FAQ

FAQ

About Our Services

Why The China Guide?

We specialize in private, customizable China tours. While it is true that group tours are often cheaper than private tours, nothing compares to the experience of traveling on a private tour. A private tour allows you to travel at your own pace, instantly change your itinerary whenever you want, and ask your guide as many questions as possible so you can get the most out of your time in China.

What makes The China Guide different from other travel agencies?

Every single one of our tours is uniquely customized to meet the needs of each client. No matter how specific your requests are, we will do our best to create the perfect tour that fits your needs and interests. Flexibility is our mantra; not only can you customize your tour during the planning phase, you can make as many changes as you want to your schedule while you are on the tour. Since we are staffed by a multilingual team of native speakers, you never need to worry about your requests getting lost in translation.

What languages does The China Guide offer?

We provide experienced local guides with an excellent command of English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and German. All of our guides are tested by our native staff to ensure language proficiency and a solid knowledge of China.


Booking with Us

When will a travel agent contact me after I submit my information?

One of our agents will contact you by email within 24 hours. We love talking to clients and potential customers alike, so we encourage you to include your phone number and country of residence so that an agent can call you at an appropriate time.

It has been 24 hours and I haven’t received an answer yet, what should I do?

Please look for an email sent from “@thechinaguide.com” that may have been accidentally moved to your Spam folder.

What should my travel agent be aware of?

In order for your travel agent to better customize your trip, you should describe to them the kind of travel you have in mind. Be as detailed as you can/want! You can tell the travel agent what kind of places you’re interested in visiting, what type of food you would like to eat or try, and the activities you’d like to engage in.

All of our agents know China inside out, so ask them as many questions as you need; this will help to broaden your options and will provide your agent with valuable insight to the type of trip you’re looking for.

Where can I see the price of the trip?

Each of our clients has different interests and goals for their trip to China, which is why we don’t have set or predefined prices for our tour packages. The cost of each trip is calculated based on the places a person wants to visit and the activities they want to participate in. We also adjust our prices depending on whether you are traveling with children, as they pay different prices at certain attractions.

How many itineraries and quotations can I request?

As many as you need. Our goal is to design an itinerary that closely matches your expectations. We offer our clients the flexibility of adding and removing activities according to their interests. You will receive a new quotation with each new itinerary.

Can I join a larger group tour?

All of our tours are private and customizable; we don’t offer large group tours. We design a unique itinerary for each of our clients and assign a private guide and vehicle for them.

How and when do I pay for a booked tour?

Once you’re satisfied with your itinerary and the price, we will tell you how to pay. You don’t need to pay for your tour all at once, but we will require a deposit (as specified by your agent). Depending on the total amount, you can either pay the guide in cash on the first day of your tour or pay a week before the start date.

What payment methods do you offer?

The most common methods of payment are credit card and bank transfer to our corporate accounts. Note that payment via bank transfer is only accepted if the start date of your tour is more than a month away.

We also accept PayPal, Apple Pay, and, if you are already in China, WeChat and Alipay.

You can also pay your guide in cash at the start of your tour, as long as the conditions have been discussed and agreed beforehand.

What is the credit card payment process?

If you choose to pay us by credit card, you will need to submit your credit card information via our website. We will charge your card once we have received your information. Please be sure to inform your bank that you will be receiving a payment from China.

The security of our clients’ information is our highest priority. Our website uses SSL technology to ensure a securely encrypted internet connection. More information about our security credentials can be found here.

Does The China Guide offer traveling insurance?

We do not offer travel insurance; we strongly recommend using our preferred international travel insurance provider Compass Benefits.

Can The China Guide issue a tour invoice?

Yes, we can issue a tour invoice upon request.


Touring with Us

Can I modify my itinerary while on tour?

Yes, you can modify your schedule while on the tour, and you will receive a refund for any activities you decide to forego. If there is anything that you no longer wish to do, or a sight you’d rather skip, just talk to your guide, so that he or she can take the appropriate steps.

How do I contact my travel agent while in China?

Before you come to China, make sure you save your travel agent and guide’s phone numbers. Your travel agent will contact you once you arrive at your destination in China to check in with you, and make sure that everything is going well. You can also contact your agent by phone, text message, WhatsApp or WeChat.

How do I contact my guide upon arriving in China?

Your tour guide’s phone number is included in your tour information. Make sure to save it on your phone or write it down and carry it with you. Your guide is aware that you’ll be coming to China, and will be reachable by phone. Please check with your phone provider about placing phone calls in China.

Can The China Guide arrange for me to visit another country?

Our services are focused on traveling in China; while our agents are well-traveled and can offer tips for visiting other countries, we can’t arrange tours outside of China.

What happens if I miss my international flight?

In the event that you miss your international flight, you should talk to the airline first and then communicate with your travel agent as soon as possible so that we can reschedule or rearrange your trip.


Guides and Drivers

Is my travel agent my tour guide?

No, your travel agent will not be your guide, but will provide assistance during your trip. Your travel agent is responsible for organizing every aspect of your trip, including carefully selecting a tour guide for you.

What language does my guide speak?

We have a roster of Chinese tour guides that are fluent in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese. Unless otherwise specified, English is our default option.

All of our guides have been carefully chosen by our travel agents, who test their language proficiency and knowledge about China.

Is it possible to book just a driver?

All of our drivers speak Chinese only, which is why they are always accompanied by a tour guide. The guide prevents any miscommunication between our clients and the drivers.

Do we have guides assigned in each city?

Yes, you will have a different guide in each city.

What is the recommended tip for the guide and driver in each city?

We suggest a 100 CNY tip for the guide and a 50 CNY tip for the driver per day.


Cancellations

How can I cancel my trip?

Please let your travel agent know as soon as possible if you decide to cancel your trip with us. Please refer to our terms of service for more information about our cancellation policy.

What happens if I cancel my trip?

Please refer to our terms of service for more information about our cancellation policy.


Feedback and Reviews

Where can I read about other traveler’s experiences in China and with The China Guide?

You can read what other travelers are saying about us on our TripAdvisor and Facebook pages.


About China

For all things China-related please click here

Where can I visit in China?

China offers an unparalleled number of sights. Whether you’re looking for big cities, small sleepy towns or want to be more in touch with nature, China has an option for you. Please refer to this list to learn more about our favorite destinations in China!

Where can I find detailed information on how to travel to China?

For comprehensive information about preparation for a trip, safety, and food, please refer to our website.

Is China dangerous? Will my hotel be in a safe area?

Overall, China is an extremely safe country. Violent crimes are rare and it is safe to walk alone on the streets any time of the day and the night. Women travelers can also rest assured that they can walk the streets freely, use public transportation without any concern, and board cabs without incident.

Nevertheless, it is important to use common sense and not create chances for pickpockets to take your wallet or electronic devices in crowded areas. You can find further tips in our safety section here.

Should I tip?

Tips aren’t usually encouraged or accepted in most places in China. Waiters may think that you’re accidentally leaving your money behind and may follow you outside the restaurant to give your change back to you. Most cab drivers will keep the change if you tell them.

Are there any clothing restrictions when visiting sites in China or traveling in general?

When visiting a temple, especially Buddhist temples, it is important that your shoulders and knees are covered. This means no sleeveless shirts and no short skirts, dresses or shorts.

China is a very diverse country, and you will find that in many cities, young Chinese dress just like in the West. You can wear any outfit that you’re comfortable in, just make sure to bring season appropriate clothes and shoes.

What should I pack and bring with me?

Bring fast-drying, season appropriate clothes and comfortable shoes. Pack everything in a small suitcase or a big backpack. Keep in mind that you will probably have to walk with your suitcase or drag it along, so you want to keep it light. Don’t forget any medication that you may need, as well as your preferred toiletries and some paper tissues.

Is it true that all the toilets are squat toilets?

Most public toilets in China are squat toilets, although most hotels and shopping malls have western toilets. However, be prepared to bring your own toilet tissues as they’re normally not provided in public restrooms. If you would like to familiarize yourself with Chinese toilets, please click here.

Should I bargain?

You can bargain at most small markets (especially ones selling souvenirs), and certain places such as the Silk Market in Beijing.

Can I drink the tap water?

No, it’s best to stick to bottled water.

How do I deal with pollution in China?

You can ask your travel agent about the pollution forecast before you arrive in China and we can help you find a suitable anti-pollution mask in case you think you’ll require one. Consult your physician before you travel to China if you suffer from asthma or any other respiratory condition.

Where can I learn more about China?

If you’d like to learn more about China and its culture, holidays, and traditions, please visit our blog!


Visas

Does The China Guide arrange my Chinese visa?

It is easier and more cost-effective for travelers to arrange their own Chinese visas without the assistance of an agency. Please visit the website of the Chinese embassy in your country to read about the Chinese visa requirements.

You can find more information about Chinese visas here.

How can I visit Tibet?

If you would like to visit Tibet, you need to ask a travel agency to organize your trip; this is the only rule and there are no exceptions. Only a travel agency can obtain the Tibet Travel Permits issued by the Tibetan authorities. All travel to Tibet must be arranged at least a month in advance.

How can I enter Tibet from Nepal?

If you’d like to enter Tibet from Nepal, you first need to find a reliable Tibetan tour company, and have them submit your application. Once the travel agency has received a Tibet Travel Permit for you, they should apply for a Group Tourist Visa. The Group Tourist Visa invalidates any Chinese visa that you may already be in possession of. This means that if you obtained any kind of Chinese visa prior to your trip to Nepal, you will not be able to use it to enter Tibet. You can fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa or take a bus arranged by the tour agency.

If I go to Tibet/Hong Kong/Macao, do I need a double entry visa?

It depends on your nationality. Some passport holders can apply for a visa on arrival, while others must obtain a visa prior to entering China. We advise that you read the specific requirements for your nationality when entering, exiting, and re-entering China.

Why does The China Guide need a picture of my passport?

After booking with us, we will ask you for a picture of the front page of your passport so that we can book your train or flight tickets, check you in at hotels, and book your entrance tickets for the Forbidden City. Many attractions, including the Forbidden City, also offer discounts for travelers over 60 years old.


Accommodation, meals and transportation

What class of hotels does The China Guide offer?

We offer three to five-star hotels. Booking hotels with us is optional; you are welcome to source the hotel or hostel that suits your needs.

What kind of meals does The China Guide offer?

We carefully select all the restaurants that we take our clients to and make sure that they offer good quality local meals based on Chinese standards.

Please let your travel agent know about any food restrictions that you may have or if you follow a special diet so that we can include the right type of restaurants.

Does The China Guide provide international flight tickets?

We can only assist you with domestic flights in China, not international ones.

Will our guide help us to board the train?

Your guide will help you get into the train station. However, non-train passengers aren’t permitted beyond the security check without a train ticket. Your guide will make sure that you know how to get to your train, which is usually easy as everything is clearly signposted.


Money and Connectivity

Can I use my international credit card?

China is still largely a cash-based society. While some restaurants and shops in tourist areas, and most hotels, accept international credit cards, many others, especially in small towns, will reject it. Your guide can help you ask if your credit card is accepted at a certain place.

Chinese people are used to carrying large amounts in cash, so you can do like them and have cash on you. This is a much safer strategy than trying to use a credit card everywhere.

Will I be able to find an ATM?

ATMs are readily available in most big Chinese cities and they work 24/7.

How much money should I bring?

We can work with you to put together an estimated daily budget before your trip. It is also important to bring one or two credit cards and some Chinese Yuan in cash.

Will we have limited phone service?

Your phone may not work the same as back home, depending on your service provider and contract. Please let us know if you’d like us to provide you with a SIM card while you travel around China.

Which websites are restricted in China?

Internet browsing in China is heavily restricted. Inaccessible sites include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Vimeo, Google and all Google services (Gmail, Maps, Play Store), as well as many news outlets.


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