Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - Traveling in China

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Traveling in China

I am traveling alone. What are my options?
The Chamber will assign travelers with another single traveler of the same sex.

An additional $450 will be added to the cost of the trip for those desiring single occupancy.

I am traveling with a group. How can I make sure we travel together?
Families will be assigned to the same room and/or bus. Please indicate on the registration form who you are traveling with, so the Chamber knows to group you together.

What are my rooming options?
You have the option of a king bed or two double beds. A third traveler may occupy your hotel room if you request a roll-away bed (helpful if you bring a child with you). Please indicate your preference on the registration form.

What travel documents do I need?
A passport and travel visa is not required to register for the trip, but both are required for travel in China. Securing a passport is your responsibility. A valid passport is required in order to obtain a travel visa. For more information on obtaining a passport, please visit the U.S. Department of State Web site at http://travel.state.gov/passport

Travelers can get their own China Visa through the closest Chinese Consulate in Houston (must apply in person, can't apply via mail or online) OR Citslinc International will process travel visas for those who would like assistance. The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber began sending applications to Citslinc on November 1, 2011. Click here for additional instructions.

I am a member of another local Chamber. Can I get the member price?
Yes, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber will extend member pricing to all Oklahoma City metro area chambers of commerce.

 

Prior to the Trip

Do I need vaccinations?
Special vaccinations are not required to enter or travel in China. We suggest you check with your personal physician to see if he/she has any recommendations. Please inform the chamber if you have any allergies that our tour guides should be aware of.

When will I receive the final details about the trip?
You will receive your departure packet from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber in February. It will contain a nametag (that you will wear during the entire trip), two luggage tags, a final itinerary with the names, addresses and phone numbers of the hotels, and your airline ticket.

What do I need to know about the departure and return flights between LAX and Beijing?
You will be traveling via Air China, located in Terminal 2 of Los Angeles International Airport. A representative from Citslinc will be at the terminal to assist you if needed. You will be traveling on a Boeing 777. Your flight number is CA984 departing at 1:40 a.m. on March 15. You must get to the airport on the evening of March 14. Seats are not assigned until you check-in. Check-in time starts at 9:30 p.m. You will be served two meals during the 12-hour non-stop flight.

You will arrive at Beijing’s Capital Airport at 5:30 a.m. and be met by your local tour guide. The tour will begin that morning with a trip to Tian An Men Square. Dress accordingly on the plane (layers, comfortable walking shoes), since you will not be able to go to the hotel until the afternoon to rest. Sleep as much as possible on the airplane.

Your return flight from China to LAX, flight number CA983, via Air China will arrive at LAX at 6:00 p.m. on March 23 in Terminal 2.

Additional information about Air China can be found at www.airchina.com.

Do I need travel insurance?
Purchase of additional travel insurance beyond the policy that Citslinc has purchased (free of charge to you) from Travel Insured International is at your discretion. The Travel Insured policy does not offer protection if YOU have to cancel your trip. Please read the policy coverage and exclusions here.

I want to investigate business opportunities in China. Is this possible?
If you are interested in meeting with/doing business with Chinese companies, Citslinc will plan a meeting with a variety of Chinese businesses to take place on the 2nd or 3rd evening you are in China. Please fill out and fax the business inquiry form to the Chamber office at 405-297-8916 or email it to register@okcchamber.com.

 

Traveling in China

What can I expect when we land in Beijing?
You will land in Beijing at approximately 5:30 a.m. and be met by your tour guide. You will not be able to go directly to the hotel for check-in. The tour will begin that morning with a trip to Tian An Men Square. Dress accordingly on the plane (layers, comfortable walking shoes), since you will not be able to go to the hotel until the afternoon to rest.

How much money should I plan on taking?
Travelers to China should plan to bring spending money in U.S. currency. U.S. currency is accepted at all major shopping areas and for optional tours.

ATM's are few and far between and dispense Chinese currency only. Visa and MasterCard are the credit standards throughout China. Discover is not accepted anywhere in China. Do not bring debit or check cards. If you decide to bring a debit or check card you should call your bank and let them know you will be traveling in China.

It is culturally expected that shoppers will negotiate prices with vendors and that the actual purchase price of most items will be several times below the original asking price. Most vendors accept U.S. dollars. For those cash transactions, please be aware that most vendors do not make change and it is always best to carry small bills whenever shopping in China.

Chinese people will not accept money if it is extra wrinkled or has a tear in it. Bring new, crisp American money.

Citslinc does not recommend bringing traveler cheques.

What about tipping?
Tips are not included in the trip fee. There is a one-time $25 tip collected during the tour. It must be in U.S. dollars (crisp, new bills). The tour guide will collect this when you get off the plane in Beijing. The gratuity will be shared among all people who provide service to the group while in China.

If you receive special services, an additional tip is not necessary, but acceptable if you wish.

What are the limitations on luggage?
Each passenger is allowed 2 checked pieces, totaling 70 pounds (a 50 pound limit per bag), one carry-on and a personal bag.

What are the hotels like?
Hotels are 4 and 5 star. All of the hotels have Western facilities and include hair dryers and internet service. Voltage is 220 so you will need a converter/ adapter for any electrical item you bring. In some of the hotels, you may have to pay extra for internet service.

What will the food be like?
Breakfast will be a Western and Eastern buffet at the hotel served at 7am daily. Lunch and dinner are family style at local Chinese restaurants. Soft drinks and beer are served. The beer is very good quality. Chinese liquor is very strong. The wine is poor quality.

What is the daily schedule?
This trip is fast-paced. A typical day involves:
Wake up call at 6:00 am
Breakfast served at 7:00 am
Leave the hotel at 8:00 am for the day's tours and return after dinner, approx. 6:30-8:00 pm

What clothing and personal items should I bring?
"Casual" is the word for touring. Dress comfortably and in layers. There is no time to change clothes during the day. Bring a coat, dress in layers. Jeans are OK for all venues. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes. No business attire is needed.

What will the bus travel be like?
You will be assigned the same bus with the same people for the entire trip. Please let the Chamber know who will be traveling in your group. Each bus will have approx. 25-30 passengers. Your seat on the bus will be "yours" for the day. You can leave personal items on the bus for the day but take any valuables with you. There is no bathroom on the bus.

The bus rides between cities will take approximately:
Day 5 - Shanghai to Suzhou - 1 1/2 hours
Day 6 - Suzhou to Hangzhou - 2 1/2 hours
Day 7 - Hangzhou to Shanghai - 3 hours

Will I get to see the travelers on other tour buses?
Unlikely. You will be assigned the same bus with the same people for the entire trip. Please let the Chamber know who will be traveling in your group. We will make every effort to group you together.

Can I drink the water in China?
It is not recommended that you drink any tap water unless you boil it. Bottled water is available at the hotel or can be purchased on the bus for $1.

What is the weather like in March in China?
Weather in mid-March can vary; dress in layers. March averages (F) are:

  • Beijing - average high 52 / average low 31 degrees
  • Shanghai - average high 55 / average low 41 degrees
  • Suzhou - average high 56 / average low 41 degrees
  • Hangzhou - average high 57 / average low 43

Can I pay for optional tours in advance?
Optional tours are subject to change and are offered at the discretion of the tour operator, depending on time schedule and availability.

There is no need to sign up or pay in advance for any optional tour. Your bus tour guide will accept reservations and cash payments only for any optional tour. Please have exact cash needed to pay for the optional trips.

Do you recommend any optional tours?
Citslinc International, Inc, the tour operator, recommends the Hutong Tour in Beijing ( a traditional rickshaw ride and visit to local families for lunch.) They also recommend the Boat Ride on Grand Canal in Suzhou.

How much walking is involved on this trip?
In order to include as many sites as possible, this trip sets a rigorous pace. There is a great deal of walking and stair climbing involved each day. The minimum recommended age for travelers is 12 years old.

Will my cell phone work in China?
You need to check with your cell phone service provider regarding international calling plans.

How is the shopping in China?
We will be visiting many stores and factories, but don't feel obligated to buy. Many stores are able to ship purchases home for you.

It is culturally expected that shoppers will negotiate prices with vendors and that the actual purchase price of most items will be several times below the original asking price. Most vendors accept U.S. dollars. For those cash transactions, please be aware that most vendors do not make change and it is always best to carry small bills whenever shopping in China.

What are the bathrooms like in China?
Western-style bathrooms are provided at each hotel, but if you need to use a restroom outside your hotel - most are a hole in the floor, without toilet paper provided. Make sure ladies take toilet paper in their purses. Baby wipes also come in handy.

What's the best advice from past trip attendees?
"Be prepared for a non-stop, hectic trip."
"Be prepared for hardly any free time on your own."
"Brings lots of $1 bills."
"Bring liquid hand soap or hand sanitizer since bathroom outside your hotel room often don't have hot water or paper towels."
"You will stop at many factories and get the "sales pitch" to purchase goods."
"Be flexible."
"You will be eating Chinese food every day for lunch and dinner. You might get tired of it after awhile."
"Relax, enjoy and have fun!"
"Get to know the other people on the tour and take every opportunity to talk to the locals."
"Research before you go and come prepared with lots of questions; the Chinese really want to answer them."

Helpful Links

For more information, please contact register@okcchamber.com or call (405) 297-8921.