Tips To Consider When Visiting China

Disclosure: In any review for a product or service, products or compensation may have been provided to me to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” and "Terms of Use" tabs for more information.

Are you considering visiting China? Well, you should and it’s a great thing to do and an experience to have. Here are some top tips to do so.


  1. Eat Well

Outside of China’s borders, impressions of their food are often defined by the balanced, sweet flavors of Cantonese food. While dim sum and most Cantonese dishes are delightful, there are so many regional cuisines to be discovered like the sour funkiness and freshness of food from Yunnan and Guizhou and the fiery spice of Hunan and Sichuan cuisine.


And don’t forget the light, refined seafood, and dumplings from Shanghai and Hangzhou, and Xinjiang’s hand-pulled noodles and hearty quasi Turkish kebabs. While you could travel around to try some of these dishes, the great thing is that major Chinese cities host restaurants that offer cuisine from different parts of the country.


  1. Go online


Google Maps, Youtube, Facebook and a majority of Western email providers won’t be easy to access in China, so you might want to down a VPN or Virtual Private Network to help you get past China’s “Great Firewall.”


However, in China, you can still find some handy apps like WeChat, which can be considered to a Chinese WhatsApp but is, in reality, a combination of the app, Paypal, Facebook, a food delivery platform and so much more. Some of its features are hard to navigate even with limited Chinese; however, you will still need the app to make new friends and follow restaurants, museums, magazines and other establishments on the app to stay updated about exclusive deals and events. So, experience China by booking flights and getting your passport and visa ready to go – you can order here.


  1. Learn Some Chinese


While Chinese languages can be intimidating, attempting to learn some Mandarin, which is the most widely spoken language in China, will be useful. If you are in China for a short stay, consider signing up for a short language course to learn the basics of the language.


The most basic Mandarin will prove handy when it comes to moving around, and locals will be happy to see that you are making an effort. Printing out or writing down addresses in Chinese or using Chinese characters will certainly ease things for you.


  1. Take the Train

In most countries, this option would imply enjoying the romance of seeing the countryside roll by as you head to your destination. However, that is not the case in China. Their high speed rail network is renowned for its convenience. With railway stations much closer to cities than airports, a journey between two major cities is faster, more comfortable and much cheaper than domestic flights.


The five hours it takes to travel between Shanghai and Beijing compare quite favorably to flight times, but with lesser stress. Furthermore, the bustle in China’s modern stations will allow you to see the direction the nation is taking.


  1. Avoid the Coast


As tempting as it is, consider traveling away from major cities that sit near coastlines. Provinces and cities further inland have more distinct cuisines and cultures, and often have stronger ties with tradition.


In Yunnan province, which borders Myanmar and Laos, China takes a Southeast Asian flavor. On the other hand, Chengdu, which is in Sichuan province, has a relaxed pace and is a gateway to the wilderness that sits along the edge of the Himalayas. Chongqing, which is not that far off, is a surreal mega city with skyscrapers that hug hills on Yangtze River’s banks.


  1. Shop A Bit


Well, China is home to some of the best fake goods in the world. However, there is so much the country has to offer. So, when visiting, why not buy yourself some quality pu’er tea or oolong? In the alleys, known as hutongs, around Beijing’s Guloudongdajie, boutiques stock nostalgic socialist chic homeware and attire from local designers. Stores like Shanghai-based Closing Ceremony offer a variety of Chinese art magazines and photo books.


  1. Catch a Show


China’s contemporary art has firmly established itself internationally, so consider checking out some art exhibits right at the source. Some of the most prominent galleries in China include Shanghai’s Power Station of Art, Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, and Shenzhen’s OCT Contemporary Art Terminal.


If you love music, then Beijing bars like School carry on the city’s decades-long tradition of gritty rock. Furthermore, the electronic music scene in Shanghai is one of the best in Asia.

Speak Your Mind