- : Do I need a Chinese visa, and how do I get it ?
- A: Foreign travelers to China are required to have a visa, except for travel in HongKong only. The China visa should be obtained in advance before you enter china. US citizens can stay in Hong Kong without a visa for up to 30 days.
Visas for leisure travel to China are quite easy to get, usually granted for a one month stay. Discover China Tours will help you process your visa application after you have booked your trip to China with us. Detailed instructions and invitation letter will be sent to you upon receipt of your tour deposit. You can also apply directly at the Chinese embassies in Ottawa, Washington, DC, or at the consulates in the following cities. For other passport holders, please inquire at your nearest PRC embassies or consulates.
To find overseas Chinese Embassies and Consulates information in your area, please CHECK HERE.
|Washington, DC Embassy|
2300 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008, USA
|New York Consulate General|
520 12th Ave.
New York, NY 10036, USA
|Chicago Consulate General|
100 West Erie St.
Chicago, IL 60610, USA
|San Francisco Consulate General|
1450 Laguna St.
San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
|Los Angeles Consulate General|
443 Shatto Place
Los Angeles, CA 90020, USA
|Houston Consulate General|
3417 Montrose Blvd
Houston, TX 77006, USA
|Chinese Embassy in Ottawa|
515 St. Patrick Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 5H3
|Chinese Consulate in Toronto|
240 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2P4
|Chinese Consulate in Calgary|
100-1011th Ave. SW
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 0W1
|Chinese Consulate in Vancouver|
3380 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC, V6H 3K3
|China Visa Office in Hong Kong|
5th Floor, Lower Block, China Resource Building
Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: 2827 181
- : What do you need for a visa application?
- A: A tourist visa requires an application form, a passport-size photo and a fee depending on visa types. It takes about seven business days for an application to be processed. For Tibet, the Chinese Embassy must get approval from the Tibet Tourism Administration before issuing a visa.
A photo similar to the one in your passport will be requested. Chinese consulate 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.
- : What type of visa do I need?
- A: Most people need only to apply for a single -entry visa. It is usually valid for 3 months after the issuing date. It will permit you to stay in China for a maximum of 30 days. One month is enough time for a normal tourist. However, for those tourists who will go to Hong Kong or Macau and then back to mainland China, the Double-entry visa is needed.
- : How to obtain a Visa to China in Hong Kong?
- A: You may obtain your visa by yourself from the Visa Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, open from Monday to Friday.
Documents needed to obtain a Visa in Hong Kong:
- a. 1 recent passport photo.
- b. Passport which needs to be valid at least more than 3 months.
- c. Usually you can get the visa within one working day. Cost 100HK$ or more.
- d. Fast process is available when paying 150HK$.
- e. Please call them before going to their office. Their Address:
Visa Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The PRC
Address: 5th Floor, Lower Block, 26 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Tel: ++852-25851657 OR ++852-25851680 OR ++852-258517
- : How to get Tibet Permits in Hong Kong?
- A: Office of CITS Tibet in Hong Kong
add: the 2nd Floor of Yixing Mansion, No.118, Zhuangdun Road, Wangzi, Hong Kong
Contact number: 00852-29221028
Working Time: 9:00-18:00 weekdays, 9:00-13:00 Sat
- : How to apply Tibet Permit?
When you arrive in Lhasa or any city in Tibet, you will need to show Tibet travel permit at the airport or railway station. Furthermore, whenever you buy a flight or train to Lhasa you need to show this permit.
For helping you to apply the Tibet travel permit, we need the following information.
- full name appears on the passport;
- date of birth;
- passport number & copy of passport;
- Visa No. & copy of Visa.
- Please be sure all exactly the same as on your passport.
- All kinds of people can get Tibet permit through a travel agency except diplomats, journalists, and government officials who should travel to Tibet under the arrangement by the Foreign Affairs Office of Tibet Government.
- Service charge by the government to get the Tibet permit is 7 US dollars per person. This is incl. in the tour package we quoted to you.
- You need to apply for the travel permit at least 10 days prior to your entry date. Please provide all the necessary documents to us at your earlist time. Because it is also requested to show Tibet travel permit while booking flight tickets or train tickets.
- We don't provide "permit-only" service. We only help the clients who book Tibet tour from Discover China Tours.
- : What can I expect from the hotels in China?
- A: According to the Chinese rating system, 1- 5 star hotels are approved to receive foreign guests. In the bigger, more developed places like Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Kunming, Lijiang, Chongqing, Wuhan, you can stay in 3 star or 4 star hotels. In smaller towns like Yangshuo, Dali and Zhongdian, there are many good small hotels. Almost all the rooms have twin beds (few double beds are available in the hotels) and have a private bath (with Western style flush toilet and bath and shower), heating and air conditioning, as well as a telephone capable of international direct dialing and a television (although usually only Chinese channels are available, but some international channels are available in the hotels over 3 star). Discover China Tours always recommends a good centrally located hotel for you. It is very easy for you to walk around to explore the city, and particularly the local street markets, as well as many wonderful local restaurants.
- : What is a Single, Double or Triple Room?
- A: Generally hotels tend to place their bedrooms within four different categories:
The actual differences between the bedrooms varies from one hotel to another, with Executive being the highest standard of room.
Single Room - A single room is designed to accommodate one person only. The room may contain one single bed or twin beds.
Double Room - A double room is designed to accommodate two people only. The room contains one queen size or king size bed or if not available twin beds.
Twin Room - A twin room is designed to accommodate two people only. The room contains two single beds or if not available a king size bed.
Family Rooms - The family room type is usually a Triple Room, designed to accommodate three people only. But it is very rare in China. The room will contain either:
- One queen and one single bed
- Three single beds
- Connecting Rooms-Two standard rooms are connected to each other, there is a door between them. Family Rooms are very rare in China. For one family with children, you'd better order these kinds of rooms.
- : Are your room rates per room or per person?
- A: All of our hotel room rates are calculated per room and per night, NOT per person (unless otherwise specified). For hotel booking only, there is no charge for children at the age of 12 or below, if they share a room with their parents and do not need an extra bed.
- : What time can I check-in and check-out?
A: General check-in and check-out times may vary according to hotel. In general they are:
- : Is the Hotel staff able to speak english?
A: In the 4- to 5-star hotels the staff is well trained in speaking English, especially at the reception. These upper class hotels also provide an English description of the hotel in your room. In the big Chinese cities also the staff of 3-star hotels is able to speak English. In smaller cities they speak only simple English.
If you face some communication problems during your stay, please contact the assistant manager in the lobby or our local tour guide first. If they can also not help you, please do not hesitate to contact the staff of Discoverchinatours directly. We are always anxious to help you at any time.
|From outside China:||0086 13907739315|
- : What is single supplement?
- A: The hotel rooms are all based on double occupancy. If the visitor travels alone, he must pay for the other person. This additional charge is called single supplement.
If the traveler number is odd (such as 3, 5, 7...), the odd number person who stays in one single room has to pay the single room supplement because the hotel rates are based on double occupancy.
Generally, Single supplement is not included in the quotation.
- : Does dining cause any problem for a western tourist in China?
- A: Please do not worry about it. Chinese and Western cuisines are both available throughout China. If you require special meals due to religious or medical limitation, please inform us so that arrangements can be made in advance.
- : What kind of meals will be available on my sightseeing tours?
- A: At your sightseeing tours you will have a Chinese style lunch. The round dining table, accommodating 8-10 people provides an opportunity to get in contact with other tourists from your group, perhaps even from other countries. The meal variety is large but set and arranged by the restaurant. The guests do not have the possibility to choose from a menu. If you have any special requirements, please inform us so that arrangements can be made in advance.
- : Can we taste different food during our trip? Or eat Chinese food throughout the trip?
- A: Almost all the lunches and dinners offered are Chinese food, but we defer to your preferences and opinions. Any suggestions would be welcome. For small groups, we always leave some dinners to your own arrangement. Our guide will help you to find some popular Chinese or western restaurant, where you can order the meals as you like.
- : Do I get vegetarian meals in China?
- A: If you travel in a large group or join in a group, generally 8 dishes and 1 soup are arranged for around 10 people for each table in local Chinese restaurant, always with some meat.
If you take a private tour, it is OK to arrange the maigre food for you accordingly. Your special food request inform in advance is highly appreciate. However, for the strict vegetarian or people who are very strict on anti-pork, it would be more reasonable that we do not include the meals arrangement in our tour itinerary. Our professional tour guide will give you suggestion about the right restaurant according to your requests. No worries!
- : How much do I have to spend per meal? Are the established credit cards accepted in China?
- A: The meal price depends on the grade of the restaurant you choose and the food you order. Basically, in a regular restaurant the average price for a rich meal is about 7 USD for each person. This is also the standard meal our company will arrange for you, for example on the sightseeing tours.
Credit cards are accepted only in large hotels. For most restaurants you need to pay cash in Chinese Yuan.
- : Do I have to be afraid to accidentally eat something, which I actually do not want to eat?
- A: No you don't have to be afraid! We guess you have heard that some exotic kinds of meat are available in China. Beside the fact that these kinds are only available in some regions in China, especially in Guangdong (Kanton), we are sure that your host or your restaurant will tell you about this before. These kinds of meat are too worthy for them, to give them away to someone who do not appreciate or even want them.
But if you are not afraid of trying something new, it might be a good experience.
- : Is it possible to get knife, fork and spoon in Chinese restaurants?
- A: Yes it is possible! Hotel-own and other big restaurants will lay out cutlery for you. If they do not do it directly, please do not hesitate to ask for it. They will understand that it is not easy for you to eat with chopsticks.
However, if you want to go to some smaller traditional Chinese restaurants, it might be that they have no cutlery available. If you see no other chance for yourself, then using cutlery, you have to bring by yourself.
(The restaurants visited on sightseeing tours, organized by Discover China Tours, will always have cutlery available for you)
- : What are the baggage regulations for flights within China?
- A: CARRY-ON BAGGAGE
Total weight of carry-on baggage for each passenger may not exceed 5kg. First class passengers are allowed to carry up to 2 pieces. All other passengers shall carry on only one piece. The size may not exceed 20x40x55cm. Carry-on baggage in excess of the weight limit is subject to an excess baggage fee and has to be checked at the baggage control.
(For tourists, sometimes exceptions are made, but this is not assured!)
FREE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE
Free baggage allowance includes checked baggage and cabin baggage (please see "Carry-on baggage").
Passengers holding a first class ticket are entitled to a free baggage allowance of 40kg.
Passengers holding a Business class ticket are entitled to a free baggage allowance of 30kg.
Passengers holding an economy class ticket are entitled to a free baggage allowance of 20kg.
No free baggage allowance is granted to infants.
IF YOU ARE TRAVELING TOGETHER IN A GROUP WITH MORE THAN ONE PERSON, YOU CAN USE YOUR ALLOWANCE TOGETHER.
Even though the check-in baggage allowance is 20kg pef person when flying in China. You can put 2 people's allowance together, which means, if you have 35kg, your friend can 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 at the airport counter.
ARTICLES WHICH CANNOT BE TAKEN AS BAGGAGE
Passengers are not allowed to carry any dangerous articles in their luggage, such as flammable, explosive, corrosive, poisonous, radioactive and magnetized materials. Passengers are forbidden to carry either arms nor sharp or lethal weapons when taking a flight.
ARTICLES WHICH CANNOT BE PACKED IN THE CHECKED BAGGAGE
Passengers are warned to pack important documents, classified materials, diplomatic mail bags, negotiable securities, money, valuables, vulnerable perishables, important articles and other articles needed in the special custody of somebody, into the checked baggage. The carrier will not be liable for the loss or damage of the aforementioned objects.
The checked baggage should be packed perfectly, well locked, tied 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 the requirements.
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 50 Chinese Yuan per kg. If the value of the baggage is less than 50 Chinese Yuan per kg, the amount of compensation shall be paid according to the 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 50 Chinese Yuan per kg. Baggage declared value should and can not exceed the real value of the current baggage. The maximum baggage declared value is at 8,000 Chinese Yuan.
Passengers and their baggage (including checked and carry-on baggage) have to pass the security inspection before boarding the aircraft or the train.
- : What about airport tax in China?
- A: In most cases the airport tax is already included in your flight ticket and you do not have to care about it.
Just for your reference:
Currently, the airport tax is about 50 Chinese Yuan (about USD 6) for domestic flights. For international flights it is about 90 Yuan (about USD 10). In HongKong, the airport tax consists of the airport construction fee and the departure tax and is 115 Yuan (about USD 14). All fees are payable in Chinese Yuan and in cash only at one of the special airport tax desks before your check-in.
- : Can I request one window seat or aisle seat while booking the flight tickets?
- A: No, this is unfortunately not possible. When you get your boarding card at the airport, you can ask for available window- or aisle seats.
- : What is train travel like in China?
- A: Taking the train in China can be a very interesting experience and a good alternative to the airplane. The train tickets are divided into four categories, namely, soft-sleeper, hard-sleeper, soft-seater, and hard-seater. Each carriage has two washrooms at both of its ends including a Chinese-style toilet (you better bring your own toilet paper).
If you have a soft-sleeper ticket you can stay in a comfortable four beds compartment. In there, there are 2 lower soft berths, 2 upper soft berths and a small table. Meals and drinks can be purchased in the train's restaurant carriage located directly next to the soft sleeper carriage.
We only book soft sleeper tickets for our customers if a flight is not available or on special request (for example if you are afraid of flying).
Although traveling by train seams to be harder than by airplane, it offers you many chances to make acquaintance with some Chinese people.
- :Can I book the train tickets only from you?
- A: Sorry, we cannot provide this service for you. Because the train suppliers are not enough in China, a train pre-booking system is not available in China now. We only provide train ticket booking service for guests who buy our package service or other tours.
- : Are there bathroom and/or toilet facilities on the train?
- A: Yes, 2 Chinese style squat toilets can be found at both end of each carriage. It is very simple, with no other toilet facilities. You'd better to prepared with some toilet paper of your own.
- : How about Taxis in China?
- A: It is easy to take a taxi on the streets in China. Taxi fares vary from city to city, normally starting at 7-10 Yuan (about USD 1), with the fee very clearly marked on the taxi’s window. If the taxi driver for some reason does not put on a taximeter, please ask directly for the transportation costs. Only a few taxi drivers in the big tourist cities are able to speak English, so you better show the address in Chinese characters to them. Our local guide or the hotel staff will help you with this. Remember to take the hotel key card with you, to always have the Hotel address and telephone number.
- : What types of ground transportation will we use for our tour?
A: The vehicles we provide for our guests are equipped with air-conditioning and cushioned seats. Generally, a private car with driver is provided for a group of two persons. A 9-12 seat coach will be used for a group of about three to five persons. For groups with more then ten persons, a 22 to 30 seat coach will be set up. We provide always vehicles with more seats than passengers on our tours, to ensure that you feel comfortable and have enough space for all your baggage. These vehicles are all privately rented and just used for your tour.
- : Is it possible to have English speaking tourguides?
A: Yes, it is. All tour guides in China, have to get licensed by passing an exam. All English speaking tour guides are graduated from university and most of them were enrolled in English. They are well trained in explaining Chinas scenery spots as well as its sights and know how to deal with foreign tourists from western countries. The communication with and the help through our tours guides should consequently be no problem.
- : Is it possible to get other foreign language speaking guides?
- A: Yes this is also possible. We can also engage guides speaking other foreign languages like German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, etc.! However, there is the extra cost for special language tour guide service (About CNY200-300 / USD30-45 per day). Following is the list of different languages speaking tour guide in most of destination:
Beijing: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and so on.
Xian: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and so on.
Shanghai: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and so on.
Guilin: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese.
Sichuan (Chengdu): French, German, Japanese.
Tibet: French, German, Spanish.
Yunnan (Kunming/Lijiang/Dali): French, German.
Please tell us in advance so that we have some time to arrange everything to your special language requirements.
- : How to tip the guide, drivers or the bellboys during our China trip?
A: Tipping has become a common practice in China, but it is entirely voluntary. The following is just for your reference to tip the tour guides, drivers and the hotel bellboy, if they have delivered a real good service.
|Tip for your tour director (who accompanies you your whole China-holiday):||5-10 USD/day/person|
|Tip for your local tour guides:||5-10 USD/day/person|
|Tip for the driver or hotel bellboy:||3-5 USD/day/person|
In Restaurants (also the Hotel restaurants) it is not necessary to tip the waiter or waitress, because your bill does already include the service charge.
Please feel free to tip or not to tip according to your likes or the custom of your country. One thing is ensured: Our guides' performance will not be effected by your tip.
For some activity tours like hiking, biking, rafting you should tip your guide higher, double or higher will be OK.
- : What is the weather like in China?
- A: The Chinese Spring is from April to June, summertime is from June to September, autumn is in September and October and from October to March its winter time. Major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chongqing, Wuhan, Guilin, and Guangzhou share the same weather. In these classical tourist cities, spring and fall are the best seasons for your holiday. But because China is a huge country with many different climates, enjoying the warm sunshine on Hainan island in the winter, is also a good choice.
- : What are the best souvenirs to take from China? Where to buy them?
- A: China is a big country; different cities are famous for different items. Silk, tea, antiques, paintings and calligraphy, Chinese medicines, handicrafts such as paper-cuttings, replicas of terra-cotta horses and warriors and other articles with Chinese flavor are all ideal souvenirs and good gifts for friends. Following are some suggestions of where to buy them. For example, Beijing is famous for cloisonne, cashmere sweaters, Xian is famous for replicas of Terra-cotta soldiers and rugs and antiques, and Shanghai is famous for jade, Hangzhou for fresh water pearls, Suzhou for silk, Guilin for scroll paintings and China Southern Sea Pearls.
Our guide may offer you shopping opportunities to fill your leisure time, but if you don't want to go, please do not feel embarrassed to let our guide know. You have much choice to buy souvenirs in different stores, like free markets, local department stores, antique shops, etc.
- : What are cautions for foreigners to take when buying Chinese antiques?
- Buy them in the shops run by the state.
- Make sure that the antiques you bought carry a wax seal indicating that it is authentic and is able to be exported from China.
- The antiques dating before 1795 cannot be legally exported.
- Keep the purchase receipts. They are requested to be produced by customs when leaving China.
Total Sum Insured: RMB240,000.