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Greeting from Italy!

 

We had a safe trip back home and, once jet-lag was gone, everything is back to normal.

The travel has been a fantastic, unique experience I will never forget. Thanks for setting everything so well, so precisely, so perfectly! Everything was really great, from the hotels to the guides. So...thank you! The only thing you couldn't really do anything on was the weather.  Maybe next time you can "book" also some sunny weather for us, ok? ^_^

That was my pleasure to meet you in Chengdu. I promise next time I'll come to China I'll be able to read the book you gave me ^_^

 

Here Autumn has come, it's quite cold and i miss pandas very much...

 

Many thanks for your email, hope to hear from you soon.

 

S. S.
Italy

August - September 2017
China Family Holiday (Beijing - Chengdu - Chongqing - Yangtze Three Gorges - Shanghai - Suzhou)

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  You are here: Home > China Trip Planner > China Travel FAQ > China Travel FAQ

Before your trip

1.     What kind of tour(s) can I get from you?
Splendid China Tours offers different kinds of tours including:
Package tours elaborately designed by our travel experts features with scheduled tour routes & itineraries, quotations. All these tours are fully escorted packages, which means in each city, you will have your own professional tour guide speaking your language and a private air-conditioned car/van/coach with your private driver at your service during your staying, from meeting you at the airport (or train station) upon your arrival, showing you around, until seeing you off at the airport (or train station) for your next destination. All the tour packages on our website are flexible, that can be tailored to meet your special interests. We understand people are different, so are their requirements for their own trips, to design a perfect and personalized tour to China for you according to your own special interests by working with you together is always our goal. You can always just send us an email telling us your interests, which places you want to go, what you want to see and what you want to do, let our travel consultants tailor-make a special tour plan for you for a special travel experience in your life.
 
2.     How to plan my China trip with you?
Just take the following steps, it's easy and simple.
01. Send us an inquiry by filling in one of our online forms or send us an e-mail to info@splendidchinatours.com. Tell us when you wish to come, how many days, where you want to go, how many people, and any other information which is necessary for us to plan a perfect China tour for you.
02. After we receive your enquiry, one of our professional China travel consultants will email you and give you a proposal.
03. If you accept the proposal (you may modify it till you are totally satisfied with it), we will calculate the tour cost and send you the tour price. If you accept it, please confirm that you would like to book it.
04. You need to pay a deposit of about 30% of the total price (full amount) to secure your booking and we will make all the reservation according to your tour itinerary immediately after we receive your deposit. Just tell us what you want for your China tour and let us do the rest! We provide prompt response (email with 24hrs), professional tour design, reasonable price, and worry-free customer service.

3.     What is a private tour?
A private tour is a fully escorted package, which means in each city, you will have your own professional tour guide speaking your 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 (or train station) upon your arrival, showing you around, until seeing you off at the airport (or train station) for your next destination. If you take our private package, you will not be mixed with other tourists when sightseeing and transferring except that you take the Yangtze River Cruise, Min River Cruise in Leshan and Li River Cruise in Guilin.
On the other hand, a join group travel means you will share an air-conditioned coach with other tourists and you will have an English-speaking tour guide to take you to all the scenic spots listed in the itinerary that day.
Private Tour is featured by great flexibility, comfort and high quality service at affordable prices, which is considered the best way to travel in a foreign country with long history and rich culture as China.

4.     What is the high season in China?
High season refers to the part of a year when the weather conditions and other factors are the best for traveling and usually there are more people traveling in the high season, so it's always the busiest time for the hotels, restaurants, airlines, and travel agencies. Thus the price of hotel, air ticket, etc. is comparatively higher than that in other seasons.

High season, shoulder season and low season in China is defined as:
High season: April 1st to May 31st, Sept. 1st to Oct. 31st
Shoulder season: June 1st to Aug. 31st & Nov. 1st to Nov. 31st
Low season: Dec. 1st to Mar. 31st
There are slight differences of definition of this between different hotels, airlines, travel agencies in different regions of the country.
In Tibet, high season is from July 1st to October 15th. The shoulder season is from April 1st to June 30th, and the rest of the year belongs to the low season.

5.     What is the best time for a China tour?
Choosing the best time to visit China depends on which places you wish to visit, what type of weather you enjoy. May, September and October are the peak tourist months at China's most popular destinations when the weather is most comfortable, but prices are higher, and everywhere is more crowded. Prices drop a bit in the shoulder season, which runs from late March through April and from June through August. The low season arrives in late November, and continues through the winter when there are fewer crowds and the prices are lower.

6.     Do I need a guide when I am traveling in China?
A professional guide can make your trip be easier, and bring you fun!  As China is such a large country that travels around can be years, and English is not popular here, without guide you make meet some difficulties such as the language barrier. Normally, we arrange you guides who experts in local areas that can serve you more information and knowledge about the area you visiting.

7.     What kind of vehicles that you will use for our tour?
If you take a private tour, private car / van / bus with air-condition in good conditions will be provide for you based on the numbers of your group. And you join in a group tour, you will share a big air-conditioned bus with other tourists.

8.     Is it better to join in a tour rather than travel independently?
In order to save money and make friends with people from all over the world, join in a group is a good choice. However if you want to travel at your own pace, travel independently will be better. However, you will have to make all the arrangement such as booking hotels, purchasing flight or train tickets, and finding a touring vehicle at a reasonable price. The biggest problem is the language barrier. The best choice will be a private tour operated by Splendid China Tours, scheduled and arranged for your time and pleasure at very reasonable price.

9.     How is your guide if we take your private tour?
Our guides are all well trained and licensed tour guides. There is a nationwide examination for qualified tour guides once a year in China, only those who pass the examination will be certificated by the national tourism bureau and be able do this work. Our guides are friendly, knowledgeable and experienced. They are all experts in each city, good at communicating with people and are flexible and composedly when dealing with the unexpected situation and difficulties. You will have a good time with your guides.
 
10.   Does your quotation to me include tipping?
No, the quotation we offer does not include tipping as tipping is a personal matter.
 
11.   Does your price include airfare?
Our prices only include intra China airfare of domestic flights, so you can arrange your international flights to/from China beforehand. Generally speaking, passengers can get a reasonable discount if they purchase the tickets from the departure city/country.

12.  
Is tipping a common practice in China?
Yes, tipping for tour guides and drivers in recognition of their good services has become a common practice in China. Hotel bellhops and house keepers expect your tips as well. It is not customary to leave tips at hotel or local Chinese restaurants as the bill usually includes 10-15% service charge.

13.  
Will your guide accompany us throughout the tour?
If you think it is necessary for you to have a Chinese national guide accompanying you from one city to another until your tour is finished in China, we can always make the arrangement for that - with an extra cost of course.

14.   Is travel insurance necessary? Will I need to buy extra insurance?
Yes it is. Splendid China Tours provides our customers a limited insurance cover for all clients who book tours excluding day tours, half-day tours, pickup & transfer service, hotel bookings only or air ticket only. We endeavor to make your trip as worry free as possible. We recommend that all travelers should take out comprehensive travel insurance before leaving their home country. 

15.  
I understand travel to China needs a tourist visa, but how about Hong Kong and Macau?
Passport holders of many countries such as US, Australia, Japan and EU can visit Hong Kong and Macao without a visa during the specified visa-free period. For more details please visit the website of the Immigration Department of the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


Traveling in China

1.   
What kinds of toiletries (i.e. shampoo, soap etc.) should I bring?
We recommend that you bring a supply of your normal toiletries from home. Should you forget something, Chinese pharmacies carry all types of goods, although it may be difficult to find your favorite brand from home. The best way to keep your hands clean in China is to bring along antibacterial hand sanitizer (e.g. Purell), which can be conveniently used while hiking or before eating lunch. 
 
2.    Are there baggage weight limits while traveling by air within China?
Yes, the luggage limit is 20 kg (~44 lbs) per person for economy-class flights. 
 
3.    How easy is it to change currencies upon arrival?
Changing currency upon arrival is quite easy. Normally, money exchanges can be done in international airports, large banks, and star rating hotels. ATMs that accept foreign cards are also becoming increasingly ubiquitous in China's cities. Look for network symbols such as Interlink, Plus, Star, and Maestro. China is still very much a cash-based economy, so major credit cards are accepted at few locales.
 
4.     Are all trains are air-conditioned in China? And can I get a private compartment for two on the train?
In general, trains named with T (the fastest express train), K (fast train), N (starting destination, termination and routes are under the control of one railway bureau) and Z (non-stop train) are all air-conditioned. Splendid China Tours will always use an air-conditioned train for our customers unless no such trains available. Yes, we can get a private compartment for you on train. Normally there are 4 sleeping berth (bed) in one soft sleeper compartment and only a few trains from Beijing have compartments for two. So you have to purchase all four tickets for two people in order to obtain a private compartment. 
 
5.    Do the hotels have non-smoking rooms?
Yes. All star-rated hotels have non-smoking rooms or floors. But please inform us beforehand, so that we can arrange such rooms for you as per your requests.
 
6.    Will i have internet access in my hotel room in China?
Most of hotels in China have internet access in guest rooms. If not, it is also available at the business center of the hotel, which requires an extra fee.
 
7.    Shall the guide and driver have meals with us at the same table?
No, your guide and driver will not eat with you at the same table but they will eat at the same restaurant so that your guide can assist you when necessary.
 
8.    Do you provide vegetarian meal?
Yes, we do provide vegetarian food for our customers who have such special request. However you should inform us such special meal request so that we can arrange that beforehand. 
 
9.    How the Western and Chinese breakfast looks like in hotels?
Most star-rated hotels in major Chinese cities will offer its guests a buffet breakfast mixed with both Western and Chinese food including fresh juice, coffee, black/green tea, salad, milk, eggs, sausage, bacon and bread etc. to Western taste , and a number of hot dishes such as noodle soup, porridge, vegetables, cereals, and Chinese dim sum for Chinese appetite. 
 
10.   Can I use my mobile phone in China?
If your phone is unlock GSM triband phone, then you can use it in most cities of China. For the international roaming, please check with your mobile phone service provider before your departure. Since the international roaming charge is quite high, we would recommend you to change a China local SIM card if your phone is usable.
 
11.   Which phone card is recommended for foreign travelers?
The recommended phone card for foreign travelers is the GSM SIM card, which can be used in 140 foreign countries. The GSM SIM cards you can buy are China prepaid SIM card, Hong Kong prepaid SIM card and their rechargeable vouchers, which can be got at the online store like www.pandasim.com. Generally, it is unnecessary to show your documents to register when you buy a prepaid SIM card. If the card is used out before the expiry date, you can buy a rechargeable voucher to extend the airtime. Apart from the GSM SIM cards, China Mobile Shenzhou Prepaid Card and China Unicom Ruyi Prepaid Card are also available but charge high.
 
12.   Where to buy a SIM card in China?
SIM card is easily got. You can purchase it at any cell phone shop through handing in a copy of your ID card and depositing certain money in the SIM card. In China, there are three kinds of SIM cards, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom SIM cards. You can choose any kind according to your needs. No matter what SIM card you buy, the phone number representing the card will be fixed and consist of 11 Arabic digits.
 
13.   Can i receive SMS and send SMS to my friends by a Chinese SIM card?
Yes, your Chinese SIM card can receive any SMS sent by your friends overseas, and you can also text them (send SMS) from this SIM card, the current charge is RMB1 per SMS sending. Receiving a SMS is free of charge in China.
 
14.   What are the public holidays in China? Should we avoid visiting China during these public holidays?

In China, the public holidays are:
Jan. 1st ---- New Year's Day, 1-day holiday.
Jan./ Feb. ---- Spring Festival (Chinese lunar New Year); 4-day holiday.
Mar. 8th ---- International Women's Day,1/2 day holiday for women only.
Apr. 4th/5th ---Tomb Sweeping Day, 1-day holiday.
May 1st ---- International Labors' Day, 1-day holiday.
May 5th in lunar year, 1-day holiday.
Jun. 1st ---- International Children's Day, is a festival for children.
School children normally have 1 day or 1/2 day holiday.
Sept./Oct. ---- Mid Autumn Day, 1-day holiday.
***Oct. 1st ---- National Day, 7-day holiday.

***Starting from October 1st, according to Chinese government's regulation, two weekends will be combined with 3-day holiday, thus most Chinese people will have 7-day consecutive holiday from Oct. 1st to the 7th, when it is very crowded in tourist cities like Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Guilin and Kunming etc. We suggest you avoid visiting China during this particular public holiday if possible.

 
 
 
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