China Travel Information
Superior quality hotels are used in China - all rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms and normally have two twin beds (double bed can be requested but is not guaranteed). Triple share accommodation consists of two single beds plus a rollaway/fold-up bed, not normally recommended. In some remote areas, hotels may be of a lower standard. But we do use the best available accommodation.
Ranges from cold and dry winters to hot, humid summers. Northern China is generally warm to hot from late May to September with the southern regions experiencing hotter conditions. The north can be very cold in winter with temperatures often dropping below zero. March to May and September to November are generally the ideal months to tour in China.
Chinese currency is known as Renminbi (RMB) and the basic unit is the yuan (made up 100 Fen). International travellers’ cheques can be exchanged for Chinese currency at your point of entry into China or at banks and hotels within the country. Major foreign credit cards are acceptable in designated shops, hotels and large restaurants in many cities throughout China. Australian Dollar travellers’ cheques are recommended, although, in remote areas in some provinces, US currency is more readily recognised.
China’s electricity supply is 220 volts, AC50. Plug sizes and styles vary between cities and even between hotels - they can be 2 or 3 pin, round or flat (although more commonly 2 round pins), British, American, European or Australian-style. It’s advisable to take a complete set of adaptor plugs for any electrical appliances, readily purchased in most big stores, luggage outlets and at duty-free stores. Battery operated appliances can be an advantage for a short trip.
Traditional items like cloisonné, porcelain, handicrafts, silks, tablecloths and exquisite embroidery are favourite souvenirs of China. But did you know that western-style men’s suits, leather ware, sports shoes, ladies’ and men’s casual wear, cashmere sweaters, washable silk shirts and even designer fashion labels are now very popular and offer excellent quality and value for money? Government department stores have fixed prices while in privately-operated local markets and at roadside stalls you are expected to bargain – start from less than half the asked price and work your way up. Should you purchase large items from a government store or similar (carpets, furniture, rosewood chests, etc.) most will arrange for shipment to Australia. Helen Wong’s Tours makes no recommendations for particular stores or markets you may visit during your tour, whether independently or with your local guide. Helen Wong’s Tours will not take responsibility for the quality or authenticity of any items you may purchase.
Included in your group tour program are evening cultural shows in such major centres as Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Lijiang, Suzhou (except in winter) and Guilin. Nightlife in China has progressed so far that you will have difficulty choosing what to do. If you prefer the more traditional entertainment, Chinese Opera provides spectacular performances of dance, song and martial arts. Check for local acrobatic shows, circuses or puppet shows as they provide an inexpensive but entertaining night out. If you prefer a more western-style night, many hotels have discotheques, nightclubs and lounge bars.