acceptable) 30 days before the travel date. Cancellation refunds will be
based solely at the discretion of IslamiCity. We recognize that
cancellations stem out of sheer necessity and not generally by choice. Any
refunds from Airlines & Hotel etc. will be refunded only after they
refund to IslamiCity. A modest processing fee of $100 per person will be
retained to cover the IslamiCity operating costs, and this is not intended
to be punitive in any way. IslamiCity will not levy unnecessary penalties
that are customary in the tourism industry. Please note that if you cancel
your trip within two weeks of the tour start date, you will (regrettably)
not be entitled to any refund.
Arrangements: IslamiCity will arrange a group flight departing from
Los Angeles International Airport, and our staff makes every attempt to
secure the lowest possible airfares during peak and off-peak seasons. While
this saves some money, promotional fares come with quite restrictive and
heavy penalties for changes & cancellations. Therefore, any penalties
resulting from flight changes at your request after flights are ticketed
will be your responsibility. If you cancel your trip after receiving your
tickets, we request you to return your tickets for applicable refund.
Please excuse IslamiCity for any cancellations and/or changes (God forbid)
in international flights made by airlines themselves. Neither of us will
have any control in such situations. If a flight is postponed or cancelled
in Los Angeles, IslamiCity will
not bear the cost of any
hotel accommodations. We will do our best to work with you to make
arrangements with the responsible parties in such circumstances. In most
cases if a flight is cancelled or postponed by the airline, they either
provide alternatives or provide accommodation.
We recommend that you do not purchase tickets with high penalty charges for
changes. If you make your own domestic flight arrangements and you miss your
international flight for any reason, IslamiCity can assist with alternate
flight arrangements; however, you are responsible for the cost of an
alternate flight to your destination, as well as any other expenses incurred
prior to joining up with your tour group. We strongly suggest that if you're
unsure about the timing that you reach Los Angeles a night before departure
for Beijing to avoid any mishap.
Air routings are subject to availability. Routings cannot be guaranteed, and
are subject to change at any time. IslamiCity is not responsible if an
airline cancels or delays a flight. If that occurs, you should work with the
airline to ensure you arrive at your destination. IslamiCity will not
provide any refund for portions of trips missed due to cancelled or delayed
flights. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city,
IslamiCity can assist with hotel reservations; however, if a flight requires
a layover, overnights are at your expense.
Issues: Please advise us
prior to booking of any physical limitations which may require professional
attention during the trip or may require the use of special equipment.
Failure to disclose any such information will not only put IslamiCity in a
very awkward situation, it will unduly affect other participants. Those with
special medical circumstances may wish to arrange a private tour, which we
can help facilitate anytime of the year.
We suggest women past their sixth month of pregnancy & participants
requiring wheelchair assistance may not participate. The
tour is physically challenging in terms of number of hours/day on tour,
extensive walking, some high climbs, etc. Neither IslamiCity nor the
destination country (China) are well equipped to accommodate such
The tour does NOT require one to be a professional athlete but does demand
decent health and stamina, particularly to be able to walk distances and
take occasional brisk walks. It is a good idea to visit your personal
physician before the tour for an assessment of fitness for travel and
participation in this program.
IslamiCity is not responsible for the costs of any medical treatment you
may require during the trip. IslamiCity also relieves itself from the
responsibility for the quality of medical care, or lack thereof, you may
receive while on the trip.
TOUR PARTICIPANTS ARE ASSUMED TO HAVE READ THIS FAQ AND THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
WHEN PAYING THEIR FEES TO JOIN THE TOUR.