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Practical Information
2004-10-27

Main Ports of Entry

Air:
Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hohhot, Hong Kong, Kunming, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin, Urumqi, Xiamen, and Xi'an

Land:
Erenhot, Manzhouli, Ji'an, Hunchun, Tumen, Xunke, Mohe, Suifenhe, Friendship Pass, Pingxiang,
Wanding, Ruili, Yadong, Zhangmu (Nyalam), Baketu, Alataw, and Kunjirap

Water:
Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Dalian, Dandong, Shanghai, Lianyungang, Zhenjiang, Nanjing, Yangzhou,
Ningbo, Jiujiang, Weihai, Qingdao, Yantai, Hankou, Guangzhou, Huangpu, Shantou, Shenzhen, Zhanjiang, Beihai, Haikou, and Sanya

Chinese Currency

Chinese currency is issued by the People's Bank of China.

The standard unit of Chinese currency is the Renminbi (RMB), also known as theyuan. The subsidiary units are thejiao. Oneyuanequals tenjiao.Yuanandjiaoare issued in bills. Fivejiaoand onejiaoare issued both in bills and in coins. Chinese currency is issued in the following denominations: one, two, five, ten, fifty and a hundredyuan; and one, two and fivejiao. The symbol for RMB is ¥.

For example, RMB 1,234.56yuancan be written as RMB ¥1,234.56.

Currency Conversion

The circulation of foreign currencies and the settling of accounts with foreign currencies is forbidden in the People's Republic of China. All expenditures in China must be settled with
RMB. The Bank of China and other designated Chinese banks can convert foreign traveler's checks and cash in 22 foreign currencies and the New Taiwan Dollar into RMB. These banks can
also issue RMB against foreign credit cards. The following currencies can be converted into RMB: US dollar, British pound, French franc, German mark, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Austrian schilling, Belgian franc, Canadian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Swiss franc, Danish krone, Dutch guilder (florin), Norwegian krone, Swedish krona, Singapore dollar, Malaysian ringgit,
Italian lira, Macao pataca, and Finnish markka. Some hotels, restaurants and stores in China also provide foreign exchange service. The daily exchange rate is issued by the State Administration of Exchange Control. A foreign traveler may have the remaining amount of RMB converted back into foreign cash and brought out of China within six months prior to departure from China, upon presentation of a foreign-currency conversion receipt.

Credit Cards

The following foreign credit cards are accepted in China: Master, Visa, American Express, JCB, and Diners.

These card holders can draw cash at the Bank of China or use the cards for payment in stores, restaurants, and hotels designated by the Bank of China.

Traveler's Checks

The Bank of China can cash traveler's checks sold by international commercial banks and traveler's-check companies in the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Britain, France, Switzerland, and Germany.

The Bank of China also serves as agent for traveler's checks of the American Express Company, the First National City Bank, Thomas Cook Traveler's Check Co., Sumitomo Bank, and the Swiss Bank Corp.

Postal Service

Postal service is available at the service desks of hotels and post offices.

Note: to use standard envelopes, write the postal code, and be sure to use enough stamps. EMS is also available in most post offices and express mail agencies. Many stores can send items
anywhere in the world.

Special Telephone Numbers

0086 - IDD code of China
110 - Police
119 - Fire
120 - Emergency
112 - Telephone repair desk
113 - Long distance operator
114 - Directory inquires and information
115 - International operator
116 - Long distance directory inquiries
117 - Time
121 - Weather

These special telephone numbers are used throughout China and are not repeated in the introduction to various tourist cities.

Electricity

The electricity in China is 220 volts, but the bathrooms of many luxury and medium-grade hotels also have 110-volt sockets.

Drinking Water

Only a few luxury hotels provide drinkable tap water, so don't forget to ask the hotel whether the tap water is drinkable or not. Boiled water is available in all guest rooms, and bottled mineral water is on sale everywhere.

Newspapers, Books and Periodicals

Newspapers and magazines in English, such as China Daily and Beijing Review, are free in many
hotels. Foreigners can also buy books and maps in foreign-language book stores or Xinhua Book Stores.

Television

English and Japanese television programs are available in many hotels via satellite relay. The China Central Television Station and some local TV stations also provide English news and other programs in English.

Shopping

1. Business hours for most stores in China are 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. to 20:00 or 20:30 p.m. In winter, the business hours for most stores are 9:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m. Many shop assistants can speak English. Foreign currency exchange is available in most shopping centers and tourist stores.
2. The designated tourist stores are the most reliable place for shopping in China.

Medical Service

Hotels that receive foreigners have clinics that provide medical, health, and massage services. You can telephone the emergency centers in nearby hospitals or ask your tourist guide to make arrangements for medical service.

Work and Rest

The working week in China is from Monday through Friday. Most people do not work on Saturdays and Sundays. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 17: 00 p.m. with one hour for lunch.

National Holidays

New Year's Day - January 1, one day off';
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) - The first day of the first month on the Chinese lunar calendar, three days off;
International Labor Day - May 1, three days off;
National Day - October 1, three days off.

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