Useful Tips

How to prepare for a trip to China

Are you going to go to China? To make the trip impeccable, it is worthwhile to prepare and perform several simple steps. The following are simple tips that may come in handy for an inexperienced tourist.

1. Visit to the dentist.

What’s so special about it? But it’s better to go. You do not want to explain to the pharmacist who does not understand you that you want to buy pain medication. Or explain to your doctor that it hurts you by contacting him for insurance.

Well, if you speak English. But even this may not help, since few Chinese people own it. Due to the large difference between our language groups, it is difficult for Chinese to learn European languages, just like Chinese for us))).

2. Fork.

The Chinese, as you know, eat with chopsticks and not all restaurants and cafes will give you a fork. Perhaps they have this tool in stock, but you still need to explain that you need a plug. It remains to be hoped for the ingenuity of the waiter. So the best way is to take the plug with you.

But here there are subtleties.

The first is the place of the fork in the luggage. Fork - a piercing object that poses a threat to safety in an airplane. If you put it in your hand luggage - they may not be allowed to board.

And the second - take a cheaper fork. Chinese security officials are very vigilant and will not allow piercing objects to be carried even in baggage. Most likely, the plug will simply be taken away on the way back. There is a possibility that they will not notice it, but you should not rely on it.

For the same reason, you should not take with you valuable silverware, a penknife, an expensive manicure set or other valuable sharp things.

3. Skype

Are you used to using mobile communication and without it in any way? A conversation with Russia will fly into a pretty penny. And I really want to share the latest news with friends and relatives. The solution is simple - put Skype or the like on your smartphone. To call you will need only Internet access. It can usually be easily found in hotels and restaurants.

The cost of talking on Skype will be much cheaper. Use this opportunity. Of course, the quality of communication will be low, but it is quite possible to share news. And do not think that mobile communication in roaming will be better.

4. Translation Assistant.

Communication in China is very problematic. Finding a translator is very difficult. At least some English speakers are also hard to find. This is in ordinary areas of the city. If you visit tourist places, for example, in the Forbidden City, then local barkers and sellers speak English.

And this problem can be solved if you get a translation program on your smartphone in advance. Not every one will do. Note:

- The program itself must reproduce Chinese speech. This is the most important condition, since the Chinese language is tonal. To avoid pronunciation errors, let the program speak for you.

- entering hieroglyphs. The question was answered by the interlocutor. What did he say? A special program with a square input window will help, where you can write a character with your finger. Let your interlocutor draw an answer for you.

5. Printout of hotel reservation.

Booked a hotel online? Be sure to print the letter that came in the email.

The most important thing in this listing is the hotel address. If you suddenly get lost, you can get to the hotel with a taxi. To the taxi driver and show your listing, he will understand where to carry. Don’t try to explain something to him in words, it won’t work.

There is a common mistake - saving letters on your smartphone. For some reason, no one thinks that the device can be discharged during the flight from Moscow to China and leave its owner even without a hotel. Do not succumb to laziness, so as not to get trapped, print a letter.

And finally, information security. Find out the maximum possible amount of necessary information about your place of stay, transport accessibility, features and traditions of the local population. Our site will help you learn a lot of necessary information, not only about modern China as a whole, but also about specific tourist places and cities of the PRC. Cities of China

Registration of a visa and other documents

First of all, remember that the expiration date of the passport should not exceed six months from the end of your trip to the Middle Kingdom. In China, there are regions with a visa-free regime - for example, Hainan Island. In Hong Kong, a visa-free regime is valid for 14 days.
Carry your passport with you anytime, anywhere: without it, you won’t be allowed to go to the train station and airport, and you won’t be checked into the hotel. We advise you to make photocopies of important documents - visas and passports, as well as photograph them on the phone.

Getting a visa to China is easy, you need a visa of category L. It can also be obtained independently, without the help of a travel agency. Applying for a visa through a travel agency is less troublesome, but costs more. If you are applying for a tourist visa, you must have a confirmation of booking return flights and hotel reservations. If this is a business trip to China, you will need a letter of invitation from a business partner or a document confirming your participation in the international exhibition.

Currency and cash withdrawals at ATMs in China

The national currency of China is the yuan, it is better to purchase them in advance, before the trip. The fact is that currency exchange in China is a process that takes at least half an hour: bank employees like to count banknotes one hundred times, make many photocopies of your documents, and fill out forms for a long time. For an exchange it is better to take dollars, you can also euro.

In large Chinese cities, you can withdraw cash from ATMs with Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus cards. Not all Chinese banks accept Russian bank cards, it is best to use the services of Merchants Bank, East Asia Bank, USAA Federal Saving Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China. Do not forget that there is a limit on cash withdrawals - you cannot withdraw more than 10,000 yuan per day.

It is better to have enough cash with you, because not all stores and banks accept credit cards. Most often in these institutions use UnionPay system cards. This is a Chinese analogue of Visa and Mastercard.


Communication and Internet

Be sure to check before you travel if you have roaming enabled. Think about which applications might come in handy - translator, maps, etc. Google Maps in China does not work, it is better to download its Chinese counterpart OsmAnd.

It is important to know that in China some sites and applications that we are used to are blocked - Google, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and others. The best solution is to install anonymizer VPN, with which you can easily bypass the block. If you explain the principle of VPN: you go to the application in China, but the network thinks that you are in the USA, Australia, or any other country. The most popular anonymizer application in the Middle Kingdom is Astrill VPN (an annual subscription costs one hundred dollars). We do not recommend using VPN applications constantly, as they very quickly drain the phone’s battery.

In China, most residents use the WeChat messenger, so to stay in touch, for example, with your tour operator, install this application and add the necessary contacts. WeChat is not just a messenger, with it you can buy plane and train tickets, call a taxi, rent a bike and much more.
You will also need a local SIM card with the ability to access the Internet - for example, operators of China Unicom or China Telecom. You can buy it anywhere in mobile communications, of which there are a great many in China.

There is no problem with the Internet in the Middle Kingdom - Wi-fi points are available in almost all hotels, hostels, coffee houses and other institutions.

Preparing for the flight to China

What can be transported for free? Baggage weighing up to 20 kg. when flying in economy class, up to 30 kg. business class and up to forty kilograms when flying in the first class. In addition, you can carry free hand luggage weighing from 2 to 8 kilograms, depending on the airline you choose.

Airlines flying to China are enough: Aeroflot, China Eastern and Air China. Among Russian travelers, domestic airlines are the most popular.

To buy cheap air tickets, it is worth doing their search in advance. There are direct flights from Russia to China to Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. A flight takes an average of nine hours.

To make the flight comfortable, we advise you to take a powerbank and a travel pillow on the road. To change the time zones did not greatly affect your well-being, book flights with an evening flight to China. Eat carbohydrate foods on the road, drink plenty of water, do not abuse coffee and alcohol.

If your trip is business in nature and you need to find good Chinese suppliers during this time, sign a contract with them, contact Prime logistics. We help Russian entrepreneurs to establish business in China and take care of many related issues. Our experts themselves can find a suitable supplier for you, think over negotiation tactics, arrange visits to the factory so that you can look at the production process from the inside and evaluate the quality of the goods.

1) Documents and visa

The first thing to keep in mind is that traveling to China requires apply for a visa. Please note that the expiration date of the passport should not exceed 6 months since the end of the trip to China.

If you are planning a beach holiday on Hainan, then you will be interested to know about visa-free Hainan.

In China, it is VERY IMPORTANT to have a passport with you: without it you won’t be allowed to go to the railway station, to the airport, or to check into a hotel. If you lose your passport, contact your travel consultant!

Make photocopies of your passport and visa, as well as photograph all the documents on the phone and save it by e-mail. Keep photocopies separate from documents.

3) Currency exchange and banks in China

We advise you to get the RMB in advance, before the trip.

In major cities of China, you can withdraw cash from ATMs using Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus cards (a fee will be charged). Not all banks accept Russian cards, we recommend using the following: Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China or Merchants Bank. Please note that the limit on cash withdrawals from cards of foreign banks in China today is 10,000 yuan (CNY) in a day.

4) Communication and Internet in China (VPN)

Before traveling, check if you have roaming enabled. Install useful applications on your phone: maps, translators, etc.

Remember: Many websites and applications in China locked. First of all, this concerns WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. To avoid inconvenience during your trip to China, download and install VPN for China.

Just in case, install Chinese Messenger Wichat (WeChat)to stay in touch. Add the contact of your travel consultant.

5) Prepare clothes according to the weather

Before traveling to China, read the weather in the cities you are about to visit. Bring along seasonal clothing.

Take care of comfortable shoes that will not rub, because you probably have to walk a lot. Do not forget the protection from rain and sun, sunglasses and a hat in the summer.

2) Baggage allowance for airplane and train

In airplane:

The weight of free baggage in China on an airplane (adults and children) is up to 20 kg when flying in economy class, up to 30 kg when flying in business class and up to 40 kg for first class.

The maximum dimensions of each piece of baggage are 40 x 60 x 100 cm. You can also carry hand luggage weighing from 2 to 8 kg for free, depending on the airline and the class of service you have chosen.

In the train:

Baggage carried on a train does not need to be checked in. In addition to generally accepted norms, note that the following restriction has been introduced in China: it is allowed to transport nail polish and hair dye with a volume of not more than 20 ml, spray cans with a volume of not more than 120 ml, 2 lighters, 2 boxes of matches.

3) Security

During the trip, carefully monitor the safety of your belongings, especially in crowded places: on the street, when visiting attractions, in shops and in the market, at the airport and at the railway station. At the hotel, store especially valuable items in the safe of your room or at the front desk. When visiting the restroom in a restaurant or store, be careful not to leave your clothes unattended.

Trip to China - visa and passport

There are many types of visas, however, regardless of their type, some requirements are universal: the passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of arrival, the photo should be as relevant as possible.

In the case of tourist visas, you must take with you a confirmation of the reservation of return tickets and hotel accommodation, and in the case of a business trip - also an invitation letter, that is, an invitation from a business partner or confirmation of participation in the fair.

IMPORTANT: if you have your opinion or questions on the topic “Business trip to China, how to prepare, checklist” - write them in the comments at the bottom of the publication.

In Russia, you can get a visa to China at the Chinese visa center, embassy or use the services of travel agencies, there is also an option: visas on arrival.

The exception is Hong Kong, where a visa-free regime is valid for a period of 14 days.

Currency and cash withdrawals at ATMs in China

The currency in China is the yuan (yuan) and the Hong Kong dollar (Hong Kong dollar) in Hong Kong.

Despite the widespread digitization and use of mobile payments by most Chinese, cash is the smartest solution for a person arriving for a short period of time.

ATMs owned by major Chinese banks, such as the Bank of China or the China Development Bank, accept Visa and MasterCard without any problems. They do not charge high fees and have favorable rates.

Trip to China - Internet

The use of the Internet in China is tightened by certain rules and restrictions.

Popular Facebook, YouTube or even Google and all its services do not work there.

In order to avoid access problems, planning a trip to China, you should purchase a VPN service for our mobile devices.

However, before downloading a VPN, we must be sure of access to the Internet, while already in China. Using the Internet in roaming is fraught with huge costs, while using public WiFi networks is not always safe.

We recommend purchasing one of the SIM cards with a data package that is widely offered by local operators, such as China Telecom.

They are widely available, for example, in cars at the airport and in most stores.

In addition, we will also be able to communicate freely and for a small fee by telephone in China.

To minimize the problem of the language barrier, it is also worth downloading one of the Russian-Chinese dictionaries.

Due to the lack of access to Google Maps in China, we must first install its OsmAnd counterpart. It is useful to communicate with people living in China, and may be the most popular WeChat communicator in China.

The question of sockets is also often overlooked. They differ from those that we use in our country, so it’s worthwhile to purchase a suitable adapter.

Health Problems Before Traveling to China

China is a relatively safe country, but you should always take out insurance that covers potential medical expenses in China.

Before leaving, you should also buy painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs and, possibly, antibiotics, because in China they are not as widely available as in Russia.

Additional, but no less useful things will be antibacterial gel and anti-noise masks (if we anticipate the appearance of smog).

Flight to China

Trip to China - pre-flight preparation and flight delay
A direct flight to China from Russia is relatively long and takes on average about 9 hours, so you should prepare for it.

An additional factor is the occurrence of a phenomenon called time zone change, a series of symptoms caused by a sudden change in time zone.

  • Cheap flights to China, more details
  • Optimum hotel in China, more

Before leaving, you should take care of appropriate clothing, which will give us freedom and allow us to maintain a comfortable temperature during the flight.

In addition, we recommend taking a travel cushion and a powerbank with you.

To minimize the consequences of changing time zones, you should book a flight with an evening flight to China, and during the flight you should drink plenty of fluids, eat carbohydrate-rich foods and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Transport in China

After landing, we will have to somehow get to the destination. Taxis and public transportation are the most popular. Using the latter can certainly help us with city maps appearing in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong.

We can buy them at vending machines at the airport and at the same time replenish the corresponding amount. Thanks to these cards, we can pay for trips by metro, bus, taxi, and even in some stores.

Мы надеемся, что приведенный выше советы в некоторой степени поможет вам подготовиться к поездке в Китай и максимально уменьшит неприятности.

А так же, если вам предстоят переговоры с китайскими партнёрами обратите внимание на следующую информацию: переговоры с китайцами.