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China traveling tips

Weather

The climate in Beijing is “continental”, with cold and dry winters, due to the Siberian air masses that move southward across the Mongolian Plateau. Summers are generally hot owing to warm and humid monsoon winds from the southeast bringing Beijing most of its annual precipitation. January is the coldest month and July is the warmest. Winter usually begins towards the end of October. The summer months, June to August, are wet and hot with about 40% of the annual precipitation.

Average Data

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High F

33/36

38/42

50/54

67/70

78/82

86/89

87/90

84/88

77/81

66/69

49/52

36/40

Average High C

1/3

3/5

10/12

19/21

26/28

30/32

30/32

29/31

25/27

19/21

9/11

2/4

Average Low F

13/17

18/21

29/33

43/46

54/58

63/67

69/73

67/71

56/60

43/46

29/33

18/21

Average Low C

-10/-8

-8/-6

-2/0

6/8

12/14

17/19

21/23

20/22

13/15

6/8

-2/0

-8/-6

Max ( F)

54

64

82

90

99

104

104

107

92

84

75

66

Max ( C)

12.2

17.8

27.8

32.2

37.2

40.0

40.0

41.7

33.3

28.9

23.9

18.9

Min ( F)

1

5

19

30

39

48

63

54

36

28

10

6

Min ( C)

-17.2

-15

-7.2

-1.1

3.9

8.9

17.2

12.2

2.2

-2.2

-12.2

-14.4

Rain (in)

0.1/0.2

0.2/0.3

0.3/0.4

0.8/0.9

1.4/1.5

2.9/3

8.0/8.1

7.1/7.2

<0.1

0.6/0.7

0.3/0.4

0.1/0.2

Rain (mm)

<5

5/10

5/10

20/25

35/40

75/80

205/210

180/185

<5

15/20

5/10

<5

Electricity

The electric current used in China is 220V 50Hz. Hotels provide 220V and 110V (shavers only) power outlets. Please note that plug adapters and converters might be required.

Currency and Exchange

The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (RMB or ¥) and the value is pegged to the US dollar with a current exchange rate of US$ 1: RMB 6.2 (April 2012). The Yuan is divided into 10 jiao or 100 fen. Notes come in denominations of ¥100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home as it can only be exchanged within China's borders.

Euros and US Dollars can be exchanged at your hotel or at any bank. The exchange rate is more or less the same across China. Travellers cheques can only be exchanged at the Bank of China. Banks are usually open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Currency exchange services are available for the following foreign currencies: US Dollar, British Pound Sterling, Euro, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Swiss Franc, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone, Swedish Krone, Singapore Dollar, Malaysian Ringgit, and Macao Pataca.

Major credit cards are accepted at many establishments, such as American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Master Card and Visa.

ATM Machine

Beijing is a very ATM-friendly city. There are many banks with ATMs, but only about 50% of these accept foreign cards. The main foreign friendly ATMs are controlled by the Bank of China. Bank of China ATMs work in both Chinese and English (depending on your card), use the latest equipment, and are reasonably easy to find.

Insurance

Organizers of the Global Symposium do not accept any liability for personal accidents or injury or loss or damage to private property of any participant indirectly arising from travelling to Beijing and/or attending the Symposium. Participants are advised to purchase adequate travel and health insurance before leaving their own countries.

Safety and Security

In general China is a very safe country. However, be aware of pickpockets and be careful when crossing the road. Passports should be kept in the hotel safe until the departure day. Also note the serial numbers of your travellers checks if you are carrying those. We also recommend having copies of your passport and credit cards with you in case of loss or theft.

Tipping

Gratuities are not customary in China. However, in hotels and during group travels, tipping is practiced for porters, tour guides and drivers.

Smoking

Anti-smoking campaigns are becoming stronger and stronger, but you might still find people smoking in local restaurants and bars.

Time

China covers four time zones. Beijing time is the only official time throughout the country; punctuality is highly appreciated.

Transportation

Public Buses

Buses are the main means of transport in Beijing. Please prepare small bills as not all buses will carry change. Buses can be very crowded during peak times, which are generally from 7‑9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.

The Subway

The subway system in Beijing has eight lines. The fare is 2 yuan per entry with free transfer from one line to another. Trains run from 5.30 in the morning until 11.00 in the evening. A ticket can be bought at the ticket office at each station or at an automatic ticketing machine. Subway stops are announced over the train's speaker system in Chinese and English.

Taxis

Taxis in Beijing have several colours. All of them show a taximeter inside. You can easily find them in every part of Beijing. All Taxis will charge 2 yuan per kilometre with a base rate or minimum charges of 10 yuan.

Hospitals & Clinics

1.   Beijing International SOS Clinic

Daily 24 hours, Pharmacy Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat-Sun 8am-6pm. Suite 105, Wing 1, Kunsha Bldg, No.16 Xinyuanli, Chaoyang District. (010-64629112, 24 hrs 010-64629100) www.internationalsos.com

2.   Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics

Mon-Sat 8:30am-5:30pm; Sun 8:30am-5:00pm; 24-hour emergency. No.2 Jiangtai Road, Lido area, Chaoyang District. (appointment 010-59277000, emergency 010-59277120) www.unitedfamilyhospitals.com

3.   China-Japan Friendship Hospital

Mon-Fri 8:00am-noon, 1:30-5:00pm; Sat 8:00-11:30am; 24-hour emergency. Yinghua East Street, Hepingli, Heping Jie Beikou, Chaoyang District. (010-64222952, 010-64223209) www.zryhyy.com.cn

4.   Hong Kong International Medical Clinic, Beijing

Daily 9am-9pm; 24-hour emergency, 9/F, Swissotel office tower, 2 Chaoyangmen North Street, Chaoyang District. (010-65014260, 010-65532288 ext 2346) www.hkclinic.com 

5.   International Medical Center (IMC)

Daily 24 hours. S106, 1/F, Lufthansa Center, No.50 Liangmaqiao Road, Chaoyang District. (010-64651561/2/3, dental 010-64561384/94/28) www.imcclinics.com 

6.   Peking Union Medical College Hospital

Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm; 24-hour emergency. No.1 Shuaifuyuan, Wangfujing (the foreigners’ wing is located south of the inpatient building), Dongcheng District. (010-65295284, emergency 010-65295269) www.pumch.ac.cn

 
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