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Travel Guide to China

The informed traveller will have the best experience and a successful vacation when traveling to China. The more you know about the country and culture before you go, the more enjoyable and successful your trip will be whether for business or pleasure. China Unique provides important information for both tourists and business travellers. It covers a wide range of topics from what to pack to medical considerations. In addition, China Unique will link you to some of the best sites on the net for travel and tourist information.

Important: Camera Film Warning! . Do not risk losing the memories of your trip. See this important warning in the Travel tips Section below.

Excite Travel by City.net provides excellent tourist information for major cities. It includes many of the travel advice and info contained here on China Unique, with more local area information should you require it.


TRAVEL INFORMATION
Transportation Communications
Hotels and Amenities Attractions
Food and Drink Jet Lag
Crime Travel Tips
Pre-Trip Planning What to Pack


Attractions:

Among the must see sights are:

  • The Great Wall, the most popular tourist attraction and one of the most popular attractions in the world. Did you know the Great Wall is the only manmade structure that you can see from the moon with the naked eye
  • Tiananmen Square
  • The Forbidden City
  • Terra Cotta Warriors


Travel Tips:

Camera Film Warning and handling: New and improved airport x-ray machines for checking baggage are just beginning to be installed. The advantage of the latest technology is improved safety through better bomb detection. The bad news is it can ruin your unprocessed film in your baggage regardless of film speed. Even passing film through x-ray machines at security gates may ruin your film. Most machines at security gates will have a notice posted stating whether it is film safe. Some signs state it is safe for speeds lower than 400 speed. What it does not say is that repeatedly passing it through x-ray machines(like during international travel) may damage unprocessed film. Processed films and pictures are not of concern as the silver halide image has been processed.

Here's our suggestions:

  1. Do not put any unprocessed film in baggage, regardless of film speed.
  2. Do not put 400 speed film or higher in your carry-on, or pass it through an x-ray machine.
  3. Place your film and camera in a clear plastic bag. Hand it to a guard at the security gate.

While the extra steps may seem an inconvenience, losing the pictures of your travels can be simply heart breaking.

Did You know: If this is your first trip you will need to bring a set of International Electrical Jacks to plug your PC or any other equipment you bring with you into the electrical outlets. You can obtain these at your local Electronics store for under $20.00 The set has several jacks for all over the world. Many five star hotels will have U.S. standard outlets, but some will not. Many international businesses will have the connection you need. But, anywhere else you will need the international jacks.

Passing Trough Customs:

Going through customs can be anxious time for many people. In reality, there is little to worry about. A very low percentage of visitors are stopped to have their baggage checked. In many trips to China and Hong Kong, I am rarely stopped....it must be the honest face! It is human nature to be a bit nervous. Using common sense in what you are carrying is all you need to know. For business travellers, avoid the occasional request to carry in business or factory related items through customs. I advise people that it is simply not worth the risk of spending the night in a Chinese prison. In reality, you would more likely spend the evening in a waiting room at the airport customs office and perhaps be denied entry. But, I want the message to be clear that bringing goods into the country without proper customs paperwork is just not worth the risk, period.

U.S. Duty: U.S. citizens are allowed to bring in $400 of goods duty free. If you are bringing in more, it must be declared.

New Carry-on Luggage Limits: Most U.S. air carriers have new restrictions on carry-on luggage. The new limits are two carry-on items per person. Size limits are also in effect and vary slightly. Implementation is now underway or complete. It is expected that those who have not yet announced similar plans will do so soon. If your carry-on luggage exceeds the limits, you will be required to check them in.Briefcases, Laptop computers and tote bags count as one item. Exempted from the list are purses, assistance devices for handicapped people, child safety seats and outer garments. The new policies are being implemented to speed boarding and de-boarding, ease overcrowding of overhead bins and for safety reasons.


Jet Lag:
Jet lag is the physical and physiological effect of long distance travel on you. After a long distance flight, you are tired from the travel and most likely did not sleep well or at all. Your body has not adjusted to the new time zone. If you are travelling from the U.S. to China and other parts of Asia, you may be twelve or thirteen hours different from here you started. Both mentally and physically, day is night and night is day. Your mind says sleep at three pm in the middle of the work day and wake up at three in the morning. If you wake in the middle of the morning , you will likely walk the floors.

The impact upon you can be significant for a number of days. Normally, jet lag lasts three days or so. For some people, it lasts a week. It is usually at it's worst from after lunch to mid or late afternoon. How quickly you get over jet lag depends on a number of things. The more frequent you travel, the less jet lag affects you and the shorter the duration. A friend of mine's wife asked me how long it takes to overcome jet lag. She said her husband came home from Asia a month ago and has to nap in the day time and walks the floor at night.

Here are some ideas that will aid you in overcoming jet lag more quickly:

  • Get on the local time right away.
  • Get a solid night's sleep. Go to bed as closely as you can to your normal time when you are home.
  • Although this site does not advocate it one way or the other, some people take sleeping aids for the first few nights.
  • Absolutely do not take a nap.
  • Plan for physical activities(a tour, a walk) during the mid afternoon. Sitting in a meeting or lecture can be worthless and result in falling asleep in the meeting or poor absorption and retention of the information.
  • Avoid caffeine in the evening, even if it does not normally bother you.
  • Avoid alcohol in the evening, which can occasionally work in reverse and keep you awake.

After successfully overcoming jet lag, you will be fine.....until you return home. Many people report that jet lag is worse upon return home. Among the theories to this:

  • Your guard is down- - your work is done, and you mentally recognize you can relax
  • You are physically and mentally "run down" after a long business trip away from home.
  • Travelling east(home) is worse. No one offers a plausible explanation to this. If you have the option of travelling west to go home, try it and let us know your thoughts.



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