China Shopping and Culture



Travelers can import the following items into China duty-free:

400 cigarettes;
2 bottles of alcoholic beverages (up to 0.75 l each);

Personal valuables up to a value of 2000 RMB.

All valuables (cameras, watches, jewelry, antiques, etc.) must be declared upon entry. A copy of this declaration must be presented upon departure. Drug possession is punishable by long prison sentences, drug trafficking is punishable by death. Customs officers can seize CDs, magazines and books and examine them for political, religious or pornographic material.

Prohibited imports

Guns, ammunition, drugs and narcotics, exposed, undeveloped film material, pornography (some photos in Western magazines can be classified as pornographic), radio transmitters, political or religious printed material, fruit and certain vegetables (e.g. tomatoes) and other fresh foods (Eggs, meat and meat products).
Note: Guns and ammunition for hunting can be imported with a permit obtained from the travel agency prior to departure.

Prohibited exports

Antiques may only be exported if they have an export seal from the Office for Cultural Artifacts. When buying jewelry, jade articles, works of art, paintings, calligraphy and antiques, the receipt must be kept in order to receive an export certificate upon departure. Without this certificate, the articles mentioned may not be carried out.
Note: According to the Washington Convention on Endangered Species, ivory and ivory products, tortoise shell and tortoise shell made from it, as well as certain traditional medicines (e.g. from the bile of bears) may not be imported into Europe.



The prices are prescribed by the government. You cannot bargain in shops and department stores, but it is quite common in markets. An export permit is required for antiques that are over 100 years old; this is marked with an official red wax seal. There are inexpensive souvenirs in the shops. Some items are difficult to obtain. The best souvenirs can be found in local factories, shops and hotels that specialize in handicrafts. We recommend jade jewelry, embroidery, clothing made of silk or cashmere wool, scrolls, calligraphy, paintings and carvings made of bamboo, stone and wood. In big cities like Beijing and Shanghai there are also large department stores with a wide range of products.

Shop opening times:
Mon-Sun 9 am-7pm.

China Shopping



The evening entertainment is generally pre-determined and the majority of visitors follow a pre-arranged sightseeing tour. The guides are helpful and friendly. Most tours include pre-arranged dining out as well as opera, ballet, and theater evenings. Karaoke (abbreviated OK on signs) is a popular form of evening entertainment.



According to thereligionfaqs, the most important religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Islam. Christian, Hindu and Lamaist minorities. (China is officially atheist.)

Social rules of conduct

Cultural differences can U. lead to misunderstandings between the population and visitors. In hotels, dining cars and restaurants, suggestions for improvement are often welcome; they are then carefully examined.

Chinese are generally reserved. The rule is: courtesy over confidentiality. One should refrain from making critical remarks about the political leadership of China and show no sympathy for Taiwan.

The country’s full name is “People’s Republic of China,” and it should be used in correspondence. You shake hands in greeting. Sometimes a foreign guest is greeted with applause. Then you applaud back.

In China, the family name is mentioned first, for example Wong Man Ying is addressed as Mister Wong. In the case of an invitation, you should always arrive a little before the agreed time and bring a small gift such as fruit, chocolates or a souvenir from home. Postage stamps are also a popular gift. When visiting friends, the children look forward to small donations. It is customary to offer reciprocal invitations.

During a meal, you toast yourself to each new course.Up to 12 courses can be served and while eating little is not considered an offense, it is considered polite to try each course. If you are invited to a Chinese festival, you should inquire beforehand about the traditionally prescribed guest gift.

Restrained everyday clothing is appropriate, revealing clothing should be avoided. At some social occasions and in some restaurants, neat clothing is expected.

Smoking is generally permitted. Non-smoking areas are marked. However, smoking is prohibited in Beijing in all public buildings such as hotels, restaurants, cinemas and theaters and in public places. This smoking ban is to be extended to the whole country in the future.

Photography: Photography is prohibited at airports. Photography is also prohibited in some temples. Permission should be obtained before photographing military and industrial facilities or government buildings.

Tipping is taken as an insult outside of the large, international hotels. In the tourist centers, however, the service staff gladly takes 10 percent, the maid 2-3 ¥ and the tour guide about US $ 1.