Other Practical Tips


After completing a lengthy pre-approval process, foreign citizens wishing to adopt a child in China can expect to spend at least two weeks in China. U.S. immigrant visas for adopted children are issued at the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou. For additional information contact the Office of Children's Issues, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State, Room 4811A, Washington, D.C. 20520; Tel. (202) 736-7000.

If your travel agent offers you poor service or does not follow the agreement, you may complain to the National Tourism Administrative Bureau directly or to the Institutions of Supervision over Quality of each province as the following:

Supervisory Office of Tourism Quality of CNTA
Tel: (010) 6512 6688 ext. 6040 / 6041
Fax: (010) 6512 2096
Hours: 8:30-12:00 14:30-17:00
Add: Rm. 6040, International Hotel, No.9 Jianguomennei Street, Beijing
Zip: 100740

Anhui Province
Tel: (0551) 282 1825
Fax: (0551) 282 4001
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.4 Meishan Road, Hefei, Anhui
Zip: 230061

Tel: (010) 6513 0828
Fax: (010) 6515 8251, 6515 8255
Hours: 8:30-12:00 14:30-17:00
Add: Rm.1001, Beijing Tourism Building, No.28 Jianguomenwai Street, Beijing
Zip: 100022

Fujian Province
Tel: (0591) 755 4153
Fax: (0591) 753 8758
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.1 Daying Street, Dongda Road, Fuzhou, Fujian
Zip: 350001

Gansu Province
Tel: (0931) 882 6860
Fax: (0941) 841 8443
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.361 Tianshui Road, Lanzhou, Gansu
Zip: 730000

Guangdong Province
Tel: (020) 8667 7422
Fax: (020) 8666 5039
Hours: 8:30-17:00
Add: No.185 Huanshixilu, Guangzhou, Guangdong
Zip: 510010

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Tel: (0771) 280 2312
Fax: (0771) 280 1041
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.40 Xinmin Road, Nanning, Guangxi
Zip: 530012

Guizhou Province
Tel: (0851) 689 2360
Fax: (0851) 689 2309
Hours: 8:00-17:00
Add: No.346-5 Zhonghua North Road, Guiyang, Guizhou
Zip: 550001

Hainan Province
Tel: (0898) 535 8451
Fax: (0898) 535 3074
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: Rm.606, Provincial Tourism Administration Building, No.6 Haifu Road, Haikou, Hainan
Zip: 570203

Hebei Province
Tel: (0311) 601 4239
Fax: (0311) 601 5368
Hours: 9:00-11:30 14:30-17:30
Add: No.22 Yucai Street, Shijiazhuang, Hebei
Zip: 050021

Henan Province
Tel: (0371) 595 5913
Fax: (0371) 595 5656
Hours: 24 Hours
Add: No.16 Jinshui Avenue, Zhengzhou, Henan
Zip: 450003

Heilongjiang Province
Tel: (0451) 362 5259
Fax: (0451) 363 0860
Hours: 8:00-17:00
Add: No.4 Xidazhi Street, Nangang District, Harbin, Heilongjiang
Zip: 150001

Hubei Province
Tel: (027) 8481 8760
Fax: (027) 8472 0348
Hours: 24 Hours
Add: Building 2, Block Qingshiqiao, Hanyang, Wuhan, Hubei
Zip: 410001

Hunan Province
Tel: (0731) 472 6736
Fax: (0731) 472 0348
Hours: 24 Hours
Add: Unity Road, Wulipai, Changsha, Hunan
Zip: 410001

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
Tel: (0471) 665 978
Fax: (0471) 668 561
Hours: 8:00-12:00 14:00-18:00
Add: No.1 Xinhua Street, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia
Zip: 010055

Jilin Province
Tel: (0431) 560 9246
Fax: (0431) 564 2053
Hours: 8:30-11:30 13:30-17:00
Add: No.14 Xinmin Street, Changchun, Jilin
Zip: 130021

Jiangsu Province
Tel: (025) 330 1221
Fax: (025) 332 8795
Hours: 8:00-12:00 14:00-18:00
Add: N0.255 North Zhongshan Road, Nanjing, Jiangsu
Zip: 210003

Jiangxi Province
Tel: (0791) 622 4983
Fax: (0791) 622 7860
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.35 Fuzhou Road, Nanchang, Jiangxi
Zip: 330006

Liaoning Province
Tel: (024) 8611 6688
Fax: (024) 8680 9415
Hours: 24 Hours
Add: No.113 Huanghenan Street, Huanggu District, Shenyang, Liaoning
Zip: 110031

Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
Tel: (0951) 622 265
Fax: (0951) 641 783
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.117 Jiefang West Street, Yinchuan, Ningxia
Zip: 750001

Qinghai Province
Tel: (0971) 823 9630
Fax: (0971) 823 9515
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.57 Xida Street, Xining, Qinghai
Zip: 810000

Shaanxi Province
Tel: (029) 526 1437
Fax: (029) 525 0151, 526 1437
Hours: 8:00-18:00
Add: No. 15 Chang'an North Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi
Zip: 710061

Shandong Province
Tel: (053) 296 3423, 296 5858 ext.
Fax: (053) 296 4284
Hours: 24 Hours
Add: No.88 Jingshi Road, Jinan, Shandong
Zip: 250014

Shanxi Province
Tel: (0351) 404 7544
Fax: (0351) 404 8289
Hours: 8:30-11:30 13:30-1:700
Add: No.282 Yingze Street, Taiyuan, Shanxi
Zip: 030001

Tel: (021) 6439 3615
Fax: (021) 6439 1159
Hours: 9:00-17:00
Add: No.2552 West Zhongshan Road, Shanghai
Zip: 200030

Sichuan Province
Tel: (028) 665 7478
Fax: (028) 667 1042
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.65 Section 2, Renmin South Road, Chengdu, Sichuan
Zip: 530012

Tel: (022) 2835 8814, 2835 8812
Fax: (022) 2835 2324
Hours: 8:30-17:30 18:30-8:30
Add: No.18 Youyi Road, Hexi District, Tianjin
Zip: 300074

Tibet Autonomous Region
Tel: (0891) 633 3476, 633 4330
Fax: (0891) 633 4632
Hours: Morning of Monday, Tuesday, Friday
Add: No.208 Yuanlin Road, Lhasa, Tibet
Zip: 850001

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Tel: (0991) 283 1902
Fax: (0991) 282 4449
Hours: 9:30-13:30 16:00-20:00
Add: No.6 Hetan South Road, Urumqi, Xinjiang
Zip: 830002

Yunnan Province
Tel: (0871) 313 9197
Fax: (0871) 317 4343
Hours: 8:00-17:00
Add: No.218 Huancheng South Road, Kunming, Yunnan
Zip: 650011

Zhejiang Province
Tel: (057) 515 6631
Fax: (057) 515 6249
Hours: 8:30-11:30 14:00-17:00
Add: No.1 Shihan Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Zip: 310007

  China has a low crime rate; however, crime has increased in the past few years principally in the major cities. Heated arguments in China sometimes attract large crowds of onlookers who, on occasion, have become abusive. Theft is the most common crime affecting visitors and occurs most frequently in crowded public areas, such as hotel lobbies, bars, restaurants and tourist and transportation sites. The loss or theft of a passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest foreign embassy or consulate. Police reports of the theft are required before travelers may obtain new visas from Chinese authorities. Chinese authorities require that travelers have valid visas to exit China, and even to travel and register in hotels within China. Useful information on safeguarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad." It is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

The Public Security Bureau is the ever-present police force responsible for everything -- chasing murderers, quenching dissent, issuing visa extensions, etc. They are usually friendly towards foreigners, even if the rules that they are strictly enforcing seem illogical at times. Also, with serious travel related disputes -- for example, with taxi drivers or hotels -- they are usually able to resolve the problem. To stay on their friendly side, do not be caught trying to travel in restricted area or on an expired visa.

Loss or Theft of Belongings

If you have lost something, do what one would do anywhere else: notify the hotel, tour group leader or transportation authorities, and the police, who will usually make serious efforts to recover items. Then, most likely, you might start considering how to replace the lost or stolen items.

Criminal Penalties

While in a foreign country, a traveler is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in his native country and do not afford the protections available to the individual under his country's law. Long delays in the judicial process are common, sometimes lasting for years. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating the law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Criminal penalties for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect severe jail sentences and fines. Foreign passport holders have been executed for drug offenses, and one U.S. citizen, convicted on drug-related charges in Shanghai, received a fifteen year prison sentence.


Forget designer luggage with fine leather trim that is useful only for posturing in a hotel lobby. Likewise with shiny aluminum cases which plead to be stolen. Take sturdy, strong luggage. This is especially recommended if travelling independently or away from the catered tourist venues. Luggage should be lockable, as sometimes there is a requirement for transport


An English-language newspaper, China Daily, is published in China daily except on Sundays. It is informative and sometimes even a bit bold, depending upon the climate at the moment. Often obtainable from the big hotels for free. It contains the television schedule and a diary of cultural events in Beijing. The sports section is good.

Most large hotels sell foreign-language newspapers and journals, including the International Herald Tribune, the Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Far Eastern Economic Review, and many more. The overseas edition of the Party newspaper People's Daily is usually available in the hotels.

Medical Service

The quality of medical care in China is uneven. Competent, trained doctors and nurses are available in major metropolitan centers. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payments for health services and may not accept checks or credit cards. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage including provision for medical evacuation is strongly recommended. It may be purchased in the U.S. prior to travel. The Department of State brochure "Tips for Travelers to the People's Republic of China" contains additional information concerning medical care in China. This brochure is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. For additional health information, travelers can contact the international travelers hotline of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at (404) 332-4559, or via the CDC autofax service at 404-332-4565, or via the CDC home page on the Internet: http://www.cdc.gov

The following three emergency medical assistance firms have representative offices in Beijing:

Asia Emergency Assistance Ltd. (AEA)
14 Liangmahe South Road, 1/F
Beijing 100600
Tel. (86-10) 6462-9112, 6462-9100 (Emergency)
Fax (86-10)6462-9111
From U.S.: Tel. 1-800-548-7762
24-Hr. Number from U.S. (Seattle, Washington):
Tel. (206) 781-8770
Fax (206) 781-8771

International SOS Assistance (SOS)
Kunlun Hotel, Office Suite 433
2 Xin Yuan Nan Lu, Beijing
24- Hr. Number from China: (86-10) 6500-3419
Fax: (86-10) 6501-6048
24-Hr. Number from U.S. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania):
Tel. (215) 245-4707 or (215) 244-1500

MEDEX Assistance Corporation
Regus Office 19, Beijing Lufthansa Center
No. 50 Liangmaqiao Rd.
Beijing 100016
Tel. (86-10) 6465-1264
Fax (86-10) 6465-1267
E-Mail: medexasst@aol.com (Baltimore, Maryland)
Tel. (410) 453-6300
24-Hr. Number: (410) 453-6330

AEA and SOS also have internationally staffed clinics in Beijing. Some hospitals in cities have special sections for foreigners and English is spoken there.

Many of the large hotels have their own doctors. Payment must be made on the spot for treatment, medicine and transport. If planning to visit areas outside of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, consider emergency evacuation insurance.

International SOS Assistance
507 Kai Tak Commercial Bldg., 317 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2541 6483, Fax: (852) 2544 1677

Asia Emergency Assistance (AEA)
Allied Resources Bldg. 9f, 32 Ice House St, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2810 8898, Fax: (852) 2845 0395
Beijing: Tel: 6505 5352


Emergency / Evacuation:
MEDEX Assistance Corporation
Regus Office 19, Beijing Lufthansa Center
No. 50 Liangmaqiao Rd.
Beijing 100016
Tel. (010) 6465 1264
Fax (010) 6465 1267

International SOS Assistance (SOS)
Kunlun Hotel, Office Suite 433
2 Xin Yuan Nan Lu, Beijing
24- Hr. Number from China: (010) 6500 3419
Fax: (010) 6501 6048

Emergency / General:
Asia Emergency Assistance Ltd. (AEA)
14 Liangmahe South Road, 1/F
Beijing 100600
Tel. (010) 6462 9112, 6462 9100 (Emergency)
Fax (010) 6462 9111

International Medical Centre
S106/S111 Office Bldg., Lufthansa Center
Tel: (010) 6465 1561, Fax: (010) 6465 1984

Sino-German Polyclinic
Rm.B-1, Landmark Bldg.
Tel: (010) 6501 1901, Fax: (010) 6501 1944

Beijing Union Medical College Hospital
No.1 Shuaifuyuan, Wangfujing
Tel: (010) 6512 5539, Fax: (010) 6512 4875

Beijing United Family Health Center
No.2 Jiangtai Road
Tel: (010) 6433 3960, Fax: (010) 6433 3693


1st People's Hospital
No.40 Daomenkou
Tel: (023) 6384 3462, Fax: (023) 6384 1324


Red Cross Hospital
Tel: (020) 8444 6411, in English

Children's Hospital
Tel: (020) 8188 6332

Heart Center
Tel: (020) 8384 5357

Guangzhou No.1 People's Hospital
No.602 Renmin North Road Tel: (020) 8108 0509

Provincial Hospital
No.1, Foreigner's Dept,123 Huifu West Road
Tel: (020) 8777 7812

Hong Kong

Adventist Hospital
No.40 Stubbs Road, Happy Valley
Tel: (852) 2574 6211

Central Medical Practice
1501 Prince's Bldg., Center
Tel: (852) 2521 2567

Hong Kong Central
1B lower Albert Rd., Central
Tel: (852) 2522 3141


People's Hospital
Jichang Road
Tel: (0998) 282 2338


Gansu Provincial People's Hospital
No.96 Donggang East Road
Tel: (0931) 841 6801


Luoyang People's Hospital
No.1 Dongxinglong Street
Tel: (0379) 395 1279


Qingdao Municipal Hospital
No.1 Jiaozhou Road
Tel: (0532) 282 7971

Shanghai Emergency / Evacuation:
SOS International Assistance
Tel: (021) 6248 4344

Emergency / General:
New Pioneer Medical Center
2/F Ge Ru Bldg., No.910 Hengshan Road
Tel: (021) 6469 3898

World Link Medical Center
Shanghai Center, No.1376 Nanjing West Road
Tel: (021) 6279 7688

Huashan Hospital
No.12 Urumqi Zhong Road, 19th floor Foreigner's Clinic
Tel: (021) 6248 9999


Xinjiang People's Hospital
No.91 Tianchi Road
Tel: (0991) 282 2927

Urumqi Chinese Medical Hospital
No.60 Youhao South Road
Tel: (0991) 452 0963


Shaanxi Provincial People's Hospital
No.214 Friendship West Road
Tel: (029) 525 1331 ext. 2283 / 2284


Hospital No.1 Affiliate of Henan Medical University
Daxue Road
Tel: (0371) 696 4992


In Chinese cities, there are friendship stores that are designated to provide services to foreign visitors. These carry luxury goods: silks, jewelry of gold, silver, pearls, jade, embroidered tablecloths and blouses, paintings, four treasures of the study (writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper), handicrafts and pottery. At hotels entrusted to receive foreign visitors, there are also shopping centers. In addition, foreign visitors are free to do shopping at any other shops. It was unusual to bargain in the state-run shops and warehouses. But at many souvenir stands, it is a good idea to bargain because of the greatly overpriced goods on offer. It is also worth comparing prices in the free market and watching how much Chinese customers pay.

It is worth looking for local products in the smaller towns or in the places where ethnic minorities live. These products will be difficult to find anywhere else in China. The most usual articles are craft objects for everyday use and specially worked or embroidered garments.

Antiques purchased from state stores all carry a little seal (in sealing wax) certifying that the item has been passed for export. Therefore, do not lose the seal. Antiques that date from before 1795 cannot be legally exported.

Travelers without quarantine certificates will be examined by the quarantine station designated by the Customs. Those that can be taken out of China must carry a small red seal or have one affixed by the Cultural Relics Bureau. All other antiques are the property of the People's Republic of China and, without the seal, will be confiscated without compensation. Beware of fakes; producing new "antiques" (and the seal) is a thriving industry.

Some of the purchase objects are made from wild animals, especially from ivory. Most Western countries ban ivory objects, and swill confiscate them without compensation.


Officially, it is still illegal to accept tips in China. For a long time, it was considered patronizing. Tourists and visitors in recent years, however, have changed attitudes in cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xi'an. It has also become a custom for travel groups to give tips to the Chinese travel guides and bus drivers.

Tipping is still not common in most restaurants and hotels. Note that it is part of the ritual that any gift or tip will, at first, be firmly rejected.

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