China is one of the top 5 most visited destinations in the world, with more and more tourists travelling there every year. Even though there are many tips available on the Internet on which tourist attractions to go to, there are also a few things about China that are rarely mentioned, which we think you should know in order to enjoy your vacation.
China is an extraordinary country, but to travel there you need some extra info – to make sure you’ll have a truly memorable experience. Amongst them are the following:
Never travel to China on a national holiday
In China there aren’t exactly many option when it comes to vacations. That’s why, usually, a big part of the country will take their vacations at the same time – on national holidays. During these days, everyone is travelling and going out at the same time, which can really slow you down. Furthermore, all tourist attractions are crowded with people, so you won’t be able to see much.
Take the train whenever possible
It is highly recommended to book train tickets with at least one month ahead, otherwise you might not be able to travel so freely due to availability. The difference from 1st to 2nd class, pricewise, is very small, but there’s a huge difference when it comes to comfort. That’s why most of the 1st class tickets are sold out extremely fast.
If you really need to go somewhere you can get tickets without a seat, but you might have to stand on the ground until you reach the destination.
Always have your passport with you
Another important thing is that in order to be able to get on a train platform, you need to present both your ticket and passport. Bear in mind that you’ll have to wait in line for this verification, and it’s much alike to the ones in airports, so make sure you have some extra time for this.
Public transportation is excellent
You can reach pretty much anywhere with the bus, even though you will probably have to change it a few times and have extra change with you. The only issue is that their public transportation system shuts down pretty early, at 22:30, but you’ll most usually be able to find a nice cab driver, for a fairly cheap price.
Whoever invites, pays.
If you’re ever invited to have lunch or dinner with a Chinese person, then he will pay for whatever you both consume – this goes both ways. Regarding eating out, you should know that most people in China eat at fixed hours, so it could be hard to find an empty table during the afternoon or dinner times.
They don’t speak English
If English is your only language and there’s nobody else with you, get prepared to have a bunch of people not understand what you’re saying. You will encounter this even with public services. It is recommended to memorize some basic characters and have a translation application on your phone, that can also speak whatever you are translating.
No Facebook and Google
Certain software, websites and applications are strictly forbidden in China. You won’t get access to Facebook, Google, Gmail, Google Maps or Youtube.
You can find hot water pretty much anywhere
Unlike many other countries, in China you can find hot water anywhere: in train stations, airports, parks, restaurants. If you have a thermos you can bring it with you, so you can enjoy a good cup of coffee or a tea whenever you feel like it.
Chinese are very welcoming people.
They are extremely friendly and polite. Sometimes you might even risk that they show you a wrong way – simply because they’re not 100% sure, but they are afraid you might have a bad opinion on them if they don’t help you. So always make sure you bring a map!