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China Overview
China has 1.2 billion people, representing 56 nationalities. However, 96% of the population is Han, whose written language is the same wherever you are, but whose spoken dialects can be more different than the languages of Portuguese and French are from each other. Putonghua--or Mandarin--can be understood in most parts of the country.

Packing
Even though each passenger is allowed two pieces of checked luggage on international flights, flights within China limit each passenger to one piece of luggage not weighing more than 44 pounds. Therefore, you are advised to bring only one piece of luggage to China.

Hotels
Four- and five-star hotels in China are excellent and rival the quality and service of the best hotels in major metropolitan areas in the U.S. In fact, a lot of hotels in China are managed by Europeans and Americans or by Chinese nationals who were trained in Western hotel management.

Shopping
Most of your shopping will probably be done in hotel stores, department stores, or factory stores--or from vendors at attraction sites. Remember to keep a log of your purchases; this will make it easier to complete customs forms. Include in your log what you paid in Chinese currency along with the U.S. dollar equivalent.

Medical & Health
All visitors entering China are required to complete a health declaration card that is distributed by the cabin crew during the flight to China. Officially, China does not issue entry visas to HIV carriers.

Odds & Ends
Take half as many clothes as you think you will need. This is one half of a simple traveler's rule worldwide: Take twice as much money as you think you will need and half as many clothes.

Travel Essentials (1)
Visa, Customs, Trade Shows & Exhibitions

Travel Essentials (2)
Temporary Entry, Passenger Baggage, Advertising Materials and Trade Samples

Travel Essentials (3)
Representative Offices, Overseas Assignment to China, Foreign Currency Conversion, Adoption, Business Hours

Travel Essentials (4)
Complaint, Drinking Water, Electricity, Emergency, Luggage, Airport Tax

Travel Essentials (5)
Media, Health, Medical Service, Photography

Travel Essentials (6)
Post and Telecommunication, Road Names, Special Information, Tipping, Travel to Tibet, Public Holidays 2001:Mainland China

Sightseeing
If you travel with a Regent group, you will discover that extensive sightseeing has been planned for each city that you visit. If you made your travel plans by using our ChinaPlanner, you will find that all day tour programs are packed with activities. The general format for the tour programs is to leave the hotel at 9 a.m., shortly after breakfast, stop for lunch en route, and then continue touring until dinner.

Regent Education Fund
The founders of Regent have had first-hand experience in poverty-stricken areas of China where children yearn for an opportunity to go to school but their parents cannot afford this luxury for them.

U.S. and China Customs Information
Each visitor to China is required to complete a customs declaration form and health declaration form; these forms are distributed by the cabin crew during the flight to China. The customs form must be filled out in duplicate and include a listing of items of value you are declaring--i.e., all currencies (including cash and traveler's checks), jewelry, watches, cassette players, radios, cameras, and calculators. Caution: When in doubt about an item, declare it!

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