沙盒:乐乐(1)

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沙盒:乐乐(1)

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目录

中国[3][编辑]

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China Great Wall Picture 144.jpg
位置
China in its region (de-facto).svg
國旗
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
快速事實
首都 Beijing
政體 One Party "Socialist" Republic
貨幣單位 Renminbi (RMB, ¥)
國土面積 9,596,960 km2
總人口 1,321,851,888 (July 2007 est.)
語言 national: Mandarin (Putonghua)
regional: Wu (Shanghaiese), Cantonese (Yue), Mindong (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages
宗教信仰 Buddhist ~80%, Daoist (Taoist), Confucian, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%, Atheist ~10%. Most Chinese are religious pluralists, observing a mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist beliefs and philosophies, but not necessarily on a practicing basis. The communist government is officially atheist.
電壓 220V/50Hz (US/European plug for 2-pin, Australian plug for 3-pin)
電話國瑪 +86
Internet TLD .cn
時區 UTC +8


中国 (中国; Zhōngguó),全称中华人民共和国 (中华人民共和国 Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó),是 的一个幅员辽阔的国家 (面积大约和美国相等),人口居世界之首。

港口分布在东海、黄海、南海和朝鲜湾,有14个邻国。南边毗邻阿富汗巴基斯坦(通过有争议的领土克什米尔)、印度尼泊尔不丹缅甸老挝越南;西面塔吉克斯坦卡扎克斯坦吉尔吉斯斯坦;北部毗邻俄罗斯蒙古;东部毗邻朝鲜。世界上只有中国和俄罗斯有如此数目众多的邻国。

本文只包括中国大陆。香港澳门台湾请参阅相关文章。

理解[编辑]

"我非生而知之者,好古,敏以求之者也。" — 孔子

中华文明5000年经历了数千年巨大的动荡和革命,也经历过太平盛世。在邓小平领导的改革开放中,勤劳智慧的中国人经过自己的奋斗再一次成为了世界上最有影响力的国家之一。很多诸如马可波罗和戈特弗里德·莱布尼茨这样的西方人士通过丝绸之路和过去几个世纪更多的文化交流方式对中国产生了巨大的兴趣,中华文明的深邃和伟大让他们深深的着迷,中华文明将继续让全世界的旅行者兴奋着迷。

历史[编辑]

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古中国[编辑]

文化文明有记录的历史可以追溯到黄河流域,那里是中华文明的摇篮。夏朝是古代史书所记录的第一个朝代,但是至今,并没有发现具体证据可以证明夏朝的存在。尽管这样,考古学家已经证明在那个时代已经建立了中国青铜器文明时代。

商朝是被历史学家证实的中国第一个朝代,周朝统治范围主要在黄河流域。周采取的是分封制,各个诸侯统治其各自的属地,并且拥有高度的自治权,他们甚至保有自己的军队,但是同时他们需要向天子进贡、臣服,并承认他是中国的最高统治者。周朝是中国历史上统治时间最长的朝代,统治时间约为800年。周分东西,从西周开始,中国逐渐进入了数百年的动荡时期,在春秋时期,各个诸侯相互讨伐争夺权力,之后在战国时期逐渐形成了7个较大的诸侯国,史称“战国七雄”。在这一段动荡的历史中,诞生了中国最伟大的思想家,包括孔子、孟子和老子,他们对于中国的思想和文化做出了巨大的贡献。

封建帝制中国[编辑]

秦始皇于公元前221年统一中国,成为中国的“始皇”,秦朝采取了中央集权政府,统一了度量衡、文字和货币。直至今日,统一而又强大的集权系统在中国人的思想里还是很强烈的。但是,由于专制和残酷的统治,秦朝只存在了15年便被汉朝于公元前206年推翻了。由于汉朝时期发明了造纸术,通过丝绸之路于西方社会进行了广泛的贸易,并且统治者的政风相对清明,中华文明迎来了她第一个发展的黄金时代。直到今天为止,华人依然认为自己是“汉族”。

汉朝于公元220年灭亡,随后便是史称三国时期的战乱,其间,中国分裂为魏、蜀、吴三国。虽然三国时期仅维持了60年,但它却是被认为是中国历史上群雄并起的浪漫时代。三国统一后进入短暂的晋朝,之后再次进入分裂和混乱。隋朝于581年统一中国。隋朝其间,大兴土木,著名的工程有连接北京和杭州的京杭大运河。大运河的一些河道至今仍可航船。

由于战乱和政府开支无度,唐朝取代了隋,中华文明再次进入黄金时期,其间出现了灿若星河的唐诗,佛教兴盛,并且统治者治国有方。在唐朝出现了科举制度,旨在通过个人能力选拔官员而不是身世。海外华人聚集地通常被称为唐人街。唐朝的灭亡使中国再次进入分裂状态,直到宋朝统一中国。宋朝对中国大部分区域统治了150年后,被女真人驱赶到淮河以南,并建立南宋。宋朝虽然并不以军事见长,但是宋朝时期的商贸和经济发展在西方的工业革命之前都是最发达的。元朝(蒙古)先击败了女真人,并于1279年征服了宋。元朝定都北京,统治着广袤的亚欧帝国。

明朝 (1368-1644)击败蒙古人,并再次确立了汉人的统治地位。明朝以商贸和航海著称,郑和曾经多次出海至东南亚、印度和阿拉伯世界。在和欧洲商人的早期接触意味着通过和西班牙以及葡萄牙商人贸易以及随之滚滚而来的白银。北京的著名建筑,例如紫禁城和天坛都是在这个时期建造的。最后一个封建王朝是清朝(满清)(1644-1911),在清朝时期中华帝国增长到现有的版图,将西部的新疆和西藏囊括在内。清朝末年中国沦为“东亚病夫”,并被西方列强分割蚕食。西方国家迫使清政府开放了广州上海和天津港口。中国将自己的领土拱手让给外国;香港和威海割让给应该,台湾和辽东半岛割让给日本,东北部分地区,包括大连和满洲割然给俄国,而青岛割然给德国。上海则分给了8个不同的国家。 另外,中国失去了对其附属国的控制,越南割让给了发过,而朝鲜报道和琉球群岛割然给了日本。

中华民国和二战[编辑]

两千年的封建帝制终于于1911年彻底倒塌,孙中山先生于次年建立中华民国(Zhōnghuá Mínguó)。中央统治于1916年在中华民国第二任总统和自己称帝的袁世凯的逝世而崩溃;中国陷入混乱,各地军阀自治一方。1919年北京学生走上街头,形成了“五四运动”,五四运动支持对中国社会进行改革,例如使用白话文,以及发展科学和民主。五四运动期间,国民党(KMT)于1919年改组成立,中国共产党于1921年在上海法租界成立。

在国民党于1928年统一了中国东部地区大部后,中共和国民党反目,中共开始史无前例的长征逃往陕西延安。在蒋介石先生和他的国民政府的领导下,在1922年到1937年间中国东部沿海省份的经济发展迅猛,出现了工业化和城镇化。上海成为了一个真正的国际化大都市,并成为世界上最繁忙的港口之一和东亚最繁华的城市,那时候的上海居住着数以百万计的中国人和来自世界各个角落的大约60,000名外国人。然后,这时候这个广袤的国家却危机重重,特别是内陆地区,内乱、饥馑和军阀混战依然在肆虐。

日本于1931年在满洲里扶植了一个傀儡政权---满洲国,并于1937年展开了全面的侵华战争。日本人在中国东部实行残酷的统治方式,最大的暴行是1937年的南京大屠杀。在迁都重庆后,国民党认识到了形势的严峻,并与中共签订协议形成了联合统一抗日阵线。日本于1945年战败之后,国民党和中共军队在中国北方展开了争夺,开始了长达数年的内战。内战从1946年持续到1949年,最终国民党战败逃亡台湾并希望有朝一日以此为起点收复大陆。

红色中国[编辑]

毛泽东于1949年10月1日正式宣布中华人民共和国成立了。新成立的中共政府实施了强力措施以恢复秩序,重振由于长达数十年的战乱造成的积贫积弱的工业、农业和商业。到1955年,在中国共产党的领导下,中国的工业产值、农业、和社会都恢复到了战前水平。在建国初期,中国严格地遵守高度工业化和计划经济的苏联模式,但是之后就开始在中国这个以农业社会为主的国家开始对马克思主义进行了试验。

从1957年到1967年之间,中国展开了旨在快速实现集体制度和工业化的巨大的社会试验百花运动(bǎihuā yùndòng, Hundred Flowers Campaign)、大跃进(dàyuèjìn, the Great Leap Forward),和旨在通过纪律、除“四旧”和忠于毛泽东思想来改造世界的无产阶级文化大革命(wúchǎn jiējí wénhuà dà gémìng,Cultural Revolution)。一般都认为大跃进和文化大革命是中国的灾难性失败。

毛泽东于1976年去世,1978年邓小平成为中共核心领导。邓小平和他的老战友们逐渐开始了以市场为导向的改革以及。到2000年经济产量翻了四翻,并继续以每年8~10%的速度增长,但是仍有很多问题 — 通货膨胀严重、区域收入不平等、人权问题、少数名族矛盾、大规模污染、偏远农村贫穷肆虐、还有贪腐严重。虽然靠近港口的城市,例如北京上海广州已经发展成为富裕的现代化城市,但是很多内陆和农村依然贫穷落后。在2010年,中国取代日本成为世界上仅次于美国的第二大经济体。虽然中国经济依然发展迅猛,但是中国以后的道路却迷雾重重。

政治[编辑]

中国是一个由中国共产党一党专政的集权国家。实际上中国至今为止只进行过一次全国范围的公开选举,在1912年。政府由行政部门---国务院(State Council),和一个一院制的立法机构全国人民代表大会(National People's Congress)。国家的首领是主席(President),而政府的首领是总理。实际上,虽然总理和主席都没有绝对权威,但是主席的权利最大而总理则是国家的二把手。

虽然中国从行政上分成了22个省份、5个自治区和4个直辖市,但是中国政府总体上还是一个集权的政府。每个省政府只拥有各自省内事宜(一般是经济)的部分权力。自治区理应比一般省份都更大的自治权,例如,自治区有权宣布除了中文之外其他的官方语言。另外,还有香港和澳门行政特区(SAR),这两个特区都有有别于大陆独立的司法系统和移民局,并有独立与大陆的立法权。他们的政治体系更加公开和民主。虽然台湾目前不在中共的控制范围,但是中共宣称台湾也是中国的一个省份。两岸政府从原则上都支持统一,并且最近又签署了两岸贸易协定,以促进两岸经济和做,并免去了战争的可能性。

人民和习惯[编辑]

中国是一个有着不同文化、语言、习惯和经济水平的充满差异性的国家。经济发展状况的差异在全国各地尤为明显。大城市,尤其像北京、广州和上海已经成为现代并且相对富裕的地方。但是,尽管中国只有10%的国土面积为可耕种土地,却有大约50%的中国人口生活在农村。数以百万计的农民仍然处于手工和家畜耕种的状态。大约2到3亿农民到城市打工。2005年政府估计有9000万人口以不足924元的收入维生,而2600万人口仍然处于官方公布的年收入668元的贫困线以下。总体来说,东南沿海地区更加富裕,而内陆地区,偏远的西部和北部以及西南地区较为不发达。

这样一个幅员辽阔的国家,文化的多样性自然就不足为奇了。中国官方承认的民族有56个,最大的民族是汉族,大约占人口总数90%。其他的55个民族在高考和计划生命方面享有优待政策。即便是汉族,也有很多相互之间不能理解的地方“方言”;大部分语言学家把这些方言归类为基本都使用同一套中文文字的不同语言。很多少数民族也都有他们各自的语言。和大部分人所认为的不同的是,并没有单独统一的汉文化,虽然他们都有共同之处,比如儒家和道教思想,汉族本身的区域性差异也是非常巨大的。很多习俗和神灵都是有着明显的地域(有时候甚至村与村都不一样)特征的。对于春节和其他全国性的节日在各地也有着很大的不同之处。很多和婚礼、葬礼、和迎接新生儿的习俗也都大有不同。总体说来,现代的中国社会没有明显的宗教倾向,并且在日常生活的背后还是隐藏着中国的传统文化。在少数民族中,壮族、满族、回族和苗族人口是最多的。其他主要的少数民族包括:朝鲜族、藏族、蒙古族、维吾尔族、吉尔吉斯人还有甚至俄裔。事实上,中国是除了韩国之外朝鲜族人口最多的,而且中国的蒙古族人数比蒙古共和国的蒙古人都多。很多少数民族都有不同程度的语言和风俗的流逝,都被同化和融入到汉族的传统中去了。藏族和维吾尔族在眼下是个例外,他们对于他们自己的文化非常保护的。

一些在中国颇为常见的行为对于外国人来说可能会有些不能接受甚至会觉得粗俗:

No spitting please
  • 随地吐痰:街上、店里、超市里、酒店大厅、过道、餐厅、汽车上,甚至在医院里面。传统中医认为咽痰是不健康的。自从2002年非典之后,在北京和上海这样的大城市随地吐痰现象大幅减少了。但是,在大部分地区,这一现象都不同程度存在着---从中度严重到无处不在。
  • 吸烟:几乎所有地方,包括有“请勿吸烟”标示的地方,包括健身俱乐部、足球场甚至医院。虽然北京现在不允许在大部分餐厅吸烟,但很少有餐厅会有吸烟区域。对于公共场合禁烟,各地执行程度不一。在一些并不高档的场所,一般都没有摆设烟灰缸。西餐厅似乎是对禁烟执行的最为彻底的地方之一。如果您所在的国家在绝大数公共场合已经进行了禁烟,那么你可能会对中国社会的这样现象有点吃惊。
  • 如果您看起来不像中国人,那么别人有可能会对你说“hello”或者“老外”(外国人)。被人称为“老外”会非常常见,无论什么年龄段,每天都有人喊你“老外”。
  • 盯着看:这在很多国家都很常见。但是几乎都是出于好奇而不是敌意。如果有人向你走过来然后端详你(就像看电视那样),请不要过度反应,又没有什么害处的!
  • 喝酒:在吃饭的时候年长的人给小辈敬酒是很常见的。别人敬酒你不接(即使是出于善意)也会被认为是很大的不尊重。
  • 大声说话、吵闹或者吵架:这都很常见。很多大陆人在公共场合说话都很大声(大清早也会这样),这估计是您刚到中国发现的第一个现象。大声说话虽然有可能是因为说话者生气了或者在吵架,但是并不一定是这样。在中国打架这样的暴力事件并不常见,但是也会发生。如果发现这样的事情,请离开,不要参与。在中国几乎从来没有人将外国人做外攻击的目标,只要做为外国人的您不是十分过分,那么一般中国人都是非常尊重您的。如果您要乘长途汽车或者火车最好带上耳塞。
  • 推搡和插队:这些现象在排队的地方都很常见(有些不排队的地方也很常见),特别是火车站。很多时候根本就没有队。因此,插队在中国是一个很大的问题。最好的选择就是选一个动的比较快的队,或者等别人先上/下车。记住,在中国人与人之间的空间感的概念基本上不存在。在中国两个人之间距离很近很正常,而且如果别人撞了你然后什么都不说也很正常。您也不要生气,因为他们会很吃惊也不知道哪里冒犯到您了。
  • 一般都不顾国家、省、市的法律和法规。这包括危险驾驶(见中国驾驶习惯)---超速。夜间不用前灯、不用转向灯、逆行、横穿马路等行为,还有他们会在无烟区吸烟,无视禁烟标示。
  • 卫生:很多中国人在打喷嚏的时候不捂嘴。

有的长期居住在中国的外国人说这些现象日益恶化,而有说的却正好相反。通常来说,这是因为大量的对于城市生活不熟悉的农民工涌入了城市。很多商场的自动扶梯旁边都有引导员。

总体来说,中国人还是比较爱说爱笑的,因为中国本来就有很多民族,而且还有很多从其他地方来的外来人,所以他们也习惯了以不同的方式处理事情。确认,中国人走到一起的一个常见话题之一就是讨论各自方言之间的异同。他们都很习惯打手势,而且对于非语言的笑话或者双关语的反应的很快。中国人非常喜欢小孩,对他们很宠爱,并且关心的无微不至。如果您有小孩的话,也一起带上吧!

幸运数字[编辑]

一般来说,对于大部分中国人来说3、6、8、和9是吉祥数字。“三”意味着三阳开泰,三阳预示着福、寿、禄三路神仙。“六”代表着六六大顺。很多人都选带六的日子来结婚,比如说6号,16号或者26号。“八”听起来像发,所以很多人都相信八是和财运联系在一起的。所以,奥运会选在2008年8月8日8时8分8秒开也没有什么好奇怪的了。“九”被认为有长长久久的意思。

“四”对大多数中国人来说是一个忌讳,因为发音听起来像“死”。

气候和地形[编辑]

由于中国地域广袤,所以气候个复杂多样,从南方的热带地区到北方的亚北极。海南岛的纬度和牙买加大致相同,而哈尔滨,中国北方最大的城市之一,则和蒙特利尔的纬度和气候相当。中国北方四季分明,夏天炎热,冬天寒冷。而南方气候就会更加温润。越靠近西北气候越干燥。一旦您离开中国东部,踏上壮丽的西藏高原或者甘肃和新疆的草原,那么您会那里的土地很辽阔。

在计划经济时代,规定在长江以北地区可以供暖,而长江以南地区不能供暖—这意味着像上海、南京这样的城市,虽然温度经常低于零度,但是依然没有暖气。这一规定虽然早就失去了原来的作用了,但是影响还是显而易见的。总体说来,中国人暖气使用较少,建筑的隔热也较少,在相同的天气下,中国人比西方人穿的厚。在学校、商场或者办公楼,就算房间里面有供暖,过道也是没有的。很少有双层玻璃窗。学校的老师和学生在教室都穿冬装。空调虽然日渐普遍,但是过道同样没有,并且经常都是门窗大开。

中国的地形范围很广,内陆有山脉、高原,中部和西部有隔壁。东部则以平原、三角洲和丘陵为主。广州和香港周围的珠三角地区和上海周围的长三角地区是全球经济的动力中心,还有北京周围的北部平原和黄河流域。珠穆朗玛峰处于西藏(西藏自治区)和尼泊尔的边境上,高度为8850米,是世界上最高的山峰。西北省份新疆的吐鲁番盆地是中国的最低点,海拔为-154米,它也是世界陆地中仅次于死海海拔第二低的地方。

节假日[编辑]

中国幅员辽阔,拥有无穷无尽的优质旅游资源。在假期中,数以百万计的农民工返乡,还有数以百万计的中国人在国内旅游。在中国旅游时,一定要实现规划好,尽量避免在重大的节假日出行(无论是汽车、火车还是飞机)。至少,应该提前计划出行。每当中国处于交通极度拥挤的形势下,任何交通工具的票都非常难买,并且会非常贵,因此一定要提前预定(特别是从遥远的西部到东部沿海还是相反方向)。在中国,买汽车和火车票相对还是比较容易的(节假日除外),但是节假日所带了的拥挤是特别严重的。如果游客在节假日被困在路上了,您可以试试机票,由于机票价格较高(但是以西方的标准来看还是可以接受的)所以往往会卖完的晚一点。乘飞机是最为舒适的出行方式,也是应该是首选。现在中国正在形成一个超现代的高速列车网络,高铁车况也较好,但是您还是不得不去非常拥挤、烟雾缭绕、冰冷、喧闹和混乱的火车站上车。每年的春节(中国新年)是地球上人

中国每年有五个重大节日:

  • 中国新年 或者春节(Spring Festival) - 一月底到二月中旬。
  • 清明节 — 一般在4月的4-6日间,或者叫扫墓日,这一天所有人都去给自己的先人扫墓并送上祭拜品。通往公墓的交通在这一天会非常拥堵。
  • 劳动节- 5月1日
  • 端午节(Dragon Boat Festival) - 农历的5月初五,一般在公历的5月到6月之间。这一天人们要赛龙舟、吃粽子。
  • 中秋节(Mid-Autumn Day)- 农历8月15,一般在公历10月份。有时候也交月饼节,因为这一天的标志是要吃月饼。人们会在户外摆设桌子,上面摆上月饼,赏月聊天。
  • 国庆节 (National Day) - 10月1日。

春节和国庆节一般假期都不止一天;几乎所有工人春节假都有至少一星期,有的甚至有两星期或者三星期,学生会放四到六周寒假。国庆放假一般一星期。

春节期间一般都很忙。这不仅仅是最长的假期,而且也是传统走亲访友的时间。这一段时间,整个国家基本上都处于休息状态。基本上所有外出打工的人都会回家。这几乎是他们回家的唯一机会。人人都想回家,中国人口众多!在春节期间,很多商店都会关门好几天、一周、甚至更久,因此,如果您在中国没有亲戚或者好友,那不建议您在这一段时间去中国旅游。

七月初,大批大学生放假回家(两千多万!),然后在八月底他们又要返校,这段时间从东部沿海地区到四川、甘肃、西藏和新疆的交通格外拥堵。

如果要列出一个中国节日的完整清单的话,那么这个清单就会很长,因为很多地区和民族都有他们独特的地方性节日。以下是上面没有提到的但是同样是非常重要的节日:

  • 元宵节(或者上元节,Lantern Festival) - 农历正月十五,紧随春节,一般在公历的二月到三月。在很多城市,例如泉州,全市上下都会被装点上各式各样的灯笼。
  • 七夕 (Double Seventh Festival) - 农历七月初七,是中国的情人节。
  • 重阳节(Double Ninth Festival) - 农历九月初九,一般在公历的10月份。
  • 冬至(Winter Solstice Festival) - 腊月22或者23.

除了以上的节日,中国很多地方,特别是大城市,也过西方的节日。在圣诞节期间,大街小巷都能听到圣诞颂歌,大部分都是英文的,也有中文版本的,很多商店都会进行装饰,有的店员会穿上圣诞的衣服。情人节期间,很多餐馆都退出特殊的晚餐。中国的基督徒也会在政府批准的新教和天主教教堂举行礼拜或者弥撒。

书籍[编辑]

旅游:

  • 马可.波罗游记,作者马可.波罗 - 威尼斯旅行家在中国的旅途故事(参阅: On the trail of Marco Polo)
  • Dialogues Tibetan Dialogues Han作者:Hannü (ISBN 9789889799939)
  • Behind the Wall- A journey through china,作者:Colin Thubron. Thubron重述了他1987年在中国的旅行,从北京到嘉峪关。

文学:

  • 《大地》,作者赛珍珠 - 关于20世纪世纪之交时中国农民生活的经典之作,赛珍珠点燃了20世纪30年底美国公众对于中国的兴趣。由于赛珍珠女士关于中国的作品使她获得了1938年诺贝尔文学奖。
  • 《三国演义》 - 中国经典名著,讲述了汉朝末年三国时期群雄并起的年代中的英雄豪杰。以对于兵法和政治策略的描述见长。四大名著之一。整个东亚地区,不断有关于这一题材的电视、电影、动画和游戏。
  • 《水浒传》 - 一个关于在宋代时期居住在淮河流域和腐朽的政府相抗衡的故事。以主角们对于现实统治的反抗而著称。四大名著之一。
  • 《西游记》 - 可能是最出名的中文小说,关于玄奘在孙悟空、八戒和沙悟净的协助下西天取经的玄幻小说。以出色的想象力见长。四大名著之一。
  • 《红楼梦》 (企鹅出版社经典名著,5卷)- 清代末期贵族家庭三家人的恩恩怨怨。以对中国贵族家庭生活的入微描写而见长,被认为是中国问下的顶尖之作。四大名著之一。

历史:

  • 《紫禁城的黄昏》,作者:R.F. Johnston (ISBN 0968045952)。Kindle上也有。Johnston(庄士敦)是历史上唯一一位被允许进入小朝廷的外国人,他生于英国,是皇上的老师。庄士敦身居高位,在紫禁城和颐和园都住过。《紫禁城的黄昏》是对于他亲眼所见的重大事情的陈述。
  • 《追寻现代中国》,作者:Jonathan Spence - 是一部由耶鲁大学教授撰写的1644年以后的中国历史。
  • 《万历十五年》作者:黄仁宇 - 描述了中国明朝的一个多事之年。它是一部关于这个时期的最著名的史学著作。
  • 《中国新史》作者:John K. Fairbank - 一名美国著名学者的最后一部著作,它对现代汉学有着深远的影响。
  • 《剑桥中国史》 - 剑桥大学出版社出版的一个系列,包括了早期和现代中国历史。这是最大最全面的关于中国历史的英文著作。
  • 《开放的帝国:1600年前的中国历史》作者:Valerie Hansen - 详细的描述了从商代到明朝中国历史、文化、社会经济的发展。
  • 《1421中国发现世界》作者:by Gavin Menzies (ISBN 0553815229) - 关于中国对于探索世界并绘制世界地图所作出的努力,这本书颇有争议。有意思的是,本书暗含中国是发现新大陆的第一个国家,而各界对这一观点都表示批评的态度,并指出这是中国学术界的臆想。
  • 《北京的六分仪》作者:衞周安 - 总结了关于中国比想象中的开放而且并不如想象中排外的近代思想。
  • 《红星照耀中国》 作者:埃德加·斯诺- 讲述了作者于1936年夏秋之际和中国红军共同渡过的几个月的生活。
  • 《南京大屠杀》 作者:Iris Chang (ISBN 0140277447) - 被世人遗忘的二战大屠杀。
  • 《贝拉日记》 作者:John Rabe - 对于二战中日本军人所犯罪行和Rabe最终成功拯救大约250000无辜生命的第一首描述。
  • 《鸿》 作者:张戎 (ISBN 0007176155) - 一本讲述了三代人的传记,从军阀时代到毛时代结束,描述了在中国的国家主义和共产主义下的生活(在中国属于禁书)。
  • 毛-不为人知的故事 作者:张戎和Jon Halliday合著。毛的传记以及对在毛统治下的中国的描述。
  • 《红色中国布鲁斯——从毛到现在,我的长征》作者:黄明珍,加拿大环球邮报记者。概述描述了他作为第一个外国交换生在文革后的中国生活以及他一直到20世纪90年代中期作为一名记者在中国的生活经历。

电影[编辑]

  • 贝纳多·贝托鲁奇 - 《末代皇帝》 (1987)
  • 张艺谋 - 《大红灯笼高高挂》 (1991)
  • 陈凯歌 - 《霸王别姬》 (1993)
  • 张艺谋 - 《活着》 (1994)
  • 吴子牛 - 《南京1937》 (1995)
  • 张艺谋 - 《有话好好说》 (1997)
  • 谢晋 - 《鸦片战争》 (1997)
  • 张扬 - 《洗澡》 (1999)
  • 冯小刚 - 《没完没了》 (1999)
  • 张艺谋 - 《一个都不能少》 (1999)
  • 王小帅 – 《十七岁的单车》 (2001)
  • 张艺谋 - 《千里走单骑》 (2005)
  • 吉安尼·阿米里奥 - La stella che non c’è (《消失的星星》) (2006)
  • 张元 - 《看上去很美》 (2006)
  • 李仁港 - 《三国之见龙卸甲》 (2008)
  • 罗杰·斯波蒂伍德 - 《黄石的孩子》 (2008)
  • 吴天明 - 《变脸》 (1996)

区域[编辑]

中国完整的省份清单和中国政治地理的解释,见:中国省份和地区清单

Regions of China
中国东北辽宁吉林黑龙江
dōngběi, “老工业基地”城市,广袤的森林,俄罗斯、朝鲜和日本影响,漫长而多雪的寒冬
中国北部山东山西内蒙河南河北北京天津
黄河流域,中华文明的发源地
中国西北陕西甘肃宁夏青海新疆
中国1000年的首都,草原、隔壁、高山、游牧民族、穆斯林
中国西南西藏云南广西贵州
少数名族,充满风情、风景秀丽、背包客的天堂
中部安徽四川重庆湖北湖南江西
农业地区、山多、喝多、亚热带森林
中国东南广东海南福建
传统的贸易中心、制作业中心、大部分海外华人的故乡
中国东部江苏上海浙江
“鱼米之乡”、传统的中国水乡、中国新兴的经济中心







香港澳门台湾我们会在其他文章中介绍。从旅行者的角度来讲,这几个城市和大陆截然不同,他们有自己的签证、货币等。

从政治上来说,香港和澳门是特别行政区,虽然是中国的一部分,但是依然是资本主义并且有截然不同的政治体制。口号叫做“一国两制”。

台湾比较特殊。在1949年内战末期,共产主义占领了中国大陆,战败的国民党只占领了台湾岛和福建附近的几个小岛。这种局势一直延续到今天;台湾60多年来有独立的政府,并“事实”上独立。但是,世界上大部分组织不承认台湾是个有用主权的主权国家,这主要是因为中国共产党对于此事施加了巨大的影响力。虽然两个政府都支持中国统一,但是台湾内部仍有很大的支持台独的呼声。


城市[编辑]

The entrance to the Forbidden City, Beijing

中国有很多很大而且很有名的城市。以下是对于旅行者来说最重要的一些城市。其他的城市都在中国各个地区下面有所解释。朝代和古都部分介绍了中国的一些古都。

  • 北京
    首都和污染严重的文化中心
  • 广州
    中国南方最繁荣和开放的城市,靠近香港
  • 桂林
    中外游客最喜欢的旅游目的地之一,山水甲天下。
  • 杭州
    著名的旅游城市,丝绸产业中心
  • 昆明
    云南省会,少数民族聚集地。
  • 南京
    著名的历史和文化名城,很多历史遗迹
  • 上海
    以外滩夜景闻名,中国最大的城市,主要商业中心
  • 苏州
    “东方威尼斯”,上海西面一个以运河和园林闻名的古城
  • 西安
    中国最古老的城市,十朝古都(包括汉唐),丝绸之路的终点,兵马俑的故乡。
  • 扬州
    “中国的缩影”,历史超过2500年,十三世纪晚期,马可波罗在扬州为官三年。

现在您可以通过中国的高铁游览中国。特别是杭州-上海-苏州-南京线特别方便。

其他的热门旅游目的地[编辑]

  • 万里长城
    长度超过8000公里,这个古长城是中国的象征
  • 海南
    热带天堂岛屿,目前正在进行大规模的旅游开发
  • 九寨沟
    以熊猫栖息地、美丽的瀑布和多彩的湖泊而闻名
  • 乐山
    以一整座山雕刻而成的乐山大佛而闻名(靠近峨眉)
  • 喜马拉雅山
    在西藏和尼泊尔交界处,世界上最高的山脉
  • 泰山
    中国道教五大圣山之一,由于其历史渊源也是登山人数最多的山
  • 西藏
    西藏大部分都是藏佛教教徒,有浓郁的传统西藏文化,感觉好像身处于另一个世界
  • 吐鲁番
    在新疆的穆斯林地区,这一地区以葡萄、严峻的天气条件和维吾尔族文化闻名
  • 云冈石窟
    这些依山的洞穴和石窟总数超过50个,石窟中有超过51000个佛像。

进入[编辑]

签证[编辑]

大部分访问大陆的游客都需要签证(VISA)。大部分情况下,您需要在离开前从中国大使馆或者领事馆获取签证。前往香港和澳门的签证也可以在中国大使馆或者领事馆申请,但是不能和前往大陆的签证有所区分。但是,香港澳门对大部分西方国家游客免签。

但是,这一规定最重要的一个例外是在某些机场的转机大部分机场允许乘客没有签证而在机场待12小时(前提是旅客不离开机场),但是上海浦东机场和虹桥国际机场允许没有签证停留48小时。

中国大陆对文莱日本新加坡籍公民有15天的免签圣马力诺籍公民可以免签在中国停留90天,且无论前往中国大陆的是何目的。

相关和澳门的中国籍公民访问中国大陆时需要向中国旅行社申请回乡证,中旅是唯一的授权机构。回乡证大小和信用卡相同,有效期1年,在有效期内都可以停留,也没有雇佣方面的任何限制。台湾居民可以在大连、福州、海口、青岛、三亚、上海、武汉、厦门的机场以及在香港和澳门的中旅申请有效期为3个月的入境文件。台湾旅客必须持中华民国护照、台湾人身份证和台胞证。可以在可以在大连、福州、海口、青岛、三亚、上海、武汉、厦门机场申请台胞证。入境费用为100元加上50元一次性台胞证。旅客出行前须查看最新的政策信息。

Visa overview

  • G签 - 中转
  • L签证 - 旅游、访亲
  • F签证 - 商务、实习、短期调研
  • Z签证 - 工作签、多次出入
  • X签证 - 6个月以上学习

旅游签证申请比较容易,也不需要邀请函(商务签和工作签都需要)。一般的单次旅游签停留期是30天,有效期是三个月。双次出入境签证有效期为六个月。有的国家的游客可以拿到90天的旅游签。

可以在各地出入境管理局申请旅游签延期,需要的资料是:有效护照、签证延期申请表(含两张2寸证件照),一份您在当地派出所拿到的临时居住表。上海的进出境管理局位于浦东明生路1500号。延期需要5个工作日。[4]

有的旅客需要双次签证。例如,如果您持有单词签证,然后您去了香港或者澳门,从那里再次返回中国大陆则需要新的签证。按照规定,在香港,多次出入境签证只能给吃香港身份的人,但是相关部门愿意稍加变通,也可以给短期的相关居民(包括交换生)三个月的多次出入境签证。在这种情况下,建议直接向中国政府申请,因为有的代理人不愿意代表您提交这样的申请。

落地签只能在深圳或者珠海的经济特区申请,也只能在这些地区使用。在经由罗湖火车站(一定记住不是落马洲)前往深圳时,可以获取只限于深圳使用的有效期5天的签证,申请时间不限于工作时间,很多国籍游客(爱尔兰、新西兰或者加拿大)的现场申请费用为160元(2007年10月的价格),但是美国游客不能申请,而英国游客则须支付450元。现在该签证办公室只接受人民币,请一定记得带上足够的现金。

到2013 年,大部分过境旅客可以获取仅适用于上海和北京的72小时的落地签。

由于政治原因,签证政策可能会不断变化。例如:

  • 作为对美国提高中国游客签证费用的报复,美国国籍游客签证费被增加到140美元(旅游团为110美元)[5]
  • 香港颁发的签证一般限制在30天内,多次出入境的签证变的很难拿到甚至会拿不到。

几年之前,Z(工作签)证是长期签证。现在Z证只能在中国国内待30天;一旦您在中国,雇主须为您办理居住证。实际上,这才是多次出入境签证,您可以用它往返中国。如果您持旅游签来中国,有的签证部门会拒绝为您办理居住证明。这种情况下,您需要使用工作签。工作签只能在国外申请,因此您可能需要去香港或者韩国(请注意,因为首尔的中国领事馆不给非韩国居民办理签证,所以没有外国人等级证的游客必须到釜山)。工作签需要雇主的邀请函。有时候也可以将L签(旅游签)转为Z签(工作签),这都取决于办理签证的具体公安局和您雇主是否有足够的关系。

和中国公民结婚的外国人(见中国婚姻)可以选择办理6-12个月的探亲签证。探亲签实质上是L签,但是它允许您在签证有效期内一直停留在中国。想要申请探亲签的人要先以其他签证进入中国,之后在您婚姻登记所在地的公安局(一般是您配偶的户籍地)办理。办理时需要带上您的结婚照和您配偶的身份证。

大部分外国人可以在蒙古的乌拉巴托办理签证。领事馆网站为[1]. .在忙季,领馆可能在中午11点之后就拒绝办理。可能会有很长的队,所以您需要来的早一点。并且,中国重大节日期间,使领馆都会休息几天。

住所登记[编辑]

如果您住在酒店或者宾馆中,在您入住时酒店人员可能会要求看甚至要扫描您的护照、签证和入境章。

如果您住在私人住所中,理论上需要您在到达的24小时(市区)或者72小时(农村)内在当地公安局登记,但是,这条法律在现实中很少(如果一定要说有的话)很少有人执行---只要您不惹麻烦就行。警察会问你要(1)您护照的复印件(2)签证复印件(3)入境章复印件(4)照片(5)您居住场所的凭证。凭证上的名字可以不是您的名字。

  • 您每次来中国都需要登记(有居住证的例外-居住证持有者只需在新签证办理完后登记即可)
  • 如果您不登记,有可能会受到500元以下的罚款。
  • 手续比较长(3个多小时),最好带上翻译(在上海,只要您有任何形式的居住许可就不用办理登记)。

乘飞机[编辑]

进入中国的主要门户有北京上海广州。几乎每个有一定规模的城市都会有一个国际机场,但是这些机场一般只有和香港,像韩国日本这样的邻国以及东南亚的一些航班。

Transiting Hong Kong and Macau


如果您到了香港或者澳门,有渡船可以将您直接送到其他地方,比如蛇口、深圳宝安机场、澳门机场、珠海和其他地方,而不用“进入”香港或者澳门。有摆渡车将旅客直接送到轮船码头,这样他们的入境地点将会在轮航码头而非机场。请注意,轮航都有不同的运行时间。如果您的航班到港比较晚的话,您可能就需要进入港澳或者直接到您的最终目的地。例如,如果从香港国际机场通过澳门轮航码头到澳门的话,则需要办理移民手续。香港码头最新消息,请参阅香港国际机场网站。[6]

虽然很多大的航空公司都有到北京、上海、广州和香港的航班,但是票价都比较高。要想买到较实惠的票,最好还是尽早订票。在夏初和夏末时候机票特别贵,因为这个时候中国学生都要回家或者飞往全世界各地的大学。和其他车票一样,飞机票在春节期间也会很难买。

如果您居住在海外华人社区较多的城市(例如:多伦多、三藩、悉尼或者伦敦),那您可以看看华人社区或者中国人开的旅行社有没有低价的机票。有时候,航班只在中文报纸上广告,或者中国人的旅行社的航班价格就很低。

参阅: 亚洲打折航班

航空公司和航班

中国航空公司增长迅速。空客估计中国客机数量会从2009年的1400架增长到2029年的4200架。

中国航空公司也在努力提高价格和服务上的竞争力。航空公司包括南航[7],东方航空[8],国航[9],和海航[10]

乘客可能会更喜欢亚洲的航空公司的航班,因为这些航班的称无人员一般都较多,而且服务也比较好。可以选择香港的国泰航空[11]。其他的航空公司比如新加坡航空[12]、日本航空[13]、印尼航空[14]。韩国航空[15]在亚洲范围内的航线价格都比较好,比如从曼谷经停首尔到北美。一般转接航班都比直航,这一点要记住。韩国航空也飞在中国十几个城市,包括上海。

  • 北美:达美航空[[16]经由成田飞香港、北京、上海和广州,也有从底特律、波士顿、和西雅图的直飞航班。联合航空[17]直飞航班最多,从旧金山纽瓦克、和华盛顿直飞香港、北京和上海。美航[18]从芝加哥直飞上海、北京和上海。加拿大航空[19]多伦多温哥华直飞上海、北京和香港。
  • 澳大利亚:澳航[20]有从悉尼墨尔本布里斯班佩斯到香港的直航。澳航从悉尼到上海和北京,但是从墨尔本到上海只有代码共享服务。经由东南亚的可能会有便宜的航班,那里有一些打折航班飞往澳大利亚。中国东方航空有从布里斯班悉尼、和墨尔本直飞广州的直航,从那里您可以飞往其他主要城市。
  • 新西兰:只有新西兰航空[21]有飞往中国大陆的直飞航班。直飞航线到北京、上海和香港。
  • 东南亚:据说由于新加坡有大量华人,所有新加坡的航线网络最好,往所有的大城市和一些区域性的中心城市(比如厦门、昆明和深圳)都有航班。除了新加坡,吉隆坡曼谷马尼拉的航线也不错。老虎航空[22]、Jetstar[23]、亚洲航空[24]、和宿雾太平洋航空[25]也都有从东南亚(曼谷、清迈、新加坡、吉隆坡和马尼拉)到中国南方城市(包括厦门、景洪、广州、海口和澳门)的低价航班。
  • 台湾:两岸恢复通航是从2008年开始的,这在之前59年都被禁止的。现在从台北到中国主要城市之间每天都有直航。

中国和欧洲之间的航班

航空公司 起飞 降落 航班时间 出发日期 经济舱 P/W 说明
芬兰航空 赫尔辛基 (HEL) 北京 (PEK) 7:50 周一到周日 32" / 18"
芬兰航空 北京 (PEK) 赫尔辛基 (HEL) 8:30 周一到周六 32" / 18"
芬兰航空 赫尔辛基 (HEL) 重庆 (CKG) 8:40 一三五六 32" / 18" 2012.5.9开始
芬兰航空 重庆 (CKG) 赫尔辛基 (HEL) 9:25 二四六日 32" / 18" 2012.5.9开始
芬兰航空 赫尔辛基 (HEL) 上海 (PVG) 9:05 周一到周日 32" / 18"
芬兰航空 上海 (PVG) 赫尔辛基 (HEL) 10:15 周一到周日 32" / 18"
海南航空 柏林 (TXL) 北京 (PEK) 9:25 三五日 32" / 19"
海南航空 北京 (PEK) 柏林 (TXL) 10:20 三日 32" / 19"
海南航空 布达佩斯 (BUD) 北京 (PEK) 9:20 一五 32" / 19"
海南航空 北京 (PEK) 布达佩斯 (BUD) 10:10 一五 32" / 19"
海南航空 布鲁塞尔 (BRU) 北京 (PEK) 9:40 二四六日 32" / 19" 从2012年4月,周五也有,2012年7月开始周一也有
海南航空 北京 (PEK) 布鲁塞尔 (BRU) 10:35 二四六日 32" / 19" 从2012年4月,周五也有,2012年7月开始周一也有
海南航空 布鲁塞尔 (BRU) 上海 (PVG) 32" / 19"
海南航空 上海 (PVG) 布鲁塞尔 (BRU) 32" / 19"
海南航空 苏黎世 (ZRH) 北京 (PEK) 10:00 二四六 32" / 19"
海南航空 北京 (PEK) 苏黎世 (ZRH) 10:45 二四六 32" / 19"
荷兰航空 阿姆斯特丹 (AMS) 成都 (CTU) 9:25 31" / 17.5"
荷兰航空 成都 (CTU) 阿姆斯特丹 (AMS) 10:35 31" / 17.5"
汉莎航空 法兰克福 (FRA) 青岛 (TAO) 13:10 一三五 32" / 17.5" 经停沈阳
汉莎航空 青岛 (TAO) 法拉克福 (FRA) 14:25 二四六 32" / 17.5" 经停沈阳
汉莎航空 法拉克福 (FRA) 沈阳 (SHE) 10:15 一三五 32" / 17.5"
汉莎航空 沈阳 (SHE) 法拉克福 (FRA) 11:15 三五日 32" / 17.5"

火车[编辑]

可以从中国周边的邻国乘火车前往中国,甚至可以从欧洲一路乘火车到中国。

  • 卡扎克斯坦&中亚 - 从卡扎克斯坦阿拉木图可以乘火车到新疆的乌鲁木齐。在过海关时候和换另一国的轨道轮距会等很长时间。
  • 香港 - 香港和中国大陆之间有固定列出。从香港的红磡和深圳东站之间有直达列车。海关手续在各自火车站办理。有的火车也会在广东的其他车站停。香港的MTR从香港市区到深圳边界的两个点有直达,主要的过境点在罗湖,也是深圳的主站。
  • 越南 - 从广西南宁经过友谊关到越南。自2002年起,从昆明发出的列车就被暂停了。
  • 朝鲜 - 从平壤到北京之间每周有四列列车。

公路[编辑]

中国和14个国建之间有陆地边境;这一邻国的数量只有俄罗斯可以与之匹敌。另外,中国大陆和香港澳门自治区之间都有路上边境,由于实际原因,这些边境和国际边境一样。中国西部边境都在遥远的山区,这些地方虽然难以到达和游览,但是游客们会在那里看到让人叹为观止的美景。

印度[编辑]

这两个国际的关系总是处于欠佳状态,但是最近开放了从印度Sikkim到藏南的亚东口岸。但是,这个入境口不对游客开放,从这两个国家访问这个口岸都需要特殊的许可证。

缅甸[编辑]

可以通过中国瑞丽到缅甸腊戍从缅甸进入中国,但是需要在缅甸政府办理许可。一般来说,您需要加入旅游团。

越南[编辑]

对于大部分旅行者来说,走陆路到中国旅游的起点都在河内。有三个国际口岸:

  • Dong Dang (越南) - 凭祥 (C)

您可以从河内汽车东站(Ben Xe街,Gia Lam区,电话:04/827-1529)到Lang Son,从那里您需要转乘小型公共汽车或者摩的到Dong Dang的口岸。还有另一个选择就是选择旅行社(有急事的游客),他们可以提供酒店和过境服务。

您可以从黄牛手中换外汇,但是之前要好好确认汇率。

过境手续大约需要30分钟。在中国境内,穿过“友谊关”之后打个的(大约20元,使劲儿砍价!)去凭祥。小型公共汽车车费大约5元。汽车总站车站正对面就有一家中国银行;ATM机上可以用Maestro卡。您可以乘汽车或者火车道南宁。

  • Lao Cai (越南) - 河口 (中国)

您可以乘火车河内到Lao Cai,软卧大约420,000越南盾(截止2011年11月)。这一段大约8小时。从那里您可以走到Lao Cai/河口口岸(乘车5分钟)。过境很简单,填好出境卡然后排队等。他们会检查您的行李(特别是您的书/书面材料)。河口口岸外面是各种商店,汽车站离口岸有10分钟车程。从河口到昆明的车票大约¥140;时间大约7小时。

  • Mong Cai (越南) - 东兴 (中国)

您可以从东兴乘汽车去南宁,有到广州的卧铺大巴(票价大约180元)和到深圳的卧铺大巴(票价大约230元,12小时)。

老挝[编辑]

您可以从琅南塔乘大约早上8点的车到磨憨(中国口岸)和Mengla的汽车。但是您要有中国签证,因为口岸不能办理签证。海关手续需要整整一小时或许还要多。一趟大概需要45000基普(老挝货币)。

另外,从琅勃拉邦到昆明有直达的卧铺大巴(要大约32个小时)。您可以在从琅南塔的小巴碰到卧铺大巴的地方上车。车费不会超过200元的。

巴基斯坦[编辑]

巴基斯坦北部到中国西部的喀喇昆仑山高速公路是世界上最为壮观的公路之一。冬天会对旅客封路。因为走这条线的旅客不多以及两国的良好关系,所以过境很快。从中国喀什葛尔到巴基斯坦有长途汽车。

尼泊尔[编辑]

从尼泊尔到西藏的公路经过喜马拉雅山附近,穿越蔚为壮观的高山。从尼泊尔到西藏只能跟团,但是个人可以从洗澡到尼泊尔旅游。

蒙古[编辑]

中国和蒙古有两个边境口岸。The are the Erenhot(Inner Mongolia)/Zamin Uud border crossing, and the Takashiken(Xinjiang)/Bulgan border crossings.

From Zamiin Uud. Take a local train from Ulaanbaatar to Zamiin Uud. Then Bus or Jeep to Erlian in China. There are local trains leaving in the evening most days and arriving in the morning. The border opens around 8:30. From Erlian there are buses and trains to other locations in China.

卡扎克斯坦[编辑]

到中国的唯一口岸在Khorgos。几乎每一天都有汽车从Almaty到乌鲁木齐伊宁。不能办理落地签,所以出发之前先保证您已经准备好了卡扎克签证和中国签证。

吉尔吉斯斯坦[编辑]

可以通过图噜噶尔特山口进出吉尔吉斯斯坦,但是道路非常崎岖,并且这个口岸只在每年的夏季开放几个月(6月-9月)。也可以安排走喀什葛尔,但是先要准备好签证。

另外,另一条路(虽然风景略差,但是路况较好)是经过直达图噜噶尔特南部的伊尔克什坦口岸。这条路每周大约有2-3次大巴(卧铺),大巴行程大约24小时。

塔吉克斯坦[编辑]

塔吉克斯坦和中国唯一的口岸在阔勒买,这一口岸在五月到十一月之间的周日开放。从新疆喀什葛尔到塔吉克斯坦科洛格之间有大巴。但是最近这班车不对外国人(非塔吉克斯坦人/中国人)开放。

俄罗斯[编辑]

最主要的口岸是内蒙古满洲里。从满洲里到俄罗斯的后贝加尔斯克有大巴。从黑河到Blagoveshchensk、从抚远到Khabarovsk有渡轮。再往东,在绥芬河、东宁、和珲春都有路上口岸。在出发之前要保证您已经申请了俄罗斯签证。

North Korea[编辑]

Crossing overland into North Korea is possible at the Dandong/Sinuiju border crossing, but must be pre-arranged on a guided tour from Beijing. In the reverse direction, the crossing is fairly straightforward if you have arranged it as part of your North Korean tour. Several other border crossings also exist along the Yalu and Tumen rivers, though these crossings may not be open to tourists. Ensure both your Chinese and North Korean visas are in order before attempting this.

Hong Kong[编辑]

There are four road border crossings into the mainland from Hong Kong at Lok Ma Chau, Sha Tau Kok, Man Kam To and the Shenzhen Bay Bridge. A visa on arrival is available for some nationalities at Lok Ma Chau, but visas must be arranged in advance for all other crossings.

Macau[编辑]

The two border crossings are at the Portas do Cerco and the Lotus Bridge. A visa-on-arrival can be obtained by certain nationalities at the Portas do Cerco.

Others[编辑]

It is currently not feasible for travellers to cross the borders with Afghanistan and Bhutan.

By boat[编辑]

Hong Kong and Macau[编辑]

There is regular ferry and hovercraft service between Hong Kong and Macau to the rest of the Pearl River Delta, such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai. Ferry service from Hong Kong International Airport allow arriving passengers to proceed directly to the mainland without having to clear Hong Kong immigration and customs.

Japan[编辑]

There is a 2-day ferry service from Shanghai and Tianjin to Osaka, Japan. Service is once or twice weekly, depending on season.

A twice-weekly ferry also connects Qingdao to Shimonoseki.

A once-weekly ferry between Shanghai and Nagasaki has recently started[31].

South Korea[编辑]

There is a ferry service from Shanghai and Tianjin to Incheon, a port city very close to Seoul. Another line is from Qingdao or Weihai to Incheon or Dalian to Incheon.

Taiwan[编辑]

Hourly ferries (18 departures per day) run between Kinmen and Xiamen, with the journey time either 30 minutes or 1 hour depending on port. There is also a regular ferry between Kinmen and Quanzhou with 3 departures per day. A twice-daily ferry links Matsu with Fuzhou, with journey time about 2 hours. From the Taiwanese main island, there are weekly departures from Taichung and Keelung aboard the Cosco Star to Xiamen.

Thailand[编辑]

Golden Peacock Shipping company runs a speedboat three times a week on the Mekong river between Jinghong in Yunnan and Chiang Saen (Thailand). Passengers are not required to have visas for Laos or Myanmar, although the greater part of the trip is on the river bordering these countries. the ticket costs 650 yuan

Cruise ship[编辑]

In the fall, several cruise lines move their ships from Alaska to Asia and good connections can generally be found leaving from Anchorage, Vancouver, or Seattle. Star Cruises operates between Keelung in Taiwan and Xiamen in mainland China, stopping at one of the Japanese islands on the way.

Get around[编辑]

飞机[编辑]

中国幅员辽阔,所以,如果您不想浪费太多时间在路上的话,最好还是选择飞机出行。中国的大城市和主要旅游目的地之间有很多国内航班。三大国际航空公司分别是:国航、南航、和东航,除此之外也有一些地方航空公司,包括:海航、深圳航空、四川航空和上海航空。最近几年大城市和各省纷纷建立了自己的航空公司,包括:重庆航空、成都航空、河北航空等。海南航空的母公司发展了包括大新华航空,扬子江快运,香港航空公司、金鹿航空等11家航空公司。

香港或者澳门到大陆城市的航线都算是国际航线,因此价格都很昂贵。因此,如果要在大陆和香港或者澳门之间往返,那么走深圳或者珠海(跟香港或者澳门一江之隔)会便宜很多,或者走广州(广州距离香港或者澳门较远,但是有往来航班的城市却更多)。例如,从福州到香港、深圳或者广州的距离相似,但是在2005年时,飞往香港的航班价格为1400元,但是飞往其他城市的价格仅为880元,飞往深圳的打折机票仅为550元。到这些城市称汽车的话价格约为250元。

国内航班都是有标准价的,但是都会打折,特别是比较繁忙的航线。大部分酒店和招待所都有订票服务,酒店订票可能会有7.5折到3折优惠。中国的所有城市都遍布着旅行社和票务公司,他们的折扣基本相当。 就算不打折,在中国乘飞机出行也并不贵。中国两大在线订票网站艺龙[32]和携程[33]都有英文网站,但是航空公司网页一般都只有中文,或者需要中国手机号码来订票。 在中国旅游,一般最好在旅行社买票最划算,或者只在中文网站上买。在国外买的话(例如,通过Expedia或者甚至通过国航网点买)都会贵很多,因为国外只卖全价票。而打折机票只在中国境内出售。国内航班的时刻表一般要到航班时间前2-3个月才能定下来。和大部分国家的空运市场不同的是,买的早的人要多付钱,因为到后面会有折扣。飞机越空的航班,越容易在航班起飞的前几天买到折扣比较高的票。只要您敲定了您的行程,建议您关注飞机票价,看看什么时候涨,什么时候跌(一般都会有波动的)。但是,如果在外出旺季出行(例如春节期间),建议尽早订票,以保证您能买到票。一些价格比较高的票可以允许先退票(退票费5%-20%),然后再买低价票。最近,国内航班的头等舱也可以打折了。有的线路头等舱和经济舱价格差异并不大,还是比较划算的。但是,请注意,在空港的很多福利(例如:候机大厅、额外的行李和积分等)就不适用于打折机票了。

请注意,虽然政府和顾客都给航空公司施压,但是毫无理由的飞机延误还是很正常的。有时候飞机出行还不如其他的选择。航班取消也不是没有的。如果您从中国的票务处买的票,他们一般会联系您(如果您留下了联系方式)并通知您航班的变化。如果您在国外买的票的话, 一定要在您乘机的前一两天查看航班状态。一旦出现航班延误,中国的航空公司很快就会送出餐盒或者点心(尽管这些盒饭/点心并不一定合西方人的口味)。建议在中国旅游时随时准备好B计划。水是过不了安检的,但是所有的中国机场都有开水处,所以您可以带上杯子和茶叶。

和全世界所有地方一样,中国机场的餐饮费用也贵的离奇。在市区25元的咖啡,在机场的相同连锁店里面可以卖到78元。KFC的价格好像没有变化;他们很多机场的门店的价格和其他地方门店的价格都一样的。花20元以上吃一顿KFC还不如在街对面吃一碗5块钱的面呢,但是在机场的话,KFC还是最划算的。

火车[编辑]

Maglev train in Shanghai

火车是大部分中国人长途旅行的首选。铁路线路网络不断在扩展,覆盖了全国各地。中国大约占据了全世界铁路交通的1/4。

中国目前正在建立一个高铁网,类似于法国的和日本的子弹头。中国现在已经有很多高铁线路在运行了。中国高铁叫做和谐号(CRH)',列车车次通常以“G”“C”“D”打头。如果您的预算允许的话,乘高铁是最好的出行方式。更多详情,请参阅中国高速列车

火车类型[编辑]

中国的火车被分成了不同的类型,在各自的车票上都有显示。中国火车从最快的到最慢的分别如下:

  • G-系列 (高铁) – 300 km/h 远距离高速列车---目前在武汉-广州、郑州-西安、上海-南京、上海-杭州、北京-上海、广州-深圳等线路运行。
  • C-系列 (城际) – 300 km/h 短距离的高速列车,目前只在北京-武清-天津-塘沽线运行。
  • D-系列 (动车)– 200 km/h高速列车。
  • Z-系列 (直达) – 160 km/h 链接主要城市的沿途不停靠或者停靠站较少的线路。休息车厢都是软卧或者软座,有时候也会有硬卧。
  • T-系列 (特快) – 140 km/h 城际列车,只在主要城市停靠。类似于Z字头的列车,但是停靠的站更多。
  • K-系列 (快速) – 120 km/h 快速列车,最常见的类型,比T字头的列车停靠的站多,而且有更多的硬卧也座位。
  • 普快120 km/h列车,列车车次前面没有字母,都是1-5打头的四位数字。这个类型的车是最便宜的,也是最贵的长途车。
  • 普客- 100 km/h短距离列车,车次钱没有字母,都是以5、6、或者7打头的四位数字。最慢的车,基本逢站必停。
  • 通勤/路用 - 车次是以8或者57打头的五位数字,本地的慢车,大部分都是铁路员工自己使用。
  • L-系列 (临时) – 临客,和K字头或者四位数的列车一样。
  • Y-系列 (旅游) – 观光列车。
  • S-系列 (市郊) - 目前只在北京铁路运行,在北京北过八达岭(长城)到延庆县运行。

座位级别[编辑]

普通的非和谐号列车有五个作为级别:

T-train soft sleeper compartment
  • 软卧是最舒服的出行方式,以西方的标准很便宜。软卧的一个包厢有四个铺位,两个一列(现在更新的列车也有两个铺位的包厢),门可以上锁,空间也比较大。
  • 硬卧的话,一排有3张铺位,没有门。商铺很高,而且床的上面空间很小。上铺最适合身高较高的游客(1.9米以上),因为您的脚可以伸出去,而且不必担心被碰到。如果您有需要藏起来的东西(例如:照相机)的话,上铺也是最好的选择。东西放在上铺的枕头下面,一般小偷是够不到的。硬座并不是硬板床,也是有个床垫的,而且也还比较舒服。所有的卧铺都有枕头和床单。
  • 软座是一种很少见的可以放下来的座位。软在只在4-8小时的短途日间列车和高速列车(D以上)会有。
  • 硬座就是一般的座位票,一排有5个作为,过道两边一边2个座位,一边3个。大部分的背包游客都选择硬座出行。虽然有“请勿吸烟”的提示牌,但是车厢里依然到处都是吸烟的人。一般在两节车厢的连接处都会有很多人在吸烟,烟就会源源不断的飘进车厢。大部分火车车厢的连接处都是吸烟区,那里有中文提示“吸烟区”。乘硬座车过夜是非常不舒服的,漫漫长夜而又无法入睡的感觉确实很不好。
  • 无座票是在硬座车厢的,但是没有座位。站票的话,您可以随身带一个小马扎。

目前,中国的列车都是全封闭的空调车厢。

和谐号一般有5个等级 - 2等舱(3+2的座位),一等舱(2+2的座位)和三个VIP舱位(2+1的作为,在连着驾驶室)。VIP舱位也分三个等级,分别是“商务座”、“观光座”、和“特等座”。和飞机不同的是,和谐号的商务座实际上比“一等座”好。 商务座和观光座价格一样,但是特等座一般比“一等座”要贵,但比商务座和观光座便宜。

火车票[编辑]

Chinese train ticket with fields description

一般车票在列车开车前七天就可以买了。开车之后,可能会有少量的车票给途经的较大的站预留的。如果您想找个座位,或者想补个卧铺,您可以找到列车员然后他会告诉您还有没有。需求量最大的硬座和硬卧,所以,最好找您当地的朋友给您买,因为售票员不怎么愿意把这种票卖个外国人的。从2012年一月份开始,所有的购票人都必须持有效证件来买票(一般就是身份证或者护照)。购票人的姓名都是印在票上的,并且需要持本人的有效证件取票。

在市区很多地方都有火车票代售点的,那里很清楚地以中英文标注着“火车票代售点”,还有火车头的图标,但是因为这些代售点都很小,可能也不是很好找。代售点的电脑和车站的订票系统是联网的。在代售点一般可以买到10天以前的票,而且都是按照票面价格卖的。工作人员一般不会说英语。

就算在大城市也不要指望车站的售票员会讲英语。就算售票员找到会讲英语的同事,不要指望他会操作订票系统。因此,如果您不会讲中文,那么就将始发站和到达站、开车时间、车次和要买的票的类型用中文写在纸上。车站名称您可以写拼音,因为售票员输入的也是拼音。请注意,很多城市的普通车站和高铁车站都不在一起。高铁车站一般都带方向的(例如:杭州南、杭州东等)。

在忙季(例如,春节期间),车站的票一下就卖完了。最好还是找中介提前订票。在大城市里,也有稍微加一点手续费的票务机构。这些手续费可以省去在车站排长队,还是很值的。旅行社会收你的钱,然后提前订票,但是,在车站放票之前没人可以保证您一定就可以买到票,车站放票之后旅行社才会去买他们之前向您“保证了”的车票。

旅途须知[编辑]

火车上的厕所一般比汽车上或者大部分公共场所的厕所要“好”那么一点点,因为火车上的厕所非常简单,直接把排泄物抛洒在铁轨上,所以火车上的厕所味道没有那么刺鼻。软卧车一般在车的一头有欧式的坐便器,另一头是中式的蹲坑式的厕所。请注意,非和谐号列车在车站停车时列车员会把厕所锁掉,以防止排泄物抛洒在车站的范围内的铁轨上。

长途车会有餐车,餐车会有热饭,但是一般都会很贵,都在25元左右,而且确实不好吃。菜单都是中文,但是如果您愿意冒个险的话,您可以记住几个中文字,或者问问看常见的菜有没有。如果您的预算有限,那只能等到站的时候。站台上的小贩一般会卖面条、小吃和水果,价格一般会稍微好一点。车上一般都有开水处,所以您可以带上茶叶和泡面等。

在火车上要留心自己的财务,这几年公共交通设施上财物失窃的事情越来越常见了。

大部分比较高级一点的车上(T、K、Z和和谐号列车),都会播放实现录制好的中文、英文、粤语(如果火车道广东或者香港)、蒙古语(内蒙)、藏语(西藏)或者维吾尔族语(新疆)的报站广播。但是,在短途列车上没有英文报站,因此,知道从哪里下车很重要。

如果晕车的话,建议备好晕车药。如果睡觉怕被吵到,建议戴耳塞。长途卧铺车厢要用车票换车牌。车快到站的时候列车员会找你把原来的票还给你,以保证就算你自己醒不来,也不会睡过站。

如果您有可以和大家一起分享的东西的话,那时间会好过一点。旅途中的中国人也都一样觉得很无聊,他们很乐意和您聊一聊,或者一起在电脑上看一部电影。总的来说,乘火车看看中国乡村风景还是挺不错的。

在出入站时都要验票,一般在进候车大厅、上车和出站出都有人检票。进了候车大厅后,在电子显示屏上找对应的站台上车(虽然是中文,但是会显示您票上印的车次)。在上车前大约10分钟的样子,就可以进站检票了,进站后您只需要跟着人流走就好了,一定要确保您不要坐在错误的候车区域了,因为一般火车在一般的站只停几分钟。一些比较新的站是高站台,这样站台会和车门齐平,但是小站的站台都很低,然后上车都要走几步很陡的台阶,所以如果您有大件行李的话,要有心理准备。一般的乘客也都很友好的,都会主动伸手帮您一把的。

在车厢内部是不允许抽烟的,但是在两节车厢的连接过道处是可以的。新的和谐号属于全列禁烟的。车站也不许吸烟,但是设有单独的吸烟室,但这些吸烟室里面都很糟糕,而且通风也很差。

有用的网站[编辑]

  • Seat 61网站上[34]关于中国列车的介绍较为全面。
  • Absolute China Tours[35]或者China Highlights [36]有票价信息(注意,这里的信息虽然非常有用,但是也并不是100%的全的)。
  • OK Travel[37]有更多车次。这个网站大部分都是中文但是,地名都用的是罗马字母,这样您不懂中文也没有关系了。在搜索页面,只要从列表中选择就可以了:左手边是始发地,右手边是目的地。注意,您需要在下拉栏中选择省份或者区域之后才会出现相应的城市。选择您需要的城市,然后点击左下方的按钮(“确认”)进行搜索。如果您可以输入汉字,这个网站还可以帮你计划转车。
  • CNVOL [38]有中国国内运行的所有列车车次,而且更新很快。只要输入您旅途的起点和终点,您就会找到所有往来的车次(包括过路车),每列车注明了始发站、终点站和时间。点击您喜欢的车次,然后您可以看到各个座位的票价。最重要的一点就是您的始末地城市名称的“拼音”不能错,中文汉字之间是没有空格的,例如:Lijiang, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Kunming等。

汽车[编辑]

城际公共汽车或者长途汽车并不贵,非常适用于市内和短途的交通运输。

每个城市的公交车各有不同---但一般情况下都是塑料座椅、人多、没有英文标识、司机态度一般。当然,如果您对于公交车线路比较熟悉的话,这不失是一种非常经济而且四通八达的出行方式。一般情况下,公交车上都会播放报站录音,例如“下一站-中山路(next stop Zhongshan Road)”,或者“上海南火车站到了(Shanghai South railway station - now arriving)”。一些大城市,例如北京或者杭州,的一些主要线路上有英文报站。票价一般为1到2元(一般1元为老实公交车,2元为新式带空调公交车),如果公交车路线到了市郊,票价会相应高一些。大部分公交车已经没有售票员了(收钱、找零、撕车票),取而代之的是上客门旁边都有个自动投币的铁箱,您可以把票价投入投币箱内(不找零,所以要自备零币)。注意,一般公交车司机都会开的比较快,不怎么会在乎乘客的感受,所以要扶好站稳。

卧铺大巴

卧铺大巴在中国很常见;车上没有座位,取而代之的是卧铺床位。这是长途旅行不错的选择— 大巴在高速公路上的夜间行驶速度一般为100KM或者更快— 因为铺位空间有限,可能有的身高比较高或者块头比较大的旅客会觉得不舒服。

一般来说,在发达的沿海省份,这还是比较舒适和便捷的交通方式,但是在欠发达地区就不一样了。尽量不要买车位的铺位,因为车在过减速带的时候,车位的乘客晃动比较厉害,可能会有晕车症状。

在有的地方,在您上车时必须要先脱掉鞋子;车上会提供一个塑料袋放鞋子。如果到了服务区或者上厕所的时候,您需要再穿上鞋子。如果您平时穿靴子的话,建议您随身再带上一双拖鞋。

各地的大巴,或者长途大巴的情况各不一样,有的很舒适,而有的地方的大巴就会很不舒适。一般从东南沿海较大城市发出的大巴都带有空调、软座甚至卧铺。东南沿海地区的路况非常好,车开的很平稳,您可以欣赏沿途风景或者小睡一会儿。一般汽车会比火车会贵一点,但是要舒服一点。大巴的乘务员都很愿意帮忙,但是和空乘人员相比,他们对于外国人就没那么熟悉,能说英语的非常少。有的大巴有厕所,但是一般都很脏,而且汽车转弯比较多,造成使用厕所比较不便。

中国农村地区的大巴就完全不同了。 车站里面的表示要么只要中文要么只要本地语言,路线都是贴在车窗上的,在您走过的时候死机或者招揽客会向您大声喊叫他这趟车的目的地,一般大巴的车牌号应该印在票上的,但是通常票上印的车牌号都是错的。由于风俗习惯等的差异,外国人可能会觉得大巴司乘人员不够礼貌,乘客素质也欠佳,他们会随地吐痰和抽烟。如果司机一路都想多上人的话,巴士可能会非常拥挤。中国农村地区的道路通常都是坑坑洼洼的,这样乘坐巴士就会非常颠簸;如果您坐在巴士靠后的座位上,那么颠簸会更加厉害。发车和到达时间都只是预计时间,因为很多车票不卖完不走(这可能使发车延误数小时),加上车有点小问题和其他事情,您的行程可能会被大幅延长。如果您要在这样的车况和路况下乘车10个甚至20个小时的话,那您一定会感觉痛苦难忍的。虽然这样的车程让人非常不舒服,但是在中国很多地方,这样的大巴是唯一的交通方式。当然,好的一点是,如果您想去比较偏远而且又没有直达车的地方旅行的话,您可以在路上随时下车。而且,您也可以在路上随时拦车,一般车票都是视路程长短而不同的。

在中国,司机不遵守交规(很多地方就没有交规)是一种普遍现象,而且中国的交通事故也比较多发。突然急转弯或者刹车都会造成人员受伤,所以上车后要坐稳扶好。中国的司机经常按喇叭,所以,如果您想在路上睡一会儿,还是带上衣服耳塞的好。

买票有时候会比较难。大的车站有售票柜台,票面上印的有出发时间、上车闸口、和您所乘车的车牌号(有时候不准),票价是固定的。小一点的车站到处都是招揽乘客的人在大声喊叫自己车辆的目的地,他们会把您领过去,然后您上车后再买票。就算在大的车站也有招揽客,他们会给司机打电话让司机等,然后用摩托车把您拉过去,您到了之后可以和司机讲价。这种情况有时候可能完全就是一个骗局,有时候您可以省下30%的车费(取决于您的砍价和中文水平)。

地铁[编辑]

大城市 — 至上北京、天津、上海、广州、深圳、武汉、沈阳、西安、成都和南京 — 都有了地铁系统。重庆的是单轨轨交系统。厦门有公交专用道,大部分都是高架。这些设施总体都比较现代、干净而且高效。标识和售票机都是中英双语的。

这些轨交系统现在都在逐步地建设和扩建中,几乎每个有地铁系统的大城市都在修建新的线路。中国在这方面的长期目标非常大胆,每个大城市都在计划修建多条线路。到2020年,中国可能会有世界上最大规模的城市交通基础设施。很多地球都在规划诸如广州和深圳之间的区域间轨交系统。

出租车[编辑]

出租车(或者的士)比较常见,而且价格也比较合理。起步费一般从5元到13元,一般超过起步费范围每公里2元左右。一般在市内打车费用在10到50元以内。行李不另行收费,但是很多城市夜间打车费要高一些。不用给小费。

出租车司机故意选一条较长的线路来欺骗乘客的事情虽然不是没有,但是也并不常见,所以不必过于担心这一点。就算司机选了较长的路线,车费也不会差很大。但是,如果您觉得在去酒店的路上被出租车司机骗了,并且您住在中高端的酒店(一般都有门童),您可以向门童和/或者前台人员寻求帮助:一般一句能揭穿他的骗局的话就足以解决问题了。

小心一些黑出租,他们会在机场或者车站里面或者门口跟上您,然后会跟您谈一个带您去某地的固定价格,他们的收费往往是打表费用的2-3倍。如果您对所在城市不熟悉,那么一定要去机场外面指定的出租车区域,并且坚持让司机打表。出租车费率一般都标注在车外的醒目位置。

在高峰时段打车比较困难。如果再遇到下雨天,那就更是难上加难了。尽量避免高峰时段(特别是晚高峰),打车之后一定要记得拿小票。在中国,打车和其他所有事情一样,不能要给小费(小费在中国被看做是腐败的一种)。

可以坐在副驾位置;有时候只有副驾位置能看清楚计价器。出租车司机有可能摇下自己那边的窗户就直接开始抽烟,而不会征求乘客意见。在有的城市,出租车还会在沿途搭客(在大致方向一致的情况下)。每个乘客都要付全价,但是这样会省去乘客们等车的时间。

虽然北京在迎奥运和上海迎世博期间做过一些工作,但是即便在这两个城市也很难找到会讲英语的出租车司机。在其他的城市基本上是不可能的。如果您试着用您带口音的普通话说出您要去的目的地,司机也有可能会理解不了。所以,建议您随身携带一张写着您打车要去的目的地的纸条。纸条上最好写汉字(而不是拼音),因为一个拼音可能对应好几个不同的汉字。带着您所在酒店和您喜欢的餐厅的名片,必要时出示给出租车司机。您可以先学一点儿基本的中文简单对话,这类的教材网上都是有的。

如果您在中国待的时间较长,那么考虑买一张中国的SIM卡,这样您可以给您在中国的朋友打电话,然后让他们跟司机说说您要去哪里。SIM卡在中国很容易可以买到。

有的城市的出租车公司有对司机的评级系统,从0到5星,这个打分器在仪表板上方的司机信息牌上,一般在副驾座前面。一般0或者较低分数虽然不一定代表司机不好,但是5星则表示司机对城市很熟悉,并且会以最短的路程将您带到目的地。另一种识别司机能力的方式同样是看司机信息牌---上面的司机代号。一般代号越小,则说明这个师傅从业时间比较长,可能对市区路线会更熟悉一些。如果您觉得被出租车司机骗了,很简单的一个办法就可以引起司机的重视,那就是下车后马上把出租车车票抄下来,如果您会说简单的中文的话,您可以告诉他您要向市政机构或者出租车公司举报他。大部分司机都是诚实的,车费也不会太高,但是也有小部分不好的司机会利用您不会讲中文来侵害您的利益。

中国人在打车的时候一般不会让别人的。拦到车的人不一定就可以乘这个车。别人跑到搭车人前面先上车或者把拦出租车的人挤开自己上车的事情也并不是没有。如果一起有几个人都在打车,那么在拦到车后尽快上车。

出租车司机可能会说您不用系安全带,但是无论怎样上车后一定要系上安全带(如果能找到的话)。

电车[编辑]

有的城市有电车。电车一般经停站比轻轨要多,如果您要去的城市有的话,电车不失为一种出行的一种很实用的选择。但是,电车的话有可能会有堵车情况。

自行车[编辑]

自行车、电瓶车和摩托车是中国最常见的交通方式;在高峰时期,中国的各个城市都有成千上万的两轮车。大部分自行车都是不可调速的老式车型,但是普通的山地车也比较常见。对于乘客来说,骑自行车要比挤进高峰时段的公交车要经济而且便利的多。

在中国对于骑自行车的人来说,有两大危险

  • 一个是其他的交通车辆;汽车和摩托车会经常让人毫无准备地拐出来,有的地方的红绿灯纯属摆设。更多相关评论,见中国驾驶习惯.
  • 在中国各个城市中偷车贼都很猖獗。需要观察其他人是如何停放自行车的。有的地方的当地居民会随手停放自行车,但是在其他很多城市中,人们都会将自行车锁在饭店或者网吧中。这就是一种警示。不要认为您的高档锁能确保您的自行车万无一失。建议尽可能将您的自行车停在有管理员的指定的停车区域;一般您只需要交1-2元钱。有的当地居民会故意买二手的老旧自行车,这样小偷就不会惦记着了。

在绝大多数景区 — 无论是像北京这样的大城市还是像阳朔这样游客云集的小镇 — 租车和修车都是非常方便的。而且都有骑行旅游的指南。

在中国,购买自行车是一件非常容易的事情。大行、Merianda和捷安特是业余和半职业市场上最流行的三个品牌,所有的城市都有这些品牌的分销商。很多超市也会出售款式繁多的自行车。价格一般从150元到10000元不等。如果要在像西藏这样的地区骑行的话,一般3000到4500元价位的山地车就可以了。诸如上海和北京这样的大城市一般会有更多的职业高端自行车,但是如果您的要求非常特殊,那么香港就是您最后的希望了。

无论是在城市还是在乡村,修车铺随处可见;语言不通的外国游客可能不是很容易能找到,但是您只要找外面摆着自行车和自行车胎的店铺就可以了。要是车胎漏气这样的小问题的话,路边上有很多地方放着一盆水和一些自行车胎的地方都能修。但是如果是刹车碟这样的特殊部件的话,建议您在城区以外的地方骑行时还是随身携带好备件吧。

中国幅员辽阔,她的高山和沙漠都给专业的骑行者提供了无尽的挑战。但是,截止2010年5月,如果外国游客要在西藏高原上骑行,则必须依照法律获取许可并须雇用一名导游

一段风光超越想象但是却艰难异常的自行车骑行线路,请参阅喀喇昆仑公路。中国自行车网和Intrepid Travel都在这条线路上组织小规模的骑行观光。

自驾[编辑]

请参阅 中国驾驶习惯

中华人民共和国并不承认国际驾照,也不允许外国人在没有中国驾照的情况下在中国开车。注意,中国大陆将香港和澳门的驾照都是为外国驾照,因此,就算您有这两个地方的驾照,也不应该在中国大陆开车。这一情况在07年有所改变---没有中国驾照的短途驾驶成为合法。但是,和很多中国的法律一样,官方的变更和现实中的改变并不一定完全是一致的;直到2008年12月,没有中国驾照在中国开车仍然是违法的。除非您有外交身份,否则,要把外国的车运进中国基本是不可能的。

租的车大部分都是带司机的,和北美的一种租车服务remises类似;租带司机的车是游览中国最好的方式。就算您有初级的中文读写能力,而且取得了中国驾照,建议最好还是不要您自己驾车出游---当然,如果您已经习惯非常混乱的交通状况的话除外。如果您没有足够的勇气,请不要在中国的市内开车,并且停车位也非常难找。但是,尽管如此,在中国开车比在亚洲其他发展中国家,例如越南,要好很多。中国是属于靠右道行驶的国家。中国很多邻国,例如印度、巴基斯坦、尼泊尔、不丹以及香港和澳门特别行政区都是靠左行驶的。

在西方游客比较多的大城市,比如北京、上海还有其他的大城市中英文指示标识随处可见。但是,在其他较小的城市,英文标识就非常少,而在农村引文的标识基本上就不存在。因此,最好每次都带上写有您目的地名称(中文汉字)的纸条,这样,即便您迷路了,当地人也可以给您指路。

建议外国人不要在大城市之外的地方开车,“单行道”标识一般都是“并不一定是单行”。在高速上,有的司机开过了出口匝道后会减速,然后转个270°的弯转上匝道。司机本会有各式各样的穿插技术。

在过马路时,一定把路两边都看清楚。不仅仅是自行车可能逆行,而且越来越常见的电瓶车也会---并且它们都没有什么声音的。

摩托车[编辑]

请参阅 中国驾驶习惯#摩托车

摩的在中国很常见,特别是在小城市和农村地区。摩的一般都很便宜,而且很灵活高效(但是偶尔有点儿吓人)。车费可以讲价。

各个地方对于摩托车的管理规定有所不同。在有的地方,50cc的请便摩托可以不用驾照,但是由于事故频发,目前很多地方都已经禁止了这种摩托,或者对这种摩托有了新的规定。要在中国骑“真正的”摩托可就难多了-这一部分是因为骑摩托车需要中国的驾照,一部分是因为很多城市都禁止摩托车驾驶,还有一部分是因为由于汽车和电瓶车的发展摩托车的生产和进口大幅下降了。中国的摩托车一般都是125cc的,一般可以到100km/h,大部分都是老式的。这种车速度一般都比较慢,也不是特别好骑。由于政府对于发动机尺寸的限制,所以赛车比较少,但是也不是找不到。还有一种比较流行的是仿制本田CN250的“Maxi”摩托车,它速度更快而且也比较舒适,可以自动换挡,这样在市区里骑会容易一点。

大部分城市都有各种摩托车市场,卖给您的车一般都是假的牌照或者非法牌照-在中国骑摩托车的外国人并不多,很容易被警察注意到。骑“真正的”自行车必须戴头盔,但是电瓶车就不用。理论上说来,您要去办理个牌照:摩托车牌照是黄色或者蓝色,电瓶车是绿色牌照。自己申请牌照的费用可能要好几千,但是您也可以花很少的钱弄到假牌照-风险自担。

三轮车(人力车)[编辑]

名称中有什么差异?

在中国的外国人通常会混用三轮车和人力车这两个词,但是它们指的却是两种不同的运输方式-其中一种已经不再存在。著名(臭名昭著)的人力车是一种前面有两个把手的两轮车,车夫拉着把手把乘客送到(走路或者跑步)目的地。人力车在19世纪晚期尤为盛行,但是在20世纪50年代逐渐被淘汰了。西方的精英分子坐着中国工人拉着的人力车上打马球的视频显示了人力车剥夺和压榨的本质。在很多小的欠发达城市还能看到人力车的衍生品,工人们每天早上拉着类似人力车的车子等待运输建筑材料和其他东西。三轮车已经取代了人力车---三轮车是一种类似自行车的有三个轮子的车辆。

在有的中型城市里,短距离出行的话三轮车会方便很多。三轮车有人力脚踏的和动力的两种,在中国农村地区和大城市的较不发达(也就是游人较少)的区域非常常见。上车前一定记得要先谈好价钱。

对于“司机经常欺骗游客”的报道一般多指像在北京秀水街、王府井、和老舍茶馆这些旅游景点发生的事情。一般的规则是“要地方在旅游区兜售任何东西的任何人”。

如果您看到一般的中国人使用“三轮”,例如,从北京动物园到最近的地铁站-那这就是安全的。不要乘任何穿着老式服装以吸引游客的师傅的车。他会收您市价上10倍的车费。

可能的话,尽量选乘脚踏三轮车。在选乘脚踏三轮车的同时,您也在帮助确实比较贫困的人,让他们有生意可做,而且您也在帮助中国留下一些传统的东西。在上海,由脚踏三轮车发展和改进而来的电动的三轮车占大多数。

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中国方言地图

中国官方语言是标准普通话,它主要是基于北京方言发展演化而来的。从20世纪50年代以来,普通话是中国教育系统使用的唯一的语言,所以大部分人都会说。普通话是有声调的,声调正确对于学习和使用普通话很重要。

中国很多地区,特别是东南和南部地区都有他们自己的“方言”。这些方言其实就像完全不同的语言,就好像法语和意大利语一样。这些“方言”和普通话一样也都是有声调的。即便同样是普通话(地图中大片的棕色区域),各地方的口音也不一样,而且各地都夹杂着自己本地的俚语和一些很鲜活的地方语言。除了普通话,使用最多的方言是吴语,主要集中在上海、浙江和江苏省南部地区;其次是广东话,集中在广东省大部、香港和澳门;再次是闽语(福建)语支,它包括 厦门周边区域和台湾使用较多的闽南语(闽南语有一种次方言叫做潮州话,主要在汕头潮州使用),和在福州周边地区使用较多的闽东语 。大部分中国人都可以讲自己的家乡话(方言)和普通话两种语言。有的上年纪的和受教育较少的人可能只会讲他们的家乡话,但是这对游客没多大影响。最好能有一个可以讲本地方言的导游,讲本地语言就说明这个人是对本地比较熟悉。虽然您凭着一口标准的普通话就能在中国大部分地区畅游无阻,但是如果您可以试着和当地人讲几句他们的当地方言,那他们是会非常高兴的,所以学习几句简单的方言问候语或者俚语会让您很快就和本地人熟悉了。一般来说,如果能听懂或者比较喜欢当地的方言的话会对去比较偏远地区旅行是很有帮助的。当然,在这些偏远区域,带上一本中文常用语手册还是很有必要的,因为全国的中文写出来都基本是一样的。

无论各地方言差异有多大,所有正式的书面中文都是一样的。甚至很多日文和韩文都用很多相同的汉字,而且和中文中的意思一样活着相似。但是,要注意的是中国大陆使用的是“简体中文”,这种简体中文是在20世纪50年代中期为了消除文盲而发展出来的。香港、台湾、澳门和很多海外华人都在使用繁体中文,但是在大陆的的一些广告和商业标识上也能看到繁体字。汉字简化总体还是比较系统化的,一般以简体中文为母语的人基本也能阅读繁体字,反之亦然,所以只要学会书写一种中文一般就足够了。 注意,在书法中不同由于书法家有不同的风格,所以每个字的笔画差异非常大。中文有五种字体:篆书(篆書)、隶书(隸書)、楷书(楷書)、行书(行書)、和草书(草書),其中楷书是中国的官方字体。去中国旅游只要知道一种字体就可以了。对于对中国传统文化有深厚兴趣的人来说,学习中文字体肯定会大有裨益。 在中国遥远的西部,有的少数民族会使用土耳其语系中的维吾尔语、吉尔吉斯语、哈萨克语以及其他语言(例如:藏语)。在中国的北部和东北部少数民族聚集的地方,这些少数民族会使用自己各自的语言,例如满语、蒙古语朝鲜语 等。在中国云南、贵州、海南和广西居住着许多少数民族,例如:苗族、侗族、壮族、白族等,他们都使用自己各自民族的语言。除了这些地区的老年人,一般的年轻人都能说普通话,而且大部分年轻人都既可以说普通话又可以说自己的民族语言。很可惜的是,很多少数民族语言(如:满语)都在慢慢的消亡。

参阅中文常用语手册广东话常用语手册闽南语常用语手册

英语和其他外语[编辑]

在过去20年中,从小学高年级或者初中开始英语便成了他们的必修课。大学里面无论你是什么专业,一定的英语等级都和学位挂钩。但是,所有的教学的终点都在正式语法,轻听说而重读写。

上海、北京、广州和深圳能讲英语的本地居民比例较高。在有的城市,除了在有涉外服务的旅游景点和场所外很难找到能讲英语的本地人。航空公司和大酒店-特别是国际连锁店的员工基本都会讲一些基本的英语,但是能用英语深入交流的非常少。

在中国讲英文的时候,请尽量简化您的英语语言。讲慢一些,避免俚语和成语,尽量使用简单的现在时态和一些陈述语句结构。不要说“Would you mind if I come back tomorrow?”直接说简单的(可能有些唐突无礼),例如“Tomorrow I will return.”这样说和中文语义更加相近,而更容易被理解。

在中国结交朋友的一个方法就是询问“英语角”- 英语角是指本地居民约定好一个时间和地点一起见面并练习英语的地方。一般都由一个外国人主持,一般时间都在周五晚上、周六晚上或者周日,在公共公园、英语培训学校、书店和大学校园。可能还会有其他的比如“法语角”、“俄语角”、“德语角”等。

如果您要去比较偏远的地区,建议在您旅途开始之前找一个导游帮您安排行程。这至少会帮您客服语言障碍,因为这些地方的本地居民基本不可能会讲任何外语的。

学习中文[编辑]

See also: Learn

在西方,不知何故,中文以她的难懂而闻名。虽然中文和西方语言有所不同,但是旅客们会很吃惊地发现中文的基本语法还是比较简单的。动词不分人称和时态。名词没有词性(注:很多语言,如法语,名字有阴性和阳性之分)。最主要的难点在于中文使用了欧洲语系中不存在的几个辅音以及声调。

普通话和越南语以及泰语一样都是声调语言,它们使用不同的语调来表示不同的意思。“Ma”这个发音可以代表妈、马、麻、骂四个字中任意一个,完全取决于音调。中文的同音字非常常见;即就是音调一样的一个读音都会有十几个不同的汉子。“Zhong(一声)”可以是中、忠、钟、终、钵等。中国人在报出自己的名字的时候一般都会逐个字来解释。“我叫王菲,王是三横王,菲是是非的非加草头。”

对于很多人来说,书面的中文看起来跟一个个神秘代码相去并不远,但是如果您都可以辨识那么多的商标图案(这些图案一般并没有逻辑联系),那么就说明您也有认识大量汉字的潜在能力。并且,大部分汉字之间都是有逻辑联系或者有规律可循的。

理论上来说,中文有5万多个汉字。好的一点是,这其中85%的都是不常见字。跟很多种语言是一样的,大部分中国人也不知道要看一本中文书需要认识多少个汉字,永远都不要去数哪个中国人认识多少汉字。有的人声称小学生应该至少学习2000个汉字,大学毕业生则至少认识5000个。

拼音的发展是为了弥补识字和发音之间的鸿沟,拼音使用了罗马字母,是中国人学习中文的辅助工具。不能按直觉对拼音进行发音,因为有的字母和辅音辅音连缀代表了很多欧洲语系并不存在的发音,因此很多拼音的发音和西方人士想象的并不一样。中国人不认识以拼音写出来的地名和地址;建议使用中文汉字来记录书面信息。

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中国有着无尽的美景,您在中国永远不会无处可去。特别是在沿海地区,如果您已经游遍了繁华闹市中的景点的话,那么随便乘一趟短途火车您就会发现下一个美景。

无论您是痴迷于历史、寄情于山水,还是只想找个怡人的沙滩放松放松,从北京雄伟的紫禁城到令人叹为观止的九寨沟,您想要的中国都能给您。就算您已经在中国生活了很多年了,但是在这个幅员辽阔的国家的其他地方总有一些新的景物和事情有待您去发现。或许是由于中国疆土的辽阔和历史的源远流长,中国在联合国教科文组织中的世界遗产数目位列第三(第一第二分别是意大利和西班牙)。

喀斯特地貌、桂林

喀斯特地貌[编辑]

这是一种传统的中国艺术家梦寐以求的风景:山丘绵延、奇石陡峰。中国的南部和西南部多这中形态各异的岩溶地貌,又称“喀斯特地貌”。喀斯特是一种石灰岩地貌,是以南斯拉夫石灰岩高原的地名命名。随着石灰岩被化学腐蚀,密度较大的抗腐蚀性石头或者地块形成了各异的山峰。山下形成的山洞会坍塌而形成落水洞和暗流,它们和地下河道连通。在喀斯特地貌中,溶蚀形成了星罗棋布的山峰、拱形洞穴和通道。其中最著名的例子就是云南省昆明附近的石林。中国很多最著名的景区都以喀斯特地貌风光著称— 广西桂林阳朔和贵州省中部和西部等地。

圣地[编辑]

中国的如下景点有非常著名的佛教艺术:

  • 山西云冈石窟 - 石窟依山开凿,有五万一千多个佛像雕刻,可以追溯到1500多年以前
  • 甘肃莫高窟 - 可以追溯到公元4世纪的艺术和壁画
  • 重庆附近的大足石刻 - 可以追溯到7-13世纪之间
  • 洛阳附近的龙门石窟 - 可以追溯到5-10世纪。

圣山[编辑]

中国有很多圣山。

和道教有关的“五岳”:

  • 泰山 ,山东(海拔1545米)
  • 华山,陕西(海拔2054米)
  • 衡山,湖南(海拔1290米)
  • 恒山,山西(海拔2017米)
  • 嵩山 (嵩山),河南省(著名的少林寺也在河南)(海拔1494米)

和佛教有关的“四大佛教名山”:

西藏佛教三大主要圣山:

中国还有很多其他非常有名的大山。在中国很多大山即便并没有身处圣地,当时还是有很多庙宇:

  • 青城山,四川
  • 龙虎山,江西
  • 崂山,山东
  • 武夷山,福建,主要的旅游胜地,有大片的茶山
  • 喜马拉雅山,横亘尼泊尔和西藏边界,世界上最高的山脉
  • 黄山,安徽,风景秀丽,庙宇鳞次栉比
  • 武当山,在湖北丹江口附近,道教圣地,是太极和武当拳的发源地
  • 长白山(朝鲜语:백두산),对于满族人和朝鲜族人来说是世界上最神圣的山脉,位于中国和朝鲜的边界处。

革命圣地[编辑]

  • 韶山 - 中国共产党第一人主席和中国领导人毛泽东故乡
  • 井冈山 - 共产党在1927年国民党围剿后的第一个农村根据地
  • 瑞金 - 1929到1934年间中华苏维埃共和国所在地
  • 遵义 - 遵义会议所在地,之后毛泽东进入政治局常委
  • 泸定 - 传说中飞夺泸定桥所在地
  • 延安 - 从1939年到1945年中共产党的主要根据地所在地
  • 武汉 - 推翻清廷的武昌起义发源地
  • 广州 - 黄埔军校所在地,国民党和共产党的很多领导人(蒋介石、周恩来、毛泽东)都曾有黄埔军校经历,在1926-27年被罚钱开展了很多军事和政治学习。

旅游线路[编辑]

以下是全程都在中国境内的一些旅游线路:

其他涉及中国的旅游线路:

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按摩[编辑]

中国按摩场所遍布全国,而且一般都物美价廉。在亚洲,盲人有从事按摩的传统。一般比较专业的按摩价格在15元到30元一小时之间。

  • 基本上所有的理发师都可以帮您洗头,并且给您做一个头部按摩,只收10块钱。这一般还报告帮您清理耳屎和一些颈部和手臂按摩。加上理发和/或刮面,一般再15元到25元。在大城市里,理发费用一般在40元以上。
  • 足疗的地方也很多,一般足疗场所的招牌上都有一双光脚作为标示。价格一般再15元到60元。
  • 全身按摩场所也非常多,价格一般在每小时15元以上。一般有两种:按摩一般就是普通的按摩;而推拿可能会用到针灸中使用的中草药。最专业的按摩一般都在专门的按摩医院或者一般的中医院,价格一般都在50元每小时以上。性价比最高的一些在不明显场所的盲人按摩。

很多地方这三种按摩都有。

有的按摩场所其实就是妓院。卖淫在中国虽然非法,但是却很普遍并且经常会以按摩作为掩护。很多温泉和桑拿场所都提供“全套”放松服务。在一些小地方,只要您看到粉红色的灯光和穿短裙的女孩子,那么很有可能他们提供的就不仅仅是按摩,而且她们也不怎么会按摩。很多发廊也是这样,既是按摩场所也是妓院。

没有粉红色灯光的地方一般都提供很不错的按摩服务,而不提供性服务。如果某个按摩场所的广告中注明了是盲人按摩,那么这基本上肯定是合法场所。

在很多按摩场所您可以小睡几个小时,甚至在那里过夜都可以。理发店一般没有可供睡觉的地方,但是您也可以在做全身按摩的时候再按摩桌上睡一会,或者在做足部按摩的时候在沙发上睡一会儿。一般费用都不会很高,这估计是在中国最便宜的过夜的方式。但是,请注意,除了带有独立包间的高端桑拿场所,在其他的按摩/桑拿场所中,您都要和那里的员工公用厕所,而且不能将您的行李锁起来。寄存行李最好的办法是把行李寄存在火车站(所有火车站都有行李寄存处),一般价格在10-20元左右。

传统艺术[编辑]

如果您计划在中国停留的时间比较长,那么建议您学一点中国传统艺术。毕竟,人在中国本身就是学习中国传统艺术的绝佳机会,如果您对某项中国传统艺术已经略懂一二,那么通过直接向这一艺术所在国度的大师学习可以提升您的技能。很多城市都有很多知识分子接收初学者,而且不懂中文也不碍事,因为您可以通过实例或者模仿进行学习。书法现在仍然是中国人热爱的一种艺术。很多城市的书法家都用毛笔蘸水在城市公园的人行道上练习。其他的您可以参加培训班的传统艺术包括演奏中国传统乐器(您可以询问买中国传统乐器的商店,很多商店就有培训班)、中国厨艺、甚至京剧演唱。费用一般都非常合理,而且也不需要特别大量的辅助材料。唯一的要求就是要在一个地方足够久;最好不要在旅游景点参加这样的培训课程。

武术和太极[编辑]

和中国传统文化艺术一样,有兴趣、有时间的人可以学学中国久负盛名的武术。有的武术,譬如说太极,学习的方法很简单,清晨直接去市区的随便哪个公园跟着那里的人练就可以了。您会发现那里有很多人很乐意做你的老师的。其他的武术就需要更加深入的学习了。著名的武术培训地有嵩山的少林寺和大理附近的无为寺。

传统的消遣活动[编辑]

中国有很多可以在茶室、公共公园甚至在大街上玩的传统消遣。只要有摊子,一般都会吸引很多路人。起源于中国的策略游戏有围棋和中国象棋。麻将是一种以麻将牌作为道具的游戏,麻将在中国非常流行而且经常(也不是没有例外)都是玩钱的。各地的麻将规则不一样,所以每到一处,你都要学习新的麻将规则。麻将最有名的打法是广东麻将、台湾麻将和日本麻将。跳棋虽然不是起源于中国,但是在中国也有很多人在玩。很多中国打扑克的技艺都很精湛;邓小平先生对于桥牌的钟爱是远近闻名的。

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中国的官方货币是人民币,经常缩写为RMB。人民币基本单位是元,它的国际货币代码是CNY。所有的标记都是以元为单位的,要莫是¥要莫是“元”。在香港澳门特别行政区人民币不是法定货币,这两地都自行发行货币。当然,香港有的地方也接受人民币,但是都是按照人民币和港币1:1的汇率来算的(截止2013年8月3日1人民币=1.265港币)。

人民币和美元的汇率是6.127:1(2013年8月)

小贴士

  • 10 等于1
  • 10 等于1 ,基本单位
  • 也称
  • 也称
  • 10大写为
  • 100大写为
  • 1000大写为
  • 10000大写为

元的下面是角,10角为一元,之后是分,10分为1角。分币现在基本上已经能看到了(可能在欠发达地区偶尔能看到)。一般价值10分的硬币叫做1角而不是10分。但是在口语普通话中,人们一般都说而不是,说而不说。例如3.7元一般会被念成3块7(最后一位单位会被省略)。

在数字方面,请注意一般都会省略最后一位的单位,例如:530。而且注意在中文中有一个单位叫做(十千),所以50000一般叫做五万而不是五十千。

中国钱币

中国的很多钱币都既有纸币又有硬币,包括很多零钱。有的地区纸币用的多一些,有的地方硬币用的多一些,但是无论纸币还是硬币在哪里都能用。角(1元的十分之一)也有纸币和两种版本的硬币。相反,一元却有硬币和两个版本的纸币。您最要会辨认不同版本的钱币。

假币[编辑]

假币是一个很严重的问题。所有在中国待过几个月的人都会或多或少的有这方面的经历。从1元的硬币到10元、20元、50元和100元,都有假币。在中国生活的第一步是收到钱(即使是硬币)之后要仔细看看。看的时候主要要注意不同部分的质地、金线、和在不同光线下颜色的变化。如果您不懂您可以问别人,每个人都有自己的办法。

收银员在收到您的纸币后经常会仔细辨认。请不要生气,这并不表示他们怀疑您用假币。只是他们要负责任的。在您拿到零钱后也要仔细看看,特别是50元以上的。售货员有可能会想办法把他们从别人那里拿到的假币给您。

最近几年,ATM机吐假币(虽然不常见)成为一个很热门的话题。如果您担心从ATM机里拿到假币,那么请去银行柜台上,并告诉银行操作人员“我怕拿到假钱了”。一般银行人员都会理解的。

也听说有黄牛在中国边境处将假币兑换给游客,强烈建议去银行兑换货币。

一般当您在商店或者出租车里支付50元或者100元时,您可以记住这张钱编号的最后几位。可能他会说您的钱是假的,这时候您可以保证他退回来的和您给出去的是同一张。

货币兑换[编辑]

虽然中国现在仍然实行外汇管制政策,但是在很多国家都可以很容易换到人民币,特别是在亚洲。在中国兑换美元、加元、欧元、英镑、澳元、日元和韩元都是比较容易的。除了新加坡币之外,东南亚其他国家的货币一般比较难兑换。建议尽量到比较大的银行(特别是中行)或者授权的货币兑换点(一般高端酒店或者机场都有,但是汇率一般会有差异)兑换货币。

确实存在货币兑换的黑市,但是强烈建议您不要在黑市兑换因为在中国兑换货币时假币情况非常严重。对于在市场找到的或者银行周围溜达的黄牛一定要小心。虽然他们的汇率非常诱人,但是如果没有当地的朋友帮忙的话,不要跟他们兑换。经常会有兑换了一大笔钱之后发现拿到的大部分是假币。尽量在中国银行或者其他银行的柜台进行兑换,虽然他们的汇率相对要差一点,但是拿到假币的可能性几乎为零。

中国外汇管制很严格。在全世界的旅游景点和购物中心都很常见的私人的货币兑换点在中国却并不常见。在银行兑换货币一般需要5分钟到60分钟左右,有时候在酒店兑换会更快一点。一般就算大城市的支行都会对兑换流程很熟悉,操作的很快,而三四线城市的分行却不熟悉,操作相对要慢一些。

无论在哪里兑换,您都需要填一张表并出示您的护照。一般都要扫描您的护照并需要一份护照复印件。如果您计划带着较大金额离开中国的话,兑换收据要留好。注意,并不是每个有“Exchange”标识的银行都会给不是他们客户的人提供现金兑换服务。例如,渣打银行就只给他们的客户提供美元和港币货币兑换(但是,就算您拿到是旅游签证,开户也是可以的,而且他们的汇率要比大部分本地银行要优惠)。

用美元兑换人民币程序很简单,但是一般在兑换之前银行对您的钱看的很仔细。如果有机会在国外买入人民币的话(比如通过香港或者越南入境的话),应该在国外换,因为国外的汇率要好一些。要卖出人民币也是一样的,出中国边境之后卖出人民币的汇率也会更好一点。另外,大部分国际银行的储蓄卡或者信用卡都可以再中国的ATM机中直接支取人民币现金。但是,这样做的汇率非常不利而且手续费会非常高。建议随身带一点儿国际货币,例如英镑、美元或者日元以防您在附近找不到柜员机。


ATM卡[编辑]

中国到处都有ATM机,但是大部分位于大城市之外的接受顺利卡(Cirrus),PLUS卡,VISA和万事达(MasterCard)卡的ATM机都是中国银行或者中国工商银行的。但是在像上海这样的大城市,基本上大部分ATM机都能接受这几种卡。但是从大来卡(Diner's Club)、美国运通(American Express)或者日财卡(JCB)取现就非常困难。香港或者澳门游客的JETCO卡在中国只能在东亚银行的ATM机上使用。大部分ATM机都会收取小额的固定费率费用。

注意:虽然民生银行、深圳发展银行和上海银行的ATM机上有时候会有PLUS/Cirrus/Maestro标志,但是实际上只有个别的ATM机可以真正接受这些卡。而且能不能用只有您试了以后才能知道。很多银行的ATM机都是这样的,甚至中国四大国有银行之一的中国农业银行的ATM机也是这样。

Before traveling, find out if your home bank charges a currency conversion fee (often between 0-3%) on such transactions. It is worth opening a zero conversion fee account beforehand if possible. Otherwise it would be better to open a local account on arrival to store money in if staying for a sufficiently long time.

If you have trouble because the ATM requires a 6-digit PIN and your PIN only has 4 digits, try adding 2 zeros before it. If you find yourself in a town with a Bank of China branch but no international network-capable ATM, it is usually possible to get a cash advance on a credit card inside the bank. Just ask.

UnionPay, the local ATM card network, has made agreements with various ATM card networks across the globe. If your card is covered, any ATM in China will accept withdrawals and balance inquiries from your card. Currently covered are NYCE and Pulse in America (also applies to cash advances from Discover cards), Interac in Canada, and LINK in the UK.

Also, if your bank is part of the Global ATM Alliance, be aware that China Construction Bank is the local partner for fee-free withdrawals.

Travelers cheques[编辑]

Most major banks and upscale hotels will exchange travelers' cheques. You will need identification and your signature on the cheques, your ID, and your signature in front of the teller will be scrutinized very closely. In second-tier cities you will need to go to the head branch of Bank of China or Merchants' Bank. Exchanging travelers cheques is usually slower than exchanging cash.

Foreign currency[编辑]

Foreign currencies, including the Hong Kong dollar or U.S. dollar, are rarely seen as a substitute for RMB except in several 5-star hotels, some shops on the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border, and stock exchanges. You are unlikely to use other currencies in most transactions (after all, the average visitor comes to China to sight-see and shop, not to play day-trader, but for the curious, the minimum balance for US$ trading is US$1000 with US$19 A/C opening fee while the minimum for HK$ trading is HK$5000). If you are running out of money and only have dollars in your pocket, it usually means that you don't have money to pay the bill without a trip to a bank. Many shops won't accept it, having no idea on exchange rate or how to check if the bills are counterfeit.

Electronic transfers[编辑]

Electronic money transfers to another country are no longer as difficult as they used to be. Just about every bank in the big cities offers this service nowadays. On the other hand, service charges are variable (depends on the sending and receiving bank), the staff is sometimes ill-trained, and the process can take up to a week to clear. Alternatively, you may choose to look for a Chinese branch of a foreign or Hong Kong-based bank to do transfers. This is easier in the big cities, though.

It will be MUCH easier to do transfers if you have an dual-currency account with the Bank of China - opened at the branch from which you plan to get your money. Electronic transfers to dual currency accounts incur no or very low fees although it will usually take about one week. Transfers to Chinese accounts from overseas also take from three to ten business days. All you need to start an account is your passport, visa and a small initial deposit (can be RMB) plus the new-account fee (¥10-20). If you open a foreign currency account or a dual currency account, be sure to check if you will be able to access it in another province or overseas. Alternatively, for visitors from the US, Wells Fargo offers a service called ExpressSend that allows someone to send money from the US and have it arrive at a China Agricultural Bank account on the same day.

Western Union has deals with China Agricultural Bank and with China Post so there are a lot of Western Union signs around. This is what overseas Chinese sending money to relatives, or expats sending money out of China, generally use; it is generally easier and cheaper than the banks. A list of locations is available through Western Union's website. There may, however, be problems. Their system may be down or the employee you deal with may ask for silly things — for an overseas transfer, the recipient's passport and visa numbers, or for a within-China transfer, cash in U.S. dollars. Just try another branch if you are having difficulties.

Credit cards[编辑]

Outside of star-rated or chain hotels, major supermarkets, and high-class restaurants, credit cards are generally not accepted and most transactions will require cash. The most popular credit card in China is UnionPay, and due to an alliance between Discover and UnionPay, those with Discover credit cards will find that their card is much more widely accepted (under the UnionPay system) than those with Visa/Mastercard/American Express. Most convenience stores take UnionPay, as do most restaurant chains, stores selling high-value items, grocery store chains, and most ATMs. Beware of pickpockets.

Many department stores and large grocery stores have point-of-sale terminals for Chinese bank cards; typically these will not work for foreign cards (unless it is also a UnionPay card). However, because of the nature of Discover's agreement with the UnionPay network, it is treated as a domestic card at ATMs and point-of-sale. If you are going to spend a lot of time in China and use significant amounts of money, consider getting a Chinese bank account if signing up for a Discover card is impractical. Ideally, if in a big city and later traveling to smaller ones, try signing up for an account with smaller banks like Woori Bank or Ping An Bank; these offer free inter-bank ATM withdrawals anywhere in China (Ping An Bank also offers free withdrawals overseas, a plus if traveling to nearby countries later). Alternatively, Travelex offers UnionPay Cash Passports in certain countries.

Costs[编辑]

While China is no longer the bargain destination it was during the 1990's, it remains quite affordable. Unless you are heading to Hong Kong or Macau, China is generally much less expensive - from a traveler's perspective - than industrialized countries. If you eat local food, use public transportation and stay in very inexpensive budget hotels or hostels then ¥200 to ¥300 is a serviceable daily backpacker budget. However, if you want to live an extravagant lifestyle and eat only Western food and stay in star-rated hotels, then even ¥3000 a day would not be enough. There is a high degree of variation in prices depending on where you go. Major cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou generally cost much more than second tier cities and rural, inland parts of the country. The boomtowns of Shenzhen and Zhuhai are also known for being expensive by Chinese standards. Nonetheless, many Hong Kong or Macau residents (who live just across the border from Shenzhen and Zhuhai, respectively), who are generally more affluent than Mainlanders, often go to these cities to shop, play golf, and enjoy services like massage as costs are far lower.

Tipping[编辑]

As a general rule, tipping is not practiced anywhere in China. When leaving a tip on your table, it is common to see a waiter chase after you to return the money you "forgot" to take.

In a hotel, it is widely accepted not to tip for room service, airport service, taxis or anything else. Masseurs in some areas such as Shenzhen have been known to ask for a tip. However, if they become pushy at getting tips most Chinese see this as extortion and an immoral practice, so just be firm if you don't wish to give any.

In China, compliments over service is usually expressed in implicit ways. If you are a smoker, you are expected to pass a cigarette to the service staff or manager. Else, you will be seen as selfish and egocentric. It is common to buy a bartender or pub owner a drink.

Tipping in the wrong way can lead to embarrassment, and can sometimes be insulting, because you are suggesting that the relationship is based on money, not friendship.

Banking[编辑]

Opening a bank account in China is a very straightforward process. The "big four" banks in China are the Bank of China (中国银行), China Construction Bank (中国建设银行), Agricultural Bank of China (中国农业银行) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (中国工商银行). For locally-owned banks you only need your passport with a valid visa (tourist visas are acceptable). Some banks such as Bank of East Asia will require proof of residence, but this restriction mostly applies to banks based in Hong Kong. For long-term travel or residence, a Chinese bank account is a very good idea. Depending on the bank, the PIN and/or ID may be required for withdrawals at the counter (ask beforehand; some foreign banks only require a signature for withdrawal; if you're not comfortable with that don't open an account there) although deposits can be made no questions asked if you have the bank book or card they issued with your account. Depending on the bank, the minimum initial deposit is ¥1-100 (some multinational banks like Citibank or DBS require five-digit minimum deposits; these banks are to be avoided for the average person). You may receive a bank book in which will record all transactions and balances - including foreign currency balances. However, most banks in big cities offer card-only accounts by default; if you want a bank book you'll have to ask unless they don't issue ATM cards at all (such as Shinhan Bank or Dah Sing Bank) Banks usually charge a fee (around 1%) for depositing and withdrawing money in a different city than the one you opened your account in (if opening with Woori Bank, they offer unlimited ATM withdrawals at any ATM in China until June 2011, and Wing Hang Bank offers free withdrawals anywhere in the world, with the card fee waived until 2014). ATMs are now present in almost all towns and cities except in the most remote areas. Many ATMs accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, Maestro, and Plus debit and credit cards although some only accept UnionPay and Pulse, Interac, or Link ATM cards.

Also, in Shanghai, most of the smaller local banks have relations with each other allowing for no-fee interbank deposits for any amount and withdrawals over ¥3000. Also, any Bank of Shanghai deposit-capable ATM can do deposits for any bank with a Shanghai-issued account.

Bank of China Bank of China ATMs are occasionally the only ATMs where an international bank card will work. This bank has good international banking experience.

China Construction Bank & Bank of America Bank of America and China Construction Bank have business ties, and because of this, Bank of America customers can use China Construction Bank ATM's without any fees to withdraw RMB.

China Merchants Bank This bank gets best reviews from expatriates as of July 2009.

Standard Chartered This bank is also very expat-friendly (it is based in the UK), however branches outside the big cities are lacking. They offer unlimited interbank ATM withdrawals within the city the card was issued in as long as the amount drawn is over ¥2000 each time and they also offer multiple foreign-currency investment products.

Woori Bank It has even fewer branches than Standard Chartered, but offers the Shanghai Tourist Card, which gives discounts at assorted restaurants and half-price tickets to various attractions, as a debit card. Locally-owned banks only issue this as a credit card, which foreigners can't get, so this is the better choice if traveling to Shanghai. They also offer unlimited free ATM withdrawals anywhere in China. As a Korean bank, they typically cater to Koreans and it shows in the level of customer service.

ICBC Very difficult to get complete bank statements from them. The largest bank in China.

Do note that if you are employed in China, you may not get a choice: many companies and schools deposit into only one bank, and therefore you must have an account with that bank to get paid.

Shopping[编辑]

Antiquities Banned From Export

China's government passed a law in May 2007 banning the export of antiques from before 1911. It is thus illegal to take antiques out of China. Even antiques from before 1911 bought in proper auctions cannot be taken out of the country. As violation of this law could lead to heavy fines and a possible jail term, it would be wise to heed it. However if you let vendors know you are aware of this law they may lower their prices since they know you know their "antiques" really aren't Ming Dynasty originals.

As China's emergent middle class finds itself with increasing amounts of disposable income, shopping has become a national pastime. A wide range of goods are available to suit any budget.

Do not expect everything to be cheap. The prices of imported brand name items, such as camping equipment, mountain bikes, mobile phones and electronics, cosmetics, personal care products, sportswear, cheese, chocolate, coffee and milk powder are often higher than overseas. Many Chinese tourists would buy such items in Hong Kong, not in mainland China.

In most brand name shops, upscale malls and supermarkets, the prices already have Value-Added Tax (VAT) and any sales tax included. Thus, anything with a marked price tends to be sold at that price or, perhaps, slightly below especially if you pay cash and do not require a receipt for your purchase. For unmarked goods, there is wide room for bargaining.

Regarding discounts, Chinese make sales using the character: 折 (zhé) which represented the fraction of the original price you pay. For example, 8折 refers to 20% off; 6.5折 is equal to 35% off.

China excels in handmade items, partly because of long traditions of exquisite artisanship and partly because labor is still comparatively inexpensive. Take your time, look closely at quality and ask questions, but don't take all the answers at face value! Many visitors come looking for antiques, and hunting in the flea markets can be great fun. The overwhelming majority of the "antique" items you will be shown are fakes, no matter how convincing they look and no matter what the vendor says. Do not spend serious money unless you know what you are doing, since novices are almost always taken for a ride.

Porcelain at Shanghai's antique market
  • Porcelain with a long history of porcelain manufacture, China still makes great porcelain today. Most visitors are familiar with Ming-style blue and white, but the variety of glazes is much greater, including many lovely monochrome glazes which are worth seeking out. Specialist shops near hotels and the top floors of department stores are a good place to start, though not the cheapest. The "antique" markets are also a good place to find reproductions, though it can be hard to escape from vendors' attempts to convince you that their items are genuine antiques (with prices to match). Two of the most famous centers for porcelain are Jingdezhen and Quanzhou.
  • Furniture in the 1990s and 2000s China become a major source of antique furniture, mostly sourced from the vast countryside. As the supply of old items has dwindled many of the restorers are now turning to making new items using the old styles. The quality of new pieces is often excellent and some great bargains can still be had in new and old items. Furniture tends to be concentrated in large warehouses on the outskirts of cities; Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu all have plenty of these and hotels can tell you how to find them. Major sellers can also arrange international shipment in most cases. Zhongshan in particular has a huge furniture market.
  • Art and Fine Art the art scene in China is divided into three non-interacting parts. First, there are the traditional painting academies which specialize in "classical" painting (bird and flower, landscapes with rocks and water, calligraphy), with conservative attitudes and serving up painting that conforms to the traditional image of Chinese art. Second, there is a burgeoning modern art scene, including oil painting, photography and sculpture, bearing little relation to the former type. Both "scenes" are worth checking out and include the full range from the glorious to the dreadful. The center of the modern scene is undoubtedly Beijing, where the Da Shan Zi (sometimes called 798) warehouse district is emerging as the new frontier for galleries, reminiscent of New York's Soho in the mid-80s. The third arts scene fits closely with China's prowess in mass-production. China has become famous for producing hand painted reproductions of great works. The Shenzhen suburb of Dafen is particularly renowned for its reproductions.
  • Jade There are two types of Jade in China today: one type is pale and almost colorless and is made from a variety of stones mined in China. The other type is green in color and is imported from Myanmar (Burma) - if genuine! The first thing to be aware of when buying Jade is that you will get what you pay for (at best). Genuine Burmese jade with a good green color is extraordinarily expensive and the "cheap" green jade you will see in the markets is made either from synthetic stone or from natural stone that has been colored with a green dye. When buying jade look closely at the quality of the carving: How well finished is it? Is it refined, or crude with tool marks visible? The quality of the stone often goes along with the quality of the carving. Take your time and compare prices before buying. If you are going to spend a fair sum of money, do it in specialist stores, not flea markets. Khotan in Xinjiang is a famous area for jade production.
  • Carpets China is home to a remarkable variety of carpet-making traditions. These include Mongolian, Ningxia, Tibetan and modern types. Many tourists come looking for silk carpets although these are actually a fairly recent tradition with most of the designs being taken from middle-eastern traditions rather than reflecting Chinese designs. Be aware that though the workmanship is quite fine on these carpets they often skimp on materials, particularly dyes. These are prone to fading and color change, especially if the carpet is displayed in a brightly lit place. Some excellent wool carpets are also made in China. Tibetan carpets are amongst the best in terms of quality and construction, but be aware that most carpets described as Tibetan are not actually made in Tibet, with a few notable exceptions. As with jade, best to buy from stores with a reputation to uphold.
  • Pearls & Pearl Jewelry cultured Akoya and freshwater pearls are mass-produced and sold at markets across China. The use of large scale aquaculture makes pearl jewelry affordable and widely available. Big, lustrous, near-round and round freshwater pearls come out with a variety of colors and overtones. In addition to jewelry, pearl-based cosmetics are also widely available.
  • Silver Coins a variety of silver coins are sold in China's markets with good reason: in the 19th century, the emperor decreed that foreigners had to pay for all trade goods in silver. The United States even minted a special silver "trade dollar" just to meet this requirement. Collectors can find Mexican, U.S., French Indochinese, Chinese and other silver dollars available for purchase, mostly dated 1850-1920. Unfortunately, most of the coins on sale now are counterfeit. If you want to collect coins, carry a small portable scale to check their weights. In a tourist area, expect at least 90% to fail this simple test.
  • Other arts and Crafts Other items to look for include Cloisonne (colored enamels on a metal base), lacquer work, opera masks, kites, shadow puppets, Socialist-realist propaganda posters, wood carvings, scholar's rocks (decorative rocks, some natural, some less so), paper-cuts, and so on.

Luxury goods such as jade, expensive ceramics and other artwork, antiques or carpets are risky. Most of the antique furniture available today are replicas. Much of the jade is either glass or low quality stone that has been dyed a nice green; some is even plastic. Various stone carvings are actually molded glass. The samurai swords are mostly either inferior weapons mass produced for the Japanese military and Manchurian soldiers in World War II or modern Chinese copies. At the right price, any of such goods can be a very good buy. However, none of them are worth anywhere near the price of real top-quality goods. Unless you are an expert on whatever you want to buy, you are quite likely to get sold low quality merchandise at high prices.

There are two solutions. Either stick to the cheaper products, some of which are quite nice as keepsakes, or if you do decide to spend a substantial amount, then deal with a large and reputable vendor; you may not get the bargains an expert could find elsewhere, but you probably won't get cheated either.

Clothing[编辑]

China is one of the world's leading manufacturers of clothing, shoes and accessories. Name-brand goods, whether Chinese or foreign, tend to be expensive when compared with the unbranded clothing sold in markets throughout the country. See next section for additional comment. Chinese brands, similar in look, feel and style to their foreign counterparts, are often an excellent deal. Cheap unbranded clothing is also often cheaply manufactured; check the seams and stitching before making a purchase.

Travelers would be wise to try on any item they wish to purchase as sizes tend to be very erratic. Items of clothing which may be a size XL in the U.S. can be anywhere from an L to a XXXL in China. Most nicer stores have a tailor on call who will adjust the length and hem of pants in 15-30 min for free.

There are very affordable tailors anywhere in China. In the major cities, some of them can make a fine job of Western-style garments. Shirts, pants and suits can be measured, fitted, assembled and delivered within three days in many cases. Some tailors have their own fabric selections while others require customers to purchase it in advance from fabric markets. The quality of the tailors, as everywhere, varies widely. More reputable tailors will often come to hotels to do measurements, fittings and final sales.

Brand-name goods[编辑]

Items with big worldwide brand labels sold in China may be bogus, especially expensive and exclusive popular brands. By no means all are bogus; virtually all major brands market in China, but some will be unauthorized or downright bogus. If you are buying genuine branded foreign goods, particularly haute couture brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada, or popular brands such as Nike or Adidas, be aware that they will not be cheaper than buying them in Western countries. Wealthy Chinese who can afford to travel often purchase luxury brand name goods in Hong Kong or overseas, as it is significantly cheaper than buying them in mainland China.

There are a number of sources of potential knock-offs or fake brand name goods.

  • The most common variant comes from a Chinese firm that gets a contract to deliver, say, 100,000 shirts to BigBrand. They actually have to make a few more than that because some will fail quality control. Maybe 105,000? What the heck, make 125,000. Any extras will be easy to sell; after all they have the BigBrand label. So 25,000 shirts — a few "factory seconds" and many perfectly good shirts — arrive on the Chinese market, without BigBrand's authorization. A traveler might be happy to buy these — just check carefully to avoid the seconds and you get exactly the shirt BigBrand sells for a much better price.
  • However, it doesn't end there. If the factory owner is greedy, he goes on to crank out a bunch more. Only now he doesn't have to worry about BigBrand's strict quality control. He can cut a few corners, slap the BigBrand label on them, and make a great profit. These may or may not be a good buy, but in any case they are not what you would expect from BigBrand.
  • Finally, of course, some other factory may be cranking out utterly bogus "BigBrand" shirts. These outright forgeries often misspell the brand name which is a dead giveaway.

Fake brand oddities include items such as a reversible jacket with "Adidas" on one side and "Nike" on the other or shirts with more than one brand. While these might be interesting curiosities, they obviously are not genuine examples of either brand.

There are two basic rules for dealing with expensive brand name goods in China.

  • First, you cannot just trust the brand; inspect the goods carefully for flaws. Check the spelling on labels.
  • Second, if the deal seems too good to be true, be very suspicious. China makes a lot of good cheap products, but a hundred dollar LV handbag is utterly certain to be bogus.

Bogus goods can cause legal problems. Selling "pirate" DVDs or forged brand name goods is illegal in China, but enforcement is lax. It is generally much less lax at customs for travelers' home countries. Customs officials will seize pirated DVDs or bogus brand name goods if they find them. Some Western travelers have even reported having to pay hefty fines after being caught returning home with bogus products.

Counterfeit and swing production markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Beijing are nonetheless fantastically amusing and a great place to get a completely new "designer" wardrobe for a fraction of the cost in a Western country. Feel free to purchase these items but remove the tags prior to taking them home. If you have a suitcase full of brand new tagged designer knock-offs or swing produced clothes, you are likely to be hassled by customs. The likely worst case scenario is you will lose the items and receive a fine; the best case scenario is you will lose the items. Simply remove the tags and they will almost certainly go unnoticed with the rest of your belongings.

Software, Music and Movies[编辑]

Most CDs (music or software) and DVDs in China are unauthorized copies. The ones that sell for ¥6-10 and come in cheap flat paper envelopes are absolutely certain to be bogus. Some of the ones at higher prices with better packaging might be legal copies, but it can be hard to tell. Probably the best way to avoid bogus discs is to buy at one of the larger bookstores or department stores; most of these have a CD/DVD section. The prices are ¥15-40.

Some good checks, or dead giveaways, for a fake are:

  • Credits on the back of the case which do not match the movie.
  • Covers which are obviously made from cinema poster images ("Coming Soon", the release date, etc. mentioned on them.)
  • Covers which feature uncomplimentary reviews ("Heavy on the spice and light on the meat", "Nothing more than you could get from an episode of CSI", etc.)

In stores, it is usually acceptable to ask the owner to test the DVD to make sure it works and has the correct language soundtrack.

If you buy DVDs or CDs and plan to take them home, be sure to get a receipt that will prove your good faith to Western customs officers.

Endangered species[编辑]

There are products that are fairly common in China which you should avoid purchasing — coral, ivory, and parts from endangered animal species. China's economic miracle has been a disaster for the world's wildlife and has left such species as the elephant, tiger, rhinoceros, Tibetan antelope and Snow Lotus decimated or on the verge of extinction. The city of Pingyao and several markets on the outskirts of Beijing are notorious for selling rare animal skins, furs, claws, horns, skulls, bones, and other parts from endangered (even extinct) species. Anyone purchasing such items is encouraging the further destruction of the species in question.

It is illegal to trade in such products in nearly all countries, including China, under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Enforcement in China is somewhat lax, but anyone buying such products risks serious hassles either when trying to leave China with them or when trying to import them into another country. This can bring substantial fines and/or jail time. So if a store clerk seems eager to sell you a leopard skin or an ivory trinket, use your better judgment and move on.

Ivory is an odd special case. Trade in modern ivory is illegal worldwide, but some antique ivory items are legal. If you want to take any ivory items home, there will be paperwork — at an absolute minimum, you will need a letter from a reputable dealer stating the date of origin. Check with your own country's customs department for other requirements. Also remember that China restricts export of anything older than 1911 (see infobox), and that many of the "ivory" items in China are fakes made from various synthetics or ground bone.

Bargaining[编辑]

See also: How to haggle

Bargaining is a national pastime in China. You can bargain over almost anything, and sometimes it's even possible to ask for discount in a restaurant at the last minute before you check the bill. Many restaurants or bars will willingly offer a free dish or two (such as a fruit plate in a KTV) if you have made a particularly large order. Shopping malls are less willing to bargain, but why not ask "Will I get a gift?"

Unlike many southeast Asian countries, the tourism industry in China is overwhelmingly dominated by Chinese businesses, not westerners running businesses for their own such as seen in places like Bangkok's Khao San Road or Saigon's Pham Ngu Lao. Merchants in touristy areas, particularly street and sidewalk-stall sellers, are masters in exploiting the wallets of foreigners. They can also be very pushy, sometimes even grabbing your hands. Prices are almost always posted, but they are all substantially marked up, normally 2-3 times. Some items like silk fans (largest size: 1'2") are posted as ¥60-75, but the lowest price is actually just ¥10. Therefore it's often better to buy souvenirs somewhere just a few blocks away from the tourist spots. Local Chinese tourists have no issue with posted prices because they are all well trained in the art of bargaining. Foreigners always pay more for everything negotiable in China but remember that Chinese whose accents identify them as being from other provinces also pay higher prices than locals.

The purchasing power of the nouveau riche in China makes the place not always cheap anymore. When you go to tourist spots, it is possible to see a ¥1,000 skirt tailor made by a designer, ¥2,000 per a bag of tea, or dozens of thousands for silverware.

It is hard to tell what price to offer when starting negotiations. Depending on the city, product or market in question, 5% to 50% of the posted price or vendor's first offer is common. Do note that if someone offers you too-great-to-be-true discount, it could be a sign that the goods are of less than great quality. The rule of thumb is to walk around and compare. In tourist spots, it's common to ask for a 30-50% discount, but in a place catering to local people, asking for a 50% discount will only make a fool of yourself.

In a tourist places, don't take what merchants say seriously. When you ask for a 50% discount, they may be appalled and show scorn; it's a favorite drama. Souvenirs, including "antiques", are almost all standard products from factories. Compare more. Do be aware that in tourist markets, the room for negotiation is not as wide as it used to be. With so many tourists all shopping for the same products, vendors know they can make high margins and may not be as amenable to negotiating. If your starting price is too low, they may dismiss you because trying to get the margin they want isn't worth their time.

Souvenirs in some places may have no connection with the history of the place, and change frequently, often appearing to be cheap nick nacks the stallholders association picked up cheap and in bulk from a disposal sale. An example is CiQiKou Ancient Porcelain Village in Shapingba district in Chongqing, on one visit the souvenir stalls had large displays of green Irish shamrock medallions in stock, on a return visit some months later they were all gone, replaced by mexican trinkets.

In this former communist country, most local people still expect a standard price for grocery products and see it as 'black-hearted' (黑心 hēixīn) to charge too much, even if the shops are in a major business district. However, in a tourist place where rental payments are skyrocketing, if someone sells you a bottle of Coca Cola for ¥5 (usually ¥3 in most places), you may have a chance to bargain a little bit too. It sometimes works, but not all the time.

Souvenir shops for jewelry, herbs, and tea recommended by hotel staff can also be tricky. While it is common that the staff takes tourists to places that give them commission, it is also common that they take you to certain places because the establishment actually offers decent products and prices. If you make a show of being overly cautious, it is likely to offend your hosts because you are suggesting a 'good guy' is actually a cheater.

In several places like the Lijiang Ancient City, when the ethnic horse carriage drivers stop by a souvenir shop, assume that you're paying commission. These carriage operators are notoriously known for extorting money from shops, or creating trouble if the shops refuse to pay. The local government usually avoids intervening in these cases where minority ethnic groups are involved.

Many group tours include mandatory visits to Chinese medicine hospitals such as the National Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, silk , tea, or jade factories or similar shops. The goods are often expensive and include a commission for the tour guide or group. Use your judgment if you want to buy anything. However, the shops visited on tours can offer competitive prices and safe, reliable, international shipping for goods like silk and jade.

Western goods[编辑]

Areas with large expatriate communities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have specialty grocery stores catering to those communities. These are often no larger than a 7-Eleven. They usually stock imported snacks, alcohol, and specialty groceries such as meats and cheeses and are often very expensive. See individual articles for details.

Several Western-owned supermarket chains are widespread in China — Wal-mart (沃尔玛 Wòěrmǎ), Metro (麦德龙 Màidélóng), and Carrefour (家乐福 Jiālèfú). All have some Western groceries - often at high prices. However, the availability of foreign products diminishes at their branches in second or third-tier cities. Metro is probably the best of these; in particular it usually has a fine selection of alcohol. Asian-owned chains include Jusco (佳世客 Jiāshìkè), RT-Mart (大潤發 Dàrùnfā) , LOTTE Mart (乐天玛特 Letianmate) and SM; these also carry imported goods. Some larger Chinese chains such as Beijing Hualian (北京华联 Běijīng Huálián) also carry a limited selection of foreign products.

Tobacco products[编辑]

While China has experienced a declining trend for smoking, it is still a popular habit and cigarettes (香烟 xiāngyān) are generally cheap. Cigarettes can be purchased from small neighbourhood stores, convenience stores, counters located in supermarkets and in department stores.

Most mainstream Chinese brands sell at around ¥5-20 for a 20-pack. Popular national brands include Zhongnanhai (中南海 zhōngnánhǎi), Honghe (红河 hónghé), Baisha, Nanjing, Liqun, and Double Happiness (双喜 shuāngxǐ). Some local brands sold in certain regions can be much cheaper whilst others are more expensive. Chinese cigarettes are stronger than many foreign cigarettes (13 mg tar is the norm) although Zhongnanhai is popular with foreign visitors, having a similar taste to Marlboro Light but only half the price. Western brands are available including Marlboro (万宝路 wànbǎolù), 555 (三五 sān wǔ), Davidoff (大卫杜夫 dàwèidùfú), Kent, Salem and Parliament. Western cigarettes are a little more expensive - stick to major convenience store chains such as C-Store or Kedi as many smaller stores sell counterfeit or illegally imported cigarettes.

Premium-brand cigarettes are often ridiculously overpriced and are vary rarely smoked personally - they are usually offered as gifts or bribes as an expression of wealth. The two most famous 'premium brands' include Zhonghua (中华 zhōnghuá) (¥60-100) and Panda (¥100). If you choose to buy them then stick to major department stores - those sold in neighbourhood cigarette stores are likely to be fake. Rolling tobacco and papers are rare in urban China. Lighters (打火机 dǎhuǒjī) are usually cheap (about ¥1) but flimsily made. Zippos are widely available but expensive.

Cigars can be bought from some specialist tobacco stores and Chinese-made cigars are surprisingly good - expect to pay around ¥20-30 for 10 locally produced cigars. Beware of fake western-brand cigars sold in bar-districts; they are usually terrible and ridiculously overpriced. Genuine Cuban cigars are available in cigar bars and upscale establishments in large cities but are often very expensive.

Duty-free stores in international airports, international rail stations (e.g. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou East) and at land borders sell a greater range of imported brands - expect to pay between ¥80-150 for a 200-cigarette carton.

Eat[编辑][新增項目]

Food in China varies widely from region to region so the term "Chinese food" is pretty much a blanket term, just like "Western food." While visiting, relax your inhibitions and try a bit of everything.

Do keep in mind that undercooked food or poor hygiene can cause bacterial or parasitic infection, particularly during warm or hot weather. Thus it is advisable to take great care about (and perhaps abstain from) eating seafood and meat on the street during the summer. In addition, unless you're in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai or other large cities, raw meat and seafood should be avoided. That all being said, the hygiene conditions of a restaurant are usually satisfactory which means that diarrhea is usually not a risk to most people.

Chinese gourmands place emphasis on freshness so your meal will most likely be cooked as soon as you order it. Searing hot woks over coal or gas fires make even street food usually safe to eat. Indeed freshly prepared street food, as noted by many travel writers, is often safer than food sitting on the buffet lines of 5-star hotels. China is no exception.

The two-menu system where different menus are presented according to the skin color of a guest remains largely unheard of in China. Most restaurants only have one menu - the Chinese one. Learning some Chinese characters such as beef (牛), pork (猪), chicken (鸡), fish (鱼), stir-fried (炒), deep-fried (炸), braised (烧), baked or grilled (烤), soup (汤), rice (饭), or noodles (面) will take you a long way. As pork is the most common meat in Chinese cuisine, where a dish simply lists "meat" (肉), assume it is pork.

Certain Chinese dishes contain ingredients some people may prefer to avoid, such as dog, snake or endangered species. However, it is very unlikely that you will order these dishes by a mistake. Dog and snake are usually served in specialty restaurants which do not hide their ingredients. Obviously, products made from endangered ingredients will have astronomical prices and would not be listed on the regular menu anyway.

Generally speaking, rice is the main staple in the south, while wheat, mostly in the form of noodles, is the main staple in the north.

Regional Cuisines[编辑]

Four Great Traditions (四大菜系)[编辑]

  • Jiangsu / Zhejiang / Shanghai (淮扬菜 "Huáiyáng cài", 苏菜,"Sū Cài", the Huaiyang cuisine): The Huaiyang cuisine tends to have a sweet side to it and is almost never spicy, in contrast to some cuisines of China (like Sichuan or Hunan). Pork, freshwater fish, and other aquatic creatures serve as the meat base in most dishes, which are usually more meticulous and light compared to the more "brash" eating styles of northern China.Huaiyang cuisine also includes several breakfast choices such as crab soup dumplings (蟹黄汤包 "xìehúang tāngbāo"), thousand-layered cake (千层糕 "qiāncéng gāo"), steamed dumplings (蒸饺 "zhēngjiǎo"), tofu noodles (大煮干丝 "dàzhǔ gānsī"), and wild vegetable steamed buns (菜包子 "cài bāozi").
  • Cantonese / Guangzhou / Hong Kong (广东菜 Guǎngdōng Cài, 粤菜 Yuè Cài): the style most Western visitors are already familiar with to some extent. Not too spicy, the emphasis is on freshly cooked ingredients and seafood. Dim Sum (点心 Diǎnxīn), small snacks usually eaten for breakfast or lunch, are a highlight. That being said, authentic Cantonese cuisine is also among the most adventurous in China in terms of variety of ingredients as the Cantonese are famous, even among the Chinese, for their extremely wide definition of what is considered edible.
  • Shandong (山东菜 Shāndōng cài, 鲁菜 Lǔ Cài, Shandong cuisine): Although modern transport has greatly increased the availability of ingredients throughout China, Shandong cuisine remains rooted in its ancient traditions. Most notable is the staggering array of seafood, including scallops, prawns, clams, sea cucumbers, and squid.
  • Sichuan (川菜 Chuān Cài): Famously hot and spicy. A popular saying is that it is so spicy your mouth will go numb. However, not all dishes are made with live chilis. The numbing sensation actually comes from the Sichuan peppercorn (花椒). It is widely available outside Sichuan and also native to Chongqing. If you want really authentic Sichuanese food outside Sichuan or Chongqing, look for small eateries sporting the characters for Sichuan cuisine in neighborhoods with lots of migrant workers. These tend to be much cheaper and often better than the ubiquitous up-market Sichuan restaurants.

Famous Traditions[编辑]

(The Other Four of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine):

  • Fujian (福建菜 Fújiàn Cài, 闽菜 Mǐn Cài): uses ingredients mostly from coastal and estuarial waterways. "Buddha Jumps over a Wall" (佛跳墙 Fó Tiào Qiáng) is particularly famous. According to legend, the smell was so good a monk forgot his vegetarian vows and leaped over the wall to have some. Fujian cuisine can be split into at least two distinct cuisines: Minnan cuisine from the area around Xiamen and Mindong cuisine from the area around Fuzhou.
  • Zhejiang (浙菜 Zhè Cài): includes the foods of Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Shaoxing. A delicately seasoned, light-tasting mix of seafood and vegetables often served in soup. Sometimes lightly sweetened or sometimes sweet and sour, Zhejiang dishes frequently involve cooked meats and vegetables in combination.
  • Hunan (湖南菜 Húnán Cài, 湘菜 Xiāng Cài): the cuisine of the Xiangjiang region, Dongting Lake and western Hunan Province. Similar, in some ways, to Sichuanese cuisine, it can actually be "spicier" in the Western sense.
  • Anhui (安徽菜 Ānhuī cài), 徽菜 huī cài): Anhui cuisine is known for its use of wild herbs, from both the land and the sea, and simple methods of preparation. Braising and stewing are common cooking techniques. Frying and stir frying are used much less frequently in Anhui cuisine than in other Chinese culinary traditions.Anhui cuisine consists of three styles: the Yangtze River region, Huai River region, and southern Anhui region. Anhui has ample uncultivated fields and forests, so the wild herbs used in the region's cuisine are readily available.

Other traditions[编辑]

  • Shanghai (沪菜 Hù Cài): because of its geographical location, Shanghai cuisine is considered to be a good mix of northern and southern Chinese cooking styles. The most famous dishes are xiaolongbao (小笼包 Xiǎolóngbāo) and chives dumplings (韭菜饺子 Jiǔcài Jiǎozi ). Another specialty is "pulled noodles" (拉面 lāmiàn), from which Japanese ramen and Korean ramyeon are believed to be derived. Sugar is often added to fried dishes giving Shanghainese food a sweet flavor.
  • Teochew / Chaozhou (潮州菜 Cháozhōu Cài): originating from the Shantou area in northern Guangdong, a unique style which nonetheless will be familiar to most Southeast Asian and Hong Kong Chinese. Famous dishes include braised duck (卤鸭 Lǔyā), yam paste dessert (芋泥 Yùní) and fishballs (鱼丸 Yúwán).
  • Guizhou (贵州菜 Guìzhōu Cài, 黔菜 Qián Cài): combines elements of Sichuan and Xiang cuisine, making liberal use of spicy, peppery and sour flavors. The peculiar zhergen (折耳根 Zhē'ěrgēn), a regional root vegetable, adds an unmistakable sour-peppery flavor to many dishes. Minority dishes such as Sour Fish Hot Pot (酸汤鱼 Suān Tāng Yú) are widely enjoyed.
  • Hainan (琼菜 Qióng Cài): famous among the Chinese, but still relatively unknown to foreigners, characterized by the relatively heavy use of coconuts. The signature specialties are the "Four Famous Dishes of Hainan" (海南四大名菜 Hǎi Nán Sì Dà Míng Cài): Wenchang chicken (文昌鸡 Wénchāng jī), Dongshan goat (东山羊 Dōngshān yáng), Jiaji duck (加积鸭 Jiājī yā) and Hele crab (和乐蟹 Hélè xiè).
  • Beijing (京菜 Jīng Cài ): home-style noodles and baozi (包子 bread buns), Peking Duck (北京烤鸭 Běijīng Kǎoyā), cabbage dishes, great pickles. Not fancy but can be great and satisfying.
  • Imperial (宫廷菜 Gōngtíng Cài): the food of the late Qing court, made famous by the Empress Dowager Cixi, can be sampled at high-end specialized restaurants in Beijing. The cuisine combines elements of Manchu frontier food such as venison with unique exotica such as camel's paw, shark's fin and bird's nest.

Fast food[编辑]

Various types of Chinese food provide quick, cheap, tasty, light meals. Street food and snacks sold from portable vendors can be found throughout China's cities. Wangfujing district's Snack Street in Beijing is a notable, if touristy, area for street food. In Cantonese-speaking areas, street food vendors are called gai bin dong; such ventures can grow into a substantial business with the stalls only barely 'mobile' in the traditional street food sense. Various quick eats available nationwide include:

  • Various, usually sweet, items from the ubiquitous bakeries (面包房, 面包店). A great variety of sweets and sweet food found in China are often sold as snacks, rather then as a post-meal dessert course in restaurants as in the West.
  • Barbecued sticks of meat from street vendors. Yang rou chuan (羊肉串), or fiery Xinjiang-style lamb kebabs, are particularly renowned.
  • Jiaozi (饺子), which Chinese translate as "dumplings", boiled, steamed or fried ravioli-like items with a variety of fillings. These are found throughout Asia; momos, mandu, gyoza, and jiaozi are all basically variations of the same thing.
  • Baozi (包子), steamed buns stuffed with salty, sweet or vegetable fillings.
  • Mantou (馒头), steamed bread available on the roadside - great for a very cheap and filling snack.
  • Lanzhou-style lamian (拉面), fresh hand-pulled noodles. This industry is heavily dominated by members of the Hui (回族) ethnic group[39] - look for a tiny restaurant with staff in Muslim dress, white fez-like hats on the men and head scarves on the women.
  • In Guangdong and sometimes elsewhere, dim sum (点心). At any major tourist destination in China, you may well find someone serving dim sum for Hong Kong customers.

The Western notion of fast food is arguably as popular as the domestic variety. KFC (肯德基), McDonald's (麦当劳), Subway (赛百味) and Pizza Hut (必胜客) are ubiquitous, at least in mid-sized cities and above. There are a few Burger Kings (汉堡王), Domino's and Papa John's (棒约翰) as well but only in major cities. Chinese chains are also widespread. These include Dicos (德克士) - chicken burgers, fries etc., cheaper than KFC and some say better - and Kung Fu (真功夫) - which has a more Chinese menu.

Etiquette[编辑]

China is the birthplace of chopsticks and unsurprisingly, much important etiquette relates to the use of chopsticks. While the Chinese are generally tolerant about table manners, you will most likely be seen as ill-mannered, annoying or offensive when using chopsticks in improper ways. Be stick to the following rules:

  • Never use your chopsticks to examine a dish piece by piece, making everyone taste your saliva. Implicitly use your eye to target what you want, and pick it.
  • Once you pick a piece, you are obliged to take it. Don't put it back. Confucius says never leave someone what you don't want.
  • When someone is picking from a dish, don't try to cross over or go underneath his arms to pick from a dish further away. Wait until they finish picking.
  • In most cases, a dish is not supposed to be picked simultaneously by more than one person. Don't try to compete with anyone to pick a piece from the same dish.
  • Don't put your chopsticks vertically into your bowl of rice as it is reminiscent of incense sticks burning at the temple and carries the connotation of wishing death for those around you. Instead, place it across your bowl or on the chopstick rest, if provided.
  • Don't drum your bowl with chopsticks. Only beggars do it. People don't find it funny even if you're willing to satirically call yourself a beggar.

Other lesser important dining rules include:

  • Many travel books suggest that cleaning your plate suggests that your host did not to feed you well and will feel pressured to order more food. In general, finishing a meal involves a delicate balance. Cleaning your plate will typically invite more to be served, while leaving too much may be a sign that you didn't like it. When you're stuffed, you will please your host by lifting up a thumb, telling your host how much you enjoy it, and theatrically rubbing your belly to show that you're stuffed.
  • Communal chopsticks (公筷) are not always provided. Diners typically use their own chopsticks to transfer food to their bowl. While many Westerners consider this unhygienic, it is usually safe. However, if desired, it is acceptable to request communal utensils.
  • Making slurping noises when eating is common but could be considered inappropriate, especially among well educated families. However, slurping, like "cupping" when tasting tea, is seen by some gourmets as a way to enhance flavor.
  • Spoons are used when drinking soups or eating watery dishes such as porridge. In China, the dish should be scooped towards you, and not away from you as done in the West, as the Chinese believe that this rakes in wealth.
  • If a piece is too slippery to pick, do it with the aid of a spoon; do not spear it with the sharp end of the chopstick.
  • All dishes are shared, similar to "family style" dining in North America. When you order anything, it's not just for you, it's for everyone. You're expected to consult others before you order a dish. When you're asked about your opinion, being overly picky is usually seen as annoying.
  • It is normal for your host or hostess to put food on your plate. It is a gesture of kindness and hospitality. If you wish to decline, do it in a way so that it does not offend. For example, you should insist that they eat and that you serve yourself.
  • Fish heads are considered a delicacy and may be offered to you as an honored guest. In truth, the cheek meat is particularly savory.

Treating[编辑]

In China, restaurants and pubs are very common entertainment places and treating plays an important part in socializing.

While splitting the bill is beginning to be accepted by young people, treating is still the norm, especially when the parties are in obviously different social classes. Men are expected to treat women, elders to juniors, rich to poor, hosts to guests, working class to non-income class (students). Friends of the same class will usually prefer to split the opportunity to treat, rather than split the bill, i.e. "This is my turn, and you treat next time."

It is common to see Chinese competing sweatily to pay the bill. You are expected to fight back and say "It's my turn, you treat me next time." The smiling loser will accuse the winner of being too courteous. All these dramas, despite still being common among all generations and usually played wholeheartedly are becoming somewhat less widely practiced among younger urban Chinese.

Unless you only hang out with non-Chinese tourists, you will have fair chances of being treated. For budget travelers, the good news is that Chinese tend to be eager to treat foreigners, although you shouldn't expect much from students and working class families and individuals.

That being said, Chinese tend to be very tolerant towards foreigners. If you feel like going dutch, try it. They tend to believe that "all foreigners prefer to go dutch". If they try to argue, it usually means that they insist on paying for your bill as well, not the opposite.

Drink[编辑][新增項目]

The Chinese love a tipple and the all-purpose word jiǔ (酒) covers quite a range of alcoholic drinks.

Toasting[编辑]

Chinese toast with the word gānbēi (干杯, literally "dry glass"). Traditionally one is expected to drain the glass in one swig. During a meal, the visitor is generally expected to drink at least one glass with each person present; sometimes there may be considerable pressure to do this. And it can be considered rude, at least early during the meal, if you do not make a toast every time you take a drink.

Exercise caution. Fortunately, the glasses are usually small — even beer is often drunk from an oversized shot glass. The Chinese liquor, baijiu, is definitely potent (up to 65% alcohol). Baijiu is often drunk in small shot glasses for a good reason. US president Nixon practiced drinking before his first trip to China to be ready to drink with Mao Zedong. Unless you are used to imbibing heavily, be very careful when drinking with Chinese.

If you want to take it easy but still be sociable, say suíbiàn (随便) before you make the toast, then drink only part of the glass. It may also be possible to have three toasts (traditionally signifying friendship) with the entire company, rather than one separate toast for every individual present.

Alcohol[编辑]

Beer (啤酒 píjiǔ) is very common in China and is served in nearly every restaurant. The most famous brand is Tsingtao (青島) from Qingdao, which was at one point a German concession. Other brands abound and are generally light beers in a pilsner or lager style with 3-4% alcohol. In addition to national brands, most cities will have one or more cheap local beers. Some companies (Tsingtao, Yanjing) also make a dark beer (黑啤酒 hēipíjiǔ). In some regions, beers from other parts of Asia are fairly common and tend to be popular with travellers — Filipino San Miguel in Guangdong, Singaporean Tiger in Hainan, and Laotian Beer Lao in Yunnan, The typical price for beer is about ¥2.5-4 in a grocery store, ¥4-18 in a restaurant, around ¥10 in an ordinary bar, and ¥20-40 in a fancier bar.

Most places outside of major cities serve beer at room temperature, regardless of season, though places that cater to American and Canadian tourists have it cold.

Locally made grape wine (葡萄酒 pútaojiǔ) is common and much of it is reasonably priced, from ¥15 in a grocery store, about ¥100-150 in a fancy bar. That said, most of the stuff bears only the faintest resemblance to Western wines. The Chinese like their wines red and very, very sweet, and they're typically served over ice or mixed with Sprite. Great Wall and Dynasty are large brands with a number of wines at various prices; their cheaper (under ¥40) offerings are generally not impressive. Chang Yu is another large brand; some of their low end wines are a bit better. If you're looking for a Chinese-made, Western-style wine, try to find these labels:

  • Suntime [40], with a passable Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Yizhu, located in Yili and specializing in ice wine
  • Les Champs D'or, French-owned and probably the best overall winery in China.
  • Imperial Horse and Xixia, from Ningxia
  • Mogao Ice Wine, Gansu
  • Castle Estates, Shandong
  • Shangrila Estates, from Zhongdian, Yunnan

There are also several brands and types of rice wine. Most of these resemble a watery rice pudding, they are usually very sweet and only have a very small amount of alcohol for taste. These do not generally much resemble Japanese sake, the only rice wine well-known in the West. Travelers' reactions to these vary widely.

Báijiǔ (白酒) is distilled liquor, generally 80 to 120 proof, made from sorghum and sometimes other grains depending on the region. As the word "jiǔ" is often loosely translated as "wine" by Chinese beverage firms and English speakers, baijiu is frequently referred to as "white wine" in conversation. Baijiu will typically be served at banquets and festivals in tiny shot glasses. Toasts are ubiquitous at banquets or dinners on special occasions. Most foreigners find baijiu tastes like diesel fuel, while a liquor connoisseur may find high quality, expensive baijiu quite good. Baijiu is definitely an acquired taste, but once the taste is acquired, it's quite fun to "ganbei" a glass or two at a banquet.

The cheapest baijiu is the Beijing brewed èrguōtóu (二锅头) (¥4.5 per 100 mL bottle). It comes in two variants: 53% and 56% alcohol by volume. Ordering "xiǎo èr" (Erguotou's diminutive nickname) will likely raise a few eyebrows and a chuckle from working class Chinese.

Máotái (茅台), made in Guizhou Province, is China's most famous brand of baijiu and China's national liquor. Made from sorghum, Maotai and its expensive cousins (such as Kaoliang in Taiwan) are well-known for their strong fragrance and are actually sweeter than western clear liquors as the sorghum taste is preserved - in a way.

Chinese brandy (白兰地) is excellent value, about the same price as grape wine or baijiu, and generally far more palatable than either. A ¥16-20 local brandy is not a ¥200+ imported brand-name cognac, but it is close enough that you should only buy the cognac if money doesn't matter. Expats debate the relative merits of brandies from French-owned Louis Wann [41], Chinese brand Changyu [42], and several others. All are drinkable.

The Chinese are also great fans of various supposedly medicinal liquors, which usually contain exotic herbs and/or animal parts. Some of these have prices in the normal range and include ingredients like ginseng. These can be palatable enough, if tending toward sweetness. Others, with unusual ingredients (snakes, turtles, bees, etc.) and steep price tags, are probably best left to those that enjoy them.

Bars, discos and karaoke[编辑]

Western style pubs are becoming increasingly popular across the country. Especially in the more affluent urban centers such as Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Hangzhou one can find painstakingly recreated replicas of traditional Irish or English pubs. Like their Western counterparts most will have a selection of foreign beers on tap as well as provide pub food (of varying quality) and often feature live cover bands. Most of these pubs cater to and are frequented by the expatriate communities so you should not expect to find many Chinese in these places. Be aware that imported beer can be very expensive compared to local brew.

To just go out for a few drinks with friends, pick a local restaurant and drink beer at around ¥5 for a 600 ml bottle. It will be Chinese lager, around 3% alcohol, with a limited choice of brand and may be served warm. Most mid- to high- range restaurants will have small private suites for gatherings (usually offered free if there is more than around 5 people), and the staff will generally not try to hustle you out even if you decide to stay until closing time. Many residents frequent outdoor restaurants or roadside stalls and barbecues (shāokǎo - 烧烤) for a nice and inexpensive evening.

In discos and fancy bars with entertainment, you normally buy beer ¥100 at a time; this gets you anywhere from 4 import-brand beer (Heineken, Bud, Corona, Sol, ..) to 10 local beers. A few places offer cocktails; fewer have good ones.

Other drinks are sold only by the bottle, not by the glass. Red wine is in the ¥80-200 range (served with ice and Sprite) and mediocre imported whiskeys (Chivas, Johnny Walker, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels; extremely rarely single malts) and cognacs, ¥300-800. Both are often mixed with sweet bottled green or red tea. Vodka, tequila and rum are less common, but sometimes available. Bogus "brand name" products are fairly common and may ruin your next day.

These places often have bar girls, young women who drink a lot and want to play drinking games to get you to consume more. They get a commission on whatever you buy. In general, these girls will not leave the bar with you; they are professional flirts, not prostitutes.

Karaoke (卡拉OK) is huge in China and can be broadly split into two categories. More common is the no-frills karaoke box or KTV, where you rent a room, bring your friends and the house gives you a mike and sells you booze. Much favored by students, these are cheap and fun with the right crowd, although you need at least a few people for a memorable night. Bringing your own booze can keep the price tag down but must be done on the sly - many places have windows in the door so the staff can make sure you only drink liquor they sold to you.

Rather different is the distinctly dodgier special KTV lounge, more oriented to businessmen entertaining clients or letting their hair down, where the house provides anything and everything at a price. At these often opulent establishments — over-the-top Roman and Egyptian themes are standard — you'll be joined by short-skirted professional karaoke girls, who charge by the hour for the pleasure of their company and whose services may not be limited to just singing badly and pouring your drinks. It's highly advisable not to venture into these unless you're absolutely sure somebody else is footing the bill, which can easily run into hundreds of dollars even if you keep your pants on.

As elsewhere, never never accept an invitation to a restaurant or bar from an available-looking woman who just picked you up in the street sometime after sundown. At best, suggest a different place. If she refuses, drop her on the spot. More than likely, she will steer you into a quiet little place with too many doormen and you will find yourself saddled with a modest meal and beer that will cost you ¥1,000 or worse. And the doormen won't let you leave till you pay up. This is somewhat rare. But it does happen.

Tea[编辑]

China is the birthplace of tea, and at the risk of stating the obvious, there's a lot of tea (茶 chá) in China. Green tea (绿茶 lǜchá) is served up for free in some restaurants (depending on region) or for a small fee. The most common types served are:

  • gunpowder tea (珠茶 zhūchá): a green tea so-named not after the taste but after the appearance of the bunched-up leaves used to brew it (the Chinese name "pearl tea" is rather more poetic)
  • jasmine tea (茉莉花茶 mòlihuachá): green-tea scented with jasmine flowers
  • oolong (烏龍 wūlóng): a half-fermented mountain tea.

However, specialist tea houses serve a vast variety of brews, ranging from the pale, delicate white tea (白茶 báichá) to the powerful fermented and aged pu'er tea (普洱茶 pǔ'ěrchá). Tea in Chinese culture is akin to wine in Western culture, and even the same type of tea will come in many different grades. Always check prices carefully before ordering as some of the best varieties can be very pricey indeed. Most tea shops have some teas at several hundred yuan per jing (500 g) and prices up to ¥2,000 are not uncommon. The record price for top grade tea sold at auction was well over ¥7000 a gram.

Various areas of China have famous teas. Hangzhou, near Shanghai, is famed for its "Dragon Well" (龙井 lóngjǐng) green tea. Fujian has the most famous oolong teas, "Big Red Robe" (大红袍 dàhóngpáo) from Mount Wuyi and "Iron Goddess of Mercy" (铁观音 tiěguānyīn) from Anxi. Pǔ'ěr in Yunnan has the most famous fully fermented tea, pǔ'ěrchá (普洱茶). This comes compressed into hard cakes, originally a packing method for transport by horse caravan to Burma and Tibet. The cakes are embossed with patterns; some people hang them up as wall decorations.

Most tea shops will be more than happy to let you sit down and try different varieties of tea. "Ten Fu Tea" is a national chain and in Beijing "Wu Yu Tai" is the one some locals say they favor.

Black tea, the type of tea most common in the West, is known in China as "red tea" (紅茶 hóngchá). While almost all Western teas are black teas, the converse isn't true, with many Chinese teas, including the famed Pǔ'ěr also falling into the "black tea" category.

Normal Chinese teas are always drunk neat, with the use of sugar or milk unknown. However, in some areas you will find Hong Kong style "milk tea" (奶茶 nǎichá) or Tibetan "butter tea". Taiwanese bubble tea (珍珠奶茶 Zhēnzhū Nǎichá) is also popular and widely available.

Coffee[编辑]

Coffee (咖啡 kāfēi) is becoming quite popular in urban China, though it is nearly impossible to find in smaller towns.

Several chains of coffee shops have branches in many cities, including Starbucks (星巴克), UBC Coffee (上岛咖啡), Ming Tien Coffee Language and SPR . All offer coffee, tea, and both Chinese and Western food, generally with good air conditioning, wireless internet, and nice decor. ¥15-40 or so a cup.

There are also lots of smaller independent coffee shops or local chains. These may also be high priced, but often they are around ¥15 a cup. Quality varies from excellent to abysmal.

For cheap coffee just to stave off withdrawal symptoms, there are several options. Go to a Western fast food chain (KFC, McD, etc.) for some ¥8 coffee. Additionally, almost any supermarket or convenience store will have both canned cold coffee and instant Nescafé (black or pre-mixed with whitener and sugar) - just add hot water.

Cold drinks[编辑]

Many drinks that are usually served chilled or with ice in the West are served at room temperature in China. Ask for beer or soda in a restaurant, and it may arrive at room temperature, though beer is more commonly served cold, at least in the summer. Water will generally be served hot. That is actually good, because only boiled (or bottled) water is safe to drink, but it's not pleasant to drink hot water in the summer.

You can get cold drinks from small grocery stores and restaurants, just look for the cooler (even though it might not actually be cool). You can try bringing a cold beverage into a restaurant. Most small restaurants won't mind--if they even notice--and there is no such thing as a "cork" charge in China. Remember that most people will be drinking tea, which is free anyway, so the restaurant is probably not expecting to profit on your beverage consumption.

Asking for ice is best avoided. Many, perhaps most, places just don't have it. The ice they do have may well be made from unfiltered tap water and arguably unsafe for travelers sweating bullets about diarrhea.

Sleep[编辑][新增項目]

Availability of accommodation for tourists is generally good and ranges from shared dorm rooms to five-star luxury hotels. In the past, Chinese laws restricted foreign tourists' ability to stay in the cheapest hotels, although this is slowly changing. However, this traditional prohibition, still widely practiced, is not always a bad thing. Some cheap establishments are still locally state-run affairs and haven't changed much since the Maoist era. Other ultra-cheap options are used as temporary housing by migrant workers and would not appeal to most travelers for security and cleanliness reasons. That said, there's a dizzying number of sleeping options in most Chinese towns, and despite language and legal barriers you should be able to find something in your budget and comfort range.

Finding a hotel when first arriving in a Chinese city can be a daunting task: a mob of passengers is pushing to disembark from the train or bus, touts are tugging at your arm and screaming in your face to go with them, everything is in incomprehensible Chinese and you are just looking for a place to put down your bag. It doesn't get any better once you get in a cab because the driver doesn't speak any English and every hotel in your guide book is full or closed! This can be the experience for many travelers in China, but the pains of finding a hotel room can be avoided if you know where to look and what you're looking for. In addition, star ratings especially for two and three-star hotels generally cannot be trusted in China. Pricing is a much better guide.

If you're willing to pay ¥200 or more for a room, then you'll probably have little problem finding a room. But if you want something cheaper yet still comfortable, you'll need more information than many guide books provide. The cheapest options include hostels, dorms, and extra rooms called zhusu. Every city has plenty of hotels charging ¥150 and up. Sleeper trains and sleeper buses can also be a decent option if you schedule your long-distance travel overnight (see the Get around section of this page for more information). If you're in a town and you can't find a hotel, try looking near the bus or train station, an area that typically has a larger selection of cheap hotels. Hotels that are not licensed to accept foreigners can be heavily fined if they are caught housing foreign occupants, but enforcement of this law appears spotty and many unlicensed hotels will find you a room anyway.

In the cheapest range of hotels it is important to ask if hot water is available 24 hours-a-day (有没有二十四个小时的热水 yǒuméiyǒu èrshisì ge xiǎoshí de rèshuǐ), and check if the shower, sink and toilet actually work. It is also advisable to avoid checking into a room next to a busy street as traffic may keep you up late and wake you up early. If you do plan on just showing up in town and looking for a place to sleep, it's best to arrive before 6PM-7PM. or the most popular places will be booked for the night.

Note that if you are absolutely at a loss for finding housing, you should seek out the local police (警察) or Public Security Bureau (公安局). They can help you find a place to crash - at least for one night.

Prices are often negotiable, and a sharp reduction from the price listed on the wall can often be had, even in nicer hotels, by simpy asking "what's the lowest price?" (最低多少 zuìdī duōshǎo). When staying for more than a few days it is also usually possible to negotiate a lower daily rate. However, these negotiating tactics won't work during the busy Chinese holiday seasons when prices sky-rocket and rooms are hard to get. Many hotels, both chains and individual establishments, have membership cards offering discounts to frequent guests.

In mid-range and above hotels, it is common for guests to receive phone calls offering "massage" services; this is actually a thinly-veiled front for prostitution.

Booking a room over the Internet with a credit card can be a convenient and speedy method of making sure you have a room when you arrive at your destination, and there are numerous websites that cater for this. Credit cards are not widely used in China, particularly in smaller and cheaper hotels. Such hotels usually ask to be paid in cash, with a security deposit, up front. Some new online services [43] allow you to book without a credit card and pay cash at the hotel. During Chinese holidays, when it is difficult to get a room anywhere, this may be an acceptable option, but in the off-season rooms are plentiful almost everywhere and it may be just as easy to find a room upon arrival as it is to book one over the Internet.

Low-cost Housing[编辑]

There are various ways to sleep very cheaply in China: hostels, dorms, zhusu, massage shops, saunas, and spas.

  • Hostels (青年旅社) are, by far, the most comfortable low-cost options. They typically cater to foreigners, have English speaking employees, and can provide cheap, convenient transport around town. Some of them are even cleaner and better furnished than more expensive places. Hostels also have a cozy, international atmosphere and are a good place to meet other travelers and get some half-decent Western food, which can be a godsend after days or weeks surviving off rice and noodles. In most cities of any size there is at least one hostel available, and in travel hot spots such as Beijing, Yangshuo, Dali, and Chengdu there are plenty of hostel options, although they can still fill up quickly because of their popularity with backpackers. Hostels can often be booked on-line in advance although you definitely should bring a print out of your confirmation as not all hostels are aware you can book their rooms (and pay a portion of the cost) on-line in advance. In Beijing, many hostels are located in Hutongs - traditional courtyard homes in the midst of a maze of traditional streets and architecture. While many of Beijing's Hutongs have been demolished a movement to save those which remain has led to a boom in youth hostels for backpackers and boutique hotels for the mid-range traveler.
  • Dorm rooms (宿舍) are located on university campuses, near rural tourist attractions and as part of some hotels. Most travelers have spotty luck with dorms. It is not unusual to have rowdy or intoxicated roommates, and shared bathrooms can take some getting used to, especially if you're not used to traditional squat toilets or taking cold showers. However in some areas, especially on top of some of China's holy mountains, dorm rooms might be the only budget option in a sea of luxury resorts.
  • Zhùsù (住宿), which simply translates as "accommodation", can refer to any kind of sleeping accommodation, but those places that have the Chinese characters for zhusu written on the wall outside are the cheapest. A zhusu is not an actual hotel, but simply rooms for rent located in homes, restaurants, and near train and bus stations. Zhusu rooms are universally spartan and bathrooms are almost always shared. The price can be quite low, costing only a few dozen renminbi. Officially a zhusu should not provide a room to a foreigner, but many times the caretaker is eager to get a client and will be willing to rent to anyone. There are never any English signs advertising a zhusu, so if you can't read Chinese you may have to print out the characters for your hunt. Security in zhusu's is sketchy, so this option is not recommended if you have valuables with you.
  • Massage shops, saunas, and spas: spa costs vary but can be as low as ¥25. Entering a spa very late at night (after 1AM) and leaving before noon may get you a 50% discount. When in the spa there are beds or reclining couches in addition to showers, saunas etc. Admission to a spa is typically for 24 hours, and a small locker is provided for bags and personal possessions. This is ideal if you are traveling light. Furthermore spas often provide complimentary food, and paid services such as massages and body scrubbing. There is no privacy because usually everyone sleeps in one room. However, there is more security than in a dorm, since there are attendants who watch over the area, and your belongings (even your clothes!) are stored away in the lockers. Don't be fooled when receptionists try to make up reasons why you have to pay more than the listed rate. They may try to convince you that the listed rates are only for members, locals, women, men, or include only one part of the spa (i.e. shower, but no bed/couch). To verify any claims, strike up a conversation with a local a good distance away from the spa and inquire about the prices. Don't let them know that you are checking the spa's claims. Just act as if you are thinking about going there if the price is good. If they know that the spa is trying to overcharge you, they will typically support the spa's claim.

Budget Hotels[编辑]

The next level of hotels, which cater to Chinese clients, are usually officially off-limits to foreigners but you may be able to convince them to accept you, especially if you can speak a smattering of Chinese. The cheapest range of Chinese budget hotels (one step above the zhusu) are called zhāodàisuǒ (招待所). Unlike zhusu these are licensed accommodations but are similarly spartan and utilitarian, often with shared bathrooms. Slightly more luxurious budget hotels and Chinese business hotels may or may not have English signs and usually have the words lǚguǎn (旅馆, meaning "travel hotel"), bīnguǎn or jiǔdiàn (宾馆 and 酒店, respectively, meaning "hotel") in their name. Room options typically include singles and doubles with attached bathrooms, and dorms with shared baths. Some budget hotels include complementary toiletries and Internet. In small, rural towns a night's stay might be as cheap as ¥25; in bigger cities you can usually get a room for ¥80-120. One problem with such hotels is that they can be quite noisy as patrons and staff may be yelling to each other across the halls into the wee hours of the morning. Another potential inconvenience is booking a room with a shared bath as many of these hotels have one bathroom for twenty or thirty rooms. You may have to wait a while to use the toilet and half an hour or more to take a shower. In smaller budget hotels the family running the place may simply lock up late at night when it appears no more customers are coming. If you plan on being late, try to explain this in advance or else you may have to call the front desk, bang on the door, or climb over the gate to get in.

Mid-range hotels[编辑]

These are usually larger hotels, clean and comfortable but not too expensive, with rooms ranging from ¥150 at the low end to over ¥300. Frequently the same hotels will also have more expensive and luxurious rooms. The doubles are usually quite nice and up to Western standards, with a clean private bathroom that has towels and free toiletries. A buffet breakfast may be included, or a breakfast ticket can be purchased for around ¥10.

Sprouting up around China are a number of Western-quality budget hotels that include the following chains, all of which have rooms in the ¥150-300 range and on-line advance booking in English:

  • JJ Inn (锦江之星) [44]
  • Rujia Home Inn (如家快捷酒店) [45]
  • Motel 168 (莫泰168) [46]

Splurge[编辑]

At the high end of the hotel food chain are international hotel chains and resorts, such as the Marriott, Hyatt and Shangri-La and their Chinese competitors. These charge hundreds or thousands of yuan per night for luxurious accommodations with 24-hour room service, satellite TV, spas, and western breakfast buffets. There are suites in Shanghai, for example, for over ¥10,000 a night. Many of these establishments cater to traveling business-types with expense accounts and charge accordingly for food and amenities (i.e. ¥20 for a bottle of water which costs ¥2 at a convenience store). Internet (wired or wireless) which is usually free in mid-range accommodations is often a pay service in high-end hotels. Some hotels in the ¥400-700 range such as Ramada or Days Inn are willing to lower their prices when business is slow. Chinese three and four-star hotels will often give block pricing or better deals if you negotiate or book a room for more than 5 days. If you are coming to China on a tour, the tour company may be able to get you a room in a true luxury hotel for a fraction of the listed price.

Learn[编辑]

Foreign students have different educational needs. China's universities offer many different types of courses and teaching methods to cater to these needs as well as to the different educational levels of the students that come from abroad. Peking University (北京大学) and Tsinghua University (清华大学), both based in Beijing, are China's most prestigious universities, and are regularly ranked among the top universities in the world.

Language trainees Universities accept students who have achieved the minimum of a high school education for courses in the Chinese language. These courses usually last 1 or 2 years. Students are given certificates after they complete their course. Students who do not speak Chinese and want to study further in China are usually required to complete a language training course.

Private language schools also offer more flexible language training courses to get prepared to study, live or work in China. Mandarin House (美和汉语), [2]. was established in 2004 and is a well known Chinese school offering intensive group courses or tailor-made private tutoring lessons. Students can start every month and choose for how long they want to learn.  編輯

Undergraduates Undergraduate degrees usually require 4-5 years of study. International students have classes together with native Chinese students. In accordance with each student's past education, some classes of a degree course can be cancelled and some have to be added. Students receive a Bachelor's degree after passing the necessary exams and completing a thesis.

Postgraduates Master's degrees are granted after 2-3 years of study. Oral examinations are also taken as well as written exams and a postgraduate thesis.

Doctoral students Usually 4-5 years of study are needed to obtain a PhD.

Research scholars Research is usually conducted independently by the student under the supervision of an assigned tutor. Any surveys, experiments, interviews, or visits that a research scholar has to make need to be arranged beforehand and authorised.

Short-term training courses Short-term courses are now offered in many areas such as Chinese literature, calligraphy, economics, architecture, Chinese law, traditional Chinese medicine, art, and sports. Courses are offered in the holidays as well as during term time.

Foreign students are encouraged to continue their studies and obtain Master's or doctoral degrees in China's universities, and those who have graduated in China are welcome to return for further education. Some universities offer courses taught in foreign languages, but most courses are in Chinese, and you need to demonstrate a sufficient proficiency in Chinese before you can enroll. You do this by passing the HSK test (汉语水平考试 hànyǔ shuǐpíng kǎoshì), the official way to certify your skills on a Basic, Intermediate or Advanced level. The test involves reading, writing and listening, but no speaking. See the HSK homepage [47] for dates and locations.

Scholarships[编辑]

In order to promote its culture and language, the Chinese government offers scholarships to foreigners who want to study in China. Partial scholarships will cover the tuition fees of the study of your choice. Full scholarships cover pretty much everything, including books, rent, some medical coverage, and a monthly allowance for food and expenses. Although studying pins you down to a specific city and limits the time you can spend travelling, a scholarship is a great way to help you cut through some red tape, get a Residence Permit, and, if you're lucky, live in China practically for free.

To inquire about scholarships, you can directly contact the embassy in your area, or ask around at universities and language schools that have China-related courses. Scholarships are pre-distributed by quota to every country, so if too many people want one, you will be competing against your fellow citizens, not against the entire world. The procedure varies from country to country, but normally requires the following paperwork :

  • authorized copies of your highest (preferably university) degree, including the exam scores;
  • two letters of recommendation
  • proof of a full health check-up (blood-test, ECG, X-Ray, ...)
  • a motivation
  • plenty of passport-sized photos

All of this is shipped by the embassy to Beijing, which then decides who is accepted, where, and under what modalities. Application usually rounds up by the end of march, and the answer may not come until as late as august, with classes starting in September.

If all goes well, this will net you a letter of acceptance by the university of your choice, plus a visa that lets you stay in China for about two months. Once in China, you will have to do the medical tests all over again, and upgrade the visa to a residence permit. This however is where being part of a university comes in handy, as they should be able to handle all of the paperwork, going so far as to bring a medical team on campus to check you up — much preferable over you running from police station to hospital to consulate, especially if you don't speak Chinese!

When all is said and done, you will have a residence permit that lets you stay one year in China, lets you leave and enter the country as you want, and a fair ability to travel during weekends, holidays, and the occasional class-skipping stint.

For more information, visit the China Scholarship Council [48] and China Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges [49] websites.

Work[编辑]

Teaching a language, most commonly English, is a very popular source of employment for foreigners. There are English-teaching jobs all over China. The market for teachers of other languages is more limited. However most universities require all English majors to study another foreign language as well, and there are specialised universities for foreign languages in major cities such as Beijing [50], Guangzhou [51], Xi'an [52], Dalian and Shanghai [53] which teach most major world languages. Guangzhou is establishing itself a reputation as a hub for so-called rare languages.

Requirements and qualifications range from just having a pulse and speaking a bit of English up to needing an MA and experience. Typically the good jobs want at least one, preferably two or three, of:

  • a 4-year degree
  • a teaching certificate for primary school or high school from your own country
  • a recognised TEFL certificate, e.g. Cambridge CELTA [54]
  • teaching experience

If you want to go and do not already have good qualifications, get a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. It really helps.

There are a fairly strong preferences for native English speakers and for citizens of major English-speaking countries. Job ads routinely include a list of acceptable passports; UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are on every list, Ireland and South Africa on most. Some schools will not even read the rest of your resume if you do not have one of those passports. Various prejudices may also come into play; overseas Chinese (even with perfect English), Filipinos, Indians, Malaysians, American Blacks, and especially Africans all report some difficulties finding jobs, or getting lower offers. Members of all those groups are happily employed in other schools, and many are well-paid, but getting a job is easier for people who fit a stereotype — Caucasians especially Americans or British. Some schools want blue-eyed blondes, because they hope that will help their marketing. Accent can also be an issue; Chinese people generally hope to acquire American accents, so a really thick Scots or Aussie accent will bother some employers, for example.

Pay and conditions vary greatly depending on location, experience and qualifications. Free accommodation, provided by the institution, is common. Generally this means an apartment of your own, though some tightfisted schools want teachers to share. Most jobs pay for all or part of an annual trip home. Teachers nearly always make enough to live well in China, though some have a problem in summer because many university or high school jobs pay for only the 10 months of the academic year. It is often possible to teach private lessons on the side - in fact your students or their parents may ask about this incessantly. Foreign teachers generally earn two or three times their Chinese colleagues' salaries but the differences are gradually narrowing. A public college or university will often pay less than a private school, but will also require fewer teaching hours.

Make certain you understand your employer's policies on outside work as some are quite restrictive. The standard government-provided contract[55], which most schools use (perhaps amended a bit), prohibits it enitirely unless you get permission from the employer.

If you plan to work as a teacher in China, research very carefully. You might get your dream job or a nightmare. Take great care in your selection of employer; broken contracts and general unscrupulousness and dishonesty are common. As a rule, government schools give the best all-around deals and if there is any dispute, you can appeal to the Foreign Experts Office of the provincial education ministry. If you can document your case and it is a valid one, they will take action. And it tends to be fast. Before filing an appeal, try to resolve the issue through direct discussion. If that fails, ask someone to function as a go-between -- a Chinese if possible, but otherwise another expatriate will do. Only appeal as a last resort: as in other aspects of life everywhere, the threat of action is often more effective than action itself.

See also Teaching English.

Work visas[编辑]

To work as a teacher in China you need either a Foreign Teacher's Certificate (FTC) or a Foreign Expert's Certificate (FEC). Both are issued by the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) [56]. In theory, the FTC is for elementary or high school teachers and the FEC is for tertiary education. In practice, everyone seems to get the FEC. In theory, both require a degree; this is usually, but not always, enforced. Whether it is depends at least on where you are, how well-connected your school is, and how much trouble they are willing to go to. If you lack a degree, it helps if you have other certifications or diplomas.

Once you have the FEC, getting a Residence Permit is routine. The Residence Permit is generally good for a year and it acts as a multiple entry visa; you can leave China and return with no problem.

There can be difficulties. Universities and other public institutions can easily get Foreign Expert Certificates for staff, but not all private schools can. Before they can even apply for certificates, they must be authorized to employ foreigners by SAFEA. Getting the authorization takes many months and a significant amount of money. They also have to comply with SAFEA standards such as providing housing, health insurance and annual air fare home for all staff. Large established schools have the permission, but many of the smaller ones don't want the expense, so all their teachers are illegal. Some lie to teachers about this.

People over 60 often have trouble getting visas because of their age, and some job ads specify an age range. There are conflicting reports on whether this is SAFEA policy, SAFEA advice to provincial departments that make their own policies, or a question of health insurance. There are some exceptions, including a few people in their seventies still working legally.

The Foreign Expert's Certificate may get you a teacher's discount on some products and services including domestic flights.

Much the safest way to come to a job in China is to enter the country on a Z visa. There can be some confusion with the terms; a few years ago, the Z was a one-year working visa but now the Residence Permit is the long-term visa and the Z is just an entry visa good for 30 days, long enough to get the FEC and Residence Permit. The Z visa can only be obtained outside of China, and it requires a letter from the employers to accompany your passport when you apply. Generally the school will request a signed contract, a health certificate from a health professional, a copy of your passport details, and a copy of your diploma. If you are over 60 and they are asking for their provincial office to accept you, they may also require that you have your own health insurance.

It used to be common for people already in China to go to Hong Kong or Macau for the Z visa. Around the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the rules tightened up considerably; they have relaxed some since, but not entirely. This is also true for getting Chinese visas in other nearby countries such as Vietnam, Korea, Japan or Singapore. Some people have been told they must return to their home countries to obtain a Z visa. Others have been able to get a Z in Hong Kong, provided the invitation paperwork clearly stipulates it.

Some employers ask teachers to come in with a tourist visa, and say they can get a residence permit from that. The official regulations require the Z but moving from a tourist visa to Residence Permit is sometimes possible, depending on policies at the local PSB (Public Securty Bureau, the cops) office and the employer's contacts there. On the other hand, working on a tourist visa is illegal and some of the employers who want you to come on one are stringing you along; they do not have SAFEA permission to hire foreigners legally and are trying to wriggle around that. Do not even consider taking a post anywhere that wants you to come on a tourist visa unless you have talked to current foreign teachers already there and been assured that they came that way and had no problem getting FEC and Residence Permit..

If you complete your health certificate in your home country, be sure to get copies of the x-ray, lab reports and other machine documents. Also have the form stamped with the official seal of the hospital. Even though you do all of this you may,and most likely will, be required to take another physical in China. Request before coming to China that if the physical is required inside of China after you arrive, that the school pay for the service. The physical is usually very quick: EKG, chest x-ray, sonogram of heart and stomach area, blood test, and urine check. However, the time of completion and various tests may change depending on the province.

An appearance at the local PSB is required to get your residency permit. Again, negotiate with the school for them to pay for the permit prior to your leaving for China. Children and spouse going with you may require an even higher amount for their residency permit.

Schools range from completely reliable to crooks who leave foreigners stranded without a legitimate work visa after they arrive. It is illegal to work with a tourist visa, but some schools want teachers to do that, and some even want you to foot the bill for "visa runs" to Hong Kong to renew it, although with restrictions on renewals this has become more difficult. Be sure to speak with current or former teachers from the school before you sign up. If the school won't put you in touch with them, or if current teachers don't have Foreign Experts Certificates, don't go near the place.

Stay safe[编辑]

Crime[编辑]

China is a huge country that shows a big regional difference over crime rates.

Most of major cities in China are extremely safe. Violent crime remains rare and it is generally safe for even women at night. But due to the quite unbalanced developing between big and small cities, sometimes larger cities mean less crime. Some small cities and towns in China have very serious crime issues, many of them are nearly lawless.

The Triads, Snakeheads and other groups -the Chinese versions of the mafia- are largely centered in Guangdong and Fujian as well as the Chinese-governed states of Hong Kong and Taiwan. They have been a popular subject in Chinese as well as Western movies. Don't bother them and you'll be completely fine.

Some petty crimes such as bicycle theft and pickpocket are known. For bicycle riders, follow what local people do. If you see bikes are parked anywhere, just tie yours to a pole. In a place where everyone takes their bikes inside restaurants or internet cafes, it's a warning sign. Bike parking is common outside supermarkets or shopping centers, and usually charges RMB1 to 2 per day (usually until 8-10pm). If you have an electric bicycle or scooter, pay extra caution as the battery-packs may be targeted.

On long journey buses especially departing from Shenzhen, passengers are required to take a mug shot before boarding. You are not expected to discuss privacy issues raised. Since this measure was introduced, reports of muggings on bus have dropped drastically.

Scams[编辑]

See also: Common scams, Pickpockets

Beijing and Shanghai have been plagued by the notorious "teahouse scam", which has become the most common safety issue to foreign travelers in China.

Around Tiananmen Square and Wangfujing in Beijing and the Bund, People's Square, and Nanjing Road in Shanghai, scam artists may start a conversation in English. They sometimes help you bargain and show you around. Everything is fine until they invite you to go to a teahouse, cafe or pub. Every item you consume there, including a cup of tea, a piece of biscuit and a slice of fruit, may be priced at a skyrocketing rate. When the bill is checked, some scam artists may ask to split a bill of, let say, Y1000 and convince the victim to pay at least half of it. A variant of scam may happen when you are invited by an "art students" to shabby art shops and pressured to buy overpriced reproductions.

Having said that, while it is important to avoid being scammed, it is very common for curious English-speaking Chinese to genuinely start a conversation with you, show you around, invite you for a drink and a meal. If you are paranoid about all invitations and interactions with the Chinese, it will ruin your travel experience.

To protect yourself, when a stranger on the street invites you for tea or a drink, you should choose your own place. If they are weirdly persistent at going to their "place" and make endless excuses to turn down your suggestions, use your common sense to tell if it's a scam.

In a case where you are asked to pay more than Y500, which is unusual in a teahouse, you should always call 110 and report the scam. If failed, you should at least ask for a "fapiao" (发票), an official sales invoice issued by the taxation department. It is against the law for an owner to refuse to give it to you and you should take it as an evidence for a late reporting.

If you have already been a victim, go back to the shop with more tourists, ask for a refund and threaten to call the police. If you pay by a credit card, negotiate with your bank to refund.

However, high prices do not necessarily indicate a scam. In a teahouse, ¥50-200 per cup or pot of tea is common. Tea samplings may also be expensive. In a bar, price range is even bigger, in which ¥10-80 per bottle of beer is a norm and having a new bottle of wine can cost from a few hundred to many thousands. However, in all genuine places, prices should be stated clearly on a menu.

Finally, although it is perfectly possible to pay more than RMB1000 in a high-end teahouse and bar, run-of-the-mill teas and bars should not be nearly this expensive. Such delicate tea would only be offered to tea gourmets, not a casual tea taster. Furthermore, it is considered socially offensive to take a new friend to spend so much money and expect them to pay the bill. If this happens, it is most likely a scam.

Traffic[编辑]

While it's true that China claims more lives in car accidents than any country in the world due to its huge population, its mortality rate per head remains lower than that of many Western countries. That said, in general, the driving in China can range from nerve-rattling to outright reckless.

Traffic rules are practiced half-halfheartedly and rarely if ever enforced. Zebra crossings are for display, cars are allowed to turn right on a red light and rarely stop for pedestrians. Biker tend to do as they like. Don't be fooled by following any signs and pedestrian paths; it is very common to see a motorcycle driving in a pedestrian lane. On occasion even cars will take to bike lanes and motor bikes to the sidewalk. Equally, pedestrians often walk in the roadways, especially at night, as they are better lit. Look in all directions when crossing! Expect or assume that anything will come at or behind you from any direction at any time.

See also driving in China.

Begging[编辑]

Chinese people traditionally hold strong negative views against begging, so unsurprisingly, begging is not a major issue in most places. It's however never off the scene in a big city and particularly common just outside the main tourist attractions and in major transportation hubs.

Be aware of child beggars who could be victims of child trafficking. While it is becoming less common, you should avoid giving them any money. There have been several reports in local media about begging con artists who abduct children and pretend to be their mother to beg for money.

In China, local people usually only give money to those who have obviously lost the ability to earn money. Professional beggars have very clear deformities. If you feel like giving them some, bear in mind that many Chinese make only ¥30-70 a day doing hard labor jobs.

See begging for more detailed discussion.

Pollution[编辑]

Pollution is a serious problem in the world's factory. Beijing, by some accounts, is the most polluted city in the world. 16 out of the worst polluted cities in the world are in China. Talking about air pollution has become a part of life for both locals and expatriates. Even the countryside, depending on the province in question, is not immune.

Places at higher altitudes or plains like parts of Yunnan and Sichuan, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Tibet and outlying islands such as Hainan usually have good air quality. Visitors should be prepared to see smog, which can be quite heavy, in nearly all large cities, including those on the coast.

You will also hear a lot of noise. Construction and renovation are full-time activities. Chinese and long-time residents' ears are trained to filter and tolerate it.

Illicit Drugs[编辑]

Possession or trafficking of illicit drugs is a very serious offence in China, and possession of certain drugs may lead to capital punishment. Be particularly wary in the provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi, as these provinces border Southeast Asia, which is a major drug producing region. Random searches of cars may occur in the countryside and if caught with drugs, do not expect any more lenient treatment from the police than a local would receive.

Banned items[编辑]

The Chinese government is known to try to control the media. Books, magazines and CDs can be confiscated if the content is considered inappropriate, although customs usually doesn't bother to take English books away if there are no explicit photos depicting politics of China. In general, use common sense.

  • So-called Anti-Chinese materials will generally be confiscated: These include the Tibetan Lion-Mountain flag, and Falun Gong or Tiananmen Square incident materials.
  • Books: Any books with photos of the Dalai Lama or Tiananmen Square incidents will be subject to confiscation. Expect to be questioned if you bring a book with Chairman Mao's portrait on it. George Orwell's novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four have been seized at Chinese airports despite the fact that the very same books are legally published and sold in both English and Chinese within China. Some of the more sensitive books are "muck-raking" publications regarding the current government, or specific high-level leaders, usually published in Hong Kong or Taiwan. The aforementioned books will be only available in China through illegal street vendors, which are plentiful in major cities.
  • Pornography: A heavy penalty is imposed on all pornography and penalties are counted based on the number of pieces you bring into the country. If customs considers what you bring to be too much, lets say, more than 100 videos on your laptop, they will likely detain you.

Stay healthy[编辑]

Personal hygiene[编辑]

Outside major cities, public washrooms vary from mildly unpleasant to utterly repulsive. In cities, it varies from place to place. High quality bathrooms can be found inside major tourist attractions (e.g., the Forbidden City), at international hotels, office buildings, and upper-class department stores. Washrooms in McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, or any of the coffee chains listed in the drink section are usually more or less clean. While those in common restaurants and hotels are barely acceptable, those in hotel rooms are generally very clean. Some public facilities are free, others cost from a few mao up to one or two kuai (¥1-2). Separate facilities are always provided for men (男 nán) and women (女 nǚ), but sometimes there are no doors on the front of the stalls.

The sit-down toilet familiar to Westerners is rare in China in public areas. Hotels will generally have them in rooms, but in places where Westerners are scarce, expect to find squat toilets more often than not. Many private homes in urban areas now have sit down toilets, and one major benefit from having a local host is that they have clean bathrooms. As a rule of thumb, a western establishment such as McDonald's will have a western toilet.

Carry your own tissue paper (卫生纸 wèishēngzhǐ, or 面纸 miànzhǐ) as it is rarely provided. You can sometimes buy it from the money-taker at a public toilet; you can also buy it in bars, restaurants and Internet cafes for ¥2. Put used paper in the bucket next to the toilet; do not flush it away as it may block the often poor plumbing systems.

The Chinese tend to distrust the cleanliness of bathtubs. In hotels with fixed bathtubs, disposable plastic bathtub liners may be provided.

Wash your hands often with soap, or better carry some disposable disinfectant tissues (found in almost any department or cosmetics store), especially after having used public computers; the main cause for getting a cold or flu is through touching your face, especially the nose, with infected hands.

Food & drink[编辑]

There are no widely enforced health regulations in restaurants. Restaurants generally prepare hot food when you order. Even in the smallest of restaurants, hot dishes are usually freshly prepared, instead of reheated, and rarely cause health problems. Most of the major cities have chain fast food places, and the hygiene in them tends to be good. Use common sense when buying food from street vendors. This is especially true for meat or seafood products; they can be very unsafe, particularly during warm weather, as many vendors don't have refrigeration.

A rule of thumb regarding street food is to make certain it is cooked thoroughly while you are watching; also, visit stalls frequented by locals, and look for plastic-wrapped disposable chopsticks. Minor stomach discomfort may still be experienced from street food and restaurant food alike, but is said to pass as one becomes accustomed to the local food. Ginger is effective against nausea, though it does not kill bacteria.

Even in the cities, Chinese people do not drink water straight from the tap, and you should not either. All hotels (even boats!) provide either a thermos flask of boiled water in your room (refillable by your floor attendant) or - more commonly - a kettle you can use to do it yourself. Generally, tap water is safe to drink after boiling. Purified drinking water in bottles is available everywhere, and is generally quite cheap. ¥1 is normal for a small bottle, but it will be more in some places. Check that the seal on the cap is not broken. Beer, wine and soft drinks are also cheap and safe.

Health care[编辑]

Drugs are generally available from a pharmacist without prescriptions. You can usually ask to see the instructions that came with the box. Western medicine is called xīyào (西药).

Common symptoms

  • Caught a cold: 感冒 gǎnmào
  • Fever: 发烧 fāshāo
  • Headache: 头痛 tóutòng
  • Stomach ache: 肚子痛 dùzǐtòng
  • Sore throat: 喉咙痛 hóulóngtòng
  • Cough: 咳嗽 késòu
  • Diarrhoea: 拉肚子 lādùzǐ

See Chinese phrasebook for more.

Most Chinese doctors and nurses speak no English, even in larger cities. However, medical staff are in plentiful supply and hospital wait times are generally short - usually less than 10 minutes at general clinics (门诊室 ménzhěnshì), and virtually no wait time at emergency rooms (急诊室 jízhěnshì).

Ensure that needles used for injections or any other procedure that requires breaking the skin are new and unused - insist on seeing the packet being broken open. In some parts of China it is acceptable to re-use needles, albeit after sterilization.

For acupuncture, although the disposable needles are quite common in mainland China, you can provide your own needles if you prefer. The disposable type, called Wujun zhenjiu zhen (无菌針灸針, Sterilized acupuncture needles), usually cost ¥10-20 per 100 needles and are available in many pharmacy. Note that there should be minimal to no bleeding when the needle is inserted and removed if the acupuncturist is sufficiently skilled.

While Traditional Chinese Medicine is widespread in China, regulation tends to be lax and it is not unheard of for Chinese physicians to prescribe herbs which are actually detrimental to one's health. Do some research and ensure you have some trusted local friends to help you out if you wish to see a Chinese physician. Alternatively, head to Hong Kong or Taiwan instead, as the practice is better regulated there.

If making more than a short trip to China, it may be a good idea to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Typhoid as they can be spread via contaminated food.

Parts of southern China have mosquitoes which transmit malaria, dengue fever, etc.

China has only officially recognised the threat of an AIDS/HIV epidemic since 2001. According to the United Nations "China is currently experiencing one of the most rapidly expanding HIV epidemics in the world. Since 1998, the number of reported cases has increased by about 30% yearly. By 2010, China could have as many as 10 million infections and 260,000 orphans if without intervention"; Chinese President Hu Jintao has recently pledged to fight the spread of AIDS/HIV within China. Sex workers, clients of sex workers and injecting drug users are the most infected groups.

New diseases are sometimes a threat in China, particularly in its more densely populated parts. In 2003 China experienced a serious SARS outbreak; this is no longer considered a major threat. More recently, there have been cases of bird flu; avoid undercooked poultry or eggs. Partly as a result of the SARS experience, China's government has taken the global threat of Swine Flu very seriously. If you are running a fever or otherwise obviously ill, as of Summer 2009, it is possible you will face several days in quarantine upon entry into China. If you speak the local tongue or Standard Mandarin, DO NOT mention you are a foreigner.

Respect[编辑]

A few basic guidelines and tips can help you avoid faux pas in China.

  • Tipping: is not necessary or advised. No tip is needed for taxi drivers and most restaurants. Leaving a few coins in most restaurants, you will likely be chased by staff to give you back the money you 'forgot' to take. In some cases, a fee regarded as tipping in America is actually a fixed fee, such as a fee for a doorman allowing you into a building at a late hour.
  • Business Cards: When presenting or receiving a business card or handing over an important paper, always use both hands, and never put it in pant pockets.
  • Visitation: A small gift taken to a host's home is always welcome. Wine, fruit, or some trinket from your native country are common. If the hosts are wearing slippers at home, and especially if there is carpet on the floor, remove your road shoes and ask for a pair of slippers before you enter your host's home, even if the host asks you not to.
  • Hosting meals: Hosts tend to order more food than you can eat because it is considered shameful if they can't stuff their guests. If you attempt to finish all food, it means that you're still hungry and may prompt your hosts to order more food (i.e. never totally clean your plate).
  • Dining: Table manner varies from different places among different people in different scenarios. Sometimes you can see Chinese spit on a restaurant floor, pick their tooth in front of you and yell whilst dining but it is not always welcome. Follow what other people do. It very much depends on what kind of party you are involved in.
  • Drinking: When offered a drink, you are expected to take it or your friends will keep pushing you. Excuses like "I'm allergic to alcohol" is usually better than "I don't feel like drinking". Sometimes you can pretend that you are drunk. Don't panic as usually foreigners are tolerated much on these customs.
  • Tobacco: If you smoke, it is always considered polite to offer a cigarette to those you meet, as long as they are of adult age. This rule applies almost exclusively to men, but under certain circumstances, such as a club, it is okay to apply the rule toward women. If someone offers you a cigarette and you don't smoke, you can turn it down by politely and gently waving your hand.
  • Staring: As a traveler, you may find that your language, color of hair and skin, behavior, and manner of dress will draw long and sustained stares, especially outside the major cities.
  • Saving Face: The Chinese tend to be very concerned about "saving face". Pointing out mistakes directly may cause embarrassment. If you have to, call the person to one side and tell him/her in private, and try to do it in a polished manner.
  • Pointing: Never point to statues of Buddhas or other deities with your index finger, as it is considered to be very rude. Instead, point at them with your thumb.
  • Religion: Swastikas have been widely used in Buddhist temples since the 5th century to represent Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. Simillar to India, it does not represent Nazism. It is also worth noting that the local Jews have historically lived peacefully with their non-Jewish neighbours, and save for the Cultural Revolution, during which people of all religions and not just the Jews were persecuted, China does not have a history of significant anti-Semitism unlike the Inquisition in Europe.

Gay and lesbian travelers[编辑]

Homosexuality was de-criminalised in 1997 and taken off the state list of mental disorders in 2001. Chinese people tend to have mixed opinions when it comes to sexuality. Though there are no laws against homosexuality in China, films, websites, and television shows involving themes of homosexuality tend to be censored or banned.

Whilst there is no obvious gay scene or community in China, most Chinese cities have at least 1 gay bar, although it’ll be well hidden. Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are more in the open, with a range of gay bars and clubs, albeit nowhere near as brash and outspoken as their counterparts in other international cities. Most Chinese are reluctant to discuss their sexuality in public, as it is generally considered to be a personal matter. In addition, homosexual marriages and unions are not recognised anywhere in the country. Nevertheless, while openly displaying your sexual orientation in public is still likely to draw stares and whispers, gay and lesbian visitors should generally not run into any major problems, and unprovoked violence against homosexual couples is almost unheard of.


Cope[编辑]

Electricity is 220 volts/50 hz. Two-pin European and North American, as well as three-pin Australian style plugs are generally supported. However, be careful to read the voltage information on your devices to ensure they accept 220V (twice the 110V used in many countries) before plugging them in — you may cause burnout and permanent damage to some devices such as hairdryers and razors. Universal extension cords that can handle a wide variety of plug shapes (including British) are widely used.

Names of long streets are often given with a middle word indicating the part of the street. For example, White Horse Street or Baima Lu (白马路) may be split up into Baima Beilu (白马北路) for the northern (北 běi) end, Baima Nanlu (白马南路) for the southern (南 nán) end and Baima Zhonglu (白马中路) for the central (中 zhōng) part. For another street, dōng (东 "east") and (西 "west") might be used.

In some cities, however, these names do not indicate parts of one street. In Xiamen, Hubin Bei Lu and Hubin Nan Lu (Lakeside Road North and Lakeside Road South) are parallel, running East-West on the North and South sides of the lake. In Nanjing, Zhongshan Lu, Zhongshan Bei Lu and Zhongshan Dong Lu are three separate major roads.

Laundry services may be expensive or hard to locate. In upper end hotels it will cost ¥10-30 to wash each article of clothing. Cheap hotels in some areas do not have laundry services, though in other areas such as along the Yunnan tourist trail the service is common and often free. In most areas, with the exception of the downtown areas in big cities, you can find small shops that do laundry. The sign to look for on the front door is 洗衣 (xǐyī), or spot the clothes hanging from the ceiling. The cost is roughly ¥2-5/item. In even the smallest of cities dry cleaning (干洗 gānxǐ)outlets are widely distributed and may be able to wash clothes. But in some areas you're going to be stuck washing clothes by hand, which is time consuming and tiresome. It may take days for a pair of jeans to dry, which is especially difficult if you're in a dorm room with no hangers, so fast drying fabrics, such as polyester or silk, are a good idea. If you do find a hotel that does laundry, usually they will put all your clothes into the wash together or even with other items from the hotel, so lighter colours are best washed by hand.

Smoking is banned in public buildings and public transport except for restaurants and bars (including KTVs) - many of which are outright smoke dens, although many multinational restaurant chains do ban smoking. These bans are enforced across the country. Generally, smoking laws are most strict in Shanghai and Beijing, whilst they are more lightly enforced elsewhere. Many places (particularly train stations, hospitals, office buildings and airports) will have smoking rooms, and some long-distance trains may have smoking areas at the end of each car. Facilities for non-smokers are often poor; most restaurants, bars and hotels will not have non-smoking areas apart from top-end establishments although many modern buildings have a smoke extraction systems which suck cigarette smoke out of the room through a ceiling vent - meaning that the smoke doesn't hang in the air. The Chinese phrase for 'May I smoke?' is 'kěyǐ chōuyān ma?' and 'No Smoking!' is 'bù kěyǐ chōuyān!'.

Contact[编辑]

Internet[编辑]

Access[编辑]

China has more Internet users than any other country in the world. Internet cafes (网吧 wǎngbā) are abundant throughout China. Many of them are designed mainly for gaming though and are not useful places to do business. It is cheap (¥1-6 an hour) to use a computer, albeit one with Chinese software. Internet cafes are supposed to require users to show identification (passport), but enforcement varies by region. Traffic may be monitored.

It may be difficult to find an Internet-cafe with any service beyond simple access. If you need to use a printer or burn a CD, expect to search for the service, paying a fairly high price when and if you find it. The exception is tourist areas such as Yangshuo where these services are fairly readily available, though still at a price. In general: printing, photocopy, fax and other business services can be provided by small shops in every town. Look for the characters 复印 (fùyìn) meaning "photocopy" and you will likely be able to get the service you need. Printing costs about ¥2 per page and photocopies are ¥0.5 per page. These shops may or may not have Internet access so bring your materials on a flash drive.

If you are in a University area many students do not have printers and there are usually several printing/photocopy shops scattered around the surrounding areas or even within the university. For example at Chongqing Jioatong Daxue (Chongqing Transportation University) in Nan'an, Chongqing, there are at least 11 printshops in various locations around the campus of 21,000 students. Charges range from ¥0.3 per photocopy and ¥0.5 per standard quality printed black and white page to ¥3 for a high quality colour copy. Most also provide CD burning services and scan documents.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.

Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service — for example, Costa Coffee, Italy cafe, Feeling4Seasons Cafe in Chengdu, Padan cafe in Shanghai, etc. Some cafes, especially in tourist areas such as Yangshuo, even provide a machine for customer use. International chain McDonalds does NOT provide free wifi in China, Starbucks does.

A word of caution: as elsewhere, public computers and the Internet are not secure. Assume that anything you type is not private. Do not send extremely sensitive data such as banking passwords from an Internet cafe. It may be better to purchase a mobile data card for use with your own computer instead (these generally cost ¥400 and data plans run ¥10-¥200 per month depending on your usage). Wi-Fi is the least secure of all.

If you are connecting to the Internet with your own computer, be aware that some places (especially college campuses) require you to use Microsoft Internet Explorer and to install dedicated software on your system and/or accept certificates to use their services. For Macintosh or Linux users, look into using a browser that can pass itself off as Microsoft Internet Explorer, such as Opera.

E-mail access through an Internet based service is very helpful to have. Free examples include Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, etc. But, keep in mind that almost all of these have co-operated with, and given personal information to, the authorities. As elsewhere, if your email provides evidence of a crime, do not be surprised if you get caught.

Internet Censorship[编辑]

Internet censorship is widely practiced in China, but does not apply to Hong Kong and Macau. In mainland China, pornographic and political sites are routinely blocked, and many other sites with a broad range of content are also subject to censorship of varying degrees.

As of May 2010, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Angelfire, LiveJournal, Xanga, Blogspot, and Picasaweb are all banned. Wordpress and DropBox are still functional.

Google, Wikitravel, Wikipedia, and Flickr are available, although webpages that contain sensitive keywords will almost certainly trigger the censorship system, called the Golden Shield (金盾) (or euphemistically, the Great Firewall or GFW ) and result in the message "your connection has been reset". The same sometimes goes for international news sites such as BBC, CNN, Reuters and The Economist. However as of March 2011 all of these sites are freely accessible.

Censorship is often tightened during certain sensitive periods, such as the annual meeting of China's parliament in March, the CCP congress every fourth October, and anniversaries such as the National Day in October and the Tiananmen massacre in June.

The simplest way to access blocked sites is to use a proxy server but even then, most sensitive political issues will be blocked as the contents are not encrypted. Other ways to bypass censorship include downloadable software such as Freegate, Tor [57] and Psiphon [58]. These introduce certain levels of encryption, and therefore so-called sensitive content can be seen. These should be downloaded before entering China as access to their official websites are blocked. A serious internet user may wish to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) which usually provides users with more stable and reliable access to banned websites for a fee starting from a few dollars per month.

It is a legal offence to upload and submit any materials seen as subversive. However, regular internet users, especially English-speakers without political backgrounds, are usually free to write and send anything without a problem.

Certain companies like Yahoo have a track record of helping the government crackdown on political dissidents. In 2005, Shi Tao, a journalist in China, was imprisoned for ten years for releasing a document of the Communist Party to an overseas Chinese democracy site after Yahoo! China provided his personal Yahoo emails to the Chinese government.

Getting news[编辑]

Please fix it!

China Daily, the nationally distributed English newspaper, sometimes publishes constructive criticism of China from frustrated tourists. If you think something about China for travelers needs to be fixed, you should send a letter to [email protected] and it could possibly be published.

China has some local English language news media. CCTV 9 is an English channel available 24/7 in most cities; CCTV 4 has a short newcast in English every day.

China Daily is an English language newspaper available in hotels, supermarkets, and Beijing newstands.

There are also a few English magazines such as China Today and 21st Century.

There is no longer any problem getting most foreign news in China.

  • Hotmail, Yahoo, GMail and other web-based email providers are readily accessible from any PC though GMail will be intermittently blocked. Their news pages are almost all available too. Since April 2008, YouTube is unavailable. If there is some item you cannot access, ask a friend to email it to you directly.
  • The better hotels often have satellite TV in the rooms.
  • More and more business hotels have Internet links for your laptop in each room: 7 Day Inn and Home Inn are two nationwide chains of impeccable cleanliness with such links and cost ¥150-200 per night. Other locally-owned hotels offer the same standard for ¥60/night.
  • Top hotels also sell major newspapers from around the world and business-oriented publications like The Economist, albeit at very high prices. Some provide international newspapers free for reading in their coffee shops.

Mail[编辑]

The Chinese Post Office is generally reliable and sometimes quick. There are a few things you need to adapt to:

  • Incoming mail will be both faster and more reliable if the address is in Chinese. If not, the Post Office has people who will translate but that takes time and is not 100% accurate.
  • It will be very helpful to provide the receiver's phone number with packages or expedite mails. The customs and delivery postmen usually need it.
  • Do not seal outgoing packages before taking them to the Post Office; they will not send them without inspecting the contents. Generally it is best to buy the packing materials at the Post Office, and almost all Post Offices will pack your materials for you, at a reasonable price.
  • Most Post Offices and courier services will refuse to send CDs or DVDs, this can be circumvented by placing them in CD wallets along with lots of other things and finally packing the space in with clothes, giving the appearance of sending your stuff home, also easier to send by sea as they care less.

Fax[编辑]

International fax (传真 Chuánzhēn) services are available in most large hotels for a fee of a dozen renminbi or more. Inexpensive faxes within China can be made in the ubiquitous photocopy outlets that have the Chinese characters for fax written on the front door.

Telephone[编辑]

Telephone service is more of a mixed bag. Calling outside the country is often difficult, and usually impossible without a calling card, which can often only be bought locally. The good news is these cards are fairly cheap, and the connection is surprisingly clear, uninterrupted and delay-free. Look for IP Telephone Cards, which typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper.

If your line allows for international direct dialling (IDD), the prefix for international calls in China is 00. So if you wish to make an overseas call, you would dial 00-(country code)-(area code)-(tel number). Note that calls from the mainland to Hong Kong and Macau require international dialling. IDDs could be very expensive. Ask the rate before calling.

Mobile/Cellular Phones[编辑]

Cellular phones are using widespread offer very good service in China. They play an essential role in daily life for most Chinese and for nearly all expatriates in China. The typical expat spends a few hundred yuan buying a phone, then about ¥100 a month for the service; tourists might use it less.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). UMTS/HSDPA roaming is not available with every carrier, but you can buy a local SIM card for 3G data access (see below). Chinese CDMA networks require R-UIM (SIM card equivalent), so American CDMA phones will not work off the bat, but it's possible to program a new Chinese prepaid number into one at some shops for a fee of ¥100-400 — just don't forget to restore your old number before you leave.

If you have a smartphone and are planning on using 3G, China Unicom is your only option, as China Mobile uses a different technology which is unique to China. Calls and messages will still work but data won't.

It's very difficult to get a Chinese SIM unless you speak Chinese, or have an interpreter with you. There are companies who can send these to you before you leave for China. A vending machine in Terminal 3 at Beijing airport sells China Mobile and China Unicom SIM cards for ¥100 each, and ¥50 or ¥100 recharge vouchers.

For a short visit, consider renting a Chinese cell phone from a company such as Pandaphone [59]. Rates are around ¥7 a day. The company is based in the US but has staff in China. Toll free numbers are 866-574-2050 in the U.S. or 400-820-0293 in China. The phone can be delivered to your hotel in China prior to your arrival and dropped off there at the end of your trip, or shipped to you in the US. When you rent the phone, they will offer you an access code for calling to your country, which is cheaper than buying a SIM card from a local vendor and dialing directly.

If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile [60] and China Unicom [61]. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about 1RMB/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying. You may also need to manually activate national roaming, which may incur a small daily surcharge as long as it's active. Avoid the cheaper wireless phones called PHS (小灵通 xiǎolíngtōng, see "Area Codes"); they only work in one city. PHS are excluded from networks now. For China mobile, you can get your credits balances by calling 1008611 and get a sms with balance.

International calls have to be enabled separately by applying for China Mobile's "12593" or China Unicom's "17911" service; China Mobile requires a 1000 RMB ($151 USD) deposit to enable this service, while China Unicom works by default. Once the service is enabled, punch in the code before the number you want to call and you're set. At time of writing, China Mobile is the cheaper of the two with calls to North America/Asia around ¥0.4/min. You can also use prepaid cards for international calling; just dial the number on the card as with a regular landline phone, and the charges will go to the prepaid calling card. However, if you are going to stay on the mainland for a decent period of time, go to a China Mobile location and buy a sim card (50RMB) and enable international calling. Usually there will be an English speaker, and let him/her know what you want. Ask for a "special" dialing code, and for a few RMB extra, this will be provided to you. Enter the code, the country code, then the local number and you will be talking cheaply in no time. Don't be fooled by cellphone shops with the China Mobile signage, be sure to go a to a location. The employee's will wear a blue uniform and there will be counter services. As of February 2012, no deposit is required for China Mobile to enable international calling.

To recharge, visit the neighborhood office of your mobile service provider, give the staff your number and pay in cash to recharge your account. You can also recharge at any post office. Alternately, many shops will sell you a charge card, which has a number and password that must be used to call the telephone company to recharge the money in your account. You will be calling a computer and the default language is Chinese, which can be changed to English if you understand the Chinese. Charge cards are sold in denominations of ¥30, 50 and 100. (If you're on Unicom, you have a local bank account, and you understand Chinese, you can recharge by bank transfer online; this is cheaper and sometimes there will be special offers for recharging this way)

For mobile data addicts, the "Wo" 3G USIM from China Unicom starts at ¥66/month for 240 nationwide minutes, 10 videocall minutes, 300MB data, and some free multimedia/text content (ring-tones, mobile news reports, wallpapers, music videos, etc). Incoming transmissions (video/voice call, text) from anywhere is completely free. For short-term use there is no longer a basic service fee, with calls around ¥1/3 min, text messages ¥0.10 each and data ¥10/MB (overage for the ¥96 plan is a more reasonable ¥0.15/min, ¥0.10 per text ¥0.3/MB). The student plan (¥66 for 50 minutes, 240 texts, everything else same as ¥96 plan) is also an option. China Mobile offers their "Easy Own" prepaid card, the offer also includes the option of grps/edge-packs: ¥100 or ¥200 for 1 or 2 GB of data a month. It's possible to de-/activate this service with a short message to the number 10086. There is also a 5 G cap (maximum charge per month) of ¥500.

See also cell phones.

Area codes[编辑]

The country dialing code for mainland China is 86. Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan have their own separate country dialing codes which are 852 for Hong Kong, 853 for Macau and 886 for Taiwan.

  • Major cities with eight-digit numbers have a two-digit area code. For example, Beijing is (0)10 plus an eight-digit number. Other places use seven- or eight-digit local numbers and a three-digit area code that does not start with 0, 1 or 2. So for example: (0)756 plus 7 digits for Zhuhai. The north uses small numbers, the south has larger numbers.
  • Normal cell phones do not need an area code. The numbers are composed of 130 to 132 (OR 156/186) plus 8 digits (China Unicom, GSM/UMTS), 133/153/189 plus 8 digits (China Telecom, CDMA) or 134 to 139 (OR 150/152/158/159/188) plus 8 digits (China Mobile, GSM/TD-SCDMA).
  • Some mobile phones (小灵通 xiǎo língtōng) work only in the province or city in which they are registered. These have numbers that look exactly like land line numbers for their cities. They are the cheapest choice, both for cost of phone and for usage fees, but not flexible enough for most travelers. The technology is neither GSM nor CDMA, but basically a cordless phone on steroids called PHS. PHS phones can be reprogrammed with a new local number for each province; if you have brought your own (from Japan, for instance) it can be programmed with a local number for a small fee (beware that both of the PHS carriers in China are winding down their networks and are scheduled for complete shutdown in 2011).

Emergency numbers[编辑]

The following emergency telephone numbers work in all areas of China; calling them from a cell phone is free.

  • Patrol Police: 110
  • Fire Department: 119
  • (Government-owned) Ambulance/EMS: 120
  • (some areas private-owned) Ambulance: 999
  • Traffic Police: 122
  • Directory inquiries: 114
  • Consumer Protection: 12315


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