China travel tips to help you plan an unforgettable adventure
Travelling to China can often be a little overwhelming. As the third largest country in the world, there’s a lot of ground to cover and it can be hard to know where to begin, especially if you only have a limited amount of time. The hustle and bustle can also take a while to get used to and it’s not uncommon to experience culture shock on arrival. Fear not – our China travel tips will help you to venture into the unknown and tackle the world’s most populated destination.
Plan your itinerary
It’s really hard to fathom just how massive China is until you get there. The country itself is unbelievably vast, and so too are its cities, mountains and jungles. You could easily spend a month in Beijing and only skim the surface of what it has to offer. Travelling between the major cities and provinces takes time and it’s necessary to factor this into your planning. Avoid spending half your trip on overnight trains or buses by focusing your itinerary – choose one or two provinces that you like the sound of and explore these properly.
Nature lovers should head to Guangxi, with its lush rice terraces and majestic karst peaks, or Sichuan, which boasts picturesque Ming-Dynasty villages and gorgeous mountain scenery. History buffs will want to check out the Terracotta Army in Xi’an while city slickers won’t want to leave cosmopolitan Shanghai. Take time to research travel hotspots to ensure you chose the perfect destination for you.
China travel tips – language skills
For many, the trickiest thing about travelling to China is the language barrier. Unlike Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, where you commonly find English signs and locals who speak English, this is not the case in China. And while you may have a few words of French or German rolled up your sleeve, Mandarin is, for most, an extremely difficult tongue to grasp. Before you head off spend some time learning the basics and pick up a trusty phrase book. There are lots of fantastic language learning and dictionary apps out at the moment such as Duolingo and Pleco, so one of our top travel tips for China is to take advantage of these.
Check the weather
Because of its enormous size, China has wide-ranging climatic conditions throughout the year. Temperatures and weather conditions vary greatly from region to region – something to bear in mind when you’re planning your getaway. Generally speaking, spring and autumn are the best times to travel as the temperatures are pleasant but not overbearing, and there is little rainfall. Before deciding where you want to visit, check the weather conditions of each city and province. You don’t want your trip to be ruined because you’re too cold or hot to actually do anything!
China travel tips – health advice
Most important of our China travel tips is to prepare yourself for your Chinese adventure by heading to your local TMB clinic and getting the recommended vaccinations. All travellers should be vaccinated against tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid, while those who plan on conquering Yellow Mountain or venturing into rural areas should also get diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis and Japanese B encephalitis immunisations. Altitude sickness is the biggest health risk to tourists in Tibet so make sure you acclimatise in stages and stay hydrated. If you’re trekking it’s also worth investing in decent gear, such as a waterproof jacket and high-quality hiking boots.
No matter where you decide to go – north, south, east or west – an abundance of enthralling sights, stunning landscapes and friendly locals await. Not to mention the out-of-this-world food! Plan your itinerary and prepare yourself physically before jetting off to ensure you have the most amazing time possible.