Year over year, China has seen an increase in international travellers making their way into China via plane, train, or auto. It is expected that in 2015 China will likely see over 30 million international visitors.
The attraction of living, working, or visiting China is definitely real. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for money, adventure, career, teaching, nature, climbing, vacation, golf –China is booming.
Needless to say there are a lot of newcomers checking China out for the first time and this post is intended to be a quick read resource for them.
10 Best Travel Tips for China
These tips will help you be a little thriftier on the road, keep you safe, and help you travel longer with less on trips to China 2016.
- Learn common phrases; learning common phrases in Mandarin will allow you to inch a little or a lot deeper into the local culture, the choice is yours. Phrasebooks and audio books are available on the market to help you out with this. Duolingo and Rosetta Stone are great apps to help learn the language –and Duolingo is free!
- Pack light; no, really. Save space in the beginning because space always becomes a problem on the way home. In addition to that –it really isn’t fun carrying around a big heavy pack, and wheeled suitcases are a joke in busy or uneven streets. You avoid injury by packing light!
- Bring toilet paper; Bring toilet paper everywhere. On planes, trains, buses, a stroll, or a night on the town. Plan for being the only one on the planet with toilet paper because it only takes a few days of rigorous travel to upset your guts and sometimes every second counts.
- Bring a tin metal cup; there are a million uses for a tin cup, from heating up noodles with a lighter –to making use of the hot water on train cars along the Trans-Siberian Railway. You never know where you’ll wind up; tin cup for the win.
- Know your translators; if you’ve ever given a Millennial a bad rap, think again. Chances are you’re going to be in a jam and need a translator at some point – and when you do, look for a high school student. People under 25 are most likely to speak English and Mandarin (and they’re likely dying to try out their skills on a “real” foreigner; win/win). This is less common in areas like Thailand, where much fewer kids speak English.
- Street eats; Eat them. Eat all of their foods. Street meat, street food vendors, whatever you call them I bet 95% are epic. Don’t let the look of the cart fool you. There is no better way to watch the city awaken than waking up to a coffee and a bowl of bone soup in the street.
- Find your Idaho; Ok not literally, who goes to Idaho? Kidding. But find a place, or thing – a landmark, so you always know where your temporary home is and can explain it to a taxi driver.
- Stay focused; do not plan to do everything in one go, one visit. No way, no sir. Won’t happen, and don’t obligate your poor feeble body to take on too much in too little time. The videos you see from travel bloggers take years to make, you’re not just going to hop on a plane and do a little dance in every major city of the world in a weekend.
- Look around; everywhere you go, soak it in. It’s good for the experience, and it’s good for safety.
- Bring a whistle; lady or gent, a whistle is all good. Provided you’re not drunk and discover it, then that would be bad. But more often than not, you’ll be glad you had it. Whether is for danger or getting a friends attention across a busy street.