China Travel Information

The Basics


Local time is GMT +8.


Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Plug types vary, but the two-pin flat blade and oblique three-pin flat blade plugs are common. Adapters are generally required.


The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are hundreds of local dialects.

Travel Health

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming into China from infected areas. There is a risk of malaria throughout the low-lying areas of the country, and it is recommended that travellers to China seek medical advice about malaria before departure. There is also a risk of dengue fever (also transmitted by mosquito), so travellers must take precautions against insect bites. Vaccinations are recommended against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, and rabies. Polio has resurfaced in areas of China, so travellers should be up to date on immunisations. A variant of hand, foot and mouth disease, an intestinal virus, has also been prevalent in certain rural areas, such as Jiangxi province, with children being at particular risk. There is no vaccination for the disease, but careful personal hygiene should keep visitors unaffected. Outside city centres, visitors should only drink bottled water. There is generally a high standard of health care in major Chinese cities, but it is not provided free of charge; travellers are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance.


Tipping is not officially recognised, though the practice is has become increasingly common among travel guides, top-end restaurants, tour bus drivers and hotel staff. Travellers wanting to tip should leave a gratuity of 10%. Large hotels and restaurants often include a service charge in their bills, usually of around 10%, so travellers should make sure that they aren't doubling up.

Safety Information

China is generally safe, and there has been no evidence of a threat from global terrorism. Serious crime against foreigners is rare but does occur, particularly in isolated or sparsely populated areas. There has been an increase in the number of muggings and robberies at Beijing International Airport and around the Jianguomenwai area of Beijing, as well as in Shenzen, bordering Hong Kong. If travelling alone, including following parts of the Great Wall, it is advisable to leave an itinerary and expected time of return with a third party. Travellers should take extra care in street markets and at tourist sites, which attract thieves and pickpockets, and around the popular expat bar areas at night, where lone foreigners have occasionally been attacked. Travellers should be cautious about using pedicabs in Beijing, as tourists have reportedly been mugged by the drivers; women in particular have been targeted. Seasonal heavy rains and typhoons cause hundreds of deaths in China each year, particularly those areas bordering the Yangtze River in central, southern and western China. Demonstrations have taken place in Lhasa, Tibet, as well as in some Chinese provinces in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet. Even though the situation seems to have stabilised, visitors are advised to stay up to date on the situation before travelling to the region.

Local Customs

Chinese people usually have three names, the first of which is their surname, or family name. As a result, visitors should be prepared for hotels mistakenly reserving rooms under their first names. For clarity, surnames may be underlined. When addressing Chinese people, the surname should come first and official titles should be used. Chinese handshakes last longer than those in western countries, and it is customary to stand close together when in conversation. Politeness in Western terms is foreign to them, and they rarely bother with pleasantries. All foreigners should carry their ID on them at all times, as spot checks are common. Failure to show evidence of ID when requested by an official may result in a fine or detention.


The Chinese are strict timekeepers and being late for a meeting is considered rude. When meeting people for the first time it is normal to shake hands and say 'ni hao', which means 'how are you'. Business cards are exchanged at the start of meetings in China; it is customary to have one side printed in Chinese and one in English. When giving or receiving business cards or a gift, it is customary to hold it with both hands. Chinese consider gifts an important show of courtesy. During a meal or reception, your host is likely to offer a toast; foreigners may be expected to offer them one in return. Business hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. A five-day week is more common in larger cities. Workers take their lunch break between 12pm and 2pm and it is not unusual to find offices empty during this time.


The international access code for China is +86. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The city code for Beijing is (0)10. International Direct Dialling is available in most cities. Phone cards are widely available and calls can be made from post offices and hotels; phone booths on the street are usually for local calls only. In hotels, local calls are generally free or will be charged only a nominal fee. Mobile phone networks are highly advanced. Operators use GSM 900 networks and have roaming agreements with most non-North American international operators. Internet cafes are available in most main towns.

Duty Free

Travellers to China do not need to pay customs duty on 400 cigarettes (600 cigarettes if stay exceeds six months), two bottles of alcoholic beverages (no more than 0,75 litres per bottle), or four bottles if staying longer than six months. Perfume for personal use is allowed. Prohibited goods include arms, ammunition, or printed material that conflicts with the public order or moral standards of the country. Also prohibited are radio transmitters and receivers, exposed but undeveloped film and fresh produce. Strict regulations apply to the import and export of antiquities, banned publications, and religious literature. All valuables must be declared on the forms provided.

Become our China Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our China travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to China or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

China Journeys

We use our thorough knowledge of the travel opportunities in China to offer you imaginative and interesting all-inclusive packages.


China Travel Plan

Bamboo sailing through karst mountains. Trek Tiger Leaping Gorge and stay at home with the Tibetans. Build your own China adventure.



iExplore designs made-to-order, privately-guided adventure tours to China and over 200 other world wonders. Come Back Different!


Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel, one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures focused on getting off the beaten track, interacting with the locals and having real life experiences throughout China.



1,659,848 bytes
Loading Time Base Classes  0.0043
Controller Execution Time ( Countries / Index )  0.1797
Total Execution Time  0.1847
No GET data exists
No POST data exists
  DATABASE:  globe_media   QUERIES: 39   
0.0010   INSERT INTO `ci_sessions(`session_id`, `ip_address`, `user_agent`, `last_activity`) VALUES ('6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50''''CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)'1406902656) 
0.0041   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0015   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0011   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0008   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0012   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = 'a:1:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0045   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = 'a:2:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:5:\"China\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0010   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406902656, `user_data` = 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:5:\"China\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0007   SELECT *
FROM (`config_categories`)
WHERE `type` = 'left'
AND `parent_category_idIN (SELECT id FROM config_categories WHERE link "/countries")
display_order` != '0'
ORDER BY `display_order
0.0033   SELECT `province_code`, `province_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`provincesp)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `p`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'China'
ORDER BY `p`.`province_name
0.0018   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "China"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "China"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0012   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "China"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "China"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0030   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'China'
AND `attr_ski_chk` != "Yes"
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0020   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'China'
AND `attr_ski_chk` = 'Yes'
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0103   SELECT `iata_code`, `name`, `url_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`port_of_callpc)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `pc`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'China'
ORDER BY `pc`.`name
0.0006   SELECT *
FROM (`config_nodescn)
JOIN `config_nodes_categoriescnc ON `cnc`.`node_id` = `cn`.`id`
WHERE `cnc`.`category_idIN (select id from config_categories where link "/basics")
ORDER BY `cn`.`position`, `cnc`.`display_order
0.0034   SELECT `id`, `headline`, `via_title`, `via_link`, `body`, `event_date`, `end_date`, `anchor_link`
FROM (`news`)
WHERE `for_pro` = 1
AND `end_date` >  '2014-08-01'
AND `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "China") 
0.0012   SELECT *
FROM (`tour_operators`)
WHERE `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "China")
show_in_column` = 1
`show_in_columnDESC, `name
0.0012   SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "China" 
0.0014   SELECT from tourop_list WHERE destinations LIKE '%CN%' ORDER BY id DESC 
0.0005   SELECT `country_code`
FROM (`countries`)
WHERE `country_name` = 'China' 
0.0263   SELECT d.id AS destination_idd.overview AS destination_overviewd.extended_overview AS destination_extended_overviewd.photo as destination_photod.*, c.*, 'China' AS country_nameLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.timed.electricityd.languaged.healthd.tippingd.safetyd.businessd.communicationsd.duty_free)) AS basicsLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.embassy_consulate_usd.embassy_consulate_ukd.embassy_consulate_cad.embassy_consulate_aud.embassy_consulate_ird.embassy_consulate_nz)) AS contacts(SELECT money FROM destinations WHERE country_code "CN" ) AS money(SELECT LENGTH(CONCAT_WS(passport_visaentry_req_usentry_req_ukentry_req_caentry_req_auentry_req_irentry_req_nz))
FROM destinations WHERE country_code "CN" ) AS visa(SELECT group_concat(id) FROM public_holiday p WHERE p.country_code "CN" order by p.weight desc) AS public_holiday(SELECT count(*) FROM tour_operators t where t.country_code d.country_code) AS num_tour_ops(SELECT count(id) AS total_rows FROM tourop_list tl WHERE tl.destinations LIKE ("%CN%")) AS num_tour_operators(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM port_of_call pc WHERE pc.country_code d.country_code) AS ports_of_call(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS cities(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS regions(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM resorts WHERE major_resort AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_resort DESCname ASC) AS resorts(SELECT count(*) FROM dmcs WHERE country_code d.country_code) AS num_dmcs(SELECT concat(caption" © "copyright) FROM images WHERE filename d.photo) AS photo_copyright(SELECT count(*) FROM airports ai where ai.nfuwt != AND ai.country_code d.country_code) AS num_airports(SELECT count(*) FROM events e where e.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country 1) AS num_events(SELECT count(*) FROM activities where region_city_code "0" AND country_code d.country_code) AS num_activities(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND excursion "No") AS num_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND show_on_kids AND excursion "No") AS num_kids_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND excursion "Yes") AS num_excursions(SELECT phrases FROM phrase_book pb where pb.country_code c.country_code AND phrases != "") AS num_phrases(SELECT count(*) FROM image_bridge ib LEFT OUTER JOIN images i ON ib.image_id=i.id WHERE ib.destination_code c.country_code) AS num_photos(SELECT count(*) FROM hospitals h where h.country_code c.country_code) AS num_hospitals
(destinations d)
LEFT JOIN countries c ON c.country_code d.country_code
LEFT JOIN provinces pr ON pr
.province_code d.province_code
`c`.`country_name` = 'China' 
0.0005   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1406902656user_data 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:5:\"China\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0004   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1406902656user_data 'a:4:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:5:\"China\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";s:6:\"region\";s:0:\"\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '6ab4156e9a6733a480482ac7fddc5b50' 
0.0008   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'China'  
0.0007   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (420)
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0019   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 36,290,301,714,864,1150,1411,1505,1562,1922,2051,2063,2182,2320,2417,2464,2623,2717,2752,2902,2903,3001,3004,3074,3479,3902,3924,4397,4406,4641,4672,4798,4930,5003,5194,5213,5559,5560,5561,5562,5569,5636,5669,5688,6133,6395,7229,7381,7382,7383,7585,7586,7626,7659,7751,7803,7829,7940,8435,8874,8879,8889,9688,10974 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15
0.0045   SELECT i.*, e.fullnamee.bioe.pic FROM interviews i INNER JOIN experts e ON i.expert_id e.id
INNER JOIN countries c ON i
.spatial_id c.country_code WHERE i.interview_type 'country' AND c.country_name 'China' 
0.0005   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'China'  
0.0004   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (420)
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0004   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 36,290,301,714,864,1150,1411,1505,1562,1922,2051,2063,2182,2320,2417,2464,2623,2717,2752,2902,2903,3001,3004,3074,3479,3902,3924,4397,4406,4641,4672,4798,4930,5003,5194,5213,5559,5560,5561,5562,5569,5636,5669,5688,6133,6395,7229,7381,7382,7383,7585,7586,7626,7659,7751,7803,7829,7940,8435,8874,8879,8889,9688,10974 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15