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.
Vaccinations/inoculations are not required for travel to China except for travelers arriving from or via an infected area. Travelers arriving from or via an infected area must hold a valid certificate of vaccination/inoculation. As health requirements change without notice, please check with your local public health department or the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta for current required or recommended vaccinations/inoculations.
If you plan to try the food sold by street vendors, we suggest that you consult your doctor about recommended inoculations.
The restaurants selected by Regent for its tour members maintain high standards of food preparation and the quality of the food served should not cause any concern.
Personal Medical History
If you have any health problems, ask your doctor for a copy of your medical history should you need to consult a Chinese doctor. This information should include your name, address, insurance data, emergency contact, blood type, medical problems and prior hospitalizations, current medications (generic names) and dosages, drug allergies, and immunizations (with dates).
Caution: Chinese people do not have Rh-negative blood, and therefore their blood banks do not store it. Also, type O blood is rare. Thus, persons with these blood types should consult their physician for advice before departing for China.
You may bring your prescription drugs to China. Pack them in your carry-on luggage. Be sure that the medication is clearly marked with a pharmacy label and doctor's instructions. Try to anticipate what you will need and bring an adequate supply for your entire tour. Since brand names in China are different from those used in North America, ask your doctor or pharmacist for the generic name for your prescription drug in case you need a refill while in China.
All hotels on Regent tour itineraries maintain a medical clinic staffed by a doctor during the day. There is a nominal charge for the doctor's services.
The most common maladies afflicting travelers in China are respiratory problems such as head colds, bronchial conditions, and sore throats. Diarrhea and constipation are also common. If you are prone to any of these problems, you should bring appropriate medications with you. However, if you forget to bring them with you, our Regent guides will be glad to provide you with Chinese herbal medicines for these common problems at no charge to tour group members.
Even though most Western medicines are available in China, we strongly suggest that you bring common nonprescription medicine with you--e.g., aspirin, cold relief products, anti-diarrheals, laxatives, etc.
If you have insurance coverage for medical expenses and require medicines or medical attention while abroad, keep all receipts since most insurance carriers honor claims for such expenses. Note, however, that Medicare does not cover health care costs outside the U.S.
Should you become ill and require hospitalization, medical attention is available for emergencies throughout China. Major hospitals have special wards reserved exclusively for foreigners. Both Western and Chinese medicines are available. Chinese physicians are well trained--many Chinese physicians attended U.S. medical schools and earned their internships at U.S. medical facilities--and their diagnostic techniques are sophisticated, time-honored, and judicious.
Get a dental check-up prior to your trip. No one wants to endure a toothache while on vacation (especially on an airplane where cabin pressure can cause severe pain). Take precautions by bringing dental necessities.
Regent China Tours can arrange for wheelchairs at most of the hotels on tour itineraries without charge. If you do require the use of a wheelchair, please advise your China tour specialist of this need in advance of booking your tour.
Airlines can accommodate you with vegetarian meals.
In Chinese restaurants, if you are with a group, meals tend to be served family style. There will be a variety of dishes, and there will always be vegetable-only dishes. If you have any questions about the meals, you can ask your local guide for help.
Meals in China
All meals in China are included on all Regent group tours unless otherwise specified. All lunches are included in ChinaPanner Day Tour programs. A typical breakfast is an American-style buffet of cereal (hot and cold), eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, fruit, and yogurt. Breakfast is available at the hotel and is served generally between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Chinese lunches are served at local restaurants en route during your daily activities.
- a. Do not skip meals. Sightseeing takes energy.
- b. Do not overindulge at meal times. You can sample new foods and the seemingly endless array of courses without eating
- large portions. You will feel better if you eat small portions throughout the day.
- c. If you get tired of Chinese food at a certain point, note that rice will be available at every meal.
- d. Eat fruits and vegetables whenever possible. This can help you avoid constipation. Breakfast everyday will provide you
- with an ample choice of fruits and juices.
- e. Drink plenty of fluids. Mild dehydration, resulting from excessive perspiration, can make you more susceptible to fatigue,
- even illness. Keep a bottle of drinking water with you and try to drink even when you are not thirsty. On sightseeing trips, bottled water can be purchased everywhere for about 25 cents per bottle. Alternatives to water include fruit juices and soft drinks. Remember that alcoholic beverages will cause further dehydration.
Do not drink tap water in China. If your hotel room is not furnished with suitable drinking water, simply dial the housekeeping department and the chambermaid will be glad to bring you a thermos of hot water or a carafe of cold drinking water free of charge. Chinese and Western mineral/spring water can be purchased in most hotels. Chinese beer is excellent and is available throughout China. Imported beer, wine, spirits, and Coca-Cola are available everywhere.
For nonsmokers and even moderate smokers, an otherwise perfect tour can be spoiled if they are forced to inhale the smoke of other people’s cigarettes on a motorcoach. Therefore, smoking is not allowed on Regent motorcoaches. There are opportunities to smoke during the frequent sightseeing and rest stops. Note also that Chinese regulations strictly prohibit smoking on all domestic air flights.