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China Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 25, 2017
Internet Situation  (4 Answers)

What is the internet situation in China? Can I access Yahoo, Facebook, work emails (Outlook), Whatsapp? Anything special I need to do prior to leaving the U.S.?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 25, 2016
Travel agent or book myself for domestic flights and river cruise?  (6 Answers)

We will be in Shanghai in early June 2017 and would like to do a Yangtze River cruise from Yichang to Chongqin then fly to Xian for a couple of days then fly back to Shanghai again. Is it feasible to book this myself or does this need to be done through a travel agent and be on a private tour?
I figure we don't need a tour guide while on the cruise, but is it easy enough to get from end of cruise in Chongqin to airport with maybe a quick look around or trip to the zoo if I just organise a guide/driver myself?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 20, 2016
Has anyone here booked a tour in China?  (19 Answers)

I'm planning a big trip to China next year (Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an and maybe a few others) and I want to book either one big tour or a few smaller tours. I don't know whether to book a private tour (which costs more) or a group tour? I don't think I want to be on a tour bus full of people but am aware of the costs of private tours. I don't think I can travel in this region without a guide, especially as I have zero language skills.

Has anyone had any experience with this? What should I look out for or be concerned about? I'm not really sure where to start.

Also, does anyone know any good value places to book tours? Is it better to wait until i'm there and find them or book from an agent here?? Any help welcome!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 27, 2016
Bus from Guilin to Fenghuang  (1 Answer)

I wonder if there is a direct bus from Guilin to Fenghuang.
If so, how often does it leave?? Where can i buy tickets??

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 29, 2016
Overland Travelling by car  (2 Answers)

Hi, we are a 4x4 communities in Malaysia and planning to go overland trip to all this countries...
We planning to travel in April 2017..
From Malaysia we will travel to Thailand ---> Myanmar ---> India

> India ---> Pakistan ---> China ---> Kyrgyzstan ---> Uzbekistan ---> Turkmenistan ---> Azerbaijan ---> Georgia ---> Turkey ---> Egypt

We would like to seek any advice from you guys out there who may have experience such travel journey related to the following :
1. Auto Travel guide
2. Entry permit (If any)
3. Visas
4. Road condition
5. Fuel
6. Weather
7. Food..



Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 15, 2016
Manufacturers carved wooden french style table legs  (2 Answers)

Where can I get info regarding factories in China who manufacture carved wooden table legs. It must be accessible from Hong Kong by train. I search but need more info.
Regards Elze

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 01, 2016
Best day trip to see the Great Wall  (13 Answers)

Hello, we are traveling to Bejiing next week for several days (I know it will be busy as it is a national holiday), but want to know recommendations for best experiences at the Great Wall. We have looked at several tour agencies, it is advised to take a tour with a guide? If so, is it possible to book the trip from our hotel once we arrive, or do we need to book ahead of time? recommendations? thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 13, 2016
Long stop overs in Shanghai and Beijing  (16 Answers)

Hallo peeps!
I need advice please.
I am flying to New Zealand and I have loong stop overs in Shanghai (8hrs) and on the return Beijing (7hrs)
I would like to get out of the airport and explore a bit. I am travelling with 10yr old little girl.
So how feasable is to go out and have quick look see in Shanghai and Beijing?
Is the airports too far away from the center?
Can you suggest quick short convinient tour for the two of us? And maybe nice authentic place to have bite to eat?
Many thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 11, 2016
Pandas in China  (5 Answers)

What is the best place to visit Pandas in China? I do not want my picture with a panda, but I want to learn about them and see them in the natural habitat if possible.
Thank you

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 04, 2016
Itinerary help.  (3 Answers)

Hello everyone!

I've bought tickets to China from Jan 3rd to 16th, arriving in Peking and leaving China from Shanghai.

My first idea about itinerary was spending 4 days in Peking, taking a night train to Xi'an, staying there for 2 days, then train (or flying) to Hangzhou for 2 days, 2 in Suzhou and 3 in Shanghai (all those cities in trains).

However, I really thing it's gonna be kinda busy, specially considering it's gonna be winter and I won't be traveling really light.

What I really wanted, apart from visiting Peking and Shanghai, is to visit some other less touristic places, a "traditional China". Xi'an seems to be cool due to the Terracota warriors so probably it's an important place to be included in my trip. All other places, I'm confused if it's worth it visiting or not.

Hangzhou seems to be beautiful, but it's gonna be winter, not sure if visiting this city makes more sense in summer or spring.

In Suzhou I loved the canals in Zhouzhuang or Xitang and wanted to visit one of them.

To make it even more complicated, other places that I didn't consider visiting seems to be really nice. The old town of Lijiang seems to be exactly what I meant as "traditional China", but it's so far away and getting from Xi'an to this city seems to be complicated. Guangzhou seems to be really nice as well, but also far away and probably "one more big city".

So my question is: What would you do? I know this question is kinda hard to answer, but some ideas would be great to me, would help me a lot.

As an information, I've been to HK couple of times already, that's why it's not part of my plans.

Thank you a lot in advance!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 01, 2016
Bus transportation from Harbin to Vladivostok

Hi, can anyone confirm the bus route from Harbin to Vladivostok?. I will be in Harbin this October before i continue my trip on the Tran Siberian Railway to Moscow. I very much prefer to start my TSR journey from Vladivostok than from Beijing. Can somebody help me to confirm whether the bus still running. Thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 26, 2016
Looking for 1 or 2 or3 backpackers to go hikings nearby Shanghai  (3 Answers)

HI there, I'm a chinese guy, 26,working in Shanghai recently, plan to go somewhere nearby Shanghai or Zhejiang province like naturally chinesestyle village or eco-spots this weekend, I'm almost sick of urban life, need to take in fresh air so bad!if you find im talking to you and you just happen to be here on your trip or whatever,reply me below or better add me on Wechat or facebook(my wechatID:trustyim) if you have one,better plan in advance, I'm expecting your bothering me!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 05, 2016
chinese language course  (6 Answers)

Hello all, I would like to combine a chinese language course for beginners in China with a holiday (2-3 weeks together), which city/course do you recommend and why?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 29, 2016
My foreign friend needs a China Invitation Letter to go to China. How to apply for it? Urgent  (3 Answers)

Please reply how to apply, what documents are needed, how much time for process. And where shall we apply? Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 15, 2016
How can I get a China Visa to go to China?  (20 Answers)

I want to go to China for travelling and business. How can I get a China visa to go to this country?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 08, 2016
ATM Cards in China  (9 Answers)

Hi everyone!! looking for advice regarding using ATM Cards in China. Is Visa or Mastercard preferable?
I have an Australian VISA debit card and don't want to get there and find that it dosn't work.
Any advice appreciated....thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 05, 2016
Help with Itinerary....  (20 Answers)

This is what I have so far:

Friday April 14 - 11:45 a.m. Nonstop Newark to Beijing
Saturday - Arrive Beijing 1:45 p.m.
Sunday - Beijing
Monday - Beijing
Tuesday - Beijing
Wednesday - Beijing to Chengdu (afternoon/night flight)
Thursday - Chengdu
Friday - Chengdu to Xian (early morning flight)
Saturday - Xian to Guilin/Yangshou (night flight)
Sunday - Guilin/Yangshou
Monday - Guilin/Yangshou (flight to Shanghai)
Tuesday - Shanghai
Wednesday - Shanghai
Thursday - Shanghai
Friday April 28th - 8:10 p.m. Shaghai to Los Angeles to Newark
Saturday April 29th - arrive Newark 6:59 a.m.

I'd like 3 full days in Beijing and don't want to shorten the number of days in Shanghai. Xian and Chengdu are also non-negotiable. As much as I would love to go to Guilin/Yangshou, I think the above may be too much traveling. Should I add in a day to Xian and Chengdu and do day trips or add a day to one of those cities and then visit someplace on the way to Shanghai from Xian? Thanks for any help!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 31, 2016
Xiamen is not apparently in the 72-hour visa free transiting agreement as other cities are. True?  (5 Answers)

Transiting China
If you hold a British Citizen passport and are transiting by air through Beijing Capital International airport, Shanghai (Pudong and Hongqiao), Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Dalian,Shenyang or Kunming, and travelling on to a third country, you can enter China visa-free under a 72-hour visa waiver. You must remain in the city municipality (or within Guangdong province in the case of Guangzhou) and have evidence of your onward journey.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 26, 2016
International Roaming  (8 Answers)

Hey I am travelling to China next week and what to now what can i do to save my roaming cost this time or suggest some roaming app?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 22, 2016
Where to stay?  (6 Answers)

What are the best areas to stay in Beijing & Shanghai? We want to be near enough to be able to explore a bit near our hotel (not like a business/financial district), be close enough to restaurants, shopping, and a subway. Looking for a nice/very nice hotel if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 08, 2016
Euro or Dollars?  (6 Answers)

I have to exchange at home from Shekel to Euro or Dollars to take with me to China. Do they prefer $ there or doesn't it matter?

In a few months I'll travel to Germany, so it's more convenient for me to take Euro now.
But I'll take what's convenient for them.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 07, 2016
Are there electric kettles in Hotels  (8 Answers)

We're going with an organized trip, with 4 star hotels in the usual tourist locations. Do they have electric kettles in the rooms, or should I bring mine?

Do I have to boil water or use bottled water for brushing my teeth?

Is the bottled water spring water or treated water? Which I would prefer in China, reading about the contaminated rivers and lakes.

We've done that in several other countries, but travelling alone we take lower grade and smaller hotels.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 11, 2016
Has anybody got their Chinese VISA in Hong Kong recently?  (8 Answers)

How long have you got for your "stay length"? I am trying to stay a longer period in mainland China, wondering where to get the VISA? Any information will be helpful.

Thank you in advance.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 25, 2016
Datong Hanging Temple - closed as of January 2016 for repair until when?  (3 Answers)

Last reviews I saw on TA says that the Hanging Temple of Datong was closed for repair as of mid-January 2016. Does anybody know when it will reopen, or how to get the latest answer about it?

If it's not open, I will likely skip Datong.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 08, 2016
China Consulate in Chicago - Visa Service  (5 Answers)


I need to use a visa service for the China Chicago Consulate since they don't allow mail-in applications :( The best price I've found online is with a 10% service code but that still seems expensive to me, especially having to pay a $30 FedEx fee.

Does anyone here have a recommendation of a recent service you've used, that is also less than $100 for the total cost of getting a visa?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 04, 2016
High speed trains in Xinjing, Gansu, & Qinghai  (7 Answers)

What cities in Xinjing, Gansu, & Qinghai provinces should have high speed train service by mid May this year?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 30, 2016
Booking online tour from Beijing to Great Wall.Mutianyu  (7 Answers)

Is it safe to book tour to Mutianyu online? (I am in Australia) Or, should I book via hotel or tourist info service when I get to Beiing? I arrive in Beijing Thursday and want to go to Wall Mon. Can I assume this gives me plenty of time to find a driver and guide tour?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 27, 2016
Xi'an to Mongolia and anything in between!  (3 Answers)

Hi fellow travelers,

I'm looking for advice on how to plan the 2nd half of my China trip. I want the second half to start from Xi'an, and include Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, then I need to end up back in Beijing. I have about 12 days.

I'm picking up the major sites on the first half of the trip from Beijing toward Xi'an, but don't see any must-see locations from then on (and I want to stay in the North). Most books offer a Silk Road experience, but that kills a lot of time going farther out, and I've already done Middle Eastern desert-type travel.

If there isn't much between Xi'an and Ulaanbaatar, I looked at flying from Xi'an into Ulaanbaatar (no non-stops) but that is quite expensive $350-500 so I'd be fine with killing a day or two traveling via bus/train if much cheaper,

Maybe Xi'an to Ulaanbaatar however is the best value, and then come back into China along the Northeast side, along the coast - maybe hit the North Korean border on the way back into Beijing?

Any ideas appreciated!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 24, 2016
Which website to check train availability & cost realtime information?  (16 Answers)

Hi guys!
Could you suggest websites which give real time info about availability and cost of Chinese trains?
My plan is to book at the stations, when I am in China (next month), though I try to know in advance price and availability, so I make up my mind and have the info beforehand about which train to take, and then go to station or city ticket office to buy the actual ticket
Maybe occasionaly I'd by a ticket online if it is safe...
After searching I found these sites:

The official rail company of China doesn't seem to offer such info on their website
Do you recommend any of the above, or other, you had good experience, reliable info, real prices instead of web inflated?
Many thanks in advance!!!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 23, 2016
QIngming national holidays 2016 and effect on travel and tourist activities  (2 Answers)

I will be in Beiing Fri 1 April to Wed 5 April. What effect do National holidays have? Subway runs normal? Shops open normal? Tourist sites open normal?
I was intending to organize a driver to take me to Mutianyu on Mon 4 April - any problems??
What effect, if any, do these National Holidays have in Beiing?

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