Some Tips and Advice when you travel to China

China is indeed a big, beautiful and historic city. Going to this wonderful place might be part of your bucket lists.. So, here are some of my travel tips for you.

Some Tips for Surviving China

  1.  If you have limited time for your trip, make sure to go to the tourist trails before going to any other places 
  •       I have a list of Recommended places to visit in Beijing: Click here
  •       I also have a list of recommended places to visit in Xian: Click here

2.When you visit China, make sure to wear comfortable clothing

  • unlike South Korea or Paris, people here doesn’t mind about what you wear… Chinese seems to believe in Simplicity… and they choose comfort than glamour.. so don’t mind wearing any glamorous clothing while you are in China. T-shirt, pants, or short-pants will do
  • But make sure to wear according to the season. If it’s winter then bring some winter clothing. If summer, then wear summer clothing

3. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes

  • In a big country, such as China, it isn’t a shocker, when parks, palaces and other tourist attractions is 4 times bigger than a soccer field. So better yet get ready and wear comfortable shoes
  • I wore my trusted fitflops when traveling here in China, and it wasn’t a problem. Which is unlike Bangkok, where you can’t go inside if you’re wearing slippers.

4. When you go to tourist attractions... DON’T ever try to talk to vendors!

  • There are a lot of vendors selling you stuff in tourists attractions, and they will just pester you and ruin your day if you try to talk to them.
  • Our tour guide told us some horror stories when you try to buy to these vendors:
  • According to our tour guide, Selena of Sinohotelguide, she said that one of the tourists bought something from a vendor in the great wall of Badaling, and the tourist got a fake note (money RMB)  as a change.
  • Another client of hers, also asked the vendor how much the price of the souvenir was, but the client just wanted to ask (since a buyer has the right to ask questions right?) unfortunately, she was forced to buy the thing because the vendor followed her and keep pestering her to buy the item

>> Moreover, we saw the real deal when we came to Ming Tombs, a foreign woman asked the fruit vendors (just outside the Ming Tombs) how much was the apples…and she touched it, and then she went away, and then the vendor tried to follow the foreigner and as the vendor moved, the apples that she was selling fell to the ground (the basket “bilao” of apples seemed to be accidentally attached to the apron of the vendor, that was why the apples suddenly fell), then suddenly she was throwing the apples to the foreign woman.. —this time we are just about to buy some fruits because my dad was so hungry! and we are like her next customer (we are at least 1 meter when it happened) and after seeing that kind of disaster, my father said “Halika na!” which means “Let’s go”…. harhar.. such a scary encounter!!!

5. If you travel DIY, you should put the attractions, places you wanna visit and your hotel in their local language

  • Traveling to China is difficult because of the language barrier… even in train stations or ticketing counters and even the policeman doesn’t know how to speak English… so foreign visitors… it will be really hard for us!
  • However, If you are well-versed with their local language (Mandarin) then you will have no problem at all, but for a lot of people who doesn’t understand this language then you should get ready.
  • Start by putting the name of the attractions and hotels in Chinese.
  • You can let the front desk staff of your hotel to write the places you wanna visit in their local language
  • Or before coming here, learn some basic Chinese! 🙂

6. Exchange your money in their currency before its too late!

  • There are no Money Exchange shops in China, you can only find one in the airport and some reputable hotels (Hilton, Novotel) and of course the trusted Bank
  •  I tried exchanging my money in the reputable hotels (My family and I are really worried) but they didn’t allow because only hotel guests can avail of the service)
  • For those who are budget-travelers, and your hotel doesn’t have a money exchange counter, then your only option is the BANK. But take note that the opening hours is by 9am to 5 pm  and they are closed during Chinese Holidays, Saturday and Sunday.
  • But, no worries for ATM card holders, if your bank is loaded with cash 🙂 then you can just withdraw from ATMs in China. However, they have limit of 2,000 to 3,000 CNY per day. We tried withdrawing in the ATMs of different banks in China, but it doesn’t work, the maximum (to all banks in China) is the limit I mentioned before.
  • Moreover most of the establishment does not accept USD! So be careful people! 🙂

7. When you go to China, especially DIY or even if you have a tour guide, you should read some basic history of the places you wanna visit, so that you can understand thoroughly the underlying mystery that covers the place. This will make it more interesting! 🙂

8. Bring water with you

  • walking…walking…walking.. is the only thing you will do when you visit an attraction in China, and you will need a lot of water to re-energize and to refresh you…and also this is to avoid the pesky vendors in the attractions… Instead of buying to them.. just bring your own. It will make you safe and refreshed throughout the trip.

9. If you are going to ride the long-distance train, I suggest you buy the ticket earlier or reserve it online (Now, they have online reservation facility) or if not, go early to the train station and buy the tickets) especially if your train is Xian to Beijing, since sometimes they have only 1 train leaving the place. So, watch out people!

TIPS FROM FELLOW BLOGGERS:

1. When you come to China, as much as possible, avoid street foods-especially those cooked in oil. One of my fellow blogger stated that Chinese tend to cook their food in recycled oil.

> Food cooked in oil is very unhealthy—not only because it was cooked in oil— but because the oil is recycled by those vendors.. And we all know recycling oil and eating the food cooked in it is carcinogenic…

FOR THE READERS: If you already traveled to China, please put your other “tips and suggestions when traveling to China” on the comment box below.. I can add it here in this list..

If you have more tips, list it down in the comment box below and I will add it here 🙂

Thank You! Hope this helps! 🙂

HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

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10 thoughts on “Some Tips and Advice when you travel to China”

    1. Really? That’s scary! I ate street food in Wangfujing St., my 1st night in Beijing. What are the ones recovered from the drains, the oil or the food being fried? Scary… 😦

      By the way thanks for dropping by and thanks for your comment 🙂

      1. It’s the oil – it’s estimated that around 2 in 10 meals in China are cooked in recycled cooking oil. There’s some horrible pictures of one of the factories that specialises in recycling drain oil on the shanghaiist.com blog. I don’t have a delicate stomach but that made me ill – I can’t even go and look for the picture again, it was that disturbing.

      2. My Gosh! This is sick! Maybe that’s why I got diarrhea when I went to China… though I don’t know what really caused it… Thanks for sharing! I’m going to put it in my list now!

  1. Good tips. I wouldn’t be too afraid of the street vendors. If they try to hassle you then just cause a fuss and they’ll back down. And even if you’re fluent in Mandarin, there are still many people from the rural areas who don’t speak it at all. There are also many kinds of accents that may be much different than what you’re used to so understanding some people can be a real challenge.

    1. Yeah, I agree and I recently realized that there’s a lot of language or dialects used in China and I learned that some or most of them doesn’t really know how to speak Mandarin.. one good example maybe the Hong Kong SAR where they mostly use Cantonese and they don’t speak Mandarin, even though they are part of China… 🙂

      China is really a tough country when it comes to communication.. but it’s really a worthy place to visit!

      Thanks for sharing your insight!

  2. I have some other advice here:1.Beafore you strat your travel,learn some basic Chinese, a few words and phrase.2.I sugest you to make a plan,maybe it will take a long time to prepare or you can find a travel agency.3.Check the weather,sometimes it’s much different from your country.4.Don’t buy tickets from ticket scalper, in China,called “Huangniu”, though it’s cheaper,but maybe it’s a fake ticket…

  3. For China tours,maybe i can offer some supplies.First,keep a map,that is very important,finish it before lose your way.Second,tell somebody where you are going,that is to say,let your tracks known by others.

  4. I agree to everything you wrote ,naalala ko i walked from “the egg” then tianamen square and i entered forbidden city and climbed the jingshan park at the end of the forbidden city so i’d like to add something sa mga tips mo, “Don’t go to china during summer coz it will kill you walking for miles under the sun.”ako i went there during spring kasi di ko alam kung kakayanin ko naman ang winter

    1. I also went there during spring but the heat still is unbearable.. i dont know why its already too hot by then, maybe people should go during mid march to early may since when we there during mid may, i sweated like a pig.. 🙂 thanks for your suggestion.. i will put your suggestion in my post 🙂 thanks so much! Sobrang laki lang tlaga mga attractions sa china, kakapagod maglakad! Hahahahha

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