Looking to travel to China? Get all the information you need to have a safe, enjoyable and unforgettable trip while there, courtesy of GoBear Malaysia. We’ll present you with things you need to keep it mind before and during your time there, especially the need to get travel insurance for China.
About mystical China
Ni Hao! China is one of the world’s oldest unbroken cultures and civilisations, spanning thousands of years of history. It is amongst the largest countries on Earth, boasting the highest population and one of the greatest economies. China’s rich cultural and historical heritage, combined with its wealth and cosmopolitan cities, makes it a great place to travel.
Despite its size, China officially maintains one time zone – ours (UTC+8). There is no need to change your watches when travelling in China (or to China from Malaysia, for that matter). Being in the Northern Hemisphere, China mostly has a temperate climate with winter towards the end of the year, and summer towards the middle.
Excluding Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia, it’s a pretty safe place, so most Malaysian travel insurance policies include China in Area 1 (usually the cheapest band), but you should check your specific planto make sure you’re covered if you decide to go – especially if you’re travelling to those three regions mentioned above. Its currency is the Chinese yuan or renminbi (CNY/RMB).
Mandarin is the official language of China, but you will hear any of a dozen dialects used as yourChina travels take you across the country’s various provinces. Hokkien, Cantonese, Hakka, Teochew –all the familiar Chinese dialects you hear in Malaysia originate from one or another province here.Cantonese, of course, is prevalent in Hong Kong SAR and Canton (Kwantung) Province. English isspoken in most hotels and major retailers, but GoBear Malaysia reckons you should bring anEnglish/Mandarin phrasebook along. Otherwise, you may encounter some difficulties in contacting
the emergency services concierge provided by your travel insurance in China.
And there are so many different types of them, too! From Cantonese to Hokkien to Szechuan, Chinais host to a smorgasbord of cuisines. Especially for Muslim travellers, GoBear Malaysia recommends making sure with the travel agency that the meals are halal (or at least pork-free), as the pig features very prominently in most Chinese cuisines. Other meats such as dog, turtle and snake may also make their appearance.
If you have a strong tolerance for alcohol, try baijiu (Mao Tai being the most famous brand), the Chinese version of vodka.
Food safety standards here are variable depending on where and what you eat; just in case, GoBear Malaysia recommends travel insurance for China.
What to buy in China
What shouldn’t you buy in China? It’s not known as the manufacturer of the world for nothing; almost all of the most famous world brands (including Apple) have factories and outlets in China. China itself is home to several large electronics brands, including Lenovo, Xiaomi and Huawei. Hong Kong SAR is justly known as a shoppers’ paradise. But caveat emptor; China is also well-known for knockoff/counterfeit goods. Inquire about tax refunds in-store; you might be eligible depending on how much you spent and when you’re leaving. GoBear Malaysia recommends checking whether your credit card covers lost or stolen purchases while overseas, or you can buy travel insurance for your China shopping spree.
Things to do when in China
Many of the world’s iconic ‘must-see’ places are located in China. The Great Wall of China, theForbidden City, the Yangtze River; all are located in the country. Aside from that, China’s many museums and cultural exhibitions are also worth the visits. Depending on where you go, you may get a chance to go on various different factory tours or cultural shows. Just make sure that your travel insurance for China covers you for all the things you intend to do.
China travel advisory & checklist
Have a hassle-free trip! International travel, especially to China, has its own set of issues that you should prepare for, so that you can properly enjoy your holiday overseas. Aside from travel insurancefor China, GoBear Malaysia recommends you consider the following:
Passport & visa requirements for China
Make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity after the dates you intend to go; you may notbe allowed to travel if your passport is too close to expiry. China does not issue Visa-On- Arrival;unless you are travelling to Hainan Province, Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR, you must apply for a visa to travel to China.In the event that your passport or other travel documents are lost or stolen, make sure you know the emergency contact details for your travel insurance concierge in China, so that you can be assisted as quickly as possible.
Electricity & water in China
While Malaysia uses the Type G power socket, you will instead see Type A, Type C and Type I in China. This means that you will need a universal travel adapter. However, its 220V/50Hz electrical system is close enough to Malaysia’s that you can otherwise simply plug in your electrical items. If you have many items to plug in, just bring a Malaysian extension board and plug that into the travel adapter. For Hong Kong and Macau, Type G power sockets are generally in use, but so are other
types. The tap water here is generally safe to drink once boiled, but if you have a sensitive stomach, stick to bottled water instead.
China’s telecommunications & Internet coverage
The telecommunications network in China covers most of the urban and suburban areas, with strong mobile network coverage throughout those areas as well as the major inter-state roads. Mobile phones bought in Malaysia should work seamlessly with Chinese pre-paid SIMs, but do check the
specific frequencies your phone uses against the ones your preferred Chinese telco supports. Wi-Fi is widely available everywhere you go in the cities, as is 4G LTE. The emergency number in mainland China is 110 for police, 119 for fire and 120 for medical.
Healthcare & medical facilities in China
China’s medical facilities are generally world-class, as long as you’re in the larger cities with a large tourism industry. If you plan to travel to more remote facilities, GoBear Malaysia recommends you purchase travel insurance covering all of China with emergency medical repatriation coverage.
China’s credit card facilities
China is home to UnionPay, its primary interbank facility. International credit card networks that are present in China include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express (to a smaller degree), which were all required to use UnionPay as their clearing network until very recently. However, smaller establishments in China either only accept UnionPay or cash, for the most part.
Ready to start planning your China travels? Stay safe and protected while overseas! Try out GoBear Malaysia’s travel insurance comparison services for a quick, comprehensive and easy-to-use look at all the insurers and the travel insurance policies they offer for China.
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