1. Air connections to/from San Francisco and Single Supplement Charge
Our departure city is based on San Francisco, for people who need US domestic air connection, prices and airport tax are variable each year. Please call 415 421 6630 or 800 944 6630 for the current price and taxes. The air price and additional taxes and fees imposed by the airlines, airports, etc. - and are subject to change without notice until deposit is received.
Single supplement for those traveling alone:
Hotel room is based on 2 Pax sharing one room. For people who travel alone, this additional fee will be applied to your cost. You will have your private room during your whole trip by paying this additional cost. It is always more fun to travel with someone and we also encourage singles to try to find their own choice of roommate.
2. How do I sign up for the tour?
(a) First read the General Conditions Disclosures found elsewhere on this website.
(b)Print out a copy of the Reservation Form (also on this website) - fill it out, date and submit it.
(c)Mail the reservation form and a check for $300 per person payable to "Asia Holiday Travel" at the address of 567 Pine Street Suite 203 San Francisco, CA 94108.
3. What are the additional expenses I can expect for those things not covered by the tour price?
Prices are variable each year and are subject to change without notice prior to booking deposit.
- 1. Tips to Guides & drivers, Porter fees, crew members on the Yangtze River Cruise."
- 2. Personal Expenses.
- 3. Extra baggage charges. (Click here for more information on Air China's baggage policies)
- 4. China visa fee (if applicable) -- includes all handling, processing, and secure return mail of passport to you
- 5. Travel Insurances.
Additional price and tax will be charged for Hong Kong Extension passengers if any, ask for the quotation for this portion.
4. What about tipping on the tour?
Tourist should be aware that local rules on tipping are changing, and may vary with the circumstances. Tipping is customary and not mandatory. Suggested tipping in China for your national guides is $3 (USD) per person per day, local guides is $2 (USD) per person per day and $2 (USD) per person per day for drivers, you are welcome to tip more if you are satisfied with their service and appreciate what they have done for you. In addition, our national guide will help to collect $15 (USD) per person in advance for tipping the porters for the whole trip for luggage handling at your first arrival city. For group under 10Pax without national guide, you may tip the porters for the service where you get help. For guides and drivers you may tip them locally by yourselves at your satisfaction before you leave the city. If your itinerary includes Yangtze River cruise, suggested cruise portion tipping for your river guide is also $2 per day, and please tip the river guide separately the day before you disembark. For the rest of the crew, we recommend to give $8/day.
5. Do you suggest travel insurance?
We have always strongly recommended obtaining travel insurance. The travel insurance company that we currently recommend is Travelex. After we received your deposit, we will mail you Travelex brochure along with your flight confirmation. Since Travelex has different coverage to meet your travel requirements, please call their toll free number of 1-800-228-9792 for detailed information or you can check their website of www.travelexinsurance.com. Please fill out the form and send it directly back to Travelex. ** For Tibet Experience tour members, due to the extreme high altitude in Tibet, a doctor’s certificate is requested stating that passenger is fit to travel and that blood pressure and heart conditions are normal. Buying travel insurance for joining Tibet Tour is a must***
(we strongly recommend our clients to visit either their personal physician or a travel health clinic 4-8 weeks before departure because of the high altitude in Tibet. Altitude sickness may occur in travelers who ascend rapidly to altitudes greater than 2500 meters. Most roads and towns in Tibet are at altitudes over 3000 meters. Travel to high altitudes is not generally recommended for those with a history of heart disease, lung disease, or sickle cell disease.
6. What are the passport requirements for this tour?
Visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting P.R. China If you wish our visa department to handle your China visa, please send us your original passport with a clean visa page inside (do not confuse these with the last two pages in your passport which are only for endorsements China Visa Form and 1 passport size photo together with your full payment 45 days prior to departure. Remember, your passport should have 6 months validity prior your departure.
Many US Post Offices are now able to offer passport services, including passport photo taking at some. If you are either applying for a new passport or renewing an expired or soon-to-be-expired passport, obtain 2 sets of official passport photos as you will need at least one extra photo to provide with your China visa application. You can find them as low as $4.99 per set from COSTCO (also obtainable from AAA, Walmart, Walgreens, photo shops or etc.). Do NOT submit your own photos taken by your digital camera, etc., as the parameters for such are VERY specific and your own are likely to be refused.
The US Dept. of State offers the following web site with all the information you need for both applying for or renewing a passport: http://www.travel.state.gov/
7. How can I fill out the China visa Form?
You can access a blank form for yourself by clicking here (it is in Adobe .pdf format), but you will need to follow our provided instructions for proper completion:
1.9 Passport Type: Regular
2.1 Purpose of your visit to China: Tourism
2.2 Intended Number of Entries: Multiple-entry valid for 12 months.
2.3 Intended Date of each entry into China: Your arrival date in China (*For example if your departure date is Jan 1, 07, your possible entry date into China is Jan 2, 07)
2.4 Your longest Intended Stay in China: 30 Days
2.5 Place to visit in China: Please list the cities you will visit in China
2.6 We usually request regular service (4 working days) for visa processing unless you have a special request.
4.7 Name of Inviter, Contact or Your Relative in China: CITS
4.9 Address of Inviter, Contact or our Relative in China: Please leave it blank
8. What shots are required for travel to China?
There are no shots required for travel to China. We are on an organized tour going to places checked and approved by China's official Bureau of Tourism. We only dine at facilities also approved by them and approved for the Western digestive system. The following suggestions have nothing in particular to do with traveling to China but are wise steps to take in general for good health maintenance. Have your Tetanus shot up to date and obtain the current flu shot if possible. Another option that is wise to consider whether traveling or not is the fairly new Hepatitis A & B shots - it takes 3 shots and 6 to 8 mos. for full coverage. If you are prone to infections involving the lungs, ask your physician about the pneumonia shot (my doctor made me get one because of frequent bronchitis). A contagious infections specialty nurse recently told me that the typhoid shot can offer protection from salmonella! You can also visit the following website for complete information about travel inoculations at www.cdc.gov though it addresses travel throughout China and into remote areas. The most important advice is to consult your own physician and then be well and well-rested in preparation for the tour.
9. How does one dress for a range of unknown weather and how dressy do we need?
You can dress as causal as you can. Make comfortable shoes your most important item and then be able to add and subtract a sweater and a light to medium jacket as needed. If you will have a Yangtze River cruise, men should at least bring a tie and a shirt (Suit is not necessary). For ladies, you can dress as beautiful as you wish because you will have a welcome cocktail party and a farewell banquet on boat.
10. How is the shopping in China?
In a word ..... fantastic! The things you can expect to find include silk clothing, silk carpets, and silk embroidery, jade, artwork, pearls, cloisonné, and so much more. The craftsmanship is phenomenal and the prices remarkable. We will visit a number of places where you can learn about how things are made, as well. Those who have had their purchases appraised upon return to the US have been surprised and amazed at the difference between the purchase price in China and the appraised value in the US.
11. What airline do we fly between San Francisco and China?
The most frequent airlines that we use are either Air China or United Airline. You can view their web site at
Air China: http://www.airchina.us/en/index.html 1-800-986-1985
United Airlines: http://www.united.com 1-800-241-6522
12.Can I get an early seat assignment?
Air China does not award advanced group seat assignments in Economy/Coach Class until the day of departure. Air China usually opens their check-in counter around 11:00AM. There will be staff there to assist with the group check-in and they will do all possible to respond to your requests - but no promises can be made. Those who wish to sit together need to check in together. In order to get better seats, we suggest you to go to the check in counter early.
13. Since Air China is part of the Star Alliance with United Airlines, can I use my Mileage Plus to upgrade to Business Class?
No, they do not honor that for this low-priced tour package. But you MAY claim the mileage flown towards your Mileage Plus account with United Airlines at last check - although our latest information about this policy does not look good. You need to check with them directly to confirm their policies, since agreements can change without notice, and also to determine the latest information on what is required by United to show proof of your flight in both directions. They have been requiring you retain your boarding passes, among other pieces of evidence.
14. Can I pay to upgrade to Business or First Class on Air China?
Yes, but it is very expensive. Air China has finished renovating both their Business and First Class and that has caused the price to increase substantially as a result. To upgrade to Business Class, the current quote by Air China is an additional $5880 per person roundtrip (other airlines are charging an additional $6958 pp for the same upgrade). The price for upgrading is subject to change without notice prior to booking deposit, please call first.
15. How much luggage are we allowed?
The rules for this category continue to change and become more restrictive because of the continuing increase in fuel costs. Most international flights permit two checked bags, so we are actually restricted by the limits on the flights within China (which only permit ONE checked bag per person) .... until your flight home (before which time you can purchase and fill a second bag with souvenirs).
For the flight to China (and for all flights within China), plan to check only one bag at the maximum weight of 44 lbs. and maximum size of 62 linear inches - add length, width and height together to get the total linear inches of a bag.
For carry-on on the international portion to China (according to Air China PRIOR to the recent MAJOR CHANGES), you may also take with you an “unlimited” number of pieces of hand baggage (for under the passenger and/or in the storage bin above the seat) - the sum of the length, width and height of all pieces must not exceed 45 inches. Most luggage pieces you purchase will tell you if it meets the carry-on size limits or not. You do not want to go over the weight, size or number of pieces permitted free per person as the additional charges for each category exceeded are now VERY expensive!
The following is an excerpt from Air China's website: http://www.airchina.us/en/managemytrip/baggageinformation/generalrules.html
"Economy Class passengers with adult-fare or child-fare tickets are allowed up to two pieces of baggage free of charge, each weighing no more than 23kg and with total linear dimensions of each piece not exceeding 158cm. The infant-fare ticket passenger is allowed one piece of baggage free of charge, but the total linear dimensions shall not exceed 115cm. In addition, a foldable baby stroller or bassinet may be checked in free of charge, or be carried in the cabin if there is room and with approval of the chief attendant."
The good news is that you can enjoy great shopping on your last full day in China. Your national guide will provide information on how and where to go for great shopping bargains and you can also buy a large second bag at the same locations for about $25 (with wheels!) to check on the return flight as your second checked bag allowed on your return international flight - and each one can now weigh up to 44 lbs. A piece in Coach Class (66 pounds apiece if you upgraded to Business Class). Don’t forget to keep each one at or under the 62 linear inches total per bag.
Remember, you are normally allowed to check two bags on the international flights and now, on your flight home, you will no longer have to worry about the one checked bag restriction you had while flying within China. For those connecting on to flights out of our arrival cities to another home destination, you should call your connection flight carrier to verify their luggage allowance policy. [this may not apply if your "connecting" flight home not on the same day - both international flight and domestic connection flights must be on the same day to qualify as a connection - check with the airline you are using to/from our departing cities].
16. What is the expected flight schedule for the Air China flights between San Francisco and China?
Air China summer flight schedule:
Departure: SFO / PEK CA 986 (02:20PM 5:25PM)+1
Return: PVG / PEK / SFO CA985 (12:05PM 12:10PM)
Air China winter flight schedule:
Departure: SFO / PEK CA 986 (01:20PM 5:25PM)+1
Return: PVG / PEK / SFO CA985 (11:25AM 11:30AM)
Please do not confuse Air China, the flag carrier for the People’s Republic of China (mainland China) with China Air, the airline from the island of Taiwan who uses CI for their airline code) Check-in at the Air China counter (3rd aisle, past United Airlines) will begin at 11 AM (please note: the line will start forming early for best seat assignment).
The return flight schedule shows departing and arriving San Francisco will on the same day because you gain back the day you lost crossing the International Date Line on the way over.
** Airline flight schedules are always subject to change**
17. When I send you my passport and visa paperwork along with my final payment, how soon can I have my passport back?
We usually send your tour documents (passport with your visa, air ticket, weather information, name badge and luggage tags) back to you by DHL 15 to 20 days before your departure. Since important documents will be enclosed in your tour document, please provide us your accurate address; P.O. Box will not be accepted by DHL
18. What kind of electric plugs are available for hair dryers, curling irons, and shavers?
The voltage in China is 220V; even though most of the hotels have two voltages (220V&110V), some not. For convenience, we suggest you to bring your own adapter.
19. Where can I find a source for purchasing travel gear such as electrical converters, travel clothing and gear?
We use and recommend the following two sources for a wide range of travel products:
Magellan's (800) 962-4943 www.magellans.com,,,,,,,,,,,
TravelSmith (800) 950-1600 www.travelsmith.com
Call (800) 944-6630 or (415) 421-6630 for more information.