13 Things You Must Know before Traveling to China

China is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture for hundreds of years. What should you pay attention to when traveling to China? Top Asia Tour lists 13 things You Must Know Before Traveling to China for the first time. Stay informed and be prepared, and you will enjoy a stress-free vacation.


1. Visa

Tourists from most countries are required to enter China with an entry visa. So, it is best to prepare your application at least two months before travel. Americans must submit an application to the nearest embassy or consulate general, and prepare a $130 fee, passport and flight itinerary. You can also use a travel agency or visa service to ensure timely delivery.





2. When to visit China

China is sultry in summer and the humidity is unbearable. Consider visiting China during the off-season from late October to March because there are fewer people and lower temperatures.


The best tourist season recommended by most people is early autumn (October), when the weather is good. Most parts of China are warm and mild. The summer rainy season (such as Hong Kong and Sanya) has stopped, so the climate is relatively dry. The summer heat has also gone. This is the most comfortable time to travel to most Chinese cities such as Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guilin, Hong Kong and Chengdu.



Zhujiajiao Water Town


However, travel should be avoided from October 1 to 7 (National Day), as the period is not only crowded with traffic, scenic spots and hotels, but also very expensive.


3. How to get to China

Most tourists arrive in China by plane, and generally choose Beijing or Shanghai as their landing destination. If you want to take a cheap flight, it's best to book your ticket in advance.


4. Where to go to China

For your first visit to China, the most recommended tourist destinations are Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an and Guilin. Different regions have different weather conditions and attractions, so be sure to plan in advance! In Xi'an and Shaanxi, you will be amazed by the hospitality of the locals and the wonderful cultural attractions. The most important thing is to see the terracotta warriors and climb Mount Huashan.


Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall


If you want to enjoy a unique and more remote experience in China, you can visit the Qinghai area, Yunnan, or Tibet. With stunning scenery, beautiful lakes and mountains, these are sparsely populated destinations perfect for nature lovers.


5. How to book a hotel in China

All major travel websites can book hotels in China, and Booking or Agoda are also good choices for booking hotels. Everyone can book the most suitable hotel according to their own schedule and budget. In addition, June to September is the peak season for travel in China. Hotel reservations during this period will be very tight. It is recommended to book in advance.





6. Language

Language barriers are the primary obstacle foreigners have to overcome when travelling to China, so learning some language phrases can be very helpful. There are two main languages in China, Mandarin and Cantonese (mainly spoken in Hong Kong). Although English is becoming popular, especially in cities, many Chinese cannot speak. We suggest you get a business card from the hotel to show it to the taxi driver when you get lost while exploring.


7. Network blocking

The Chinese government will block some foreign websites, so you will not be able to access websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube. It can be assumed that you cannot access your favorite websites or even emails. If this is a big problem for you, make sure to install a VPN on your phone and computer before leaving, just make sure that the service provider is not blocked in China.


8. Culture shock

The Chinese lifestyle is very different from most Westerners, so before you go, try to know the traditions and etiquette of the area you travel to. In large cities, China has experienced traffic congestion and pollution, and many people wear masks to protect their lungs. When it comes to street vendors, negotiating prices is completely acceptable. That being said, if you are not going to buy anything, don't ask for the price. Because if you do, the supplier may walk with you for a while.


Qinghefang Street

Qinghefang Street in Hangzhou


Please note that in some remote areas, locals rarely see Westerners. You may find people staring at you or even taking pictures of you. Don't be nervous, because most people are just curious.


9. Food security

Please note that the tap water is not drinkable. It can only be consumed after boiling. So please prepare bottled water with you. In addition, the biggest tip is to be careful when trying street food. Although the local food is delicious, your stomach may disagree with some traditional dishes. Be sure to bring some Imodium.


Hot Pot

Hot Pot


10. Safety

In general, China is one of the safest countries in the world. China has good public security and orderly social order. As in any big city, the risk of pickpocketing is possible. Please take care of your belongings when going out.


11. Travel Insurance

In the process of traveling, it is not ruled out that there will be accidents, and it may be more expensive to get sick while traveling. Therefore, for the safety of yourself and your family, you can buy travel insurance that suits you according to your destination and the travel projects you will participate in.


12. Tip

There is no saying that tips must be given in China. Some high-end hotels and restaurants add a 15% service charge to the bill.


Fairmont Peace Hotel

Fairmont Peace Hotel


13. Prohibited Items

According to relevant Chinese regulations, 7 categories of items cannot enter the country.

  • Various weapons, simulated weapons, ammunition and explosives;
  • Counterfeit currency, counterfeit securities;
  • Prints, films, photographs, records, films, audio tapes, CDs, computer storage media, etc. that are harmful to China's politics, economy, and cultural ethics;
  • Various potent poisons;
  • Opium, morphine, heroin, marijuana and other addictive narcotics and psychotropic drugs;
  • Fresh fruits, solanaceous vegetables, soil, live animals other than dogs and cats, animal products, harmful organisms, etc.;
  • Foods, medicines, etc. that hinder the health of humans and animals, come from epidemic areas, or can spread diseases.

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