Yes, in China, you can buy GSM SIM cards such as China prepaid sim card, HongKong prepaid sim card, and their recharge vouchers. They are easily got at some online store, for example, at www.pandasim.com. If you own or have rented an international unlocked GSM cell phones, you are supposed to buy China prepaid sim card. Usually, no document is required for your purchase of a prepaid SIM card. when the amount of prepaid charge is run out before the indicated date. You just need to buy a recharge voucher to extend your additional airtime. Otherwise, there are still two other kinds of cards for your choice: Shenzhouxing issued by China Mobile, Ruyitong issued by China Unicom. but the call rates are relatively high.
If you are to visit many big cities in China like Beijing and Shanghai, your better option is to rent an unlocked GSM cell phone. An unlocked GSM cell phone paired with China prepaid sim card would make great convenience and fantastic savings from phone roaming rates for you.
It depends on what model your mobile phone is. So if you have a dual band or tri band unlocked GSM phone, you can use it around China in most big cities. In China, GSM networks operated by China Mobile provide coverage in every major city, while CDMA networks run by China Unicom is improving its coverage.
In case you mobile phone doesn't work in China, you are neccessary to rent an unlocked GSM cell phone such as Motolora, Nokia... in China. Then you just need a China prepaid sim card as data solution. You can get more detailed info from China Cell Phone Rental at www.pandasim.com.
Should you want to complain or claim for compensation whenever you are not satisfied with some of the services during your tour, you must inform us by email, regular mail, or facsimile in writing within 15 days upon the finish of your tour. Please attach relevant receipts and substantiating evidence to the letter of claim. China Odyssey Tours will not be liable for any claims made later than 15 days after you finish your tour.
Please feel free to contact China Odyssey Tours customer service center at or phone at 0773-5854000, facsimile at 0773-5841166.
What kinds of phone cards are available for us? How can we call back home with these cards?
There are various phone cards available. The prepaid sim card, IC card and IP card are the most popular ones. If you want to keep connected to your families and friends by cell phone anytime and anywhere, the china prepaid sim card is highly recommended for you. It allows you, with one number, to make call back home at very low rates during your trip around China.
Of course, you can also use IC cards and IP cards in public booths to call home directly. IC card is issued by China Telecom, international calls with IC telephone cards are relatively expensive, usually over 10 RMB/M. When you buy an IC card and want to call back home, simply just find a telephone booth either in a hotel, restaurant, airport or some other places, insert the card into the phone and follow the vocal instructions to dial the number you want.
IP cards are issued by different issuers such as China Telecom, China Unicom, China Netcom and China Jitong, thus the Rates for international calls are different. China Unicom's rate for calls to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan usually is 1.5 RMB/M, 2.6 RMB/M to America and Canada while 3.6 RMB/M to other countries. The others rates for international calls are either a little bit higher or lower than that of China Unicom. Currently, the IP phone service has covered the whole country, providing international service between China and over 200 countries and regions. There will be instructions on each IP card to tell you how to make a call, you can use the hotel phone to call with IP card and the hotel usually will charge some fare as that of city call.
Please note: some of the IC cards or IP cards can be used only in certain provinces or regions, so please check it and also the expired date before you purchase them.
The following are some tips for traveling safely:
a) Get as much information as possible from us about the places you are to travel.
b) Make several copies of your passport, traveler's checks, credit cards, itinerary, airline tickets and other travel documents. Take one copy with you and leave one copy with a relative or friend back home.
c) Be sure the photographs on your passport, driver's license and other ID is accurate, and be sure your passport, driver's license and other ID is valid and not expiring before you return from your trip.
d) When you don't need to transfer from one city to another and don't need to bring your passport, driver's license and other ID with you, it's better to leave them in the safety box in the hotel either in the room or at the reception (some five-star hotels may have safety box in the rooms, while all the hotels above 3 star have safety boxes at the reception). If you need to carry your passport, driver's license and other ID with you, be sure you put them in a safe place that the others can not reach them, like you can put them in the money belt under your clothes. The same with all your tickets, credit cards and important documents and valuable things.
e) Be sure the door of your hotel room and window is closed and locked at all times, especially when you are not in the room.
f) Do not answer the hotel room door before you verify who it is. Never let a stranger come into your room.
g) The water from the tap in the most hotels is not drinkable, so always drink the boiled water or bottled water.
h) Take most of your money in traveler's checks and record the serial numbers, denominations and date and location of the issuing agency, don't sign your name on the traveler's checks before you use them. Remove all unnecessary credit cards from your wallet. Be sure to carry your credit card company's telephone number in case your card is lost or stolen. Always report losses immediately.
i) Always exchange money at the Bank of China or in the hotel counters, don't try to exchange money in the black market, because it is illegal and sometimes you might be ripped off.
j) Always prepare some small changes, which you can use to buy things from the street vendors, especially those at scenic spots, and when you get changes back, check carefully in case they are counterfeit money.
k) Dress down, leave expensive jewelry and watches at home and don't show large amounts of cash or traveler's check in public.
l) During your tour, when you have free time, you may want to go somewhere on your own by taxi, it's better have your hotel arrange taxi service for you, take a hotel card with you or ask your tour guide/receptionist to write down the names of the hotels and places you want to go in English and Chinese before getting in the car. Remember the number of the taxi in case you leave anything in it.
m) Prepare a matchbook with some useful words and phrases both in Chinese and English. You can show the matchbook to a policeman or a local people if you need to find out and say like: "Where is the restrooms?" or "Where is KFC?" etc.
n) Respect the customs of local people, especially when you go to visit the areas of different minorities, ask your tour guides about the proper etiquettes, behaviors, manners and taboos to avoid offending people.
o) Most people in China are friendly, and some of them are eager to practice English, it is delightful to talk with them, but never go anywhere with a stranger.
p) Be careful when out of the town at night and not to be out on the streets too late at night.
q) If you are to take the train during your tour in China, be sure you take your train at right railway station because some of the big cities in China may have more than two railway stations, and when you get to the railway station, be careful with all your properties since the railway stations in China are always crowded, and never entrust your luggage to someone not in uniform. While you are on the train, be sure your passport, your credit cards and all valuable things are put in a safe place.