Eight Essential Things You Need to Know Before Venturing to China

Long ago, China is not an ideal place to travel. Even though it’s filled with beautiful landmarks and tourist spots to visit, politics, poverty, and poor infrastructure is keeping travelers at bay. But today, China is far from that. More and more people are visiting China thanks to the profound changes that swept the revitalized nation over decades. So if you have a plan to travel to China, here are eight tips to help you out to make your China escapade worthwhile.

  1. Eat Everything as Much as You Can

  • In different countries around the world, you can find a few Chinese cuisines that are delicious to eat at. But once you go to China, there’s a whole lot more to discover than the traditional dim sum and Cantonese foods in our county. In China, you can try the fiery spice of Sichuan and Hunan cuisine, the freshness and sour flavor of food from Guizhou and Yunnan.
  • Hangzhou and Shanghai also offers refined dumplings and seafood that your taste buds will surely love. The hearty quasi-Turkish kebabs and hand-pulled noodles from Xinjiang is definitely a must-try too. As you can see, China is rich when it comes to food. And this is why you should definitely try all of them as much as you can while being there.
  1. Be Prepared Online

  • Social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and others are hard to access in China. Not just that, even Google Maps and some Western email providers are also blocked too. This is because China’s privacy is very strict compared to other countries. So before flying to China, make sure that you downloaded a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app to help you access websites that are blocked by the country.
  • You may want to use alternative messaging apps too such as WeChat, which is just a Chinese WhatsApp counterpart. This app is fully featured because it’s like a combination of Facebook, PayPal, Food delivery service, and more. WeChat is a great way to find friends thanks to its “nearby people” option. You can also follow magazines, museums, restaurants, and more inside the app to help you navigate around China.
  1. Learn Basic Chinese

  • Learning the Chinese Language can be a bit difficult, but a few Mandarin words will be useful especially if you’re a first timer. You may want to take a short language course before flying there. Basic Mandarin can help you get your way around and people will likely appreciate your effort of learning their language. Try writing down addresses in Chinese characters too to make things easier.
  1. Take the Train

  • Taking the train can help you get to places around China faster. It’s even cheaper compared to booking a flight just to get around to the other side of the country. A lot of cities in China are filled with train stations for you to ride on. The five-hour flight between Beijing and Shanghai can compare favorably to flight time with considerable less stress.
  1. Explore

  • Make your China travel worthwhile by traveling to cities that are located inland. These cities are filed with local cultures and well as delicious cuisine that you’ll truly love. In Yunnan province that’s located near the borders of Laos and Myanmar, you’ll find Southeast Asian flavor. Chengdu that’s located in the Sichuan province greets you with a relaxed pace of life away from the busy hustle of the city. Don’t forget to take a visit to Chongqing to see their mega skyscrapers that hug hills on the banks of the Yangtze River.
  1. Shop ‘til You Drop

  • China is known for their fake goods, but there’s actually more to that. Grab a pack of oolong or pu’er tea for you to drink during night time. Shop a lot of clothes made by local designers in the boutiques around the alleys around Guloudongdajie in Beijing. You can also get Chinese photo books and art magazines at the Closing Ceremony in Shanghai.
  1. Visit Their Shows

  • Jaw dropping Chinese contemporary arts is one of China’s strongest points. So you should definitely not miss their exhibits under prominent galleries in the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Other contemporary arts can also be found at the Power Station Art in Shanghai, and at the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal in Shenzhen.
  1. Be Mindful About the Weather

  • Before you go, it’s best to plan which season are you going to travel to China. The best time to fly to China is around spring and autumn where you can experience moderate temperatures. It’s also best to avoid booking trips during Chinese holidays such as Chinese New Year as transport will be loaded with lots of people. Golden Week during October is also a peak season for domestic tourism so it’s best to pick another date so you can travel peacefully.