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Facts for the Traveler

Folk Customs

The Tibetan people in Qinghai are good at singing and dancing. Each year in holidays grand fairs and celebrations are held on grassland, such as the horse race in Qinghai Lake area, the Singing and dancing performance in Yushu and the rally in Guoluo on which people make pilgrimage to the sacred mountains. Major Tibetan festivals are the New Year's Festival and the Joy Festival in the 6th month according to the Tibetan calendar.

Also inhabited in Qinghai are Mongolians. Their most famous folk event is the Nadamu Fair in every summer during the days of which people drink, sing and dance heartily, and participate in various sports such as arrow shooting, horse racing and wrestling.

Once you set your foot on the vast land of Xinjiang, you will be intoxicated with the colorful folk customs of the local peoples of different ethnic minorities. While Uygurs are especially good at their beautiful, lithe and humorous dances, the Kazaks, no matter male or female, old or young, all seem to be skillful in wrestling and horse riding games.

Most ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, including Uygur, Kazak, Hui, Kirgiz, Tajik, Tatar, and Uzbek, believe in Islam and celebrate two major festivals: the Corban and the Roza (the Lesser Bairam). In the morning of the festival, people get up early, take baths and light incense. Then they get dressed for the religious meeting at mosques. Each big local hotel will prepare some mats and compasses for tourists to give prayers. The Hui people particularly attach importance to the Roza.


In communities mainly comprising of Islamic, Moslem restaurants, even the cooking utensils and tableware used in them, are strictly separated from those of the Han nationality.

For local peoples of many ethnics, tea is their prime drink. The staple food for Uygur people is nang, a kind of bread in an oblate shape. Another delicious local food is shouzhuafan, or rice mixed with mutton and vegetables.

Xinjiang produces perhaps the best mutton in the country. Barbecuing kebab is one of the local delicacies. The most famous and unique food of the locality, however, is kauquanyang, or wholly-roasted sheep, which is compared favourably with Beijing's roast duck and Guangzhou's roast suckling pig. Moreover, dairy products are extremely rich in Xinjiang. including more than a dozen varieties.

One daily drink among the minority peoples in Xinjiang is tea with milk, which is not without reason. Eating a lot of meat with comparatively few vegetables, peoples in this area need to drink tea with milk to get more minerals and to help with their digestion. Moreover, the special drink may help them drive away cold in winter and heat in summer.

The way of preparing tea with milk is quite simple: break brick tea into parts and boil them in a copper pot. Pour milk into the tea when it is boiling and then add some salt before drinking. When treating guests at home, the minority peoples in Xinjiang always prepare the drink for immediate consumption.


Xinjiang, immense in territory and rich in special products, boasts fine handicraft articles.

The embroidered caps of Uygur people are everyone's favorite. The trade of making the beautiful caps has lasted for several hundred years. It is a custom with Uygur people to buy and wear new caps to celebrate their festivals. In many cities there are markets particularly selling the embroidered caps of different varieties.

Xinjiang also produces unique handicraft daggers in elegant shapes. With beautiful ornamental designs and extremely sharp edges, they are of both artistic and practical values.

Xinjiang's rug industry enjoys long history and high technology, making rugs worldly reputed for their first-class materials, excellent workmanship and graceful colors and designs.

Xinjiang is also rich in deposit of precious stones, 20 varieties of which may be made use of. Many of the stones belong to unique gems peculiar to the locality. One kind of cat's eye called haizang is perhaps the best-known. Discovered first in Xinjiang, it is among the most precious emeralds in the world.


To prepare for a travel to China, one may hold his or her valid passport( with the validity term of more than 6 months) and apply for VISA to China's diplomatic agencies, consular offices and other Chinese institutions in foreign counties which have been approved by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

When arriving in China, each tourist must fill in the Tourist Luggage Declaring Form and keep one copy of the form so that it may be produced when the tourist leaves the country. The articles with high value declared in the form by any tourist must be taken away from China when he or she is leaving the country. Otherwise, the articles are to be levied with import taxes.


Within the territory of China the only currency in circulation is Renminbi.

There are different denominations of Renminbi notes. They include 100 yuan, 50 yuan, 10 yuan, 5 yuan, 2 yuan, 1 yuan, 5 jiao, 2 jiao, 5 fen, 2 fen and 1 fen. Those with values above 2 yuan are all paper notes, and those under 1 yuan are either paper notes or hard coins.

Cashing of Foreign Traveller's Check

The Bank of China may cash any travel check issued by any foreign bank or financial institution. However, transferred travel check may only be accepted for collection by the Bank of China and may not be cashed within the territory of China.

Credit Card

Several internationally accepted credit cards are accepted in Chinese hotels which may receive foreigners and in big shopping centers. They include The American Express, Diners Club, JCB, VISA, and MasterCard.

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