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 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 our Academy which will be email 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. Fast postage costs about $50 (each country is different and will arrive in max 10 days) while slow postage can be about $15 (arrive within one month or more – please note that this kind of postage is not secure and is not registered).
Please check www.visaforchina.org for exact details on visa applications for China in your country.
We offer two locations for your Kung Fu training: Shaolin Temple and Maitreya Temple, therefore you will travel differently for both locations.
HOW TO TRAVEL TO SHAOLIN TEMPLE
The arrival city for your pick-up is ZHENGZHOU or LUOYANG. If you paid the application fee, you are entitled to the free pick-up from the airport / train station. We do not offer the drop-off in the application fee. If you wish to book with us the drop-off to the airport / train station we charge a fee of 400 RMB.
You will need to book airplane tickets to BEIJING, SHANGHAI or any International airports in Mainland China. From the locations mentioned you must travel to ZHENGZHOU either by airplane or fast train. From the airports such HONG KONG, PHUKET and DUBAI you can fly directly to ZHENGZHOU.
Polite note: We offer the pick-up from 6 am to 9 pm. If your airplane arrives out of the hours mentioned please make sure you book a hotel. The next day we will organize the pick-up from your hotel in stand. You must provide us with the hotel address (Chinese) and phone number.
For details on travel inside China please check: www.ctrip.com
HOW TO TRAVEL TO MAITREYA TEMPLE
The arrival city for your pick-up is MILE. If you paid the application fee, you are entitled to the free pick-up from the train / bus station. We do not offer the drop-off in the application fee. If you wish to book with us the drop-off to the bus / train station we charge a fee of 70 RMB. If you wish to book your drop-off to KUNMING airport we charge a fee of 120 RMB (taxi fee) and 10 RMB booking fee (call charge). Please note that the taxis in South of China are running on shared ride basis.
The arrival airport in China is KUNMING. From KUNMING you must travel to MILE either by bus or fast train. How to travel from KUNMING airport to MILE – we will provide you with full details sent to your e-mail.
From the airports such HONG KONG, PHUKET, CHANG MAI and DUBAI you can fly directly to KUNMING.
Polite note: We offer the pick-up from MILE starting from 6 am to 9.30 pm (weekends 10 pm is acceptable). If you arrive out of the hours mentioned please make sure you book a hotel. The next day we will organize the pick-up from your hotel in stand. You must provide us with the hotel address (Chinese) and phone number.
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 indicated 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 or Maitreya 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.
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 cannot surf freely the net. 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 Academy. 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 Academy 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. Maitreya Temple is closed at evening time from 8.30 pm and has guards to protect the area.
In the Academy the uniform is compulsory. We have winter and summer uniform. The winter uniform is a training suit which costs 110 RMB. The summer uniform consists of Shaolin Uniform (grey), black trousers and T-shirt. The cost is 200 RMB. If you wish to buy Kung Fu shoes they cost 25 to 30 RMB (depending on the size of your foot).
The uniform is used during the training time. In your free time you can use your own clothing (Shaolin Temple). For Maitreya Temple you cannot use your own clothing for the free time – the location of the school is inside the Temple walls. For summer is advisable to use lose trousers and T-shirts. Shaolin Temple location is closed for winter time. We train in winter only in Maitreya Temple. The winter is mild and the lower temperature is 15 degrees. During winter you will need some warm clothing such as: thermal underwear, fleece, jacket and jumper. You can bring special shoes (not necessary) for hiking.
Polite note for students: Maitreya Temple location is inside 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.
In Shaolin Temple area the summer has temperatures which go up to 42 degrees and most of the time is drought. This means there is lack of running water for cooking and proper hygiene. In this situation we offer our alternative location in Maitreya Temple. From November up to April, our location inside the Shaolin Temple will not receive students.
Maitreya Temple has a very fortunate location weather wise. The summer has a max of 32 degrees (mid day) and winter has a min of 15 degrees. Maitreya 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.