Mega metropolises, Forbidden Cities and rural communities that time forgot - China is a breathtaking whirlwind you have to see to believe. TINZ's China travel insurance covers you for cancellations, injuries, family emergencies and more. Scroll on down to learn about this popular travel destination, including visas, getting around, and the must-see spots to make your trip to China unforgettable.
Your health is our number one priority, so our expert emergency assistance team are available 24/7.
If you fall ill or natural disaster strikes and you have to cancel, we've got your back policies have you covered.
Delays can be frustrating (and expensive!). TINZ's Comprehensive policies cover those extra expenses while you wait.
Had to rush home or cancel due to a family emergency in China? No sweat - we’ll cover your lost deposits.
Whether it's a fender bender or stolen, our Comprehensive policies include $6000 in excess cover.
Taking gadgets on your China trip? We'll cover laptops and cameras up to $3000, and all other items up to $1000.
China is a big place! If you want to see it all, don't worry - with TINZ, you can be covered for up to 18 months!
Seeing Asia from the sea? At TINZ, cruise cover is automatically included at no extra charge.
Heading to China? Our travel experts let you in on the must-know tricks for making the most of your holiday. Keep reading to find out tips on visas, attractions where to eat, how to get around...and way more!
If you're staying for more than 72 hours, yes, you need a visa. And yes, as our experts can report, when getting a visa for China, the struggle is real. Everyone applying for one needs:
- A passport with at least six months validity (or at least 15 months validity if staying for 12 months)
- Visa application form and photo
- Photocopies of previous Chinese passports or visas (applicable to Kiwis who previously had Chinese citizenship)
- Original birth certificate and photocopy, and parents passports and photocopy (if a New Zealand-born child but of Chinese descent)
Most Kiwis apply for a Tourist (L), visiting family for more than 180 days (Q1) or visiting family for less than 180 (Q2) visa. Those visas also require:
- Return trip tickets
- Proof of hotel reservations, or invitation letters from relevant entity in China (this letter should include your name, gender, date of birth, information on planned visit, information on the inviting individual - name, phone number, address, official stamp or signature, and a photocopy of their Chinese ID or permanent resident permit)
Q1 or Q2 Visa:
- An invitation from a Chinese citizen or permanent resident, containing your full name, gender and date of birth.
- Information about your visit, including purpose, intended arrival and departure and itinerary.
- Information on the inviting family member (name, phone number, address, official stamp or signature) and a photocopy of their Chinese ID or permanent resident permit
- Original and photocopy of certification of relationship between you and the inviter (a birth certificate, certification of kinship, etc)
You've got all your documents - great! - now be prepared to wait! You have to take your documents to your local Chinese consultate and as our experts who visited the Auckland office recommend very strongly, get there early! 100 service tickets are issued every day from 9am, and if you're number 100, you might not be seen til noon.
China's climate is incredibly diverse, thanks to its huge geographical size and wide range of altitudes. As a general rule, autumn and spring have most temperate climates, so may be the best time to see the most of China. Smog can be a problem in megacities like Beijing, especially during their winter (November to February) when heating is in use. Whatever you do, don't try to travel China during the Luna New Year (the dates change, but it's usually late January to mid February). This is a major holiday period domestically, and expat families return home, so everything is inflated - parades, crowds and prices.
With such a big country, the number of places to visit can be daunting to a first-time traveller. Here are some of our favourites!
Ancient capital, Xian, is only 4.5 hours from Beijing via high-speed train - with getting to the airport early and significant ground transfers, the train end up being faster than flying! See historical sites from a historical site by spendin a few hours riding a bicycle around the centuries-old city walls, or you can hire a boat to see it from the South Gate moat! Of course, a trip to Xian must feature the Terracotta Warriors and Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum, but our experts recommend checking them out in reverse order (the mausoleum, then Pit K, the acrobatic figures, and then through to pits 2, 3 and 1), and going later in the day (after 2pm). Afterwards, why not visit the Muslim Quarter - a rich fusion of Muslim and Chinese cultures, with a main street that will make your mouth water!
For an instagram/vertigo-inducing classic, make the daytrip from Xian out to Hua Sha, where you can make a death-defying ascent supported only by a harness and a wooden plank drilled into the rockface. Slightly less adventurous? Why not try the cable car for a simply awe-inspiring trip through the mountains.
While less well known than their Japanese neighbours, China has a growing skiing culture. The biggest and best of the ski resorts is probably Yabuli Ski Resort, in Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China. With trails with drops up to 1200 metres, this is an advanced skiier's playground. Not in China long? Why not visit Beijing Huaibei Ski Resort - about an hour out of Beijing, you can go skiing surrounded by the Great Wall!
Zhangjiajie features breathtalking walks and river rafting through forests and sheer rockface drops. On particularly cloudy or misty days, it can appear that the mountains are floating.
Want to see the breadth of cultures which call China home? Visit Guizhou, one of the most diverse places in China. Home to more than 13 ethnic groups, you will find a rich range of lifestyles, cuisines, traditional dress and politics - some cultures here are strongly matriarchal, for example.
And of course, be a tourist - while every visitor to China sees them, there are things in Beijing you simply can't see elsewhere in the world. So hike sections of the Great Wall - the non-renovated sections tend to be less crowded - and visit the Forbidden City.
China has consistently surprised us. When I returned from the United States many years ago, it was unimaginable that we would end up where we are now. What China has achieved defies all logic. I credit this to the hard work and enterprising spirit of the Chinese people.
- Zhang Xin, CEO of SOHO China
Going coastal? If you're hitting up Qingdao or Shanghai around September to November, you'll find steamed hairy crab - also known has Chinese mitten crab or Yangcheng Lake crab - everywhere! There's no butter here though - it's popularly dipped in ginger or dark vinegar. At around $100/kg in some places, this delicacy is so sought after, some restaurants even sell fakes! Pair it with huangjiu wine for a traditional local combo.
If that's all a bit too fancy for your palate, try roujiamo - shredded meat between steamed read - Xian's answer to the hamburger. Or try yangrou paomo, a crumbed flat bread in lamb stew that is popular in the city's Muslim Quarter.
Love dumplings? You're going to love soup dumplings - dumplings that are made holding soup inside them! Put them onto your soup spoon using chopsticks and take a bite - the flavour will literally burst out! Be careful; they're hot!
Want to try a beloved delicacy that smells bad enough to evacuate a building? Durian might just be for you. The spiky fruit can be larger than a rugby ball, and depending on who you speak to, it either tastes like and has the texture of vanilla custard, or it smells like someone has been smuggling a boys' locker room in an old bowling shoe.
Our travel experts can't go past dan dan noodles when they visit China. With a spicy sauce of spring onions, chilli oil, vegies and minced pork, this tasty dish is a soul-waming comfort food in the vein of mac and cheese or bangers and mash.
China has a large (and ever-growing) network of airlines and airports, most of which with English-language websites. With a surplus of seats, domestic flights are rarely booked out, and a great way to see the must-see spots in your guidebook.
It also has one of the largest rail networks in the world. From old, slow carriages that will get you out to rural outposts, to HSR trains which connect the largest cities at a cool 200km/h, the network is very popular with tourists and commuters alike. Be sure to book ahead, especially if you're looking for sleeper berths on popular routes.
Buses take longer, but can be much cheaper, so they can be the go-to for backpacker with a low budget and plenty of time.
Looking to hire four wheels for a self-driving holiday? Flat chance. To hire a car, you must have a Chinese driver's licence (an International Driver's Permit is not enough) and be able to read Chinese characters. If that's you, you can hire a car in the major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, but the real question is 'why would you?' The gridlocked traffic can be stressful for visitors, so why not hire a local car and driver. A local English-speaking driver can be very affordable, and whether you're in a hotel or a hostel, they'll be able to connect you with one.
Staying in one city? Why not do as the locals do - bicycles remain a very popular way to get around. Just remember to wear a helmet!
Hate the anxious shop around for the best rates on currency exchange? Good news everyone - China has a fixed exchange rate across the whole country, so whether you're at the airport or inside a local bank, the exchange rate is the same.
If you want to travel China when half a billion other people are travelling, then go during the 'Golden Weeks' - around the Luna New Year and National Day (October 1st). Be warned - vacant hotel rooms will be hard to find and hard on your back pocket, and trains might be standing room only!
It's really easy to get caught in a public toilet without toilet paper, so be sure to carry your own at all time, or regularly stock up on a stash of serviettes!
Travelling often means stepping out of your comfort zone, especially in a bustling place like China. Flight delays, medical misadventures, missed connections and lost luggage can put a freeze on your travel plans! Make sure you're covered for a range of travel disasters regardless of destination.
With the pace of China, it's no surprise that accidents can happen, so protecting your health (and back pocket!) with travel insurance is a must! With travel insurance from TINZ, you have unlimited coverage for any medical misadventure, and access to a 24/7 team of medical experts who can help consult (or translate) to make your stay in hospital smoother - we'll even fly you home to New Zealand if it's safe for you to travel.
When it comes to alcohol we understand that for some, there’s no better way to kick off a holiday than with a poolside cocktail (or two). However, we would exclude any claims involving drugs/or alcohol. Please note this exclusion is only applicable if it was your intoxication that resulted in the claim. Refer to our Policy Document to see a full list of exclusions.
Yes. At TINZ we cater for those who enjoy thrill-seeking activities. We cover a wide range of waters sports such as surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, kite surfing, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, water skiing & wakeboarding, stand up paddle boarding, jet skiing and more. Please refer to our Sports & Activities Cover for a full list of covered activities. This outlines activities requiring an additional premium and activities automatically covered for free.
We don’t cover outdoor rock climbing, hang-gliding, boating in international waters or any kind of professional or competition sports. For a full list of excluded activities please refer to the Policy Document.
Snow problem! With our Snow Ski add-on cover, you're able to ski or snowboard at any resort (provided it's open!) for on-piste activities, or for off-piste as long as you're with a licensed instructor.
It depends. We will pay up to $1,000 for standard individual single items and $3,000 for personal computers, video recorders or cameras. If you have an item that exceeds that, you can insure it separately up to $5,000. You are only able to cover an item of jewellery for up to $1,000. For more information on insuring specific items during your travels, please refer to our high value items page.
All of TINZ's travel insurance policies cover kids at no additional cost. Your child is eligible if they aren't in full time work, are under twenty one (19) years, travelling together with a parent or grandparent for 100% of the holiday, and are named on the Certificate of Insurance.
Do you visit China often? Or is it just one of the places you're visting this year? Save time and money by getting a frequent traveller trip to cover you you all year round.
Our annual frequent traveller multi-trip policy covers an unlimited number of trips over a 12 month period. You get the same level of cover as our comprehensive international plan, and can tailor your individual trip duration from 15 days up to 90 days. Please note this policy is only available for customers under the age of 64.