How To Say I Want To Travel To China

Things to consider before travelling to China

The land of the Orient, China is one of the most populated countries on the planet, full of diverse culture, beauty and wonders. With so much to offer – its ancient terracotta warriors, imperial palaces, unparalleled cuisine, breathtaking countryside and bustling shopping centres, China is an exciting destination for travellers.Before travelling to China, it’s important to be completely prepared. Here are some things to bear in mind.

Do your research

As with any destination, there are certain matters you should research carefully before planning your trip. You should research the best time to visit – the hot, humid summers can be unbearable in some areas, so consider when the temperature might be more comfortable. Research the current situation within China, keep up to date with news and events as they happen, and be aware of your nationality’s visa requirements. Also research all cultural and legal matters – you must respect the Chinese culture.

Choose your destination carefully

China is huge, so it is a good idea to decide which cities you want to visit and plan your trip. Beijing is an obvious starting point, with its well-preserved traditional parks, ancient imperial palaces and winding alleys, and the city of Shanghai is the financial capital of China – a great place to experience modern China, with its glimmering skyline and adventure parks.

Get a tour guide

Visit China’s heritage sites with a tour guide, who will be able to explain the culture and customs, and advise you of any potential cultural differences. Most tourist destinations have a dedicated tourist guest centre that can provide all the necessary information.

Learn essential phrases

You’ll get more out of your trip if you learn a few basic Mandarin phrases such as ‘hello’, ‘how are you?’, ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’. Knowing these phrases will make the locals more receptive to you and show them that you are respectful of their culture.

Acquire a necessary visa

It is important to obtain all necessary visas before travelling to China, as restrictions are very strict. Different visas are available, depending on the length of your intended stay. It’s advisable to check with your local travel agent, embassy or the Chinese embassy to find out which visa you would require.

Prepare for the health risks

You might be exposed to a wide range of health risks in China, and it’s important to be aware of them. Check with your doctor about necessary vaccines before you travel. Also be aware of the water quality – it’s not suitable for drinking, and stick to local bottled water when drinking or brushing teeth.

Keep an eye on your budget

Just like all countries, China has its own unique spending habits. Credit cards are widely accepted, but you should always remember to check any associated fees before using them. You should also be aware of fees, exchange rates and pricing for different products. Knowing these basics will help your budgeting along the way.

Culture of China

China has over 5,000 years of history and culture, and is home to much ancient architecture, art, literature, philosophy and more. Chinese culture is rich and diverse, and is very much centred around ceremony, honour, respect and tradition. As a visitor, it’s important to be familiar with the culture and customs, as misunderstanding of the culture will not be well-received.

Chinese Food

China is famous for its delicious food – from the spicy Sichuan cuisine to the simple yet delicious street food. There are a great variety of dishes available across the nation, and many of them are unique to China. The country has a long history of food culture, and it’s important to be aware of what to eat and not to eat. For example, certain dishes include poisonous or spoilt food, so make sure you are careful when ordering.

Social Customs

Social customs in China are very important, and should be observed by visitors. It is advisable to be polite and respectful, and not to engage in any activity that may be seen as rude. For example, public displays of affection are generally frowned upon in China, and most temples had strict dress codes with no tank-tops or shorts allowed.

Family Culture

Though traditional family structures have seen some changes in the last few decades, family dynamics remain a strong part of Chinese culture. Family ties are emphasised from a young age, and festivities like Lunar New Year remain important to Chinese families.


Whenever meeting or complimenting someone, it’s polite to offer a gift. Traditional and practical items such as pouches of tea, cigarettes and alcohol are popular. It’s advised to avoid giving gifts that are overly personal, like jewellery, as these may make the recipient feel uncomfortable.

Language and Dialect

Mandarin Chinese is the official language of China, and the most commonly spoken. However, there are hundreds of other dialects, from Wu to Cantonese and more. As well as being the main language, Mandarin is also used for cultural communication, with people often exchanging jokes, stories and opinions in Mandarin.


Greetings are typically very formal in China, and visitors should check with their guides or use a guidebook to be sure they are using the appropriate terms. Generally, people use formal titles when addressing persons, such as ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’, and bow or take a slight bow when meeting them.

Public Speaking

It is considered polite to be quiet and courteous in public – especially in buses and trains. Nodding or bowing your head slightly is the correct way to greet someone you don’t know. Avoid making loud noise and talking too much, as this will draw unwanted attention.

Respectful Gestures

When travelling, it is always important to show respect – and this is particularly true in China. Take care not to touch or point at people’s faces or hands, or speak too loudly. And remember that the elderly are given special respect, so it’s polite to greet or call them ‘Grandma’ or ‘Grandpa’.

Saying ‘Hello’

In Chinese, the standard greeting is ‘ni hao’, which means ‘hello’. Other phrases that are useful for greeting others include ‘zai jian’ (goodbye) and ‘zou kai le’ (see you later).

Travel Tips

Travelling to China can be an amazing experience, but it’s important to be prepared for potential risks. Here are some tips to consider when planning your journey.

Check the Climate

China has a diverse range of climates, depending on which region you’re visiting. Regions in the north are usually colder and windier, while central and South China are more tropical. Be sure to check the weather before you pack your bags.

Carry Money Safely

Be aware that petty theft does occur in China, just like in most countries. It’s best to only carry the cash you’ll need for that day, and find a secure place to store your passport and other valuables.

Avoid Certain Scams

There are some scams that are common in China, so it’s best to be prepared and wary of anything that seems too good to be true. One example is a scam involving ‘free’ gifts – be aware that you may be charged for these after they have been given. And be careful when travelling on the metro, as pickpockets can be an issue.

Be Aware of Air Quality

China’s air pollution can be quite high on bad days, so it’s important to check the air quality and be aware of potential dangers. There are apps available that will give you the latest information on air quality in the city you’re visiting.

Be Considerate of Culture

It is important to be respectful of the Chinese culture, and to be appropriate in your dress and behaviour. This means avoiding provoking discussions or engaging in debates unless invited to, and being aware of what is and isn’t appropriate conversation.

Accommodation and Transport

China has a great variety of accommodation options, ranging from 5-star international hotels to budget hostels. When it comes to travelling around, the train network is extensive and efficient, with a range of different train classes from slow sleepers to fast express trains. You can also take domestic flights, and there are many buses available.

Choose Accommodation Wisely

When choosing accommodation, be sure to check with your guide if you’re unsure. Generally, hotels are the safest option, but hostels and home-stays can also provide a more local experience. Be sure to read the reviews carefully and ask for advice if you’re unsure of anything.

Buy Tickets Properly

Train tickets can be bought online or in person at most major train stations. It’s advisable to make all your arrangements in advance, as ticket queues can be long. Also be aware that some tickets can be hard to get, so it’s best to book a few months in advance if possible.

Investigate Flight Deals

Many domestic flights are now incredibly affordable, so it’s worth researching flights to see which would be the best option for your trip. Chinese airlines offer regular domestic flights to major cities, so these are always worth looking into.

Book Hotel Early

China is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, so it’s best to book your hotel in advance. You could opt for an online booking system, or book through a travel agent. Make sure to compare prices, and read the reviews carefully to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Stay Connected

Staying connected while travelling is easy in China, as most cities have good mobile data coverage. You can purchase a SIM card at a local store or online, and there are also many free public wifi spots in most airports, hotels and trains.

Bernice Sorrells

Bernice A. Sorrells is a freelance journalist and travel writer from the United States. She has written extensively about China, covering topics such as culture, history, politics, and economics. Bernice has traveled extensively throughout China, visiting many of its provinces and cities.

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