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Posted: 10/27/2004 6:02:03 PM EDT
My buddy , if you remember is dying of ALS, is giving his last hopes to a "miracle" procedure that is being done in China. He asked me to go with him. They have had success with some, and not with others. The affects are reversed in most of the patients lasting from 3 months, to 18 months now for the earliest patients. What does he have to lose? It's going to cost him an arm and a leg. Here is a sight for a Harley raffle that they are putting on for him if your interested.

Harley raffle

I will be going with him within the next couple of months. Can anyone give me some tips on traveling to Beijing China? I have ordered my passport, and I know not to drink the water. Anything else? How is the crime there? Do I need personal protection? What are the neighborhoods to avoid? Or should I just stay in the hotel and hospital? Obviously I have never been out of the country!

I found on the web that I also need a visa. Is that true? Is that something I need to get long before I go, or do I get it at the airport when I leave?

Thank you
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 6:16:44 PM EDT
Yes, you will definitely require a visa. Get that taken care of ASAP, as you'd have to do it by mail to one of their consulates in the US:


Link Posted: 10/27/2004 6:28:36 PM EDT
I had to go to Beijing for work about three years ago. Everywhere I went they had police/soldiers all over. Find out if the hotel has a shuttle service to the airport. Change your money at the hotel.

Don't drink the water including out of the faucets in your room. Don't eat at any of the street vendors. Have a good trip, enjoy the sights, and I hope the best for your friend.

Link Posted: 10/27/2004 7:45:41 PM EDT
Don't worry about crime in China, I left piles of money out in my hotel room and nothing was ever touched. Bicycles were left unlocked, street vendors would leave their stuff unattended for short periods of times. They don't wear their hats backwards or sideways and they keep their pants up too. I thought the people were friendly and I always felt comfortable. Quite a few people know a little English are happy to try it out on you.

I was there in February and the hotels had stopped changing money. There are little banks near the big hotels where you change money. You get your best rate of exchange with cash, and they like new bills. Go to your bank or CU and get new $100 bills. I had brought some traveler checks but banks really take their time with them. Wouldn't do it again. When shopping, everything is negotiable. Even in fancy stores bargain. Never buy anything without starting to walk away first. You can get a third off of anything anywhere and sometimes I would get 70% off asking price.

Don't be afraid to take a cab and explore. Get the Hotel concierge to write things down for you like locations and give it to the cab driver. I road all around Beijing in cabs and never spent more than $2 per ride.

The only good American food there is pizza or pasta. Their hamburgers look good but taste strange. The Chinese food is nothing like our Chinese food. Only the fried rice comes close. Don’t ever order fish.
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