China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What Time is it in Kashgar?

I am back from a month in China and will be writing many stories of one of my best trips ever in the coming weeks. Having been out to the far west in Kashgar and Urumqi in Xinjiang province shortly after arriving in Beijing, I was still having a bit of jet lag. There is only one time zone in China which is as large as the U.S.....except in Kashgar. There is local time and Beijing Time depending on who you ask and what you are doing....and they are two hours apart. Airports, t.v. and bus schedules run on Beijing time but most everything else including businesses, schools, government etc. runs on what they call local time. Offices open up at 10:00 until 1:30 and then from 3:30 to 7:30 five days a week. Stores open at 11:00 until 9:00 at night. Lunch is from 1:30 until 3:30 and dinner is from 7:30 until 9:30 EXCEPT on Friday and Saturdays. Dinner then is usually between 9:30 and 11:00 and most people do not retire until midnight. Breakfast is whenever. So if you are going out on the Silk Road for a tour you may need to make some adjustments to your normal times depending on who you ask, "What time is it"? For someone like me who likes to get up early and is usually in bed by 9:00 p.m. it is quite an adjustment. Looking for a cup of coffee at 6:00 a.m. local time just doesn't work even though it is 8:00 Beijing time.
Anyway breakfast starts at the hotels around 8:30 for the "early birds". :-(

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