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2004 The Best Value China Tours

China Travel Tips




  1. Get to know China
  2. All about train travel
  3. About Biking in China
  4. How to Make Travel Plans
  5. Tour quotation, cost and airport taxes etc.
  6. Hotels in China
  7. Reservation, Deposit, and final payment
  8. Insurance
  9. Visa
  10. Medical and Health issue
  11. Pack for your trip
  12. While traveling in China
  13. Feedback

1. Get to know China:

  • Ethnic

    92% Han Chinese, many minorities including Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, etc.

  • Religion

    Officially, China is atheistic, but religions are (again) tolerated. Especially young generations (under 50 year old). Some Buddhism and Daoism, often a blend between the two. 2% - 3% Muslim, 1% Christian – most derecently.

  • The Chinese Dynasties

    Xia (Hsia) 2205 - 1766 BC, Shang, Zhou (Chow), Spring & Autumn Annals, Warring States, Qin (Chin), Han, Three Kingdoms, Jin (Tsin), Southern and Northern, Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties, Song (Sung), Yuan, Ming 1368 - 1644 AD, Qing (Ching) 1644 - 1911 AD, Republic of China 1911 - 1949 AD (ROC in Taiwan, China after 1949) People's Republic of China (Mainland China) 1949 AD 

  • The weather in China:

    China has a marked continental monsoon climate characterized by great variety. Northerly winds prevail in winter, while southerly winds reign in summer. The four seasons are quite distinct.

    The warm and moist summer monsoons from the oceans bring abundant rainfall and high temperatures, with little difference in temperature between the south and the north. China's complex and varied climate results in a great variety of temperature belts, and dry and moist zones. In terms of temperature, the nation can be sectored from south to north into equatorial, tropical, sub-tropical, warm-temperate, temperate, and cold-temperate zones; in terms of moisture, it can be sectored from southeast to northwest into humid (32 percent of land area), semi-humid (15 percent), semi-arid (22 percent) and arid zones (31 percent).

  • What are the temperature in different cities? (Average Temperatures - Centigrade/Fahrenheit)

    Mean temperature in each city.

  • Public Holiday

    January 1-3 New Year's Day.
    February 11-17 (2002) Spring Festival, Chinese New Year.
    May 1-7 Labor Day.
    October 1-7 National Days.

  • Chinese people's customs and manner in their daily life

    It is common social practice to introduce the junior to the senior, or the familiar to the unfamiliar.

    Do not be surprised or feel insulted if people touch your should in China, that’s actually the usual way to show how happy to meet you.  Gifts like a bottle of wine, candy, coffee, chocolate candy, cigarettes or necktie are welcomed.

    Odd numbers are thought to be unfortunate. So wedding gifts and birthday gifts for the aged are always sent in pairs.

  • Time Zone

    Although vast in size, China maintains a single time zone throughout which is 16 hours ahead of San Francisco andLos Angeles, and 13 hours ahead of New York. So when its 10 AM in Beijing it is 6pm in Los Angeles and 9 pm in New York the previous day! (12 hours during time savings!). That’s why you arrive at home the same day of the departure date in China.

  • Chinese Language

    The official language within China is the Putonghua (Mandarin, based on the Beijing dialect.) Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages.

  • Why go to China for your trip?

    China is such a different country from the West: beautiful scenery, 5000-year-history and culture, authentic Chinese food, warmhearted people… Your China visit could be one of the most exciting and unforgettable trips you will ever take. Chinese government has taken tourist as the major way to develop economy and exchange between peoeple, the government and people warmly welcome overseas visitors. You will see firsthand the great economic strides the country has experienced in the recent past. However, much still remains to be developed in many areas. They earnestly working to improve and increase facilities and the quality of the service.

  • Is it safe to travel in China?

    Yes. China is one of the safest travel destinations in the world. Especially today while there are terrorist threat everywhere around the world. China is a guaranteed none-terror peaceful land. Also, any crime to foreign tourists would be severely punished by law. Though you still should be as cautious as anywhere else, because there are pick pocketing and purse snatching petty crime as well as in anywhere of other part of the world.

  • What is the best time to visit China ?

    China can be visited through out the year because of the stretch of its territories with various climates and landscape. Deciding when to visit China depends on which places you wish to visit, what type of weather you enjoy, and how much a bargain you want. Different areas have different definition of peak/off season. Call us to find out more details for your specific needs.

    Generally, April, May, early June, September, October and early November are the best time to visit most of area of China.

  • Main Ports of Entry to China

    By Air:
    Beijing Chengdu Dalian Guangzhou Hangzhou Harbin Hohhot Hong Kong Kunming Qingdao Shanghai Shenyang Tianjin Urumqi Xiamen Xi'an

    By Land:
    Alataw Baketu Erenhot Friendship Pass Hunchun Ji'an Kunjirap Manzhouli Mohe Nyalam (Zhangmu) Pingxiang Ruili Suifenhe Tumen Wanding Xunke Yadong

    By Water:
    Beihai Dalian Dandong Guangzhou Haikou Hankou Huangpu Jiujiang Lianyungang Nanjing Ningbo Qingdao Qinhuangdao Sanya Shanghai Shantou Shenzhen Tianjin Weihai Yangzhou Yantai Zhangjiang Zhenjiang

  • What are the types of the China domestic flights? What are the major Chinese air companies?

    Most of them are western aircraft between major cities. Most of them are Chinese domestic air company. They are Eastern Airlines, Air China, Southern Airlines and more ...

    After you settle the final date, we can even offer you the flight number and the type of air plane. However, domestic or Russian aircraft will be used on minor routes, usually flying to small cities or between remote areas.

    2. About Train Travel in China

  • What types of trains in China?

    Soft-seat, hard-sleeper and soft-sleeper are choices for you. Soft-sleeper is more comfortable than the other choices even though you still need to share the 4-bed-cabin with others. You can choose to pay the 4 booths but only use 2.

  • Special notes about train reservation:

    Any train tickets need to be reserved at least 3 weeks prior the departure date.

  • What is train travel condition in China?

    Very crowded period of time:
    - During the important Chinese festivals: the Spring Festival, Labour's Day and National Day;

    -The beginning or the ending of the winter or summer vacation;

    - Stops between important cities.

    The arrival station is broadcast in Chinese at least 15 minutes prior to the estimated arrival time. Presently, very few trains provide English arrival broadcast. Therefore, if you don’t have a guide with you, you need to pay attention so that you will get off at the right stop.

    The stopping time at each station differs from station to station and from 3 minute to 15 minutes, but generally speaking, time is very tight for passangers get on and off the train. Please set aside enough time to prepare for getting on and off.

    Toilets on the train are not quite clean and its space is around 1 square meter. Toilets will be closed before the train pulls in a station and reopened after the start-up.

  • Are there bathroom and/or toilet facilities on the train?

    Normally, no bathroom on any train in China. But, Western style washrooms and toilets can be found at both ends of each carriage.

    3. About Biking in China:

  • Is bike riding a good way of exploring city life in China?

    China has for long been known as a "kingdom of bicycles" and bicycles play an important role in Chinese daily life especially in cities like Beijing and Tianjin where the roads are well constructed and not too hilly.

    Riding a bicycle means you have joined the Chinese. A bike will easily take you to alleyways and hutong, where other means of transportation do not usually have access. You can enjoy street scenes, visit small museums of celebrities, and call on residents' homes. You also have an additional advantage of freedom of movement-you can stop wherever you want.

    In China, most hotels and travel agencies provide the bike rental serves for visitors, so when you needs, contact those departments. When rent a bike, a valid ID, such as a passport, should be presented. Rent is calculated based on the number of days the bike is used. A deposit is required for each rental. When bikes are returned in good conditions and a refund can be secured with the receipt.

  • Here are some tips for biking in China:
    1. Always ride to the right side of the street
    2. Stop at the line before a red light
    3. Make a gesture and let others know when you want to make a left or right turn
    4. Obey instructions by traffic police, and when an accident happens, immediately go to the police
    5. Carrying a person on the back seat and "hands-free" riding are prohibited
    6. Peak hours of 7:00-8: 00 in the morning and 4:00-6:00 in the afternoon should be avoid when going on a bike tour.
    4. How to make travel Plans?

  • Before you make specific travel plan, you must have a couple of things already in your mind:
    1. How many days you want to spend on the trip.
    2. How much money you can spend on the trip
  • With the above 2 basic points, you need to spend some time doing some research, such as:
    1. Picking us your preferred itinerary by searching various choices
    2. Join a tour group or being indepently traveler
  • The following points give you some hint when you make travel plan:
    1. As independent traveler, can I purchase only an airline ticket or just book a hotel room or a cruise cabin?
      Yes, we accept booking of airline tickets of hotel rooms/cruise cabins. Please contact Yangtze Cruises, Inc for details.
    2. As independent traveler, if I only book hotel/cruise/ticket, will I get voucher?
      Yes, you will get voucher from Yangtze Cruises, Inc by fax/mail or e-mail after the full payment paid.
    3. I am a single person, if I join your group tour, do I have to share a room with a stranger?
      If you are purchasing a join-in tour, you will not share a room with a stranger by paying the single supplement. Some times due to the overbooking situation on cruise ships, single cabins could become unavailable. You might have to share with another passenger. Whenever you share a room with a stranger (same gender), you don’t pay for the single supplement cost.
  • What is Guided tour?

    With the itineraries we designed, you will got a good chance to experience the culture, history and beauty of nature of China. Try to imagine in a strange place, without knowing anyone, anywhere; without understanding the strange language, how difficult it might be.. BUT, it’s much easier and relaxing taking the guided tour. You only need to concentrate in enjoying the scenery and learning the culture.

  • In a Guided tour, how big is the Group?

    We usually have small groups averagely around 6-8 people. Occassionally we may have over 10 people group. But no matter how big or small the group is, each individual traveler will be taken care of as well.

    *We successfully operated big groups corresponding special culture, sports and education events.

  • Why join a group to travel in China?

    The benefits are many: personal attention from our professional guides to all details during your travel, such as to priority accommodations and check-in formalities at hotels and airports, and so on. Besides, you can save a big amout of money to join the group travel.

  • What should I know of traveling with a group?

    Always be on time so as not to hold up the group. Pay attention to the guides when they instruct the information regarding the tour.

    If you have any special needs or requirements, you may talk with the guide to get advise

    If you have any lost, you need to report to the guide firsthand.

  • If I travel with your group, will I get voucher?

    No, you don't need any voucher if you travel with our group, except where deviations, pre/post tour extensions or individual travel alterations have been booked and prepaid in advance. But we do provide you with travel final document - which lists all the local contacts, itinerary and service we will arrange for you.

  • Customized tour

    After looking through the posted designed tours on our website, maybe you didn't find any itinerary or schedule fit your interest, by telling us: travellers’ number, trip duration, length and your interest, you will get an customized tour itinerary with all details including hotels, transportation, scenery spots and tour cost. Usually the customized tour costs more than group package tour.

  • Family travel

    As a family, you may choose to join the group to travel or ask for customized private tour. If you have kids, be aware of safety is the highest importance during the trip. Usually we suggest do not bring child with you for Tibet or Mongolia trip. Children cost less than adult.

  • What about child rate?

    There is normally no charge for a child under 12 years old sharing a room with parents. But some hotels will charge the extra bed.

    For baby under 2 years old, baby cot will be provided by the hotel free of charge. Normally Children under 2 years old are free from the breakfast fare and Children under 12 years pay 50 percent for the breakfast.

    Different hotels may vary in their respective regulations. If there are some surcharges required, please pay it on the spot.

  • Can you arrange travel only for my family and me without putting us into a group?

    Yes, we definitely can. You choose a package tour from our posted tours or request a customized tour.

  • Can I use my Frequent Flyer mileage to upgrade to Business Class or First Class when purchasing an Air & Land tour from Yangtze Cruises, Inc?

    Since our Air & Land packages are based on special low-priced contract airfares, it is not possible to upgrade. However, please note that all of our tours indicate the amount of the "Land only" portion; you may purchase the land from us and then make arrangements for your own Frequent Flyer air ticket. 5. Tour quotation, cost and airport taxes etc.?

  • Will it spend more money booking travel through travel agency than traveling on my own?

    No. Some travelers imagine booking through agency will cost more. But actually sometime make arrangements through travel agencies for your trip may cost much less, because travel business just like wholesaler, which means we have great deal on restaurants, hotels and tickets than individual booking prices.

  • If I directly book a tour from China rather than from the travel company in the US, will that cost less?

    There are lots of reputable travel companies in China. American travel companies set up cooperation with them after many researches, visits and contacts. But as individual travelers:

    1. As individual travelers, booking tour directly from China instead of through companies in the US. easily put yourself unprotected.
    2. If you are American citizens, booking a tour directly from China will cost you 3-3.5% of the total amount more than booking in the US. This part of money is for money transaction service only.
    3. Money transaction takes 2 weeks. This means before your money is received, during the 2 weeks, your tour is unguranteed.
    4. If for any reason you have to change or cancel your trip. The China Foreign Currency Control and Restriction policy makes it very difficult to get your money back, besides, another 3-3.5% of the total amount transaction service fee will be deducted.
  • What does the quotation include within a package tour?
    1. Transportation between cities
    2. hotel accommodations, double occupancy
    3. American or Chinese breakfast, Chinese lunch and dinner daily
    4. Private sightseeing with professional English speaking guides locally.
    5. Special banquets and cultural events
    6. All transfers
  • What does the quotation exclude within a package tour?
    1. Gratuities
    2. Visa processing fee
    3. Travel insurance
    4. Airport Taxes and International Departure Taxes
  • Add-On Air Fare Chart (reference only, based on NW information)
    • ZONE 1: To Los Angeles: No Additional Charge Los Angeles, CA Portland, OR San Francisco, CA Seattle, WA
    • ZONE 2: Please call our reservations department Honolulu, HI
    • ZONE 3: Add $250.00 to Los Angeles tour fare Albuquerque, NM Ontario, CA Sacramento, CA Spokane, WA Anchorage, AK Palm Springs, CA Salt Lake City, UT Las Vegas, NV Phoenix, AZ San Diego, CA
    • ZONE 4: Add $180.00 to Los Angeles tour fare Atlanta, GA Ft. Lauderdale, FL Miami, FL Sarasota, FL Austin, TX Detroit, MI New York, NY Tampa, FL Boston, MA Fort Myers, FL Orlando, FL Washington, D.C. Chicago, IL Houston, TX Philadelphia, PA W. Palm Beach, FL Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX Jacksonville, FL
    • ZONE 5: Add $220.00 to Los Angeles tour fare Pensacola, FL If your city is not shown on the lists above, please call us for information. IMPORTANT NOTE: The above add-on fares are applicable only when using flights on Northwest Airlines. Valid from April 1, 2003 to December 31, 2003. If there are some surcharges required, please pay it on the spot.
  • What is the single supplement? Is this fee already included in the season quotation or should I add it to the season quote?

    The hotels, cruises or other accomodations are all based on starndard room double occupancy. If the visitor travels alone, he must pay for the other half of the accommodations of the hotels and cruises. This additional charge is called single supplement.

    Usually, single supplement is separately listed in the quotation.

  • What is land only cost?

    Land only means the round-trip international air tickets to China is excluded.

    Air Taxes & Fees in the U.S.:

    1. U.S. Customs & Immigration fees, U.S. departure taxes, other governmental or quasi-Governmental fees, air taxes,fuel surcharges and airport facility charges are extra approximately $110 per person.
    2. Air Taxes & Fees in China: Mainland China airport taxes are approximately USD $6.50 per domestic flight and $12 international flights.
    3. HKairport taxes is approximately USD$13 per person per departure flight.
  • What about airport tax in Hong Kong?

    Currently, it is RMB115 Yuan (about HK$110) consisting of airport construction fee and departure tax.

    *** PLEASE NOTE: Airport TAX COUPONs will be collected at each airport at the time of check-in.

    1. All passengers must first purchase a TAX COUPON sold at specific booths at all local airports.
    2. If you have local guides, they will usually collect the appropriate fee from you (cash only) and will purchase and distribute the coupons for all members in the group.
    3. You won’t be permitted get into the check-in area without a TAX COUPON.
    6. About Hotels in China:

  • Pls advise how can I get a hotel with a swimming pool ?

    Usually, most of 5 star hotels in China have a swimming pool. If you or your children would like to have hotels with swimming pool, you should let your travel agency know when he (or she) is making travel plan for you.

  • What time can I check-in & check-out the hotel?
    1. Check-in time: from 14: 00 p.m. (noon)
    2. Check-out time: before 12.00 p.m. (noon)
    3. Notes: The check-in and check-out time are subject to the management of the specific hotel. It is advisable to contact the hotel if you need earlier check-in or later check-out. Earlier Check-in or later Check-out sometimes result in an extra charge.
  • What are the procedures in hotels of check-in and check-out ?

    When check in, you have to present your passport and fill in a check-in form. The hotels normally require a small amount of deposit even though you pre-paid for your room to the travel agency.

    Check out always take some time as the hotel will check the room and perform a few administrative tasks. When check out, the hotel will deduct the deposit you have paid from the unpaid personal expense and return it to you.

  • Can I confirm a non-smoking hotel room?

    Yes, we can book a non-smoking or other type of room for you based on your requirements.

  • What is the difference between hotels of different star?
    1. 3 Star: hotels must have guest rooms with dressing table, desk, drawers, and closet; carpet or wood floor; telephones in every room with international direct dial(IDD); mini-bar and refrigerator; color television sets, in-house movies, music; writing materials; sunproof curtains; and bed turn-down service. They must have single rooms and suites, western and Chinese dinning rooms(with English-speaking attendants, and the last order no earlier than 8:30pm),16-hour coffee shop, banquet hall or function room, buffet breakfast and bar service(until midnight), and 18-hour room service. They must also have elevator service, public telephone and washroom, equipment and service for disabled people, disco or karaoke, foreign exchange, safe deposit boxes, store, camera film developing, fax and telex service, luggage storage, 24-hour laundry and dry cleaning, wake-up calls, shoe polishing, and taxis. They should be able to mend articles of everyday use for guests. They should accept major credit cards. They must have an emergency electricity supply for public areas, medical services, 16-hour a day doorman, and message service, guest reception, and managers on call. An assistant manager should be in the lobby 18 hours and railroad timetables available. China Daily and China Tourism News should be on sale(or free)
    2. 4 Star: hotel should have luxurious and spacious sound-proof rooms, low-noise toilets, and hair dryers. They should have guests and service elevators, background music, health club, swimming pool, sauna, business center, greenhouse, 24-hour doorman, reservations accepted through fax/telex, 24-hour room service, and onward reservations in China for guests. A guest reception and assistant manager should be available in the lobby 24 hours a day. Laundry should be returned by next day. The restaurants in four-star hotels should provide two kinds of Chinese food with the last order no earlier than 9pm. Bar service should be available to one am. There should be a 24-hur coffee shop and a breakfast and dinner buffet. A clinic should be on-site. A business center with photocopying, typing and translation services should be available, as should a ticketing agency with city tours and babysitting services.
    3. 5-Star: hotels are usually palatial with huge lobbies. Service should be better than the four-star hotels described above. See Top hotels section below. There are many hotels of five-star international standard, just as good as hotels in Washington or Ottawa except for the standard of English. Some hotels have their own fleets of Mercedes limousines of Toyata vans that make regular runs to the airport or city center. At least two hotels have Rolls Royces. Many have executive floors with concierges, free continental breakfasts, and fast check-in. Many have magnificent ball rooms and lobbies and cater to foreign business people on expense accounts. They have the best western food and probably the best Chinese food in town, and the most luxurious breakfast buffets. Some leave chocolates on your pillow, or a rubber ducky on your bathtub, nice litter touches that bring a smile.
    7. Reservation, air booking and final payment:

  • When should I make reservation for my trip

    Normally we have no time limit regarding reservation. Even so, you are suggested to make booking the earlier the better, especially during the high season (May to November). Late reservations can not be guaranteed for the hotel rooms and tour prices, But, since we are experienced China tour specialist and efficient travel service provider, we are capable to take late reservations and we will try all means to help you succeed your travel arrangement. We encourage you to call us directly by telephone if your reservation is quite late.

  • How to make a reservation?

    Before any booking, contact us to check availability. If the tour is available, we will ask you to start from: Apply in writing with the info of passengers’ names (as exactly the same as it appears on each passenger’s passport, tour code, departure date and your contact info(phone/e-mail and mailing address).

    1. $ 300 pp DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED UPON BOOKING OF TOUR.
    2. $ 100 pp DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED UPON BOOKING OF CRUISE/FLIGHT.
    3. $ 800 pp IS REQUIRED UPON BOOKING THE ROUND-TRIP INTERNATIONAL AIR.
    4. Please note all the most of special rate air tickets are not refundable, therefore we will confirm with you for issueing tickets.

  • Can I join a group once I am already in China, or such arrangements must be made beforehand?

    Reservation should be done in advance to make sure we have all arrangements guaranteed from the hotels, transfers, meals to transportations all relevant matters. But our efficient working system can help you to make a successful travel arrangement even though you only apply for the tour shortly beforehead.

  • How long can my reservation be confirmed?

    After receiving the tour application and deposit from you, we will start to make tour arrangements for you and meanwhile double check all availabilities. . Normally the reservation can be confirmed within one week.

  • Should I make a reservation with you first, or with the airline?

    We have great deals for international flights going to Asia and China. You may purchase air and land tour package at the same time. But if you would like to use your miles or upgrade to business, you need to contact airline directly for processing.

  • Can I pay for my tour (deposit or final payment) by my credit card?

    Our tours are all cash discount price. We accept wire transferred payment or check payment for both deposit and final payment.

  • When I make reservation, is it safe to supply Yangtze Cruises, Inc my personal information ?

    You can rest assure that your personal information is safe at Yangtze Cruises, Inc. We will keep your personal information in confidential, and we will only use your personal information for tour arrangements relevant matters.

  • What do I do if I want to add more people to my original reservation?

    Contact us to check availability first. Usually we can accept more people without any extra charge if the tour is still available depends on the flights, hotels and other availabilities, but sometime it may apply an emergency handling fee or special service charge.

  • Book International-Air from Yangtze Cruises, Inc:

    Passenger need to supply the name for air booking to Yangtze Cruises, Inc as exactly as it appears on his(her) passport.

    Yangtze Cruises, Inc is not responsible for notifying guests of flight schedule changes after the air tickets are issued. We recommend that you contact the airline within 72 hours of departure to reconfirm flights.

  • Seat Assignments and Special Services:

    Requests for seat assignments, special meals and special services must be made directly with the airline no matter if you booked through us.

  • Air Changes, Cancellations and Refunds:

    Special fare airline tickets are highly restrictive and cannot be reissued, revalidated or exchanged after ticketing. Air tickets issued by Yangtze Cruises, Inc are refundable only to Yangtze Cruises, Inc. A $50 per person administrative fee plus applicable airline change fees or cancellation penalties are assessed for any changes to air tickets once air tickets have been issued, including cancellation of air. The $50 charge does not apply when upgrading to Business Class or purchasing a Yangtze Cruises, Inc Vacation Extension. Airline penalties vary depending on carrier and can be substantial. In some cases airline tickets issued by Yangtze Cruises, Inc are nonrefundable.

  • What evidence of payment do I get from you after payment is made?

    We will mail/E-mail or fax you the receipt of total payment as soon as we receive your payment.

  • When should final payment be paid?

    Final payment is due 2 months prior your departure date.

  • When will I get confirmation letter and other final tour documents?

    Once we have received the final payment from you, we will send you receipt with tour confirmation letter within 2 weeks. The final tour documents will be sent to you 1 months prior the departure date.

  • What is included in the final tour documents?

    Final tour itinerary. All local contacts including travel services, hotels, cruises and transportations. China briefing China Visa with your passport (if you sent us your visa application) Round-trip international flight. (If you booked tour from us) Free luggage tags and passport holders of Yangtze Cruises, Inc.

    8. Insurance

  • What about if the weather condition and/or beyond-control reason cause canceling and/or delaying tours?

    We don't take any responsibility if the weather condition and/or beyond-control reason cause canceling and/or delaying tours. Your rerouted itinerary may become a little rough, because there are only limited air services between cities. But please be assured that Yangtze Cruises, Inc and all our local service will make every effort to achieve the best possible alternate arrangements. Under such circumstances, we would appreciate your patience and understanding.

    Purchase insurance while you make the trip reservation:

    We strongly recommend travel insurance, though we don't sell insurance. Travel insurance should be purchased at the time of your deposit for your tour booking.

  • Can you supply some Insurance companies list for my reference?

    Yangtze Cruises, Inc does not represent any insurance companies. Neither do we sell any insurance policies. We have some travel insurance companies recommended by our customers:

    • Traveler Insured International Tel: (800) 243-3174
    • Global CareTel: (800) 821-2488
    • Travel GuardTel: (800) 826-1300
    • Carefree TravelTel: (800) 323-3149
    • M. H. Ross Co's Tripguard PlusTel: (800) 423-3632

    9. Visa (and passport)

  • What is my passport’s function while I travel to China?

    You must have a passports valid for six months after the return date of the trip to apply the China Visa 2 months prior your departure date of your tour.

    Every airport/hotel check-in, you must show your passport. Your name on your tickets must be exactly as it appears on your passport.

    **PLEASE DO NOT PACK YOUR PASSPORT IN YOUR LUGGAGE! AND, PLEASE KEEP IN MIND YOU MUST MAKE SURE KEEP YOUR PASSPORT IN A SAFE PLACE.

  • Do I need visa to go to China?

    A China visa is required to travel into China. (single or double entry).

    In order to apply visa, your passports must be valid for six months after the return date of the trip.

  • Do I need an invitation letter or invatation party from China?

    No, you don't have to have any invitation letter or party from China, eventhough this requirement shows on the visa application form.

  • Do I need to mail my visa application form to China travel agencies?

    Mailing to the travel agencies in your country is faster, easier and less expensive than mailing it to China. Please acknowledge that China Consulate no longer accept any mailing visa application.

  • How to fill up the VISA APPLICATION FORM?

    You must sign your name and have your pic attached on the form. Some places you may leave blank, such as the invitation party, whom you will meet.

  • I am not a U. S. citizen. Can you still process my application?

    We can process applications for anyone who is in the US while he applys for the visa as long as he possess a valid passport.

  • What type of visa do I need?

    Single-entry China visas are usually valid for 3 months after the issuing date, and will permit you to stay in China for a maximum of 30 days. This visa will allow you to travel as a tourist or conduct general business activities. Most tourist people need only to apply for a single-entry. Some business people need to apply for the double-entry visa.

  • What do you mean passport size photo?

    The Chinese consulate requires a photo similar to the one in your passport. They will only accept photos which are head-only, full frontal, with a white background, approximately 1-1/2" by 2". You can obtain this type of photo anywhere that advertises "passport photo" service. Cut-outs from personal photographs are not acceptable.

  • Do I need visa for visit to Hong Kong?

    American citizens and many other countries citizens DO NOT need a visa during the specified visa free period. Travelers of those countries unspecified hereunder or those who want to stay longer need to apply for the appropriate visa or entry permit from the nearest Chinese embassies or consulate.

  • Do I need a visa to enter Macau as a tourist?

    Passport holders of following countries would be granted visa-free entry to Macau. Passport holders of other countries not specified hereunder should apply a visa for entry admission. Canada, USA, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and etc countries.

  • How to obtain Visa to China while you are in Hong Kong?

    Documents needed to obtain Visa in Hong Kong:

    1. 1 recent passport photo.
    2. Passport which needs to be valid at least more than 3 months.
    3. Usually you can get the visa within one working day.
    4. Please call them before going to their office. Their Address:
      • Visa Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The PRC
      • Addres: 5th Floor, Lower Block, 26 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.
      • Tel: ++852-25851657OR ++852-25851680 OR ++852-25851794
    Note:
    1. You need to go there during working day, Monday to Friday.
    2. "Within One working day" means: Suppose you went to the visa office this morning with all required documents and submit your visa application, you will be able to get it tomorrow morning.
    3. "Fast Process" enable you receive you visa during one day.

    10. Medical and Health issue

  • Can I take a cruise if I am physical disability?

    Yes, you can. But the following circumstances you should be aware of: Please note that cruise on the Yangtze River requires extensive walking. Services for the physically impaired are few and far between. Hotels are ok but buses and most of the scenery spots are not equipped to handle wheelchairs. On vessels, while a few cabins have been redesigned to offer wider doors, there are no elevators between decks - stairs are used. On stops at different ports while cruising the Yangtze, steep stairs and pathways must be navigated to get from the ship to the roads where tour buses can pick up passengers for sightseeing. Most of the sightseeing is on foot. Therefore, regretfully, we do not recommend these tours and cruises to wheelchair bound passengers or to passengers with severe walking limitations or other severe physical disabilities. Although we did successfully operated tours for some passengers with certain degree of disabilities.

  • Can I join your tour to China if I am physical disability?

    Yes, you can join our tour to China if you are physical disability. Besides the point that we take care of each individuals in our tours, we pay high attention to people who have special needs or physical disability. The local guide will always give you help whenever you have needs.

  • Medical Issues:

    All situations requiring medical attention will be handled at local facilities and medical service, at the guest's expense. Yangtze Cruises, Inc will not be responsible for the quality of medical care guests received on the tour.

  • What about I immunizations for traveling to China ?

    There is no specific immunization required for American travelers to China.

  • Do I need to bring my medical record?

    Yes, it is necessary, particularly for those with a history of coronary or pulmonary diseases. The absence of your medical records would make you disoriented when emergency occurs.

    A complete medical record should include your blood type, immunization record, allergies, medications you are currently taking (both prescription and non-prescription), your doctor's name, address, phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.

    11. Pack for your trip

    I got my flight's schedule, but I only see some codes, I would like to know which airline it is: Please contact us to get a list of Airline Codes.

  • Do I need to reconfirm my international air and tour bookings before traveling?

    Yes, you need. 1 months prior your departure date you will receive the final tour documents from Yangtze Cruises, Inc by priority mail. Upon receiving, please double check everything included, the tour itinerary, the hotels, transportation and all details relevant.

    MEANWHILE YOU NEED TO RECONFIRM ANY UNCLEAR DETAIL WITH US BEFORE YOUR DEPARTURE.

  • What's the personal travel documents I MUST bring with?

    Before leaving home for the airport, be sure that you remember to take:

    1. Valid PASSPORT (must be valid 6 months beyond your date of return), and China VISA(which is attached within your passport).
    2. Final travel documents or any voucher sent to you by Yangtze Cruises, Inc with all local contact info.
    3. Round trip international air tickets(Tips for tickets: Please check your tickets for the passenger's name, schedule soon after you receive it, if anything wrong, you should contact us immediately; we suggest you call the airline 72 hours prior the departure time to confirm the flight. Yangtze Cruises, Inc won’t take any responsibility for airline’s changes).
    4. For your convenience we suggest essential items (medications, toiletries, passport, plane tickets, currencies, important documents) be hand carried by you!

  • Suggested PACKING LIST
    1. Coffee bag along if necessary. Only tea bag is available in hotel.
    2. Hair dryer, razor, alarm clock.(most of 4 and 5 star hotels in China have hair dryer in guest’s room)
    3. Electrical converter and adapter plugs. China's electrical system operates at 220 volts.
    4. Common toiletries, cold and digestive medications, lip balm, sanitary napkins and any over-the-counter medicines you generally use.
    5. Chewing gum, mints, or throat lozenges to keep your mouth moist.
    6. Sun-tan lotion and sun glasses. Raincoat if you go in July and August.
    7. Camera & film. Be aware that while print film is available in most places, negative film may be difficult to find, and be sure to pack extra batteries and films.
    8. A note book to keep track of all the exciting things happening on the trip.
    9. Casual clothes and a pair of comfortable walking shoes
    10. Shirts, sweaters, and jackets that can be worn in layers to suit a range of climates.

  • Suggested NOT packing list:
    1. JEWERLY
    2. CASH (besides a small amount of cash – under $500, do not bring with you big amount of cash)

  • What's kind of shoes should I bring for the trip?

    Do pack comfortable, "broken-in" shoes! Most of our tours and cruises include extensive walking, especially during shore excursions and during visits ashore! Sneakers are the best.

  • What is your suggestion for clothing?

    China has different climates - from the chilly North to the balmy South, daytime and nighttime- so you need to bring a variety of clothes for all types of weather conditions..

    However, in principle, you should combine clothes that can be worn in layers! Our tour and cruise programs are designed with comfort in mind. Suggest you leave your formal evening clothes at home - they will not be needed!. One tie and sport coat for gentlemen and one dress for ladies is all you will need in terms of more elegant clothing for the Captain’s Farewell dinner and a few other cultural or theater performances.

    In addition - LEAVE YOUR FANCY JEWLERY AT HOME! By keeping it simple you will have a worry free trip - to the benefit of all of us!!!

  • How much luggage can I bring and what to pack?

    Only one piece of checked luggage is allowed going to china, along with a carry-on piece.

  • What about Baggage allowance?

    Baggage allowances differ for the United States, transpacific, inter-Orient and China sections of your tour. However, carrying a single suitcase weighing no more than 44 pounds will meet all requirements. We suggest you to travel as light as possible since there may be times when you will have to carry your own baggage during the trip in China.

  • What is the specific baggage regulations for the various sections are as follows for your reference?

    • US and non-stop transpacific - Two pieces of luggage, their combined measurements (sum of the three dimensions not exceeding 106 inches; no single piece may be larger than 62 inches).
    • Inter-Orient - Maximum weight allowance of 44 pounds.
    • People's Republic of China - Baggage allowance within China is 44 pounds per person for travel by air and one piece of baggage per person to travel by train. Baggage must be locked as required by inter-China air carriers, otherwise domestic Chinese Airlines will NOT accept your luggage
    • Hong Kong - U.S. - Carry-on Baggage allowance for carry-ons when departing from Hong Kong for the United States. One piece: size 22 x 14 x 9 inches (or 56cm x 36cm x 23cm)

  • What is the baggage regulations when take domestic flights in China?

    Baggage regulations when flying inside China

    CARRYON BAGGAGE

    Total weight of carryon baggage for each passenger may not exceed 5kg. First class passengers may carry up to 2 pieces. All other passengers may carry on only one piece. The size may not exceed 20x40x55cm. Carry no baggage in excess of the limit is subject to an excess baggage fee and must be carried as checked baggage. A fee may be imposed for excess weight. You can also take one hand carryon, which should fit in the overhead bin or under your seat.

    FREE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

    Free baggage allowance includes checked baggage and cabin baggage. Passengers holding an adult fare or half fare ticket are entitled to a free baggage allowance of 40kg, for first class, 30kg, for business class, and 20kg, for economy class. No free baggage allowance is granted to infants.

    IF YOU ARE TRAVELING TOGETHER IN GROUP MORE THAN 1 PEOPLE, YOU CAN USE YOUR ALLOWANCE TOGETHER.

    Even though the check in Baggage allowance is 20kg for person when flying in China. You can put 2 people's allowance together, which means, if you have 35kg, your friend have only 5kg, as long as you 2 check in together at the airport, that will be fine. But if the total weight exceeds 40kg, they will charge you the over weight part. This policy also applies to 3, 4, 5 or even more people, as long as they are checking in at the same time on the airport counter.

    ARTICLES WHICH CANNOT NE TAKEN AS BAGGAGE

    Passengers are not allowed to carry in their checked or carryon baggage dangerous articles, such as flammable, explosive, corrosive, poisonous, radioactive, polymerizable and magnetized materials. Passengers are forbidden to carry arms, sharp or lethal weapons when taking a flight.

    ARTICLES WHICH CANNOT BE PACKED IN THE CHECKED BAGGAGE

    Passengers are not allowed to pack in the checked baggage important documents, classified materials, diplomatic mail bags, negotiable securities, currencies, money orders, valuables, vulnerable perishables and articles and other articles needed in the special custody of somebody. The carrier will not be liable for the loss of or damage to the aforementioned.

    BAGGAGE PACKING

    The checked baggage should be packed perfectly, well locked, toed up solidly and be able to withstand pressure to a reasonable extent. Carriers may refuse to accept for carriage if the baggage packing does not meet to the requirements.

    BAGGAGE COMPENSATION

    The carrier will be liable to compensate for the loss of or damage to the checked baggage due to the carrier's fault. The norm of compensation shall not exceed RMB 50 yuan per kg.. If the value of the baggage is less than RMB 50 yuan per kg., the amount of compensation shall be paid according to its actual value of the loss.

    BAGGAGE DECLARED VALUE

    A passenger may declare the value of his baggage if the value of his checked baggage exceeds RMB 50 yuan per kg.. Baggage declared value can not exceed the value of the current baggage. The maximum baggage declared value is RNB 8,000 yuan.

    SECURITY INSPECTIION

    Passengers and their baggage (including checked and carryon baggage) are subject to the security inspection before boarding the aircraft.

  • Anything else regarding my baggage I should know about?
    1. If during the trip you add or subtract the amount of check-in baggage, please let the Tour Director know so he or she can account for the difference in the total count.
    2. When checking-out in hotel, you will be instructed to put your baggage outside your door at a specific time. To ensure that your baggage is transported with the group's bags, please adhere closely to the times given.
    3. If your bags arrive damaged, please let the Tour Director know immediately so he or she may report it. The longer you wait the harder it is to get the hotel or CAAC to accept responsibility.

  • Why use luggage tags?

    To make sure your luggage takes the same vacation as you do, luggage tags will be supplied with your final documents by Yangtze Cruises, Inc. Please use them! They assist our ground personnel in recognizing and collecting your luggage - and if lost - they help locate and deliver your luggage to you!

  • Can I bring my valuables with me?

    While safe deposit boxes are available at most hotels and on the vessels (either in the rooms or via the reception) we still strongly recommend that you leave items of value such as jewelry at home. Yangtze Cruises, Inc will not take any responsibility for your valuables’ loss or damage.

  • What should I note if I bring my own video/camera operators:

    China operates on a different system than in the United States. So, please bring plenty of spare tapes/films and additional batteries. And if buying local tapes - make sure they are filmed in the NTSC format (US standard). Otherwise the cost of transferring them when you get back home may not be worth the money you paid for it in the first place!

  • I'd like to bring something as gifts to the people I will meet in China, what will be all right?

    Gift like a bottle of wine, candy, coffee, chocolate candy, cigarettes, lipsteaks, small value cosmetic products or necktie are welcomed.

    12. While traveling in China

  • Customs Entry Formalities:

    Usually before you arrive to your first point of entry into China, airline crews will ask you to fill out a health card before you passing through customs. Upon entering China, travelers must also complete a customs declaration form listing the valuables or amount of foreign currency being brought into the country. A copy of the form will be collected upon exit.

  • What should I bring and show for check-in for domestic flights in China?

    You should have your ticket(has the same name as it appears on your passport), valid passport with China visa, China airport tax coupon(each airport)

  • What do you do when check-in at the airport?

    Besides showing your valid ID. Ticket and tax coupon, you need to check-in your non-carryon luggage. You may need to pay for the overweight luggage.

  • What do you get after check-in at the airport?

    You will get your boarding pass and luggage receipt. The boarding pass is for board on the plane. The luggage is for picking up luggage upon arrival the desination.

  • What do you do after check-in at the airport?

    Make sure the time to board and wait for boarding on the boarding at the right entrance.

  • How can I arrange my international arrival and departure transfer if I am land only?

    You may choose to arrange the international arrival/departure transfer on your own, taking taxi or use hotel shuttle service.Or you may request this service from us by providing the international flights schedule. This service costs about $15-$50 pp.

  • Will language a problem in China since I don’t understand Chinese ?

    In big cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, some people can speak English. In 3, 4 and 5 star hotels, everyone is required to speak good English. Mandarin is spoken throughout China. People in Hong Kong and part of mainland China speak Cantonese. English is the first foreign language of China and becoming more and more popular. But even though, without a English-speaking guide, you need to have some important information both in Chinese and English in case you need help to go back.

    Note: In each hotel you stay, you can get hotel information card both in English and Chineses at the front desk.

  • The local guide can not enter through the airport terminal security check point for my boarding, how will we know where the gate is located?

    Generally, after you go through the security check point, you will enter the airport lounge. Both the Screen Banners on the wall and the broadcasting announcement will remind passengers of the fight number and schedules. For any problem, you can get help from the airport stuff. Meanwhile you need to pay attention to the announcement, which will be repeated in Chinese and English.

  • Upon your arrival at the airport, how can I find my guide without him entering through the airport terminal security check point?

    After you arrive in a city, our guide will meet you at the airport. He/She will await you at the arrival exit, holding a board with your nameson it. You need to navigate through the terminal building by yourself before you reach our guide. Try to ask the airport staff for help if you have any problems. Please pay attention to the board with your name when you reach the gate.

    If due to the overcrowded passengers, you may not see your guide, you should remain staying at the same exit spot.

    If after the crowded is gone, you still can’t find the guide, you should make a call to contact the local person which is listed on your final document.

  • Airport transfer for people who made their own flights arrangements:

    If you make your own flight arrangements, you will be responsible for making your own airport arrival/departure transfer. If you miss the tour due to the late flight arriving, Yangtze Cruises, Inc will not be responsible.

  • Can taxi drivers at the airport understand English?

    If you decide to take taxi to the hotel upon your international arrival, we suggest you have your hotel's name address and phone number written both in English and China to show the taxi driver. The tour final documents provided by Yangtze Cruises, Inc will have this kind of thing sent to you before your trip.

  • Knowledge about the Chinese money:

    China's legal currency is Renminbi (RMB). Foreign currencies can not be used directly in China, though some shops illegally accept foreign currencies.

    Renminbi (RMB) Yuan is the Chinese currency. USD $1= RMB yuan 8 (reference only). We recommendyou bring your major credit cards, traveler’s check and small amount of cash. Most hotels and shops in big cities accept major credit cards. You can change your traveler's check into local money in the hotel exchange counter. Usually the exchange rate is a little higher than cash exchange. Personal checks are usually not accepted. In Hong Kong, the local currency is HK dollar. USD $ 1= 7.5 HK dollars(average rate for reference only).

    The basic unit of RMB is yuan. 1 yuan (or kuai) =10 jiao (or mao), and 1 jiao = 10 fen. RMB is available in both paper notes and coins. Hong Kong uses HK dollars.

    Foreign currencies may be converted into RMB at all local banks (into HK $ in HK), bank branches or hotels at the exchange rate quoted on the foreign exchange marker on the day.

  • Special NOTES:

    Black market in foreign currency is forbidden in China. People may approach you in front of hotels, at tourist spots or at banks for a black market exchange. You should be extremely careful. The exchange rate may be attractive--higher than the bank rate--but it is illegal and you risk being cheated.

    When you exchange money at the banks, you should ask for a certificate, with which you can change RMB back to foreign currency before you depart the country.

    The official exchange rate at this time is 8.2 yuan to 1 U.S dollar. Keep the receipt of the transaction as you might need when you leave China to change your US dollars back in Bank of China at the airport.

  • What credit cards are accepted in China?

    Most of the internationally accepted credit cards are usable in China. They include: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner's Club, and the JCB card of Japan.

    Credit cards are accepted only in large shopping malls and stores. Credit card symbols are displayed in the visible place in shops and hotels indicating credit cards are accepted.

  • Do the major banks have ATM (automatic transaction machine) machines where I may withdraw money at any time or do I have to go through a clerk during business hours? If so, are banks open on Saturday?

    You can withdraw money (Chinese Yuan) from ATM machines of Bank of China at any time. And you can also transact through the bank clerk.

    Their working hours are 9: 00AM -17: 30PM from Monday to Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the working hours normally are 9:00AM - 1:00PM, but it may vary with banks. So you are recommended to transact it during the working days. The ATM machine of Bank of China can accept most foreign credit cards, such as VISA, American Express, Master Card etc.

  • May I take Chinese currency to China for my convenience? Is it illegal to import or export Chinese currency?

    Generally you need not take Chinese currency to China since you can easily exchange you US$ into Chinese Rmb in hotels and banks. However if you would like to have local currency upon your arrival in China, it is okay that you may take a volume of Chinese currency less than 6,000 Rmb without declaration at the customs. You are required to declare your import of Chinese currency exceeding 6,000 Rmb.

  • Traveller's check:

    The Bank of China has an agreement with foreign financial organizations on selling, cashing in and compensating for traveller's cheques.

  • Which traveller's cheques are handled by the Bank of China?

    Issued by Currencies

    • Thomas Cook USD HKD DEM FRF CAD AUD JPY CHF GBP
    • International Payment Co. USD GBP CAD
    • American Express Co. USD DEM FRF
    • Citibank USD
    • Nanyang Commercial Bank USD HKD
    • Swiss Bank CHF
    • Bank of Tokyo JPY
    • Mitsui Bank JPY
    • Sumitomo Bank JPY
    • Fuji Bank JPY
    If you have any problems, please contact the Bank of China, Beijing Branch (Tel: 63035128)

  • Where can I find Internet in China?

    Most 4 or 5 hotels provide convenient Internet service with reasonable fees. In most big cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao, you can easiliy find internet caf, usually no drinks supplied.

  • How to dress while you travel?

    During the day-time tour, shirt, T-shirt, jeans, Shorts and sneaker are all very practicle. The regular daily 3 meals too.

    Unless there is a show or special dinner, it is nice to dress up as you used to do in your own country. But that doesn’t mean you need to pack several suits or dresses even if there are several special occasions during your trip.

  • Do we pay the airport departure tax and construction fees in local currency or US$?

    All the fees are payable in local currency and in cash only at a special airport tax desk at each local airport before check in.

  • What type of meals we are going to get during our tour in China?

    Breakfast will be arranged in the hotels you stay. Sometime American Buffet, sometime Chinese Buffet.

    The day meals listed in your itinerary are usually pre-arranged and fixed for the group and will consist of Chinese delicacies and a limited choice of western foods. If you like Chinese - you will enjoy! If you don't-- you always can order other meals on the menu, please note that extra cost for this extra order may apply. It should be paid by youself before you leave the restaurant. If you don't feel the local Chinese meal is better that you have in the US. Please don't blame the restaurant, since most of overseas Chinese restaurants are westernized.

  • For the meals you showed in the itinerary, are they pre-arranged or could we make our own orders when we sit down at the table?

    To guarantee the hygiene and quality, all the meals during the tour are pre-arranged in the government approved restaurants, which are all of set-menu. People cannot make their own orders at this point. If you have special requirements, please inform us before the tour starts, so we can make arrangements accordingly.

  • In my itinerary, no meal is arranged (included), how can we choose restauraunt while we are in China?

    You have the following several choices:

    1. Use restauraunts in the hotel.
    2. Government approved restaurant for foreigners
    3. Travel guide book'ss recommendation

  • What is about Tang Dynasty Dinner Show and dinner in Xi'an?

    There are two kinds of The shows in Xi'an, one is the Deluxe Tang Dynasty Dinner Show, which is what on our web site, the other we believe is the one you have had. These two shows are held in different places, the Deluxe one is held at No.75, Changan Lu, Xi'an; the other one, called Tang Dynasty Palace Music and Dances show is held at No.5, Weiyi Bei Lu, Xi'an.

  • Do we eat Chinese food throughout the trip?

    Most of the meals we offered are Chinese food, but we defer to your preferences and opinions. Any suggestions would be welcome.

  • Will any drink be provided in daily meals?

    Limited bottle spring water and soft drink will be provided, if you want more, you need to pay.

  • Do we have our meals with our guides?

    Yes, the guide and the driver will dine in the same restaurant with you. But, they will not share a table with you without your invitation.

  • Do we share large tables and pre-ordered meals with other people?

    If you are individual traveler, our guide will arrange an individual table for two of you. If you travel with a pre-arranged group, you will share a large table with other people. Usually 6-10 people on one table.

    If you have some special requirements, please inform us so that arrangements could be made in advance.

  • How many famous dish systems in China? What are their characters?

    There are mainly eight dish systems in China, namely, Shandong cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Guangdong cuisine, Fujian cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine, Zhejiang cuisine, Hunan cuisine and Anhui cuisine.

    For more detailed information about the Chinese cuisine and food culture, please see our website www.chinaplanner.com.

  • What kind of restaurants we will be eating in during our tour?

    All of the restaurants we use for our tours are all approved by the national tourism administration, therefore they are dependable in terms of hygiene and quality.

    But we respect you choice if you prefer arranging your meals by yourself. We will deduct the cost of the meals from the quotation.

  • Can I arrange my own meal rather than the pre-arranged restaurants in the tours?

    In a guided tour, having lunch with the group is easier for you to enjoy the tour, and it's easier for us to operate the tour. You may arrange your own dinner.

  • You already paid for the tour and all the meals, but you would like to have some special cuisine in some city?

    Let you guide know beforehead, find out if there is extra charge for this change. The extra cost need to be paid by you after each meal.

  • What are the suggestions for dinners that are not included in the program?

    Generally, cities all have their unique local dishes and snacks. You can consult it with your local guide and she/he will give you suggestions on what to eat and where to eat. Also you can follow-up the travel guide book’s recommendation.

    You only need remember always to choose a restaurant which is dependable in terms of hygiene and quality.

  • How much Chinese Yuan we will need for meals we need to buy during our tour? Do they accept credit cards?

    The meal price depends on the grade of the restaurant you choose and the food you order. Basically, the meals listed in the tour itineraries are RMB 50-80.00 net per person for each meal. Local speciality cuisine dinner such as Beijing Roast Duch starts from RMB 80 pp.

    Credit card is only accepted in large hotels. For most of the restaurants in China, Cash in Chinese Yuan is acceptable. So bring some cash in Chinese Yuan before enjoy your meal.

    Usually what type of meals we are going to get during our stay in HK.

    Usually we don't arrange any meal in HK. Since most of travelers would like to enjoy leisure on own during the stay in HK, besides HK has too many interesting meals to be pre-arranged, So while you wondering around, you may decide to try anything you want.

  • Can I drink tap water? Where can I buy bottle water?

    Do not drinking tap water anywhere while traveling, even if you are in 5 star hotels. It is much safer to bring bottle-water which can be purchased at your hotels and at many local shops or ask advise from our local guide. Usually it's less expensive in local shops than in hotels.

    If I have special diets, such as vegetarian, dairy alegic or religious restriction.

    Please advise us while you make travel booking from us if you have any specific dietary considerations. We will accordingly inform the local service in China to take care of this as well as taking care of your tours. Please double check with your local guide (or national guide).

  • What would happen if the flight delay/cancel?

    Flight delay/cancel is out of control of Yangtze Cruises, Inc and all our local services. We don’t take any responsibility for the air delay/cancellation and losing any tours caused by the delay/cancellation. But please be assured that Yangtze Cruises, Inc and all our local services will make every effort to achieve the best possible alternate arrangements. Under such circumstances, we would appreciate your patience and understanding.

  • What about the Taxi in China? Taxi rate? Taxi cost from airport to the hotel?

    In big cities, there are luxurious sedans at a higher rate. In small cities or towns, taxi's condition are less luxurious. You can hardly find taxi, especially at night. Taxi fares vary from city to city but they are required by the government to have the rate clearly marked on the taxi window.

    Most taxi drivers do not understand much English, although those in tourist cities are encouraged to learn and speak some simple English. Non-Chinese speaking visitors are advised to have their destinations written down in both Chinese and English and show the address to the cab driver. Taxi rate is about USD1-2 averagely.

    In most of China cities, airport is about 1hour away from downtown driving. The cost is about $15-35. Except in Guangzhou, the airport is very close to downtown.

  • What kind of vehicles we will be on during our tour in China?

    This depends on how many people in the tour group. All the vehicles are air-conditioned, clean, comfortable, non-smoking and big enough for the entire group of people.

  • How about the driver?

    The drivers are all well-trained and experienced. Some of them can understand simple English. If you have any request for the driver, you may ask the guide to help your communication.

  • Mail

    Post offices are efficiently run and very reliable. Usually in 3, 4 and 5 star hotels, there are free post services. If not, ask your local guide for help First class mail overseas costs RMB YUAN 3.60.. Air mail to overseas averagely takes about 7 - 10 days.

  • What tour programs are available at night?

    Most of the nights are not pre-arranged so that you can have a good rest or walk around the city to catch something you are interested in. For the rest, we will arrange programmers such as enjoying an acrobatic show, watching a Beijing Opera, having a dumpling banquet, or attending a Tang Dynasty Dance and Song Show.

    Any suggestions are welcome and we will try our best to fill your need.

  • What about the tour guides?

    All of our guides are certificated by the national tourism administration. They are friendly, experienced and knowledgeable and are very competent both in terms of organizing the trip and their ability to communicate. They could deal with all kinds of unexpected situations and help you avoid many difficulties.

    How many hours per day will your guide be with me? How will be the guided tour itinerary arranged daily.

    Usually, the guide will ask you what’s your prefered morning call time and set up the time to pick you up to start the tour. From then on, The guide will be with until you finish the visit plan of the whole day, it may be around 5pm.

  • When having the tour, the guide sometimes will suggest us to see the Chinese doctor or acupuncture, is this a good idea?

    Unless you are interested in knowing that, otherwise you may choose not to go. But even you go, you do not have to purchase any treatment.

  • Do I have to tip in China? How much to tip?

    Tipping has become a common practice in China. It has become a very popular norm to tip the tour guide and driver, hotel bellboy in recognition of their good service. It is not customary to leave tips at local restaurant. Normally, you do not need to tip at hotel restaurants, as the bill includes 10% to 15% service charge.

    No tip is included in the tour cost even if you travel with a group.

    We suggest $5 to $10 /per guest per day as tips for tour guide and 3 to 8 USD to the driver and about 2$ for hotel bellboys as a gratitude for their service.

    For active tours like hiking, biking, rafting, we suggest you double the tipping. If you are traveling in group more than 10, we recommend US$5-6 / per guest per day for the tour director and US$2-4 for the local guide in each city, $1-2 for our driver.

    It's your own decision not to tip if you don't enjoy the service.

  • Telephone communication:

    Most hotels in China today feature direct dial phones in the rooms and business centers where faxes can be sent back home. In outlying areas where direct dial phones are not yet available, international phone calls can be arranged through local hotel operators who will take your number and call you back when the connection is made.

    ON CRUISE SHIP: While most ships on the Yangtze are supplied with telephone/fax capabilities, due to terrain, these can only be used while docked in certain (not all) ports. In cases of emergency, communication is passed both ways via the Captain's ship to shore radio.

    • Dial 011+86 (COUNTRY CODE) +(CITY CODE) + number to call from the U.S. to China,
    • Dial 001 + CITY CODE + NUMBER to call back the States from China.

  • Is it convenient to make phone calls in China? What kind of phone card is available to foreign travelers?

    IDD service is available at all hotels and post offices. China country code is 86 and outgoing international code is 00.

    It is very convenient to make phone calls in China now. Telephone booths can be seen everywhere, in hotels, restaurants, airports as well as on the street. Various phone cards are sold in China, available in post offices and in hotel. IC card and IP card are recommended for convenience and comparatively low price.

    Most public telephones you see in China are IC telephones, which are for local, long distance call and IDD. Generally IC telephone cards are available in amount of 20 RMB, 30 RMB, 50 RMB and 100 RMB. The rate for local call is 0.20 RMB/3 minutes. Long distance call rate varies according to the distance. International calls with IC telephone cards are relatively expensive, usually over 10 RMB/M.

    Emergency calls 112 (weather), 119(fire), 120 (hospital), 110 (police) are free and require no phone cards.

    IP cards’ rates for international calls vary. China Unicom's rate for calls to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan usually is 1.5 RMB/M, 2.6 RMB/M to America and Canada while 3.6 RMB/M to other countries. Currently, the IP phone service has covered the whole country, providing international service between China and over 200 countries and regions.

  • How to contact my family when I travel in China?

    You can always use the hotel telephone. But be aware that it could be as expensive as US$3 per minute. On the Yangtze cruise ships, it could be $20 per minute as they are using satellite telephone.

    * Suggestions:

    1. leave the phone numbers at home and ask them to call you;
    2. send faxes from the business centers at the hotels and ships;
    3. send emails from those business centers at the hotels and ships (note: you can not bring your own email account there as China’s ISPs and ICPs are independent).

    International Direct Dialing Service Codes & Time Difference of Some Countries and Regions

    • Austrlia 61 +2:00 Austria 43 -7:00 Belgium 32 -7:00
    • Myanmar 95 -1:30 Nepal 977 -2:30 Nether-lands 31 -7:00
    • Canada 1 -13:00 Chile 56 -12:00 France 33 -8:00
    • Germany 49/37 -7:00 Switherland 41 -7:00 HongKong 852 0
    • U.K. 44 -8:00 Italy 39 -7:00 U.S.A. 1 -13:00

  • Can I use my electric appliances in China?

    Yes, you can. And keep in mind that bring your electrical multi adaptor along is a must.

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

    Five days 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. In big cities, stores close late. In summer stores close later than in winter.

  • Some days in my itinerary are Public Holiday in China, I am worried it may be too crowded to enjoy my trip?

    Everything is pre-arranged, double-confirmed therefore you will be able to enjoy a worry-free trip. In some scenerary spots, there may be crowded people, but the our local guides are all very experienced to handle this situation and will be able to well organize your tour.

  • Emergency happens, such as: luggage loss, theft or damage?

    First of all make sure that the missing item was not misplaced. In the unlikely event of properties loss, ask your guide for help, if serious, report immediately to the police. Yangtze Cruises, Inc is not responsible for any loss, theft or damage to your baggage. Insurance is strongly recommended. Airlines have baggage restrictions and you should check with the air carrier prior to your flight.

  • What kind of helps are available in the case of injury or other medical emergency while traveling?

    Besides our trained professional guide will give you possible first aid, you will be sent to the nearest hospital for emergency treatment as quick as possible. If this happens on the cruise during the sailing, the doctor on the cruise ship will give you the first aid make contact the nearest local hospital whenever it’s necessary and send you to the hospital from the close port.

  • Foreign EMBASSIES in China
  • Country

    Embassies in China

    Chinese Embassies Abroad

    Australia

    Embassy: 21 Dongzhimenwai Daji, Sanlitun, Beijing 100600, Tel 532 2331, Fax 532 4605 Embassy: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, Canberra, A.C.T 2600, Australia, Tel 06 2734780, Fax 06 2734235

    Canada

    Embassy: 19 Dong Zhi Men Wai Lu, Beijing 100600, Tel 532 3031 Embassy: 515 St. Patrick Street, Box 8935, Ottawa, ON K1N 5H3, Canada, Tel 613 7899608, Fax 613 7891911
    Consulate: Toronto, Canada
    Consulate: Vancouver, Canada

    Germany

    Consulate: 103 Shamian Bei Jie, Shamian Island, Guangzhou 510130, Tel (20) 81922566, Fax (20) 8192299

    USA

    Embassy: Consular Section, Xiu Shui Bei Jie 3, Beijing, Tel (1) 6532-3831, Fax (1) 6532-3178
    Consulate: Chengdu
    Consulate: Guangzhou
    Consulate: Shanghai
    Consulate: Shenyang
    Consulate: 100 W Erie St., Chicago IL 60606, USA, Tel (312) 803-0098
    Consulate: 3417 Montrose Blvd., Houston, USA, Tel (713) 5244311
    Consulate: 502 Shto Place, Suite 300, Los Angeles 90020, USA, Tel (213) 3802507
    Consulate: 520 - 12th Avenue, New York 10036, USA, Tel (212) 2794275
    Consulate: 1450 Laguna St., San Francisco 94115, USA, Tel (415) 5634885
    Embassy: 2300 Connecticut Av. NW, Washington DC 20008, USA, Tel (202) 3282500, Fax (202) 3282564

    United Kingdom

    Embassy: 11 Guang Hua Lu, Jianguomenwai Dajie, Beijing 100600, Tel 532 1961, Fax 532 1939 Embassy: 49-51 Portland Place, London, W1N 3AH, United Kingdom, Tel 171 6369375, Fax 171 6362981
  • Something you need to know before taking PHOTOGRAPHY:

    Please DO NOT photograph people without asking their permission first. Also, refrain from taking photo's of restricted areas such as airports and military installations. And although camera film is readily available at most major hotels - it is still a good idea to bring plenty of film and batteries for the camera's with you! (Some museums may charge fees for film or video photography- or may not allow them at all)

  • What do I do if I lost my passport when traveling in China?

    If the passport is lost in China, report to the local public security organization as soon as possible. Besides, contact the embassy or consulate of your own country applying for an exit document with a certificate issued by the local public security organization.

  • What lawful rights and interests and obligations are foreigners entitled to in China?

    "The People's Republic of China protects the lawful rights and interests of foreigners within Chinese territory, and while on Chinese territory foreigners must abide by the law of the People's Republic of China." Within Chinese territory, the legitimate rights and interests of the foreign visitors are protected by the People's Republic of China. And the freedom of person of the foreign visitors is inviolable as that of the Chinese nationals. And likewise, all foreign visitors must abide by the law of the People's Republic of China. Any activities that disrupt public order, disserve public security and infringe upon the interests of the state, of society and of the collective would be punished according to the laws of China. Within the period of validity of their visas, foreign visitors can freely travel the areas open to foreigners. But they should respect the folkways and customs of local areas. While, those who what to visit areas that are not opened to foreigners should apply for a Foreigners Travel Permit from the local public security organ. Only after the approval is granted, can they enter the area legally.

  • What do foreigners do about protecting their rights and interests?

    The People's Republic of China protects the lawful rights and interests of foreigners within Chinese territory. If your legal rights and interests are infringed or something unpleasant happens to you, you may complain to related organs.

    Complain to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) directly or to the Institutions of Supervision over Quality in each province, when:

    • Your travel agents or hotels or other travel operators offer you poor service or do not follow the agreement;
    • The guides or other travel staffs extort money from you;
    • You are injured or your baggage are damaged or lost due to the fault of the travel operators
    Also, all the big tourist cities have set up hot lines for tourists to voice their complaints. Most of the complainants were satisfied with the verdicts, which were arrived at after thorough investigations and verification of facts.

  • Will the tour guide allow us to decide if we visit any factories or go shopping?

    Usually, besides the tour itinerary, the local guides may provide option for you, such as visiting factories or going shopping. You can always let your guide know your interests and needs. Discussion is always a good way with your guide.

  • What's the best buy in China?

    Silk, tea, antiques, paintings and calligraphy, Chinese medicines, handicrafts such as paper-cutting, replicas of terra-cotta horses and warriors and other articles with Chinese flavor are all ideal souvenirs and good gifts for friends.

  • Some tips for shopping in China?

    Shopping in China is both an interesting thing and a challenge. In each local city or town, you may have some shopping time. But buy or not is your own decision despite the suggestion or recommendation.

    In some store you may bargain, in some stores the prices are fixed. Keep in mind that you should always ask for the receipt for what you paid.

    ART/ANTIQUES older than 120 years is not allowed without prior permission from the Ministry of Culture. If not sure, inquire with your Tour Guide PRIOR to purchasing any items of great value.

  • What cautions should foreigners take when buying Chinese antiques?

    When buy expensive articles, you'd better choose the shops run by the government. Make sure that the antiques you bought carry a wax seal indicating that it is authentic and is able to be exported from China.

    Also need know that antiques dating before 1795 cannot be legally exported. Keep the purchase receipts to show the customs when depart China.

    13. Feedback

  • Liability Exclusions:

    Yangtze Cruises, Inc as the tour Operator is only responsible for making the arrangements for the tours offered in the brochure and on the Yangtze Cruises, Inc website. However the situations may arise which in our sole opinion make it necessary for us to cancel, advance or postpone scheduled departures, change itineraries or make substitutions involving hotels, restaurants, cities visited, vessels or other modes of transportation.

  • Omissions:

    Yangtze Cruises, Inc is not responsible for omissions, printing, typing and/or presentation errors in brochures, on Internet sites or any other media where such information may be presented and reserves the right to make corrections as required.

  • Please note:

    This file was put together in a hurry trying to provide a quick help for our customers. It has not been edited and checked yet.

    Thus, the information contained is subject to change and it is for your reference only. We are not responsibible for any errors or mistakes in the file. For important questions, please get an answer in writing from us.

    Yangtze Cruises, Inc (ChinaPlaner.com, YangtzeCruises.com)



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