Reset filters Apply filters
Travel Practicalities
China - Online Travel Guide

Travel Practicalities in China


Most travellers arrive to China via air or rail. There are many airlines connecting China to the rest of the world. BA, China airlines, all major European carriers take you to many major cities in China.

Being is the last (or first )stop on the famous Trans Siberian railway. Many travellers continue their journey in China after completing the legendary railway trip. China has good train connection with Russia (Moscow, Irkutsk, Ulan Ude) and Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar).


Obtaining Chinese visas is pretty straightforward and easy procedure. Basically you need passport valid for at least 6 months after your return, filled in application form and one passport size photo. Regular visa processing time is normally 4 working days. Express visa processing time is normally 3 working days.

More information in our Chinese visa application guide.


China is no longer a cheap destination. However costs vary depending on the destination and time of your travel. Tourist season peak falls to May, September and October. If you travel in shoulder season you can save on accommodation, flight and rail tickets and other services. The most expensive destinations are Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau Guangzhou, the eastern coastal provinces and Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Beijing and Shànghai especially can be quite expensive. Western China, southwestern China and the interior remain relatively inexpensive.

ATMs are available in large towns and cities. Large airports such as Beijing Capital Airport, five-star hotels and some department stores have ATMs. Most other ATMs in China can only be used for withdrawing Renminbi in domestic accounts.

Credit cards are not really popular in China. Cards that can be used include Visa, MasterCard, AmEx and JCB. Don’t expect to be able to use them everywhere, and always carry enough cash. You should be able to use credit cards at upmarket hotels and restaurants, supermarkets and department stores. Where they are accepted, credit cards often deliver a slightly better exchange rate than in banks. Money can also be withdrawn at certain ATMs in large cities on credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and Amex.

The Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China. It is abbreviated as RMB, and the units for the Renminbi are the Yuan, Jiao, and Fen: 1 Yuan = 10 Jiao = 100 Fen.


China remains one of the statistically safest countries to visit. However, remain alert and keep your valuables, including passport, in a secure place. In public places, ensure you keep your belongings with you at all times.

Seek medical advice before travelling to China and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. The only vaccine required by international regulations is yellow fever. Proof of vaccination will only be required if you have visited a country in the yellow fever zone within the six days prior to entering China. You should start as early as 6 weeks before your trip start date as most vaccines don’t produce immunity until at least two weeks after they’re given.

For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention visit the websites of the National Travel Heath Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.