FAQs About China Travel
A tour to China is often a trip of a lifetime and a country that is so different to almost anywhere else in the world will inevitably raise many questions about travel planning. Here we have asked and answered the most common questions we hear but the list is far from exhaustive and if you have any questions that are not answered here please do not hesitate to contact us.
When Is the Best Time to Visit China?
In short April and May and September and October but avoiding the first week of October which is a national holiday and bad time to visiting tourist sights with about a billion other locals! More details on the seasons can when to go can be found by clicking here.
Do You Offer Group Tours in China?
Very rarely will we offer group tours (the exception are the Li River and Yangtze Cruises as these are by their very nature group trips). Group tours (even small group tours) have quite a bad reputation in China for wasting your precious time on what we call “shopportunities” (unwanted shopping stops) and we think a far better experience of China is gained from private tours.
Do I Need a Visa?
Almost all nationalities including US, UK, Australian, Canadian and European citizens. Click here to see more information on the visas.
How Much Spending Money Do I Need?
With a full touring program, hotels, transport and transfers booked through us you won’t need that much spending money. We generally advise a minimum of £20 a day per person to cover drinks, and an evening meal if that isn’t included. You can, of course, spend much more with top restaurants having close to international pricing. Then there are souvenirs and shopping to consider and which are very tempting in China so you might come home with more than you expect.
What Clothes Should I Bring?
This is very dependent on the time of year. In the summer it is hot almost everywhere so light and well ventilated summer clothing is essential as well as protection from the sun – sunglasses and a hat. Autumn and spring can be a bit unpredictable but if the weather is good it will be the same as you would wear on a good summers day in the UK. Winters are cold and layers of warm clothing are the way to go.
China is not so formal for dress although respect should be shown in temples. Besides that, for touring around anything within reason goes although you may want more smart casual attire for good restaurants in the evening.
How Is Access to the Internet in China?
Almost all hotels will have wired internet access in their rooms, usually for a small daily charge, and most hotels have free wireless internet in public areas such as the lobby or bars. Note that periodically some news web sites and popular sites such as Facebook and Youtube are blocked in China.
Will My Phone Work?
Yes, providing your mobile contract or SIM card does not have any restrictions on international use. Local SIMs can also be bought easily – just ask your guide for assisstance with that. 3G coverage is very good in China.
Can We Upgrade Hotels in China?
Yes, we can offer wide range of upgrades or you can tell us where you would like to stay and we can quote for that. The hotels we offer as standard are good mid-range options that we have, in almost all cases, inspected and often stayed in ourselves.
Is China Safe?
China is one of the safest countries to visit and in many respects safer for tourists than Western European or North American destinations. Crime against foreigners is very rare and providing common sense is used you should not have any problems. Of course, keep an eye on your pockets and bags in crowds.
What if I Am a Vegetarian?
Being a vegetarian in China is not a problem and almost all restaurants will have a good range of vegetable only dishes. For tours that include meals we need to know in advance if you have any particular dietary requirements. We can also cater for more specific diets such as nut allergies.
What Currency Should I Bring?
Euros, US Dollars and UK Pounds are all accepted for exchange in China although avoid Travellers Cheques as these are hard to exchange. Most people will make use of ATMs which are easy to find and increasingly, you can obtain Chinese yuan before your trip in airports or Post Offices and currency exchange booths. More details on Chinese money and costs can be found by clicking here.
Can You Organise Tailor Made Tours?
Yes, we can tailor any of our trips or put together a tailor made itinerary for you from scratch. As well as those advertised on this site we offer a large variety of China tours and holidays on our sister website The China Travel Company and have years of experience tailoring trips to the needs of our clients.
Can You Book Flights to China?
Yes, as we hold an ATOL license (number 10287) we are permitted by the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK to book flights on behalf of our clients. We are a British Airways preferred operator but also book with other airlines to get the best deals and routes for our clients.
Is My Money Protected if I Book With You?
Yes, all trips booked with us have financial protection through our ATOL license or insurance we have to cover non-flight bookings. We are also members of ABTA and abide by their strict code of conduct.
Do Tours Include Entrance Fees?
All tours include the entrance fees for the sights visited in the itinerary unless is expressly says these are extra.
What Happens Once I Book?
On completing our booking forms we will make all the necessary reservations and confirm availability with you and issue an invoice for the deposit payment (or full payment if it is less than 60 days before your trip start date). About 1 month before your trip starts we send you our Trip Guidebook which covers all the information you need to know about your trip including emergency contact numbers and hotel details.
What Are Your Payment Terms & Conditions?
On receipt of a booking confirmation from us we require a deposit payment of £ 250 per person plus any international airfares. 60 days before departure we require the balance to be settled. Click here to see our full payment terms and booking conditions. Note that the Tsars Gold and Golden Eagle train trips have slightly different conditions.
Is There Anything Else I Should Be Asking?
Most likely! We are always happy to answer your questions and to assist with your travel planning so please do not hesitate to contact us.