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

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Why are Chinese mountains scaled by steps? (instead of winding paths)

Question: Why are Chinese mountains mostly scaled by steps/stairs instead of winded paths? Is there something traditional / practical / religious / spiritual about it that I fail to see? When hiking ...
42
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2answers
7k 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 ...
41
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4answers
7k 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 ...
40
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6answers
11k 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 ...
26
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4answers
3k 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?
25
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3answers
2k 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 ...
21
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4answers
731 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 ...
21
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1answer
1k 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 ...
19
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1answer
1k 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? ...
19
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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
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5answers
6k 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 ...
18
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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 ...
18
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2answers
5k 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 ...
18
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6answers
1k 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 ...
17
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5answers
5k views

Why do Chinese people need a visa to travel abroad?

I have a very simple question. Hopefully it is appropriate for this site and not for a politics site. So here it goes: Why do Chinese people need a visa to travel abroad? What is the reasoning behind ...
17
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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?
16
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6answers
3k 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
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3answers
306 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 ...
15
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6answers
779 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 ...
15
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3answers
557 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?
15
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3answers
443 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 ...
15
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2answers
239 views

How dangerous is the Jiankou section of The Great Wall of China?

I'll be visiting Beijing in March and I've been reading about the various sections of the Great Wall that are near by. I'm always interested in places that are off the beaten path and it seems many ...
14
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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
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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 ...
14
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4answers
4k 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
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3answers
756 views

What are the conditions of applying for a 10-year Chinese visa?

According to Wikipedia, China currently has 10 year visa agreements with Canada, US, Israel and UK. What are the conditions of applying for such a visa? Do you have to travel to China a few times on ...
14
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4answers
2k 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 ...
14
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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 live:...
14
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1answer
307 views

Do any Chinese embassies or consulates grant multiple-entry visas to people from a third country?

This question is specifically about true multiple-entry visas, which for China are valid for six months and allow multiple entries. This question is not about double-entry visas. In the case of China,...
13
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2answers
1k 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 ...
13
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1answer
286 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 ...
13
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1answer
154 views

Where in Chengdu can we see Sanxingdui artifacts, besides the museum in Guanghan?

I visited Chengdu a few years ago, and a friend who plans to visit recently asked me for advice about things to see there. One thing that looks interesting is the Sanxingdui ancient culture and its ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Sim Card with data plan in China?

I'm traveling to Beijing for a short trip (4 days), and don't want to be without my phone or pay ATT roaming. I have an unlocked, international compatible phone. What kind of options are available in ...
13
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2answers
2k 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 ...
13
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1answer
236 views

Is it easier for a westerner to obtain a Chinese tourist visa in Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan?

The procedures, restrictions, prerequisites, etc of getting a visa for the same country can vary a lot depending on which embassy or consulate in which country you apply from. This is most certainly ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Is there a “safest” route through Pakistan (from China to Iran)?

On my upcoming trip I'll be starting in Asia and would love to travel overland to Europe, especially via Iran. Usually I'm not scared or intimidated by "dangerous" destinations. China is a breeze and ...
13
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0answers
68 views

How can one get a permit to drive the Chinese section of Karakoram Highway with a foreign truck?

To get from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan, one needs to drive through an 575 km section inside China, the one from "Irkeshtam Port, 309 Provincial Road, Ulugqat, Kizilsu, Xinjiang, China" to "Kunjirap Daban, ...
12
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6answers
13k 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 ...
12
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1answer
823 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 ...
12
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2answers
111 views

Do the Beijing-Tianjin high speed trains often get fully booked?

Situation: Me and my co-traveler will arrive at Beijing Capital Airport on 11:55 on May 2, 2016 and plan to take a taxi to Beijing South Railway Station and a high speed train to Tianjin. (This seems ...
12
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2answers
506 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 possible:...
12
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1answer
324 views

How can I find a professional business trip guide in China?

I will travel to China to meet some suppliers in late April. It's my first time to visit there. I am thinking to hire someone in local who speaks good English as my personal tour guide and interpreter ...
12
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2answers
247 views

Is there really a line that separates Mongolia from China?

I was looking at google maps and decided to zoom in on the Mongolian/China border just to see what was there, and saw this: This screen shot is at 42.266383, 106.722115 I followed it for a bit and ...
11
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7answers
7k 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k 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 ...
11
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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
1answer
448 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k 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 ...
11
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2answers
5k 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 ...
11
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1answer
602 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 ...