Q: How can I join your tour from the East Coast?
A: We will take Cathay Pacific to China prepaid from Portland, OR either San Francisco or Los Angeles, on Sept. 11 for the fall tour.  If you come from the East or Midwest, you will need to fly to San Francisco or Los Angeles or Portland at your expense, and we will meet you at the San Francisco or Los Angles or the Portland airport.   Details will be announced ASAP.  Cathay Pacific covers airfares for those coming from the West Coast.

Q: How do I get a visa to China?
A: Fill out the application form http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/fd/W020130830801798289342.pdf with one passport style color photo, $190 money order or check ($140 is visa application fee, $50 is AVTA Inc. service fee), flight itinerary, your passport and return stamp, mail them to services of a company such as American Vacation Travel Agency Inc. at 257 Castro St., Suite 204, Mountain View, CA 94041   Tel: (650)961-7777
Your passport must have six months or more remaining before expiration.

Q: How can I fill out the application form?
A: For the Spring tour 2020, use the information below:
Section 1.9 – Driver’s license number
Section 1.13 – US DEPT OF STATE
Section 2.1 - First box "Tourism"
2.2 -  Multi-entry valid for 10 years
2.4 - 2020-04-14
2.5 - 14 days  (the number will not be matter with the Chinese Embassy, we will all get one month visa).
2.6 – 1. 4/14 - 4/16, Kunming Hotel, 52 East Dongfeng Rd., Kunming, Yunnan
            2. 4/17 - 4/19, Wangfu Hotel, No. 9 Yiguxiang, Nanmen St. , Lijiang, Yunnan
            3. 4/20 - 4/22, Green Lotus Hotel, No. 1 Guanglian Rd. Yangshuo, Guangxi
            4. 4/23 - 4/25, Huandao Hotel, No. 2 Longshou Rd, Xiapu, Fujian
2.8 – Yunnan International Travel Service
            111 Dongjiao Road, Unify Building 13F Rm 1306, Kunming, China 650041    
             Tel: 871-338-2201 
        Travel agent

Q:  What is the weather like during Spring in China?
 A:  It will be warm, about the same as the U.S. West Coast.  Here is information:
Kunming:  Sunrise 6:30am   Sunset 7:30pm  Temperature  66F - 82F
Lijiang:      Sunrise 6:40am   Sunset 7:40pm  Temperature  61F - 82F
Guilin:       Sunrise 6:50am   Sunset 7:50pm  Temperature  75F - 93F
Fuzhou:     Sunrise 6:20am   Sunset 7:20pm  Temperature  76F - 90F
The weather information might be updated later.

Q:  Should we consider anything extra to bring?
 A: You might consider bringing Travelan - highly recommended. Reduces the risk of travelers' diarrhea, which is made in Australian, http://www.travelan.com.au/.  Also, take sun lotion for protection as well as mosquito spray if you want. 

 Q:  Is it easy to exchange U.S. money for Chinese currency in China?
 A: You can get an initial supply of Chinese money at a Federal Reserve Bank and at some other large U.S. banks.  In China, you can exchange US dollars at Chinese airports and hotels.  Bring cash or travel checks with you, because there are no places to use credit cards in small cities.  Keep receipts on purchases so that you can reclaim US dollars at your departure airport if you have Chinese money left when you leave China.  The exchange rate from US dollars to Chinese Yuan is $100=RMB680 Yuan (as reported by the Chinese government on 07/01/2019).

 Q:   How much money should I bring with me for this trip?
 A:   The charge for expedition is $4890.  This includes your international airfare, domestic airfare in China, all ground transportation, our tour guides, medical insurance in China, room and board.  There will also be some optional activities available in addition to the trip itinerary, such as shows and shopping, which would require small expenditures.  Also,  sometimes the extra local model fee might occur.  Normally, $600 will be more than enough for the whole trip.

 Q:  How much should I consider tipping?
 A:  Our tips need to run a bit higher than the normal amount for general sight-seeing tours.  Ours will be a special photo expedition that will require more from our tour guides and bus drivers.   They will need to get up early and go home late. We tried to ask the guides not to bring us to shopping centers (where they are paid by the merchants to deliver customers).   We paid about $11.00 per person per day for all tips during out last expedition.  I collected the tips ahead of time before we left the U.S. For the 2020 springl tour, I will collect $180 per person for the tips for the tour.  (The tips including bus drivers, tour guides, hotel bellboys, and models’ fee).

Q: What is the standard voltage in China for chargers and other small devices?
A:  220 volts.  You should take a plug adapter for the outlets and a converter if you need to use electricity.  Some electronic adapters work on either 110v or 220v. If you are an AAA auto club member, it can supply adapters in its stores.   (In Portland, there is a store at Hwy. 217 and I-5.  It is at 6 Center point.  It’s a large red brick building, with a very large AAA on top.  You can’t miss it.)

Q: Do I need to get shots, and what medicine should I take?
A: You don’t need to get shots.  Bring your own prescription medicine, plus basic medicine like Advil, aspirin, antacid, Imodium, etc.

Q: Can I get my laundry cleaned?
A: Yes.  In the cities hotels will be able to launder your clothes.  The rooms have a laundry bag with a form to fill out.  You can mark rush cleaning (same day return); otherwise, they will be returned the next morning, clean.  You do this in the morning when you leave for the day.

Q: Can I go to the Internet at hotels?
A: Yes. All hotels will provide internet service.

Q: What if I have to cancel the trip?
A:  You may cancel and withdraw your deposit and payments at any time before the airline tickets and lodging having already been purchased. That means, after the date that real costs have accrued, no refunds will be made for cancellation.  It is suggested that you consider trip insurance if you believe there is a possibility that you could be forced to cancel the trip.