China is an interesting, yet wonderful place. I found it a challenge most of the time, but the challenges always lead to a surprising reward. I’ll admit, China was never really on the top of my travel list. However, Joel was determined to get me there. So we went, with my preconceived notion of what China would be like.
Guess what? It was not that bad, it was definitely different and I had a fabulous time! Yep, absolutely fabulous!
So here are a few tips I put together from my experiences and hopefully it will help you have a fabulous time to!
Summer Palace, Beijing
- Carry tissues or toilet paper with you, at all times. Most toilets (eastern style toilets, be warned) in China don’t supply toilet paper or if they do, will most likely have run out.
- Carry hand sanitizer and/or wet wipes. It’s messy in China with lots of people, so you want to stay clean especially if you have lunch or dinner after a long day of sweaty sightseeing.
- Learn to use Chopsticks before you go. Most places use chopsticks and don’t offer or even have forks. A hotel will, but why not go all out and try it like the locals do. Trust me, you will be a pro in no time.
- If you travel to China in summer take bug repellent. I’m counting 20-30 bites on each leg so far.
- Buy sunscreen before you go! I don’t think the Chinese even know what sunscreen is. I couldn’t find it anywhere.
- Learn as much Chinese as possible, not a lot of Chinese people speak English and if they do, it’s not much.
- Every city you go to get a city map. Circle your hotel, police station, hospital and any sightseeing locations you wish to go to. That way if you get a taxi or driver that can’t understand you, you can just point to where you want to go. Or if you get lost someone can give you directions using your map.
- Learn how to barter/bargain well and get some advice on the prices you should be paying in certain areas. You don’t want to get ripped off, but you also don’t want to be ripping everyone off.
- Always count your change after you have paid for something and make sure it is the correct currency. If in China it should have YUAN written on the note. Even then it could be fake.
- If someone approaches you and offers to take you somewhere or sell you something, be wary. It could be a scam or they are trying to get money from you.
Lastly, just have fun! You’re in China!