How far in advance should I make a reservation?

Airfares fluctuate dramatically these days. Generally, the ideal time to make your reservations is about 3-4 months before your planned travel date. Also, some tours sell out quickly, so this gives us the opportunity to ensure your tour space and find the best airfares for you. For peak season travel (summer and winter vacation), we suggest booking 4-6 months in advance in order to find lower airfares.

I have received a quotation, but why the price is not the same as the one posted on the site?

We love to save our guests money! We will always look for the lowest available airfares at time of booking. However, please understand airline space does tend to sell out as we near each departure date and airfares may increase depending on availability.  

What are the terms of payment?

If you book one of our tours more than 60 days in advance, you may hold your space with a non-refundable $300 check deposit per person and pay the balance 60 days before departure. However, if we are holding airline reservations for you, please note the payment deadline will be superseded by airline ticketing policies which will be provided to you at the time of booking. For bookings made less than 60 days before departure, please pay the full balance at the time of booking to guarantee your space.

Can I accumulate mileage for the airline reservations?

Airlines mileage policies and agreements are continually updated; unfortunately we cannot guarantee if our private airfares will qualify for mileage accumulation. If you have any questions, please check with us at the time of booking. If you would like us to note your airline reservations with your mileage account information, please let us know and we will be happy to do so.

Passports & Visas: Is a visa required? How much can I expect to pay for one?

Many countries require travelers to have at least 6 months of validity remaining on their passports at time of entry. If your passport is expiring soon, please make sure to check before finalizing your travel plans. The following destinations do not require visas for US/Canadian passport holders: Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand. In addition, please remember to check visa requirements if you are stopping over to other countries on the same trip. If you are carrying passports issued by a different country, please check with your local consulate for precise details.


What does “double-occupancy” mean?

Travel is fun with a friend! Our rates assume your reservations are made for 2 guests occupying 1 room, or “double-occupancy.” This shares the costs of hotels between both travelers. Our standard room configuration is for a "TWIN" room type which means there will be two beds per room.

But I have an odd number in my party; can you accommodate 3 people in one room?

Certainly! Triple room arrangements are available for the same price as our double-occupancy rates. Each hotel is different, but for most of our hotels in Asia, this means you will be accommodated with a Rollaway bed in a standard room. Keep in mind rooms in Japan may be smaller than what you may expect from hotels in other countries, so please consider which arrangement would work for your personal preferences.

How about a single traveler?

Our prices are based on double-occupancy, but we can certainly accommodate single travelers as well. Please ask about single supplement costs for each tour. 

I made a reservation but was quoted a different price than a friend who signed up for the same tour?

We are committed to offering the best prices to our guests. Accordingly, we will find the best airfares available at time of booking. Unfortunately, airline space does sell out as we near each departure date and airfares may increase depending on availability.  

Should I purchase travel insurance?

Travel insurance is always recommended to help mitigate against unexpected circumstances. Please inquire with your agent for the cost and details.

What is the best time to travel?

The best time to travel in China is late-April to May and September to October as the weather is milder and you can avoid the rainy season which is usually June through August. Japan’s rainy season is generally between May and September; most people like to visit when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in late-March through April. For countries further south (Indochina and India), the best time is usually November through March when the temperature is more comfortable. 

Will there be shopping on my trip?

To meet your shopping needs, certain shopping stops during the tour have been arranged by the local handling agency for your convenience. Our guides are ready to assist you with your shopping requirements. Please keep in mind that the items you purchase while on tour are your responsibility. If the shops allow returns, you will need to ship the items across the Pacific for return. 

Will I have some free time during travelling?

Most of our tours will give you some free time in the major cities. If you would like more free time to explore, we will be glad tohelp you extend your stay in the beginning or end of the tour. 

Can i make some change to the itinerary?

You can add extra nights or extensions to other cities in the beginning or at the end of your tour. Modifications in the middle of a seat-in-coach tour are not allowed. Should you wish to change the tour itinerary, you may consider doing a customized or private tour with us instead. 

Can I request special meals?

Meals provided on tour are based on local cuisine and menus. We can generally assist guests in communicating special requests to airlines, hotels and restaurants, but they are not guaranteed. Please advise these requests at time of booking and note that certain surcharges may apply. 

Can I bring a wheelchair on my tour?

You may bring a fully collapsible wheelchair on tour. You must be traveling with a companion who is physically able to assist you. We regret that our staff cannot assist with getting on/off vehicles, walking, dining or other personal needs. Motorcoaches and other transfer vehicles are not equipped with wheelchair ramps. 

How can I make a reservation?

You may call us toll-free at (800)945-7960 and a tour consultant will be happy to help you to book your vacation. Our regular office hours are Monday-Friday 9am-6pm PST. You may also contact us by sending an email to info@chinasilktour.com.

Can I pay by credit card?

We accept credit card payment for air tickets only. You must fill out our Credit Card Pyament Form and send it to us along with a copy of your picture ID and the front and back of the credit card. For the Land cost, check payment only. If you would like to pay by credit card as well, a 4% surcharged may be applied for the bank fee.

What is the cancellation policy?

Written notice of cancellation must be received by CST either by mail or fax. Oral cancellation by phone will not beaccepted.

60 days or more prior departure – US$300.00 per person*

59-30 days prior to departure – US$400.00 per person*

29-16 days prior to departure – US$500.00 per person*

15-7 days prior to departure – US$1000.00 per person*

Within 7 days of departure – 100% forfeiture of the tour price per person

*In addition to the above stated cancellation charges, plus any charges assessed by land suppliers, cruise companies and airlines.


What is I'm travelling on my own? Can you pair me up with another single traveller?

We do not currently offer a share program. If you are a single traveler, you must pay the additional “single supplement” price of the tour to have your own rooms throughout. 

Can I do a private group? How much more will it cost?

Yes, we can arrange for a private group. Prices for a private group vary based on the tour you will take. Please contact a sales agent for more information and a price quote. 

Can I extend my trip?

Yes, you can add additional nights or extend to other cities at the end or the beginning of your trip. 

Do I need any vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required for your trip with the exception of anyone traveling from or via an infected area. However, we do recommend that you consult your physician prior to departure. 

Where should I have my currency exchaned?

You can exchange your money from your local bank, or at the hotel you are stayin. Your tour guides can assist you when you need to exchange currency.

Can I select my airline seats before departure?

In general, seating assignments are provided upon check in for your international flight. Whenever the airline being utilized allows us to assign seats, we will ask for your preference at the time of booking. 

What are the electrical requirements for the countriy I'm visiting?

The electrical system in Asia and Europe operates at 220 volts so a converter is needed to operate a normal 110-volt American appliance. Also, electrical appliances will also require an adapter that can change the shape of the plug prongs. 

What if I miss a connecting flight and part of my tour?

Please contact us or call the emergency number listed in your documents to advise us that you have missed your flight. We will work with the airline and the land operator to accommodate this interruption. 

What if i become ill and cannot continue my tour?

Please advise your travel guide, who will contact the land operator to help arrange for your return. If you have travel insurance, the flight costs and unused portion(s) of the tour may be reimbursed to you. 

Is it safe to drink the water in the country I'm visiting?

While many of the countries you visit may state that their tap water is potable, we strongly recommend that our clients purchase and drink bottled water while on tour. Bottled water is readily available at the hotels and from convenience stores

Is there a hairdryer in the hotel rooms?

All the five-star hotels we use will have hairdryers, an iron and a safe in the room. Hotels in more remote areas (such as Lhasa and Turpan) have such items available upon request from the hotels' housekeeping team. 

Is laundry service available?

Laundry service is offered, for a fee, at the hotels you will be staying in.