FAQ about Tours

China is very unfamiliar to western travelers. There is no doubt that a great many questions will come up during tour planning. The following frequently asked questions will ease your anxiety. For any questions that are not listed, please send us a message and we will get back to you within 12 hours.

1. Will we be taken to any shopping traps during the tour?

All our tours are shopping free! Unlike some other tour operators in China, who hire guides that earn commission by taking tourists to the shopping outlets, China Educational Tours pay our guides a fair salary and bonus so that they have a steady income. Our guides will pay all their attention to guide you, serve you and make your trip a fulfilled memory.

2. Is tipping expected and is there a usual amount?

Tipping is not mandatory however the guides and drivers, as in many other countries, will usually expect a tip. Our suggestion would be: 1 person RMB 150-200/day, 2 people in a group RMB100 day/person, 3-5 people in a group: 50-70 RMB /day/person, 6-9 people in a group:40-50 RMB /day/person, ≥10 people in a group: 20-30 RMB /day/person. The driver would be half the amount, and a separate offer to each is best. Of course, only tip if the service has truly satisfied you.

3. Do we get the same guide for the entire trip?

To make sure that your tour guides are the local experts for each destination, you will have a different tour guide in each city. Upon arrival in a city, you will be greeted by your personal tour guide at the airport/train station. He/she will accompany you till your tour is completed in that city by saying goodbye to you at the airport/train station. All our tour guides are well selected and trained based on CET service standard. I will ensure excellent tour guides for you to make your trip worry free.

4. Can I see what your previous customers say about their China tour with China Educational Tours?

No problem. Please follow the link below to see our Trip Advisor Page:http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298556-d7707286-Reviews-China_Educational_Tours_Day_Tour-Guilin_Guangxi.html

Here you can find more reviews from our customers: http://www.chinaeducationaltours.com/reviews/
I can also send you email address of some of our customers if you need a referral.

5. How many people in our group?

This is a private tour for just your party. You will be accompanied by your private tour guide and driver with a nice van. All our tours are private and tailor-made to meet the special needs of different customers. So  you can travel at your own pace without compromise.

6. I noted there are some biking tours in this trip, what if I can't ride a bike?

For this private tour, the tour arrangement can be adjusted during the tour. If you are not into biking, just tell your guide and he/she will change it to walking tour, a tour with battery golf cart or battery scooters as per your interest. Any of your special requirements can be accommodated with China Educational Tours.

7. Will there be someone at the airports to meet me and take me to the hotel?

Yes, your personal guide will be waiting for you outside of the luggage claim area at the arrival hall of an airport. The guide will be holding a sign with your name on it, as well as the CET logo. After the tour, the guide and driver will see you off at the airport. The tour guide will help you with check-in procedure. They will leave after you go through the security check. All of the flight tickets are E-tickets. You only need to show your passport for check-in. I will make sure your tour guides are on standby before your arrival.

8. Is the tour for just us or will we share a bus with others?

This is a private tour for just your party. Your private driver and English-speaking guide is at your disposal 8 hours a day with the best possible service. We want to make sure that you can travel at your own pace without compromise.

9. Is the itinerary flexible?

Yes, it is. The itinerary can be customized as you wish, and even on the tour, you can still make changes if necessary. Your personal guide is highly flexible to ensure that you can travel at your own pace.

10. Are the meals authentic Chinese food?

Yes, we select authentic Chinese restaurants for you to be immersedin the local atmosphere and try the best local food. You can also choose your favorite food with the help of your guide. The guide and driver will not share your table unless you invite them to.

11. Will we have any free time during the tour or is the entire day taken up with touring?

This is a private tour for your party only. Flexibility is our top priority; you can keep your own travel pace. In most cases, the tour is finished around 5PM every day. You will have your whole night free. Furthermore, you can stay longer or shorter in each spot based on your interest. Just tell your personal guide what you would like to do and he/she will accommodate it.

12. How are your guides? Are they well to get along with?

We select and train our tour guides based on China Educational Tours' service standards. An annual test is given to see whether the guides are flexible and knowledgeable. We offer fair salary to the guides and even give them a bonus for their excellent work. So your guide will pay full attention to your needs and work hard to make your trip a lifetime memorable one.

13. Is the price the same for all seasons? What is the definition for high season and low season?

Prices are a bit different in different seasons due to the various rates of hotels and flights. It is usually more expensive to travel in high season, which is from March till the end of October. Winter, from November to February of the next year, is low season due to the cold temperature and less charming natural scenery. Traveling in low season is a good way to gain an affordable trip as airfare and hotel rates are a lot lower.

14. Do you have small group tours? Can I join in a seat in coach tour?

China Educational Tours specializes in tailor made private tours. We're sorry to tell you that small group tours are not available. You can join in a Sit- In-Coach (SIC) tour in Beijing, Xi'an, Tibet, Guilin and Shanghai. We have carefully selected reputed SIC suppliers in each city to make sure that your China tour is fun and memorable.

15. Why are the dinners not included in this trip?

We usually leave dinners open on your own so that you can either go to a local restaurant for a little adventure or have some simple food in the hotel. It is often a long day after sightseeing. An open evening allows more flexibility to you.

16. Is there any insurance included in this tour? Do you offer travel insurance?

It is a condition of booking with us that you take your own suitable travel insurance to China, covering at least circumstances leading to the cancellation of your booking and providing sufficient medical cover for illness or injury and repatriation. All tour packages of China Educational Tours have included China Life Tourist Accident/Casualty Insurance up to a maximum of $29,000 provided free of charge as part of our package.

FAQ about Hotels

1. What's the difference between 3, 4 and 5 Star hotel?

Hotels in China don't usually match the same standard as in western countries. We choose hotels based on their location, feedback and best value for money. Five-star hotels are usually well facilitated with spacious lobby and comfortable rooms. International chain hotels can meet western standards, while local brands may not. Four-star hotels are well-equipped but with not as much luxury as Five-star ones. Hotel staff in Four-star hotels speak limited English. Three-star hotels can usually meet the standard of most westerners, but breakfast is without many choices and hotel staff speak no other language.

2. How did you choose the hotels?

We choose hotels based on their location, feedback and best value for money. Hotels in China don't usually match the same standard as in western countries. Five-star hotels are usually well facilitated with a spacious lobby and comfortable rooms. International chain hotels can meet western standards, while local brands may not. Four-star hotels are well-equipped but with not as much luxury as Five-star ones. Hotel staff in Four-star hotels speak limited English. Three-star hotels can usually meet the standard of most westerners, but breakfast is without many choices and hotel staff speak no other language.

3. Are hotels in China the same as in western countries?

Hotels in China don't usually match western standards. Five-star hotels are usually well facilitated with a spacious lobby and comfortable rooms. International chain hotels can meet western standards, while local brands may not. Four-star hotels are well-equipped but with not as much luxury as Five-star ones. Hotel staff in Four-star hotels speak limited English. Three-star hotels can usually meet the standard of most westerners, but breakfast is without many choices and hotel staff speak no other language.

4. Do Chinese hotels/banks accept American Express Traveler's Checks?

Most of the hotels do not accept Traveler's Check, but the Bank of China does. We usually suggest that you'd better take a credit card with you. You can use your credit card in the hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and shopping malls. You also can take your debit card to withdraw cash from the ATMs in China.

5. I heard hotels in China always ask for a large deposit when I check-in, is this true?

Yes. It's been noted that hotels in China often require a cash deposit from you upon check in. It will be refunded or used for any of your expense when you check out.  

6. Why are the beds in China so hard?

Except for the international-chain hotels, the beds in most Chinese hotels are hard for westerners. Chinese people believe that hard beds are good for your health due to the theory of Chinese Medicine. You can always ask for an extra blanket from the housekeeper to make it softer.

7. Do hotels in China provide free Wi-Fi access?

Yes, 90% hotels in China have free Wi-Fi access in the rooms and in public areas, such as the dining room and lobby. However, some hotels below 3-star ranking may only have Wi-Fi in the rooms.

FAQ about Visa

1. Do you help me to get a China Visa?

Yes, we will send you an invitation letter for a visa application as soon the tour arrangement is confirmed and paid. The letter includes your full itinerary, hotels' information, transportations and inviter's details. You can submit the application to a Chinese embassy closest to your home or you can entrust someone else to drop off the visa application, or a travel/visa agency to help handle your visa application if you can't go in person.

2. Do we need another visa to visit Hong Kong?

Visitors from most countries can enter Hong Kong without a visa for periods of 7 to 180 days, depending on nationality. But if you are visiting mainland China, a China visa is essential. 

3. What's Tibet Permit? How can I get it?

Tibet Permit is an essential document to travel to Tibet as well as a China visa. Passport, China visa and your confirmed travel plan is required to apply for Tibet Permit, which is issued by the Tibet Tourism Bureau. It is suggested to apply at least 15 working days prior your arrival. If your China visa is not an L visa, some other documents may be required, such as working certificates. Please consult your travel advisor for more details.

FAQ about Transportation

1. Will the flight/train tickets be mailed to me?

All air tickets are E-tickets and only passports are reuqired for checkin at airports. Whiletrain tickets are issued 1-2 weeks before departure, your tour guide will hand them to you when you arrive in the city.

2. As for the train travel, does anyone help me with the luggage?

Train stations in China have lots of steps and some don't even have a escalator. In this case, you will find it is difficult to deal with heavy bags. We can hire a porter to help you to carry your bags on and off the trains as your guides can't get inside the train station without tickets.

3. What's the difference between a second class seat and a first class seat on speed trains?

Second class and first class seats are available on speed trains named “G, D, Z”. Second class seats usually have 5 seats in a row with 2 on one side of the aisle and 3 on the other side. While first class has 4 seats in a row and 2 on each side of the aisle. Hence, basically speaking, first class has bigger seats and wider aisles than second class with less people in one compartment, and of course costs more.

4. Can you tell me more details about train travel to Tibet?

Taking a train to Tibet is a joyful experience as you will pass some breathtaking views, such as a desert area, Qinghai Lake, snowy mountains, Kekexili Depopulated Area and etc. The trains are modern and advanced with an Oxygen supply, but without a private toilet or shower. So be ready for that. A short journey like Lasha to Xining or Xi'an requires one night on the train, other destinations like Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou will take 2 nights on the train.

5. What should I know about the overnight train?

Taking an overnight train is a very popular way to save cost as well as enjoying the picturesque landscape. Due to the limited room and infrastructure, there is no private toilet or shower on board. Hence, in order to have an easier and more enjoyable journey, it is suggested that you have these items prepared: toiletries, pillow case, sleeping mask, toilet tissues, wet wipes and hand sanitizer, food and bottled water.

6. Is the price for an in-country cost only? Does your quotation include the international flight?

We usually quote land tours and internal transportations. As a tour provider based in China, we have agood relationship with hotels and local suppliers in each city and internal airlines so we are confident to provide quality tours with competitive prices. For international flights, we will quote separately for you to compare with what you can get on your side.

FAQ about Traveling & Planning

1. Can I use Gmail and Facebook in China?

Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Twitter are blocked, and do not work in China without a VPN. You should reset your device’s proxy server settings or acquire VPN software ahead of your trip, then you can surf as you wish in China.

2. Can you provide SIM card or portable WiFi?

We can provide a SIM card with prepaid calls and data volumes and even portable WIFI devices. Alternatively, you can purchase on arrival, e.g. at the service counter at big airports.

3. When is the best time to visit China?

The best season to come to China is autumn, late September and October. The weather is optimal in most of China at this time.  The summer rain and heat has passed so it's relatively dry with a nice, mild temperature. The major Chinese attractions in Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guilin, Hong Kong and Chengdu are comfortable to visit.

4. What is your money back guarantee?

We offer a Money Back Guarantee if our promise hasn't been carried out. We are launching No Shopping Outlets tours. We will not put any shops or factories in the itinerary except on your request. If CET tour guides and drivers vary from our policy regarding tipping or shopping we will refund the land service cost (excluding hotels, airfare and train fares, attraction entrance fees and meal costs) for that city after the tour.

4. Is it safe to travel alone in China?

Yes, China is a safe country to travel around. Most people you will meet are nice, easy-going and honest. Here are a few tips to keep you safe.

  1. Dress conservatively. Do not wear revealing clothes or expensive jewelry, they may encourage unwanted attention.
  2. Avoid walking alone late in the evening or in places which give you a feeling of discomfort.
  3. Keep your valuables in a secure place, like the safe box in your hotel.
  4. Just say NO to any offers which make you uncomfortable. You might encounter some strangers who want to practice English with you or take you to a tea house. Just say NO to them.
  5. Do not eat or drink anything not familiar to you.

5. Can I get some reference from your previous customers?

We have been working in tourist industry for years. You can find our repeat customers from all over the world. If you need a referrer from your fellowman, please contact your travel specialist.
You can find the reviews from part of our previous customers here: http://www.chinaeducationaltours.com/reviews/

Furthermore, we are a registered company on Trip Advisor. Please follow the link below to find more reviews on Trip Advisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298556-d7707286-Reviews-China_Educational_Tours-Guilin_Guangxi.html

6. What should I know about visiting a temple?

  1. Do not point at Buddha statues, Monks, Nuns and/or elders with your feet (well anything for that matter).
  2. Cover yourself, ladies. Always bring a wrap or a large scarf to cover yourself. Do not wear shorts. You should be covered down at least below your knees.
  3. Do not touch (especially on the head) Buddha statues, images, Monks, Nuns and elders.
  4. Keep Quiet. There are those meditating or praying somewhere even though you may not see them.
  5. Most temples do not allow photography taken with a flash. Some compounds don't allow any type of photography or videos to be taken. Always ask the guard or monk responsible if it's permitted to take a photo or a video prior to doing so.

7. As a vegetarian, can I get my preferred food in china?

Strict vegetarian restaurants are easy to find in the most popular tourist cities, like Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Shanghai and Guangzhou. As for some small cities, like Guilin, Zhangjiajie, Guiyang and most cities in west of China, it would be a little bit difficult to find the vegetarian restaurant. China Educational Tours choose local restaurants for our customers. You can order your own vegetarian food in the local restaurant if the vegetarian restaurants are not available.

8. Could you give me some tips about shopping in China?

ots of travelers wish to bring home some souvenirs, mementos and even clothes or electronics which cost less than back home. We suggest that you make a shopping list in advance. Each Chinese city has its own specialty. China Educational Tours are no longer including shopping outlets in our itinerary, but we do suggest some shopping opportunities, such as Hongqiao or Xiushui Market in Beijing, Knockoff market in Shanghai, and Shangxiajiu Walking Street in Guangzhou. Don't buy everything in the first few days unless you want to carry them for the rest of the trip.

9. What's your payment and cancellation policy?

Payment Policy:
In order to confirm your tailor made tour, a deposit of 10% of the total tour cost (or full payment if booking within 30 days' prior to departure) must be paid at the time of booking. The balance will be required 30 days before departure.

Cancellation Policy:
Cancellation received before departure: 100% refund of all money paid excluding penalties if applicable charged by hotels, airlines, cruise companies and rail. All penalties will be itemized.
No-show travelers will be charged 100% of the tour price.
After the trip has commenced, we are unable to refund any amount for unused services due to your willingness, early departure, late arrival, or missed days on tours.