THIS GUIDE IS DESIGNED TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIP TO CHINA.
A foreign citizen travelling to China requires a visa. You can apply for visa in your country or abroad.
Short term students need to apply for Business or Tourist visa while long term students will apply for X2 student visa for max of 6 months. For more than 6 months study, the Academy will help you to renew your visa to cover all your study period.
For the visa you need a signed Invitation Letter from the Temple which will be emailed to you. Please check in advance if you require an original letter. Sending to you an original letter will have an additional fee which you must pay ($50 – each country is different and will arrive in max 10 days). Please check www.visaforchina.org for exact details on visa applications for China in your country.
The arrival airport is Kunming International Airport. We do not offer pick up. It is very easy to travel to us. As you exit the arrival area, you must go the taxi section. We advice you that is best to have the Temple’s details in Chinese characters and show to the driver. He should call us to explain him where to drop you. The fare is between 80 – 120 RMB.
A great app to use in China for communication which will not require VPN is wechat. This is another way to keep connected to us to make your arrival safe. Is is a good idea for your friends and family to download this app too.
Polite note: Is your flight arrives at 7 pm, you still have time to travel to the Temple. Please make sure your arrival at the Temple is not later than 9 pm. The Temple gates close and we will not be able to receive you.
If you arrive out of the hours mentioned, please make sure you book a hotel. For details on travel inside China please check: www.ctrip.com.
TRAINING PLAN PRIOR ARRIVAL
Some students wish to prepare physically before arrival. You are advised to do any kind of exercise which you enjoy such as: jogging, hiking, swimming, tennis and/or any other sports. You can make a plan to do sit ups, push up, squats, weight lifting so on. Flexibility is also very important for training therefore doing Yoga or stretching exercises will benefit you a lot. If before you arrive you have not done any physical activity, you should expect to have some muscle pain. This is normal for the first week of training and will pass very soon.
HEALTH & INSURANCE
Kung Fu training means an intense physical activity and injury can occur. Before arrival is compulsory that you have a medical examination in order to make sure you can do high intensity exercise. Even if you cannot attend the most intense programs you still can train in internal styles which are less intense.
There are no vaccinations needed for China in the Shaolin Temple area. You should check with your doctor before your trip to see if they recommend any vaccinations.
There are health precautions you should be aware in China:
- Water: Avoid drinking tap water. You should boil the water before drinking or just buy bottled water. Wash fruits with boiled and cooled down water or peel them. Avoid buying water and ice from street vendors.
- Food: Do not eat street food or avoid restaurants where hygiene is questionable. It’s best to avoid salads, unpeeled fruits and raw seafood. Always wash your hands before eating.
- Avoid touching street animals. There might be contaminated with rabies.
- Do not share needles (be especially careful with acupuncture in small cabinets).
- Do not swim in fresh water because it might be contaminated with schistosomiasis.
Medicine to bring with you:
- Anti diarrhea
- Ibuprofen or pain relievers for headache, toothache, muscular, cold, menstrual cramps and fever
- Electrolytes for hydration (summer only or if you sweat a lot)
It is recommended to get insurance while you train with us. A Comprehensive Travel Insurance is considered a must have.
MONEY & BANKING
It is very important that you inform your bank of your travel and the length of stay. You can use your card at ATM at Bank of China. Some cards will not work at ATM Bank of China. If you are in that position you can try some other banks such as: China Construction Bank or ICBS. The amount you will be able to withdraw in one day does not exceed 5000 RMB (for some cards) and 2500 RMB (for most of them).
Long term students are advised to open a Bank account while in China because will save you a lot of time and you can receive money more easily. Also it is advisable to have one of your parents as the second person on the card (this is in case you have difficulty to use the card while in China).
If you bring cash with you, make sure the notes are in good condition as they will not exchange them for you.
Note for US students: Be aware that old notes for 100$ cannot be exchanged anymore in China. If you wish to pay with them the fee of the Academy they will not be accepted.
The usual communication while in China is by phone or internet. Long term students are advised to buy a local sim card. Cheap sim cards cannot be used to call abroad. To communicate with your family you can use Skype, Viber, We chat, Whats app or any other program which allows international communication.
In China you will need a VPN to view website such as: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google so on. We can advise you on the best solution for VPN while in China.
SAFETY IN CHINA
China is a safe country in general. You must obey the Chinese Law and listen to the advice given in the Temple. Use your common sense and do not adventure going around with people you never met before or use cabs which are not legal. Keep your travel documents and your money safe.
The Temple does not allow outside people to enter the premises for safety reasons. Is indicated to keep the contact with the locals to strict conversation level. Chinese culture is very different from Western one and what you say or might do can offend people around you. Is best to make an effort and learn about customs and culture. Shaolin Temple is closed at evening time from 8.00 pm and has guards to protect the area.
In the Temple the uniform is compulsory. The uniform consists of Shaolin Uniform (grey) and T-shirt. The cost is 180 RMB. If you wish to buy Kung Fu shoes they cost 30 RMB.
The uniform is used during the training time. In your free time you can use your own clothing. For summer is advisable to use lose trousers and T-shirts. The winter is mild and the mid temperature is 15 degrees. During winter you will need some warm clothing such as: thermal underwear, fleece, jacket and jumper.
Polite note for students: Kunming Shaolin Temple location is a Buddhist Temple therefore every student must respect the dress code. The dorm is just across the monks and nuns quarters. We politely requests female students to do not wear short skirts, transparent or low cut tops. During the training time you must make sure to keep the T-shirt on at all times. Male students are not allowed to remove their T-shirt and walk topless around the dorm area. We apologize for the inconvenience created.
Please make sure you check the weather forecast before departure if you arrive for short term. The weather in China is different from year to year, therefore it will be difficult for us to tell you for sure what will happens during your stay with us. However, there are some common characteristics you should consider.
Kunming Shaolin Temple has a very fortunate location weather wise. The summer has a max of 30 degrees (mid day) and winter has a mid of 15 degrees. Shaolin Temple is open all year around.
These are just an indication based on previous years and does not mean it will always follow this pattern.