Sunday, July 13, 2008

How Much Will It Cost to Visit China?

More than I was expecting... We decided to fly via Hong Kong as Snork Maiden doesn't need a visa to visit there (she's a PRC citizen) and it was cheaper than either a direct flight or a trip via Bangkok, our other favored destination. We'll be in Tianjin and Beijing for a week each roughly and three days in Hong Kong on the way back. In the end each of our airfares is coming to $A1,888.00 - paying by credit card costs an extra 1.9%. I made a deposit of $A300 using a credit card but plan on paying the rest via BPay (an Australian online electronic payment system) - we can pay BPay from our credit card account - not sure if that results in avoiding the fee or not... The basic flight cost is $A1,240 and then there are $A397 in taxes and fees and $A251 to fly between Sydney and Canberra roundtrip...

Then we need to pay for a hotel in Hong Kong and thinking about travel insurance. I always make sure I have health coverage when visiting the US, but otherwise have usually not taken out travel insurance. Not sure if it is worthwhile for China/HK. The only thing I think it is worth paying insurance for are health issues where expenses can become astronomical if you are unlucky. Three nights at a decent hotel in HK seems likely to be around $A600 in the period we are visiting in. I already rejected one of the cheaper options the travel agent suggested as people much shorter than me were complaining about the length of the beds on Trip Advisor. I also need to pay $A70 for a PRC visa - the first time I will ever need to get a visa for a short term trip... (I'm a UK and Australian citizen).

The good news is that Snork Maiden's airfare will be paid for by the organizer of the conference she is going to and so will our hotel (except the final night) in Beijing. In Tianjin we will stay with her family.

So bottom line before incidental costs will be $A2,560. But we have to wait till after the trip for reimbursement of Snork Maiden's costs.

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