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Useful Info

Updated: 2014-03-30
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Money and Costs

The currency in China is known as the renminbi or yuan. It is not a freely convertible currency, but its value has been allowed to rise and fall within a wider range in recent years, with an official exchange rate of 6.78 yuan for $1 on July 21, 2010, compared with 6.81 yuan for $1 on September 15, 2009. Costs vary, with plenty of opportunity for extravagance or prudence depending on your budget. A hotel can cost $300 per day or more, while you could stay in a hostel for about $6 a night for a basic single. Meals can easily cost $50 or more in an expensive restaurant or $3 for something equally delicious on the street. Taxis are – relatively - inexpensive: you can ride right across the city's urban area for about 50 yuan ($7). A growing number of international ATMs can be found around the city. Most internationally recognized credit and debit cards can draw money from machines with the appropriate logo. Visa, MasterCard and other major credit cards are increasingly accepted in big department stores, hotels, shopping centers and up-scale restaurants - but keep some cash handy just in case.

Office Hours

Offices of government organizations offer services from 8 am to 5 pm, or from 9 am to 6 pm. Shopping malls and supermarkets usually open from 8:30 am to 9 pm, but some open later – and also don’t close until about 10pm.

Electric Current

China uses a 220-volt power supply for standard domestic and business purposes. Hotels generally have wall sockets in every room, accommodating both "straight two-pin" and "triangular three-pin" Chinese plugs. Inexpensive adapters and power transformers can be found in almost any electrical store.