Some hints you need to know before you go to China
China can be an unforgettable experience for you. It is a place that feels like you are traveling to a completely different planet.
When I am asked if I have ever visited China, I always hesitate to say yes.
I have a very diffucult relationship with travelling to China, as it is not a pleasant place to travel.
However, don't let that completely stop you from traveling, it's absolutely okay.
That's why I like China. It challenges whoever decides to go there.
And that is why I decided to write this post for those people who have decided to travel. Perhaps if I had seen it in my time, it would have been easier for me.
I believe this guide will help you feel more comfortable in China from the beginning.
China also provides many incredible destinations, such as:
- Excavating the Terracotta Army outside the ancient city of Xi'an,
- Forbidden City of Beijing.
- Exploring the hustle and bustle of Shanghai city.
- Great Wall of China,
- Seeing pandas at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center,
- Rest on the sunny beach of Hainan.
So we can say, China offers travelers plenty interesting things.
I think you know that China is the most populous country in the world. There are 102 cities with a population of more than one million people. Yes, that's a lot.
China will give you a challenge and that's fine. It is always interesting to test yourself, to find yourself in an unexplored place and learn to enjoy it.
You need to be prepared in your trip, dive into the deep end and what is most important, have fun.
Now I'll tell you what I wish I'd known myself before my trip.
Health and safety is the most important thing we have, so you need to provide yourself with comfortable travel insurance, because we don't want any emergency to put us at a disadvantage.
You need to set up a VPN before you travel to China
China's firewall is probably even cooler than their Great Wall of China, so...
The locals don't mind so much that most of popular sites is blocked, because they have Chinese versions of all of them.
Blocked websites in China:
- Google (Gmail, Maps, Translate).
ALL BANNED! I warned you.
Don't get frustrated, the problem can be avoided simply by using a VPN.
It's important that you find a VPN that works in China and set it up on your gadget and smartphone before entering the country.
When the VPN is installed, you can stay connected to the outside world as usual.
Secure your electronic devices
Check out you have the right voltage and adapters to charge your electronic gadgets.
Remember to buy bottled water or drink tea
Coffee is not a particularly good idea in China. Anyway we know and love this nation for its wonderful tea, so why deny ourselves the pleasure of drinking it in its homeland?
Cold water doesn't exist; you're most probably to see hot water on sale in China, as many locals either want to add tea leaves or drink it plain hot.
Swap your coffee for tea and you won't be upset.
As a last resort, there's also Starbucks in China. Not that Starbucks is a good coffee, it's just not so bad in case you need your caffeine boost when you just woke up.
You can also take a thermos, as the locals do, and as I eventually began to do. Throw some tea leaves in it and enjoy delicious tea any second of your trip to China.
You don't even need a visa to travel to China
Do you know that you don't even need a visa to travel? I didn't know it myself, but it turns out that travelers from London to Hainan can enjoy a thirty-day visa-free trip.
For most travel to China, you will need to apply for a tourist visa to enter the country.
However, there are a some exceptions where UK passport holders do not need a visa.
Another situation is traveling through Сhina, in which you must leave china in 72 hours to obtain the transit visa.
I took advantage of this law to walk the Great Wall of China when I flew to Bangkok via Beijin.
So let's talk about the food
My best advice I can give you when you come to China is to ask the waiter for a recommendation and order what he recommends. You won't be disappointed.
Eating in China can be an interesting expirience in itself.
You may be surprised by what exactly you eat. China is a wonderful cuisine, and I have eaten a wonderful dish very many times without even knowing what it consists of.
Also, mock dishes are very common in China, such as mock chicken or mock duck, as China perfected the fake meat long before the impossible burger. This is mainly because of the expenses, as locals can not afford meat, and the mock version is really cheaper and has same flavor.
If you have a particular diet, spesical tastes or allergy, it might be a little difficult to get your preferences accepted in China.
A good option is to make a list of what you eat in Chinese and show it in the restaurant so they know how to please you.
I must warn you that you may be told that a dish does not contain something even though it is included. This is due to the language barrier and the ingredient being used as a stock item rather than being a main ingredient.
Carry cash with you when traveling in China
Most payments in China are made via QR payments with digital wallets using apps like WeChat Pay or Alipay.
It's not so easy to get a local SIM card and activate these apps; travelers should withdraw money from an ATM because card payments such as American Express, Mastercard or Visa are not a common form of payment, especially to pay off local vendors cash is our way.
I would recommend searching and finding an HSBC ATM to withdraw your cash in China, and make sure you inform your bank in advance that you are traveling to China to avoid having your account capped.
Burping, spitting and farting is absolutely okay in China
In China, you can fart to your heart's content, as the locals don't seem to mind if you show your face in public.
Please don't be offended, it's no use, just get over it. Go along with the local customs.
Another habit you have to get used to is the art of waiting in line. There really isn't one; you may have to wait in line for all day.
I warn you: some restrooms don't have doors. Always take a pack of tissues with you when nature calls, and practice the art of squatting before your travel to China, you will have to learn.
Language barrier in China
You won't be able to speak English. It would be ideal to know at least the most basic phrases in Chinese. After all, you are in China.
Even some hotels have language problems, which comes as a shock to many people, so just be aware of that.
It also often happens that road signs with English subtitles may not make sense at all, so you can quite easily even get lost.
Download a translator on your phone, enter the most necessary addresses, and the address of your hotel to show the cab driver in case of emergency.
To have fully enjoyment in a trip and not worry about language problems, hire a guide to solve all the minor problems related to the language barrier.
In fact, most Chinese are very friendly
I heard some stories about the rudeness of the locals to tourists; in my experience, that just wasn't the case.
Locals are often very interested in tourists, they ask about impressions from your travel, help if you have any problems. Of course, they will help if they understand your language.
In not densely populated areas, locals will want to take a photo with you.
Hug your visit to China, take photos every chance you get, learn a few important words to connect and smile, and be prepared for friendly mood all around.
China is beautiful. You just have to learn to get along with each other and then the experience will be unforgettable.
Was this article helpful?18 Posted by: 👨 Dollie M. Barlow