Despite its mighty economy, China is a historically important country where ancient customs and gentle politeness are particularly significant. And where even making a cup of tea is a sacred art form. A vacation to China allows you to experience one of the oldest societies on the planet and one of the most forward-thinking nations of the modern world. This is a land where ancient sites built by powerful dynasties sit amid modern skyscrapers, soaring mountains shimmer against vast deserts, and rural villages lost in time contrast with fast-paced cities thirsting for global prestige.
Population: 1.37 billion
Currency: Renminbi (RMB or CNY)
Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, a variety of local dialects
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: UTC +8
U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least eight months after your return date, though we recommend at least a year.
U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter China, obtained prior to arrival. Applications must be submitted in person by the applicant at the China Embassies or Consulates in the United States or through a fee based visa service such as our preferred provider, Visa HQ. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.
We will send a visa support letter and instructions for U.S. passport holders to obtain your visa through VISA HQ after you have completed your registration form and made your final payment, approximately 60 days prior to departure. Please apply for your visa only after receiving this letter.
Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? We will send a visa support letter and instructions for U.S. passport holders to obtain your visa through VISA HQ after you have completed your registration form and made your final payment, approximately 60 days prior to departure. Please apply for your visa only after receiving this letter.
If you hold a passport from another country, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements.
Health Precautions & Vaccinations
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are no requirements for travel to China, but immunization against polio, tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis are recommended. Also ask your doctor about malaria suppressants if you will be visiting Hainan Island and areas close to the Laotian and Myanmar borders. Be sure to take insect repellent!
A note on blood and transfusions: RH negative and type O bloods are not commonly stored in China. There have also been problems with HIV contaminated blood supplies.
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization
Northern China is best seen in September and October, and southern China is best seen in November and December. Winters range from extremely cold in the north to moderate in the south.
A small gratuity to your guides and drivers in China will be greatly appreciated by them. It is customary to collect group tips and distribute them among the guides in each city by your China National Guide. The recommended amount for your China National guide is $6-$8 per person per day, $4-5 per person, per day for the local guide, and $2-3 per person per day for the driver. It is also customary to tip the hotel staff. Our recommended amount is $1 per person per day for housekeeping. The same amount is recommended for restaurant staff. As always, gratuities are an individual expression of thanks and should be based on the level of service provided.
ATMs are not always hooked up to international banking networks. Machines accepting foreign ATM cards have CIRRUS or MAESTRO logos. It is preferable to take along cash, travelers checks or credit cards.
Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.
The best shopping is often at public markets. Shop for carpets, chops (ink seals), stone and jade carvings, wood-block prints, cloisonne, patent medicines, embroidered linens, reproductions of old art, glass items, silk, hand-painted snuff bottles, musical instruments, and ethnic tribal crafts.
Electricity & Power Adapters
220 volts. Plugs A, I & G. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit before your tour to China. View more information about electrical standards around the world.