China Practical Information
Visitors from almost all countries require a Tourist (L) visa to enter Mainland China. For visa purposes HK and Macau are considered as abroad, so if you intend visiting these places and returning to the mainland you will need to comply with entry requirements anew. You will need a valid passport (valid for at least the next 6 months) together with other supporting documents showing the detail of your trip.
The renminbi is the official currency of the PRC. The name literally means “people’s currency”. The Yuan (¥) is the basic unit of the renminbi, but is also used to refer to the Chinese currency generally. The distinction between the two is similar to that between sterling and pound. One yuan is subdivided into 10 jiao and a jiao in turn is subdivided into 10 fen. Exchange is relatively easy for tourists and ATMs are common in towns and cities.
Adequate travel insurance is mandatory for everyone who participates in a Pioneer expedition. Please bring a copy of your insurance policy and contact numbers to give to your expedition leader in case of illness or accident.
The local tour company who we use are committed to improving their tourist services for the social, economic and environmental development of the local communities. We always try to use hotels and eco-lodges which actively support responsible travel.
China is a huge country, about the same size as the USA or Europe, with a massive variety of weather conditions. The climate and conditions vary widely from region to region. From desert in Xinjiang (the Northwest), to Inner Mongolian grasslands, temperate and alpine forests and farmlands, to rice paddies and sub-tropical vegetation, to tropical rainforest, to sunny beaches. There is also a huge altitude effect, such as the vast high-altitude plateau of Tibet. Along with the seasons, latitude and altitude affect the temperature dramatically, with temperatures as low as -40°C (-40°F) in the north and as high as 40°C (104°F) in the south. The Chengdu Plain average high in August and September ranges between 26-30C and the average low 19-20C and, in contrast with the surrounding mountains, it can be misty or humid at any time of year.