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Topic # 245287 27-Jan-2019 18:02
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Hi.  

 

My 17 year old son is off for a school trip to China. A couple of questions 

 

Power plugs - web search indicates they use NZ 3-pin and also a parallel 2 pin option.  How prevalent is the latter?  Is an adapter needed?

 

Credit Card - He is too young so the best we can do is a debit card and cash.  Any issues using ASB debit cards there?  Other suggestions?  Most stuff is paid for so it's really only a bit of spending money and possibly cash for emergencies

 

Phone - He uses 2 degrees and they don't seem to have any packages for China so he will have to get another sim from another provider just for a couple of weeks.  Spark seem to have decent weekly packages for voice and data.  Any other suggestions? (iPhone 6S)

 

Vaccinations - information is a bit vague pending a visit to the GP.  Any suggestions here? 

 

Any other hints/tips welcome.  He will be with a group of about 20 with a couple of teachers and a local guide. 

 

Boy these kids are lucky these days!  In my day a trip to the local creek for a swim was about as good as it got.  

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 2168545 27-Jan-2019 18:02
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Allow me to introduce you folks to our new travel community: TravelTalk NZ.

 

We hope to see you there!

 





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  Reply # 2168562 27-Jan-2019 18:47
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If they have a 2 pin NZ plug it will not go into any shuttered outlets over there, as they exclusively use the almost NZ plug for earthed things.

 

The norm in shenzhen was an outlet that had one of each on it, the 2 pin one would also take 2 round pins. If stopping off in hong kong and wanting to charge at the airport they all seemed to be british giant plugs there. I was not at the airport for long tho.

 

Roaming will fail often over there. They call it the "internet being cleaned" and basically everything stops for a while sometimes. Speeds have been trash for everyone I know.

 

If android then download apps before leaving, I would suggest wechat be set up between you all before they go since that has no issues with the firewall there.

 

Wifi is prevelent everywhere you go (well it was in Shenzhen) - restaurants will usually have the WPA2 key on the wall or you can ask for it. Dont be surprised if they want to grab your phone to type it in for you.

 

Dont discuss VPN over chat when in china. Or anything else you know that you shouldn't be talking about. Things seem to mysteriously stop working for a while when you do that.





Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2168628 27-Jan-2019 20:49
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China doesn't really use cards very much, it's cash or alipay/wechat pay or similar things


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  Reply # 2168630 27-Jan-2019 21:07
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Protip if you have lots of NZ devices.. pack a 4-way board and a travel adaptor :D all bases covered

 

I be guessing for anyone young/unclued the great firewall of china would be a right PITA for what we take for granted


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  Reply # 2168643 27-Jan-2019 22:32
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Tzoi:

China doesn't really use cards very much, it's cash or alipay/wechat pay or similar things

 

 

I thought there was UnionPay?

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  Reply # 2168648 27-Jan-2019 22:51
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Have been to China on a family holiday, but that was at least 15 years ago.

Power - Voltage over there is 220V including to American style flat pin sockets. And lots of places had sockets that looked like upside down NZ sockets. NZ plugs work just fine in them. But take an NZ power board as reccomend above.

Vaccines- Was told (and got done) Hepatitis A and B vaccine. Although was there during the northern hemisphere winter. So no risk of mosquito related diseases while I was there.





YJ

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  Reply # 2168699 28-Jan-2019 07:02
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scuwp:

Hi.  


My 17 year old son is off for a school trip to China. A couple of questions 


Power plugs - web search indicates they use NZ 3-pin and also a parallel 2 pin option.  How prevalent is the latter?  Is an adapter needed?



NZ 3pin is fine for most occasions, but not NZ two pins as there is a safety click is the middle of power point, you just can't plus the NZ 2pin in there. Plus the Chinese 2pin are two parallel pins.

Credit Card - He is too young so the best we can do is a debit card and cash.  Any issues using ASB debit cards there?  Other suggestions?

There is nearly no cash payment now, best to use wechat and alipay app now.

  Most stuff is paid for so it's really only a bit of spending money and possibly cash for emergencies


Phone - He uses 2 degrees and they don't seem to have any packages for China so he will have to get another sim from another provider just for a couple of weeks.  Spark seem to have decent weekly packages for voice and data.  Any other suggestions? (iPhone 6S)



Buy the local China union SIM, the plan is less than NZ $10 a month with 3GB or so. But you can't use the data on any social app, such as Facebook and Instagram.

When you use the roaming data, you can do anything like here, no filter or whatever you called great wall.


Vaccinations - information is a bit vague pending a visit to the GP.  Any suggestions here? 



There is no GP, if you feel not well just go to the hospital, but they do have clinic style one, but I would not suggest it.

Hope it helps.


Any other hints/tips welcome.  He will be with a group of about 20 with a couple of teachers and a local guide. 


Boy these kids are lucky these days!  In my day a trip to the local creek for a swim was about as good as it got.  


Thanks


 


 


 


 


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  Reply # 2168718 28-Jan-2019 08:20
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If he is allergic to any kind of food, don't eat there.


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  Reply # 2168864 28-Jan-2019 12:43
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I'd suggest a pouch worn around the neck for his passport & money.  Maybe give him enough money in cash to get by easily in case the bank card does not work?   Then each day put some money in a wallet.


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  Reply # 2168901 28-Jan-2019 12:56
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If he is not technically inclined and wants access to everything while there (FB, gmail, google etc.) then roaming is the best option. Local data sim or wifi will get filtered by the great firewall.

 

Debit cards are essentially Visa cards with the limit being your own money. He'll be able to use it where Visa is available but cash will still be king in the majority of places. Talk to ASB about using your cards in china and they'll give you info about travelling there as well as putting a note on the card/account that it will be travelling (otherwise if he tries to use it they might block it for unusual activity).


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  Reply # 2168907 28-Jan-2019 13:01
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Cash is not king there, only foreigners use it and it really annoys them to have to deal with it, just problems with fake 100rmb notes mean that everywhere will be putting stuff thru the money counter to check they're legit notes.

 

But when I tried it was impossible for a foreigner to set up a wechat account to pay with.





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  Reply # 2168920 28-Jan-2019 13:29
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The last time I went was in 2014 - my wife is from Guangzhou.   The first thing she did was purchase a pouch for me to keep my passport and phone in plus other items and it was worn on my front.

 

I exchanged a whole lot of cash here in Auckland for Chinese RMB before I went plus also used my credit card, I found the credit card seemed to be quite unreliable as it didn't work at half the places I went.

 

I also setup a VPN on my home UFB connection before I went which came in very handy.  Speeds in China are rubbish but not only did the VPN allow access to blocked sites like Facebook it also sped things up also.  I wouldn't suggest using a mainstream VPN service as most are blocked in China and they simply won't connect, its best to setup your own either on a VPS somewhere or a server running from home with a statuc ip like what I did.  I also had RDP access to my home PC where I could launch a browser if needed and had the RDP client installed on my phone.

 

Ask the guide to buy a local sim for you, that's what my wife did - the guide needs to do it (with no one else in sight) otherwise you get charged twice the amount (foreigner prices) and i'm not sure what else they may do to it.  Use WeChat or QQ as a reliable means for communicating with friends and family, you should be able to signup for both here in NZ without any issue - I did.


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  Reply # 2169361 28-Jan-2019 23:15
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I've had no problems with cash ... just make sure he gets the hotel to break down 100RMB notes to smaller denominations each day.

 

Since he's with a group he's probably not going to get predatory Taxi drivers etc, just convenience stores and souvenir shops.

 

I would also get him to look at the Youtube videos of fake Chinese currency and how to check. It would be a good educational exercise so when he goes on his OE he's got an idea what to expect.

 

 

 

BTW most western things/electronics are more expensive than NZ ... it's not worth getting most things from a brick and mortar store (I usually get stuff ordered from Taobao/tmall via colleagues). Exceptions are Xiaomi stuff etc :-)

 

 

 

There are China SIM cards you can buy, but do your homework as a lot of them have caveats or restrictions. And never buy them anywhere but one of the official telco stores.

 

You can buy cards online, but I would do my homework to see if they are legit.


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  Reply # 2169392 29-Jan-2019 07:20
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Unless he gets a tricked out VPN setup there won't be any Western social media access...
Friend of mine goes there a bit and can provide some advice to you if you would like me to ask some specific questions tonight.

 

Everything he has said to me has been to the effect of, DO NOT STAND ON THEIR TOES, Smile and wave....
He has a drone, and was using it very secretively but apparently if caught using it he could be locked up. The typical kiwi kids "She'll be rite" attitude won't get you far. Act vigilant always.






 


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