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China Travel Guide

Food

  • Avoid drinking any beverages served with ice cubes and crushed ice, including smoothies.
  • Be very cautious when purchasing bottled water since some of them turned out to be tap water. Make sure to open the bottle yourself to make sure it is sealed.
  • Tap water is not potable (undrinkable) for foreigners. Do not ingest even while brushing your teeth.
  • Bring along extra water, food, diapers and toilet paper while traveling in rural and remote areas for you and your children.
  • Chinese meals are consisted of several main dishes and soup, depending on the group size. You can expect at least eight dishes and soup while your tour is in progress. Usually your meals, which are included in your tour cost were pre-arranged; you may experience repetitive menus and excessive food.
  • Cuisines in China differ between regions and provinces. The main cuisine styles can be divided into four different types: Shandong, Sichuan, Huaiyang (Jiangsu province) and Guangdong style.
  • Shandong cuisine contains a lot of seafood, scallions, expensive and sometimes exotic ingredients and salty-flavored elements. A typical example will be the stewed scallions and sea cucumber dish.
  • Sichuan cuisine employs a great deal of spicy and peppery seasonings. Shredded pork in chili and garlic sauce is a popular option.
  • Soup is the most important element of Huaiyang cuisine. Locals of the Jiangsu province usually like a mild and sweet flavor of the cuisine.
  • Guangdong cuisine features freshness, delicacy and crispiness. Roasted piglet is a classic favorite that features a delicious and crispy skin.

Beijing

  • You can find most of China's local dishes in the capital: royal family feasts, Muslim dishes, mutton hot pot, Peking duck and much more.
  • Reputable restaurants:
  • 1. Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant, which is famous for its roasted Peking ducks.
  • 2. Donglaishun Restaurant, a reputable Muslim restaurant that serves delicious boiled mutton.

Shanghai

  • Strong flavors, rich juices and bright colors are some of the characteristics of Shanghai cuisine. Don't miss out the chance to check out the world-famous Shanghai steamed or pan fried meat dumplings, Dazha Crabs, pork knuckle casserole, drunken chicken, eight jewel sweet sticky rice and much more.
  • Reputable restaurants:
  • 1. Shanghai Old Restaurant, which features its signature dishes-duck with garnish, spicy garnish and braised three delicacies.
  • 2. Wang Bao He Restaurant. Established in 1744 (Qing Dynasty), it is world-known for its delicious Chrysanthemum Crab Feast.

Chongqing

Located in the Sichuan province, Chongqing is a city that features peppery and spicy food. The local cuisine can be classified into three different categories: gling spicy, spicy and salty-sour- and- sweet. Some notable dishes are: spicy meat shreds, spicy beef stew, sour pickle fish and tea flavored smoked duck.

Reputable Restaurants:
  1. Little Swan Bayu Restaurant, a reputable hot pot restaurant that serves spicy and chilly hot pot buffet.
  2. Zhongtian Restaurant, it is famous for its creative and special dishes, such as bird nest and abalone.

Guangzhou

  • Being the birth city of the Guangdong cuisine, Guangzhou employs 21 different cooking techniques, including deep- frying, stewing, stir-frying and much more. The city is famous for its roasted piglet, dim sum, snake gruel and braised sea prawns.
  • Reputable Restaurants:
  • Panxi Restaurant, a special restaurant with a large-scale garden along the beautiful Liwan Lake. Don't miss out on the white rabbit dumpling and taro and water chestnut cake.
  • 2. Guangzhou Restaurant, which is known for its delicious Wenchang chicken, Hongmian Jiaji Duck and homemade moon cakes..

Guilin

  • Bright color and rich taste are the characteristics of Guilin's local cuisine. Some reputable folk dishes are clam chicken stew, steamed mandarin fish from Lijiang River, Guilin rice noodles, dong bamboo shoot meat, miao bamboo fish and maonan roast pork.

Kunming

  • Located in the Yunnan province, Kunming's local cuisine carries the unique features of different ethnic-minority groups. Some well-known dishes are: Yiliang stewed duck, steam-pot chicken, Yunnan ham and over the bridge vermicelli (rice noodle).

Xian

  • As the ancient capital of 13 dynasties, Xian's (Chang An) economy and local culture flourished the most during the Tang Dynasty. Its cuisine culture established a solid basis for the present one in Shaanxi province. Some local favorites are: milk pot fish soup, kidney slices, Tang Dynasty Royal Banquet, gourd chicken and traditional dumpling feast.
  • Reputable Restaurants:
  • 1. Defachang Dumpling Restaurant: Featuring its delicious and fancy dumpling feast.
  • 2. Qujiangchun Restaurant: All dishes served are prepared according to the Tang Dynasty Royal recipe.

Hong Kong

  • Rated the Eater's Paradise, Hong Kong offers the finest cuisine from all over the world. Remember to blend into the local afternoon tea culture, where you can enjoy fresh mini chicken potpies, egg tarts, French toast, pineapple buns and Hong Kong style milk tea and coffee.
  • Hong Kong's dim sum restaurants are also well known. Most of them offer discounted food items between 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Don't miss out the freshly prepared seafood meals.
  • Reputable restaurants:
  • 1. Seafood restaurants in Lei Yue Mun (Carp's Channel) are famous for fresh and tasty seafood.
  • 2. Yung Kee Restaurant, featuring its unbeatable roasted goose.
  • 3. Hong Kong Old Restaurant, serving authentic Shanghai cuisine. Remember to try the stir-fried eel with yellow leek and Shanghai steamed dumplings
  • 4. Superstar Seafood Restaurant, famous for its shark's fin soup, braised abalone and seafood.

In case you miss traditional American food, you can always dine at McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken or other non-Chinese restaurants; they are available in most Chinese cities.

  • *The above food and dining section is written in reference to "Guide to Chinese Cuisine", published by the China National Tourism Administration.

Electricity Voltage and Drinking Water

  • The standard power voltage in China, Cambodia, Korea and Vietnam is 220V. It is highly recommended to bring along converters while traveling.
  • There are two kinds of sockets in China: flat blade plug and V-shaped flat prongs. If your plugs have different configurations, you will also need an adapter.
  • Tap water is not potable (drinkable) in Asia. Contact the hotel floor attendant for assistance.
  • Bottled water is readily available for purchase in stores and markets throughout Asia.

Health Precaution

  • Always wash your hands before eating, after sneezing and coughing.
  • Avoid eating raw or under cooked food.
  • Do not drink tap water or refreshments with ice.
  • Before planning to visit attractions that are located in high altitude areas (such as Tibet, Yunnan province and some areas in Sichuan province), remember to seek medical consultation everyone’s body’s will react differently to the high altitudes and may suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), also known as Altitude Sickness.
  • Increase your steps gradually while hiking in highland regions.
  • Be sure to bring along preventive medications when sightseeing in high altitude attractions; oxygen supplies are widely available in most spots.

Chinese Custom Checkpoints

  • All travelers need to bring along all declared items when leaving China. Import duties will be imposed on missing items.
  • There are two channels within the customs checkpoints: red channel for travelers with items to declare and green channel for those who have nothing to declare.
  • If you ended up having a larger amount of foreign currency than you originally declared upon entering China, you will need to present a legal document issued by the China State Foreign Exchange Administration Bureau to bring your excess possession with you.
  • Each traveler is allowed to take no more than $300 Yuan/RMB worth of medicinal materials out of China.
  • It is strictly prohibited to export medications made from rare animals, such as musk, antler, leopard and tiger bone, rhinoceros horn and elephant skin.
  • Antiques need to be declared at all times. Attempts of hiding and smuggling antiques through customs will be severely punished.
  • Antiques and related products must carry the appraisal marks issued by the related Chinese culture administration department and the legal document of export sales.

Travel Insurance

Lotus Travel highly recommends clients to purchase travel insurance when traveling internationally. The Travel Plus Plan offered by the Travelex Insurance Company has excellent travel benefits and children 16 and under are free of charge when traveling with an adult. Please refer to Lotus Travel's Web site at Insurance for more details.

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