China Travel ABC

Chinese Currency

The Chinese currency is Renmingbi, which is issued by the state bank, the people’s Bank of China. The standard unit of the Renmingbi is yuan, with jiao and fen as subsidiary units. One yuan equals ten jiao, and one jiao equals ten fen. Yuan, jiao and fen are issued both in bills of exchange and coins. The Renmingbi features the following denominations: one, two and five fen. The abbreviation for Renmingbi is RMB.

Foreign Currency Conversion

The circulation of foreign currencies, and the setting of accounts with foreign currencies, is banned in the people’s Republic of China. Foreigners who have entered China will have to pay for their expenses in Renmingbi. The following foreign currencies can be converted into Renmingbi in China: US dollar, British pound sterling, Deutsche mark, Japanese yen, Australian yuan, Austrian schilling, Franc Belge, Canadian dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Swiss franc, Danish krone, Dutch guilder, Norwegian krone, Swedish krone, Singapore dollar, Malaysian ringgit, Italian lira, Macao pataca, and Finnish markka. Some hotels, restaurants and stores in China also handle the conversion of foreign currencies exchange rates on a daily basis. A foreign traveler may have his surplus amount of Renmingbi converted back into foreign currency and take it out of China within a grace period of six months prior to departure from China, but in doing so he has to display a foreign currency conversion receipt.

Credit Cards


The following foreign credit cards are acceptable in China: 1. Master; 2.Visa; 3.American Express;4.JCB; and 5.Diners; Card-holders may draw cash at the Bank of China or conversion centers designated by the Bank of China, or use their cards to pay for their expenses at department stores, restaurants and hotels where credit cards are acceptable.

Travel Checks

For the convenience of the travelers in China, the Bank of China cashes travel checks sold by international commercial banks and travel check companies in the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Britain, France, Switzerland, German and other countries and regions. The Bank of China also acts as a sales agency for travel checks issued by the American Express, and the National Bank of New York.

Postal Service

Apart from post offices in cities, mailing service is also available in some hotels. When mailing a letter, you should make sure to use a standard envelop, fill in the postal code, and attach an enough amount of stamps. Express mail service is available in most post offices and express mailing companies.

Useful Phone Numbers

  • 0086 China international zip code;
  • 110 — police;
  1. — Inner-city telephone mishaps;
  2. — Operator of domestic long-distance calls;
  3. — Inner-city telephone number inquires;
  4. — operator of international long-distance calls;
  5. –Information on domestic long-distance calls;
  6. — Time;

119 — Fire;

120 — Ambulance;

121 — Weather forecasts. (Effective all over China)


220 volts.


The tap water is drinkable only in a limited number of luxury hotels, so make sure to ask a hotel manager if the tap water is potable. All the guest rooms in Chinese hotels are equipped with thermos bottles filled with boiled water. Bottled mineral water is popular in China nowadays.



Stores in China are open from 8:00 or 8:30 to 20:00 or 20:30 (9:00 ?19:00 in winter). In some stores some salespeople can speak English. Foreign currency conversion service is available in most shopping centers and stores catered to foreign visitors. Stores designated by the Chinese tourist authorities are reliable places where prices match the quality of goods on sale.

Emergency Medical Service

The clinics in large hotels and restaurants offer medical and first-aid services to travelers. If you feel uncomfortable while on a tour, you may call the outpatient department of a local hotel, or ask your guide to take you to see the doctor.


The Chinese work five days a week, with day off on Saturday and Sunday.

National Holidays

  1. New Year Day: one day off on January 1;
  2. Spring Festival: three days off beginning from the first day of the first Chinese lunar month;
  3. International Labor Day: One day off on May 1;
  4. National Day: two days off beginning from October 1.