China covers a land area of 9.6 million square kilometers and currently consists of four municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing), 23 provinces, five autonomous regions (Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, and Guangxi) directly under the Central Government, and two special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macao).

Chengdu is the capital-city of Sichuan Province, as well as the political, economic and cultural center of the Province. Chengdu serves as a hub for both land and air transportation and plays an important role in the contexts of both domestic and international communications. As of end 2017, the population of Chengdu stood at approximately 16.04 million. Chengdu covers a land area of 14,335 square kilometers, which is divided into 11 districts, 5 county-sized cities and 4 counties.

Weather

China spans over a vast geographical area. Local weather varies considerably from one location to another. Latest weather information of different regions can be found at the website of China Meteorological Administration:http://www.cma.gov.cn/en2014/.

Chengdu is characterised by early spring, hot summer, cool autumn, and wet and cold winter. The average temperature of Chengdu is 16℃. Summer is cloudy, foggy and wet. The lowest temperature is usually higher than -4℃ and thus frost or snow is rare. Precipitation concentrates in the months of July and August. Winter and spring are dry.

Air Quality

Chengdu is affected by smog sometimes. The concentration of PM 2.5 particulates is an important indicator of air quality. Monitoring agencies convert the concentration of PM 2.5 particulates into an air quality index (AQI) to reflect the air quality. According to the Technical Regulation on Ambient Air Quality Index (on trial) released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) of the People’s Republic of China (Announcement [2012] No.8), AQI in the range 0-50 indicates good air quality; AQI in the range 51-100 indicates moderate air quality; AQI in the range 101-150 indicates light air pollution; AQI in the range 151-200 indicates medium air pollution; and AQI in the range 201-300 indicates heavy air pollution; while AQI in the range 301-500 indicates serious air pollution. MoEP suggests that if AQI exceeds 200, people with heart or lung diseases, the elderly and children should consider refraining from outdoor activities and taking precautionary measures such as wearing face masks when going out and installing air purifiers indoors.

Chengdu Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre forecasts the air quality in Chengdu on a daily basis and issues alerts in case of heavy air pollution. In terms of level and duration of pollution, there are four levels of alerts: Blue (Level 4), Yellow (Level 3), Orange (Level 2) and Red (Level 1), with Red being the highest level of alert. People travelling and living in Chengdu should pay attention to announcements on air quality in Chengdu and the related precautionary measures by other relevant institutions or organisations.

For more information about AQI in Chengdu, please visit the following website:

Chengdu Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center (Chinese Version Only):http://www.cdepb.gov.cn

Currency

China's official currency is Renminbi (RMB), commonly known as Yuan. Paper bill includes 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Yuan and 1, 5 Jiao, and coins include 1, 5 Jiao and 1 Yuan. Currency exchange service is available at banks and major hotels.

Besides cash, banking service is also available for Hong Kong residents living in the Mainland. In general, a mobile phone which can receive message in the Mainland as well as basic documents which include, but not limited to the following, are required for opening bank accounts:

  1. Identification Document, e.g. passport, Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao resident (commonly known as "Home Visit Re-entry Permit")
  2. Statement with residential address

Please check with specific banks for detailed application process and related information if necessary.

Voltage

As with most other countries, China adopts the metric measurement system. Household voltage is 220 volts in the Mainland. No voltage conversion is needed if travelers want to use electrical appliance purchased from Hong Kong. However, the power plug is different from those commonly used in Hong Kong and thus a plug adapter may be required. The typical shapes of power plugs in the Mainland are shown in the pictures below.

3-legged power plug in China 2-legged power plug in China

Transportation

Overview

All automotive vehicles, non-automotive vehicles and pedestrians should keep to the right side of the road in the Mainland, which differs from the practice of keeping to the left in Hong Kong.

Besides, the traffic rules also differ. In the Mainland, vehicles may take right turn even if the red light is on, but this would only be applicable where no disturbance is made to cars or pedestrians passing by (however, if the red light signaling right turn is an arrow instead of a round shape, vehicles would be prohibited from taking the right turn until the light turns green). In Hong Kong, on the other hand, no vehicles may take the right turn whenever the red light is on

.

Pedestrians and drivers of automotive vehicles and non-automotive vehicles should observe all traffic rules applicable in the Mainland. Besides, Chengdu municipal has also promulgated and implemented specific local rules. For more information, please refer to the website of the Chengdu Traffic Management Bureau (Chinese Version Only):  http://www.cdjg.gov.cn/index.aspx.

Public Transportation in Chengdu

Subway

At present, there are six subway lines operating in Chengdu: Line 1, Line 2, Line 3, Line 4, Line 7 and Line 10.

For more detailed information, please refer to the website of Chengdu Metro:
http://www.chengdurail.com/index_en.html.

Taxi

In Chengdu, there are two kinds of taxi in two colours respectively: green taxi in the urban area and blue in the suburbs. Taxi fare in Chengdu is charged in accordance with the regulations under the common charge policy formulated by the Chengdu Municipal Price Bureau. A surcharge would be levied for usage between 23:00-6:00 the following day. For more detailed information, please refer to the website of the Transport Committee of Chengdu Taxi Division: http://www.cdtaxi.cn/ or dial (028) 83355363.

E-hailing Service

In recent years, E-hailing service is very popular in the Mainland. Passengers can hail for service on the spot or make prior appointments with drivers of private cars and taxies for transportation service on the web. Further details are available from common search engines on the internet.

Buses

Chengdu has a comprehensive bus network covering in general the whole city. For more information about route and fare, please visit the website of Chengdu Public Transport Group Co., Ltd: http://www.cdgjbus.com or call the services hotline: (028)85076868.

Other bus services in Chengdu include:

Railway

Chengdu is one of the hubs of western China's railway network. There are multiple railway stations located in the urban area of Chengdu, namely Chengdu railway station, Chengdu East Railway Station and Chengdu South railway station. Passengers are advised to be mindful of the departing and arriving stations when purchasing railway tickets and taking trains.

For purchase of railway tickets, Hong Kong residents would be required to provide valid Mainland Travel Permits for Hong Kong and Macao residents. In order to purchase railway tickets, passengers may visit the ticketing offices located at relevant railway stations, via ticketing hotlines (purchasing hotline: (028)95105105), or purchase online via website (China Railway’s Customer Service Center (Chinese Version Only):http://www.12306.cn/), etc.

For further information, please refer to the website of the China Railway's Customer Service Center (Chinese Version Only): http://www.12306.cn/

The China Railway Corporation announced in June 2017 that automatic ticket vending and issuing machines which could read and verify Home Visit Re-entry Permits with embedded chips for Hong Kong and Macao residents had been installed at railway stations in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Hunan, Guangdong, Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi, etc. Hong Kong and Macao compatriots can now purchase and collect tickets with their Home Visit Re-entry Permits at these railways stations which they frequently use. In future, these machines will also be installed at those railway stations which are ready and are heavily used by Hong Kong and Macao compatriots.

Air

The Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located in the Shuangliu county, 16 km away from the city center. There is an expressway connecting the downtown to the airport. In addition, Shuangliu Airport Rail Station, long-haul buses to major cities in Sichuan, airport shuttle buses to the downtown and taxi are available in the airport. There are two terminals: Terminal 1 serves all the international flights and flights to/from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as all the flights operated by Sichuan Airlines (SCAL);Terminal 2 serves domestic flights operated by airlines other than SCAL. For further information, please refer to the website of the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (http://www.cdairport.com/en/), or dial (028)85205555.

Public bicycle rental

Chengdu Public Transport Group Co., Ltd (CDTG) provides public bicycle rental service for those aged between 18 and 65 years old in good physical health/conditions and bicycle-riding skill.

Hong Kong residents holding “Tian fu Tong” card and valid identification documents may apply for the service at designated service points by CDTG with a RMB300 deposit and no less than RMB 10 balance in the "Tian fu Tong" e-wallet.

For more detailed information about fare and service points, please refer to the website of CDTG (Chinese Version Only)( http://www.cdgjbus.com), or dial (028) 85076868.

Bike-sharing

In recent years, bike-sharing service is very popular in the Mainland. In general, users of different bike rental companies must pay certain amount of deposit before using the service. However, some e-shopping platforms provide deposit-free bike rental service. Further details are available from common search engines on the internet.

Driving License and buying vehicles

Driving License

Hong Kong residents are required to obtain valid driving licenses if they wish to drive in the Mainland. Drivers should carry their driving licenses while driving. Hong Kong residents who meet relevant conditions promulgated by the Ministry of Public Security (including requirements in age and physical and other conditions, etc.) could apply for driving licenses from traffic management departments.

Hong Kong residents who hold driving licenses issued by relevant authorities of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan or other foreign countries can apply for Chinese driving licenses after meeting certain requirements by the Ministry of Public Security (including age, physical and other conditions) and passing the corresponding examination. Moreover, Hong Kong residents who have overseas driving licenses can apply for temporary driving permission from traffic management department of the Ministry of Public Security if they need to drive in the Mainland for a period not exceeding three months.

For more detailed information with respect to applications of driving licenses and temporary driving permissions, please refer to the website of the Chengdu Traffic Management Bureau of the Chengdu Municipal Public Security Bureau (Chinese Version Only):http://www.cdjg.gov.cn/WebVeh/VehLogin.aspx.

Renting cars

If Hong Kong people would like to drive in Chengdu, they could rent a car from the local car leasing companies. Generally, Hong Kong people are required to provide photocopies of their Home Visit Re-entry Permit and driving licence as well as intended leasing period to the car leasing companies when entering into car rental contracts. For more information, please visit the website of the car leasing companies.

Traffic management measure for automotive vehicles

Base on related regulations, all vehicles including「川A」license plates and non-local ones should obey the requirements of traffic restriction in specific periods, zones and regulations specified by the Chengdu Traffic Management Bureau.

For information on relevant measures and road traffic, please refer to the website of the Chengdu Traffic Management Bureau of the Chengdu Municipal Public Security Bureau (Chinese Version Only) (http://www.cdjg.gov.cn/WebVeh/VehLogin.aspx).