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According to the requirements of American students and parents, Hope Education Foundation (HEF) has succeeded in arranging many students to study Chinese one by one in Beijing. By 82-day studying, it is obvious to see the improvement of Chinese in reading, writing, and speaking. And at the same time, students will establish the friendly relationship with teachers and students. So American students will maintain a sustain studying and practicing Chinese by contact Chinese friends online.
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To ensure that you have an enjoyable trip to China, PTS has developed these Travel Tips, which will address your key questions and assist you in your preparations.

Customs Upon Arrival

When you arrive in China, you will be required to pass through Customs. You will be requested to complete a declaration form, on which you will list all of your valuables, i.e., money (cash and travelers checks), camera, jewelry, etc. The original form is stamped by an officer and a copy is given back to you. It is critically important to keep your customs declaration form in a safe place. You will be required to return your declaration when you depart from China. Customs offer may check whether you are taking all of the items you declared upon entry. The loss of your form will result in delayed departure and a stiff fine. At the time of arrival, you will also be requested to complete a health form, which will ask for the details of your health. You will also be requested to fill out an entry card, which will state the duration of your stay in China.

Entry Regulations

Valid visas are required. Without a proper visa, entry will be prohibited. Please consult with HEF for either individual or group visa information. HEF has the ability to obtain either individual or group visas for a nominal fee.

Exiting China

When departing from China, visitors must complete an Exit Registration Card. Your passport and visa will be checked. Everything, which you declared on your Customs Luggage Declaration Form upon entry, should be taken with you when you depart. If any item is missing, a certificate from the appropriate department is required. For instance, if you have lost an item and wish to claim the item was lost and stolen, you must be prepared to provide the right certificate from the Police Department. If the proper document cannot be provided, you will be required to pay the import duty for all missing items according to Customs regulations.

If you wish to convert your Chinese Yuan to US dollars at the airport before departing China, you will be required to show the exchange receipt, which was provided to you at the time of your initial exchange from US dollars to Chinese Yuan. It is important for you to retain such receipts in a safe place.

The inability to produce the right documents will result in unnecessary delays and fines.


Most area in China has four distinct seasons. There can be distinctive climate changes resulting from monsoons. It is generally warm and humid in southeastern and central China. The north and northeastern China are relatively dry.

The best time to travel through China is in the spring, or in the fall. The weather is mild and you will see the seasonal changes through flowers in blossom and colorful leaves.

For seasonal temperatures throughout China, please refer to the "Yearly and Current Weather Info at the back of this guide.


At the major hotels and superior posh restaurants, it is acceptable to tip the waiter or waitress. However, if you eat at a local restaurant, it is not customary to tip the waiter or waitress. Tour groups often eat American breakfasts at the hotel. Meals, such as lunch and dinner, are often served at local fine restaurants, unless the tour includes a special dinner, i.e., Beijing Duck Banquet. If you attend a special dinner, i.e., Beijing Duck Banquet, it is a good idea to tip.

Money Considerations

The China's currency is called Renminbi or people's currency. The basic unit of currency is the yuan. Ten jiaos equal one Yuan. Ten fens equal one jiao. 100 fens equal one yuan. Currency notes are issued for 1,2, 5, 10, 50, and 100 yuan. Coins include 1 yuan, 5 jiao, and 1, 2 and 5 fen. The current rate of exchange is $1US is equivalent to 8.3 yuan.

US dollars are accepted at banks and hotels. ( i.e., American Express, Visa, Diners Club, and MasterCard). Many credit cards are widely accepted in major cities.


Photographs or video filming of military installations is prohibited. Photographs may be taken at most places, however, the Tomb of Qin Shihuang (terra cotta army) in Xian does NOT permit photographing or filming of the indoor exhibitions. Filters are advisable for outdoor filming because the atmosphere in China can get hazy. Color print film is widely available, however, black and white print film and slide film are not. Video film can be found, however, it is not abundant. The security x-ray machines in airports in China and Hong Kong are film safe. Cameras must be declared when arriving in China. If video or movie cameras are used for professional purposes, a special permit is required.

Post and Telecommunications

Domestic delivery of the mail is very efficient and inexpensive. There is often same day delivery within some major cities. Between major cities, the delivery is usually over night. International delivery is processed in a very efficient manner. At all major hotels, postal services are provided. Major hotels also provide mailboxes, sell postage stamps for letters, post cards, and small parcels. Post offices can be found on main streets, railway stations, airports, and major scenic sights. The post offices are open seven days per week from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

Express mail services are available via DHL, UPS, EMS, TNT, and Federal Express. Most of these firms have services offered at the major hotels and office buildings.

Local calls made from the hotels are usually free-of-charge. Direct long-distance dialing (DDD) can be made from the major hotels to approximately 2,000 locales throughout China. International calls, which are made from the major hotels, normally incur surcharges of (10% - 20%). There are kiosks with an identifiable IDD and DDD sign throughout China. Calls can be made from these kiosks for much less. If calls are made from 9:00PM to 7:00AM, the rate is usually much lower.

The country code for China is 86 in the event you would like to reach relatives, friends or while you are abroad. Area codes can be obtained at hotel front desk or directory assistance.

Special Considerations

Traveling with children in China presents no problems or difficulties. The Chinese people are very fond of children, and will be most helpful. It is important to note that disposable diapers and bottled baby food are not readily available. Therefore, it would be prudent to remember this in the packing process.

Childcare is available at the major hotels. A fee is charged for such service. Extra beds are available for a nominal charge, however, cribs are not available. If the infant or toddler stays with the parents in the same hotel room, there is no extra charge.

For the disabled, in major hotels there are facilities, which take this matter into consideration. However, beyond the hotels, there may be some difficulty in getting around. Although wheel chairs are available, there are no lifts on the tour buses. Maneuvering around the sidewalks of many of the major cities can also pose problems due to the congestion attributable to numbers of people. Special trips can be arranged for the disable, where special arrangements can be made. Please contact HEF for such trips and arrangements.

Foreign students with student cards, who are studying in China, may travel at a reduced cost. However, other foreign students, who are not studying in China, even though having student I.D. cards, will not benefit while traveling in China.


Vaccinations are not required for entry into China; however, it would be best and wise to check with your physician if you should have certain inoculations.

What to Bring

It is best to pack your necessary items, such as tooth brush, tooth paste, mouth wash, hair brush, comb, shampoo, deodorant, facial items, and hygienic products. Such items are available in major cities, however, it is wise to pack them because you don't want to spend time looking for such items during your trip.

You might want to make a preliminary list before packing what you will want to take with you.

You might want to bring an umbrella if traveling during the rainy seasons.

What to Wear

Simple and appropriate clothing is highly recommended. In the summer months, cotton apparel is advisable. Visitors may want to bring clothing, which can be layered for comfort and warmth in the evening. Footwear should be comfortable and durable. Visitors are advised to bring an extra pair of shoes to be used in case of a sudden change of weather to tropical rain and storm. Visitors will be doing a great deal of walking in some sites.

For evenings, most Chinese wear ordinary clothes to performances, i.e., Beijing opera or acrobatic performances. It is recommended that tourists follow the local customs.
Hope Education Foundation
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