Preparing for your China Trip
China has an unrivalled allure for many visitors around the world who visit this country for diverse reasons. As a country with a long history and rich traditions and cultures, there are multiple opportunities for visitors to explore its many facets such as the food, music, natural and historical landmarks, and many others.
Regardless of what is the purpose of your visit to China, it is important that you get yourself well prepared so that you know what to bring and what to expect during your exciting trip. The following useful information and advice about China travel would help inform you about how you should go about preparing for your trip.
Making preparations for your trip to China regarding what you should bring is essential for an enjoyable trip. A pair of good walking shoes is absolutely essential, especially if you visit the main attractions as there is a lot of walking involved. The Great Wall of China, for example, has many rough surfaces and lots of steps.
You will also be exposed to the elements in open places like the Forbidden City, so an umbrella or raincoat is essential. Insect repellent is also helpful in keeping the pests away during hot summer months. Most importantly, you should dress according to the weather conditions that apply to the specific time and place of your visit.
Some shopping insights
If you are visiting different cities or regions during your trip, it is recommended that you spread your buys out such that you can purchase the unique products of each place. For example, Xinjiang is famous for carpets while Suzhou is well-known for its silk. Do feel free to bargain to get the best prices for your goods, except in malls and department stores.
No other country elicits strong reactions in its cuisine like China. With a diverse array of regional cuisines that utilize the different parts of plants and animals, be prepared for a gourmet experience like no other. Nonetheless, the many different styles of cooking and preparation result in gourmet masterpieces that are unique to each region. That is the alluring appeal of Chinese cuisine. Tipping is not necessary for most cases, although a service charge will be levied in some restaurants.
Safety and security
China as a whole is a safe country to visit, with many helpful and friendly locals. However do take precaution at night and in crowded places, so do carefully safeguard your belongings and valuables and keep them where they are visible. Be careful not to flaunt your jewelry or other indicators of wealth unnecessarily. Most importantly, do not fall prey to scams by keeping your wits about and not following strangers.
What you should know when getting around by yourself
If you decide to go exploring without a guide, it is recommended that you have your hotel card in your possession wherever you go. This is because the card has information of your hotel printed so that you can get directions to return to your hotel if you are lost. If you cannot speak Mandarin, riding a taxi would be much easier for you if you show the driver the name and address of your destination in Chinese. This is because many taxi drivers barely understand English.
Chinatowns around the world
To get a good idea about how life in China may be, head for your nearest Chinatown. Check out this guide to Chinatowns for information about the Chinatown in your city.