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China Travel General FAQs

We have collected common questions and answers. Please click the link below that applies to your situation. If you can not find an answer to your question, please send us your question here and we will answer it quickly.
1. What kind of visa do I need for travel in China?

You need to apply for a single-entry China visa which is usually valid for 3 months after the issuing date and will permit you to stay in China for a maximum of 30 days. The visa should be approved prior to entering China and a permit for Tibet must be obtained 15 days before entering Tibet. If you plan to travel and stay only in Hong Kong you are exempt from applying for a China visa.

2. What do I need in order to apply for a visa?

To apply for a tourist visa (Type L), you need an application form, a passport-size photo and a valid passport. 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 passport-size photo means a photo similar to the one in your passport. Only photos which are head-only, full frontal, with a white background, approximately 1-1/2" by 2".will be accepted. You can obtain this type of photo at any "Passport photo" service. Cut-outs from personal photographs are not acceptable.

3. How do I get an invitation letter from your company for my visa application?

In order to apply a visa to our country, you need an invitation letter from an official travel company. We will give this letter to you when you sign up for our tour on the Internet. Please email us the following information in order for us to give you the invitation letter.
1. The exact date of entering China.
2. How long you plan to stay in China
3. Cities that you will be visiting;
4. Your full name written exactly the same as on your passport
5. Sex: male or female
6. Date of birth: (Example: 6 September, 1962)
7. Passport No.
8. Passport expiry date: (Example: 25 July 2008)
9. Occupation
10. Your telephone and your fax number
11. Your address

4. What are package tours?

Package tours are especially designed by our travel experts to make your trip in China comfortable and satisfying, in which all the practical planning has been done for you, and which will save you a lot of time and guarantee that your itinerary is absolutely perfect for the area. Your holiday will be “served to you on a silver platter”. All tours will be equipped with a professional tour guide speaking your own language and a private air-conditioned car/van/coach with your private driver at your service during your stay, from meeting you at the airport upon your arrival until seeing you off at the airport upon your departure.

5. How do I reserve a tour?

After you send us your booking request, our tour specialist will design a tour plan for you and contact with you within 24 hours. You may then check our proposal and contact us if you wish to amend the itinerary by changing cities, travel sites, hotels or flights. You may ask as many questions as you like when tailoring your tour to suit your needs. When all amendments are completed, we will send you a new quote. If you feel there is no need to change our proposal, you can send us an e-mail stating your acceptance of our offer and complete the payment procedures as outlined in our email. Upon receiving your deposit, we will secure your booking and you will receive receipt of payment by e-mail followed by a booking confirmation.

6. If we have a large number of people in our group, could we get any discount?

Sure, our quotation is based on the size of the group, which can be divided into four categories as follows: 1 person, 2-5 persons, 6-9 persons, 10 or more persons. The more people in your group, the greater the discount.

7. When is the best time to visit China?

China can be visited throughout the year because of the great variety of regions, sights and activities the country can offer. Usually May, September and October are China’s peak tourist seasons when the weather is most comfortable, but prices are higher, and everywhere is more crowded. If you don’t mind the rain in early spring or the heat in summer, you can travel in the shoulder season when prices are lower. If you come from a place where winters are cold, you might like to travel in winter when crowds are fewer and prices even lower.

8. How can I pay the itinerary I booked?

We are now able to offer three methods of Payment for your preference:
1. Western Union
2. Credit Card
3. Bank Wire Transfer
Please see the following specific information of each type of payment.

Western Union
Please go to the Western Union Money Transfer to remit the money as the following steps:
- Tell the Western Union staff that you want to transfer money to the Peoples Republic of China and then give the recipient's name. For example, if recipient's name is name is Yuanni Lai (the money beneficiary), please ensure that "Yuanni" is the first name (Given name) while the "Lai" is the last name (Family name), in that order.
- Ask the Western Union staff to give you the Money Transfer Control Number after your remittance is made.
- Advise us of the Money Transfer Control Number for this remittance, the name of the person who made the payment (remittance) and the country you received the payment from. We cannot accept the payment without the information above.
Remark: Please guarantee the amount we receive from you will be the same as the quotation we offered. It means that we will not take care of the commission charge for you. Thanks for your comprehension and cooperation.

Credit Card
If you would like to pay for the tour by credit card, please fill out the Credit Card Authorization Form we will send you via email for your initial deposit payment. Once you complete the form and provide a copy of both sides of your credit card, please fax it back to our office at +86-773-3133610.

Bank Wire Transfer
Please note the details of our company as follows:
Bank Name: Guida Road Sub-Branch, Guilin Branch ,Bank of China
Bank Add: No.7,Kongming Road Western,Guilin,Guangxi,P.R.China
Account #: 8810 0734 4208 0910 01
Swift code: BKCHCNBJ49C
Account Holder:GUILIN DRAGON INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERVICE CO., LTD
Company Add:Room3, 11th Floor, Shengjingzhongxin Building, Canluan Road,Qixing District, Guilin 541004,Guangxi,P.R.China
After finalizing the payment, you may also FAX the receipt from the bank to our office at +86-773-3133610.
Remark: Please guarantee the amount we receive from you will be the same as the quotation we offered. It means that we will not take care of the commission charge for you. Thanks for your comprehension and cooperation.

9. How can I get refund if I have to cancel my reservation?

Customers who wish to cancel must provide official notification in written form. We will refund any payment made to e-chinatour.com (less any cancellation fee that is applicable) within 14 days of our receipt of your written cancellation request. The cancellation fee will be calculated as follows:
30 days or more notice -------------------Fully refundable
29 days to 15 days notice ---------------$80 per person retained by e-chinatour.com
14 days to 3 days notice -----------------50% tour fare per person retained by e-chinatour.com
2 days or less notice or no show--------100% tour fare per person retained by e-chinatour.com
Traveler substitutions are considered reservation cancellations and are subject to the above cancellation fees.

10. Where can I change our money into your currency?

You can exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and at most hotels in the cities. The exchange rate in the hotels is the same as that in the banks. To change money, you have to have your passport with you. If you want to change money in a hotel, you usually have to be a guest there.

11. Are there any ATM services in China?

In the main offices of the Bank of China in the cities, especially those in tourist cities, there are ATM services available where you can use your credit cards, and some five-star hotels may also have ATM available.

12. What vaccinations do we need to have before we start our tour?

When you travel to China with e-chinatour.com we always carefully select restaurants and hotels that are clean and safe in order to provide you with a safe and healthy environment. However, we do suggest you have the following vaccinations 4 to 6 weeks before your tour commences, especially if you plan to visit remote and /or rural areas.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)
- Hepatitis B (We suggest 11 to 12–year-old children who did not receive it as infants have vaccination of Hepatitis B.)
- Rabies, if there is the possibility of being exposed to wild or domestic animals.
- Typhoid, for visiting developing countries.

13. Do I need to bring my medical records with me?

Yes, we suggest you take your medical records with you in case you need them in the event of an emergency, as well as your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.

14. What should I do before traveling to Tibet?

There are two important things to be considered before traveling to Tibet. First of all you need a permit to go to Tibet. If you only go to Lhasa, a Tibet permit will be sufficient but, if you want to go further to the "unopened" areas, you also need an alien travel permit issued by the PSB of Tibet. Secondly, you are required to provide a doctor's certificate stating that you are fit to travel and your blood pressure and heart condition are normal, in case the very high altitude adversely affects you.

15. What advice on clothing can you give me for travel in Tibet?

When travelling in Tibet, warm clothes are needed because of the high daily range of temperature. Even in summer, a sweater and jacket are necessary.

16. How can I adapt to a high altitude climate?

In order to adapt to a high altitude climate quickly, please avoid strenuous activity and have plenty of rest; drink plenty of water, try to avoid smoking or alcohol consumption; keep warm to avoid catching cold; and have some pain-killers for use if necessary.

17. What about the Mountain Sickness?

One of the important factors visitors to Tibet get concerned about is mountain sickness, because the average elevation of Tibet is about 4000 meters above sea level. If you have never been in high altitudes before, you may feel a little bit uncomfortable when you first arrive there. As the air there contains less oxygen, you may experience symptoms such as headache, dizziness, difficulty breathing, tiredness or insomnia. But discomforts will disappear automatically after one or two days. Those with heart disease or high blood pressure should be much more careful and should consult a doctor before going to Tibet.

18. What should I keep in mind when I come in contact with the Tibetans?

Tibetan people are very kind and hospitable. You can feel free to talk with them. But there are some rules you should go by:
1) Do not photograph them without their permission, please show respect to them
2) Do not talk about sensitive topics like politics or religio!
3) Do not eat dog, donkey or horse in Tibet!

19. Do I have to tip the guide, driver and bellboy during our trip? How much?

Yes, it is good to tip the guide and driver in recognition of their good service during your trip. It is the same group tours. Hotel bellboys and housekeeping staff expect your tips as well. It is not necessary to tip in the local restaurant. Advised tip standard:

Small group (1-9 persons):
Tip for your tour director (who accompanies you your whole China-holiday): 5 USD/day/person
Tip for your local tour guides: 4 USD/day/person
Tip for the driver or hotel bellboy: 2 USD /bag

Large group (10 or more persons):
Tip for your tour director (who accompanies you your whole China-holiday): 4 USD/day/person
Tip for your local tour guides: 3 USD/day/person
Tip for the driver or hotel bellboy: 1 USD /bag
For some activity tours, like hiking, biking, rafting, you should tip your guide a higher amount (double or higher will be OK).
All the above is flexible. The amount you tip depends on their service.

20. What kind of meal will be arranged during the trip without special requests? Can we arrange meals by ourselves?

If there is no special request, we will arrange a Chinese meal in government approved restaurants. Normally, one glass of soft drink per person is included, such as coca cola, beer, sprite and water. You will share dishes with your group members. Forks are offered in restaurants if you do not wish to use chopsticks.
We also arrange a la carte meals in some restaurants, which have been inspected by the management of our company. If you have special requirements for meals, please inform us before the tour starts so we can make suitable arrangements.
We leave almost all dinners for you to discover. In each city, there is delicious food to eat and you only need to ask for suggestions from your local guide. Basically, 7 USD per person for a group of two will be fine exclusive of drinks. Credit card is not accepted in small restaurants.
We also can arrange vegetarian meals if required. But please tell our tour operator in advance.

21. Can we decide to visit any factories or shops by ourselves? What are featured goods in China?

Of course you can decide whether or not to visit any shops or factories. No shopping will be added without your permission. If you do not want to do any shopping, please tell the guide directly. Silk, tea, pearls, antiques, paintings and calligraphy, Chinese medicines, paper-cuts, and replicas of terra-cotta horses and warriors are all ideal souvenirs and good gifts for friends.
We recommend you buy from government approved shops for guaranteed quality. Bargaining is very popular and useful everywhere in China.

China Travel Tips

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