valid passport is required to travel
abroad. A visa for China is required
of all travelers except holders of a
Chinese passport. Processing of
visa applications can take weeks, so
see a list of Chinese embassies.
weather in much of China during August
is quite warm. Late evenings may be a
bit cooler. The specific climate in
the cities that we will be visited is
should pack light cotton clothes that
conform to Islamic requirements, along
with a light jacket for cool evenings.
is 8 hours + GMT. Click
more information about time zones.
currency is called Renminbi (people's
money), often abbreviated as RMB.
Issued by the People's Bank of China,
it is the sole legal tender for both
Chinese nationals and foreign
tourists. The symbol of RMB is ¥.
The unit of Renminbi is yuan and
the smaller, jiao and fen.
The conversion among the three is: 1
yuan = 10 jiao =100 fen.
RMB is issued both in notes and coins.
The denominations of paper notes
include 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1
yuan; 5, 2 and 1 jiao; and 5, 2 and 1
fen. The denominations of coins are 1
yuan; 5, 2 and 1 jiao; and 5, 2 and 1
Note: in spoken Chinese, yuan is often
called as kuai and the jiao as mao.
It is best to convert some currency at
the airport in Beijing upon arrival,
up to 1/3 or 1/2 of the total you
intend to use. Banks are also good
places to convert currency, and their
rates vary slightly. Avoid converting
currency at a hotel, where rates are
Bank of China can cash travelers'
cheques sold by international
commercial banks and companies in the
United States, Canada, Australia, Hong
Kong, Japan, Britain, France,
Switzerland, Germany and other
countries and regions. Also the Bank
of China sells travelers' cheques for
sAmerican Express, Citibank,
Tongjilong Travelers' Cheque Co., the
Sumitomo Bank of Japan, the Swiss
Banking Corporation and others.
your currency exchange receipts,
because you will need to show them
when you change RMB back to your own
currency at the end of your visit to
the Republic. Currency rather than
credit cards is essential in remote
areas and you should ensure that you
carry sufficient RMB and travelers'
cheques to cover your requirements.
present, the following credit cards
are accepted in China: Master Card,
Federal Card, Visa, American Express,
JCB and Diners Card. Holders can draw
cash from the Bank of China and pay
for purchases at exchange centers of
the Bank of China, appointed shops,
hotels and restaurants. However, this
applies only in major cities and they
are not always accepted in remote
ATMs that accept foreign cards are few
and far between. Do not rely on them
as a way of obtaining cash in mainland
There is no limit on the amount of
foreign currency and foreign exchange
bills that can be brought into China
by tourists, but it must be declared
to the customs. RMB should be
converted back into foreign currency
with the personal valid "foreign
exchange certificate" before
leaving China. Unused foreign exchange
and RMB traveler's cheques are
permitted to be taken out. Each
tourist may take up to 6000 RMB out.
may purchase an international phone
the United States or other home
country before departing on the trip.
You can also purchase phone cards in
China. These cards may be used to
phone family and friends. Avoid making
phone calls from your hotel room, as
surcharges are exorbitant.
dial to China from another country,
first dial the international long
distance code (011), then the country
code (86), followed by the telephone
city code for Beijing is 10 and for
Xian is 29. To
make an international call from China,
obtain an international line, then
dial the country code, the area code,
and the telephone number.
and other cities have numerous
cybercafes. Charges are quite
reasonable. Connections tend to be
stable but slow, however. Prior to
embarking on the trip, participants
should establish a web-based e-mail
account (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.)
to facilitate easy communication with
family and friends.
to Pack (recommended
shoes for walking/hiking
cotton shirts / blouses
pants / long skirts
sweater / sweatshirt
caps / hijab
outfit for local dinner
medication & prescriptions
lenses & solution,
towel, bath towel
emergency contact card
belt or neck wallet
traveler's checks, credit
film rolls & or cassettes
glasses, suncreen lotion, lip
pack, backpack, small tote
adapters & voltage
Insurance / Medical Facilities
is a remarkably healthy country
despite its climatic variations.
However, with such a vast territory,
standards of hygiene can and do vary
from place to place. Contact your
doctor for health advice or a thorough
check up if you have not had one for
quite a while. Check your health
insurance policy. If it does not
provide for overseas visits, consider
requesting your insurer to extend the
policy. It is also advisable to take
out travel insurance to cover you in
the event of accidental injury as well
as cover for medical expenses. Take
along the copy of your medical record.
those who take special medicine on a
regular basis, make sure that you
carry an adequate supply of the
prescription medicines you use
regularly to last throughout your
trip. Carry them in the original
containers to identify them as legally
obtained drugs and pack them in your
is far safer than many Western
countries. Violent crime is very rare
in China, but it is always a good idea
to be alert and cautious anywhere.
Beware of pick-pockets.