1. How to Phone Home from China
Chinese Phone Cards
There are various options for making international and domestic telephone calls in Guilin and the rest of China, and two basic kinds of phone cards. The two kinds of phone card are IP cards (for ‘insert pin’) and IC cards (for ‘insert card’).
IP and IC telephone cards can be bought at tobacco shops, supermarkets, corner-shops, hotel lobbies and sometimes newspaper stands throughout Guilin and China. The Chinese for IP or IC card is rather easy to master, it’s just IC / IP kă. They come in various denominations, from around 5 RMB up to 100 RMB (but the actual price you pay should be less than the value of the card).
IP cards are cheaper, but your choice of card may end up being guided by what type of telephone is most readily available to you.
Phone Calls from your Chinese Hotel Room
It’s usually easy to make calls from your hotel room, although you may need to notify the reception that you want to make a call, especially if you’re going to call abroad. Rates are reasonable to telephone within Guilin or China, but you can save money by buying an IP phone card if you’re calling internationally.
Hotel lobbies in China and Guilin usually have both IP and IC telephones, although you may have to ask the reception to use the IP telephone. If there is one, this should be the cheapest option, cheaper than using public telephones.
If the hotel has a business centre, there's sure to be an IP compatible telephone in there.
Public Telephones in China
Public telephones consist of IC telephones usually found by the roadside, but the advent of the mobile phone means that these are disappearing in Guilin and China, though perhaps not quite as quickly as in other parts of the world.
The other public telephone option is to be found at corner-shops and newspaper stands. You just pay the proprietor. These are a reasonable option if calling within the Guilin city limits, very expensive if you want to telephone outside of China. One option is to get an IP card and use it to call from one of these public telephones, but it doesn’t always work.
There are also IP and IC public telephones in Post Offices in Guilin and the rest of China.
Other Telephone Options
Another good option is the telephone bars – known as ‘Huàbā’ –talk bars, which are full of IP telephones. They’re usually to be found around train stations. The rates are usually pretty cheap, rock bottom if you use an IP card.
Some Internet Cafes have Skype.
Dialing Telephone and Mobile Numbers in Guilin, the following is dialing procedures:
| Dialing local telephones in Guilin|| Directly dial the telephone number, or directly dial the mobile phone number, such as, 1234567 / 12345678901.|
| Dialing local telephones in China (except Guilin)|| Dial city code + telephone number, or directly dial the mobile phone number, such as, 010-12345678 (Beijing) / 12345678901.|
| Dialing international fixed telephones|| Dial 00 + national code + city code + telephone number, such as, 001-1234567890 (US)|
| Dialing international mobile telephones||Dial 00 or plus sign(+) + national code + mobile phone number, such as, 0033-123456789 (France)|
Making an international call to Guilin, the following is dialing procedures:
| Dialing international fixed telephones|| Dial plus sign (+) or 00 + national code (86) + city code (773) + telephone or fax number, such as, +86-773-1234567.|
| Dialing international mobile telephones|| Dial plus sign (+) or 00 + national code (86) + mobile phone number, such as, +86-12345678901.|
China Country Code: 86
Guilin City Code: 7732. Guilin Internet Access – How to get online in China
You can use the Internet service in the business center of the hotels, some rooms of certain hotels have the internet access, in which you can use your own laptops. And you can also get free Wi-Fi at most cafes.
Internet Cafes are a booming business in China and you would have no difficulty in finding one in cities, big or small, the charges in those internet cafes will be cheaper, but please don’t go and stay there for too late for the sake of safety.3. Post
There are two Post offices in Guilin: one is beside Guilin Railway Station, the other is beside Guilin North Railway Station. The operating time is 08:00-18:00 seven days a week.
If you have an urgent letter to mail:
It is recommended to use EMS (Express Mail Service), which is basically the best way to mail the letter or parcel. Within 3 days, the mail will be successfully delivered. If you do not want to go to the post office to mail the letter or parcel, you can just call 11185. By providing your address, a staff member will pick your letter or parcel at your home.
* Note: The service number of EMS is 11185 (24-hour hotline)
The official website of China Post EMS in English: http://www.ems.com.cn/english-main.jsp
If you want to mail a postcard abroad:
Postcards are sold in postal office. The normal one costs 1.5-2 RMB. You need to write the address of the addressee clearly. Make sure that the address is written according the instructions post office given. The cost of mailing a postcard varies according to the method of delivery. The most expensive way is airmail, which costs 4.5 RMB each.