China Travel Advice

China travel advice

Survival China Travel tips and tricks

China Travel Tips Survival Techniques will help you get around and make your trip to China easier, so you will be able to experience the real China with a little less stress.

China is a strange beast that must be respected. The big cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an, all have their own personalities.

Some complicated situation that you thought would be an organizational disaster turns out to be a major one and then you wonder what all the fuss and anxiety is about. Then the simplest tasks can turn into a huge disaster.

That’s when you have what we call here “China Day”.

These days come and go and are part of the everyday travel experience in China. One needs to keep an open mind when traveling to China. It is a place with thousands of years of history and culture that is trying overnight to adapt to western ways of life.

You must have a very open mind when traveling in China.
Below I have listed some China travel tips that will make life more bearable in your Travel China experience.

China Travel Advice – Be wise with your toilet use

o Never expect a clean toilet 100% of the time.

o Be prepared. Carry some tissues.

o You may have to use the squat toilet, again if you know this in advance, it’s not a shock. If you don’t know how to use a squat toilet, try the following experiment at home.

While holding on to something for support with both hands, lower your body down into a low squat position, with the cheeks of your butt touching your heels or the back of your calves. Now, let go of your hands. Check if you are going to stay in this position for at least 1 minute. If you fall backwards or can’t get up, a squat toilet could be a problem for you! Practice, you’ll be glad you did.

If you see a clean toilet, go… it might not come again for a while.

o There are many public toilets around the cities, usually the ones you pay for are good, (5 RMB), best to stay away from some of the others if you can. You will soon notice them as you walk around the cities.

o Be warned that public places like bus and train stations are usually what I would classify as ‘hard toilets’, but if you want to go, you have to go.

o Outside of big cities, toilet systems are old or have pipes/pipes that are very narrow and easily clogged. In these cases, there is usually a small basket next to the toilet, and this is for used toilet paper.

One of the best China travel toilet tips I can give you, is to use hotel lobby toilets; These are everywhere and are always clean. Still they may not always have toilet paper. It depends on the category of hotel you are using.

I don’t want to scare you. However, of all the China travel tips on all the other websites I’ve read, this is a topic that isn’t mentioned often, but is very important to all of us.

So conditions can be difficult outside the big cities. But most of the time everything will be fine, especially if you book a tour; Everything will have been checked before hand. However, even the best laid plans can go wrong, so be prepared. Toilets in smaller cities, towns, and villages can be intimidating.

China travel advice – Food

o The food is great and the variety is overwhelming. Most of the time you can choose what you eat, or you can learn about what you eat, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Carry a chocolate bar or something; This will keep you going until some foods appear that you can identify. Drink bottled or boiled water, because tap water is not safe to drink, and this applies to all of China. Even boiled water, while sterile can contain a lot of minerals and iron deposits that you probably don’t want in your system. The safest bet is to drink a bottle of water. It’s okay to use tap water in most major cities for brushing.

o Eating Habits – Most Chinese people have a big habit of being very noisy when they eat, lunch and dinner times can be a great noisy celebration, food tends to go in all directions, it’s just part of being in China.

o People also smoke at the table while everyone else is eating, so some restaurants are loud and smoking.

o If you have trouble ordering what you are going to order because most menus are written in Chinese, just look at the table next to you and point to the dish you fancy and ask the price for it, this system works well and know to mind.

o I have a basic menu that will help you order safe food, (without cats or dogs) and this will enable you to visit a wider range of restaurants, not just the touristy ones with high prices. You can carry it around with you and use it at local restaurants as most will be able to serve you what it is. This way you will know what you are eating.

These local places are very cheap and the food is great. Contact me if you want me to send it to you.

China travel advice – taxis

o China Travel Tips – Taxis – Taxis are an experience that can leave you grabbing your seat and gasping for breath; However, you quickly get used to it, after the first few rides, you’re out of date.

o Taxis in Shanghai are, in general, very good. Try to get blue, blue, turquoise, gold and white taxis, these are the best… These are the big four taxi companies and are generally recognized by being painted in one color. Others are fine, just older and rougher (others may have faulty counters). No driver will speak English.

o Carry with you the business card of the hotel or residence, written in Chinese, as this helps you if you are lost while walking around the city.

o In all taxis across the country, you will see the driver’s name and taxi registration number in plain sight. If you have any problem, or if you think you’re being overcharged etc., just delete that number, make a big fuss about it, then the driver should wake up and fix whatever your problem is. It’s even better to take the receipt. This contains all the details of the trip, and you can contact the taxi company if you want to take things further or if you leave something in the taxi.

o The government takes fraudulent drivers in all cities, especially Beijing and Xi’an, very seriously and if you complain they will lose their license. This is their livelihood. So far I haven’t had a single driver in 3 years who didn’t back down and then we agreed on a price for the trip or a solution to our problem.

o In Shanghai, it is common for taxi fares to increase after 11 pm. However, one can usually bargain for a 20% discount, which will return the fare to the pre-11pm rate.
Be strong with taxi drivers, no less, keep calm, smile and negotiate.

China travel advice – Shopping

o China Travel Tips – Shopping – China is a paradise for shoppers, markets and bargains; Top ratings… anything and everything if you have the time. With clothes, the larger (western) sizes can be very difficult to find, but in big cities where there is a lot of tourist traffic, you can find them.

o Electrical equipment, DVDs, cameras, and things like that are not worth buying in China, Hong Kong is still the best place for that.

o Store hours in major cities are from 10 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week.

o Visa is still the best card to carry, ATMs are good with access to PLUS etc.
There is usually an additional cost for using a Visa, MasterCard, or other form of credit card.

o Wait to buy if you can, look around for prices. The Chinese are very experienced in selling and we know that we halve the opening price when bargaining.
In the markets go get 25% off what they order first; So low that they let you walk away. This will give you an idea of ​​the lowest price. The resulting final price will likely be around 40% to 50% of where they started.

Whatever people say in the market, they are used to paying and haggling for the best price. Don’t worry about being too finicky, they are used to it and won’t sell you an item unless they make a profit. Don’t mind the seemingly painful body language when you’re down — it’s all part of the game. Once you make your first purchase, they will try to sell you something more. Remember to keep smiling and having fun while haggling.

China Travel Advice – Medical Treatment and Records

o Most hotels have a doctor you can see. English will be spoken in the major hotels.

Always take a small first aid kit, cold remedy, and headache pills at the very least. WATSONS is a chemist with a very big streak. Most of the remedies, tablets, etc., that you may need should be in these stores. These stores are all over China.

o There is a large network of pharmacies. These are indicated by the green cross. There will always be a 24-hour Green Cross pharmacy in the city where you are located. And the stage book is easy to carry around, as no one will speak English, but you will end up with something to help you.

o An important point – for most mass-produced package-type drugs, the package will be written in Chinese on one side, and English on the other. But in stores, you only see the Chinese side. Have a good look, turn the packages over, it gives you more confidence knowing you can read the package.

o If you have a specific medical problem, take records, most doctors will have good written/reading English, although their oral English will be poor.

China travel advice – tel

o Using the phone is as easy as it is at home. However, the person who picks it up won’t speak English or have very broken English… All 4 or 5 star hotels will be fine.

o What is worth doing is to buy a Chinese Telecom SIM card, it is about 100 yuan so you get 50 yuan in calls, and the remaining 50 is the price of the SIM card; This SIM will fit into all major brand phones and works just fine.

By doing this, people can reach you in and out of China if there is an emergency. If you have two phones, you can send txt messages to each other (SMS). You can also contact your tour guide, hotel, etc. if you have any major issues. It’s a cheap way to keep in touch.

Note: Before you buy a Chinese SIM card, make sure it will work in your cell phone/mobile phone. There are plenty of China Telecom stores that can help.

China Travel Tips When not moving around China.

o Spring Festival, this will be the time of Chinese New Year, around the end of January/early February

o early May. Labor Day holidays

o early October. National holiday holidays

Of all the China travel tips, National Day is the biggest. Millions of Chinese travel at these holiday times of the year. Most of them travel to home towns or visit family. Hotels, trains, planes, cars, buses and roads are all crowded to the limit. Big crowds everywhere.

Travel fares are also at full price. No discounts are offered!
Stay in one place and enjoy where you are. It is the best and causes less hassle.

China travel advice – TV

o If you want to watch TV most of the big hotels have cable and if you are in the smaller places the national channel CCTV9 in English. Over the past couple of years it has gotten a whole lot better, with some great Chinese travel tips, news, and perspectives on people and places across China.

China Travel Advice – Airport Tax

o There is a “construction fee” at almost all airports.

Domestic flights RMB 50
International flights 90 CNY – to be paid in local currency.

Recently, tickets are cleared with building tax included; But make sure you have your tax money with you just to be sure.

I hope some of our China travel tips will be useful and will make your trip to China a little easier.

If you are in China and would like to share our China travel tips, feel free to contact me at any time.

John McKenna