China Travel information

China


China is located in Eastern Asia.

Official language is Chinese. China uses metric system (kilograms, centimeters, °C). Time zone is UTC+08:00.

Passport & visa

Visa required

Visa is required to visit China as a tourist. You can request it at Embassy of China in Belgium.

Sockets & plugs

Adapter required, transformer not needed

China uses 220V, 50Hz with sockets and plugs Type A, Type C and Type I.


Type A
Type C
Type I


Money

Currency

¥1.00 = €0.12, €1.00 = ¥7.89

China uses the Chinese yuan (symbol: ¥), code CNY.

Banknotes come in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 yuans and 50, 20 and 10 fen. Yuan is subdivided into 100 fens. Coins come in denominations of 1 yuans and 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1 fens.


Cost of living

27% less expensive than in Belgium
Meal (inexpensive restaurant)
¥20.00 (€2.53)
-83%
Meal (2 people, mid-range, three-course)
¥150.00 (€19.00)
-68%
Water bottle (1.5 liter bottle)
¥3.73 (€0.47)
-47%
Beer (0.5 liter bottle)
¥4.98 (€0.63)
-49%
One-way ticket (local transportation)
¥2.00 (€0.25)
-88%
Gasoline (1 liter)
¥6.40 (€0.81)
-36%


Source: Numbeo

Credit & debit cards

Accepted only within large businesses

Credit cards are only accepted within China from large businesses & hotels. Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and UnionPay are the most widely accepted. Discover and American Express are less common. Diners Club is pretty rare. JCB and RuPay are unknown.

Note that even if you have appropriate card type, international credit cards (issued outside China) have low acceptance within merchants.


ATMs

Common

Automatic teller machines are common in China. You can usually find them in both large & small cities.

You do not need a chip & PIN card to use an ATM — your standard magnetic card will work fine.


Tipping

Do not tip

Almost no one in China asks for tips. It is not expected nor obligatory to give a tip. Receipts might sometimes include a service charge.


Communications

Internet

71% slower than in Belgium

Internet speed in China is on average 4.1 Mbps which is 71% slower than in Belgium (14.2 Mbps).

WiFi

WiFi coverage in China is low. It is not as easy to find one.

Blocked sites

Majority of the websites (including Google, YouTube and Facebook) are blocked in China meaning you will need to use special software called VPN to access those blocked sites. Read more to get the most popular ones.


Mobile phone

69% cheaper than in Belgium

You can buy a SIM card for about ¥55.07 (€6.97), which includes 1 GB of data plan. You can choose from 3 telecoms: China Telecom, China Mobile or China Unicom.

Mobile phones

China uses similar GSM mobile networks (GSM 1800 and GSM 900) as Belgium so you should be able to normally use your mobile phone.

Roaming

If you don't want to buy SIM card in China upon arrival, make sure to check the roaming charges with your telecom provider before your departure so there are no surprises when you return home.


Dial code

+86

To call China from Belgium, dial + or 00 (exit code for Belgium), then 86 (the country code for China), then the area code (without the initial 0) and the local number.

Calling from Belgium
+  86 412 1234567
00 86 412 1234567
Local call
0412 1234567

For local calls within China, start with the area code (with the initial 0). In the case above area code is 412 .

Health & safety

Crime

Low crime rate

China has a low crime rate (lower than Belgium). It is a generally a safe place to live and travel. Exercise normal security precautions.

Pickpocketing/theft

It's recommended to follow essential security precautions like wearing a money belt, securing your bag and staying vigilant in crowds.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations listed are recommended

The following vaccinations listed for this country are recommended for your protection and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.


Typhoid fever
Hepatitis A
Yellow Fever

These apply only to select travelers or persons on work assignments.

Hepatitis B
Japanese Encephalitis
Rabies
Tick-borne Encephalitis

Travel advisories

No country advisories
World-wide advisories

Advisories that are issued on a world-wide level (may not be related to China).

Driving

Road rules

In China you drive on the right side. Most cars have manual transmission (stick).

Speed limits

Unless otherwise posted, the speed limits for cars and motorcycles are as follows: 100-120 km/h (62-74 mph) on motorways, 100-120 km/h (62-74 mph) on expressways, 30-60 km/h (18-37 mph) in all built-up areas and 60-80 km/h (37-49 mph) on undivided highways.

Turn on red

Right turn on red lights is allowed unless a sign explicitly forbids it.

Alcohol

It is illegal to drive with blood alcohol content higher than 0.02%.

Driving license

Local China license is required

You cannot drive with an International Driving Permit (IDP) in China. You need a local China license to drive.

Rent a car

In order to rent a car:

  • you must be over 25
  • must hold a full license for at least a 1 year
  • almost always have a credit card (Visa & MasterCard are the best)
Alcohol, drugs & prostitution

Alcohol

Legal

Minimum age to purchase and drink alcohol is 18 years old.

Driving

Blood-alcohol limit is 0.02% (0.2g per litre of blood) while driving.

Drugs

Cannabis is illegal & criminalized

Drugs (including cannabis/marijuana) are illegal & criminalized which means you are risking jail time with other penalties (fine, community service, rehabilitation) if you are caught.

Prostitution

Illegal

Prostitution is illegal (in a way of exchanging sex for money). Brothels are illegal.

Other

Emergency numbers

Police
110
Ambulance
120
Fire department
119
Road police
122
Private ambulance service (Beijing only)
999

Embassy of Belgium in China

Address
6 San Li Tun Lu, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100600