What to do before going to China

Apart from finding an interpreter in China, some common questions arise: how to book tickets to China, how and where to get a visa. Travel agencies or airlines sell tickets to China. Please note that only Chinese airlines offer visas on arrival in China. If you choose any other travelling option, you need to get the visa to China in advance directly at the Chinese Consulate or via a travel agent.

I always book tickets for trips around China via Ctrip (www.ctrip.com). It is convenient that you can pay for the tickets with Visa or Mastercard from any city and any country. I order tickets mainly for home delivery and pay in cash. Then I can check the accuracy of the information on the e-ticket.

I often help my clients to book tickets for traveling around China as it can be difficult for them to arrange their business trip around China in a convenient way. They may also wonder what time to book air tickets to match the flights with their train and bus rides.

When talking of visiting China, I advise my clients to plan the trip beforehand if possible. I require payment in advance as my work depends only on my clients: whether they come here or not. When I have an arrangement for interpretation services with a client, I reject other offers. So if the flight is canceled suddenly or the client’s plans has changed, my time as well as my income may be lost. They say time is money. Mercenary as it may sound, I build my work this way. Like any other interpreter in China, I value time—mine and my clients’.