China Trips Experiences: Do and Don't

Not a tourist guide but can SAVE MONEY AND PROTECT yourself from "RISKS"; compliment the good services and feedback the poor performance for improvement! Though China is changing fast but still there are many useful experiences that you need to know for sharing.

Monday, October 1, 2007

How to distinguish the REAL and the FAKE RMB (Renminbi)

How to distinguish the REAL and the FAKE RMB (Renminbi) MONEY Notes

We all face the same problem of how to distinguish other countries’ currency especially the fake money.
As a frequent traveler and tourist, we are always the victim or the target that local people will cheat us by giving the Fake Money Notes. It is because we will only traveling China for a very short time. Many things we do not how to handle without the help of the right local people. We are not used to the local fraud tactics and the customs. When foreigners need help, there are always problems of translation and interpretation. Therefore we have to have the wisdom to protect ourselves from rip off especially in money matters. For preventing your lost, you also have to check the money that you get from the ATM machine.

According to year 2006 information, the ratio of real and fake money is 100:1

When you spend money in China you can see the local Chinese people doing these four simple steps to distinguish your money notes especially the Hundred Dollars Notes (YUAN). The same STEPS that you can use: “See”, “Touch”, “Hear” and “Testing” (一看、二摸、三聽、四測)

Step 1: “See” (看)
Hold the money Note toward the light and you can see the clear watermark and magnetic micro security thread. You can see a fine printing.

Step 2: “Touch” (摸)
Use your fingers to touch the concave lines for hand feel.

Step 3: “Hear” (聽)
Use your finger to flick the money note to hear the money paper in a solid sharp and clear sound.

Step 4: “Testing” (測)
Use the fluorescence lamp to examine the money note with reflected dollars amount. Or simply use your finger nail tip to scratch the money note to see whether the color come out or not. If not the money is real.

Please also refer to the RMB money note features.

Road Traffic Helpers

When you cross the road please REMEMBER that you should stand still and look right then left side first. Even though there is a zebra crossing or traffic light, you still have to take a look first.
Mainland China People are still using bicycles as their major transportation tools especially in the secondary and rural cities. You can easily see the busy traffic during people going to work and off working peak hours (7:30am and 5:30pm)

Major problems are the people and people riding bicycles have no discipline in following traffic rules even with traffic lights and zebra crossing. They believe in “Free Walk”. People still have their mind-set believing in when people walking or riding bicycles are in the weak position that can win the court cases with great compensation when hit by cars. Therefore they don’t have to follow any traffic rules. They can freely walk across the road or riding opposite traffic direction. That’s why causing heavy traffic jams. Also you have to watch out the bicycle riders in the evening because the bicycles have no head lights and rear reflected plates.

By the way, the roads are quite wide. When I first stepped in China, I needed the local people to hold my hand and help me crossing the road. Just feel frightening when crossing the road. It is not the road is wide but people without the traffic danger sense on the road by not following the traffic road.

Nowadays in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the Government hires the people for the traffic control standing each corner of the road forcing people and people on the bicycles to following the traffic road. This does help a lots during the peak busy traffic hours.

During 80s, when the Gong An (Police) find people crossing the road without following the traffic lights, the Police will stop that person, then ask for that person’s Identity card and detain it. Then the Gong Au will give that person a red flag and direct that person to take control of the people crossing the road until that person find another person violate the crossing road rules. That person then has to take over standing in the road crossing with the flag until find another person violate the rules. This serves as a coaching lesson for the people who violating the road crossing rules.

Monday, September 17, 2007

China Police Special Force - Wu Jin

Wu Jin are equipped with heavy weapons. Their execution power are stronger than the Police - Gong An. Normally people are hard to see them. They will appear whenever there are big cases. However you can distinguish them by their car plate WJ in front of the city code and car numbers. Certainly they can park anywhere and don’t have to pay any fee for crossing the highway.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Watch Out! Pedestrian District

Most of the cities in China now have the pedestrian district. That is the motorcars road is blocked so the pedestrian can freely walk in the middle-of-the-road. Usually both sides of the road are with many different kinds of shops and shopping centers. Usually there will be many people gather around the pedestrian district during Saturday and Sunday. You can find food; drinks and some local entertainment there. Sometimes there are fashion shows or other charity shows performed. This is also one of the symbol of the city landmark. there will be many people from other China cities walking around the street too.
Since there are many tourist and like us the Hong Kong people will love to take a walk there, local pickpocket parties are there too. (Usually three people a team)
And sometime people will come to you and say that they have antiques with good bargain prices.
Some people will approach you and ask you whether you would like to change RMB (Chinese money) with good rate.
Some pretty young girls will approach you and ask you to give them some money to buy food because they came from other China city and they have no money to buy food. (When you take a deep look on their dressings, you can easily find that this is a lie).
If you are a single man walking there, you have to be very careful when one or two beautiful girls approach to you and say that they can bring you to some places for a drink or singing Karaok. Or a man approach to you and say that he can introduces beautiful girls to you as your companion. You better watch out! This certainly is a trap! Don’t be mislead by their beauty!
First, they know that you are a traveler from other countries by the way you dress. Second, they will judge you by what you are wearing and know that whether you have money or not. Third, they will make sure you don’t have local people accompanying you. Therefore they can approach to you and testing you whether you are greedy or not by their offerings such as best buy products or you want a female friend or not.
What if you like adventure trip and follow the unknown person?

The results are:
1. You will still pay a much higher prices for the fake antiques.

2. You will get fake money when you exchange your currency with them.

3. You will have to pay for RMB3,000 a cup of coke per person in the
place that pretty girls bring you to their suggested singing place.

4. If you follow the pretty girls to their place. You might end up have to pay
for a large sum of money before you can leave. Because you can hardly explain
to the Chinese Policeman that what is the reason that you are with the girl
and at her place.

5. Also there might be some men are waiting for you when you enter the girl’s
apartment. They will tie you up and take all your money and belongings.

6. Sometime the girl will give you a cup of water or some soft drinks. After you
drink the water or soft drinks you will find dizzy and fainted. And you will
regret a lots when you wake up! Then one day, you might see yourself naked in

If the above mentioned happen and you don’t speak Mandarin, you better ask the Police Officer (Gong An) to call back to your staying Hotel and ask for the translator to do the explanation for you.
Please always remember – “Don’t go out without your staying Hotel’s telephone numbers”!!!

In view of this, the police (Gong An) has arrange the men or women police driving the energy saving golf cars up and down the pedestrian district. Objective is to prevent any crime arise and help people easily even if you are asking location direction. However, there is no “English” indicated this is a mini Police car.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dalian Female Police

For the time being only city Dalian of Northern part of China has Female Police riding on horses.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

China Police - Gong An

Originally there is only one common name for the China Police – “Gong An” ( the meaning is public for Gong and safety is for An).
These few years the “Gong An” is translated into English as “Police”. Even in Hong Kong we called the Immigrant Officer, in China it is also called “Gong An”.

However, in some of the cities, they still use the Chinese pin yin “Jing Cha” (the Chinese name for police) that you can see printed at the back of the “Gong Au” jacket. Therefore when you see the “Jing Cha” , it is the same as “Police” .

Also when you see the car plate with “GA” in front of the plate numbers, that means it is the “Police” car.

For the China emergency telephone numbers for the Police Department is “110”

In 2006 year end, people can report the traffic accidents and fire cases with the same telephone number “110”.

(The Fire Department telephone number is “119”. The Traffic Department telephone number is “122”. For the Ambulance help is “120”)

For the Public telephone enquiry is “114” (Shops/Restaurants/Hotels etc.).

Though most of the China area is covered with telephone communication networks but there are still some rural places without network. Somehow the telephone still can use the Emergency “GPS” telephone number “112”

All the above mentioned telephone numbers are applied to all the cities within China.

Friday, August 17, 2007

China Departure Forms

The China Departure Forms are applied to all the major cities with International Airlines Airports.

1. The Health Form (same as the Health entry form) - You have to present this form to the Health Department Officer while entering the flight check-in counter.

2. The Customs Form for the outgoing passanger for baggage declaration (Blue Colour) - Please make sure if you have purchased the China “Antique” products, please make sure the shop can issue a permit of the “Antique” products verification. You should bring the “Antique” products, the permit and the official invoice to the Customs for declaration.

3. The Departure Card - Present together with your passport to the passport checking officer.