FAQ: China


Category: others


Question: Can I bargain in shopping?

Bargaining is OK in many places. Anyway, do not bargain in a big department store.

You can bargain in shops and street stalls but usually not in large stores or restaurants (unless they offer you a discount, then you know to bargain). If you do bargain, start at about 50% of the original price, and you will be shocked at how many times you will get it for that.

If you are from the U.S., most prices will be quite acceptable. Try bargaining for fun, but do not take it too seriously, especially if you are at a street vendor.

Important note: If you go to a street vendor, the prices are geared more towards the local Chinese consumer and not the foreigner who makes 10 times the average Chinese customer. Besides, you are bound to see the same exact item 10 or more times during your trip! Patience goes a long way here in China.


Question: Do I need adapter for electricity?

Keep in mind that no matter what type of plug an outlet might accept, voltage in China is 220 v, 50 hz and not acceptable for your U.S. purchased appliances. You will need a converter for this.

The electrical current in China is 220 volts, 50 cycles (AC). Wall outlets take American-style plugs, with two flat parallel prongs; however, the outlets may not take the third, oversized prong used for grounding now in general use in the U.S.

To use your U.S. purchased electric-powered appliances, you will need a converter (see below), unless they are dual voltage, in which case you will need only the adapter for the plug. Most laptops operate equally well on 220 or 110 volts and only require an adapter. Make sure you use a power surge protector.

Do not use the 110 volt outlets in the hotels marked "for shavers only" with high-wattage appliances, such as blow dryers.

You may want to forget your electric shaver and bring along disposable razors, such as the Gillette/Schick custom disposable razors to save space in your suitcase. If you forget razors, you can always get them while in Guangzhou at Watsons or Friendship Stores.

Important note: Adapter plugs do not convert electricity. The picture below illustrates the male end of the adapter that will plug into the wall socket. The male prongs of the converter will plug into the adapter and the male prongs of the hair dryer will plug into the converter. Keep in mind that no matter what type of plug an outlet might accept, voltage in China is 220v (50 Hz) and is not acceptable for your U.S. purchased appliances.



Question: What is the time difference in China?

There is only one time zone in China - the Beijing Time. It is GMT/UTC plus eight hours (all of China is set to Beijing time). For a less complicated way, use New York time as an example. In the middle of the summer, New York will be exactly 12 hours behind China. If it is 8 am Monday morning in Beijing then it is 8 pm Sunday night in New York and 60 minutes is just ending. When clocks are set back, it becomes 13 hours behind East Coast time.



Question: How about taxi service in China?

It is easy to take a taxi on the streets in China. Taxi fares vary from city to city, normally starting at 7 RMB (about USD 1), with the fee very clearly marked on the taxi’s window. If the taxi driver for some reason does not put on a taximeter, please ask directly for the transportation costs. Only a few taxi drivers in the big tourist cities are able to speak English, so you better show the address in Chinese characters to them. Our local guide or the hotel staff will help you with this. Remember to take the hotel key card with you, to always have the Hotel address and telephone number.



Question: How to make international phone calls in China?

It is very convenient to make phones call in China. IDD service is available at all hotels and post offices. The China country code is 86 and outgoing international code is 00.


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