China-Questions

Apr 27th, 2004, 10:02 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 19
China-Questions

Hi everybody,
I have a few quick questions regarding our coming trip to China:
1. How "bad" is China Airlines.
They offer a great deal flying from
Singapore to Shanghai with China Eastern
and back from Hong Kong to Singapore with
China Airlines.
2. Is it simple to change Singaporean Dollars
to Chinese currency ?? Where is the
best place to do it ?? At the airport ??
3. Are there enough ATMs to use a VISA card
to obtain cash?
Thanks for the help
Miky is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 10:31 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,778
> 2. Is it simple to change Singaporean Dollars
to Chinese currency ?? Where is the
best place to do it ?? At the airport ??

Exchange rates are set daily and are the same across China. You'll probably arrive at Shanghai Pudong airport and you can change Singaporean dollars there, as you will also be able to do at larger branches of the Bank of China, and in the lobbies of most hotels you might stay at (although some limit themselves to exchanging the big names only).

> 3. Are there enough ATMs to use a VISA card
to obtain cash?

Yes, if you plan ahead. Consult www.visa.com's ATM locator for a list of sites, and take it with you. There'll be at least one ATM taking foreign cards at Pudong, and there are several machines at Bank of China branches in Shanghai, and at HSBC and Citibank. Always restock well before you run out of cash. Carry a couple of hundred US$ (exchangable at almost any branch of any bank) in case of emergencies.

I've been surviving in China on only an ATM card and a bit of spare U.S. cash for years.

Peter N-H
http://members.shaw.ca/pnhpublic/China.html
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Apr 27th, 2004, 10:38 PM
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Hi Peter,
Good to know that you are always on the air. Thanks for the Info. Anthing regarding China airlines ??
Thanks Miky
Miky is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 11:35 PM
  #4  
Airlawgirl
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Having just returned from my first trip to China, I can vouch for the fact that Bank of China ATMs will take your VISA card, no problem-from Beijing, to Xi'an to Shanghai-just make sure they have a VISA logo, or other such system identifier found on the back of your ATM card. Interestingly, it was MUCH easier to use an ATM card in China than in Tokyo, of all places. It's unbelieveable how few ATMs there are in Tokyo, (and other major cities) that take a VISA ATM-really-you have to be VERY careful in Japan to have lots of cash with you at all times- I ran into an emergency there just last week, because I thought, like China, like Thailand, I'd be able to find an ATM that took my card relatively close by - wrong! So, like I said, no problem in the cities I went to in China. As for Air China, their overall safety record is not good, however, it has improved somewhat over the years. I flew them short-haul Xi'an to Shanghai last week and it was fine - food was pretty terrible though, much worse than Hainan Airlines, which I flew from Beijing to Xi'an.
 
Apr 29th, 2004, 12:13 AM
  #5  
Airlawgirl
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Also, Miky, if you or anyone is really interested in checking out the safety record of China Airlines (or any other commercial air carrier) I recommend you go to www.airdisaster.com, and use their drop down box to choose the air carrier in question. You'll find that China Air's last crash was in 2002 in Taiwan, a B-747, all 200 plus souls on board lost. The one before that was in 1999- pilot error, 3 fatalities, I believe. But I can tell you that China Airlines has been, and continues to work extensively with American aviation authorities to upgrade and improve their safety record-just as a number of other Asian carriers have had to do.
 
Apr 29th, 2004, 08:26 AM
  #6  
Airlawgirl
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Correction, Mikey- the database I would reference is not "airdisasters.com" which used to be one in use from the U.K., but www.crashdatabase.com. There you will see that China Airlines has been involved in no less than 12 crashes since 1969, the latest, as stated in my previous post, was in 2002, with over 200 SoB (souls on board) lost.
 
Apr 29th, 2004, 09:30 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,778
The presence of a Visa logo on the screen of an ATM in China is no guarantee that that individual machine will take foreign cards. All Bank of China ATMs sport the logo, but only a limited number take foreign cards. While that number seems to be growing, and is larger than the number of machines listed on ATM locator websites, the precautions mentioned previously should still be taken.

Peter N-H
http://members.shaw.ca/pnhpublic/China.html
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Apr 29th, 2004, 09:52 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 15
We used our Visa/Debit card at a China Construction Bank several times while we were in Beijing last month and had no problems.
brendon is offline  

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