Subject of Money

You should be aware of the money exchange situation in China before you go.  The exchange rate lately is  $1.00 = 6.21 Yuan in China.  There is a high service charge by the banks outside       of China if you want to exchange money before arriving in China.   Credit cards are not widely used except for hotels, factory and main department stores.  Many restaurants do not take credit cards either.  There are ATMs available in most larger cities but not in the rural areas.  Hotels in the cities will usually exchange dollars for yuan but not in the rural areas. The hotel exchange is a service to the guests and there is a very minor charge.  Banks also exchange dollars for yuan in most larger cities but not in the rural areas.  Some banks also do not deal in exchange at all.   Cash is King as they say.  You will see most Chinese dealing in cash and often have large amounts of money with them when they go shopping.  I myself have my credit cards and debit cards along with taking a fair amount of cash.  If you have a Stock Broker, check with them if they offer a Debit card for your account.  Mine does and there are no charges for its use domestically or internationally.  Hotels have safes in the room in which you set the combination and can keep your valuables during the day when you are out sightseeing.  While many things you will find are inexpensive you will also find many things on a par with the U.S. or HIGHER.   My Chinese friend from Chengdu recently spent a year in the U.S.  When she went home she could not believe how prices had increased so much since she had been gone.  For more information on MONEY, feel free to email me with your questions.  You will not be pressured to book a  tour with us nor will you be put on an email list for spam.   My name is Dave and can be reached at    interlak@eskimo.com

 China as you will find is a country of wide contrasts.

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Best Times to Tour China

A question I am often asked is what is the best time to travel in China.   Weather of course is important for most people.  Spring months of late March and April are good times to tour for most of the country although expect more rain especially in southern China.  May can be good but can also be warm and humid in the south.   Summer months of June, July and August are generally warm and a bit humid however there are good places to tour in the mountains such as Sichuan and other provinces.  Otherwise expect temperatures above 85 with high humidity in most areas.   Fall months over all are the best months.  September and October are the most comfortable but also most popular.   The Silk Road in the far northwest is best in April and then again in mid August through early October.  Summers can be extremely hot and winters very cold.   Perhaps the times to avoid travel in China is during National  holidays of May 1st and Oct. 1st when people have a whole week off.  Transportation is quite full and hotels and restaurant prices are at their highest unless you book much in advance.  Spring Festival which is the Chinese New Year changes each year and can be from late January to late February period.  People have a full week off here too and it is the custom to return to your parents home for that period.  Transportation can be very difficult unless booked months in advance through a tour operator or travel agent.  I have avoided that time myself as everything is very crowded.  For my clients I try to plan their tours to avoid these periods during the year for their comfort and cost.  Winter is a good time to tour IF you do not mind the cold weather.  Snow is rare and sights are all but empty of tourists.   For more information on times to travel in China please feel free to contact me at    interlak@eskimo.com    My name is Dave and you will not have any sales pitch or follow up with spam mail.