Getting Ready for China

Getting Ready for China

Read this article to find out the travel documents and other requirements for a Chinese visit, as well as the dos and don’ts.

Travel Documents

China and the UK have good bilateral relations which make it easy for UK citizens to travel to China. Even so, you must have certain documents with you as you plan your visit. Apart from Hong Kong and Macao, a UK citizen must have a visa to enter Hainan Island and mainland China. Beginning November 1, 2018, the Chinese government requires all British citizens between 14 years and 70 years to appear in person at a visa application centre where fingerprints will be taken. The travel visa is valid for six months, beyond which one must acquire a residence permit. The cost of a Chinese visa for UK citizens is around £ 110.


China does not have a risk of yellow fever. However, those who enter China via countries with a yellow fever risk must provide a certificate of vaccination against this disease. Without this document, one will be denied entry into Chinese soil. As well as the yellow fever vaccine, you should have all standard vaccinations, including Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), and the Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio vaccine. For those who intend to travel in rural or outlying areas, it is recommended to vaccinate against Cholera, and Japanese Encephalitis. For further information, consult the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Clothes and Manners

Chinese festivals are characterized by brightly-coloured, and especially red, clothing. Bright colours signify good fortune. They help create the mood for Chinese festivals and ceremonies. If you happen to be invited to a gathering at someone’s home, you should allow elders to sit first, decline any gifts once or twice before accepting it, and give gifts with both hands. You can ask personal questions, greet people casually, and be comfortable when shaking hands. Some things to avoid include trying everything on the table, being very physical in the first meeting, looking people too hard in the eyes, giving a clock as a gift, and public shows of affection.