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Going to the Olympics – Travel advice

The Foreign Office has issued advice to travellers intending to go to China this Summer for the Beijing Olympic Games which begin on 8th August 2008 and run until August 24th.  The Beijing Paralympic games will also take place between 6th and 17th September.  Timely reminders include to make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months when you enter China and you will also need to obtain a visa in advance from the Chinese Embassy in London.  If you’re travelling from mainland China to Hong Kong you will need a double or multiple entry visa to get back onto the mainland.  Tickets for Olympic events should only be bought from official suppliers.  The only supplier in the UK is Sportsworld.  They also recommend that you have proof of your accommodation before you travel and you shouldn’t arrive in China without a hotel reservation or other confirmed accommodation.  Do remember most hotels in Olympics cities have been booked up months in advance.  Once in China, carry your passport with you at all times as police may carry out random checks and do leave copies of your passport and other important documents at the hotel and take another copy with you.  Avoid public demonstrations and do not distribute political literature – you may be arrested if you do so without permission from the Chinese authorities.  Public displays of drunkenness are generally unacceptable and are likely to cause offence.  Taxis are plentiful and generally safe but avoid taxis which try to negotiate a price before your journey – all taxis are fitted with meters.  A Taxi Book is available from most bookshops and you can use it to show your driver where you want to go.  The underground is also a cheap and safe way to get around and you need to buy a ticket from the kiosk before getting on a train.  Most taxis and private cars won’t be allowed near the main Olympic areas, so it’s best to use public transport when travelling to events.  For those intending travelling to Beijing this Summer, it is well worth checking the FCO’s website for up to date travel advice before you go and whilst you are there.  This article is brought to you by travelandinsure.com – specialist in ethical travel insurance.

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