- Q. Getting Around In China
- Despite the fact that China has opened up for almost 30 years and is improving on almost every aspect, one still needs to be careful in venturing out on your own in particular during night time in small cities, although incidents involving violent crime against foreigners are extremely rare, petty crime such as pickpocketing is very common, in particular in crowded locations such as the border, bus or train station.
It’s always a good idea to keep a copy of your hotel’s address and telephone number, for instance, keeping a hotel’s matchbox while traveling and in some extreme cases, your consulate’s direct line will also come in handy (you never know!) as most police do not generally speak much other languages.
Also, try to ascertain the time and costs required for the taxi from friends or with the staff of the hotel or club beforehand.
Always leave your passport, valuables and a small amount of cash with the hotel’s safe (you’ll need this spare money if you get mugged).
- Q. What about Taxi?
- Taxi are cheap and abundant, you can pay by the meter* on shorter trips (less than 30 minutes ride). But if you take a longer journey – get the staff of the hotel or club to negotiate a set fare before getting on, sometimes you can save up to 20 – 30%.
Pen and paper would also be useful if you intend to negotiate the fare personally (some of my estimates are in the review), also show the address of the club before you get on and if he is uncertain where the club is, change another one! you have no obligation to play merry go-around with him.
Alternatively, you can use the Hotels or Clubs’ Limo Service (mostly Japanese cars), they are usually better maintained and cleaner but would cost 20 to 30% more than taxi.
- Q. Can You Play On Private Golf Course?
- Although most of the clubs are private, visitors from overseas should still be able to book and play during weekdays and even holidays and weekends ….. with few exceptions.
Also, some may offer discounted green fees to groups, during promotion or ‘Trial Play’ so it’s a good idea to give these clubs or call a local golf agency such as ourselves before you plan your trip.
- Q. Visa
- Visitors must have a valid passport & visa for China. Visas can be arranged at any major point of entry, but are easily obtained (in 1 working day) at travel agencies in Hong Kong. Applicants must provide 2 passport-size photos, passport (valid for at least another 6 months) and a fee, which varies according to processing time (1-3 days). Extensions can be arranged within China from local Public Security Bureau stations. Heavy fines are levied with expired visas.
Finally, don’t forget to get & fill up one of those “Entry Form” when you arrive at the border before queuing up if you transit from Hong Kong, otherwise you’ll have to go back to the queue again.
- Q. Tipping Caddies
- While tipping caddies is optional but a small tip of about 100 RMB (about 10 -15 US) will be appreciated for each caddy with ‘standard’ service for both walking course or course with electric cart in China, I tend to tip a little more on a walking course (my bag is on the heavy side…) or happy with their service.
Tipping caddies in Hong Kong is a little more between HK$100 or 150 (15 to 20 US.)
- Q. Golf shoes
- Most clubs now have soft spike only policy.
- Q. Currency Exchange
- Renminbi (RMB) is China’s currency, which comes in coins and 2, 5, 10, 50 & 100 notes, do keep an eye out for the increasingly common counterfeits when you shop from vendors.
Unfortunately, Renminbi is not a fully convertible international currency yet and only limited amount of people accepts RMB in Hong Kong & Macau so only exchange what you need.
- Q. Use Of Carts
- Unless mentioned otherwise in my review, use of caddy as well as electric or diesel powered carts are mandatory and can only be used on cart path only.
- Q. What Are Those GIF files on course reviews?
- The GIF file you see underneath the English address of each review, it’s the Name & Address of each club in Chinese, print them out if you intend to get around in China.
I hope the information above will be useful, if you need to know more or other details, please feel free to drop me a line.
- Q. How to get to Lok Ma Chau (Yellow Bus Stop) from Shatin side
- 1. If you are driving from Shatin side, follow Tai Po Highway (route 3) until you see the road sign below,
stay left, you need to use Exit 9A.
2. Go up this slope.
3. Turn right at the end of the slope.
4. Turn left and down the slope, you will reach the Yellow bus station in 1 minute or so, there is a big carpark opposite.