Practical China Travel Information

China travel tips – Useful information

Time difference: During the summertime it’s 7 hours later in China than it is in the UK. During winter time it’s 8 hours later in China.

Best time to travel: The best time to travel is during the months Aprtil through October. However, it’s best to avoid the first week of May and the first week of October. These are Chinese national holidays.

Language: Mandarin Chinese is spoken in most of China. However, countless dialects are also spoken. English is gaining popularity in China, but you still won’t find many people who speak English, especially in rural China. Bring along a Chinese pocket dictionary.

Currency: The official Chinese currency is known as the renminbi (‘peoples money’), RMB for short. The monetary unit is the Yuan. Hong Kong has its own currency – the Hong Kong Dollar. The Hong Kong Dollar is pegged to the American Dollar. It’s accepted in Guangzhou (Canton) and Shenzhen.

Tips: Tipping is customary for guides and drivers. They are generally reliant on tips for a large portion of their salaries. It’s not customary to tip in restaurants.

Visas: You’ll need a Chinese visa in order to travel in China. You’ll have to apply for your own visa at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre (CVASC). A single entry Chinese visa will cost you around £60. This is made up of a £30 visa fee, and a £30 processing fee.

Telephone calls: Phoning home during your China trip using your mobile usually isn’t a problem, but it can be a very costly affair. Internet Phone (IP) cards are the cheapest way to phone home. You can buy these cards at kiosks and hotels in larger cities. If you want to use your own mobile phone during your trip, it’s best to buy a prepaid sim card at a Chinese phone shop.

Internet: Nearly all parts of China offer Internet access. You’ll find more and more cafés and bars that offer mobile Internet in China.

Photography: The Chinese are usually honoured if you would like to take their picture. Don’t forget to ask their permission first though. Taking pictures or shooting a video at military sites in China is highly illegal. Many museums, palaces and temples also do not allow pictures to be taken or only allow you to take pictures for a fee. It’s best to always be on the look-out for the signs posted regarding photography and to be careful.

Voltage: Electricity in China is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. It’s best to bring along a universal plug adaptor.

Hygiene: Using public bathrooms during your China trip will be quite an experience. The level of hygiene is commonly poor and you’ll have little privacy. Be sure to add toilet paper or tissues, anti-bacterial hand wipes and disinfectant to your China Travel Plan packing list.

Marseille Top Attractions, Nightlife, Shopping and Travel Information

Marseille is also known as massalia. It is the most popular city in the France with the population of about 14, 20,000 urban peoples. There is France’s largest commercial port in the Marseille and third largest metropolitan area in the France. Marseille is situated on the south east cost of the France. As in the Paris and Lyon it is divided into municipal arrondissements. Marseille has 16 municipal arrondissements in the city. And each one has its councils there are about 303 councils in the city.

The last municipal elections are done in 2008. Marseille has divided into cantons also and has 25 cantons with member of general councils. The name European capital of culture is also given to Marseille. The education system of Marseille is very good as there are three universities in the Marseille named as university de Provence aix Marseille I, de la mediterrranee aix Marseille II, paul cezanne aix Marseille III.

Weather and when to visit

The climate of Marseille is divided into different seasons like summer, winters etc. In summers the temperature is about 27c to 30c, and temperature may rise in the month of July and august. These two months are the hottest months in the summer. In the winters the temperature is about 9c to 10c in the month of December and January. France is also known for mistral, it is a strong and cold wind. Which comes from valleys of Rhône and Durance River and the average speed of wind is about 50 km per hour. Summer season is also called holiday/best season to visit the Marseille, the month from July to September are the best months to visit.

Top Attractions

There are many theatres in the Marseille named as la criee, la gymnase and tourskey. There are many arts and literatures. One of the music hall “The Alcazar” is well known.

Opera house– it is situated nearby the old port. It is also historic place to visit in 1919 it was almost completely destroyed by the fire. But later it was reconstructed in art deco style. In a year there are about 6 to 7 stages of opera are held in Marseille.

La vieille charite is the place which is now functioning as a museum and cultural centre in the Marseille. It is made between 1671 and 1749 in baroque style. It includes a research library and a school of advance studies in the social science. On the first floor there is museum of Mediterranean archaeology. On the second floor there is another museum of art of Africa, which includes collection of artefacts and trophy heads from South Africa.

La Cathedral de la Nouvelle Major itwas built in 19th century, it has various features like sculpture and mosaics are used in this building.

Shopping and hotels

For shopping there are many shops like: – arts and crafts, books shop, cards, cloths, charity shops.

There are many hotels such as: -hotel le orbusier, hotel mascotte, le petit nice, sofitel Marseille vieux port, in these hotels you can get many facilities like restaurant, bar, jogging track, wading pool, fitness club, mini library, laundry service and dry cleaning.

How to reach

Train facility is very good to travel from London to Marseille, from London to Paris there is Eurostar facility to travel and after that, one can travel from the Paris to Marseille by TGV, and the distance is about 750km.

There is also an air service to travel from Paris to Marseille. The nearest airport in the Marseille is Marseille Provence airport is situated in marignane. There are two terminals of the airport. Bus facility is also there to reach Marseille; there are many international bus stands in the Marseille.

CDC Travel Information

The CDC is a government controlled organization known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is based in Atlanta and the major function of this organization is to diagnose and investigate causes of new diseases and also tries to control them from turning into an epidemic. It regularly publishes a journal called the CDC Health Information for International Travel. This journal basically guides travelers into taking certain precautions before he or she leaves for their excursion. The CDC travel book explains the most common diseases and information on how to prevent it.

This travel book has various features, some of which are listed below. Some of the essential points are:

It features content ranging from safety guidelines to specific treatments for diseases which are useful to both, doctors and the patients
It provides references in each chapter, so that the reader can cross-check the facts given in the book
The book also covers treatments for patients with specific needs while traveling, such as patients preparing for long-term travel, travelers with chronic medical conditions, young children, humanitarian aid workers and so on.
Talks about the new emerging diseases and ways to deal with them, straight from the experts

CDC travel guidelines are an off-shoot of the guidelines put together by CDC. These pointers are generally meant for tourists who are traveling to the developing countries like Thailand, Africa, India and so on. There is a section in the CDC Health Information for International Trvel 2010, also known as, “The Yellow Book” pertaining to information.

CDC health information guidelines include tips on how to plan for healthy travel. Some of the points are:

Travelers should gather information regarding the place they are visiting. Make a note of the precautions that can be taken, if any mentioned.
The CDC is a great platform of information. It covers a number of diseases, countries, vccinations to the diseases and the location where they are administered and so on
It is important to see a health-care worker and get the latest guidelines on the diseases and ways to avoid them and vaccinate themselves accordingly. The destination does not matter; be it a developed nation or a developing one.

CDC travel also includes travel health kits which is an important component of a person’s health-kit. Medications are very crucial but so are the points that are listed below:
Original containers: Medicines need to be carried in their original containers. Though many travelers do pack in their medicines in air-tight containers, officials do check the containers and the medicine.

Physician notes: For substances and injectable medication, travelers need to carry a note from the physician attesting to the same

Prescription: Travelers must carry the prescriptions of all their medicines, including the generic names

These are some of the basic precautions and tips, one is recommended to follow to have a disease or an injury free trip. It does seem like a lot of work, but the attention to detail mindset, will help the traveler in the end.

Himalaya Travel Information

About The Mountains

The Himalaya is the globe’s mightiest chain of mountains. No other mountain range features peaks of 8,000 metres (26,000 feet). In the Himalaya there are 14 of such mountain tops and hundreds of peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) high. The mountain chain stretches along 2,700-kms (1,700 miles).

The Himalaya is the beginning of numerous great rivers of the Indian subcontinent, such as The Ganga and Yamuna which are inextricably entangled with local myths and legends. The Indus or Sindhu also originates in the trans-Himalayan Tibetan Plateau, as does the Brahmaputra.


Ahead of your trip you ought to have a health check to find out that you are physically fit and to avoid altitude sickness. You should always keep a first aid box with you, with basic medicaments to treat headache, fever, constipation, burns, diarrhea, sore throat and coughing. Include patches and eye lotion and diuretic drugs.

Cold cream which you can use generously prior to the day’s walk also protects from dryness of your skin. Use river water for washing. Most importantly you should know the place you are travelling to and carefully research it on the Internet.

When To Go

The best time to visit Tibet and the Himalayas is in summer (June-July-August). Then you can enjoy an intense sunlight, hot temperature, local festivals and an amazing scenery. It is ice-cold in winter which lasts from October till May – not recommended. But…

Winter is when I was there and although very cold, averaging between -10C to 5C, it is bearable. It is particularly dry in Tibet so remaining warm is a matter of protecting yourself against the very cold air as opposed to being concerned with snow and ice. When moisture is present, it is much more difficult to stay warm because moisture speeds up heat transfer.

The bonus of being there in Winter is the lack of tourists! So if really want to escape Winter in Tibet is the best time.

More Himalaya travel tips….

Light-weight clothes are best between May and October and warm layered wear from November to April.

Essential items you should take with you are a fine quality backpack, with wide straps to hold, foam mattress, sleeping bag, a Swiss knife, good quality trekking shoes, a raincoat (also in summer), matchboxes, umbrella, a water bottle, disposable bags and a flashlight.

Getting There From Abroad

Your Himalaya travel could depart from various locations. Many travel by air to Kathmandu, Nepal and use this as their starting point. Nepal has connections with many destinations abroad.

Want to visit Tibet? There are frequent flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa, though the exact number of flights per week depends on the season. It’s slightly more than one hour and gives you a great view of the Himalaya mountains. Note that normally individual travelers can get neither a visa nor a plane ticket, which are solely available to members of organized groups.

Alternatives are direct flights between Chengdu in the Sichuan Province, and Lhasa. You can easily obtain an air ticket through a travel agent in Chengdu, China. There is also a 2-hour flight twice every week between Chongqing and Lhasa.