||Q: What the Climate like in China
A: The enormous size of China dictates that it is inevitably composed of a number of smaller climatic microsystems. With the exception of rain which falls largely in the summer months, it is more useful to break the country down into roughly four regions:
North: Winters in the north fall between December and March - they are cold, although quite pleasant due to the abundance of sunshine and the dry ness of the air. Summers here are from May to August, and the temperature in Beijing can easily reach 30 degrees centigrade. Because of the extremes, spring and autumn are the most pleasant times to visit the north.
Central: In the Yangtse River Valley area summers tend to be longer and more humid. One can also expect very high temperatures between May and September. Winters on the other hand are shorter than in the North.
South: Around Guangzhou (Canton), the summers are hot and humid with the likelihood of heavy rains. The winters are mild and pleasant. Once again autumn and spring are the most pleasant with day time temperatures averaging around the mid-20s. It is often said that Kunming in the South West has the best climate in China. It is universally known as the 'Spring City', because the winters are extremely mild with plenty of sunshine, and even during the rainy season which lasts from May to September there is sun between the showers on most days.
The North West: If one word could capture the climate of this vast region it would be 'extreme'. The majority of the Silk Road has a severe desert climate. June, July, and August are hot. There is very little rain, and the air which hovers around the 30C mark, is dry. Alternatively the winters are severe, with an average temperature in Urumqi of around -10 C, and -4 C in Xi'an. Spring and autumn are consequently the most comfortable seasons for travel.
Q: What shall I wear for my trip to China?
A: During the summer light cotton garments as well as a thin sweater and a rain cover are essential. Strong robust shoes are recommended over sandals which are not always comfortable. In the winter warm layers, thermal underwear, and a thick (down) jacket/wind breaker is required. Gloves, woolen hats, and thick socks are also recommended. Other items include: sun glasses, sunscreen, lip balm, and shampoo. A First Aid kit and a multi-pinned adapter are also useful.
Q: Could CSHTS help me for the visa to China?
A: You should apply for your China visa through the normal channels. Groups will be issued with one group visa and the individual passports will not normally be stamped. If the Chinese Embassy in your country requires an invitation from us to confirm the tour we can quickly arrange this as soon as we have received your deposit. In such cases we must have a complete list of names for the group, as well as their basic details: age, sex, nationality, passport number, occupation, and address, preferably 45 days prior to departure.
Q: What kind of cuisines are there in China?
Pekinese & Shandong: the great specialty is Peking Duck, eaten with pancakes and plum sauce. This reflects the tendency in the north to favour wheat products (bread, noodles etc.) over rice. Often regarded as the least interesting style of cooking, the region nevertheless boasts some delicious plates, among them: Beggar's Chicken, Mongolian Barbecue, Bird's Nest Soup, and Sweet-and-Sour Yellow River Carp.
Cantonese: Characterized by lots of steaming and boiling, this style is perhaps the healthiest and the most widely known outside China. Plenty of seafood, fresh vegetables, roast pork and chicken.
Sichuanese: This is the spiciest of all the styles, and is characterized by heavy usage of chillies, ginger and garlic. Some of the favorites include an excellent fish in spicy bean sauce, Double Cooked Pork, shrimps with salt and garlic, aubergines in garlic, and spiced bean curd.
Yunnanese: Although Yunnanese cuisine is not widely known, it does in fact offer some excellent dishes. The region abounds in fresh vegetables; among them lotus root, bamboo shoots, pea-sprouts, broccoli, garlic shoots, and mushrooms are a common sight all year round. Specialities unique to the region include a superb hot pot in the Mongol style, and the famed 'Steam Pot Chicken'. During their stay we will make sure that your group has the chance to taste Yunnan's most famous dish, 'Crossing the Bridge Noodles'.
Shanghainese & Jiangzhenese: A style of cooking noted for its use of seafood, it is somewhat heavier than Pekinese or Cantonese. Popular dishes include 'Drunken Chicken' cooked in a potent wine, Ham and Melon Soup, Tientsin Cabbage, Crab, and various cold meet-and-sauce plates.
Uygur: On the Silk Road traditional Turkic foods offer a pleasant alternative to mainstream Chinese dishes. In Xinjiang Province, home to the Uygur people, these include the famed 'whole roast sheep', mutton shish kebab, pilau rice, excellent noodles, and very good freshly baked bread.
Q: What shall I take care while traveling in China?
A: No vaccinations are required for China. However travelers going to the extreme southern regions of Xishuangbanna may want to take malaria tablets. Altitude is not a problem unless one is traveling into the mountainous regions of the West. Immodium, Tetranidazol, and some laxatives are helpful for the gut, while a general combination of vitamins is also a good idea. Your clients are advised not to drink tap water. Boiled water is available everywhere, and mineral water is common in all cities(big or small) though lack in remote area.
Q: the Customs
A: Foreigners are generally not subject to more than perfunctory baggage checks on entering and leaving China. However certain items such as antique objects, statues, or jewellery which were made before 1959 can be difficult to bring out. Sixteen mm movie cameras are not allowed.
Q: How about the photography in China?
A: Basic films are commonly available, however, groups may want to purchase more specialised films before arrival. Those entering through Hong Kong can take the opportunity to stock up there. In the larger tourist sites a fee (occasionally rather high!) is sometimes demanded. While 16mm movie cameras are strictly not allowed, 8mm and Super 8 along with home video equipment is usually no problem. For diapositives, Kodakchrome gives excellent results, although one may want to include either a roll of Tungsten film or a bluish filter, to balance the high proportion of orange light found inside temples where flashguns are seriously not recommended ! A dust brush and a 'skylight' filter are also indispensable.
Q: What is China's time zone?
A: All of China observes Beijing Time, GMT+8. China doesn't observe day-light saving time in the summer as some countries do.
Q: What are the business hours in China ?
A: Government --- 08:00-12:00 & 13:30-17:30 , from Monday to Friday,
Sat.& Sun. off
State Owned Enterprises -- 08:30-12:30 & 14:00-18:00 , from Monday to Friday. Except
some private owned and travel agents which opens longer.
Shops -- 10:00-22:00 daily , except some private shops which have days off during stated
published holidays . Goods in local shops are very cheap and convenient to do in
all China big cities .
Q: What are the major state festivals and holidays in China ?
A: 1) China Spring Festival ( China's New Year ) -- One week-ten days long / exact dates .
refer to the Lunar Calendar , usually between the end of Jan. to beginning of Feb.
2) International Labour's Day -- One week long , starting from 30th Apr-6th May .
3) National Day -- 01-8th Oct ( Oct.1st, 1949 was the day when new China announced its' founding of People's Republic of China ).
Q: What about immunizations for traveling to China ?
A: There are no particular immunizations required for entry into China, unless the traveler is coming from a yellow fever infected area. The Canadian and US disease control and prevention authorities recommend the all travelers have current polio and tetanus immunizations. For traveling into the countryside and remote areas, immune globulin is also recommended to combat hepatitis A, as is typhoid immunization. It is very important that you consult your own doctor or local clinic for more information. We advise you to bring along a supply of antibiotics, an anti-diarrhea agent, and any other prescription drugs required by your current medical conditions.
Q: Where do I change money for RMB in China?
A: Banks, airports and major hotels. The rate is the same everywhere. China currency is renminbi, abbreviated and commonly used as RMB. The basic RMB unit is the yuan, and subsidiary units are the jiao and fen. 10 jiao equal a yuan; 10 fen equal a jiao.
Q: Can credit card be used in China?
A: Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and state-run shops in major cities. Accepted cards include Visa, Master Card, and American Express.
Q: How much is the airport departure tax in China?
A: Approximate tax rates are as follows:
For China domestic Flights: All cities in China US$7.00
For International Flights: US$12.00
Hong Kong: US$7.00
Q: What is China's Electricity ?
A: The electric voltage in China is 220V/50Hz and the standard wall socket has three-connectors (L, N and E). However, in hotel bathrooms there is usually a 110V socket for electric razors but not for hair dryers. It is recommended for you to bring a 220-110V adapter.
Q: How about China's Taxi?
A: China enjoys adequate taxi service. In most cities, the taxi tends to be a small local-made car painted in either red or yellow. In large cities, there are luxurious sedans at a higher rate. Taxi fares vary from city to city but they are always clearly marked on the taxi window. Most taxi drivers do not understand much English, although those in tourist cities are encouraged to learn and speak some simple English. Non-Chinese speaking visitors are advised to have their destinations written down in Chinese and show the address to the cab driver.