Travel Tips

Telecommunications

Mobile Phones

You can use your mobile phone in Beijing if your phone unlocked. There are mobile phone shops all over the city that sell China SIM cards and numbers. When you buy phone time and pay as you go, the rates are generally very cheap, you can buy phone time at the mobile phone shop, newspaper kiosks and convenience stores. If your phone is locked then you can buy a new phone as well as a SIM card at the mobile phone shops. Because almost everyone in China has a mobile phone the coverage is extensive in the city. If you need to buy a phone or get a SIM card there are kiosks at the airport. The two major mobile phone networks in China are China Mobile and China Unicom.

Internet Access

(woman with laptop)

There are many internet cafes to get access to the internet, the fee is around CNY3 to CNY10. As well, most larger hotels have computers with internet access available for guests. Major hotels and internet cafes have a wireless network that you can access with your laptop. You can use dialup access from your laptop as well, you don’t need an ISP (Internet Service Provider) because China has an ISP in the phone system. The phone line will get billed, you will get the phone number, login and password from the owner of the phone line.

(Public phone booth) Public phone booth.

Phone Calls

International calls dialing out: 00 | country code | area code | number. There are many roadside public phones, look for the IDD signs. IDD calls have a three minute minimum charge.

Direct long distance calls (DDD): 0 | area code | number. Look for public phones that are marked DDD or IDD.

Long distance calling cards: You can buy a long distance calling cards called an IP card from convenience stores and newspaper stands. All you need to do is dial up the local access number and then use the PIN number on the back of the long distance calling card. The rates are usually cheaper than calling from a landline.

Newspapers

China Daily is the only English language newspaper. The paper is published daily with a weekend edition on Sunday, you can find it in most hotels, bookstores, and on the street.

Radio

China Radio International is government-owned and the only national broadcasting radio station that broadcasts to the world. Radio programming includes music, news, cultural topics, science and technology, celebrity and entertainment news, world entertainment news, world news, sports, etc. The English channels are 88.7 FM and 91.5 FM as well as 846 AM and 1008 AM, you can also listen to some programming online.

Television

China Central Television (CCTV) broadcasts in English 24 hours a day. Most large hotels have satellite TV that receive 100s of channels from all over the world.