Nowadays, more and more tourists from all over the world are coming to China to visit the old country to experience its rich history and perhaps catch a glimpse of the bright future,but there are things you must do before travelling to china.
Although modernization has led to many Western facilities now being available, there are still a number of obstacles that may affect the unprepared traveler.
Having lived and worked in China for few years, I have compiled a number of top things you must do before travelling to China. I wish I had it before I got there.
The nice thing about backpacking is that you travel without a lot of planning and tune in local journey. In China it is also possible, but you have to advance or arrange a few things inorder to make your trip more pleasant. We have put in a row below,the most important things you must do before travelling to china:
Last Updated on the 24 April 2018!!
20 Things You Must Do Before Travelling To China
China’s government will find it necessary to block some websites. For example, almost all – Western – social media’s blocked, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, all services blocked from Google. Fortunately, these blocks are relatively easy to circumvent. Use a VPN. With a VPN app, you can choose a server in a different location in the world, so that these sites would not be blocked. We have had good experiences with ExpressVPN, but there are many alternatives out there.
2. Chinese Addresses
For China, we recommend you to book an overnight stay before arriving at your destination. Onsite Chinese major cities running around looking for a hotel is usually not recommended. If you have booked an overnight stay this is usually important inorder to save the Chinese address of the property. Many Chinese names can be hardly read. Alphabetically, so you know little of the address or name of your accommodation. Most of the property website is always found on the address in Chinese characters, so this really saves. This comes in handy if you take a taxi or ask someone for the way.
3. China recognizes only one currency – that of itself.
The official currency of China is the yuan, also known as RMB or popularly ‘quai’.
Denominations are available for 1RMB, 10RMB, 20RMB, 50RMB and 100RMB. There are also 1RMB coins available, as well as smaller fractions known as ‘Mao’ for the Chinese currency.Chinese companies do not accept other currencies, including the US dollar or the Hong Kong dollar.
4. Exchange currencies at cash dispensers in China
Although many Chinese banks do not accept foreign cards, larger chains such as HSBC can be used to withdraw foreign currencies from foreign bank accounts. This usually offers a much better exchange rate than services such as Travelex. International ATMs are available in all major cities, but may be harder to find in less touristy areas.
5. Do not forget to tell your bank that you are visiting China
Before you go to China, make sure your bank knows that you will use your credit or debit card there. You do not want your card canceled in the middle of the trip for unusual transactions.
6. Take a translator with You
If you need to do your banking business face-to-face, you may need to bring a local contact to help translate. Very few bank employees will communicate in English to help you, although in larger cities like Beijing or Shanghai they should have an English speaking staff.
7 Do not tip in China
The Chinese do not tip and you are not expected to do either.
8. Use your Skills
Outside of chain stores and boutiques it is entirely possible to practice your bargaining. Never accept the indicated price or first prize. With smart negotiations it is possible to get souvenirs and such for a fraction of the price quoted.
9. Reservation of hotels in China
If you want flexibility with your itinerary, use sites that do not require prepayment to make reservations.
Booking.com has more than 50,000 properties in China, including hotels, apartments and hostels. You get a free cancellation in most rooms. And with their book now, pay later at the check-in system, you can lock that rate with some flexibility. Check the current hotel prices.
Chinese sites such as C-Trip do not require a down payment to book accommodation, and you can cancel without penalty after your visa has been approved.
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10. Travel insurance for China
Although China is a very safe country with relatively little crime, it pays to be prepared. So one of my best travel tips from China is if you can not afford insurance, you can not afford to travel.
Book travel insurance with Allianz Travel Insurance that cover travelers from all over the world and make sure that you have more valuables, such as cameras, laptops, etc. that are insured already.
Eating out in China can be quite a challenge. Not every restaurant is doted with an English menu. Often you have to do it with meaningless images of the dish. You just have to learn some of the Chinese translation of some key characters out of your head, this will really help you.
12. Arrange for your travel
Rule or outline some following things before you go.
13. Credit card:
It is advisable before you leave to apply for a credit card.
14. Go to the Airport Early:
It is advisable to go to the airport three hours earlier for international flights to China and two hours earlier for domestic flights. Chinese airports can often be chaotic and crowded, so you will be grateful for that extra time. Easily compare the cheapest flights.
15. Take toilet paper
One of the unusual things to know before you go to China is that most Chinese toilets do not offer toilet paper. Hotels and better restaurants have it available, but it is always a good idea to bring a roll of toilet paper or a box of tissues!
16. Apply hand soap or hand disinfectant
Just like toilet paper, most of their hand soap is not standard in many Chinese bathrooms. Take a small bottle of hand sanitizer to be sure.
17. Apply for Visa
One of the most important things to know when traveling to China is that they do not offer visas on arrival. So before you travel to China, you have to arrange your visa well in advance! If you want to stay longer you should apply for a visa in advance. This takes a little more effort than for other countries in Asia, especially if you want to stay longer than 30 days or need a multiple entry visa.
When applying for a tourist visa, you must provide an invitation letter from a Chinese friend or family member or provide a detailed itinerary of your planned trip. This includes return flights and confirmed reservations for your hotel bookings.
Visas can be applied for personally at the Chinese consulate or can be ordered by mail.
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Get Travel to China book course before you leave. It may also be helpful to buy your train tickets in advance. You have permanent seats on the trains in China, if you buy a ticket then, your car and your seat number will be assign to you. Fixed seating means that trains can also be sold. Especially in busy periods – during the Golden Week in October, for example – it is always wise to buy a train ticket in advance if you are very sure you want to travel. You can do this online through C-trip . It also important you download the C-trip app, which is arranged in handy if you are traveling to China.
19. Train China Discount for student
Unfortunately, in China you are charged for nearly every landmark and national park entrance fees . This is however more in some countries, but in China the amounts are much higher. However,students receive hefty discount. Sometimes this is only for Chinese students, but usually available for foreign students.
20. Try to Understand hand gestures
If you do not speak then hand gestures is often an important part of your communication for the local language. Numbers in it is one of the most common hand gestures.In Europe and in the major part of the world – this is quite easy, but they use other hand gestures in China.
I hope that my local insights and trips to China tips will help you to have an unforgettable time.
I have been traveling for six years now and i have only depended on a few trusted websites that save me time and money when booking accommodation, flights and tours. See below!
Accommodation in China
Booking.com has more than 50,000 properties in China, including hotels, apartments and hostels. You receive free cancellation in most rooms and a best price guarantee.
Flights to China
Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you’ve found your best deal, they’ll send you directly to the airline or agent to book (no extra cost).
Download the new Skyscanner app, which makes it easier to find the best deals. It is an all-in-one app for flights, hotels and car rental.
Tours in China
If you have visited before, do you have tips for traveling in China or other things you need to know before you visit China? Please share in the comments below!