A Chinese Visa Is Required

When planning a tour to China do not forget the Chinese visa which is required to visit China or the Tibet permit if you are going to Tibet.  Group Tour companies as well as private arranged tours do not generally include the Visa applications required.  You can download the information and forms needed on line.  I use CIBT.Com for which I get a small discount for my clients.  Just ask and I will have the kit emailed to you too.  The Visa is valid for an extensive time for 30 day visits.  An extension is possible but must be done in China.  Special visas for business and students can also be applied for.  The Chinese Consulates do not accept applications by mail but if located in your city you can apply in person.   A visa service like CIBT.Com takes care of the application to the Consulates.   Cost can average from $140 per person  (most recent cost) at the Consulates or about $200 if applied through a Visa Service plus the delivery charge each way with UPS, FedEx or other service.  Again these are the most recent costs and can change.  For more information on a Visa, I will be glad to answer any questions or you may contact CIBT direct.

The “Friendly” Chinese People

Musuo-In all my travels over the years I find the Chinese people to be one of the friendliness people in the world along with their great sense of humor.  Their faces light up when they meet you whether waving back at you or the children saying their little English of  “Hello”.   They are as curious of you and you will be of them.  In the countryside houses have no door bells so a friendly “Hello” or “Ni Hou” is received with an open door and often invited to tea.  Your guide can translate for you and these open house visits are very special to learn more about their life and how they live.  As they say, “You are a Guest of the Country” so you are treated as such too.  If you are ever lost while taking a walk, just take out a map and someone will step out of the crowd who speaks English and will help you.  Often if close by they will even take you there.  I have many hundreds of great memories in my 50+ trips over the past 25 years to China of such meetings and some have turned into long time friendships.  For more personal questions, please feel free to contact me by email at interlak@eskimo.com   My name is Dave and live here in Seattle.tibet-womanGeneral-ChinaZhrung-LadyGuides-and-TippingMs.-LiVillages-of-Yunnan

Hot Springs in China

When touring it is really nice to take a day off and relax…especially at a Hot Springs.  During a trip through the Sichuan mountains while working on a new tour itinerary I found this very delightful Hot Springs with fantastic views.  There are five different levels of hot mineral springs water each with a different temperature.   The views of the valley and snow topped mountains are outstanding.  During the morning we took a cable car across a glacier field to the snows where we found some local people selling snacks at that level.  They had hiked up the 6 mile gorge to sell their hot snacks kept warm on hot coals.  Going down the cable car we had lunch at the bottom and then proceeded down to enjoy the mineral hot springs before heading down the mountain.  One can see the itinerary that I put together in my Packaged Tours under Mountain Tour.  For more information contact me at   email:  interlak@eskimo.com   My name is Dave and I have been enjoying the hot springs during my trip through the Sichuan mountains for several years where few tourists ever go.  Hot-SpringsHot-Springs0002Hot-Springs0001