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Helpful Links and Information

In this section you are provided with links and information that will be helpful to you in preparing for your trip and also while you are in China.  You may want to visit this section periodically.  We will be updating this section from time to time in an effort to provide you with as much information as possible to insure you are prepared and that your experience in China is a positive and memorable one.

Travel Insurance: –You may want to consider taking out a travel insurance policy.  Feel free to shop around and see what is available.  For the past few years we have used Dalia Groh Insurance Agency.  Dalia can provide you with any number of insurance plans.  For more information you can contact her at: 

Dalia Groh Insurance Agency
503 Cottage Street
Houston, Texas 77009
Office: 713-974-3544
Fax: 713-802-1559
Cellular: 832-661-8333

If you decide to call Dalia, make sure that you tell her that you will be going to China with the NHPO Mission 2 China group and that I referred you.

Airline Seating Assignment:  The seats for these trips were purchased in blocks.  Individual seating assignments are not given until the day of departure at the ticket counter.  When you check in at LAX your seat will be assigned by the ticket agent at that time.  We strongly recommend that you get there early and be the first in line as the ticket counter opens.  By doing this you can often get the seat you want, however there are no guarantees.  Plan to get to LAX early.  We usually line up as a group.  Once you have checked in there is plenty to do in the airport or you have time to meet some of the others in your group.

Inoculations:  China does not require any shots or inoculations to enter the country.  You may want to consult with your physician to see if they have any recommendations for your particular needs.

Optional Tours:  These tours are well worthwhile and really add to your China experience.  If you go on the optional tours it does not take away from the rest of the trip.  You will not miss any sights or activities by going on the tours.  If you decide not to go on some of the optional tours you will have some free time, head back to the hotel earlier or extend your tour of another attraction that comes with the basic tour.  However, if you choose to take the Terra Cotta Warrior tour you will separate from the main group and fly to Xi’an, China for two days.  You will then catch up with the main group in Shanghai. 

Language:  As you may know there are many languages and dialects spoken in China.  Mandarin is the language that will be spoken most on our trip and the language that China will use most as their official language.

Weather:  Now who can really predict the weather?  Expect the temperatures in the mornings and evenings to be in the low to mid 50F and the afternoon in the mid to upper 60F.  Keep in mind that we will be in Beijing for 3 days and further south for the rest of the trip.  The cities in the South of course will be warmer.  We suggest you dress in layers. In the morning and evenings you may need a jacket or a windbreaker.  Temperatures will vary depending on the month you travel.  For more information and to see annual weather charts visit http://www.travelchinaguide.com/climate/.

Power / Electrical Outlets:  The outlet voltage in China is 220, to use any USA made electrical appliance you will need a power converter.

Hotel Accommodations: –As advertised the hotels you will be staying in are four and five star rated hotels.  The hotels will supply you with hair dryers, combs, razors, slippers, robes, scales, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower caps, hand lotion, shampoo and conditioner.  All of the hotel rooms have western toilets and all the modern amenities of upscale hotels in the states.

Hotel Accommodations in Los Angeles: –Due to the flight schedules it may be necessary to spend one night in Los Angeles before departure or return.  Each trip we negotiate a group rate at La Quinta Inns and Suites LAX.  If you are an AARP member, AAA or a military/government employee you may be able to get even a better room rate.  We will forward the group code at the appropriate time to you so that you can receive your discount.

You will responsible for making your own reservations.  We have set up this room block for those travelers who would like to arrive in Los Angeles a day or two before our departure.  We also have a block of rooms for our return at the same rate.

5249 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90045
Telephone: (310) 645-2200
Fax: (310) 641-8214

The La Quinta Inn & Suites LAX recently completed a 7.5 million dollar renovation featuring all-new guest rooms with pillow-top mattresses and free wireless high-speed Internet access. Take the new Ocean Express Shuttle to Manhattan Beach, or sample from the limited menu at Destinations Lounge (onsite).

Airport Luggage / Liquids:  The same rules and luggage limits that apply in the United States for travel on commercial airlines will apply in China.  You can check two items and carry on two items.  Remember to pack light going to China so that you can bring back your souvenirs.  If you need to purchase an additional inexpensive suitcase or carry-on bag in China, your tour guide will assist you.

Shopping:  There is a lot of shopping opportunities in China.  In the itinerary are many factories and farms that we visit along with a Chinese pharmacy.  At each location the staff will show you how the products are made and provide you with the information and history of the products so you can make an informed buying decision.   You will then have an opportunity to purchase items from stores we visit.  You are not required to purchase anything at these locations, it is only an opportunity.  You will also have the opportunity in some places to barter price.  We will also visit open markets and of course there will also be a number of street vendors.  You can also barter price in the markets and with the street vendors.  We recommend you take a stack of $1.00 bills to purchase the less expensive items from the vendors.  Make sure that any United States currency that you bring is not torn or severely worn.  Local vendors and merchants will reject these bills.

     

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