Upon arrival in the country, each person entering the country is required to fill out a declaration indicating the amount of currency he has, as well as valuable items such as photo (video) equipment, antiques and jewelry. Upon departure, the declaration is presented again. Free transportation of two bottles of alcoholic beverages and 600 cigarettes is allowed, as well as foreign currency and valuables for personal use. When leaving China, all antiques such as porcelain, paintings, calligraphic posters, art carvings, old books purchased in China must have the red lacquer seals of the relevant state antique shop, otherwise they will all be confiscated by customs without any confiscation.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC), a state in Central and East Asia, includes China proper (18 historical provinces of the Chinese Empire), Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, the Northeast (Manchuria) and Tibet. China covers an area of 9561 thousand square meters. km (without Taiwan). It borders on 13 countries and has the longest land border in the world (22.8 thousand km). The coast is washed by the waters of the Yellow, East China and South China seas.
Within China, three large orographic regions are distinguished: in the southwest, the Tibetan Plateau with a height of more than 2000 m above sea level; to the north of it there is a belt of mountains and high plains located in the altitude range from 200 to 2000 m above sea level, and in the northeast, east and south of the country there are low accumulative plains (below 200 m above sea level) and low mountains.
Public transport in Chinese cities is overloaded to the limit. Taxis are more than enough, but due to the increase in the number of cars, traffic jams often occur. And if you’re not in a hurry, follow the example of most Chinese: get a bike. If you need a taxi, then keep in mind that in every city there is a fixed fee, depending on the class of the car. The fare is indicated on the rear window of the car. Renting a car is not recommended due to too heavy traffic.
The local currency is the yuan (or RMB, which is an abbreviation of the word “renminbi” 51; “people’s coin”). Yuan is divided into 10 jiao (or mao) and 100 fen. There are denominations in 1,2,5,10,50 and 100RMB; in 1.2 and 5 jiao and 1.2 and 5 fen. 1$ =8.3 RMB. Major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Dinners Club are accepted only in international class hotels and department stores such as Druzhba state stores. Banking operations with credit cards are practically not performed in China. There are currency exchange points in almost all major hotels. Commissions are not charged. Banks usually do not open in the morning at the traditional breakfast time and close very early.
The time difference with Moscow is +4 hours in summer and +5 hours in winter. China is located in five time zones, but the whole country lives on Beijing time. No one pays attention to the fact that in the western regions the sun rises four hours later than in the eastern regions.
The territory of China is located within three climatic zones: temperate, subtropical and tropical.
Chinese. Most Chinese do not speak any foreign language. In large hotels and department stores, as a rule, the staff speaks English. In big cities, inscriptions on street panels and signs, as well as street names, are duplicated in Latin letters. The numbers, fortunately, are Arabic. In any case, carry your hotel card with you, which shows its name and address in Chinese. The card will make your life much easier. Even taxi drivers rarely understand Latin inscriptions, and if you try to pronounce them yourself, it may turn out that they sound completely different in Chinese.
Officially, the entire population is considered atheists. However, three religions became widespread: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. It is difficult to determine the exact number of followers of each of these religions, since all the main religions of China are closely intertwined, and often a believer simultaneously visits the temples of two or even three religions.
is officially prohibited in China. Moreover, for a long time tipping was seen as a form of humiliation. At present, tips have not yet become commonplace in restaurants and hotels, although they are accepted in such high-class establishments. It should be remembered that the initial refusal of the person serving you from a gift or a tip is only an integral part of the ritual.
220V. We advise you to bring an adapter with flat, so-called American plugs.
Features of stay in the country
Security. Foreigners need to take the same precautions as in other countries, including while on the street, when storing valuables in a hotel. Dangerous are pickpockets and thieves who hunt by cutting bags and suitcases with a knife or a razor, especially on crowded trains and buses.
What to bring. Going to China, it is advisable to take the usual toiletries and medicines with you. You can buy photographic films and batteries in the country, but it is cheaper and more reliable to bring them with you.
Cloth. It is advisable to give preference to simple and suitable clothes, taking into account the season. It is useful to have moderately warm clothes with you even in the hottest season, since air conditioners in hotels often operate at full capacity. Shoes should be comfortable and durable. Those who plan to visit the northern regions in winter should take care of warm clothes. It is useful to provide everything you need in case of rainy weather.
Chinese cuisine is rightfully world-famous. Anywhere in Europe and America, you will certainly find a Chinese restaurant owned by enterprising emigrants from the Celestial Empire. Nevertheless, you can truly appreciate and fall in love with Chinese cuisine only in China. The variety of its dishes is not inferior to the variety of landscapes of China and the temperaments of its inhabitants. A lover of exotic and thrills (both literally and figuratively) will get them in full: here are frog legs baked in dough, and eggs aged for a couple of weeks with a characteristic smell, and small birds fried whole, perhaps without feathers, and vodka infused with a pretty snake—yes, you still have to manage to pick it up and bring it to your mouth with a couple of sticks. And yet the main thing in Chinese cuisine is sauces, exotic combinations of flavors and aromas. There are many in China and it is they who make the dishes exquisite and unique. It is recommended to visit restaurants that have a special license for serving foreign tourists, which is posted on the front door and is written in English.
To call Russia from China, dial 00–7–(495 Moscow code). In China, there are telephones of direct international communication.