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Facts for Travellers

At a Glance | Visas | Currency | Taxes | Tipping | Business Hours | Public Health

At a Glance

Beijing is the striking metropolitan core of a country with one of the world's oldest civilizations. Beijing has a history of over 3,000 years, with countless renowned historical, ancient and cultural sites. In the past 20 years, Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China, has developed into a modern metropolis, and the nation's political, economic, trade, educational and cultural centre.

Plug Type Language Population Time Zone Measures Voltage Mobile Phones
g_icon_plug06 Mandarin Chinese 11 million GMT +8 hours Metric System 220 volts GSM 900/1800/1900


Visas are required for all international travellers entering mainland China. Travellers carrying passports from Brunei, Japan or Singapore can enjoy visa-free access to China for up to 15 days.
Visas are readily available from Chinese embassies and consulates in most Western and many other countries. A standard 30-day, single-entry visa from most Chinese embassies abroad can be issued in three to five working days.  You can also make visa arrangements at certain travel agencies. Visa applications generally require at least one photo.

A 30-day visa is activated on the date you enter China, and must be used within three months of the date of issue. Standard tourist visas, valid for 30-day visits, are generally easy to acquire, while visas valid for more than 30 days are often more difficult to obtain.

Please consult with your travel agent, China International Travel Service, China Travel Service, or any Chinese Embassy or Consulate for further details.

Visa Requirements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China


The Chinese currency is known as renminbi (RMB). The basic unit of money itself is called the yuan (CNY). Credit cards are accepted in major hotels as well as shopping malls. Here are the most recent exchange rates for some common currencies. RMB 1.00 equals:

Chinese Renminbi (RMB) US Dollar (USD) Australian Dollar (AUD) Euro (EUR) British Pound (GBP) Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) Indian Rupee (INR)
Japanese Yen (JPY)
New Zealand Dollar (NZD) Singapore Dollar (SGD)
1.00 0.14 0.14 0.09 0.07 1.08 5.98 14.59 0.18 0.19


A 15% surcharge including government tax is applicable in most Hotels and some private restaurants.


Many mid-range and top-end restaurants include their own service charge that varies. Officially, tipping is considered inappropriate and is discouraged.

Business Hours

Bank Hours 9am to 5.30pm, Monday through Friday
Office Hours 9am to 5.30pm, Monday through Friday
Shop Hours
8-9am to 9pm or later throughout the week
Department stores are open 9am to 9pm every day. Opening hours may vary

Public Health

Visitors entering China are required to complete a health declaration form. Check with your local doctor or health care professional about vaccination requirements before you plan your trip.
China World Hotel recommends you drink only boiled or bottled water. Complimentary bottled drinking water is available in every hotel room.

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Event Highlights
Guiding Principles of China’s Banking Regulation
The Asian Banker Summit 2009 Opening Keynote Speech

By Mr. LiuMingkang, Chairman, China Banking Regulatory Commission
May 11, 2009, Beijing

Monitoring the Future: Regulatory Responses and Realistic Expectations
Remarks by Superintendent Julie Dickson, Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI)

Closing Keynote Session: "Coming Up on the Radar - Systemic and Counterparty Risks in the Next Phase of the Crisis"
Notes for Intervention: Malcolm D. Knight, Vice Chairman, Deutsche Bank Group
Acceptance speech by Mr Wee Cho Yaw, chairman, UOB Group, for Lifetime Achievement Award presented by The Asian Banker on 10 May 2009, Beijing

Summit: Regulators share latest policy directions

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