Chinese Money & Costs
China’s currency is officially called the Yuan or RMB but colloquially referred to as “Kwai” in the same we the British call Pounds “Quid.” Almost all denominations are in notes with very few coins in circulation. China is still very much a cash based society to you can’t count on using cards although ATMs where you can obtain cash are quite common in all cities and many tourist areas. We recommend using ATMs to withdraw cash as it is needed but also to carry some Pounds, Euros or US Dollars to change just in case. Travellers Cheques are not advisable as they are hard to change. You can get Chinese yuan before your trip at post offices or airports.
Costs Of Travel In China & Tipping
China is becoming increasingly expensive and many shopping items that used to be far cheaper than in the West are now on a par if not more expensive. It is still possible to eat relatively cheaply and taxis and metro transport are still far cheaper than in most Western countries. On top of the arrangements covered in our tours we would recommend having spending money from UK £ 20 per person per day upwards although it is quite easy to spend much more than that in many cities.
Tipping is expected by guides and drivers nowadays but should only be done so for very good service. A recommended rate is RMB 100 per day for a guide and half that for a driver. Tipping is also increasingly expected in high end hotels and restaurants but not usually expected elsewhere including by taxi drivers.