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About Shanghai
The 1st Asia Pacific Congress on
Controversies to Consensus in Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension (CODHy)
Shanghai, China, June 2-5, 2011
  Tips and Hints Print

Entry Visa to China
Entry Visa is a credential that allows people to enter and leave a country or transit across its borders.  All foreign visitors traveling to mainland China whether for business or pleasure require a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the duration of your intended stay. Visas are issued through Chinese embassies and consulates overseas.

The currency in China is called Renminbi, and is issued by the national bank — the People's Bank of China. The units of Renminbi are Yuan, Jiao and Fen. The paper money comes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Yuan. The Jiao's denomination can be 1, 2, 5; similarly with the Fen. 10 Fen is 1 Jiao and 10 Jiao is 1 Yuan. There is also coinage for 1 Yuan, 5 Jiao as well as 1, 2 and 5 Fen. But Fen is not commonly used in the coin form in daily life. The abbreviation of Renminbi is RMB or CNY with its symbol of ¥. Colloquially, Chinese, people often say Kuai and Mao instead of Yuan and Jiao.

Foreign Currency Exchange
The unit of money in China is known as Renminbi (RMB). The unit of money itself is called the Yuan (CNY). Credit cards are accepted in major hotels as well as shopping malls. Visa, Master, American Express, Diners Club, JCB and other credit cards are accepted in many department stores and hotels. It may be difficult to withdraw cash with credit cards. The Bank of China and most hotels can cash travelers cheques issued by any foreign bank or financial institution.

Foreign currency and traveler's cheques are not regularly used in China, so you have to exchange them for Chinese Yuan only at Bank of China or the banks' cash centers at major airports and hotels.

Travelers cheques signed over to a third party cannot be cashed in China, but can be presented for collection through the Bank of China.

Foreign credit cards available in China
Master Card
Visa Card
American Express Card
JCB Card
Diners Card

Actually China is still a cash-dominated country. But there are places like star-rated hotels, chain international shopping malls, etc, which do accept credit cards/ traveler's cheques. But most other places might have difficulty handling credit card/TC payment. Bank of China ATMs are easily found throughout; therefore, you can draw RMB with your credit cards.

A 15% surcharge, including government tax, is applicable in most hotels and some private restaurants.

Tipping is not common practice in most sectors of Chinese life, although it has become the norm to tip tour guides, drivers and hotel bellboys in recognition of their good service. Many mid-range and top-end restaurants include their own service charge that varies. It is not customary to leave tips at local restaurants. However, anything you do give will be much appreciated. 

Business Hours 
Bank Hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday
Office Hours: 9am to 6pm, Monday through Friday
Shop Hours: 10am to 10pm daily

Drinking Water
The tap water in China is undrinkable. Drinking water is available from water dispensers and mineral water can be purchased in supermarkets. Mineral water prices range from RMB 1 to RMB 10. The recommended brands of mineral water in China are Wa Ha Ha, Nestle and Nongfu Spring.

Religious Beliefs
China is a nation where numerous religions are practiced. These beliefs include Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity. Chinese citizens can freely choose and express their own beliefs, and make clear their religious affiliations.

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