China Booking Pack: Shanghai | The Dragon Trip

Your China Booking Pack

Starting in Shanghai

The Dragon Trip is the all-encompassing, flexible trip for adventurers seeking to discover the real China, showing you the very best parts – including cultural, historical and adrenaline-inducing attractions, jaw dropping scenery, and mind-blowing nightlife! Over the next few weeks, it’s our goal to show you a side of China you’ll remember forever.

Joining your tour in Shanghai

Meeting Point

There is a pre-departure briefing at 1:30pm in the public area of the Dayin International Youth Hostel on the 2nd floor. Here you can meet your Adventure Leader and the rest of your first group. Later on, you will transfer to Shanghai South Railway Station, for the train to Guilin. One Adventure Leader will put you on the train, and another Adventure Leader will collect you off the train in Guilin.

Your hostel’s address:

Dayin International Youth Hostel (The Bund Branch) 
No 98 Liuhe Road Shanghai, Huangpu,
200000 Shanghai, China 
青年旅舍 (上海南京路人民广店)   黄浦区六合路98号 

Telephone: +86 138 1620 7028

If you have any queries or issues with your trip, email our Ops team on

We can collect you from the airport

We can arrange an airport transfer to pick you up from Shanghai airport and drop you off at your hostel for an additional cost. If you are planning on spending additional time in Shanghai before your trip starts, we are also able to book pre-trip accommodation for you. To find out more, email

How to get to your Hostel:

By metro:

If you’re alighting at People’s Square Metro Station: Take EXIT 19. Walk along the Middle Xizang Road (西藏中路) in the northern direction. Then turn right at Ningbo Road (宁波路) and directly left again to Liuhe Road (六合路). You will find the hostel on the right-hand side. 

By taxi:

From Shanghai Pudong Airport – taxi for 190 RMB, for about 50 minutes 
From Shanghai Hongqiao Airport – taxi for 75 RMB, for about 25 minutes 
From Shanghai Railway Station (上海火车站) – taxi for 30RMB, for about 15 minutes 
From Shanghai South Railway Station (上海火车南站) – taxi for 55 RMB, for about 20 minutes 


Please don’t forget your insurance! It’s compulsory to have travel insurance on all our Dragon Trips. Please bring details of your travel insurance along with you to the pre-departure briefing. In the event of an accident, we may need to contact your insurance company on your behalf, so we will need the insurance company’s name and phone number, as well as your policy number.

Please make sure your insurance offers ‘Bad Weather or Natural Disaster Coverage’.

Please fill out our online emergency contact and insurance form:


Don’t forget your passport!

Have you sent us your passport details?

The Dragon Trip needs your passport copy to book accommodation and transport tickets in advance of your trip.

Please ensure that you passport is valid for six months of onward travel, with a spare page for every country you plan on visiting (all those stamps!). If you need a new passport, make sure you send us your new passport details as soon as possible or you may experience some difficulties whilst on tour, or additional charges if we have to change your train tickets.

IMPORTANT: Do I need a visa?

When travelling to China for tourism, all travellers require a visa to gain entry. Applying for a tourism visa around 2 months before you travel should usually give you the time you need to get everything in order, so The Dragon Trip will provide you with your invitation letter at this point – this is a key piece of documentation you need when applying. Documentation requirements may differ between nationalities, so please make sure that you have checked what your specific needs are! You can find this information out using this link:
For several European & Asian countries, China has a policy that allows you to stay up to 15 days without a visa! These countries include Germany, France & the Netherlands. We’re expecting more countries to follow soon, but always make sure to check if you need a visa or not to be absolutely sure. For travellers from the United Kingdom, guidelines on applying can be found here:

If you require any of your documentation for application ahead of this timeline, or have any more detailed questions, please feel free to reach out to our team on

Keep in touch!

We want to hear all about your amazing travels across China.

Whether you’re on the tour or reliving your amazing experiences, be sure to use the hashtag #thedragontrip to join in with our amazing community of fellow Dragons.

In addition, if you tag our profile in your photo with the handle @thedragontrip, we might just feature it! We love to see all the fun you get up to on your adventures.

Lastly: if you don’t want to have your photos appear on our social platforms, please do email us to let us know.

Meet Your Fellow Dragons

As many of our Dragons travel solo, we want to take to make the process of meeting your fellow travellers as easy as possible. We create groups for every departure date in advance, meaning that you can get to know everyone on your tour before you hit the ground. WhatsApp, our usual platform, is non-functioning in China, so instead we use the Dingtalk app. Search for ‘Dingtalk’ on your app store, and set yourself up with an account on the app. You’ll then be sent a specific QR code which will add you to the group chat created specially for your trip. This will be your main source of communication with your group and Adventure Leaders whilst you’re on your tour in China.

You can also like us on Facebook and join ‘The Dragon Trip: Adventure Advice‘ Facebook group – here, you’ll be in a community of past, present, and future Dragons who can all share tips and advice.

Our Ultimate Packing Check List

On all of our trips you will be required to carry your own bags, so pack light. China has tonnes of local markets in case you forget something, and you can always borrow from others in your group – that’s what friends are for!

Please be aware that on trains in China, you  are not allowed to bring sprays or aerosols over 120ml on board – if you try to board with these, they’ll be taken off you! If you’d like to bring a power bank with you, do be aware that on trains in China, power banks must be under 20,000W, or they may be confiscated.


  • Passport (with a copy of the photo page)
  • Your Mainland China Visa
  • Insurance Details


  • Your credit/debit card (we suggest using ATMs to withdraw cash.)
  • Chinese Yuan

The Essentials:

  • First Aid Kit (with medicine for diarrhoea, paracetamol, disinfectant etc.)
  • Camera and charger
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts/skirts
  • Long pants (for hiking)
  • Long trousers and sleeved shirts (when visiting temples and some of the local villages)
  • Swimming costume
  • Flip-flops
  • Sensible walking shoes/hiking boots
  • Towel
  • Washbag
  • Flashlight/torch
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lightweight waterproof
  • Earplugs (for a better sleep in the dorms, night train and sleeper buses)
  • Warm clothes for camping
  • Moneybelt (pickpocketing and motorbike snatching is common in some cities)
  • Locks for bags
  • Waterproof backpack cover


Do I need to bring power adaptors?

Yes – these are available to buy in airports or various stores before you arrive. Make sure you get adaptors that will work – China uses Type A, C & I plugs, so make sure your adaptor is appropriate for this.

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag?

All bedding is provided in the accommodation.

Who looks after our bags when we are on transport and/or excursions?

Your bags will be stored at the hostels, where they are tagged and recorded. On a couple of occasions, they will be stored at storage facilities in railway stations.

How much stuff can I bring?

We strongly recommend packing very light for The Dragon Trip. All the cities we visit will have places you can wash your clothes, and you can easily pick up supplies.

Suitcase or backpack?

A backpack or holdall is much more convenient.

Will my phone work?

Your phone is unlikely to work, but it’s possible to buy a SIM out there. Wi-Fi is available in all of our hostels.

Your Welfare on Tour

Our adventure tours are a safe space where everyone is welcome. We kindly request that you show respect to your fellow adventurers, our Adventure Leader, as well as the local people and places we encounter throughout our journey. Any form of discrimination, bullying and violence is strictly prohibited, and we expect all travellers to adhere to the laws, customs, and regulations of each destination we visit. Behaviours that contradict these expectations or impede our staff’s ability to fulfil their duty of care or follow the planned itinerary, may result in the removal of the individuals involved from the trip. If you encounter any concerns during your travels, please promptly communicate with your Adventure Leader or local guide. Alternatively, you can discreetly contact the Adventure Leader via Dingtalk. They will be able to address the issue directly and help find the best solution.

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Top Tips from The Dragon Trip

Try saying that tongue twister really fast.

On the weather:
  • In summer, it can be very hot in China. When the temperatures get too high, we can make small adjustments to the schedule to avoid the hottest moments of the day.
  • If travelling before May or after September, please bring a hat, gloves, coat, hoodie and warm trousers with you. It can get a little bit cold!
  • If you are camping on the Great Wall of China, remember to pack some warm clothes as it can get quite cold at night.
On how to travel sustainably:
  • We cover the cost of up to 20kg in weight on our flights. This keeps fuel usage down, and reduces the impact of the flight on the environment.
  • Packing as light as possible keeps your carbon footprint low. We recommend 10-15kg, especially as you are expected to carry your own luggage.
  • Use local laundry services. This money goes straight into the local community, and is available in most of our hostels with the price of $1-2 per kg.
  • Pack a reusable water bottle. Many of our hostels provide filtered water, which reduces your need for single use plastics on tour.
Stay connected:
  • Though we previously used the Alipay app for group communication whilst in China, moving forwards we will be using Dingtalk. It doesn’t require any full registration – you just install the app, and create an account so that you can use a QR code to add yourself into your group’s chat. This will be your main source of communication with your group and Adventure Leaders whilst you’re on your tour in China.
  • Bring electronic products at your own risk. Some customers choose to travel with iPhones, tablets and laptops. Although theft is rare on The Dragon Trip, there is petty crime in some areas we visit.
  • Didi: Didi Taxi app is one of the most reliable taxi apps similar to Uber that you can use in China. It also has an English version available and you can bind international cards to it.
  • VPN: Some websites/apps are blocked in China, including WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. To bypass the firewall, you can download a VPN. It is much easier to do this before you go to China. Two examples of free options are Betternet or ExpressVPN. As most app stores on your phone will also be blocked, make sure you install all the necessary apps before entering the mainland.

We recommend that you download two maps apps on your mobile phone:

  • This is a great app to stop yourself from getting lost! You can download it to your phone for free. We recommend downloading many maps from different cities in China before your trip, and using these maps later when you don’t have Wi-Fi.
  • Baidu Map: This app works well in China. However, you will need an internet connection to use it. It is excellent for directions, public transportation, etc. – although it is in Chinese. You can input addresses in Chinese and follow the directions.

We suggest downloading two translation apps on your phones:

  • Baidu Translate: This app works well in China for translating sentences and text in pictures. However, you will require an internet connection to use it.
  • Pleco: This is a great tool – a free dictionary to help you communicate in China.
Food & Drink:
  • There will be lots of great nights out on The Dragon Trip, but please remember to always drink within your limits. Never journey home by yourself at night and never leave another person in the group alone. The legal drinking age in China is 18.
  • The Dragon Trip has a zero tolerance policy towards drugs, but the Chinese government also takes a very hard line on any recreational drug use and will impose severe penalties for this. The police in Shanghai have a zero tolerance policy towards drugs, and regularly raid hostels, nightclubs and even private homes, and prosecute foreigners in possession of marijuana or other harder drugs.
  • The food is delicious throughout China and you won’t be able to get enough of it. Try anything and everything possible. Your Adventure Leader will be able to recommend all of the best spots. Be sure to grab some from a vendor or a family-run restaurant – they won’t disappoint!
Pack patience:
  • China is very different from home. Some systems or ways of doing things which you may take for granted back home aren’t necessarily the same here. Please be patient with The Dragon Trip and China as a whole, as sometimes things don’t run like they may back home, despite our best efforts.
  • You may meet many people from lots of different backgrounds and cultures on this trip. You may have different opinions or ways of doing things. Treat everyone how you wish to be treated and remember to work together as a group.
  • Always try to arrive a couple of minutes early to check outs or departure times. Being late may mean missing transport connections and you don’t want to delay the whole group.
  • People can start or finish their tour in different cities. So it’s possible more people join your tour later, or some of your fellow travelers might finish their tour before you do.
  • The check-out time in hostels is usually 10:00 or 12:00, and check-in time varies from 12:00 to 14:00. So it can happen that, upon arrival in early morning, you can’t get to your rooms directly. Please be patient, take a short walk, do some Tai-chi or practice your Mandarin with the locals in a nearby park while waiting for your rooms to be prepared.
  • It is easy to withdraw money all over China at ATMs using Visa or MasterCard, but make sure you inform your bank that you will be travelling in China, so that they don’t put a block on your card.
Navigating a new culture:
  • Be respectful of local culture, dress appropriately at temples and religious sites, be polite and kind.
  • Agree on a price before getting in taxis or tuk-tuks.
  • There are many different words for money in China, so you may see it referred to as yuan, CNY, Renminbi, RMB, dian (“chee-yan”) or kuai! If you want to avoid paying the international withdrawal fees at an ATM, then you can exchange money in most money exchanges around the world, as well as in Hong Kong and mainland China. We do not recommend travellers cheques, and finding a Western Union can be inconvenient, although is possible.
  • Aerosol cans and sprays are also forbidden in many trains in China – staff from train stations may ask you to leave it behind when passing through security.

In case of Emergencies

No matter where you are or what you do, safety always comes first. We conduct our own health and safety checks, but sometimes things happen that our out of our control. Unlike the West, there is no one number for all three in Mainland China, so make sure you know each separate number.

Emergency services numbers are listed below:

Fire:  119

First Aid: 120

Police: 110

To contact our staff:


24/7 emergency contact number: +86 21 2206 4018

Contact Us

Any questions or feedback?

Contact our London Team:

(Please note that this email is only monitored from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 17:30 (Friday 17:00) UK time, if you have any urgent issues, such as flight delays or last minute cancellations, please reach out to our China Ops Team.)

Contact our China Team:

To read our full terms & conditions, click here.


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