Traveling In China Tips

Learn the Language

China is a country of many languages. Mandarin is the most commonly spoken, but other languages like Cantonese and Shanghainese can be heard depending on the region. That’s why it’s important to take the time to learn phrases and words in Chinese before traveling. While many locals will be able to converse with you in English, you’ll find that speaking some phrases in the local language can go a long way towards making your experience in China a lot more enjoyable. That’s because it shows locals you are making an effort, and is usually seen as a polite gesture.
Learning the language also allows you to ask for directions and order food more easily. If you have a hard time learning new words and phrases on your own, there are many websites and apps available that can help you learn. Pronunciation can also be difficult to master, so consider watching YouTube videos or finding guided conversations in both Mandarin and any other local languages spoken in the area. Finally, to get a head start, try visiting a Chinese grocery store or restaurant to get an authentic experience.

Prepare for Travel

When traveling to China, the first step is getting a visa. If you’re staying for more than a few days in the country, you will need a visa. Most visitors to China should apply for a Tourist visa, which will allow you to spend up to 30 days in the country. To apply, you will need a passport that is valid for at least six months after you enter China and a completed visa application. You will also need to submit documents to prove your identity, such as a driver’s license or government-issued photo ID.
You should also research Chinese customs and laws before you go. It may be useful to read up on local laws, as well as the cultural norms and etiquette of the country. Beijing is the capital of China, and while it has many attractions and activities to offer its visitors, be aware of the laws and regulations about behavior before going.

Know Your Money

When it comes to currency, China operates on a system of renminbi, also known as yuan. It is important to make sure you have enough renminbi on hand to cover any costs, such as food, lodging, and transportation. You can exchange money in China for local currency in many places, such as banks, ATMs, and hotels. It is important to note that some smaller establishments may not accept credit cards, so it might be wise to have some cash on hand.
When traveling, it is also important to convert your currency into yuan in advance so you won’t be charged high exchange rates. This allows you to pay for items in renminbi without having to worry about calculating currency conversions on the spot.

Navigating Transportation

Whether you plan to stay in one city or travel around the country, it helps to have some knowledge of China’s transportation system. This includes trains, buses, taxis, and bicycle rentals, all of which make it easy to explore various parts of the country.
Train and bus rides are especially convenient for long-distance travel. There are high-speed bullet trains that connect larger cities, as well as smaller regional trains. You can also purchase tickets to ride a bus, which is generally cheaper than the bullet train.
Taxis are available for short-distance travel. This is often the most convenient way to get around the city, but always make sure to discuss the price before getting in the cab.
Finally, the famous bike-share program is available in many cities. This program has become popular in recent years, and is a great way to explore the city and get exercise at the same time.

Stay Healthy and Safe

When traveling in China, it’s important to take precautions to stay safe and healthy. Make sure to always carry a map, towing card, and bottled water. It is also important to plan ahead and research any potential health risks.
It is recommended that visitors check with their health-care provider about any necessary vaccinations before arriving. Additionally, make sure to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and hats, and bring mosquito repellent to ward off any pesky insects.
Although crime rates in China are low, there are still safety risks to consider. Always carry any important documents and items such as phones, wallets, and purses in a secure place. Be aware of your surrounding environment and do not carry large amounts of money or show off pricey possessions.

Explore the Cuisine

Exploring the food in China is an adventure on its own. Each region has its own unique cuisine, from noodles in Shanghai to dumplings in Beijing.
No matter where you go, there will be plenty of delicious food to try. Street food is a great way to try authentic local delicacies, and you can find food stands or small shops at almost every corner. Family restaurants and hole-in-the-wall eateries also serve up delicious and inexpensive meals.
When ordering food, it helps to have a basic concept of the cuisine. For instance, some dishes are spicy, while others are more sweet or savory. Knowing the dishes you like and dislike can help you decide what to order when you’re out.
Exploring the cuisine of China is also a great way to learn more about the culture and the people. It is famous for its spices and unique flavor combinations, making it a great way to explore the country’s history and customs.

Discover Ancient Culture and Art

China is known for its ancient culture and art, and no visit is complete without exploring the country’s many exhibits and attractions. You can find many museums scattered across the country, as well as famous landmarks such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.
Many cities also have numerous statues and sculptures, which offer a glimpse into China’s history and culture. Exploring the country’s many gardens and parks is a great way to learn more about the local culture. Finally, you can take part in traditional activities like calligraphy or Chinese painting.

Revel in the Shopping

China is exceptionally famous for its vast array of shopping possibilities. From markets to lavish department stores, you can find a plethora of items at great prices.
No matter where you go, you can find cheap and quality items ranging from clothing to furniture. Markets such as Beijing’s Wangfujing and Shanghai’s Lujiazui are the perfect places to get bulk items. You can also find high-end shopping malls like the Bund in Shanghai.
For those who love haggling, flea markets and street vendors provide the perfect opportunity. You can find items from everyday necessities to unique souvenirs, all at great prices.

Visit Unforgettable Events

China is also home to many unforgettable events. From cultural celebrations like the Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn festival to high-tech fairs such as the Shanghai International Automotive Exhibition, there are always experiences to be had in China.
The grandeur of Holi, a Hindu celebration that takes place in some Chinese cities to celebrate the start of spring, is also a sight to behold. Sports competitions such as the Chinese Basketball Association also provide a unique way to explore the country.

Experience the Nightlife

China has an exciting nightlife scene, with numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs to explore. These establishments are usually open until the early morning, making them the perfect places to experience the country’s modern lifestyle and vibrant culture.
From western-style bars and pubs to traditional Chinese eateries and tea houses, there is something for everyone. There are also many international restaurants to choose from, offering a variety of cuisines including Italian, French, Japanese, and more.
If you’re looking for a more unique experience, you can explore China’s vibrant cabaret scene. You can find world-class performances with a diverse program of acrobatics, dance, and musical acts. No matter what you choose to do, a night out in China is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

John Melendez

John J. Melendez is a journalist, author, and commentator specializing in Chinese culture, politics, and international relations. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, and is the author of several books on Chinese culture and politics. He currently resides in Beijing, China.

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