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Xiamen

Chinese city garden, Xiamen

Practical Info about Xiamen

Getting around the city

Xiamen has long been recognised as having one of the best public transport networks in China. Foremost among the modes of transport is the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system, which runs on exclusive roads and tunnel networks. The system is accompanied by an extensive fleet of shuttles that connect BRT stations with their surrounding areas, an extensive public bus system, as well as a long-distance bus system linking Xiamen with major cities across China. The city's railway system is also an efficient mode of transport and is integrated into the national rail network, meaning that most major cities are accessible to commuters. Cycling along the city's beachfront is also a popular way of getting around, while taxis are also widely available. Travellers should, however, be cautioned that English isn't widely spoken and is absent from the majority of signs (including buses), making it necessary to plan ahead carefully.

Time

Local time is GMT +8.

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Plug types vary but the two-pin flat blade and oblique three-pin flat blade plugs are common. Adapters are generally required.

Currency

China currency is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY), which is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can only be exchanged within China's borders. Foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most Western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities, but acceptance may be limited in more rural areas. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities.

Communication

The international dialling code for China is +86. Phone cards are widely available and calls can be made from post offices and hotels; phone booths on the streets are usually for local calls only. In hotels, local calls are generally free or will be charged only a nominal fee. Mobile phone networks are very advanced and Chinese networks have roaming agreements with most non-North American international operators. Internet cafes are available in most main towns.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 110 (Police); 120 (Ambulance - Beijing)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan - 3 Jan
Spring Festival 31 Jan - 6 Feb 19 Feb - 25 Feb
May Day 1 May - 3 May 1 May - 3 May
Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day) 5 Apr - 7 Apr 4 Apr - 6 Apr
Dragon Boat Festival 31 May - 2 Jun 20 Jun - 22 Jun
Mid-Autumn Festival 6 Sep - 8 Sep 26 Sep - 28 Sep
Peoples Republic of China birthday 1 Oct - 3 Oct 1 Oct - 3 Oct

Climate

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Xiamen has a subtropical monsoon climate with warm, humid summers, and temperate, relatively dry winters. The wettest period of the year occurs between spring and early summer, and is characterised by light to moderate rains and thunderstorms. The weather becomes warm, dry and comparatively sunny in late summer, and stays that way for the most part throughout autumn. Summer temperatures tend to range between 73°F (23°C) and 91°F (33°C) at the height of the warm season in July. The coldest part of the year occurs between the end of January and the middle of February, with temperatures of between 50°F (10°C) and 62°F (17°C). The most humid period of the year occurs between the end of June and late August, reaching levels as high as 95 percent. Xiamen can be visited all year round but travellers should be advised that typhoons are most likely between July and September.

Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport

www.xmairport.com.cn

Getting to the city

Shuttle buses to downtown Xiamen are located outside the Arrivals Hall; the fare is RMB 6. There are several city bus routes from the airport, including the ferry station (Bus 27), the railway station (Bus 37), the Bonded Area (Bus 41), Lian hua Er Cun (Bus 81), and the Exhibition Centre (Bus 91).

Car rental

There are no car hire facilities at Xiamen Airport; however, rental agencies are located in the city.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are available outside the Arrivals Hall. Fares are charged at RMB 8 for the first 1.8 miles (3km), and RMB 2 per 0.6 mile (1km) thereafter. A 50 percent surcharge is added for journeys of more than five miles (8km).

Facilities

The terminal features a bank, post office, medical centre, baby room, lost and found, public telephones, smoking areas, disabled services, luggage storage facility, first-class and VIP lounges, a business centre, massage chairs, and an entertainment hall. There are also several coffee shops, Chinese and Western-style restaurants, and a number of duty-free and souvenir shops.

Parking

There are two ground-level car parks and an underground facility. Parking is charged at RMB 8 for the first hour, and RMB 2 every 30 minutes thereafter. Daily parking is RMB 100 for the first day, and RMB 50 per subsequent day.

Internet

Free wifi is available at Ishijah Coffee, and the VIP lounges provide wifi for members.