WWOOFing gives you the opportunity to visit Organic Farms in China, exchanging 3 – 6 hours of time per day for your meals and accommodation, usually in the family home.
Please read this information. It will assist you in deciding if WWOOFing is for you.
WWOOF China is the official directory of registered WWOOF organic farms in China since 2006.
WWOOF is a program where accommodation, all meals, are exchanged for 3-6 hours of participation or assistance with tasks per day.
How long will it take to find a Host?
It is best to start contacting the Directory Hosts as far in advance as possible from your travel date to ensure there will not be other WWOOFers already scheduled. WWOOFers who begin contacting hosts 3-6 weeks in advance report the most success finding their best matches for Hosts.
Many Hosts are ready to accept WWOOFers right away, and many allow them year round. However, nearly all Hosts also limit how many WWOOFers may visit at one time, so it is best to make arrangements with your host well before your travel commences.
The earlier the WWOOFer plans ahead, the more likely that they will stay their preferred Hosts. Some hosts need time to prepare for your visit and others prefer not to commit so far ahead.
What you will do when you arrive should be decided in advance before your visit when you communicate with your host(s).
Visas are entirely your responsibility. Neither the WWOOFChina organization nor WWOOF China Hosts, can sponsor or support you in any way on visas matters. If you are in any doubt about your eligibility for a visa to China, go here Chinese Tourist Visa Information and navigate to the page concerning visas. If, after you have applied and paid for WWOOF China membership, you find you are unable to obtain a visa, a refund will not be given.
NEVER ask your host to provide a letter or written sponsorship. Because WWOOF is a tourist program it unnecessary to request sponsorship. Asking your host for sponsorship will result in your access to the Directory of Hosts and WWOOF China will be terminated immediately. Thank you for respecting your hosts.
WWOOF China does not advise or assist with obtaining visas, including answering questions about visas, providing papers or letters of introduction for visas, and the like. Please direct all your questions about visas to the Chinese visa office in the city where you live, or you ask a travel agent what documents are required for travel.
What is the best way to contact Hosts?
Use every method the Host has provided to make contact: Telephone, email, fax, etc. Don’t rely on email alone unless that is all the host has provided. The telephone is often the best method to make contact and arrangements with WWOOF China Hosts. Many hosts live in rural locations where internet access may be spotty, while other hosts offer wifi with their accommodations. Often hosts are using their phones for internet access and email access. WWOOF China recommends you telephone the host as a first method of contact followed with an email.
Include a brief greeting in Chinese in your email. While many hosts speak some English, some cannot read it. You will get more responses by including even a rough Chinese translation in your email.
Allow 3-6 weeks to contact hosts before you travel.
Are all the farms organic?
Most WWOOF China farms are organic, however, not all of them are. You can ask your host questions about what types of farm practices they use before you decide to visit. WWOOFing gives both WWOOFers and Hosts a genuine experience away from mainstream tourism. WWOOFing is inexpensive and makes possible genuine experiences exchanging cultural ways and friendships for tourists in China.
“This place is straight-out-of-a-movie beautiful. With only 2-3 people constantly working on the farm, plus of course the random WWOOFers that come and go, one can tell that these people have put their heart and soul into this place. There is an abundance of organic produce, herbs, a newly built fish farm and the place is still growing.”
A Day in the Life of a WWOOFER in China
The WWOOFer assists the host with work for about 3-6 hours a day, five or six days a week. In return, WOOFers are given accommodations and all meals. When the WOOFer is ready to leave, the WOOFer speaks to the host, arranges a day to leave, and leaves on the agreed upon day.
Many WOOFers contact other hosts before they leave their current host to make arrangements with the next Host in advance. Log in anytime to see the most current list of hosts. New hosts register weekly so please log in often to see new hosts.
How Many Hosts are Registered with WWOOF China?
As of January 2015, there were over 210 registered hosts in China. Most of those hosts are rural or farm hosts. WWOOF China reviews hosts monthly.
Registered WWOOFers can use the forum to exchange information and ask questions of seasoned WWOOFers.
How Much Does it Cost to Register as a WWOOFer
Membership is $55 USD for 12 Months. Memberships are for one individual. Couples travelling (or groups) must purchase individual memberships. Your PERMIT and your photo identification are required when you arrive at your host. Be sure to carry your PERMIT with you at all times when WWOOFing.
After registering and completing your payment, you will have immediate access to the entire list of hosts and may begin contacting them via email or by phone, or both.NOTE: Hosts do not have access to the host directory list. Please do not register as a host unless you live in China on an Organic Farm and are inviting WWOOFers to visit and stay with you on your farm.
How old do you need to be to WWOOF?
**You must be 18 years of age to WWOOF without an adult legal guardian. You will need to be certain your host accepts children. Some hosts welcome children, but some do not. See the directory listing for individual hosts to see if they accept children.
I registered but I still can’t see the Host Directory?
After completing your WWOOFer registration, you will have immediate access to your profile page and the entire list of hosts.
If you have registered but have not completed your payment you will not be able to see the full host directory with contact information until you submit your payment. You can complete your registration payment from your Dashboard. After registration, you may log in to your WWOOF Member Dashboard.
Timing Your Visit
Log in and start studying the WWOOF China Host Directory with contact information.
Contact the hosts that match your interests. Arrangements you make are strictly between the host and you. It is up to WOOFers to contact the hosts to ensure they are accepting WOOFers, and to follow up and confirm arrangements prior to their arrival.
WWOOfing is about sharing cultures
WWOOFing is about sharing, volunteering, learning, and working. If you want to learn, are prepared to work, are interested in China and the ways of the culture and the language, then WWOOFing may well be for you.
Many Chinese nationals also become WWOOFers. WWOOF China provides a way to visit farms in China regardless of where you live.
One Membership for Per Person
Before hosts are contacted, each person who contacts and / or visits our Hosts (including you contacting hosts on behalf of someone else) must be a member of WWOOF China. We do not have couples or family memberships at this time.
Each individual must present their photo ID and WWOOF Certificate to the host when they arrive at the farm.
Communicating With WWOOF China
Please send us an email message using our Contact Us form. We promptly respond to questions that are not addressed or answered in this FAQ.
A Short History of WWOOF
Originally standing for Working Weekends on Organic Farms, WWOOF was begun in about 1971 in Europe by people who were keen to support the organic movement. The basic idea was, and still is, that a volunteer receives board and accommodation and learns organic methods of farming in exchange for assisting the host family with their tasks. Hosts and workers made new friends and enjoyed the experience of working in common in an exchange of assistance and knowledge. When the demand for longer periods occurred, the name was changed to Willing Workers on Organic Farms. WWOOF International
WWOOF China membership does not include insurance of any kind. We strongly recommend you take out comprehensive and quality insurance to cover yourself for health, accident, travel costs, theft, and liability.
Traveling in China
We suggest that you buy a travel guide for China and find out as much as possible about China before you visit. Learn about Chinese Visa Here.
WWOOF China is very proud that we have not received any serious complaints about hosts as of this update. (December 2012) As WWOOFers, you should use the same common sense and precautions as you would for any travel abroad. More than anything else, consider your safety first.
If you have a question or complaint to make about a host for any reason, please contact us immediately. We try to respond to all emails within 24 hours.
Finding Hosts in Our System
Immediately your online subscription is completed you will be able to log in with your USER ID and Password and get full Hosts details. The Host list can be searched using any keyword or host ID number from the host map.
Many people search by province, or city to locate a host. You will see details the host has provided which may or may not include specific directions to their farm. It is important to make arrangements in advance with hosts as some are limited in how many WWOOfers they can accommodate.
Transportation to the farms
You and your host(s) will discuss directions and access to their farm. Many hosts are willing to pick you up at a transit or train location and transport you to the farm in their vehicle.
Your Email Address
Take note of the e-mail address you use to register with. That will be the email address associated with your account in the event you need to retrieve your log-in information and registration confirmation.
Joining WWOOF While Travelling
You should be able to register and log-in using any device on the internet or data plan. Just fill out the WWOOFer registration form, complete the payment and log-in to start contacting potential hosts.
Host Farms Can Vary
Hosts can be small farms, resorts, fishery, forestry, permaculture institutes, or rural homes. Some hosts offer a private room, while others have dorm settings. WWOOFers have a sense of adventure and are flexible and courteous to their hosts. Please establish the house rules from your host regarding schedules, meals, snacks, etc. Many hosts offer wi-fi.
Be sure to ask your host about the accommodations, how you will participate, and how long you may stay.
Proof of Membership
Your host will ask to see your WWOOFer Permit which you can print from your Dashboard. We strongly suggest you carry your WWOOFer permit to confirm with Hosts your status as a WWOOFer, as well as a photo ID.
Always check with your health insurance company to know your coverage extends to visiting as a tourist in China. You may decide to purchase Travel Health Insurance for your trip.
Do I Need to Speak Chinese?
No, many hosts speak some English and many WWOOFers are from outside
China using English to communicate.
How long does my membership last?
12 months from the date you registered.
How to Contact Hosts
E-mail is fast and convenient and many Hosts have it. Some hosts provide a phone number and email and some just provide an email address. You may want to both telephone and email the hosts you want to connect with.
If you do not write or speak in Chinese, we recommend you write the information below to the hosts in your email to make it easier for hosts to understand your communications, in the following format:
- Your name
- Reference WWOOF China
- The date you wish to arrive at the host farm
- The length of time that you wish to stay, and your departure date.
- Something of your own history, interests, knowledge to share.
- Your interests, what you hope to learn or experience.
Here is a sample email you can use to communicate with your hosts. You can include both the Chinese and English versions to help your host respond. Also include the word WWOOF in your subject line. Remember, many rural Chinese only use a cell phone for all email communications so include the dates you want to visit, the length of time you want to visit and your phone number so they can call you.
I saw your farm in wwoof. Can I visit your farm? When will I be able to visit your farm? can you speak English? Thank you!
Cancelling Your Plans with a Host
If due to unforeseen circumstances you must cancel your plans to visit a Host, please be sure to contact the Host promptly to inform them. Please do not leave a Host expecting you without letting them know in advance as that may prevent another WWOOFer from being able to reserve that time and may confuse or inconvenience the host.
We do not give refunds under any circumstances, so please read and understand about WWOOF China before you join.
Tell Your Family or Friends Where You Are Travelling
Please ensure you tell family, friends and those who will be interested in you and your well-being while you are away, where you are going, the name and contact details of the host(s) you are going to, and be sure to update this information to them as you move about.
WWOOF Organisations Around the World
Typically, you must be a member of the WWOOF organisation in the country you want to WWOOF in. Memberships generally are not transferable. If you want to WWOOF in China, register using this web site. If you wish to WWOOF in another country check www.wwoofinternational.com. Anyone over the age of 18 years of age may join WWOOF China.
If you have a complaint about a WWOOF Host, we ask you to contact us immediately via email. If you are not happy with the house rules of the host, please respectfully move on. If you attempt to contact a host multiple times and they do not reply, please let us know which host via our contact form so we may follow up.
WWOOF China does not condone the breaking of any State and/or Federal or international laws. WWOOF China reserves the right to cancel a WWOOFer or Host membership immediately for any reason.