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Travel Essentials (4)

Complaint

If your travel agent offers you poor service or does not follow the agreement, you may complain to the National Tourism Administrative Bureau directly or to the Institutions of Supervision over Quality of each province or municipality.

Drinking Water

Do not drink water from the tap in China. Water in China is not safe to drink and needs to be boiled to kill bacteria that may exist. Most hotels supply boiled water in a thermos and flask or a glass of tumbler with cold water, and bottled mineral water, sold around 3 Yuan, is widely available in all stores and street kiosks and sometimes provided free by the hotel.

Electricity

Electricity is 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. Plugs are usually two-prong, that means anything running on 110 volts will be fatally zapped the moment you plug it into a Chinese socket. Some hotels in China's major cities feature special 110-volt outlets, but it is advised to take adapters with you. If traveling away from tourist centers, battery-operated equipment should be prepared.

Emergency

China has a low crime rate, however, crime has increased in the past few years principally in the major cities. Theft is the most common crime affecting visitors and occurs most frequently in crowded public areas, such as hotel lobbies, bars, restaurants and tourist and transportation sites. The loss or theft of a passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest foreign embassy or consulate. Police reports of the theft are required before travelers may obtain new visas from Chinese authorities. Chinese authorities require that travelers have valid visas to exit China, and even to travel and register in hotels within China. Useful information on safe guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad." It is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. When you've lost something, notify the hotel, tour group leader, transportation authorities, and the police. If credit cards or traveler's checks have been stolen, inform the issuer as soon as possible. If in serious difficulty, get in touch with your embassy.

Luggage

Designer luggage with fine leather isn't suitable. Take sturdy luggage. This is especially recommended if traveling independently or away from the catered tourist venues. Sometimes luggage is required to be lockable for transport.

Airport Tax

All passengers who take domestic airlines will be charged 50 Yuan for airport tax and those on international or regional flights outside China will pay 90 Yuan.

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