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Home> Destinations> America> Los Angeles> Overview

Hello LA!

Updated: 2014-07-10 / (discoverlosangeles.com)





City Introduction

Los Angeles is the largest city in California and the second largest metropolis in USA. It is not only the world-famous entertainment center, but also the city with thick cultural taste. In Los Angeles, there are always some novel things waiting for you to experience. You may meet with the stars leaving their names on the legendary “Walk of Fame”, and even visit these stars, or appreciate the “Hollywood Sign” in Griffith Park in Mount Lee, which is the most famous landmark in the world, or visit the film kingdom “Universal Studios Hollywood”, or experience the intensity and passion in Disneyland as the sea of joys.... Wonderful entertainment activities, plus the pleasant climate in four seasons, as well as the endless beaches, have made this place very charming. Los Angeles is a very famous urban agglomeration with the same core. From the type, Los Angeles has the establishment of various county and city systems; but from the urban pattern, Los Angeles is a metropolis consisting of nearly 100 cities with same core. These cities are arranged on the rectangular plot covering nearly 10,000 square kilometers, with distinctive profile in a compact and orderly manner. Los Angeles does not have a urban center playing the decisive role, and every day, millions of vehicles do not flow centrically or radially to a central point of a city.





History and Culture

Los Angeles is the culture capital of the world in the 21st century, as well as the most valuable city in the world. Los Angeles has more theaters than that in New York, and shows up to 1,500 operas every year. REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/ CalArts Theater) is featured by the most fashionable art skills. It spans various arts, or integrates different art rules, cultures and thoughts.

Since being established in 1919, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra has become one of the top-level orchestras in the world. The tourists may enjoy the wonderful performance in the legendary amphitheater of Hollywood. Los Angeles has the second largest art community in USA, and has more than 150 galleries. Chinatown, San Pedro, Monterey Park, Little Tokyo and Sawtelle district (north of Hollywood) are nearby, and the artists settle and work in Los Angeles City. In Los Angeles, there are many priceless precious scroll paintings permanently collected in four prestigious museums, they are, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Art Center, Norton Simon Museum and Huntington Library. including 12 Van Gogh works and 14 Rembrandt works.

In 1769, the Spanish persons entered Los Angeles when looking for Port of Montery, and called the crossing river as “Queenly Angel River” (El Rio De Nuestra Senora La Reina De Los Angeles De Porciuncula). After 12 years, 12 Spanish families settled here; after several years, they named this place as “City of the Angels” (Ciudad De Los Angeles). In the 19th century, Los Angeles became the capital of California Province in Mexico, and after the Mexico War in 1847, it became the annexed territory of USA.





Natural Environment

Los Angeles is situated in the Mediterranean climate zone with mild climate. It is generally dry and rains little all year round, and it rains slightly more in the winter. It is sunny all year round, basically without the time below the ice point, so there is no high rate of snowfall. Annual precipitation is only 378mm, mainly with the winter rain. In Los Angeles, there is large temperature difference in the daytime and nighttime. Even in the winter, the daytime atmospheric temperature is up to 20°C, the daytime atmospheric temperature in the summer is often over 35°C, even resulting in the forest fire due to the attack of heat wave. Average highest atmospheric temperature is 23.3°C, and average lowest atmospheric temperature is 13°C. Precipitation mainly happens in the winter and spring, and February is the wettest month.






Los Angeles has the mild Mediterranean climate, with the medium atmospheric temperature, low humidity, sunny weather, and 292 sunny days per year. Every year, January and February are the coldest months, with average atmospheric temperature 13.7°C, rainy in the winter; the hottest months are July and August, with average atmospheric temperature 23.4°C, mostly with sunny weather. As it is near the sea, Los Angeles is much warmer in the winter than other regions of USA in the same latitude. Summer is best for tourist, you could play and swim in the seaside, while there are also the most tourists in this season. Therefore, if you want to be quiet, you may choose to travel in April, May or September, October. The rainy season in Los Angeles is from November to the next March. Though in the rainy season, it rains very little. Even after the occasional rainy day, it is followed by continuous sunny days with bright sun and azure sky.





Useful Information

Time lag

Los Angeles time is 15 hours later than Beijing time.

Power Socket

US voltage is 110V 60Hz AC, with two-pin power socket and three-pin power socket. It is required to prepare the power adaptor.





Visa Information

Since March 16, 2013, USA Embassy and all Consulates in China start the new visa system, which the applicants could make online booking face interview, deal online payment of the handling fees, and collect the passports in the network points of China Citic Bank. It is possible to rearrange the time for face interview, check the visa application status, track the process, and get the time of receiving the passport on the internet. In addition, the applicant may continue using the call center for appointment or consulting, without further charge. For most applicants for the nonimmigrant visa, it is only required to pay USD 160 as the handling fee. No other fee is required.

The visa handling fees may be paid in three ways, The applicant may pay the handling fees by cash in any branch of China Citic Bank, or make the online payment via the debit card issued in China or foreign credit card, or make the payment in ATM allowing the Union Pay payment.

Online appointment website: www.ustraveldocs.com

Type of visa

Business/tourist visa

B-1/B-2 business/tourist visa is mainly issued to the applicants of short-term business travel (B-1) or tourism and sightseeing/ seeking for medical service (B-2). Generally, B-1 visa is issued to the applicants engaging in the short-term business activity, participating in science and technology/education/professional/business conferences, handling the properties or negotiating the contract. B-2 visa is issued to the applicant for leisure/entertainment in USA, including tourism, sightseeing, family member visit/friend visit, medical service and other fellowship, social community or service-based activities. B-1 and B-2 visas are usually combined into one, and issued as one type of visa; B-1/B-2.

Materials for the visa application

It is required to submit the following materials for the visa application:

1. Electronic application table for nonimmigrant visa (DS-160). For more information about DS-160, please visit DS-160 webpage: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/cn_zh/cn-niv-ds160info.asp.

2. For the valid passport for the travel in USA, the validity period shall be at least six (6) months after the expected stay period in USA (except those exempted special agreement countries). If the passport includes more than one person, every visa applicant is required to submit the application.

2. One color photo of 2 inch x2 inch (5cm x 5cm) taken within six (6) months. For more information about the photo format, please refer to the webpage: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/cn_zh/cn-niv-photoinfo.asp.

4. In case that the visa is allowed for issuing, the applicant might be required to pay the visa reciprocity fee, which depends on the nationality of the applicant. For more information about the scope of application and the amount for visa reciprocity fee, visit the website of US Department of State:http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3272.html.

5. In addition, you shall present the appointment letter for face interview, proving that you have obtained the face interview from this service channel. You may also provide other supporting documents to the visa officer.

The supporting documents shall only be used as one of many factors to be considered by the visa officer during the face interview. The visa officer will make the analysis and judgment according to the detailed situations of the applicant after comprehensive consideration of occupational, social, cultural and other factors. The visa officer is required to weigh the applicant’s travel purpose, family background and the long-term plan in the original living country. Every visa application shall be considered as one individual case, and will be given full consideration according to the laws.

Notes: Do not use the faked materials. Deception or distortion of facts might result in permanent refusal. To protect the personal privacy, the applicant shall bring the sealed materials into the embassy/consulate. Embracing the information confidentiality rule, the embassy/consulate will not disclose the contents of the applicant to any other person.

Bring the following materials for the face interview. If possible, it is better to provide the original, instead of the photocopy. Don’t submit any supporting document via fax, email, or posting to the embassy/consulate.

1. Current income certification, tax returns, house property certificate or enterprise property certificate, and asset certification.

2. Travel schedule and/or other description related to the travel plan.

3. The introduction letter issued by the organization of the applicant, with detailed description of the applicant position, salary, work time, approval for vacation, and the purpose of the business activities in US (if any) etc.

4. Crime/court record (no matter where the applicant was comprehended or convicted, without exception even after the expiry of the term of imprisonment or being exempted).

In addition, according to the travel purpose of the applicant, probably it is required to provide the following materials,

1. Student

Please bring the transcript and degree certificate/diploma, as well as the funding certificates, such as monthly settlement statement of the bank, and the certificate of time deposit.

2. In-service personnel

Please bring the letter of employment issued by the organization where the applicant works as well as the payrolls in recent three months.

3. Entrepreneur and high management of the company

Please bring the position certification and remuneration certification issued by the organization where the applicant works.

4. Family member visit

The applicant shall provide the evidence to prove that there is the true and uninterrupted domestic relations between the applicant and the inviter, and shall provide the information of the immigrant identity in USA. The following documents might be helpful to the visa application:

The household register or other documents capable of proving the true domestic relations, the group photo with the American relatives, the copy of the US passport or green card of the relative (if the relative has the short-term stay in USA, it is required to provide the copy of the passport and US visa of the relative) etc. If the previous stay time of the applicant in USA exceeded the approved stay time limit, it is required to present the original of the extension certificate approved by DHS in the face interview.

5. The applicant having the experience of going to USA

If the applicant ever visited USA, it is required to bring the certification documents for the related identity or visa status, particularly all US visas (including the expired visa).

For the detailed information, refer to the official website of Embassy of USA in China,http://www.ustraveldocs.com/cn_zh/cn-niv-typeb1b2.asp

Visa fee

In case of applying for the business/tourist visa, it is required pay USD 160 as the visa application fee.

Information for Chinese Embassy

Visa Information Call Service Center

China Mainland Region: +86-4008-872-333/+86-21-3881-4611

Business hour: 7:00-19:00, Monday to Friday; 8:00 -17:00, Saturday (provide the visa information with telephone answering machine on a 24h basis and 7d per week)

Embassy of the United States in China

Address: No. 55, Anjialou Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing City, China. Postcode: 100600

Tel: +86-10-8531-3000

Fax: +86-10-8531-3333 (only for inquiry of personal application and handling of emergency affairs)

Business hour: Monday to Friday, 8:00-17:00 (the appointment shall be made for the time of face interview)

Nonimmigrant Visa Office (Visa Information Service Center in Embassy of USA in China)

Office hours: 7:15-16:40, Monday to Friday

Visa Information Call Service Center: +86-4008-872-333/+86-21-3881-4611

Fax: +86-10-8531-3333

Consulate General of USA in Chengdu

Address: No. 4, USA Consulate Road, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China. Postcode: 610041

Tel: +86-28-8558-3992,8558-9642 Fax: +86-28-8558-3520

E-mail: consularchengdu@state.gov

Business hour: 8:00-17:00, Monday to Friday (except the public holidays in US and China)

Consulate General of USA in Guangzhou

Communication Address: No. 1, Shamian South Street, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, China. Postcode: 510133

Office Address: F5, Phase II of Tianyu Garden, No. 136-142, Linhe Middle Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou City, China

Tel: +86-20-8518-7605 (Beijing time 8:00-12:00, 13:00-16:45)

Fax: +86-20-3884-4410

E-mail: GuangzhouACS@state.gov

Business hour: 8:30-11:00 and 13:00-15:00, Monday to Friday (except the public holidays in US and China)

Consulate General of USA in Shenyang

Address: No. 52, Shisiwei Road, Heping District, Shenyang City. Postcode: 110003

Tel: +86-24-2322-1198

Fax: +86-24-2322-2374

Consulate General of USA in Shanghai

Address: F8, Westgate Mall, No. 1038, Nanjing West Road, Shanghai, China

Tel: +86-21-6433-6880

Office hours: Nonimmigrant Visa Office is open to the appointment for face interview of visa, and is closed in the public holidays.

Consulate General of USA in Wuhan

Address: F47, Block I, New World International Trade Center, No. 568, Jianshe Avenue, Hankou District, Wuhan City. Postcode: 430022

Tel: +86-27-8555-7791 Fax: +86-27-8555-7761

E-mail: chenZ@state.gov

Consulate General of USA in HK and Macau

Address: No. 26, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong

Tel: +86-852-2523-9011 (this tel. number does not provide the visa inquiry service)

Fax: +86-852-2845-1598

E-mail: information_resource_center_hk@yahoo.com (for inquiring the visa data, please use the online visa inquiry table)

Business hours for visa information: 15:00-16:00, Monday to Friday (except the public holidays in US and China)





Currency Exchange

The American currency is USD. Recent exchange rate is USD 1= RMB 6.13 (March, 2014). Arriving in the USA, you may exchange some odd changes in coin, because the coins of 25 cents are often used in the laundry, telephone booth and parking lot. It will be more convenient if you bring some coins of 25 cents. Now, many stores and ATMs in New York accept Union Pay cards, not only allowing the consumption, but also allowing the cash withdrawal. So it is not necessary to take a lot of cashes.





Tourism Service Number

Tourism consulting

Tourist information center

The tourist consulting center in Los Angeles prepares the working personnel speaking in multiple languages, to answer the questions of the tourists and provide the map and tour guide manual.

Hollywood & Highland Center

Address: 6801 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028

Tel: 323.467.6412


Address: 685 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90017

Tel: 213.689.8822

Port of Los Angeles

Address: Berth 93, Pacific Cruise Ship Terminal San Pedro, CA 90731

Tel: 310.514.9484

=Emergency tel.

Fire alarm, first aid and police alarm tel.: 911

Time inquiry: 2138531212

Weather inquiry: 2135541212

Inquiry of highway road conditions: 8004277623






Embassy ant Consulate

Consulate of China in Los Angeles

Address: 685 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90017

Business hour: Certificate Team: Monday to Friday (except holidays), 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., for continuous work without middle break.

Other Teams: Monday to Friday (except holidays), 9:00 to 12:00 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Tel: (1-213)8078088

Tip Tip is not surely included in the bill, and tipping is voluntary. As the practice, the tip is given at the rate of 15-20% of total amount in the restaurant or when taking taxi. The bell boy in the hotel may be tipped with USD 1-2 per piece of luggage, the house cleaner may be tipped with USD 1-2 per day, or USD 5-10 per week. Safety Notes

When using ATM in the nighttime, you’d better look at the surrounding place firstly and confirm the safety before the operation (many police bureaus in Los Angeles are installed with ATMs, where the cash may be withdrawn). Do not stay in a place for a long time with a large amount of cash. Avoid the nighttime walk in the street whenever possible. Do not open the door for the stranger in the hotel. When walking in the street, try not to let the luggage left side. It is not safe in the car. So do not leave your precious belongings in the car. In the daytime, most regions are safety. But it is better not to go to the south zone of No. 7 Street, Broadway, particularly in the nighttime.

1. In Downtown, Korean Town, North Hollywood, and even Sunset Blvd. of Los Angeles, the public security is not so stable when it gets dark. After the sunset, make sure to go in company, especially the girls.

2. In the seismic zone, the buildings in Los Angeles are mostly constructed with wood materials. Therefore, smoke and fire is prohibited in the rooms. Smoke is prohibited particularly at the entrance of the restaurant. The place 6m plus from the entrance is the legal smoking zone. Please observe this regulation, otherwise you will receive a penalty ticket from the police. Particularly in Burbank downtown area, smoke is entirely prohibited. Smoking in the open will be imposed with the fine of USD 200.

3. In Venice Beach, the doctors asking the tourists to get the cannabis purchase license are visible here and there. At the time close to the sunset, it is better to leave the beach, and return to the car. When it gets dark, you’d better not to have meals near the beach because the public security is in disorder, and there are often the homeless persons to beg or make riot.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

Christmas Day Lighting Ceremony

December 25. In Christmas Day of the Americans, the houses are hung with decorations and colorful Christmas lights, and the lighting ceremony is held in the parks of various sizes, betokening the approach of the Christmas Day, and creating quite cozy atmosphere. The lighting ceremony in Griffith Park is the largest and most attractive.

Tournament of Rose Parade

January 1. After the live play of raising the flag in the New Year, the people are earnestly waiting for the retransmission of the tournament of rose parade held in Pasadena. This annual pageant attracts thousands of tourists to celebrate the new year in the main streets; usually in the evening before the new year, most citizens swarm into the streets to occupy the seats, bring the sleeping bags, snacks and drinks, chat and play cards with the friends to wait for the coming of the early morning; traffic control starts at about seven o’clock, and the shops on both sides are temporarily with wood boards to protect the glass windows, to avoid the destruction by the excessively excited citizens. It is worthwhile to go there, but it is required to pay special attention to safety.

Spring Festival Of Flowers

In the middle of March to the middle of April. It is held in Descanso Gardens of La Canada Flintridge, with various enchanting flowers contending in beauty and fascination.

Midsummer Night’s Dream

The end of June - the middle of September. In John Anson Ford Amphitheatre of Hollywood Hills, a series of music programs are performed, suitable for the family members to have a pleasant midsummer night.


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