People's Republic of China, the world's most populous country and the largest in East Asia (capital: Beijing).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

39
votes
2answers
6k views

Who was this persistent person at Shanghai airport?

About 10 years ago I traveled to Shanghai. When I got off the plane, a guy in plain clothes came up to me and indicated he could take me to whereever I needed to go. I was planning on taking a taxi ...
35
votes
6answers
9k views

Why does my phone's GPS not work in China?

I am trying to use Google Maps in China. I know that Google is blocked, which is why I downloaded the map of Beijing offline. However, when I open the app my phone attempts to find GPS satellites but ...
29
votes
2answers
3k views

What rights do you have in China to appeal stuff being taken off you in transit?

I debated this, but I think it's askable. I just flew transit through Beijing. Did NOT enter the country. You still have to go through security though, but whatever, it just takes time. Until I got ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Can I read my GMail while traveling in China?

I read in some places that Gmail.com is sometimes blocked. Is there a workaround so that I can access my email while I am in China?
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the best way to obtain visas for the Trans-Siberian/Trans-Mongolian Railway?

I'm planning on taking the trans-Siberian / trans-Mongolian from Moscow to Beijing via Ulaan Bataar next year and I'd like some advice on how best to organise the visa situation. I'm a British ...
20
votes
4answers
575 views

Trans-Siberian Express: Stopping along the way?

I'm planning a trip on the Trans-Siberian Express. I've already received excellent advice on a related post, but I've got a couple more questions. My plan is to head from Moscow to Beijing. It's six ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Are candles a welcome gift in China?

I'd like to deliver some candles to a friend in China who hosted me at his place as a Christmas gift. (I know it is a bit late, but I guess for a non-Christian it doesn't really matter…) ...
18
votes
1answer
838 views

Would China to Taiwan and back again count as another entry into China?

I have a double entry visa for China. I've used up the first one and will reenter China for the second one in the next few days. Now I'd really like to go to Taiwan by ferry but was worried that it ...
17
votes
5answers
5k views

What does this Chinese character 天 mean on my visa?

In my Chinese visa, against "Days after entry", I find this character: 天 Google translate says it means day, sky, heavens, God, etc. What exactly does it mean in this context? Edit: You can see it ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

What time of year is best for taking the Trans-Siberian Express?

I'm interested in taking a train journey from Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia. Is there a recommended time of year for this Trans-Siberian trip?
17
votes
1answer
903 views

Best food souvenirs from Beijing to bring to my Japanese friends?

I am going to Beijing soon and in Japan it's common to bring a souvenir back from your holiday. I want to bring something edible. Are there any small portable edibles Beijing is famous for? ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

The Great Wall of China: Where should I start a visit?

The Great Wall of China is more than 6000 kilometers long. So if I want to see that wall, where should I start my visit? What are typical places to see the wall? I'm interested in places that offer a ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Do Chinese customs agents check the contents of Kindles and notebooks?

I have books on my Kindle with content that would probably make them ask more questions. It is nothing illegal or even questionable in most countries, but it would lead them to ask questions I don't ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Can tourists or other travellers in China get in trouble for using a VPN or other method to get around the “Great Firewall”?

The People's Republic of China blocks some very popular websites used throughout the rest of the world including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. This is known colloquially as the "Great Firewall of ...
15
votes
3answers
273 views

Is it possible to get a permit to travel to Tibet (Lhasa) from Beijing by train, without a tour guide?

I am confused about how I go about getting a permit for two people (a British and a Swedish national) to visit Lhasa, intending to travel there by train. Is it possible to get a permit without having ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Delhi, Beijing or Japan for sightseeing in May with a teenage daughter?

I will have about 15-20 days in May to travel with my daughter (who will be 14). We are from Brazil and she has never been abroad, so I thought I would like to bring her to some place with unique ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Should I bring sufficient anti-mosquito lotion to China?

We're going to travel around China, visiting mainly major cities. We'll be taking a river cruise in the south and probably visit some rice fields, so I expect we do need some protection. We ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What to expect at Chinese customs when bringing in items for friends who live there?

I am taking a trip to Shanghai next week to see some friends. They have requested that I bring a few items with me to give to them that are difficult (or expensive) for them to obtain where they ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I get a great view of Shanghai?

I'm going to visit Shanghai next month and I know there are several huge skyscrapers. Now I'm wondering from which tower, that's accessible to the main public, can I get the best view at an ...
13
votes
6answers
386 views

Going to China - The Great Firewall

A friend of mine is going to China for almost a month until mid August. He want to know what kind of outside communication he will be able to use to communicate with his family/friends. We already ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Do I have to visit the Chinese consulate in person to get my visa?

I'm planning a trip to Shanghai to visit some friends in about 5 months. I understand that I will need to get a visa issued so that I can travel to China. This will be the first time I've applied ...
13
votes
1answer
233 views

Do people travel to the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands?

It's probably not the best idea to try to get to the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands. But every time I see a photo, I can't help but think how picturesque and pristine the islands seem: (The Guardian via ...
12
votes
3answers
457 views

What part of Great Wall of China is easier to visit, starting from Peking?

I'm interested in visiting the Great Wall of China, but don't want to face many tourists during my trip. Are there such parts of it? Are visitors allowed to walk on it?
12
votes
2answers
814 views

Chinese etiquette: Most common mistakes

My question is inspired by this one: Japanese etiquette: Most common (and offensive) mistakes? Which made me think about my upcoming trip to China. As a Dutch citizen, I have experienced a lot that ...
12
votes
2answers
358 views

Where can I read about the food safety ratings in restaurants in China?

At least here in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia I see posters/signs on the wall of most restaurants that seem to be issued by some government body giving a food safety rating. Only three ratings are ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Best way for U.S. citizen to obtain China visa while in Europe?

For a U.S. citizen who is travelling in Europe and wants to fly from Europe to China, what is the recommended way to obtain a Chinese visa?
11
votes
2answers
264 views

Am I too heavy for Chinese hard sleeper trains?

I'm not talking about size, I'm talking about weight. I weigh 270 lbs (120 kg). I'm (irrationally?) afraid I will break my berth. I've gone on soft sleeper class before and it was fine. But pictures ...
11
votes
1answer
475 views

Where is this mountain with very striking bright colors?

This blog has an image from Zhangye, Province of Gansu, China. This mountain is made of earths or stones in gradients of often bright colors, predominantly red but also yellows and blues. However ...
11
votes
1answer
499 views

China visa issue

I flew from China to Taiwan a while back. I have an extend-able visa to Taiwan. Upon arrive in Guangzhou, I was informed I needed a Chinese visa to visit to Taiwan (which if you are up-to-date with ...
10
votes
8answers
5k views

What's the cheapest way to call China from the US with an AT&T cell phone?

My girlfriend got a new job that requires frequent travel to Shanghai, China. She has a Chinese phone and sometimes has Internet access. Aside from Skype/Internet communications, what's the cheapest ...
10
votes
4answers
948 views

Is an open-ended ticket more practical than a one-way ticket for touring China?

My partner and I are planning a long (2+ months) trip to China. The return date is unknown in advance. We may also want to visit other countries on our trip and ideally would prefer not to commit to ...
10
votes
2answers
885 views

Etiquette of “spitting out” bones etc in China

In China you regularly see restaurant patrons spit out bones and other bits from their soup etc straight onto the table, and you can also read in various places online that this is OK. But is it ...
10
votes
1answer
363 views

Vaccinations for Beijing

I'm travelling to Beijing on the 3rd of september. Although China does not require any mandatory vaccinations to visit, It is recommended that I recieve a Hepatitis A vaccination. I have less than 2 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there prepaid mobile data plans in China?

When I was in the US I got a 3G data plan for the iPad which was only 25$ for 2 Gb which lasts a month. I was wondering if there are any similar offerings in China or if its better to wait to get ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it pretty easy for an American to get a Chinese visa in Hong Kong?

I know standing in line to get a visa is never fun, but was wondering if any Americans had experience getting a standard tourist "L" visa in Hong Kong. I'm leaving on a RTW trip in less than two ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

Do you need to submit an itinerary to get a Chinese visa? And do you have to stick to it?

There are certain countries which in order to be granted a visa you must submit your intended itinerary. My friend tells me that he thinks China is one of those countries. What do independent ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it possible for a foreigner to drive through (mainland) China in a foreign-registered car?

Is it possible to drive through mainland China, for example for transit from Kazakhstan to Vietnam, as a non-Chinese citizen, in an own car/van/truck? This is about an European Union citizen, trying ...
9
votes
2answers
681 views

What is the safest way to travel from Hunza (North Pakistan) to Kashgar (West China)?

What is the safest way to go from Hunza (North Pakistan) to Kashgar (West China) ? Travelling mainly by bus and local transportation wherever possible.
9
votes
2answers
789 views

What popular western web services don't work in mainland China?

I'm traveling to china for a couple of weeks for work. I don't do anything where information security or intellectual property is a huge concern, but I do want to be in touch with the home office so ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I avoid Shanghai because of N7H9?

I am currently in Beijing and will be catching a train to Shanghai in about 12 hours. Here in Beijing the news about the N7H9 deaths are everywhere and some people advice me to try to avoid Shanghai ...
9
votes
3answers
451 views

Could you actually get in trouble if you don't stick to the transport and accommodation stated in your visa application?

For some countries to apply for a visa you must provide proof of: Travelling to and/or from the country, sometimes the document even specifies flight ticket. Accommodation booked, sometimes just the ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Visiting both Taiwan and China having one passport

Can I expect to encounter any problem when visiting the Republic of China (Taiwan) after visiting the People's Republic of China or vice versa? I mean, some countries have political clashes with each ...
9
votes
1answer
304 views

Which airlines with routes connecting Vietnam and China have free cancellations and can be booked online?

Due to China's visa rules I need to have a return flight booked in order to obtain a visa. But once I have the visa I am free to enter overland and not use the flight. On my previous trip I had a ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Knife carrying laws in China?

Many countries have a restriction on what sorts of knives can be carried in public, and what the maximum length can be. Wikipedia has a long article on the topic. The section on China is not very ...
9
votes
2answers
390 views

What can I expect when bringing in my netbook to China?

I am considering bringing a netbook on my trip to China, arriving via Beijing International Airport. I am mostly concerned about what will happen at the border. Do I have to show it at the border, ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a usable online map site for China?

Tonight is my fifth night in China, I've only been in non-tourist places so far where I've seen no other westerners. I'm hitchhiking from the very south to the very north so it's fairly important to ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

The using of VPN on iPhone in China

I will be travelling to China this April (more specifically, I will be going to Chengdu). As I would need to keep myself updated all the time, and I would need to access facebook and other websites ...
9
votes
3answers
598 views

In which places in China can travellers not stay at just any random local hotel?

I have now heard a couple of times from different sources that in some parts of China you can't just stay wherever you feel like as a tourist. I hitchhiked from the Lao border to the Mongolian border ...
8
votes
4answers
248 views

Single travelling in Sep-Oct - which destination: China, Russia, Barcelona + Portugal, or Cuba?

I'm Israeli. I get 3 weeks vacation from work during Sep-Oct 12. I want to travel overseas (for now alone). I thought to use the relatively long vacation to get further away than nearby Europe. Does ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible to apply for a Chinese visa while travelling outside your home country?

For some countries you can only apply for a visa in your home country (Russia is such a country) Is China also such a country? I was thinking of applying for a visa in the Republic of Georgia or ...