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Miscellaneous

Some advises for shopping in China:
Please don't forget to ask for a receipt after buying something from a shop, especially the valuable things like jewelry, antique, Chinese medicine, etc.

Please note that the antique dated before 1795 is prohibited to take out of the country. The antiques with a government wax seal are proved authentic and can be exported.

Bargaining is widely practiced in the daily life of Chinese people. If you are first time in China, please keep in mind to struggle for a better price with your skills:

Offer the at least half of the price to start the discussions;

Be patient and smiling;

Pretend not to be so interested in what you really like;

Don't hesitate to walk away if the price is not acceptable, anyhow, you can come back always;

Note: Please be very careful when the deal is made, some dishonest shop keepers or vendors may not give you the same thing as you paid for.


Medical Services:
In most areas of China, medical services still lag far behind the major western countries. And the standards of medical care and availability of medicine vary drastically from region to region. Major cities like Beijing and Shanghai have well equipped medical facilities. Some hospitals have separate divisions for foreigners.

Please ensure that you are in good physical condition before your journey (especially those to the off-the-beaten-track) as health care system is very basic in many remote areas.

Most 3-5 star hotels have an access to a doctor. If medical treatment is necessary, please contact local guide or the hotel receptionist (in the evening) who will arrange for a doctor to come to you, or show you to a good hospital depending on your physical condition.
The physically challenged Tourists:For the physically challenged tourists, please tell us in advance before booking so that we can design a tour suitable to your needs. The more info we get from you, the better program we can shape for you. Please feel free to let me know your requirements.

Accessible facilities for the handicapped:
Airlines and airports in China offer free wheelchairs and assistance on/off the airplane. Many big airports are equipped with elevators and ramps.

Most 4-5 star hotels have relevant facilities like the rooms, toilets for the physically challenged.

Electricity:
Electricity in China is 220Volts, 50 cycles AC. Two-pin sockets and some three-pin sockets are in use. Most of the hotels have a socket in the bathroom for both 110V and 220V. However, outside of the bathroom, only 220V sockets are provided. You can either borrow one from hotel or bring your own adapter plug.

Water:
In China the tap water is not suitable for drinking. Bottled mineral water may be provided at a few of the best hotels, please make sure it is free or not if you don't expect to pay the high cost. An electric boiler is regularly offered in each room. If the hotel offers boiled water with thermos, please be sure that it was not boiled a week ago!

Bottled mineral water is sold for about RMB2-3 yuan (in luxury hotels maybe RMB10-20), and is widely available in stores, restaurants and street kiosks.

Postal service:
China has established a modernized postal network for years providing both domestic and international services.
Many hotels offer free hotel envelopes, stamp sales and delivery service for their customers. The postage of a post card to outside Mainland China starts from RMB5.00. If mailing a parcel, please ask for the help of your local guide, as most of post office clerks don't speak English at all.

Telecommunication:
Telephone communication within China is efficient and improving all the time. International Direct Dial is available in most cities. Phone cards are widely used, and domestic and international calls can be made from phone booths in the streets, hotels and post offices. In hotels, local calls are generally free or will be charged only a nominal fee. The international access code for China is +86. If dialing the international call, please add 00 before the relevant country code (e.g. 001 for the United States).

If dialing the domestic call, please add 0 before the relevant city code (e.g. 010 for Beijing) If dialing the Chinese mobile phone, please dial direct for the local mobile, and add 0 before another city's mobile number (e.g. 01390100000). If mobile to mobile phone, there is no need to add 0.

Mobile phone networks are monopolized by state-owned China Mobile and Unicom, which is very advanced and have wide service range. China Mobile and Unicom offer both GSM and CDMA (Unicom only) networks, and have roaming agreements with most non-North American service providers outside China. Internet cafes/bars are available in almost every town; the service charge is very reasonable.