Do I need a visa to travel to China?
US citizens do need a visa to visit China. Tourist visas are not hard to get, and we can help point you in the right direction throughout the process. Check the visa requirements
for more specific information.
Is tipping customary in China?
You can tip around 5 percent if you've enjoyed excellent service, but it is not an expectation.
What is internet access like in China?
Internet access, especially WiFi, is booming in China, but the infrastructure to support it is still developing. Your hotel or boat might likely have internet access, but be aware that the speed might be slow and many sites (including social media sites) might be blocked. More isolated parts of the country will not have internet access. You might have to pay for internet access depending on where you are, and there are also some cyber cafes that might be a cheap alternative.
Can I use my cell phone while in China?
While in China, you will likely have access to cell phone coverage in the more developed metropolitan areas and less access as you get into the isolated rural areas. In order to enable your phone in China, you will have to make sure it is GSM-capable and unlocked by your provider. Then you simply purchase a SIM chip at the airport when you arrive and you will be able to use your phone normally on the local network. Another option is to connect to free public WiFi when it's available or ask your provider if they have international plans.
Do I need power adapters?
China has 220v power with two-flat prongs, two round prongs, and two diagonal flat prongs (Types A, C, & I). Make sure your devices are compatible with these types and you will not likely need a power converter.
What are the toilets like in China?
There are two types of toilets you might find: Western style bowls and squat toilets. Be sure not to throw toilet paper in either of them, since the sewage system simply isn't built for it; instead, toss it in the trash basket next to the toilet. For squat toilets, there's a bit of a learning curve, but it's basically what it sounds like and hopefully you'll be able to figure it out pretty quickly. Bring your own toilet paper, just in case.
Can I drink the water in China?
Do not drink the tap water in China. Drinking water should either be bottled or purified, and we promise that you will always have access to drinking water. However, tap water should strictly be used for washing.
Are credit cards accepted in China? Will I be able to find ATMs?
It should be pretty easy to find ATMs and businesses that accept cards throughout China, especially in the bustling city centers. However, if you are taking a trip that spends several days away from the more developed parts of the country, you should be sure to withdraw cash before departing, as it is unlikely that you will have ATM/ credit card access in the more remote days of your itinerary.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
No matter what your destination, you should always purchase travel insurance. Check out our Once You're Booked
page for more information on getting a comprehensive insurance package from TravelGuard.