China, one of the Asian Tigers, is the largest of all Asian countries. This country also has the largest population in the World. With centuries of rich culture and history, China is an attractive country to visit. China opened its door for tourists all over the World in the 1970s. Since then, it has enjoyed an era of change and growth.
In 2018, the total number of people who visit China was about 30 million. The World believes that China will become the largest global tourist destination with the most significant number of visitors in the next ten years. Do you have plans to visit China with your family for a nice vacation? Do you want to have acquaintance about the ABC’s of the region? Here are some China Travel Tips to make your experience in this country amazing!
Places to make a trip to in China
Knowing where you are visiting is the first priority among my China Travel Tips. The Republic of China offers you sightseeing in many historical places and temples. With a rich history, China has a plethora of attractive places you would love to see this winter. Have you heard of the Great Wall of China in Beijing and hope to visit there one day? This is an opportunity to do so! The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world. It is one of the iconic symbols of China. The wall serves as a defensive place for the people of China in ancient times.
Your visit is incomplete without sightseeing in the Forbidden City of Beijing. The city serves as the imperial palace for twenty-four Emperors. At a time in the history of China, only people with royal blood can enter the city. It is forbidden for ordinary people to visit! In the world today, the Forbidden City of Beijing is recognized as one of the five most important palaces in the world.
If you are visiting the northern west area of China, go for Xi’an, Shaanxi! People in Xi’an are hospitable, and they will make your stay in China home away from home. Also, these regions have unique cultural attractions to make your state in the country memorable. You can choose to explore and climb Mt. Huashan or see the Terra Cotta Army. Are you a nature lover looking for a more remote place to visit in China? The Qinghai region is where you want to visit! This region has attractive lakes, amazing landscapes and even mountain ranges. Qinghai is closer to Tibet and has a large number of people in it.
Other places with tourist attractions include the Li River in Guilin, the Bund in Shanghai, Giant Pandas in Chengdu, Sanya Bay in Hainnan, and others.
At What Time of the Year can I Visit China?
No matter the period you visit China, you can be sure of having amazing experiences. However, there are some times which are best for you to travel to the country base on your objective. At the same time, there are some periods that what you planned to do in China might not work out. Since China is a very large country, deciding the accurate time to visit can be a bit tricky. However, the period from March to May as well as from September to the beginning of November are the best time of the year to visit China. This is because the weather in China is best in spring.
Also, Christmas and New Year are the best moments to make a trip to China. The Chinese Lunar New Year also known as the Spring Festival is a ceremony you would not love to miss. This ceremony lasts for about three days or more. Many people in China often throw parties on Christmas Eve while others organize a dinner at a restaurant with families and friends. Cities like Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai are colorful and glamorous during this feast.
Restaurants Menus in China
In China, the cuisine comes in four major regional types. We have the Guangdong also known as Cantonese, which is famous all over the World. The most famous food from this cuisine is Dim Sum. On another hand, the Shandong is renowned for its quick frying method of cooking. What makes Szechaun unique is its use of pepper and spiciness. Besides, Huaiyang uses sweeter flavors and vinegar to prepare its foods. Apart from these four cuisines, other culinary traditions include Fujian, Hunan, Zhejiang, and Anhui. Shanghai and Beijing cuisine are other culinary traditions in China.
Meanwhile, the Chinese food served in the West is quite different from the menus in China. When compared to locally made foods, foods made in China are delicious and sweeter than the ones in the West. Therefore, people visiting China for the first time should not be surprised about it. For instance, the method of cooking fish in the West is different from the one in China. Chinese culinary traditions often cook the whole fish without removing the head. They only extract the guts and entrails. Also, the fish bones are served to the visitors. It is believed that the bones are delicacy everyone needs to eat.
Climate Change in China
It is essential to know that regions in China have different weather conditions throughout the year. Therefore, you need to be acquainted with the weather variations of every city and area before you visit. Dry seasons and wet monsoons dominate the climate of China. These two weather conditions represent the winter and summer. Northern winds coming from high-latitude areas are cold and dry in the winter. Southern winds from coastal areas at lower latitudes are warm and moist in summer. In China, the climate varies from one particular area or region to the other. This is so, because of the state’s highly complex topography.
Therefore, you need to have a better understanding of China’s climate before traveling. Cities such as Nanjing, Wuhan, and Chongqing are known for their high humidity and heat. So, if you are visiting China in winter, these areas are a great choice for you. On the other hand, the north is frigid in winter. In Beijing, the winters are cold and summers are dry and hot. There is always a heavy downpour of rain in the southeast. This is why the region often experiences flooding and earthquakes.
Currency I can spend in China?
Unlike other countries in the World, monetary transactions in China has a lot of limitations. For instance, most stores and businesses in China prefer you to pay with cash. Since you are a traveler, getting a lot of Chinese money can be a tricky task. However, some businesses, especially upscale restaurants and large hotels in China now accept MasterCard and Visa cards. UnionPay is the card scheme that is widely used in the whole of China.
The Republic of China only allows the use of a single currency which is the Yuan. Many Chinese refer to this currency as RMB or “Quai”. The denomination of the currency ranges from 1RMB, 5RMB, 10RMB, 20RMB, 50RMB to 100RMB. The 1RMB is also available in coins. China does not accept other currencies such as the Hong Kong dollar or the US dollar. Even though a lot of Chinese banks often reject foreign cards, HSBC, which is a more massive chain allows you to withdraw local currencies for your external account easily. Compared to Travelex, HSBC offers you a far better exchange rate.
You can get international ATMs in the major cities in Chain. Getting these ATMs in tourist-friendly areas can be a bit difficult. You might have to obtain a translator for face to face financial transactions.
What to shop for in China?
There are hundreds of thousands of items and products to purchase in China. Stores in major cities of China have a lot of fixed-price souvenirs and handicrafts that are attractive to foreigners. If you are a traveler who loves to stock a bunch of different stylish glasses designs, China is the best place to get them. In China, contact and glasses are much cheaper. Depending on the quality, you can purchase a pair of glasses between 200 and 400 Yuan. Panjiayuan antique market is one of the largest glass markets in China. You find the store in the big city of Beijing. A bigger glasses shop is in Shanghai close to the railway station.
Other items that you can buy in China at an affordable rate are the accessories and jewelry. Bracelets, Jade accessories, and necklaces are also available in most stores in China. Fabrics are also cheap in China. However, you need to know what you want before going for any product. Only purchase clothes that you have a copy of, or have seen somewhere before.
Leather goods are also less expensive to purchase in China. You get to buy these goods at a cheaper rate compared to the price at home. Leather belts in China range from about 100 to 200 Yuan.
Bargain for everything You Buy
In China, you need to bargain for everything you want to buy. This action is to avoid buying a cheap product at an expensive rate. However, you need not negotiate in upscale stores but can bargain in grocery stores. Don’t buy if the price of the product is between 10 and 25% of the initial rate. Just walk to the next store. I am sure you will see a plethora of stores selling that product. Trust me; the seller will chase you down if you do so! Bargaining is fun when purchasing products in China.
Is there Napkin and Toilet Paper in China?
Napkin and Toilet papers are scarce commodities in China. On my last visit to China, I sat down for over hours waiting for a napkin in a restaurant, and I never saw one. I have to swallow a big bowl of noodle soup with chopsticks without a napkin. To avoid situations like this, it is advisable to visit China with your own set of the napkin. A towel helps you to clean the broth dripping down your chins.
Bathrooms in China are hardly stocked with Toilet papers. Many travelers have testified to this situation. You should not be surprised if you visit a bathroom in China and you could not find a toilet paper. Even in big cities like Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai, only a few showers have toilet papers. You can only find these toilets in hotels. Therefore, you should bring along a lot of toilet papers when coming to China.
Also, when coming to China, you should get yourself ready to use squat potties. These potties are numerous in China compared to other countries in the World. Squat potties are also available in many numbers in Nepal and India. Meanwhile, you should carry around hand sanitizer as most bathrooms in China are not too clean.
Is it safe to drink tap water in China?
In China, it is unhealthy to drink water from the tap, especially for visitors. Many travelers have at one time, or the other complained about contracting diseases from doing so. So, it is of great benefit to opt-in for bottled waters. Bottled water is available in every city in China. These items are also affordable to purchase in all restaurants, hotels, and shops in China. Meanwhile, you can use tap water when brushing your teeth as long as you don’t swallow it.
The people of the Republic of China are hospitable, especially to foreigners and westerners. Over the years, there has been no case of any crime against foreigners across the country. This hospitality makes China one of the countries in the World with a high number of visitors every year. The only thing you should be careful of in this country is being over-charged for cheap products. This habit is common to all sellers in China. Except for this habit, you are welcome to the country with a lot of amazing experiences.
Make sure you have my China travel tips mentioned in this article in mind and I wish you a happy stay in China!