Other information

Electricity

220 volts. Please bring a universal adaptor. Many hotels supply hairdryers.

Getting to China and International flights

Individual travellers, families, small groups
Our travellers come from all over the world. With all the advantages of the Internet, most of our clients can get the best flight deals on line directly with the airline or other travel web-sites. We can make recommendations and suggestions based on our experience.

Groups
Again, we can provide advice on the best routes and obtain rates and tickets through ATOL holders.

It is worth noting that flying with a Chinese Airline on the international sector (Air China or China Eastern) usually entitles you to substantial discounts on the internal sectors.

Guides

We find that many of our clients like to have a balance between guided tours and time to themselves to explore and we discuss this with you before you travel.

We can provide private guide assisted transfers and services during your stay in China. They are local, often freelance, guides who speak good English. Sometimes the guides who may meet you at the airport and accompany you to your hotels have limited command of English. We try to ensure that the guides who will be guiding you around important historical and cultural sites have a good command of English, are knowledgeable and friendly.

Photography

Digital cameras make the problem of carrying sufficient film a thing of the past. Memory cards can be obtained in China if required.

Photographic opportunities are numerous, but be careful to comply with notices requesting you not to photograph in some temples, caves or at other historical sites, otherwise you risk incurring a hefty fine or your film being confiscated. At some historical monuments, you may take photographs, on payment of a premium.

Reading List

Some people like to read avidly before they visit a new country and culture, others prefer to go with open eyes. Books on all aspects of China are being published frequently and there is a great deail of choice.

We have included the current book list produced by Arthur Probsthain the Oriental book specialists close to the British Museum. It is a particularly scholarly list and also covers Taiwan and Tibet.

Click here to view reading list (PDF)

The British Museum has an extensive collection of books about China.

We also recommend that you ‘google’ Amazon and look through their list of books on China.

As we intend the Benmo web-site to become more interactive, we would appreciate any reading recommendations which you may have – please e-mail info@.com

Probsthain the Bookshop recommends the following Top 10  on China
Jonathan Fenby, The Dragon Throne: Dynasties of Imperial China 1600 BC-AD1912 £16.99
Jonathan Fenby, The Penguin History of Modern China:
The Fall and Rise of A great Power 1850-2008 £30.00
Jonathan Fenby, The Seventy Wonders of China £24.95
Harry G. Gelber, The Dragon and the Foreign Devils:
China and the World, 1100 BC to the Present £25.00
Duncan Hewitt, Getting Rich First, Life in A Changing China £14.99
Michael Dillon, Contemporary China – An Introduction £21.99
Michael Dutton, Beijing Time – A guide to local life and sites £17.95
Kam Louie, The Cambridge Companion to Modern Chinese Culture £16.00
Jane Portal, The Terracotta Warriors £9.99
Frances Wood & Neil Taylor, Blue Guide China £19.99

10% discount offered to Benmo Ltd travellers at Arthur Probsthain Bookshop, 41 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3PL.
Tel: 0207 636 1096 Email: arthurprobsthain@hotmail.com
Many other titles in stock – on art, literature, philosophy society and travel.

www.oriental-african-books.com

Safety

We recommend that you take all the usual sensible precautions in relation to your valuables. Use the room safe for passports, money, laptops, jewellery etc. Use a money belt when you are out and about and keep a note of any traveller’s cheque numbers and a copy of your passport in a separate safe place.

There are few places which are considered especially dangerous for tourists and Chinese people are not generally aggressive towards foreigners, however you are advised to travel around in pairs late at night.

Telecommunications

Telephone communication between China and Europe is easy and usually efficient, there are IDD facilities in the bedrooms and most hotels (please settle your bill before departure.)

The mobile phone revolution is in full swing, Chinese businessmen compete with each other over who has the smallest telephone with the most gizmos – all the big mobile phone companies have established a presence in China.

Many contract phones used here can make and receive calls in China, providing you have made prior arrangements with your network provider, but as usual tariffs for both receiving and making calls overseas are not cheap.

Most hotels have Business Centres where you can access the Internet or send and receive faxes.

Time Zones

October to March Beijing is eight hours ahead of GMT.
March to October Beijing is seven hours ahead of BST.

The whole of China works – officially – according to Beijing time.