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.
In addition to--or as an alternative to--the pre-arranged programs and schedules, you may wish to discover some of China on your own. In our ChinaPlanner you can simply choose to not schedule anything for a day. There are very few restrictions on where foreigners are allowed to be within a city, so you may feel free to walk almost anywhere. Moreover, you can proceed with the assurance that Chinese cities are among the safest in the world. Before you set out, however, take a card bearing the hotel's name and address in Chinese in case you get lost.
Set your own pace as far as is practicable. Do not feel that you have to see everything in order to get your money's worth out of your tour. If you feel that the schedule for the day is overwhelming, be selective. Do not push yourself beyond your limits (physical and mental).
Regent China Tour guides are friendly, proficient in English, and eager to get to know you. They will do anything in their capacity to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. They want to introduce you to their wonderful country. So, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask one of your tour guides.
Also, oftentimes, groups of 15 or more persons will be accompanied by a national guide throughout the entire China tour.
There are no restrictions on bringing 8 mm movie or 1/2 inch video cameras into China. Kodak, Fuji, and Agfa 35mm-100 ISO color print film is available throughout China, particularly at hotels and tourist attractions,
and prices are comparable to those in the U.S. There is limited availability of fast-speed film and batteries and particularly limited availability of videotape and fuses.
You may want to take a lead-lined case to protect your film from x-ray sensors in airports if you are taking high-end
photography. Other film is unlikely to be damaged by passing through the sensors.
Here is a tip for making sense of all the photos you have taken when you finally have them developed and are ready to assemble your vacation album: Write brief notes about the pictures you take. Keep track of your film by numbering the rolls and noting dates, places, and key subjects.
Consider taking along a Polaroid camera. You can create a little excitement by handing over an instant photo to local people, especially in the smaller villages you will be visiting. Disposable cameras are also convenient and inexpensive.
Caution: Photography is not allowed at certain museums, archaeological sites, some exhibits, and many temples--either because exhibits may be susceptible to damage from countless flash photos or because authorities find it profitable to merchandise photographic rights. When in doubt, ask your guides. These rules are generally enforced. Should you neglect to heed the rules, authorities will confiscate your exposed film and impose heavy fines on the spot.
You may encounter some public toilets in China that are not up to international standards. A few of them could be of the old-fashioned "hole-in-the ground" variety where you crouch and aim. Newer pay toilets are better. Public toilets in hotels and restaurants have Western-style fixtures.
Always carry extra tissue with you, especially when you are not traveling with a Regent group.