Please read these two PDFs:
Master Yip’s “things you need to know” (click to download PDF) – July 2017
Aileen’s Q & A information (click to download PDF) – March 2018
Where we’re going
Here’s a Google Map. Note you won’t be able to use this map in China, but may be useful for before you go, and for family and friends. Note you can click on the markers A – E for further information, and zoom in. Click on the link to open in your browser.
Local maps – you won’t be able to use Google Maps when in China. www.geode.com is in Chinese only. If you would like to try an offline map, Osmand looks good (available in Google and Apple stores). It’s free for up to 7 areas. As it’s offline, you can download the maps here and use when in China, without an internet connection. Naturally you’ll need plenty of spare space on the phone’s memory (it’s 700MB for the whole of China, or 200MB for the provinces + cities we will be visiting). This space would might reduce what’s left for photos. The maps have English instructions, Chinese street names and English city names – a good compromise.
Those in the group booking can use this link:
click on “retrieve booking” on the right
enter your first/middle names as one word (as on booking info) and the booking reference
Travel as light as possible. During the trip we are constantly on the move and only stay 2/3 days at each place, therefore I recommend you all to go as light as possible; no need for any formal dress, we are on holiday so casual is the norm.
A lady from a previous trip suggested the following:
- One or two pairs of comfortable walking shoes / trainers.
- A few T-shirts (don’t forget your Dao Lu T-shirts for training!), one or two loose comfortable
pants and a small towel for use during training (most hotels provide towels and soaps, but it is always safer to bring one towel just in case)
- 2/3 pairs jeans or trousers, one or two dresses for the evening
- Training pants and fleece or sweater in case weather takes a deep when we train outside.
Sun cream, and other skin protection products
- A jumper and a jacket for the evening.
- A towel, flannels, tooth brush and toothpaste.
- Rain Coat in case it rains, especially as we are travelling up a mountain (Wudang)
In the mountain (like Wudang) and small towns, some older hotels may not have elevator (lift) facility and you might have to carry your luggage up a few flights of stairs. That is another reason why we recommend travelling with light luggage. Unfortunately the hotel does not meet and greet at the bottom of the mountain, therefore we will have to carry our suitcases up the mountain with changes between two mountain buses (a 45 minutes journey). I am planning to get a minivan to bring the luggage up, however there will be a charge of ¥50RMB for bringing the luggage up and down the Wudang Mountain. This is optional depending on how many suitcases you bring.
Chinese currency & exchange rate
In most major cities department stores and tourist shops will accept credit cards. You may want to inform your credit card company you will be using your card in China. Some establishments may have a surcharge for accepting credit cards. It is wise to have alternative forms of spending money in your local currency.
The currency in China is the ¥ Renminbi (RMB) and the basic unit is the Yuan. The exchange rate is around £1 – ¥8.2RMB, It is worth changing some RMB before you go if possible, if not you can always change it when you get to China. Bring a small amount of cash (suggestion £300 / $400 / AUD$500 only suggestion).
Currency rate at the moment is £1 =¥8.5100 RMB (15th March 2018)
The weather in China in April is between 12C – 25C, however it could be a bit lower in the morning and evening 10-15C. Due to the slight changes on the flight, our itinerary also changed to make sure we make the best of the trip. During this trip we will be travelling quite a bit, we will be making mainly coach and train journeys, and the place we are travelling to are some of the most famous places for Tai Chi and Chinese religions, but unfortunately they are also small towns too, and the conditions and standard will be lower than major cities like Beijing, please be prepared.
Always carry a small bottle of hand-sanitiser and small roll of toilet paper. Toilet paper is usually not provided in rural areas. You can, of course, buy some in local shops.
Breakfast a generally Chinese style, if you can’t survive without a morning cup of English tea,
coffee or cereals every morning, I would suggest you bring a small pack of tea bags, small jar of coffee or some bite size cereals pack just in case.
Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets sell real coffee in drip containers, if you need your fix.
Breakfast in the hotel is mainly Chinese style (meat or plain buns, congee, Chinese tea & some veg and rice), however, there would still be plenty of choices. We will be sampling all types of Chinese food from different parts of the country, but don’t worry; nothing extreme. Lunches and dinners will all be Chinese cuisine from different regions of China, and they are the real / authentic things.
Some hotels have drinking water taps, and it is important to use them for drinking water. We strongly recommend members to buy bottle water when out visiting since water from normal taps is not safe to drink.
Contact with family and friends
Save money on international calls – if you have opened a WeChat account，you may ask your friend or family to open one. You can talk to them free over WiFI in hotels with super sound quality ＆ share photos or leave voice messages.
Please also see Tai Chi Trip to China April 2018