Getting Chinese Visa
It’s advisable to apply for visa one month before travel, no more than 3 months before travel. It takes about 4 days to get your visa from Visa Processing Centres. you’ll need application form from this website http://www.visaforchina.org/ , with your photo at passport standard, flight booking, tour booking confirmation email and tour itinerary to present to the officers. This is the general rule, however, I do find that rules do change, please do call your closest Visa Processing Centre to check what is need, this information is normally on the aforementioned website, which now advertise that appointment is needed as well. Before heading to get your visa, please also check the location and opening hours of the Visa Processing Centre near you at http://www.visaforchina.org/ to make sure you get to the right place. Postal application is also available in most places, please call them to confirm.
Booking flight early gets you better fare. For Deep into Rural China Tour, often AirChina offers the shortest journey, they have good service, food and quiet flight. Occasionally flight you booked might change time, please let us know so that we can accommodation your arrival and departure time. We’ll also advise you which flights to book for a specific tour, so that if changes happen, we are on the same page.
Travel insurance is necessary for our tours. The tours take you to less-traveled paths, see and interact with local people, experience and participate in local culture, climate is different too. Although we do everything possible to ensure your safety, we need our travellers to be insured adequately.
A good travel insurance is , recommended by Flight Centre, they do cover more and give you real peace of mind.
Flight and Visa Assistance
A very helpful Sydney-based travel agent can get you great airfare and handle your visa application for free, no matter where you are based. It is Zhaolong Travel, Ph: 02 9745 1514.
Mobile and Internet
Before heading out, please check with your mobile service provider to ensure you have overseas coverage and data allowance if applicable. Free wifi is widely available in China, however, using the Chinese free wifi wouldn’t get you to facebook, google or gmail. A good and cheap app to download to overcome the firewalls is Express VPN. However, if you have your mobile service provider covering your data, you are fine to access all the websites and social media to update your friends.
A $300/$400 deposit is needed at the time of booking, the rest will be debited two months before travel. We sincerely offer you the tour experiences, you can trust us. Your payment will enable all services for your tour.
If your tour is cancelled owing to weather, political events, or not enough numbers to form a tour group, we’ll refund you your full payment as soon as possible.
Children are welcome
Provided that your purchase adequate travel insurance for your children, your children are respectful of locals, open to the ways farmers live in China, and are fit enough to do a few hours of easy hiking in the mountains. Babies under 18 months are accepted, as long as parents take full responsibility for their safety, travel and their daily needs such as food and diapers.
Please send your dietary requirements clearly when you book, we’ll make sure that our chefs look after your needs, and still provide you with tasty and healthy meals.
Fitness level required
An average fitness level is all you need. Tours may involve gentle hiking in the mountains, terraced fields, tours may involve doing gentle farm work if you choose to, this is for your experience only, no need to be fast, you can stop farm work anytime and just mingle with the locals. Farm work may involve picking tea leaves, fruit picking, or fishing.
Staying in Rural China
- no dangerous/poisonous snakes or spiders in Deep into Rural China tour. so you are rather safe. During the time we are there, there may be mosquitos, you can bring your own deterrent or you can buy them in China.
- it’s a very safe social and friendly environment out in the community, please still take caution and care though.
- weather will mostly be clear soft blue sky, temperature around 10-25. bring long sleeve and hat, as well as short sleeve and jacket. A jumper would be wise too, particularly for April trips. it’s very unlikely to have rain during our travel time, however, if unlikely storm happens on the day of our island trip, we ll arrange something else interesting to see. Please bring your swimmers for the mineral hot spring!
- no drinking direct from water taps, for cold water, we boil water first and then cool it down. exception is when we are in the mountains with sweet springs, locals will tell us then.
- Coffee n English teas are uncommon in rural China, best to bring with you your favorite brands. We’ll have green tea, jasmine tea readily available in China.
- The food we eat, water we drink during the tour are to locals’ best hygiene standards, as natural and organic as possible. However, you may still experience upset tummy occasionally because it’s new place and water, this happens to Chinese travelling to other parts of China as well. We are there to experience locals’ life and food, when we eat street food, we only go to the ones that locals know clean and tasty. However, if you need to be extra cautious, please only drink bottled water, peel your fruit, and wash your hands before you eat, as suggested by some websites. We do want you to enjoy the experience with good health.
- Chopsticks and spoons are used, if you need knife and fork, it wouldn’t hurt to bring a set with you (not in carry-on luggage), as they can be hard to come by in rural China.
- Toilets in your accommodation are sitting toilets. When we are out in activities, you’ll experience traditional squat toilet occasionally, squatting toilet is better for health. please let me know if you if squatting is a challenge for you, we can ensure your sitting toilet stops.
There’s no toilet tissue in public toilets, so please bring a roll. we can buy them in china, but you may have to buy a whole pack.
- With the great diversity of food there, your dietary requirements can be met easily, please do inform us at the time of your booking.
- You pay for your own alcohol, and please exercise constraints, as they can be very strong.
Customs to note in Rural China
- It is perfectly fine and smart to leave food on your plate when you are full, because if you finish your plate, locals will serve you more, as they want to make sure guests are treated well.
- Locals tend to cook/serve/order food more than you can eat, it’s their way of showing hospitality. Because traditionally, even if a household doesn’t have enough to eat, they’ll still give their guests the best they have. So while it may appear wasteful, and we’ll do our best to advise them not to over-supply, please do not judge, as we are here to appreciate and accept what is. Most of the leftover food will be reused or repurposed.
- Gift giving is very Chinese, although not necessary for guests. However, if you give anything, please do not give anything in white, or a clock. Bright and vibrant colours are liked by rural Chinese, just like what you’ll see in Chinese folk arts.