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Money: The currency used in China is the Renminbi/RMB Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. RMB is not traded outside China and we still cannot exchange or $ into RMB easily outside of China.You can exchange some cash in the airport you arrive. Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. Normal banking hours are Mon-Fri 0900-1200, 1400-1700.Import...

Traveling And Money In China

Traveling And Money In ChinaMoney: The currency used in China is the Renminbi/RMB Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. RMB is not traded outside China and we still cannot exchange or $ into RMB easily outside of China.You can exchange some cash in the airport you arrive. Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. Normal banking hours are Mon-Fri 0900-1200, 1400-1700.Import and export of local currency is limited to RMBY20000. Import of foreign currency is up to US$1000 (US$5000 for non-residents). Higher amounts should be declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported and declared.The larger hotels and the special 'Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards (e.g. visa and master cards) are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities. So please do carry extra cash when you are traveling outside of major cities.Although tipping is not required, gratuities may improve service. For the porters or waiters, 1 - 5 US dollars may be appropriate as the tip. However, local people rarely tip in restaurants as a 10% service charge is always included in the bill. My rule is not to give beggars any changes as a lot of them a professional network; more beggars will appear in front of you once you start giving.Keep money safe. Always bargain at no price listed shops, local people always quote foreigners 3-4 times more expensively.If you are staying China for a relatively long period of time, you can open a local bank account.Foreigners can open accounts in China and the process is fairly straight forward. Initially, it is essential that the bank account is opened with the Bank of China, and in most of larger city branches, there will be an English-speaking member of staff who can assist. A passport is required together with a small deposit. A bank book will be issued with a bank card. Deposits can be made in several currencies such as RMB, US Dollars and UK Pounds, while withdrawals must be in the same currency as the deposit.Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can be exchanged only within China's borders. www.58cai.com offers more advices on Money issues in China.

The Cheapest Days And Times To Book Your Vacation

The Cheapest Days And Times To Book Your Vacation

We all need a vacation now and again and heading to an exotic island or a snow covered mountain might be just what the doctor ordered. However, the high prices of vacation getaways generally keep the majority of the population at home or taking the same boring vacation year after year. However, did you know that you can book the vacation of your dreams and save a lot of money? That is right, all you have to do is check on your dream vacation package and book it on the cheapest days for that destination, and you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Where will you find this information? Online, of course!The Off SeasonEvery destination has an off season, or a period of the year when prices go down. The off season might be due to the weather or the flux of tourists, but regardless there are off season rates for whatever destination you are considering. What you need to do to find off season rates is learn when the off season is for your particular vacation destination. This is generally very easy and all you need to do is check online. In fact, there are many websites for hotels, airlines, tour operators and the like in your vacation destination that will tell you up front the high season and low season rates. Then, you can simply determine what dates during the off season you would like to travel and book your vacation. You will save a significant amount of money and enjoy the vacation with less tourists, more hotel attention, and will love the fact that you chose to travel in the off season.Many individuals have a poor conception of off season travel because they believe it is a bad time to visit the specific location and they wont enjoy that particular vacation during the off season. This is not necessarily the case and many times the high season is determined by when the tourists show up in hoards. For example, June through August is high season at most beaches in the United States, however this is considered off season for parts of South America and their beaches. Of course, down south the sun is still shining and the weather beautiful, but hotel rates and even airline rates are considerably lower. Because of this, when you want to take a great vacation figure out your budget, do a little research, and before you know it you will find the off season rates for the destination of your dreams that you can finally afford!

Madrid: Lodging, History And The Plaza Mayor

Madrid: Lodging, History And The Plaza Mayor

The Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain is still one of the citys main tourist sites. Despite being victim to several fires throughout the years, the Plaza Mayor retains its appeal. This plaza is one of the best places in this capital city to relax and observe a unique blend of residents and tourists. Though there are so many attractions, tours and beautiful beaches to visit in Spain, a visit to Madrid and its Plaza Mayor should be on the list of attractions. The Plaza Mayor has hosted many festivals, bullfights and political battles throughout the years. It has even hosted more than one beheading. A lot has happened in this historic plaza, but today you will probably be more likely to see a tourist relaxing and enjoying the sunny climate. The plaza also offers a great place for a stroll with its surrounding shops and bakers guild. The plaza was constructed in approximately 1790 by Phillipe III after suffering a fire. It was originally part of the efforts of Phillippe II to make Madrid the capital of the country. The statute in the center of the plaza is a reminder to visitors. It is not a large plaza, as it is only 100m on each side. Do not let the size fool you, though. Within that small area, 50,000 people had stood at some time. This plaza has literally served as a public square, whether during one of the citys festivals or one of Spains executions. Rather than Spanish Inquisition trials, you will now find weddings. Lounging in the summer season has alternated with bullfighting. The surrounding buildings around the plaza provide a convenient place for individuals desiring to look down on whatever event is happening in the square. During the summer season, there will be many tables are set out where are a tourist can rest and even enjoy a meal or a drink. It doesnt matter where you sit, a waiter from a nearby restaurant will soon arrive to take your order. You can experience Madrids friendly atmosphere first-hand. There are dozens of restaurants, cafes and bars along with many shops to visit. You can find antiques, coins and so many other unique items. Of course, as with any large city, Madrid does experience some petty crime. Visitors should be sure to take appropriate cautions and remain aware of the surroundings. There is no need to be paranoid, but a little prudence goes a long way and could prevent being taken advantage of. Today, a tourist is unlikely to observe a royal coronation, but imaging what it would have been like is not difficult. Fortunately, visitors do not need to be concerned about observing an auto de fe, a judicial sentencing seen during the Spanish Inquisition. Madrilenos are now far more interested in enjoying the beautiful surroundings, sunny climate and life in general. Whether your lodging is on one of Spains beautiful beaches or in its scenic countryside, a visit to Madrid will be unforgettable with so much history, art, shopping and fun. While you are in Madrid, go ahead and join the Madrilenos in the Plaza Mayor!

Things To Enjoy In San Francisco

Things To Enjoy In San Francisco

San Francisco offers a wide variety of attractions for the locals, visitors and tourists. The possibility of things to do in the city seems to be endless. However, the Top Things to do in "San Francisco" involves visits at the waterfront, around town, and on the citys ocean and bay fronts.One spectacular sight at the Waterfront of San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge the most photographed sight in the world. It stretches 4,200 feet with a towering height compared to a 65 story building. A walk at the bridge is one of the most enjoyable "things to do" .Another popular sight of San Franciscos Waterfront is the Alcatraz, a former prison for the notorious criminals. The interesting part to do at this place is the self-walking guided tour through the aid of headphones that narrates the whole story of about Alcatraz.Half a dozen blocks along the Waterfront are the Fishermans Wharf, Pier39, and Ghirardelli Square. Simply walking along the streets, your attention will be caught by some entertaining performers. The street also has plenty of tempting souvenir shops and great seafood restaurants.Around the town of San Francisco is Union Square the third largest shopping area in the United States. It is a fabulous place to shop for clothes, art works and items for your home but make sure that you have enough money because prices are quite expensive.A must see attraction in San Francisco is the Crookedest Street in the World or simply Lombard Street. Watching the vehicles make their curves as they go down the crooked street is a great a attraction and a marvel to the eye. Others have said that it is much more interesting to experience the crooked section of the street by riding or driving a car. San Francisco also has many places for antiques that you can visit. One of these places is the Cliff House where you can find the Camera Obscura that was invented by Leonardo Da Vinci. The Cliff House is also a very nice place for a drink because it offers excellent views of the Pacific Ocean and Seal Rock.The place in San Francisco where theres always something to do is at North Beach. North Beach is full of activities, but most involve eating. The area has tons of cafes, restaurants, delicatessens, and bakeries for you to choose from.There are other plenty of things that you can do in San Franciscothe possibilities here are truly endless.

Food and Drink in Morocco

Eating out is one of the big attractions of Morocco. Moroccos traditional, elaborate haute cuisine dishes are excellent, healthy and good value for money. It is easy to see why Robert Carrier, celebrated cook and food writer, once described Moroccan food as among the most exciting in the world.The variety of ingredients and spices used is impressive. Moroccos abundance of fresh, locally grown foodstuffs creates an abundance of a meat, fish, fruit, root vegetables, nuts and aromatic spices, so integral to typical Moroccan cuisine. With Arab, Berber, Roman, African, French and Spanish influences, the Moroccan food positively reflects the country's rich cultural heritage. Moroccan Specialities: Harira - a rich soup made with chick peas and lentils Pastilla - a pigeon-meat pastry made from dozens of different layers of thick flaky dough, almonds and cinnamon Couscous - a dish based on steamed semolina that can be combined with egg, chicken, lamb or vegetables Tajine a slow stew, often rich and fragrant, using marinated lamb or chicken. It is named after the conical-shaped earthenware dish it is cooked in Hout - fish version of the tajine stew Djaja mahamara - chicken stuffed with almonds, semolina and raisins Mchoui - pit-roasted mutton Kab-el-ghzal (gazelles horns) almond pastries in crescent shapes and coated with icing sugar .. are your taste buds tingling yet?Moroccan drinks: Mint Tea - an integral part of Moroccan life. It is extremely refreshing and made with green tea, fresh mint and plenty of sugar Coffee - Arabic style, is very strong, thick and black Freshly-squeezed fruit juice from local oranges or lemons Local lager 3 locally produced lagers are Flag Special, Stork and Casablanca Local wine this is excellent. Labels to look out for include Guerrouane, Beau Vallon and Gris de BoulaouneRestaurants: usually serve French, Italian or Spanish cuisine as well as typical Moroccan dishes. The three-course fixed menus are inexpensive. Bars: can have either waiter or counter service. Laws on alcohol are liberal for non-Muslim visitors and in most tourist areas bars will stay open late. Wines, beers and spirits are widely available, while the Moroccan versions offer the best value for money.Many of the souks have stalls selling kebabs (brochettes) often served with a spicy sauce. Other Moroccan dishes can be eaten in small, basic restaurants within the souks or medinas. They are cheap, simply served but mouth wateringly delicious.

Planning Your Living Accomodation Wisely For Barcelona

Deciding where to stay on your vacation to Barcelona can be a head scratcher at times. A great way to make your accommodation much easier on the entire traveling pack is to get an apartment. This works great for a group of friends, a family with children, or even a couple who wants to re-ignite some old flames. Its often times comparable to renting a four or five star hotel room, or you can save money and get the bare bones survival style apartment.Of course the more you spend the better your accommodations will be naturally. You should think ahead of time of your needs and when the time comes to choose your decision will be made much more easier. As well, choosing your location and what parts of Barcelona and other areas of Spain that youll want to see. Perhaps youll want to see much of what Barcelona has to offer therefore fixing yourself smack in the middle of the city will be a perfect idea for you. In this instance you will also have the opportunity to have fabulous architectural pieces of art all around you, such as Sagrada Familia, the beautiful church in Barcelona that sadly was never finished by its creator Antonio Gaud but what work was done on the project is a sight in itself.Of course you can also get an apartment closer to the ocean, or even mingle with the locals in a near by neighborhood on the outer reaches of the main city of Barcelona. Getting around will also be made simple if you choose to rent a vehicle so that you can come and go at your own pace.Getting an apartment for your trip to Barcelona gives everyone involved the chance to have there own space and may solve many problems before they are started. This beats the hotel room where little is there to accommodate many guests, with one TV and two beds for four people things can get crowded rather quickly. With an apartment its simple to just choose ahead of times the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.As well you can save both time and money on meals since youll be able to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home when you feel like it. Most of these apartments are furnished and contain most of what youll need in the kitchen, as well as utensils and appliances. This makes grabbing a quick snack simple, and less arguing about where to go eat.Just imagine being able to eat your breakfast on your terrace in Barcelona, relishing in the beautiful Spain year around summer weather. Of course dont forget about the fabulous pastries and Spanish coffee that Barcelona has to offer as well. A fritter is the perfect quick breakfast pleasing even the pickiest eating kids.Of course if youre a big eater theres plenty for you there as well. If you really want to live like the locals do order yourself, or make yourself a nice Spanish omelet in honor of your new temporary home.Going out to eat at restaurants throughout an entire vacation can get very expensive very fast. Youll be able to pick without pressure the best restaurants to visit, and probably if youre one to mingle with neighbors get some very good suggestions from the locals as well.The bottom line is that renting an apartment for your vacation could and likely will turn out to be a very good idea for you and your fellow travelers, and create a vacation that you soon will not forget.

Summary

Money: The currency used in China is the Renminbi/RMB Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. RMB is not traded outside China and we still cannot exchange or $ into RMB easily outside of China.You can exchange some cash in the airport you arrive. Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. Normal banking hours are Mon-Fri 0900-1200, 1400-1700.Import...