• When is the best time to visit China and Southeast Asia?
Generally speaking, one can visit China and many other countries in SE Asia at any time during the year. Although most people prefer spring and fall for comfortable weather, others travel in less popular seasons when there are fewer tourists on the go. Some attractions may have their own limitation. A Yangtze River Cruise Tour will only operate from March to November as the water is frozen in winter.
• What is the weather like in China?
China is a huge country with varied climates. In general, the north is cold and dry in winter. In the south, summer is hot and humid. The raining season is in July and August. Climate in Hong Kong is sub-tropical, similar to that of Hawaii. Please check out Climate for details.
• When are the Chinese Golden Weeks?
1) Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year): This changes from time to time and usually falls in between the end of January to mid-February. Many businesses will be closed for 7-10 days.
2) Labor Day Holiday (May 1st): 5/1-5/3
3) National Day Holiday (October 1st Golden Week): 10/1-10/7
While many businesses will be closed, most scenic sites remain open and are crowded. During these holidays, airfares will be a little higher and seats are subject to availability. We suggest that you book your tours as early as possible.
• Are departures guaranteed?
Unless otherwise stated, most of our tours are guaranteed departures with as few as two deposit-paid passengers.
• What is the average number of travelers in your group tour?
Group size varies by tour. An average of 15-35 is expected for Super Value and Deluxe Groups. The maximum number for a Luxury Group is 20.
• Will I be traveling with someone from other countries?
Yes, you may. Most of the group members will be from the United States just as you. Travelers booked through our Canada, Australia and UK offices may also join the same group.
• Will I have free time while on the tour?
Depending on your choice of tour, there may be a half day or a full day free on your own in one or more cities. Please refer to each itinerary for daily activities.
• Do I need a vaccination?
Vaccinations are not required for travel in China and Southeast Asia with the exception of anyone coming from or via an infected area. We suggest that you consult your physician before travel.
• Can I request a vegetarian meal?
Your special dietary requirements could be submitted at the time of booking. Free vegetarian meals can be arranged unless you would like to dine in a vegetarian only restaurant and be away from the rest of the group at an extra cost.
• Do you provide 3 meals a day?
Typically your breakfasts will be served at hotels and lunches and dinners at local restaurants. Per each itinerary, you may have one or two evenings free to enjoy your own dining.
• Do you have tour guides speaking in other western languages?
If you need non-English-speaking tour guides, please let us know at the time of booking. Arrangements could be made at an additional cost.
• How do I book your group tour?
To book Mag Vacations' group tours, contact your preferred travel agent or call 1-877-896-6076
1) Fill out a tour reservation form followed by deposit and pay off your balance 60days before departure.
2) Work with your booking agent on visa, flight arrangements and other special requests.
3) Receive a final travel confirmation document.
4) Bon Voyage!
• Do you require tour deposit?
Tour deposit of $300 per person (or $500 per person for customized itinerary) is one of the requirements to secure your reservation and should be paid at the time of booking.
• When is final payment due?
Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure. If your reservation is made less than 60 days, full payment is expected at the time of booking.
• Is travel insurance included?
1) Travel accident insurance is included for your entire trip in China
2) Travel medical insurance is included for free when your final payment is received 90 days prior to departure. For tour reservation made in less than 90 days, you may purchase medical insurance at an additional cost.
• What airline(s) do you use for all-inclusive group tour packages?
For trans-pacific air flights, we use all major airlines including but not limited to United Airline, American Airline, Delta Airline and Cathay Pacific. Please be understood that air routing is at the discretion of Mag Vacations. We try our best to book nonstop flights but it cannot be guaranteed due to availability. If you absolutely do not wish to take connecting flights, we suggest that you handle your own international air tickets and book our land only tour instead.
• What is the departure city for your group tours?
You may choose to depart directly from your hometown or from any US cities of your choice. Our prices are based on departures from San Francisco (SFO) and Las Angeles (LAX). If you wish to leave from other cities, the following airfare add-ons will apply on top of your all-inclusive group tour package cost:
1) New York, Chicago, Washington D.C, Houston: $300
2) Eastern and Central Standard Time Zone: USD$300
3) Mountain Standard Time Zone: USD$300
4) Pacific Standard Time Zone: USD$200
• What kind of hotels do you use?
You will be accommodated in local standard 4 to 5 star hotels throughout your trip. Luxury group tours will be utilizing nationally recognized 5-star hotels. Please be aware of the cultural differences in facilities among Asian countries and the US. We reserve the right to change a hotel to similar or higher standard in the event of a pre-listed hotel becomes unavailable. You will be given a final confirmation of accommodations before departure.
• What type of hotel rooms do I get to stay at?
All prices are based on double occupancy with two twin-shared beds in a room. You may add a third bed at an extra cost.
• What is a single supplement? Do I need to pay single supplement?
Single supplement is an add-on fee for solo traveler whom will be staying in a single room the entire trip. If you are traveling alone, you have the option to let us help you find another single traveler or pay for the single supplement.
• Can I make one of your group tour package a private tour just for my family?
Yes, any one of our pre-designed tour packages could be arranged as a private tour. Due to the nature of intimate servicing, your private tour will need to be re-quoted. You also have the option to upgrade your hotels and airfare class.
• Can you help me design a tour itinerary if the cities I want to visit are not included in your group tours?
Absolutely. With more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry, we take pride in our expertise in tailor-made itineraries. Follow this link (http://www.magvacations.com/PrivateTourInquiry.aspx
) to submit your tour inquiry or contact us for any questions.
• Do I need a visa?
A pre-stamped entry visa is needed for all US citizens entering China (except Hong Kong and Macau), Vietnam and Cambodia. Visa from other Indochina territories such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia can be obtained upon arrival at the airport. Please check with us if you are holding a passport from other countries.
• Can I use credit card in China?
China is still very much a cash-based economy; however major credit cards will be accepted in most cities. ATMs that accept foreign cards are also becoming increasingly available. Look for network symbols such as Interlink, Plus, Star, and Maestro.
• How much cash should I bring with me?
Most of your needs are already been included. This does not include your personal spending money for gifts or tips for your drivers and guidesOn average we advise 100 US dollars (approximately 600 Chinese Dollars) cash per day for personal items.
• Can I use US dollars in China? Is it easy to exchange currencies locally?
Normally, US dollars are not widely accepted in mainland China with the exception of tips. Money exchanges can be done in international airports, large banks, and hotels. In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, exchanging money is practically everywhere.
• Can I use CNY (Chinese dollar) in Hong Kong and Macau?
Yes, you can. Most stores accept Chinese dollars in these two cities and your changes will be given back in local currency.
• Should I bring any over-the-counter medicines?
We suggest that you bring the following for your own comfort:
1) Anti-diarrheal medication
2) Other pain-relievers and sunscreen (30+ protection factor).
Please always pack enough prescription medications for the entirety of the trip. It is also recommended that you pack an extra week’s supply in a different spot, just to be safe.
• What are the luggage limits?
Pack lightly. Domestic Travel in China allows 1 carry-on bag (no more than 11lbs) and 1 checked bag (no more than 44 lbs) per person. For more information, please visit Baggage & Packing
• What kinds of clothing should I bring?
Your everyday activities at the sites require quite some time of standing and walking. Therefore it is recommended that you bring casual clothing and comfortable walking shoes, as well as sunglasses if you may. Coordinate your outfits for multi-tasking. For special events denoted in SD in the itinerary, appropriate attire is expected. For instance, dress “smart casual” on the Yangtze River Cruise.
A quick note: Please keep your jewelry down to a minimum.
• Will I get any travel documents or confirmation on my tour before I go?
Yes. You will receive a final travel document in which your day-by-day itinerary, hotel accommodations, flight information (if airfare is taken care of by us) and emergency contacts can be found. We will also send you a document holder, luggage tag and name badge in the mail and a Pre-departure Guidance in email. Everything will be finalized 10-14 days prior to departure.
• Is tipping mandatory?
Gratuity is common in the travel industry. It helps encourage and reward quality service as our tour guides, drivers, hotel porters do their utmost to make the trip smooth and pleasant. In general, tips are not included in your tour cost and are expected to be paid locally. To cover guides and drivers, Mag Vacations offers the following standard for your reference:
- Group of 2-5 pp: $10 USD per day per traveler
- Group of 6+ pp: $8 USD per day per traverler
Detailed information about gratuities will be available to you in the final travel documents. As a side note, restaurant tipping is not part of the local culture in China.
• How accessible is the internet?
Our choices of hotels do provide free wifi in the lobby. You can obtain internet connection in your room at an additional cost.
As a side note, some email programs do not work in China and Indochina. Those confirmed to work are Gmail and Hotmail (or Outlook).
• Are there any restrictions on photography?
China and Indochina is a very photogenic country. Most people are very comfortable being photographed. When in doubt, ask first. In certain areas such as temples, monasteries, and museums, photography is prohibited and you will be advised before entering.
• Is it safe to drink tap water?
We do not advise drinking tap water directly. You will be provided bottled water daily and restaurants will only serve you purified water. Showers and drinking boiled tap water for tea is safe.