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HOMENorthern China > tips


China travel tip


  1. DOCUMENTS

  2. HEALTH

  3. MONEY

  4. EQUIPMENT IN GENERAL

  5. TRAINS INFO + TIPS


DOCUMENTS

EU citiziens need a VISA before arriving at the border or at the airport. In Italy a single entry visa for Italians costed 40 euros.

HEALTH

I didn't do any particular vaccination, although, at that time, H45N1 virus (chicken flu) was around in China. Anyway I came back home healthy :-)

MONEY

I changed Euros and Dollars, both of them are accepted but changing money is not that easy. It can be done only at "Bank of China". If you have "Kazakh Tenge" no bank will accept them apart of the black change (inside the bank of China in Urumqi) (read the story)

 

EQUIPMENT IN GENERAL

  Bring your own sleeping to be warm in the cold rooms

  A chinese phrasebook turned out indispensable, while don't even try to use a dictionary to translate Chinese characters to english or whatever language: spot your character in the dictionary   is a real challenge

     Don't believe the reception if they say you there's the hot water: most of the time it's not true or just very few hours per days

 

TRAINS INFO

Change 1 euro= 10 yuan  (01/2006)

The cost of an overnight travel  (12h) by train in hard sleepers cost 140- 250 yuan depending on the train: slow or fast ones. You can get it from the train number (i.e: "K" in the number indicates the best trains, while "N" the medium and "T" the shittiest)

Classes (even if in China ufficially there're no classes):

  • Soft sleepers (a kind of sleeper first class)

  • Hard sleepers (a kind of sleeper second class)

  • Soft seats (a kind of  first class)

  • Hard seats (a kind of second classe)

 

TRAIN TIPS

    Personally I found the hard sleepers class comfortable enough for the long travels, I don't think it's worth to spent the money for the soft sleepers one. Consider it costs the double, hence comparable with a flight

    Avoid night travels in the hard seats vagon, it's a kind of vagon for cattle

  Soft seat are not in all the trains, do count on them too much!!!

    Don't count always on the immediate availability of the hard sleeper tickets, buy the ticket in advance (one or two days)

     Train is always more comfortable than bus.

    If you cannot find a hard sleeper ticket buy a seat and once on the train ask to upgrade it (do it as soon as you get on!!)

   In the big stations there're electronic displays that show the availability of the hard/soft sleepers; it happened that , even if in the display it appeared the train was fullbooked, there were still free places. So don't give up before having insisted!!

  I don't know why, at the station counter they want to sell you only the tickets of the train originating in that station  not even mentioning you the others. Before getting to the counter try to figure out which trains get to your destination and write down their number

   Never trash your ticket, because you will always be asked for to exit the station

Try to get the bed in the middle or the top one, because during the day the lower ones  are used as seats by everybody

 

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