Preparing your journey

Entry requirements

A tourist visa is required for entry into the People's Republic of China, but this is only valid for 30 days. Be sure to apply for the visa early either at your local embassy or consulate. In addition, your passport should be valid for at least 6 months at the beginning of your trip. An exception to the visa requirement is the Hong Kong and Macao regions. Although both are part of the People's Republic of China, they are at the same time so-called "special administrative regions" and can thus make decisions independently of the rest of the People's Republic of China. Incidentally, this also applies to Taiwan. However, as laws in China can change quickly, it is recommended that you review this information prior to traveling. China is not quite freely accessible: foreigners may enter the Tibet Autonomous Region only with special permission.

Currency

The Chinese national currency is the Renminbi (RMB), also called Yuán (元). A Yuán splits into 10 Jiao or 100 Fen. You do not have to change money prior to your travels since this can be done at the airport when you arrive in Beijing or in any major hotel. The exchange rate is almost identical everywhere, but some hotels charge a commission rate.

Health care

No specific vaccinations are required upon entering China. However, you will be asked to confirm on a form that you don't have any infectious disease. If you have previously traveled and been in a yellow fever area, you may need to prove a yellow fever vaccine. In this regard, it is recommended to look at the website of the Foreign Office for further information. If you want to travel to southern China, a malaria prophylaxis is advisable in summer. In any case, you should check your tetanus vaccine and possibly renew it. Your first-aid kit should contain: remedies for colds, stomach and intestinal infections, painkillers, disinfectant ointment, patches, bandages and sunscreen cream. Please consult with your family doctor prior to traveling to China.