19 Tips You Need To Know Before Visiting China

Tips You Need To Know Before Visiting China

Have you ever dreamed of an opportunity that would allow you to travel the world; or at least some of your favorite countries?

Travelling does give not only entertainment but also exposure; you learn about different cultures and understand how it is to live to step out of the zone.

Trying to sugar coat what I am going to say…

China is a bit intimidating for a first visit.

But

Don’t worry these 19 tips will surely going to make your visit fun and easy

Here We Go

1.    China is the third-largest country in the world, so be prepared to experience different temperatures, gaze at spectacular landscapes, climb mountains, enjoy beaches, take a river cruise and much more.

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2.    When in China, you need to be prepared to live without Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, Gmail and many other technological tools you are used to. These are not allowed in China. Well… unless you use a VPN. If you decide to use one, I would recommend downloading it before entering China.

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3.    Wi-Fi can be used in many places in China, but you will need to submit your telephone number to get a code, and then you will be allowed to sign in to a Wi-Fi.

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4.    There is no Uber in China, but you can use the Chinese Uber, Didi, instead. There is an English version, which is relatively easy to use. The main tip would be – if you are waiting for a cab, send a message to a driver (choose the prepared option in the application – something like, “I am waiting at location XYZ, so please come ASAP.” This will help you to avoid having the driver call you and communicate in Chinese. If he calls, do not panic, just ask a local Chinese person to help you to communicate with the driver. If you are in a hotel or a restaurant – the staff will help you.

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5.    If you are using a local taxi, check that the driver switches on the meter, which they are required to do. If you need a slip, tell the driver you need “fapiao.”

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6.    The Chinese use WeChat, their Facebook a lot. Locals will always ask if you have WeChat. It becomes the main tool of communication, even with your guide. It is beneficial as you can use the translation function to get your messages translated.

7.    The Chinese use very little cash and usually, pay with their smartphone. Even older adults do so at the markets. The WeChat application has a wallet, which allows you to pay, send and receive money. Visa and other Western credit cards are accepted, but not everywhere. You will find that it’s easier to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine than changing cash into RMB.

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8.    Be very careful when crossing streets. Chinese pedestrians have to be very careful, as drivers never stop for them. The best tip for those who have just arrived – to be on a safe side, cross the street with a group of locals. You may be forced to walk on the street sometimes, as pavements are often full of parked cars, so you will have to be very careful to also avoid bicycles, motorbikes and all other strange means of Chinese transportation they are fast, clean, and efficient and always on time; contrary to planes, which are almost always delayed.

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9.    It is advisable to travel by train when in China. They are fast, clean, and efficient and always on time; contrary to planes, which are almost always delayed.

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10.    The best application to navigate without a Wi-Fi is MapsMe. It is convenient and quite accurate.

11.    The two most useful words in restaurants are “cidan” (a menu) and “midan” (the bill). Waiters usually do not speak English. If there is an English menu, you can just point to the items you want; if not, try to look around what other guests are eating and point to the dishes you like. Or try to use hand signals to order the meat or vegetables you like. It usually works.

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12.    The Chinese mostly use squat toilets, so be prepared. And always carry your own toilet paper, as a large majority of toilets will not have any. Sometimes a toilet paper dispenser is at the entrance to the toilet, not in the cubicle. So look around first. It’s a good idea to knock on the doors of toilet cubicles before entering, as Chinese people do not like to lock the door from the inside.

13.    Public transport in Chinese cities is quite well-developed and cheap. Try to avoid the metro in rush hours, as it is very crowded.

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14.    Chinese adore taking photos with foreigners, even without asking their permission. Be prepared to be photographed a lot. On the other hand, they are quite happy to be photographed, and never ask for payment.

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15.    The best time to visit Beijing is spring (April – May) or autumn (September – October), as it gets boiling in summer.

16.    If you ask me which province is my favorite, it is Yunnan. It has a vast variety of minority cultures, beautiful landscapes, and tasty cuisine. I would advise visiting Guilin, the Yellow Mountains, Chengdu for pandas and the giant Buddha, Chengde Mountain Resort and many other places.

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17.    Chinese cuisine varies a lot, and in every province, you will be amazed at how rich and diverse their cuisine is – and how it differs from the Chinese cuisine we are used to in Europe and the United States. You may find that it is very spicy in Sichuan province, as they use a lot of local Sichuan pepper. So, if you are not used to spicy food, watch out!

18.    Chinese people are friendly with foreigners, and they try to be helpful. If they cannot explain in English, they will try to use an app with a translation feature or may lead you if they cannot explain the directions

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19.    There are two very common scams in China, so beware. First, there is the fake banknote scam in taxis. Some taxi drivers will take your 100 bill and try to pretend it is a fake note, and try to return a real fake one to you. Do not accept the fake note, and do not debate with the driver. Be convincing, show that you know it is a scam, and threaten to call the police. Another popular scam is the tea-drinking scam. In a city, a nice Chinese girl or couple will approach you in order to practice their English. Then they will invite you for a cup of tea or coffee. If you do, you will end up with an impressive bill. Even police will not help you. It is a very popular scam.