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China Travel Info & Advisor
Drinking water: Do not drink tap water in China. If your hotel room is not furnished with suitable drinking water, simply dial the housekeeping department and the chambermaid will be glad to bring you a thermos of hot water or a carafe of cold drinking water free of charge. Chinese and Western mineral/spring water can be purchased in most hotels. Chinese beer is excellent and is available throughout China. Imported beer, wine, spirits, and Coca-Cola are available everywhere.
Smoking: For nonsmokers and even moderate smokers, an otherwise perfect tour can be spoiled if they are forced to inhale the smoke of other people's cigarettes on a motorcoach. Therefore, smoking is not allowed on Regent motorcoaches. There are opportunities to smoke during the frequent sightseeing and rest stops. Note also that Chinese regulations strictly prohibit smoking on all domestic air flights.
Telephone Services: In China, the telephone services are classified into three types - the local telephone service, the domestic direct dial (DDD) telephone service and the international direct dial (IDD) telephone service. The manually connected telephone services are chargeable by a basic calling time of three minutes while the direct dial services by one minute.
Local telephone service: Local telephone sets are generally installed at public telephone booths in urban areas, with the calls limited to the local region only. Each call is chargeable at a rate of 0.30 Chinese yuan for every three minutes. If no more coins are given after three minutes, the call will be automatically cut off.
Direct dial, or IDD, telephone service to other countries as well as to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan The international direct dial telephone service to other countries, as well as to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan is referred to as the IDD on a unified basis. Using a telephone set with the IDD function, the user can contact directly more than 200 countries and regions by dialing "00" to get out of the country, secondly the country or regional code, thirdly the relevant area code and fourthly the telephone number of the receiver in a sequence and without a break. IDD telephone sets are available at hotels, restaurants and airports as well as in commercial areas, providing convenience for users. Likewise, IDD calls are also chargeable at basic rates calculated by the minute, and according to different period of time, with preferential rates for calls at night as well as on Saturday, Sunday and official holidays.
IP telephone service: Following the development of Internet in China, IP telephone has been chosen by the people for it is cheaper than ordinary telephone calls. It is 0.3 yuan/minute to make a domestic long-distance call, 4.8 yuan/minute to make a call to other countries and 2.5 yuan/minute to make a call to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. So far, IP telephone service has been operated in a dozen big cities in China, connecting 150 countries and regions, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, Asia, Europe, South and North America and Pacific regions, and it is free to surf through phone among these open cities.
Internet: In the past few years, China has seen a rapid development in the post and telecommunications network, various companies such as China Telecom, Union Telecom, Jitong and China Wangtong have competed fiercely with each other, making it easy for clients to use internet and the price continues to go down. One may say that Internet has entered every corner of the country. Those who tour China or make a business trip to China may easily enter the Chinanet, which will be a great help to them
Beijing Tips – Currency: The main thing to remember when dealing with Chinese currency is the 5 Jiao note is not 5 RMB. We've seen foreign tourists at the subway station confused as to why the 3 RMB ticket is not covered by their 5 Jiao (0.5 RMB) note. The next thing is to watch out for fake currency. There are many fake yellow-style 50's and less new-style (red) 100's. We will cover how to spot a fake note in a future tip. The other interesting thing is that the 100 RMB note is currently the largest denomination note available. This means when you go to buy some high-ticket item like an airfare, mobile phone or your next six months’ rent in cash, you have to bring a small suitcase of 100 RMB notes.
Travel Insurance for China: In China, most tour operators offer their clients Travel Agencies' Liability Insurance. Each insurance company must carry this coverage, however, only the issue caused by the agencies may be compensated, since the beneficiary (insured) is the agency.
Please note that this insurance only lasts for one year and the maximum amount of reimbursement for inbound travel from abroad is CNY160, 000 per person. Since the Travel Agencies' Liability Insurance will not cover any expenses related to accidents outside of the control of the agency, it is highly recommended that the traveler buy personal insurance in his or her home country prior to departure.
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