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Things to know when travelling to China – an essential guide

The very first thing you need to plan before travelling to China is your visa. You cannot claim for your visa on arrival, so have your Chinese visa ready before finalising any other arrangement. Your passport needs to have at least six months or more to go before it expires. If you purchase your ticket through a travel agency in Sri Lanka, you may be get access to better rates than if you were to book directly with an airline

When you are in China, you won’t be able to use US Dollars in most normal shops. You need to convert your US Dollars into Yuan, the official currency of China. The currency is available in denominations of 1, 10, 20, 50 and 100. Make sure that you always carry cash, as most outlets do not accept card payments. However, there are ATMs available. If you intend to use your card at an ATM, do not forget to inform the local branch of your bank before travelling to China.

However, if you have chosen a travel agency like Aitken Spence Holidays, you are likely to need money only for certain things as the travel agencies usually take care of accommodation, transport and meals with their tour packages. Do not forget to hire an interpreter if you are not conversant in Mandarin. China achieved a rapid growth of development without depending on the English language. So it goes to say that you can’t expect the majority of locals to understand English. If you are travelling to the country for a business purpose, an interpreter is an essential requirement. You will need their service, especially if you intend to travel by taxi. If you cannot take them everywhere you go, get them to write down what you need on a piece of paper and hand that to the taxi driver.
When you are shopping, remember to put your bargaining skills to good use. If you are good at bargaining, you will be able to buy an item for an amazingly low price.

When you are in a restaurant, remember waiters do not just come to your table. You cannot expect them to be at your service all the time, especially when you are in a crowded restaurant. When you do want to get the attention of one, simply wave your hands to call a waiter over, and remember, the waiters never expect a tip. There is no custom of tipping the waiters among the Chinese.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

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