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China is a beautiful country boasting its rich culture and centuries of history. However, for the first-timers, it might bring a culture shock. If you are one of them planning the first trip to China, you must be aware of certain important things to have a stress-free holiday in a foreign land. In this blog, we have come up with some essential tips for your first trip to China.

tips on traveling to china

1. Get your visa in advance


Visitors need to have an entry visa to enter the boundaries of the Republic of China. You must submit the visa application at least 2 months prior to the travel date. If you are an American, submit a fee of $130 along with the application, flight itinerary details and passport to the Consulate General or Embassy nearest to your place.

2. Plan the trip at the right time to visit China


Visiting China for the first time? If so, plan the trip during the time that is best suitable for foreign tourists. In summers, China is sweltering and smoggy with high humidity levels that can be quite unbearable for tourists. If you want to visit the country with fewer crowds around, book your tickets for the off-season – October to March. The temperature remains and cooler and the weather is also pleasant.

3. Plan your itinerary well


China is a vast country with the largest population of the world. It is impossible to visit all the popular destinations on your first trip. So, we would recommend you to start from Beijing, Shanghai or Xi'an. All the places have different climatic conditions, so keep track of it while creating the itinerary. You can also include Qinghai region on your China travel checklist. The place has beautiful lakes, magnificent mountain ranges and spectacular landscapes.

tips on traveling to china

4. Be prepared for the language barrier


Language barrier is the first hurdle for foreign travelers visiting China. To manage a week or two in the foreign country, it is important to learn a few common phrases in Mandarin, the most common language in the country. Cantonese is spoken in Hong Kong. English is turning into the universal language, but there are Chinese people who still can't speak it. To communicate with the cab drivers, always have your hotel’s business card. Locals can also help you go back to the hotel, in case you are lost.

5. Know about the censorship


The Chinese government has censored everything, from media to Internet. If you are a social media addict, we are sorry but you won’t be able to browse your Twitter and Facebook account in China. Sometimes, you might not be able to access your email. What you can do is, get VPN in your laptop and phone. Make sure the service is not blocked in the country.

6. Culture shock for westerners


Chinese lifestyle differs a lot with that of a westerner. We would like you to read about their culture and tradition before going to China. In major cities of China, traffic and pollution is a big issue. You will find people moving around with surgical masks on their faces to stay protected from pollution. Be prepared for squat toilets, they don’t have paper. Better carry a hand sanitizer and paper along!

Coming to the street vendors, you can bargain with them for the price but unless you want to buy something, do not ask for the price. You won’t want the vendors to follow you around, would you?

tips on traveling to china

7. Get ready to be clicked!


The Chinese people outside Shanghai and Beijing are not much used to seeing foreign travelers, especially westerners. You might across some staring and some might even click pictures of you – just give them a warm smile. Don't feel bad as this is just their curiosity to find someone different from them in their country. Be polite to the locals but like it is always advised, stay alert and have your street smarts handy.

8. Stay healthy


Pollution is a big problem in the Republic of China. If you have serious respiratory problems, strike out the big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. One of the important tips for your first time in China is that if you are a foodie, be cautious while tasting street food. You might smell stale oil or leftovers. Drink only boiled tea and bottled water.

9. Stay safe


Crime against foreign travelers is not a common thing in China. Being a westerner or foreign traveler, you will not feel unsafe in China. However, pickpocketing is a common thing everywhere, so be safe. Considering you an outsider, the street vendors may overcharge you for the items. Lastly, do not drink in public and you can count your change.

Have a fantastic journey.
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Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

15 comments:

  1. I’ve only visited Hong Kong and Macau, but not yet the mainland. Censorship is a big issue over there! There are some stunning places to see in China; I hope to visit some of them one day soon.

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  2. Great advise! I've never been to China but it seems like such an interesting country. It's good to know that there isn't internet as easily available as in other countries.

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  3. your photos OMG!!! The colors and everything, it is so magical. I would love to travel to China one day. Soon i hope.

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  4. What awesome tips! I have been to China but it was so long ago and this refresher is perfect for my planned trip in a couple years! TY!

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  5. Great tips for anyone who plan to visit China, I have been to China for a number of times and each time is a different places as China is so huge, almost as big as the whole Europe. The southern part and northern parts have different cultures and costum. I know the people in the southern part prefer rice while the northern part of China prefer to have their "mantou" similar to bread which is made from flour as their main staple food.

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  6. I've always wanted to go to China!! I have been procrastinating since you have to have travelers visa. haha, but I can't wait to go, maybe next year! Thanks for the tips!

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  7. I have never been to China. Sounds like such a fantastic place. Thanks for the great tips.

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  8. Wow! This is such a great list of tips for traveling to China! I so would love to travel the world and see all these great places!

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  9. I would love to visit China, it's such a lovely country with so much culture.

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  10. One of the gals I work with is on vacation there right now. Sending her the link!

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  11. My husband and I having a plan to have a trip with our kids this weekends and I will definitely follow these tips of yours as I am sure it will help us to have a good and fun trip

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  12. These are some really pretty shots. Sounds like an amazing trip.

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  13. I've never been but it looks like an incredible place to visit! Thanks for sharing these travel tips!

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  14. never been to China, but this post has a wealth of information. thanks a lot!

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  15. I have always wanted to explorw China. I love everything you shared here. Will save these tips for future

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