Traveling in China: Money

Obtaining Chinese Yuan proved to be fairly easy. I was simply able to contact my bank, a branch of BMO Harris, and order the Chinese currency. The bank had the currency for me in about 4 days. The bills came in denominations of 100, about $17.  While I originally figured I'd change the currency at the airport, several people who had gone to China recommended changing it beforehand as I would have enough to do with security on my way there and customs once in China.

There is about a 1/6 rate with $1 USD equal to 6-8 Chinese yuan, depending on when and from whom you get the exchange. According to the tour books, the Chinese prefer to trade in their own currency and, according to Road Scholar guidelines, I would need cash for taxis and meals when the tour group would be on its own. While major places would accept credit cards, many smaller places of business would not. I decided to carry enough cash to cover taxis, meals and small purchases. I had no plans to buy anything major except perhaps a painting and that I figured would be somewhere that I could use a credit card.

Filed under: China, Money

Tags: China, Currency, Travel

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    Carolyn Boiarsky

    " I am an American," but not "Chicago born" like Augie March. Only Chicago aged. I'd like to think that if Henry Louis Gates were to investigate my geneology, he would discover in my past three women who traveled around the globe, chronicling their adventures. Sarah Kemble Knight traveled 112 miles by carriage from Boston to New York in 1704, a journey most women did not embark on alone (and men did so only with some trepidation). In fact, women were only just beginning to exercise their independence in the 1920's when Emily Kimbrough took off with her friend, Cornelia Otis Skinner, to explore Europe. But it is Auntie Mame, transforming herself from a New Yorker to the wife of an Austrian Baron and climbing the Matterhorn, whose mantra I have adopted. "LIFE IS A BANQUET...LIVE!" I began travelling in the 1960's when I traveled around western Europe between graduating from the Univiersity of Pennsylvania and my first job as a statehouse correspondent for UPI (United Press International) in Charleston, West Virginia, which was about as foreign a place as Europe was to someone who grew up in the environs of Philadelphia. Since then, I've also traveled to Kaunas, Lithuania, to teach at Vytautus Magnus University and to Sheffield, England, to present a paper at an engineering conference. I've been to the Alps and seen Auntie Mame's Matterhorn while climbing, by a series of cable cars rather than by foot, toward the peak of Mont Blanc. For 10 years my husband and traveled to unique places: a sheep farm during lambing season in England's Lake Country, a hotel on one of the Barromeo Islands in the middle of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, and a cottage in Dun Quin on the Dingle Peninsula which the Irish claim is the last parish before Boston. Between excursions, I'm a professor in the Department of English at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana,. My husband passed away recently and, Auntie Mame-style, I am in the process of transforming myself. I've joined a tour to Central Asia and traveled to China to work with the pandas. This year I'm on my way back to Europe--Inreland, England, and France--to present a paper at a Conference and then visit friends. A new adventure. Old friends. Another banquet.

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