Tips for Dao Lu Tai Chi Visit to China

Essential Information

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.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FXporz2RoDr7tOof2VfocmZ5Fo2GUNkH&usp=sharing

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. Maps.me is also very good (search for app in your phone’s appstore). Both store the maps in external storage (e.g. added memory card) if available.

 

Flights

Those in the group booking can use this link:

https://www.swiss.com/ch/EN/Login?returnUrl=%2Fch%2Fen%2Fprepare

click on “retrieve booking” on the right

enter your first/middle names as one word (as on booking info) and the booking reference.

Make sure you have 2 boarding passes at your starting airport/check in – We all have indirect flights. In most cases, you will be given 2 boarding passes for each flight. Make sure your destination is Beijing. Your luggage will re-surface in Beijing. You just follow the Transfer route to get to the boarding gate for your second flight to Beijing using your second leg boarding pass. There may be an additional security check (scan of hand luggage etc) during the transfer.

When you arrive, look for this sign:

if you have any problem including inside the airport and/or cannot find your greeting person (holding the poster above) outside etc, please:

  • call Lily on 0086 xxxxxxxxxxx (removed)
  • drop a message in the WeChat Group, if you have a WeChat account and WiFi
  • go to the Information Desk, ask for help and you can call from there FREE

We have 2 or 3 people who will arrive before 6am. Please have a tea or coffee at the airport, relax and wait there – Tary or Lily will meet you there. All others will arrive after 6am.

Luggage

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.

Hotels

Beijing – Free Comfort Holiday Hotel – No 33 Xue Yuan Nan Road, Beijing, China Tel: +86 10 6218 6218 – 2nd – 5th APR (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g294212-d661732-Reviews-Free_Comfort_Holiday_Hotel_Beijing_Xueyuan_South_Road-Beijing.html)

Xi’an – Jinyuan Furun Hotel, Lianhu district, No. 388 North Street. Tel: 029 8733 6666 – 5th – 8th APR (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g298557-d1392124-Reviews-Jinyuan_Furun_Hotel-Xi_an_Shaanxi.html)

Mt Wudang – Jin Xiao Hotel, Wuyaling, Wudang Mountain Tel: 0719 5662 11 – 8th – 11th APR ()

Deng Feng – Song Yu Chateau Hotel, Da Jin Dian Town, Song Bei Forest Park Tel: 0371 62731777 11th – 14th APR

Shanghai – Holiday Inn Express Shanghai Wujiaochang Shanghai Tel:021-60951818 14th – 18th APR (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g308272-d875083-Reviews-Holiday_Inn_Express_Shanghai_Wujiaochang-Shanghai.html)

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)

Weather

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.

Smog

Air pollution has been bad in the past few days. We hope it will improve by our arrival. You can get a smog specific mask there. But for people who are particularly sensitive, please take all precautions now.

Toiletries

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.

Food

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.

Sharing Rooms

if you know who you are pairing up with, you may want to share resource/space, for example, one of you will take a small travel kettle which includes two cups inside. Check out each other’s mindful and sensitive areas. For sample, a light ear plug may help if the other person may snore? Snoring people may take some relief in advance? Don’t suffer in silence because you may end up feeling so tired. Talk to each other and most of time you can find a way around the inconvenience/problem and then this sharing experience tends to be the best part of the trip (or the worst memory if it did not work out).

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