“Top 12 Travel Tips for China | My China Travel Tips” written by Bren Koger.
We were fortunate to be able to spend three amazing weeks in January/February of this year touring China from Beijing to Shanghai.
After my son and daughter-in-law celebrated their traditional Chinese wedding on January 28th on an island off the coast of Zhuhai they gave us a guided tour of several cities throughout China.
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If you’re planning a trip to China, I would like to share a few things with you that I learned along the way in the hopes that this will make your stay a little more comfortable and enjoyable.
My Travel Tips for China
We were told before we left to bring toilet paper, so we were prepared. You will want to bring LOTS of small rolls of toilet paper or small tissues that you can put in your pocket or purse. Enough for the entire trip. a lot of the hotels had toilet paper, but when you’re out and about not all stalls in restaurants and public areas have toilet paper. (They don’t flush toilet paper) In fact, most don’t and they are not western toilets. They are squat toilets and look like this…
Bring hand sanitizer and hand wipes. The sinks in the bathrooms mostly only have cold water and do not usually have paper towels or hand driers. The hand sanitizer will definitely come in handy. Bath and Body sells the little ones for very cheap.
Bring enough clean clothes. Don’t expect to find cheap easy ways to launder your clothes. There are no Laundromats and the Chinese laundry service is expensive. We paid $75 to launder just a few items. It might be cheaper just to buy new underwear and t-shirts. We ended up washing things in our hotel sink and made due with what we had.
Bring enough Chinese and Hong Kong currency. Bring double what you think you are going to need. Many places do not take American credit cards. Some restaurants and shops will take Visa but it’s easier if you have this one with a Union Pay symbol from a Chinese bank
5) Guided Tours
Be careful of the tours. They can be scams that will require more money for your return fare once they get you to your destination. They are also tourist traps that take you to a presentations to encourage you to buy their products. We were taken on a tour that led us through several winding rooms with people aggressively selling us their snacks and products several times.
6) Winter Vacation
If you go in the winter months, make sure your hotel has heat. Heated rooms are not a given. They may provide a radiator for your room if you ask.
You may get a hard bed. Chinese beds are not all soft mattresses. About 1/3 of the hotel beds we stayed in were board-hard mattresses. You may want to consider bringing an air mattress.
Be prepared to drink a lot of bottled water. Most restaurants don’t serve water with the meal unless it’s hot or in a tea. Try the different kinds of hot teas. They are amazing!
You may have to wear a mask when you are outside for pollution in some of the bigger cities like Beijing. It was very noticeable in the air at first. An acrid scent and noticeable smog but for us dissipated with the cold temperatures. It was not noticeable in the other cities like Hong Kong or Shanghai. I would bring a mask just to be prepared.
10) Sticker Price
Be prepared to haggle. You do not need to pay full price for things like taxi rides or souvenirs at most of the shops. The malls have department stores where you will pay full price.
11) Vegetarian Food
If you are a vegetarian be prepared to be selective with your food choices. They eat a lot of pork and meat dishes where no part of the animal is spared. They have AMAZING pastries, tofu, buns, dumplings and vegetables..you will not go hungry.
12) The Language
Learn a few Chinese phrases. Many people do not speak english. Knowing a few phrases to get around will be helpful.
Final Words on My Travel Tips for China
China is breathtakingly beautiful mix of the preserved ancient culture and the modern fast growing cities. I feel so blessed to have gotten to know my new Chinese family.
The food was a wonderful smorgasbord of different tastes and textures.
There are photo opportunities everywhere you look.
The people were kind and helpful.
We can’t wait to plan our next trip back.
I hope these tips help and you enjoy your stay in this beautiful country as much as we did.
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