The People’s Republic of China (PRC),
It is known simply as “China” ed in East Asia and prides itself in its ancient civilization. With its exotic locales, cultural significance, invaluable relics, ands a center for business and commerce, China is not only a tourist’s paradise but also an ideal hub for business to prosper. Here are a few tips on traveling to this faraway land.
Arrival and Departure
Arrival: When arriving in China, you must follow certain procedures, as in any other country. Forms like Health Cards, Entry Registration Cards, and Custom Luggage Declaration Forms must be filled out.
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• Border Entry: This is the second stage you must pass through. You will need to show your passport, with a valid visa, as well as Entry Registration Card that was previously filled out. Tickets are not issued at the border.
Departure: Upon your departure, show the items you had declared on your arrival and as mentioned in the Customs Luggage Declaration Form. In the case of any missing item, a certificate issued by the relevant department must be submitted, or else you will need to pay import duty. The Departure Card must be filled out, followed by the security check.
There are several articles that you will be forbidden from importing into the country, namely:
• Arms and ammunition
• Counterfeit currency
• Forms of media like photographs, films, audio and video CDs, gramophone records, printed material, and computer storage devices.
• Poisons, marihuana, heroin, opium, morphine, as well as other drugs that cause hallucinations or that are addictive
• Plants and animals transmit deadly diseases, as well as harmful organisms.
• Food items, medicines, and other items coming from plague-stricken locations and harmful to domestic animals and humans.
The forbidden exports include all imports and cultural relics of immense value, rare and endangered animals, and specimen plants and seeds.
Important Travel Documents To Take
• Your passport and valid visa before you enter the country; a single-entry ticket is usually good for three months from the issue date. You will be allowed to stay for 30 days at the most.
• If you have any medical records, you should take them, including your doctor’s name and contact information, an emergency contact, and your insurance company’s contact details.
Travelers are recommended to buy travel insurance from a trustworthy provider before they leave their hometown.
The following vaccinations are required to be taken 4 to 6 weeks before your travel:
• Hepatitis A & B or immune globulin (IG)
Before your departure, make a checklist of your important items. Some of them include:
• Your passport and necessary visas
• International airline tickets
• Authorized medical certificates, medicines, first-aid kit, insect repellant
• Clothes and accessories, depending on your place and time of visit, as well as the occasion (formal wear is mandatory in some dining places)
• Wallet, credit cards, traveler’s checks
• The contact information for your travel agency (if you have made arrangements through one), friends and relatives back home, and the hotel you will be staying at.
Ensure that your check-in luggage is lightweight. For those traveling via first class, a weight of 88 pounds (40 kg) per person is allowed. Those traveling in business class are allowed 66 pounds (30 kg) per person, while those holding economy tickets can carry up to 44 pounds (20 kg).
To ensure that your baggage is safe and secure, it is recommended that tags displaying your name and contact information be attached to and inside your luggage. Hardcover suitcases having built-in locks are ideal for travel.
When traveling by domestic flights, the same rules apply as discussed in the section on “Packing.”
Here’s a tip for group travelers: The baggage allowance can be shared while checking in. For instance, if two people are traveling economy class, one can carry 35 kg and the other 5 kg. This rule applies to those traveling in groups of three, four, five, and more as long as they check in simultaneously.
You should know the items you can carry on your journey.
• Items that are not to be taken: materials that are poisonous, flammable, corrosive, radioactive, magnetized, explosive, and polymerizable; guns, knives, ammunition, and sharp objects.
• Items that should not be packed in your check-in baggage because the airline carrier does not take responsibility for them: all vital documents, currencies, valuables, and other important items that are needed to be safeguarded by someone.
• Items that can be packed in your check-in baggage: scissors, knife, and wine or alcohol.
• The baggage you check in must be properly locked and withstand pressure. They may refuse to take it on board if it does not meet the carrier’s specifications.
• If the baggage is lost, you will receive compensation not to exceed RMB 50 yuan for every kilogram. If the value of the luggage is less than that, then payment will equal the actual cost of the loss.
Safety And Security
To have a hassle-free visit to China, here are a few tips for safe travel:
• Pre-travel: Before departure from your country, make sure that several copies of your passport, credit cards, airline tickets, traveler’s checks, itinerary, and other travel documents are made and that one copy of each item is left with a family member back home.
Ensure that your driver’s license, passport, and other IDs are current and valid and that their photographs are up to date. These forms of identification should not expire before you return from your tour.
• Hotel safety: Once in your hotel room, be sure that the door and windows of your room are locked at all times. Answer the door only after verifying who it is. It is always better to carry bottled water, as the tap water in hotel rooms is not drinkable.
• Money Matters:
1. Traveler’s Checks: The safest way to carry money for your trip is by traveler’s checks. Ensure you note the denominations, serial numbers, date, and the agency that has issued them. The reviews should not be signed until they are used.
2. Credit Cards: Carrying too many credit cards is unsafe. Besides taking only what is required, take the credit card company’s contact information in case the card gets lost or is stolen. A loss should always be reported at once.
4. Small Cash: Always keep change on you as it will be useful when purchasing from street vendors. Check the difference that you get back carefully.
• Travel And Transportation: When traveling from one city to another, leaving your driver’s license, passport, and other IDs in the hotel room’s safety box or at the reception desk is safer. If you need to carry them with you, ensure they are kept safely. When traveling by train, do not trust anyone who is not in uniform to keep your luggage safely. The railway stations in China are crowded, so always ensure your luggage is with you. If you travel by taxi, having the hotel call for one is better. Ensure that the contact information of the hotel, as well as the place you wish to go to, is written in Chinese and English. Once in the taxi, note the driver’s name and registration number. This will ensure you get your items back if you have left any in them.
• Dress: You do not want to attract the wrong kind of attention, so avoid dressing up. Expensive jewelry and watches should be left back home.
• Communication: Carrying a phrase book that translates English to Chinese is important as most Chinese people do not speak or understand English. This will help you to get around on your own easier. A guidebook to know Chinese culture is also useful.
• Staying Fit: Sometimes conducted tours can become hectic and start some illnesses, especially with the change in climatic conditions in China. So, to avoid falling ill, ensure enough rest, wear clothes depending on the weather, and drink plenty of bottled water. If your tour is during the summer, wear sunglasses and a hat, put on sunscreen lotion, frequently change your clothes, and drink even more water. The moment you feel an illness coming on, seek treatment.
• Photography: Taking pictures is allowed in most places. However, in some, it is either prohibited (as in certain museums and archeological sites) or a fee is charged. It is always recommended you get permission before capturing images of the locals.
• Toilets: Public toilets are usually not very clean, so carrying a roll of toilet paper in your bag is good information. Public restrooms charge an amount of RMB 5 for usage.