From climbing the Great Wall to strolling along bustling Shanghai’s Bund River; China offers an experience like no other.
A land of captivating culture, historic landscapes and futuristic developments, China boasts the perfect mix of tradition and innovation; a true country of contrast. One minute, you’ll find yourself exploring the lush rice fields and traditional Chinese villages before venturing to the busy, cosmopolitan cities the next. Each day you spend in China will be different to the one before.
Travel around on the futuristic, high speed bullet trains; visit the thousands of Terracotta Warriors in Xian and challenge yourself to the Great Wall of China; just remember to wear comfy shoes. What’s more, China is deemed one of the best culinary centres on earth, where you’ll get to try everything from fresh street food to Michelin-starred dishes for a feast you won’t forget in a hurry.
There are a number of carriers offering flights to China from the UK.
Direct Carriers: British Airways, Air China and Virgin Atlantic offer a direct service from the UK.
Indirect Carriers: Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, KLM and Air France offer indirect services to China.
Departure Taxes: An international departure tax of CNY120 (approx. GBP8) must be paid at Chinese Airports (unless it is included in your flight ticket price). Taxes on Chinese domestic flights (CNY 50, approx. GBP4) are payable unless included in your flight ticket.
People tend not to expect tipping in China. It used to be refused, but is now becoming more common in hotels, restaurants, and with guides and drivers. Many mid-range and high-end restaurants add a service charge, but cheaper eateries do not expect a tip. Neither do taxi drivers.
Hepatitis A, B, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid and Malaria immunisation are recommended. Yellow Fever immunisation is required if arriving from an infected country. All travellers should be up to date on routine immunisations. Please contact your GP for the most current information.
British Citizens are required to have a visa to enter China, which you can apply for from the Chinese Embassy in London. Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in China. Please contact the Chinese Tourist Office for up to date country and visa information on 0891 600 188.
The official currency in mainland China is the Yuan Renminbi. In Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Dollar is used. Both currencies can be bought in the UK. You can only take 20,000 Yuan Renminbi in and out of China, but the import and export of the Hong Kong Dollar is unlimited. In China, UK Pounds (excluding Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes) and traveller's cheques can be exchanged at airports, hotels and branches of the Bank of China. The exchange rate is the same everywhere, so there is no need to shop around for the best deal.
Cash is king in China, where credit cards have yet to really take off. You may be able to use your Visa or MasterCard in some places, especially the major cities, but try to carry enough cash as a rule. Cash machines can usually be found in airports, hotels, shopping centres, and banks, as well as in major cities and towns. With better exchange rates than for cash, traveller’s cheques are a good idea if you are visiting the main tourist areas, but may be harder to cash in other parts of the country.