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  • FAQs - China Cycling Travel Tips & Guide

    China Cycling Travel Questions and Answers:

  • Money, Currency Exchange, Payment

    1. How can I pay you? What kinds of payment ways do you accept?
    We accept payment by credit card, bank transfer and Western Union transfer. Your travel consultant will send you the detailed guide for payment.

    2. How can I get refund from you if I have to cancel my reservation?
    We usually make refunding directly to your credit card, in this case, we need the following information from you: credit card's type and number, issuing Bank and its address, credit card holder's full name, nationality, birth date and the billing address.

    3. What's the currency used in China? What's the exchange rate between your currency and US dollar?
    The official currency in mainland China is the Renminbi (RMB) or "People's currency." The basic unit is the yuan (also known as ‘kuai'), which equals 10 jiao (or ‘mao'), which is then divided into 10 fen. Paper currency comes in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 yuan notes, paper jiao comes in denominations of 1, 2 and 5. There are also 1 and 2 fen notes, but these are rarely used as their purchasing power is almost zero. As for coins, there are 1 yuan, 1 and 5 jiao, and 1, 2 and 5 fen (again, the fen coins are basically useless).

    At present, the exchange rate of US dollar to RMB is 1 dollar to 8.04 yuan, which is subject to change due to the fluctuation of the exchange rate.

    4. Where can I change our money into your currency?
    You can exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and most hotels in the cities, the exchange rate in the hotels is the same as that in the banks. To change money, you have to have your passport at hand. If you want to change money in a hotel, you usually have to be a guest there. Sometimes if you are not a guest in a hotel but need to change money there, you can just say a random room number, but this doesn't always work.

    5. Can I use US dollars or other foreign currencies in China?
    It depends, you can use US dollars / Euros/ English pounds/ in the hotels to pay for the bill, in the friendship stores, to buy things from those vendors outside the scenic spots, to pay for any optional tours and to tip porters of the hotels, tour guides and drivers or whomever you want to tip. While you can not use US dollars or some other foreign currencies in department stores or small convenience stores, local restaurants, or if you try to buy things from street vendors.

    6. Can I use credit cards in China?
    Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can be used to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.

    Note: If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in RMB can be used.

    7. Can I withdraw money with my credit cards in hotels?
    Only in very few hotels can you withdraw money with your credit cards. Most of the time, if you want to withdraw money with your credit cards, you need to go to the main offices of the Bank of China.

    8. Are there any ATM services in China?
    In the main offices of the Bank of China in the cities, especially in those tourist cities, there are ATM services available working with your credit cards, and some of the five-star hotels may also have ATM available.

    9. Is there counterfeit money in China? If yes, how can I distinguish the real one from the fake one?
    Yes, like any other kind of money, there is conterfeit money in China. Our government is cracking down on it, but you still need to be aware of this, especially when you try to buy things from those street vendors.

    The ways to identify fake money are by the color, the watermark, the paper, and the braille dots:
    The color of RMB notes is hard to imitate, and counterfeit bills are usually too fuzzy, that is, the images and colors are not so sharp.

    The watermark on counterfeit money is also not clear. On real bills the outline of the model worker or the Great Helmsman (on the 100 bill of the old copy) or Maozedong (on the new copy) is fairly distinct. The way to test the paper is to look at it under a black light. Originally, the way to tell real from fake was to see if the words “YIBAI” or “WUSHI” (depending on the denomination) appeared in fluorescent letters under the light. But the counterfeiters have found a way to imitate this. Now the true test is to see the color of the paper itself under the black light. If the paper appears bright, then it is fake. If it appears to absorb the black light, then it is real.

    The final test is the dots. On each denomination of the yuan notes (nobody bothers making fake jiao, not to mention fen), there is a corresponding number in braille in the lower left hand corner of the front side. It is hard to feel, but the dots are slightly raised on the surface of the paper. If they are not, then it is also a fake.

    10. When I finish my tour in China, if I still have some local money, what can I do?
    Upon leaving China, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.

    11. If I want to keep some local money as souvenir, can I do that?
    Yes. For taking out less than 6000 RMB, you don't have to declare at the customs, if the amount is over 6000 RMB, then you have to declare at the customs.

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