Travel and Tour Tips for Business and Leisure Visitors to China

China is a large country at a size of 9,596,960 sq km. China was only partially open to the world from 1980 onwards and has been a communist country for many decades. Although there is much progress in the travel industry and infrastructure of China, there remain areas that need to be improved before it can match the level that most tourist would require.However, much of the fun remain that it is different from the rest of the world. China will be the host nation for the Olympics in Year 2008. Travel facilities and infrastructure will be improving quickly as we approach Year 2008.China is rich in culture and history. Visit the Great Wall of China in Beijing, sip Chinese tea in Xiamen, dance with ethnic tribes in Yunnan, check out 19th Century European buildings in Qingdao – there are just so much to do and see in China!Below are some travel tips to make your travel in China easier:Entry VisaChina require entry visa from most countries. Apply at the Chinese consulate or through your travel agent before travelling to China.ClimateExtremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north. Be prepared with the right seasonal clothing.Foreign ExchangeThe unit of currency is known as Renmembi(RMB) or Yuan. Get some Chinese Yuan in your local country before travelling. When in China, exchange foreign currency for local currency in the banks or at the hotel. Banks tend to give slightly better rates than hotels. Take note that some banks close for a noon siesta between 12-2pm.Payment facilitiesMost better class hotels and shopping centres take Credit Card or Travellers cheques. Smaller hotels and shops take cash only. Once out of the bigger cities, credit card and ATM cards tend to be almost impossible to utilize. Cash is still king in Chinese business and trade.Counterfeit notes are common in China. Check carefully before accepting change, especially if it consists mostly 100RMB notes. You can feel a texture difference where counterfeit notes is concerned.Understanding of EnglishMost civil servants, custom officials, police, hotel staff and men in the street do not speak English or at best a smattering of English.Most signboards and notices will carry both English and Chinese. However, be aware that some translations can be so notorious that one can hardly understand what was it’s original Chinese intention.Do not expect hotels or shops to understand English. Only the very big hotels will have staff that will understand English.Most young people can understand basic English if you speak slowly.Social SecurityChina is generally a safe country. However, hang on tight to your wallet especially in crowded, popular tourist sites in tourist cities such as Beijing and Xian.These tourist cities also has a lot of touts in the streets touting tourist from currency exchange to jewelleries to female companionships. Avoid at all cost!Domestic TravelBus, train, ferries and domestic flights are quite well developed. Avoid the crowd at the stations and book your tickets through the hotel tour desk or the nearest tour agent. Prices are likely to be competitive and tickets will be delivered to your hotel room. Again, avoid ticket touts who approach you in the streets.Local buses are cheap (US$0.10 or YS$0.20) and you may want to try out. Taxis are convenient and are available at all hours. Starting fares differ from each city and may be as cheap as US$0.70 in Weihai and US$1.50 in Shenzhen.Avoid travel in China during peak holiday seasons or book tickets well ahead.Local HotelsThere is a good choice of hotels in China ranging from one star to the most luxurious 6 stars. Most of the time, the rooms are safe and clean and in my opinion, cheap does not mean bad.There are many websites selling China hotel rooms on the internet. You can also check out the travel counters which are available in most train, bus stations as well as airport.Book ahead if travelling in peak seasons.Peak Tourist SeasonsChinese New Year: Date varies but generally late January or early February.May Day: First two weeks of MayChina National Day: Middle two weeks of OctoberAvoid travelling during these period. Book rooms and travel modes way early if need to travel. Believe me, the crowds during these period of time will be scary. What do you expect when the entire Chinese nation of 8 billion people are on holiday as well!Chinese FoodLocal food is absolutely fabulous. Try as much Chinese food as your wallet or stomach can afford. Restaurants are available everywhere and open to late hours. Most restaurants will have a menu that include photographs of the various dishes. Better yet, simply point at the food that your next door table is having, especially if it looks delicious!However, avoid street side stalls and drinking directly from the taps if you have delicate stomach.TelecommunicationsMobile phone coverage in China is good in most locations. Global auto-roaming within China is not a problem.InternetThere are cyber-cafes everywhere in China, especially in tourist areas. Most are patronised by young people playing online games but you still can check your Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail. Access may be a bit slow for international websites.You will need to show your passport as China has tight regulations at Internet Cyber Cafes.Toilet facilitiesOne of the worst experience many has with China is the atrocious toilet facilities. Things has improved very much but it may still be a good idea to empty your stomach or bladder at every opportunity in a hotel, restaurant or departmental store. Public toilets and toilets in small shops can be a nose hazard!* Useful China travel tips *Try to get a English speaking tour guide at every opportunity you can. China has a rich and wonderful history and culture and without a guide, somehow, the flavour and significance of most tour sites can be lost.*Sneaky tip: Hang around a group that has a English speaking guide if you cannot afford one!Always ask for a receipt from a taxi driver so that you can complain if you have been cheated or for tracing purposes if you happen to leave your camera behind in the taxi.Try to take the namecard for each hotel that you are staying at as these cards will have a Chinese address and the map of your hotel location. This is useful if you need to seek assistance to find your way back as the English version or pronunciation of a hotel or a street name may be quite different from the Chinese version.After a tiring day, check out Chinese foot reflexology or Chinese TuiNa (Chinese massage). Wonderful for the body after a hard day and very cheap to boot. Simply look out for shop signs that shows two feet! They are everywhere.Make friends with the Chinese whenever you can. They love to meet foreigners and will make good tour guides. Just buy a small present as a small token of appreciation.

Safety Tips For the Global Traveler When Taking Vacations Abroad

If you are arranging a trip abroad, you are potentially worried about travel safety. World travel and holidays are risky whether you are traveling all alone or with your folks. These are some easy travel safety tips you can follow without adding a lot of stress during your trip. Check with many hostels in the area and ask what the crime level is in the area. When staying at a remote top-end resort, be certain you know the way to telephone the local medical dispatchers or police in the event of an emergency. You could be twenty miles out of the town and a desk clerk may not be available to help you when required, so prepare ahead in case. When exiting your hotel room or the hotel lobby into the carpark, take a look at your environment for suspicious people.Keep your money, visa cards and traveler checks concealed away in a secure place. If the hotel offers a safe in your room, use it for property and money also. Predators look for kids who are alone and can simply capture them and drag them into a room without your understanding. Make Copies it is important to copy all significant documents before leaving. In worldwide travel and holidays, there are generally many papers to stay alongside of like licenses, passports, birth certificates, and insurance documents. You should even copy your mastercards ( back and front ). Health Safety when journeying to Europe, Pacific Rim, Africa, India, or any other country, there might be health problems you need to know about ahead.Some states need vaccination shots before crossing the border. Check with your local health office as well as the state’s rules to discover what ( if any ) health hazards exist.It is also a great idea to take out a travel insurance policy in case you want hospital or doctor treatment while away. Understand the Laws when journeying to another country, it’s good to comprehend the local laws before you arrive.Stupidity is no excuse.If you intend to hire a car while away, learn the road laws and what the signs mean so you can be ready to drive. Create an Itinerary Before you leave, create an itinerary of your travel plans and give a copy to a family member so somebody will know your travel schedule in case of emergencies. Avoid Travel Cons If looking for travel info online, watch out for cons. If you are new to go booking, you can sign on with a professional travel company that knows the bits and bobs of travel. These firms can frequently improve rates for you on luxury beach resorts, golfing resorts and hostels, vacation cruises, and that kind of thing. Whether you are skiing in the Swiss Alps or visiting the wonderful beaches of Greece, you can save money and time. Some firms will even let you sell their services and earn an additional earnings. If you adore world travel and holidays, it can be a thrilling ‘work at home’ business! Plan ahead for safety, but remember to have a good time on your vacation!

Holiday Rentals in Florida – Fun in Orlando – Accommodations and Holiday Homes

Holiday rentals in Florida can be a magical experience for you and your family. And not only will you be able to save a lot of money with Florida vacation rentals, you can be assured that you and your kids will have tremendous fun in the many attractions that the Sunshine State has to offer. If you are feeling particularly indulgent, you might want to rent a holiday villa.If you are traveling with kids, Orlando is the best place to be. Aside from being the home to one of the best theme parks not only in the United States but also the rest of the world, Orlando also has a lot of available holiday rentals in Florida. Walt Disney World still remains as the top tourist destination of choice in Orlando, particularly because of the continuous improvement of fantasy rides, shows and attractions from The Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.Next in line is the Universal Studios, which features movie-inspired rides, attractions and exhibits. Only a few people, if any, could resist a glimpse at the movie sets of popular motion pictures such as Back to the Future and Terminator, among other films,For people who love marine animals or water activities in general, the SeaWorld offers sights and shows that feature penguins, sharks, stingrays and polar bears. You can also visit Wet ‘n Wild, a water park that comes with slides, thrill rides, wave pools and other exciting play areas.Lastly, you may also want to spend time in City Walk to get a taste of the restaurant and nightlife of people in Orlando, Florida.The other popular places that offer holiday rentals in Florida are Kissimmee, Miami and Tampa. The Virginia Key Beach and the South Beach are the hot spots in Miami. Aside from white sand beaches and beautiful people, Miami also offers spectacular nightlife, a wide array of five-star restaurants, and millions of acres of saw-grass jungles and swamps in the Everglades National Park. Tampa, found in the west coast of Florida, is popular for the Busch Gardens and the Adventure Island.If you are planning to stay in the central part of the state, Kissimmee is a good place for holiday rentals in Florida. If you stay in Kissimmee, you can easily access Orlando and other areas in Florida within a few hours. But there are also interesting places to visit in this town. One of which is the Haunted Grimm House of Old Town, which is comprised of 20 rooms of pure spook and terror. Truly, when you are in town, you will definitely have the time of your life. So, enjoy!