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 Macau).

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 2012, the population of Chengdu stood at approximately 14.18 million. Chengdu covers a land area of 12,100 square kilometers, which is divided into 10 districts, 4 county-sized cities and 6 counties.

Weather

China spans over a vast geographic 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/en

Currency

China's official currency is Renminbi (RMB), commonly known as Yuan. Paper bill includes 1, 5, 10, 20, 50,100 Yuan and 1, 2, 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 China. In general, basic documents required for opening bank accounts include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Identification Document, e.g. passport, Mainland Travel Permit for Hong Kong and Macao resident (commonly known as "Home Visit 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, which is the same as Hong Kong. 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.

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 Chengdu Traffic Management Bureau: http://www.gaj.chengdu.gov.cn

Public Transportation in Chengdu

Subway

At present, there are three subway lines operating in Chengdu: Line 1, Line 2 and Line 4. Line 1 runs from north to south across the city starts at Shenxian Lake and ends at Guangdu. Line 2 starts at Longquanyi and ends at Xipu from east to west. Line 4 also runs from east to west and starts at Wannianchang and ends at Intangible Cuitural Heritage Park Station. There would be more lines expected to come into operation in the next few years.

For more detailed information, please refer to the website of Chengdu Metro.(Chinese Version Only): http://www.cdmetro.cn

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. For more detailed information, please refer to the website of the Transport Committee of Chengdu Taxi Division: http://www.cdtaxi.cn or dial (028)962999.

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

Other bus services include:

Railway

Chengdu is the center of western China's railway network. There are multiple railway stations located in the urban area of Chengdu, namely Chengdu railway station, Chengdunan Railway Station and Chengdudong railway station. Passengers are advised to be mindful regarding the departing and arriving stations.

For purchase of railway tickets, passengers would be required to provide valid travel documents containing the passengers' names and other identification information (Home Visit Permit for Hong Kong and Macao residents, applicable and valid passports etc.). Passengers may, based on their preferences, choose their desired travel date, time and seats. In order to purchase train tickets, passengers may visit the ticketing offices located at relevant railway stations, via ticketing hotlines (95105105), or purchase online via website (Please refer to the website of China Railway Customer Service Center below).

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

Air

The Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CDIA) is located in the Shuangliu county, 16 km away from the city center. There is an expressway connecting the downtown to the airport. Separately, Shuangliu Airport Station, long-haul bus service, airport shuttle bus service to the downtown and taxi station are available in the airport. There are two terminals: Terminal 1 serves all the international flights and flights to/from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, as well as all the flights operating by Sichuan Airlines (SCAL);Terminal 2 serves the rest domestic flights besides SCAL. For further information, please refer to the website of CDIA: http://www.cdairport.com, 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 with good physical health/conditions and bicycle-riding skill.

Hong Kong residents holding “Tianfu-Tong” card and valid identification documents could apply for the service at designated spots by CDTG for a RMB300 deposit and no less than RMB 10 balance in the “Tianfu Tong” e-wallet.

For more detailed information about fare and spots, please visit the website of the CDTG (Chinese Version Only): http://www.cdgjbus.com, or dial (028)85087662 for consulting.

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 could 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 Chengdu Traffic Management Bureau: http://www.cdcgs.cn/index.aspx

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: http://www.cdcgs.cn/index.aspx