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China Travel FAQ - Other Tourist Information and Tips

  1. What's the weather like in China? What kind of cloth do I need to bring with me?
2. What Is the time for high season, shoulder season and low season in china?
3. When is the best time to visit China?
4. What days are the workdays in China? What about shops and stores hours?
5. What are the traditional festivals in China?
6. How many public holidays in China? Is it a good idea to come during these holidays?
7. Do I need a converter when I traveling in china?
8. Do I need to tip in China? How much shall I need to give?
9. What about the Chinese tour guides?
10. What kind of gifts shall I bring to those people I will meet in China?
11. What does private tour mean?
12. Is sit-in-coach tour available in china?
13. Some Useful Numbers
1. What's the weather like in China? What kind of cloth do I need to bring with me?
  China has a continental and seasonal climate. Most parts are in the temperate zone but southern areas are in the tropical or subtropical zone while northern areas are in the frigid zone. Climates in different areas are complicated. For instance, northern Heilongjiang Province has a winter climate the year round without summer, while Hainan Island has a summer climate the year round without winter.The following is a reference table for tourists to prepare clothing on their trips. 

- Spring:10-22°C, Western suits, jackets, sports coats, woolen jackets, long sleeve shirts and travel shoes.
- Summer: 22°C and above, T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, skirts, sandals, caps, rain wear.
- Autumn: 10-22°C, Western suits, jackets, sports coats, light woolen sweaters, rain wear and travel shoes.
- Winter: 10°C or lower, overcoat, cotton clothes, lined coats. In very cold areas a cap, gloves and cotton-padded shoes are required.
2. What Is the time for high season, shoulder season and low season in china?

April, May, September, October, 1-15/Nov are regarded as the peak tourist months in China. It's the busiest time for the hotels, airlines, and travel agencies. The price of hotel, air tickets, etc. is comparatively higher than in other seasons. If you plan to travel during the high season, you will need to make reservations two to three months prior to your departure date.
The shoulder season runs from June01 to Aug31 when Prices drop and lesser tourist comes.
The off-season arrives in late November, and continues through the winter when crowds are few and prices lower.

3. When is the best time to visit China?

For most areas in china, May, September and October are best seasons for traveling when the weather is most favorable. But China is a vast country with many different landscapes, climates and customs, so it is also advisable to visit some places except May, September and October. For example, the winter months are peak season for trips to China’s Hainan Island and to the Northeast Harbin for its world-famous ice-lantern festival. These months are also packed with New Year holidays, Chinese Spring Festival and other national or local happy fairs.High season in Tibet is from July 1 to Oct 15. The rest of the year is considered to be low season. Summer months are great time to explore China’s Far East-Manchuria.

4. What days are the workdays in China? What about shops and stores hours?

Five day a week , 8 hours a day ,normally from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All the government offices, institutions, schools, hospitals and other units do not work on Saturdays and Sundays. The emergency clinic is open when the hospital is closed. Shops are open everyday, normally from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

5. What are the traditional festivals in China?

There are many traditional festivals in China each year, and the Chinese celebrate their festivals in different ways. Most of the festivals are related to some story which usually sings the praises of a historical figure, describes a beautiful legend or wishes a good harvest and happiness. All the traditional festivals are based on the Chinese lunar calendar which has about 20 to 30 days difference from the international calendar. You will be fortunate if you come to China during one of these festivals, when you will get a glimpse of the ancient culture, values and customs of the Chinese nation through the celebration of these Chinese traditional festivals.

Spring Festival
This is the Chinese New Year on the first day of the first month in the lunar calendar, usually falling in early February. It is the most important festival in China and in other parts of the world where there are Chinese communities. Like Christmas Day in the West, this festival is a family celebration when the whole family gets together. Usually people try to pay off all debts before the festival. A few days before, people pay sacrifices to the Earth God who goes up to the heaven to report to the Jade Emperor about the behavior of each family. On New Year's Eve, the whole family sits around tables to have a grand feast and let off fireworks. (Nowadays fireworks are forbidden in many large cities to prevent fire and injury.) In the first few days of the New Year, people visit each other to bring their good wishes for the new year, either for good health or good fortune. In the past, people stopped doing any housework, including cooking, for the first 15 days until the Lantern Festival. So people had to eat things prepared in advance. This custom has changed now.

Lantern Festival
On the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar, it normally falls at the end of February, when people traditionally come out to look at various lanterns in the streets or parks and eat round, sweet rice-flour dumplings.

Qingming Festival
Normally this falls on April 5, and is a festival to remember the dead, when people traditionally go to visit the tombs of their ancestors. On that day, if you are in Beijing, you will see school children lay wreaths of flowers before the monument in Tian'anmen Square in memory of martyrs who died in the wars.

Duanwu Festival
Also known as the Dragon Boat Festival, this is a festival to remember the patriotic poet Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the river in 278 B.C. to oppose the rule of the Qin conqueror. Traditionally people rowed dragon boats on the river and dropped rice dumplings into the water to feed the fishes in the hope that Qu Yuan would not be eaten by the fishes.

Mid-Autumn Festival
At this festival, families gather together to have a feast and eat moon cakes while watching the full moon in the sky. The moon cake symbolizes family reunion because of its round shape. If you come to Beijing at this festival, you will be treated well by your hotel as a member of their big "hotel family". The moon cakes, made of wheat flour with sweet fillings, are very tasty if you have a sweet tooth.

Double-nine Festival
This is a festival for old people on the 9th day of the 9th month in lunar calendar which usually falls in October.

6. How many public holidays in China? Is it a good idea to come during these holidays?

Following are the main pubic holidays in china:
Jan.1st ---- New Year's Day; 1 day holiday
Jan/Feb ---- Spring Festival (Chinese lunar New Year); 7days holiday
Mar. 8th ---- International Women' Day; 1/2 day holiday for women only
01-07/May ---- International Workers' Day; 7day holiday
01-07/Oct---- National Day; 7 days holiday
May 4th ---- Chinese Youths' Day, is a festival for the youths of the country in memory of the May 4th Movement in 1919 started by university students and other youths to protest against the northern warlord government which wanted to sign an unequal treaty with the foreign powers.
Young people normally have 1 day or 1/2 day off.
Jun. 1st ---- International Children's Day, is a festival for children.
School children normally have 1 day or 1/2 day holiday.
Jul. 1st ---- Birthday of the Communist Party of China, is usually celebrated through meetings.
Aug. 1st ---- Birthday of the People's Liberation Army, is usually celebrated by the army.
It is not advisable to visit china during such holidays as Spring Festival, International Workers' Day and National Day Holiday. Because all these holidays last 7 days, it is the ideal time for the Chinese people to go out for traveling. During this time, all scenic spots are full packed with people and it is very difficult to confirm the hotel and flight spaces. So better avoid coming to china in these public holidays. Other holidays only last one or two days and will not cause trouble to your trip in china. As you know, F1 game is now held in Shangahi every year on October. During this time, the room rate at all hotels in Shanghai is incredibly high. So better avoid coming to Shanghai at the time when the game is being held.
Also it advisable not to visit Guangzhou on April and October when the Guangzhou Trade Fair is held unless you just want to attend the fair.

7. Do I need a converter when I traveling in china?
  Electricity in china is 220V, 50 cycles AC. If you bring with you the electric appliance which operates at 110 volts, you need a converter. If you forget to bring the converter with you, you can call the room service of the hotel to get one. In most 4-star and 5–star hotels, there is a plug in the bathroom which is 11 5 volts, you can use it to recharge your appliance. For the most part, you can safely travel with two types of plugs - two flat pins (like American plugs, but without the ground wire) and three pronged angled pins (like Australian plugs).
8. Do I need to tip in China? How much shall I need to give?

Tip in china is not compulsive, but it is acceptable nowadays.
During your trip, it is a common practice to offer tips to local guides, drivers and national guides as a gratitude for their service. For your reference, normally it Is 3-5 USD/per day per guest for national guide who will travel with you throughout the journey if it is a group of more than 10paxs, 2-4 USD/per day per guest for local guide in each city, 1-3 USD/per day per guest for driver, depending on what you think of their services. If you need the service of the bellboy of the hotel who will bring the heavy luggage to your floor on the day of your arrival and bring them down on the day of departure, normally you will give some tips. For your reference, it is 1 USD/per room per time.
It is not customary to tip the waitress at restaurants or hotels and taxi drivers in china.
Please feel free to tip or not to tip according to your like. But one thing is for sure that to tip or not to tip will not affect our guide’s service.

9. What about the Chinese tour guides?

In china, those who want to be guides have to pass an examination arranged by the Tourist Administration Bureau. Only the passed are qualified to get the guide license. For the foreign tourists normally we will assign the English-speaking guides. Spanish, French and German speaking guides are available in major tourist cities like Beijing, Xian, Shanghai and Guilin. But in other cities, it is very hard to find these kinds of guides. If it is not available, we have to assign English speaking guides. If you have special request for the guides, you can contact us for further information.
All guides from our company are well trained guides who can speak good foreign language and will also give very clear and detailed information about the cities and scenic spots that you are going to visit.

10. What kind of gifts shall I bring to those people I will meet in China?

Chinese people are very friendly and hospitable. They are willing to help you at any time when you have trouble. But they never expect to get gifts from you for what they have done to you. So it is not a must to bring gifts to Chinese. But if you still want to take some, you can prepare postcards, books about your nation, and some items for daily use, like pen, small torch or hat. They will be very happy when they get the gifts.

11. What does private tour mean?
  "Private tour" indicates that you will have private car, guide and driver only at your service in each city or place when sightseeing. It does not include Private transportation between cities or places. We will use flights, train, ships or local buses for in-land transportation for either Group tour & Private tour.
12. Is sit-in-coach tour available in china?
  Sit-in-coach tour is only available in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. If you have interest, you can contact us for more information.
13. Some Useful Numbers

112--Inner-city telephone mishaps
113--Operator of domestic long-distance calls
114--Inner-city telephone number inquiries
115--Operator of international long-distance calls
116--Information on domestic long-distance calls
121--Weather forecasts