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Information on the PR of China




Official state name: People’s Republic of China

Area: 9.6 mil. Sq km

Population: 1.3 bil.

Population density: 135.3 per sq km

Capital: Beijing (Peking). Inhabitants: 13.82 mil. The largest Chinese metropolis is Shanghai with 16.74 mil. inhabitants.


Geography: In terms of area, China is the third largest country in the world. In the North, it borders on Kasachstan, Mongolia and the Russian Federation; in the East, on North Korea, the Yellow Sea and the East Chinese Ocean; in the South, on Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan and Nepal; in the West, on Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Kirgisia and Tadshikistan. China consists of 22 provinces, 5 autonomous areas and 4 directly governed cities. The diversity in landscape ranges from the highlands in the West with mountains exceeding 8000 meters in height to the low valleys of the East. About a third of the country is mountainous. The best known mountain ranges are the Himalayas, the Altai mountains, the Tianshan mountains and the Kunlun mountains. Mount Everst with its 8850 m lies on the border to Nepal. To its East and West lies the Qinghai high plateau and the Tibetan plateau; the latter lies 4000 m above sea level and is known as the roof of the world. The Turfan low plateau is found at the foot of the Tianshan mountains, representing China’s lowest point with its 154 m below sea level. The yellow river (Huang He) and the Yangtse Kiang (Chang Jiang) are the best known rivers. Only 10% of the area is suitable for agriculture. The coast has a total length of 18,000 km.

Climate: Regional variations. Generally, the climate is continental with very hot summers and very cold winters. The North and the middle regions have a lot of rainfall. Summers are hot, winters cold. In southern China, the winters are milder. The southeastern region has a lot of rain, nearly tropical summers and cool winters. The coastal areas have a moist climate due to the influence of the monsoon.

Form of government: Socialist People’s Republic. Constitution dates to 1982, last modifications made in 1999. Single chamber parliament: Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (National People’s Congress with 2985 seats). Chief of State: Hu Jintao, since 2003. Head of Government: Wen Jiabao, since 2003. The National People’s Congress (NPC) is the most powerful state organ. Representatives are elected every 5 years by the parliaments of the Provinces, the autonomous areas and the cities as well as the National Liberation Army. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the highest political power center. The highest decision-making body is the permanent Committee of the politbureau with the General Secretary of the party and further six members.

Language: The official language is Mandarin. Next to numerous regional dialects, large groups speak Cantonese, Minbei, Xiang and Hakka dialects. The autonomous regions have their own languages, such as Tibetan and Mongolian. English is partly spoken in business circles as well as in shops, hotels, and by tourguides.

Religion: The most important religious orientations are Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Islam. Christian, Hindu and Lamaist minorities.


Practical hints

Local time: CET + 7

Voltage: countrywide 220 V, 50 Hz. According to region, adapters for two-pin or three-pin flat cable plugs are required, thus multiple adapters are recommended.

Telephone: Partly international direct calls. In large hotels, international direct calls are possible. Local calls are generally free of charge. In the major cities, public card telephones exist from which it is also possible to make international calls. Otherwise, it is advised to purchase a Chinese telephone card for cell phones.

Country dialling code: 0086

Cell phones: GSM 900 with reception/transmission in Beijing, Guangzhou (Canton) and Shanghai and in most other urban areas in the Southeast and East, including Chengdu and Chongqing. Network providers include China Mobile (Internet: www.chinamobile.com) and China Unicom (Internet: www.netchina.com.cn).

Fax: Large hotels are increasingly offering fax services but can usually only receive faxes. Costs are generally high. Faxes can also be sent from Internet cafés.

Internet/E-Mail: Network provider: Eastnet China Ltd. (Internet: www.eastnet.com.cn). Internet cafés exist in all larger cities.

Regular mail: Mail to Europe takes about a week. All mail should be addressed to The People’s Republic of China. Larger post offices are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., small ones not as long. Stamps can be purchased in hotels where postcards and letters can also be mailed.

Deutsche Welle: Since the use of short wave frequencies changes frequently over the course of a year, it is recommended to request the current frequencies directly from the customer service of the Deutsche Welle (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de).

Regions and Cities:

Trips to China are becoming easier to manage for individual travellers. Alle provinces have their own dialects and display considerable regional differences. A total of 23 places of interest in China were declared to be world heritage sites by the UNESCO. Travel routes are normally planned according to practical considerations.

Beijing is laid out symmetrically and consists of three concentric squares. The innermost square is the Forbidden City, formerly the residence of the Ming and Qing emperors and currently a park with a museum. The middle square has parks and living quarters of high government officials. In the outermost square lies the city periphery, the markets and the old living quarters. One of the most impressive attractions is the Emperor’s palace in the Forbidden City: an architectural masterpiece with grand halls, six main palaces, numerous adjoining buildings and gardens. Mei Shan (coal hill) is an elevated park with breathtaking views. Beihai park is one of Beijing’s prettiest. The Tiananmen Square (Place of Heavenly Peace) is the largest public square worldwide; it is surrounded by museums, parks and the university. The Temple of Heaven is an outstanding example for the Chinese architecture of the 15th century. The Summer Palace with its beautiful grounds, the summer residence of Qing dynasty emperors, also known as Museum Garden, is only nearly 20 km away from Beijing at Lake Kunming.
A part of the impressive Great Wall is also easily accessible from the capital: at Badaling, Simatai or Mutianyu one can get a first taste of this 5400 km long structure made of brick and granite. It is 2600 years old and represents one of the seven wonders of the world. In the Ming graves lie 13 emperors of the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644). Two graves have been unearthed and one is accessible to visitors.

Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world. The city at the mouth of the Yangtse is China’s leading industry, trade and shopping hub. Additionally, it has an interesting old part of town, busy harbour facilities, wonderful gardens and parks, museums, palaces, pagodas and tempels. The small Yu-Yuan garden is over 400 years old and was designed with many lovingly created details, pavillions, stone gardens and lakes after the plans of antique landscaping and gardening arts. The garden can be reached via the tempel bazar of the city god. One of the most famous Buddhist temples in Shanghai is the Tempel of the Jade Buddha, a replica of the palace from the Song dynasty, with a 2 meter high statue made from white jade and garnished with jewels. Further attractions are the museum for art and history with exhibits from all dynasties; modern art galleries, street markets for clothes and accessoires and the night markets with everything the Chinese cuisine has to offer. Boat trips on the river Huangpu are ideal for getting to know Shanghai from the water.

Guangzhou (Canton) is a subtropical major city on the Southern coast and the most important foreign trade center of the country. Its attractions include diverse parks, museums and temples. It is an ideal starting point for trips to the nearby mountains. Here, there are many thermal baths and the view is exquisite.

Kunming is a modern city with several scattered temples and pretty lakeside parks. The city has a pleasant climate all year round. Hikes to the somewhat southerly Dian lakes are well worthwhile. The holy mountain Xi Shan lies on its Western flank. A little outside of the city lies the Stone Forest at Shilin, popular both among tourists and locals. 80 km east of the Stone Forest are a group of caves, the caves of Alu. These contain numerous stalagmites, stone flowers, stone curtains and other strangely shaped stalactites.




Societal profile:

Food & drink: Chinese cuisine is world renowned for its diversity. The meals are often served with steamed rice. Specialties include Dim Sum (normally, steamed bites served in small bamboo baskets that are pushed through restaurants on trolleys and the guests help themselves).

The Cantonese cuisine that is well-known in the West is only one of many regional cooking styles. In total, there are eight different schools of Chinese cuisine that are named after their places of origin: Anhui, Fujian, Guangdon, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan and Zhejian. For a general overview of Chinese cooking, it is best to divide these into four regions:

Northern Chinese cuisine: The style predominating in Beijing, also known as Mandarin or Shandong, is very varied. The focus lies on pastries and spicy sauces; deep-frying is the preferred cooking method. Best known are the Peking duck – where the crisp duck skin is served in wafer-thin rice flour pancakes together with cucumbers, spring onions and Hoi Sin plum sauce - and Chinese fondue. For the latter, raw meat or vegetables are cooked in boiling hot chicken broth in a cast iron pot and served with diverse spiced sauces. A further specialty are Shuijiao – dumplings stuffed with pork, chives and spring onions.

Southern Chinese cuisine: Cantonese cuisine is based on parboiling, steaming and quick frying in order to maintain natural flavors. Next to chicken, pork and beef, also snakes, dogs, cats and turtles are eaten. Dishes include Cha Siu Bao (dumplings stuffed with pork pieces), Har Gau (steamed shrimp dumplings) and Shiu Mai (steam pork minced meat with shrimps). The Hakka cooking is usually simple, the chicken fried in salt tastes excellent. Cantonese cuisine is based on parboiling, steaming and quick frying in order to maintain natural flavors. Next to chicken, pork and beef, also snakes, dogs, cats and turtles are eaten. Dishes include Cha Siu Bao (dumplings stuffed with pork pieces), Har Gau (steamed shrimp dumplings) and Shiu Mai (steam pork minced meat with shrimps). The Hakka cooking is usually simple, the chicken fried in salt tastes excellent.

Eastern Chinese cuisine: The kitchens of Shanghai and Zhejiang is rich, sweet and often prepare dishes with sour pickled fruits and vegetables. Specialities include hot, sour soups, seafood, noodles and vegetables. Shanghai dishes mainly consist of chopped ingredients that have been cooked in soja sauce or that are fried in sesame oil with a lot of garlic and pepper.

Western Chinese cuisine: Szechuan dishes are heavily spiced with chillies; one specialty is grilled meat and chicken in spicy soja sauce with peanuts.

Beverages: Chinese tea, usually green tea, often flavored with ginger, jasmine or rose petals, is world famous. Popular Chinese wines and spirits are rice wine served hot, strong plum brandy, high proof millet spirits and Maotai (rice spirits). The most popular beer brand is Tsingtao.

Shopping: It is customary to barter in the markets. Antiques that are over 100 years old require an export permit, which takes the form of a red wax seal. Shops sell inexpensive souvenirs. The best presents and souvenirs can be found in the regional factories, shops and markets that have specialized on arts & crafts. Jade jewelry, embroideries, silk or cashmere clothes, pergaments, calligraphies and paintings are recommended. Major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kunming also have large department stores with a wide range of goods. Shop opening times: Mon – Sun 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.


International Travel:

By plane – regular flights: There are several non-stop flights from various European major cities to Beijing and Shanghai on a daily basis. All the largest national airline companies of Europe as well as „Air China“ and „China Eastern“ offer these connections. Chinas national airline is Air China (CA) (Internet: www.airchina.com.cn). Direct flights to Beijing from Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and many other European cities.


Lufthansa (LH), British Airways (BA), Air France, Finnair, KLM, Qantas, Swiss and Singapore Airlines also regularly fly to Beijing, Shanghai, Hongkong and various Chinese cities. LTU (internet: www.ltu.de) flies to Beijing from various large German cities. Austrian Airlines flies from Vienna to Beijing and Shanghai. China Southern Airlines operates the route Amsterdam – Beijing – Shanghai.

Average flight times: Frankfurt Beijing (Peking): 9 hours 15; Frankfurt Shanghai: about 10 hours 20; Zurich Beijing (Peking): 9 hours 30; Vienna Beijing (Peking): 15 hours (with stopover).

International airports: Beijing (BJS/PEK) lies 26 km in the north-east of the city (distance: Bus 90 min.; airport bus 50 min.; Taxi 30-40 min.). Taxi rank, Duty-free-Shops, Post office, Bank/Currency exchange, bar, Restaurants, shops, tourist information.Guangzhou/Canton, lies 7 km outside of the city (distance 20 min. by car). Taxi rank, Duty-free-shops, Post office, Bank/Currency Exchange, Bar, Restaurant.
New Guangzhou/Canton (Baiyun) International Airport, lies in the north of Guangzhou. China’s largest airport was commissioned in August 2004. An airport rail link connects the airport with the regional train system of the city Guangzhou. Bank/Currency Exchange, wireless internet access, Restaurants, shops, Tourist-Information.
Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) 12 km southwest of the city (distances: Taxi 20 min.; airport bus 30 min.). An airport bus shuttles between Shanghai Hongqiao and Shanghai Pudong Airport. Taxi ranks, Duty-free-Shops, Post office, Bank/Currency Exchange, Bars, Restaurants.
Shanghai Pudong (PVG), 30 km from the city center in the new Eastern financial district (distance: 30 – 40 mins.) in operation since March 2000. A magnetic rail service connects with the city center, busses and taxis are also available. Airport facilities: Banks, Commercial Exchanges, Restaurants, shops, Duty-Free Shops, first aid facilties. Further airports in other large cities.

Airport charges: Beijing: 90 RMB, Shanghai: 90 RMB. Children below 12 years are exempt.

Boat: The major ports are Shanghai and Hongkong as well as Fuzhou, Guangzhou (Canton), Qingdao (Tsingtao), Tianjin and Xiamen. Numerous ferry connections with neighboring countries, including Shanghai Kobe, Shanghai Yokohama, Shanghai Nagasaki, Shanghai Osaka, Tianjin Kobe and to the West coast of South Korea. Various cruise lines offer cruises that either exclusively call at Chinese ports or do this in conjunction with an East or South-East asia tour.

Rail: Regular train connections exist between Hongkong and Guangzhou (Canton). Travellers with ample time can take the route with the Transsiberian Railway from Berlin via Moscow to Beijing. Advance booking, if possible at least 2 months before departure, is recommended. Caution should prevail due to increasing activities of smuggling groups.
Beijing Moscow (Russ. Federation): 6-day journey (9001 km); Beijing Pyongyang (North Korea): day trip (1347 km); Beijing Mongolia: 4-day trip (1561 km).

Bus/Car: The most important roads to China follow the historic trade routes through Myanmar, India, the CIS, Mongolia and Nepal.

Inland Travel:

Air travel: Domestic long haul flights make air travel indispensable. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is the umbrella organization of numerous regional airlines such as China Northern, China Eastern, China Southern, Great Wall or Yunnan Airlines, which connect over 80 cities with Beijing. There are regular flights from Beijing and Guangzhou (Canton) to Hongkong. Individual travellers can make bookings via the local CITS office, which charges a small fee, or can buy the tickets in the airline office. In May, September and October advance bookings are recommended. Check-in desks open 90 mins. and close 30 mins. prior to departure. All provincial capitals can be reached by plane.

Airport charges: Beijing: 50 RMB, Shanghai: 50 RMB. Children under 2 years are exempt.

Boat: Ferry traffic on all larger rivers. The coastal ferries operate between Dalian, Tianjin (Tientsin), Qingdao (Tsingtao) and Shanghai. Victoria Cruises (internet: www.victoriacruises.com) offers all-year trips on the Yangtse Kiang between Chongqing and Shanghai via Wuhan.

Rail: The railway network has a total length of 52,000 km. Trains are the main means of transportation for freight and passenger traffic in China and are usually safe and punctual. The main lines lead from Beijing to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Harbin, Chengdu and Urumqi. There are direct connections between Beijing via Guangzhou to Hongkong and from Beijing to Tianjin. There are 4 classes: hardseater, softseater, hardsleeper and softsleeper. Price reductions for children are calculated on a practical basis: children measuring less than 1 meter in height ride for free; children under 1.30 m pay 25% of the ticket price. At the large railway stations, there are special desks with english-speaking staff. Luggage regulations: adults max. 20 kg, children max. 10 kg and diplomats max. 35 kg.

Bus/Car: Right hand driving. About 80% of Chinese localities are connected to the road system. Roads are not always good, cars should definitely be roadworthy. Distances can be easily underestimated. China is an agricultural country and car repair garages do not correspond to the Western standard. The distance from Beijing to Shanghai is 1461 km and from Beijing to Nanjing (Nanking) 1139 km. Long distance busses: bus connections between the major cities, the busses are often overcrowded. Rental cars with chauffeurs only are available. Renting cars that one can drive oneself is problematic since the rental agencies retain the passport of the driver and foreigners are only given permission to drive in exceptional cases. Driving in China is permitted only for people with a Chinese driving license. The international driving license is not recognized.

City traffic: Busses are very cheap but frequently overcrowded. Underground metro networks exist in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. A magnetic railway connects the Shanghai airport Pudong (PVG) with the metro line 2 at the Longyang station (distance: 8 mins.) at the city perimeter of Shanghai. In numerous other cities there are trams or electric busses. There are taxis in the major cities and these are easy to find. A sticker on the outside of the taxi informs about the price. One should make sure that the taxi meter is turned on. There is a basic fee and a route-dependent price. If necessary, the price can be negotiated before setting forth. The taxi drivers usually don’t speak a foreign language. For this reason, travellers should have their hotels issue their destination address in Chinese characters and take a calling card of the hotel for the return journey. Taxis can also be rented for a full day. Motorcycle taxis, motorcycle tricycles and bicycle rikshas stand at bus and rail stations. Bicycles can be rented at the larger hotels and in certain shops. Cyclists must drive slowly and ring their bells continually.



Entry information for the PR of China:

Entry conditions:

Regardless of whether you’re coming from Germany, Austria, Switzerland or other EU-countries, you will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months and a valid visa for entering the PR China.

Further comments:

Restrictions on travel: The government of the PR of China does not accept travel documents that were issued by Taiwan.

Note: The PR of China does not acknowledge dual citizenship. Travellers must sign a health declaration upon entry. Travellers who are HIV positive or suffer from leprosy or an open lung tuberculosis are not permitted entry.

Special regulations apply for Hongkong and Macao.

Passport: Generally required, must be valid at least for another 6 months, or at least 9 months if the traveller should visit China a second or several times.

Entry with children: Germans: German children’s identity card up until completion of the 16th year with photograph (also for infants). Given a longer stay, children should have their own passports since the children’s identity card only provides room for two visas. The German representations in China thus generally do not issue children’s identity cards but only passports. The entry of a child to China which does not have its own passport but that is registered in the passport of a parent is possible if there is a photograph of the child next to the name and if the Chinese visas in the parent’s passport is explicitly also valid for the child in question. Since there have been quite a few problems with this kind of approach, it is strongly recommended to have a passport as well as an individual visa issued for children.
Austria: Own passport.
Switzerland: Own passport.
Note: The same visa conditions as for the parents apply to the children.

Visa: Generally required. Citizens of the following countries are exempt for a stay of 15 days: Brunei, Japan and Singapore.

Transit: Transit travellers who continue their journey within 24 hrs and who have valid documents for the continued journey do not need a visa. Passengers may leave the transit area. These conditions only apply to British nationals and U.S. American nationals at Beijing airport. German and Austrian transit passengers, amongst others, may only stay on the premises under the above-mentioned conditions for a maximum period of 48 hours at the airports Shanghai Hongqiao and Pu Dong.

Types of visas: Tourist, group, business and transit visas.

Visa Fees:

Tourist and Business Visa: 20 (single entry), 30 (double entry), 40 (multiple entries, valid 6 months), 60 (multiple entry, valid 1 year). Group Visa: 30 (single entry). Surcharge for preferential same-day processing: 30 per person, within 2 days: 20 per person (submission by 11.30 a.m.).

Austrians:Tourist and Business Visa: 30 (single entry), 45 (double entry), 60 (multiple entries, valid 6 months), 90 (multiple entries, valid 1 year). Surcharge for preferential same-day processing: 33 per person, within 3 days: 23 per person.

Swiss nationals: Tourist and Business Visa: 50 CHF (single entry), 75 CHF (dual entry), 100 CHF (multiple entries, valid 6 months), 150 CHF (multiple entries, valid 1 year). Group Visa: 40 CHF per person (single entry). Surcharge for preferential same-day processing: 25 CHF per person, within 2 days: 18 CHF per person.

Different charges apply for trips to Hongkong depending on nationality and type of visa. The consular representations can advise on details.

Terms of validity: 3 months (single entry), 6 months (multiple entries). Business Visa: varies. Transit visas are usually issued for a maximum of 7 days. Tourist and group visas are normally issued for package tour members, tourist visas are also issued for individual travellers.

Applications: Via the relevant consular channels. It is not possible to apply for visas by mail. If you are unable to submit applications in person, this can be done by visa agencies or courier services.
In order to apply for application forms, a self-addressed and stamped return envelope must be included. Application forms are also available from the websites of the Chinese consulates in Berlin, Vienna and Berne for printing.

Documents: Tourist visa: (a) completed application form. (b) passport photograph (c) passport that is valid at least for another 6 months and that has at least one empty page left (d) Proof of sufficient funds (e) Reservation confirmation for hotel and flight (f) Fee (cash or collection-only cheque) (g) For stays exceeding one year, an AIDS test is required (h) If needed, a copy of the residence permit, else the visa application must be made from your home country.(i) Business visa: Letter of invitation by a ministry, a company or an official Chinese organization.(j) Group visa: Additional confirmation (letter or fax) of the Chinese tour operator, numbered passport copies of all travel group participants as well as three copies of the list of travel group participants(k) Visa enabling multiple entries: Letter of invitation by the relevant Chinese ministry.

Note: Information on international inoculation certificates that are required for entry can be gleaned from the chapter on health.

Processing times: Visas should be applied for as early as possible, but no earlier than 50 days before the planned date of departure. Since all visas are issued by the authorities and are processed according to priority, it may take a while before the application is approved. Normally, visa processing takes 4 working days.

Residence permit: Enquiries should be directed at the relevant consular representation.

Entry with pets: Birds may not be imported. Cats and dogs (maximally 1 animal per passenger) require a health certificate and a rabies inoculation certificate that was issued by an official vet of the passenger’s home country. The rabies certificate is valid at least 30 days and at most 12 months before entry. A compulsory quarantine period of 30 days applies.
Note: Cats and dogs are not permitted in Chinese hotels.


Currency: 1 Renminbi Yuan = 10 Jiao = 100 Fen. Abbreviated: RMB, CNY (ISO-Code). Bank notes are available in denominations of 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1 as well as 5, 2 and 1 Jiao. Coins exist in denominations of 1 and 1.5 Jiao as well as 5, 2 and 1 Fen in circulation.

Money Exchange: RMB is not traded outside of China. Foreign currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged in all international banks and hotels.

Credit cards: Eurocard/MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club and American Express are accepted in international hotels and larger stores. Details can be gathered from the credit card issuer. The foundation of the Chinese Banking Association has promoted the use of credit cards issued by Chinese state-owned banks. Nevertheless, there are only just 43,000 cash tellers in China.

Travellers Cheques: Should be issued in US-dollars.

Currency regulations: Travellers with residency in China: 6,000 RMB in cash is the maximum amount that can be brought into the country per person. The cash limit on foreign currencies brought into the country is USD 1,000 or equivalent per person. Larger amounts need to be declared.
Travellers with residency outside of China: 6,000 RMB in cash is the maximum amount that can be brought into the country per person. The cash limit on foreign currencies brought into the country is USD 5,000 or equivalent per person. Larger amounts need to be declared.The maximum cash amount that can be carried out of the country for all travellers amounts to 6,000 RMB or equivalent. Foreign currencies can be carried out according to the amounts stated for imported cash. Larger amounts need to be declared.

Bank opening times: Mon - Fri 9 a.m. – noon, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Duty Free:

Duty Free: (a) Travellers staying up to 6 months in the country can import the following products tax-free into China: 400 cigarettes;2 bottles of alcoholic beverages (up to 0,75 l);perfume for personal use. (b) Travellers with a stay of over 6 months may import the following products tax-free: 600 cigarettes; 4 bottles of alcoholic beverages (up to 0,75 l); perfume for personal use.

Note: All consumer durables (cameras, watches, jewelry, etc.) must be declared upon entry. The copy of this declaration must be submitted upon departure. The possession of drugs is fined with heavy prison sentences, drug dealers face the death sentence. Customs officials may confiscate CDs, magazines and books and investigate these in terms of political, religious or pornographic contents.

Ban on imports: Weapons, munition, exposed and undeveloped films, pornography (some pictures in Western magazines can be classifed as pornographic), radios, political or religious printed material, fruits and certain vegetables. Note: Weapons and munition for hunting purposes may be imported with a license that should be obtained before travelling via the travel agency.

Ban on exports: Antiquities may only be exported if they carry an export stamp issued by the Office for Cultural Artefacts. When buying jewelry, jade articles, art objects, paintings, calligraphies and antiquities, the receipt should be kept in order to receive an export certificate upon departure. Without this certificate, the mentioned articles may not be exported. Note: following the Washington species protection act, no ivory or ivory products may be imported to Europe.

Contact Addresses::

Tourist Office of the PR of China: Ilkenhansstraße 6, 60433 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)69 - 52 01 35. Fax: +49 (0)69 - 52 84 90.
E-Mail: info@china-tourism.de
Internet: www.fac.de oder www.china-tourism.de
Mon-Thur 9 a.m. - noon and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Fr 9 a.m. - noon; (also in charge for Austria).

China Tourist Office of the PR of China: Genferstraße 21, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0) –1- 201 88 77. Fax: +41 (0) – 1 - 201 88 78.
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

China International Travel Services (CITS): 103 Fu Xing Men Nei Avenue, CN-100800 Beijing, China
Tel: +86 (10) 65 22 29 91. Fax: +86 (10) 65 22 28 62.
E-Mail: shuyu@cits.com.cn
Internet: www.cits.net

Consulate of the PR China: Märkisches Ufer 54, 10179 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) – 30 - 27 58 80. Fax: +49 (0) – 30 - 27 58 82 21.
E-Mail: chinesischebotschaft@debitel.net
Internet: www.china-botschaft.de9 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Consular department of the Consulate: Brückenstraße 10, 10179 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) – 30 - 27 59 08 83 (tape recording) or +49 (0) - 30 - 27 59 27 92 (tape recording) or +49 (0) – 30 - 48 83 97 16 (personal assistance, Tue and Thur 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.). Fax: +49 (0) - 30 - 48 83 97 31. Mon - Fri 9 a.m. – noon.

Consulate of the PR China, Bonn branch: Kurfürstenallee 12, 53177 Bonn/Bad Godesberg, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) – 228 - 955 97 16. Fax: +49 (0) – 228 - 36 16 35. Consular department: Tel: +49 (0) – 228 - 955 97 22. Mon - Fri 9 a.m. – noon (opening hours for the public).
General Consulate with visa issuing service in Hamburg (Tel: +49 (0) – 40 - 82 27 60 13) and in Munich (Tel. +49 (0) – 89 - 17 30 16 11).

Embassy of the PR of China: Metternichgasse 4, 1030 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 (0) – 1 - 714 31 49. Fax: +43 (0) – 1 - 713 68 16.
Internet: www.chinaembassy.at
Mon - Fri 8.30 a.m. – noon and 2 p.m. – 5. 30 p.m.

Consular department of the embassy: Strohgasse 22, 1030 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 (0) – 1 - 710 36 48. Fax: +43 (0) – 1 - 710 37 70.
Mon, Wed 8.30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., Fri 8. 30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Embassy of the PR of China: Kalcheggweg 10, 3006 Bern, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0) – 31 - 352 73 33. Fax: +41 (0) – 31 - 351 45 73. Consular department.: Tel: +41 (0) – 31 - 351 45 93.
E-Mail: china-embassy@bluewin.ch
Internet: http://ch.china-embassy.org
Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – noon and 2.30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
General Consulate with visa issuing service in Zurich (Tel: +41 (0) – 43 - 201 10 73).

Embassy of the German Federal Republic: 17 Dong Zhi Men Wai Da Jie, Chaoyang District, 100600 Beijing, China
Tel: +86 – 10 - 65 32 21 61. Fax: +86 – 10 - 65 32 53 36.
E-Mail: germassy@bj-shuma.net
Internet: www.deutschebotschaft-china.org
General consulates in Hongkong, Canton and Shanghai.

Embassy of the Republic of Austria: Jian Guo Men Wai, Xiu Shui Nan Jie 5, 100600 Beijing, China
Tel: +86 – 10 - 65 32 20 61/-63. Fax: +86 – 10 - 65 32 15 05.
E-Mail: peking-ob@bmaa.gv.at
General consulates in Hongkong and Shanghai.

Embassy of the Swiss Confederation: 3 Dong Wu Jie, San Li Tun, 100600 Beijing, China
Tel: +86 – 10 - 65 32 27 36. Fax: +86 – 10 - 65 32 43 53.
E-Mail: vertretung@bei.rep.admin.ch
Internet: www.eda.admin.ch/beijing
General consulates in Hongkong and Shanghai.

Health information for the PR China:

Health: Malarial risk posed by the less harmful form Plasmodium vivax exists in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Sichuan, Xizang and Yunnan. The more dangerous form Plasmodium falciparum increases in the Southern regions and appears in Hainan and Yunnan. The malarial risk in Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Shanghai and Zheijiang is low; however, local outbreaks increase the risk. In the regions above a latitude of 33 degrees, the risk of infection exists between July to November in altitudes below 1500 m; the risk of infection exists between May and December between latitudes of 33 and 25 degrees and year-round in the regions south of 25 degrees latitude.

An inoculation certificate for yellow fever is requested from all travelers who are entering the country within 6 days of staying in one of the infection areas.

Inoculation against poliomyelitis and typhoid fever make sense.

Water should generally be boiled or sterilized in some other way before use as drinkwater, for brushing teeth or when preparing ice cubes. Milk is not pasteurized beyond city limits and should be boiled. Meat and fish dishes should only be eaten after they have been fully cooked and served hot. Pork, raw salads, mayonnaise and dairy products from unboiled milk should be avoided. Peel or skin fruits and vegetables before use.

Rabies does exist. Asia is known as the continent with the largest incidence of rabies. In the event of a bite wound, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Dogs are the main carrier of the disease. Bilharzia viruses are found in many freshwater lakes and rivers throughout the country. There has been a further increase recently particularly in the central and eastern regions Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu as well as in the Yangtse regions. Swimming or wading in inland water bodies should thus be avoided. Well-tended swimming pools with chlorinated water are safe to use.

Hepatitis A and E also exist (the latter particularly in Western parts of the country), Hepatitis B is highly endemic. Inoculation against Hepatitis A and in the event of stays longer than 3 months also against Hepatitis B are recommended.
A heightened risk of infection for Japanese encephalitis exists from April to October particularly in the Central and Eastern provinces (with the exception of Xizang (Tibet), Xinjiang and Qinghai). Particularly in the province of Guangdon in Southern China, there has been an increase of infections with Japanese encephalitis.
Dengue fever that is transmitted by mosquitos is found throughout the country. Lyme disease (borreliosis) is endemic, too.
Long term stays require a negative HIV test and possibly a health certificate. Foreigners are required to fill out a health declaration upon entry. Risks of infection are given by sexual contacts, used syringes or canules as well as blood transfusions.
Ticks are found throughout the country.
There is little risk of infection concerning the plague. Incidence especially in Qinghai and Xizang.

Health Care: Medical services are inexpensive, but do not reach western standards particularly outside of the larger cities. Traditional healing methods stemming from traditional Chinese medicine (e.g. acupuncture) are commonly found. Numerous western medications are not available and communicating without knowledge of the Chinese language can be very problematic. Travel medication should primarily include drugs against intestinal and stomach ailments and colds as well as disposable syringes. Medical and hospital bills are normally paid in cash directly after treatment. It is highly recommended to take out travel insurance.

Bird flu: In summer and fall of 2004, new cases of bird flu have been reported in China. In connection with bird flu, travellers are advised to avoid contact with livestock or with raw poultry or birds. More information on this topic is given by the World Health Organization (WHO).