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Visa to Enter China

A China visa is a permit issued by the Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate to allow a foreign visitor to enter China for a specific type of travel through China. The Chinese Embassy or Chinese Consulate may issue a Tourist Visa, Business Visa, Work Visa, and a variety of other types of visa depending on the purpose of travel to China.

For every type of visa to China, the traveler must submit their passport and application before they leave USA for the visa to be processed. You will need a China Tourist Visa for your Tour Adventure with the Linden Centre.


1.  Passport Requirements: An original, signed passport valid for 6 months beyond stay, and with at least one blank visa page available for visa stamp(s). The Amendment pages in the back of the passport can't be used for visa stamp.

2.  Visa Application Form: Two visa application forms per applicant properly completed and signed. Signature must be original on each application. Improperly completed forms may delay the processing of your visa.  (app form to be highlighted for visa form)

3.  Photo Requirements: One recent 2 x 2 passport type photograph(s), in color, front view and with a plain/light background.

4.  Proof of Departure: Computer generated flight itinerary from the airline or travel agency, or copy of airline ticket or letter from travel agency.


You may choose to send in your passport for visa processing in two ways:

1.  Visit the Chinese Consulate or Embassy yourself, with the appropriate documents, cashier’s check (personal check will not be accepted) and arrange for a pick-up date.  If you reside in the Midwest, you are required to go to Chicago which handles visas for Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. For information go to The Chicago Consulate website at:

For those not living in these states, your visa will be processed in other cities. The required consulate and city do not match up by geographical location, to find out where you need to go, please contact us or your travel agent.

2.  Send your passport and application to a designated Travel Visa Service to have it done for you. There are several services that do this for you for a fee. We can recommend:

Health and Safety

Do I need any special vaccinations? We recommend that you talk with a travel doctor to see if your vaccinations are up to date. In general it is a good idea to have current Hepatitis A & B, tetanus and polio shots. For stays longer than a month, some choose to get Japanese encephalitis or Rabies shots. Ask about anti-malarial medicine if you are going to travel to the sub-tropical areas of Yunnan. Be sure to allow for ample time as some shots are a series over several months.

How fit do I have to be? In general, our pace of travel is leisurely but a moderate amount of walking will be required. The Centre is located at 7,000 feet and on some tours our travels will take us to 12-15,000 feet. All ages are welcome, however, we advise you to check with a medical doctor before you go if you have any medical conditions which could affect your health on the trip.

Are there nearby hospitals? There are serviceable hospitals in the area that we have used ourselves. Ask your doctor if they recommend giving you a prescription for traveller’s diarrhea. (Cipro is the most common). We also recommend bringing over the counter medicine (see below).

Can I drink the water? We recommend that you drink bottled water or boiled water (Tea). The water that comes from water dispensers is safe to drink.

What if I have a Medical Issue? You must advise the Operator in writing, at or prior to booking, of any physical, emotional or mental condition which (a) may affect your ability to fully participate in the trip; (b) may require professional attention during the trip; or (c) may require the use of special equipment. If any such condition arises after the trip is booked, you must advise Operator in writing immediately.

Operator reserves the right to decline or cancel your reservation, or to remove you from a trip in progress, if Operator reasonably determines your condition would adversely affect the health, safety, or enjoyment of you or of other participants. If Operator removes you from a trip in progress pursuant to this paragraph, you will not be entitled to any refund of your Trip Price and Operator shall have no further liability.

If you have a condition as contemplated herein, you travel at your own risk. We are not liable for any injuries or damages you may suffer relating to such a condition, including without limitation loss of special equipment, lack of assistance with or accommodation of special needs, and unavailability of medical assistance or treatment.

We are not responsible for the costs of any medical treatment you may require during the trip. Under no circumstances is Operator responsible for the quality of medical care, or lack thereof, you may receive while on the trip.

Travel Insurance

We require that all clients on our tours have valid health insurance coverage. Check your existing plan to see if you have international travel insurance, or medical emergency evacuation. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance, including protection for trip cancellation or interruption, baggage loss, and especially emergency medical evacuation insurance. Medical emergency and evacuation coverage is required for non-Chinese guests of the Centre. For all tours, we work through a travel agent affliate to book airline travel and medical insurance at the lowest prices. These are included in your price. If you choose to book travel insurance through us, we will refer you directly to our broker, George Chiu Insurance, who will help you complete the process at the lowest rate with TravelGuard. For more information, call them at (626) 485-4833 or see Thorough coverage can be had for a very reasonable cost. Here are other reputable options for travel insurance that we recommend, Medjet and USI Travel Insurance Services. Again, The Linden Centre will not be liable for expenses arising from medical emergencies so please take the time to research appropriate insurance options for your tour and ask if you have any questions.


What kind of currency is used, and how can I get money in China?

The currency in China is called the renminbi (“people’s money”), abbreviated RMB, and also refered to as Yuan. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 yuan. Refer to updated financial sources for current exchange rates - but in general, the last several months have seen the USD equating to roughly 6.30 Yuan.

Traveler’s checks:

We urge you not to rely on traveler's checks for your personal expenses. They can be difficult to exchange and the commission fee for cashing them is quite high. It’s most practical to view any traveler’s checks you might bring as a last “cash” resort in the event of a special situation.

U.S. dollars:

Cash is more readily exchanged and accepted than traveler's checks, and sometimes commands a better exchange rate. Some U.S. Banks can give you local currency before your trip but this is not necessary. You can change money at banks, some hotels, and money exchange offices. Please do not bring highly wrinkled, torn, dirty, or taped bills because they may not be accepted.


Typically you can use any Bank of China which is found in most major cities. In particular, PLUS, Cirrus, and other bank networks are available throughout large cities. Always notify your bank before you leave home that you are going abroad so that they may remove any blocks on your account. Also ask them about the number of withdrawals per day and any fees. For cash withdrawals don’t forget to memorize the actual digits of your card’s four-digit PIN number (many keypads at foreign ATMs do not include letters on their numeric keys, they only display digits.)

Banking Hours:

In general the banking hours in the location on your trip are generally 9:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday, and 9:00am-4:00pm on Saturday and Sundays.

Credit Cards:

Though major American credit cards are accepted abroad, always inquire if your type of credit card is accepted before deciding on your purchase. It is also wise to notify the credit card company that you will be using your cards abroad so that they may remove any security block. When using a major credit card you may receive a lower exchange rate than if you pay with cash; inquire about the rate first. Please be aware that credit cards might not be accepted for small amounts. DISCOVER credit card does not operate outside the US. Keep your receipts in case you have questions about the conversion or exchange rate. Also, keep your receipts as proof of purchase for items to be shipped home.

Packing your Bags

What type of clothing should I bring?

General Wear:

Depending on the season, you may experience a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions throughout the day, we suggest dressing in several layers of clothing. There is laundry service available at the hotels, we always suggest packing light, as you will inevitably find souvenirs that will take up that extra space you had on the way over.  


You’ll be on your feet a lot during the trip and walking over uneven and slippery surfaces. We recommend you wear sturdy walking shoes, light hiking boots, or similar supportive shoes that offer good traction. All hotels have slippers.  

Style Hints:

Dress on our trips is functional and casual, consisting of basic pants or everyday skirts, shirts, and sportswear. You may wish to select a color scheme and pack color-coordinated pants, shirts, skirts, sweaters, etc. that can be mixed to create different outfits. In November-February, you will want a light to warm jacket and perhaps gloves and a hat. It is very easy to buy beautiful scarves and hats in Dali and outdoor wear such as The North Face. Leave any valuable jewelry or clothing at home.

Daily Essentials:

Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hairbrush or comb, shaving items, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, shower cap, body soap, etc. in small travel sizes. If you forget these items, most hotels that we frequent will have extras. We also have hair dryers in each room.

Miscellaneous items:

  • Spare eyeglasses/contact lens/spare prescription
  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen, SPF 15 or stronger
  • Travel money bag or money belt
  • Photocopies of passport, air ticket, credit cards
  • Extra passport-sized photos
  • Moisturizer and sun-blocking chapstick
  • Pocket-size tissues
  • Moist towelettes and/or anti-bacterial water-free hand cleanser

Personal Medical Kit

  • Your own prescription medicines and over-the-counter painkillers
  • Cold remedies, laxatives, stomach-relief, diarrhea, and allergy medicines
  • Vitamins
  • Band-Aids and moleskin foot pads
  • Neosporin or bacitracin
  • Optional: Prescription medicines for altitude sickness, motion sickness, or severe pain

Optional Gear

  • Camera gear and batteries
  • Travel alarm or travel watch with alarm
  • Lightweight binoculars
  • Basic sewing kit
  • Reading materials
  • Travel journal / address book and pens
  • Favorite snacks
  • Chinese phrase book
  • Folding walking staff (can be found in most camping stores).
  • Pocket-size calculator for exchange rates
  • Mosquito repellent

Please note:

Voltage in China is 220 (US is 110); most hotels will have one outlet in the bathroom for a shaver and will have a hair dryer available.


Do you have a book list?   The Centre has an extensive English library with books highlighting Chinese culture as well as English language novels to borrow during your stay. Click Here to download a listing of our book (and several movie) recommendations.


Can you accommodate travelers with special diets? Yes, we can usually accommodate special dietary requirements.  Please notify us before your departure date of any special needs.


Can I use my cell phone in China?  Check with your cell phone provider before coming to China. Several US plans now allow you to receive and make calls on your cell phone. You are able to make and receive international phone calls from the Centre, it is best if you bring along a prepaid calling card. If you bring your own laptop, you can use our wireless Internet for free in your room and in the Centre. Voice over IP programs such as Skype work just fine. We also have one computer in the Centre to use for free.  You can receive mail at the Centre.

Mailing Address

The Linden Centre No. 5 Chengbei Xizhou Town Dali City, Yunnan, China 671004 喜林苑 云南 大理 喜洲 城北村5号 671004