Traveling to China is an adventure of a lifetime! To make your trip seamless, it is usually beneficial to use the service of a Chinese travel guide or tour company. China is a vast country, rich in tradition and history, so you will want to us a reputable company that can ensure your trip is everything you have dreamed of. Here we discuss popular cities to visit, planning your trip, and other important aspects of traveling to China.
China Travel Guide– Cities to visit
For first time travelers to China, we recommend visiting cities in the “Golden Triangle” (Beijing, Xian and Shanghai). These three cities are all very unique and provide different China tour experiences. In and around Beijing, the Capital of China, you can see many ancient sites. Beijing is a very large city so you will want to allow yourself a few days to see everything it has to offer! Beijing is home to Tiananmen Square, Great Wall, Summer Palace and many other sites, so make sure to tell your China travel guide to add this city to your China tour list. While there, you must also try Beijing duck, a delicacy and signature dish in Beijing! Let’s learn Chinese phrases that can help you travel around in China.
If you travel to Xi’an, you will be able to experience ancient landmarks and historical sites such as the Wild Goose Pagoda and Terracotta Warriors. Xian is known for its spicy food so brush up on your Chinese food vocabulary to avoid any unpleasant experiences especially if you don’t enjoy spicy food! Shanghai is another extremely popular city to visit in China and is located near the sea. It is home to the Bund River which boasts two completely different views from each side. One side contains the historical district and architecture while the other side of the river is more modern and lit up with many city lights. We recommend visiting the Pearl Tower on a clear day to get a beautiful view from high above the city.
Planning your trip
After you’ve determined the cities you want to visit, you should make sure that you find the best China tour guide company for you. There are many good China travel guides to choose from so we recommend obtaining quotes from a few to find the best fit for your goals and budget. Some companies include different items with their tours so always check to see what is included such as meals, guides, transportation, etc. If you are not a fluent or comfortable Chinese speaker, it will benefit you to use a company with English (or your native language) guides. You may also want to determine which method of travel you want to use for traveling between cities. Your China tour company can arrange this for you. Train travel is very easy, popular and can be fun!
Traveling to China does require you obtain a Chinese Visa. Depending on your country of origin, the guidelines and restrictions will vary. We recommend using a reputable Visa service to help streamline and expedite the process. There are a lot of companies that offer the service (for a fee). Alternatively, you can visit the Chinese Government’s (or consulates) websites to find more information. You will likely need a copy of an invitation letter from the travel company in order to obtain your Visa so be sure to ask your China travel guide about this.
Planning your flight is also an important part of traveling to China. You will want to make sure that you are traveling to the correct airport for your pickup arrangements. Your China travel guide should be able to tell you the correct identification code for the airport. There are many websites that can monitor flight costs and routes for you so sign up for an alert early! Your flight to China could be long depending on where you depart from. We recommend taking a small toiletry bag with you in your carry-on luggage with items like sanitizer, toothbrush, and toothpaste. You can then freshen up on the plane and feel refreshed before you disembark. You may also wish to bring an eye mask (though some airlines sell them) and neck pillow.
-Be aware that most public restrooms in China do not provide toilet paper. This is often a shock to Westerners. So, you may want to bring along some tissues, just in case. Most hotels will have toilet paper in the rooms.
-Check your hotel information to see what kind of breakfast is provided or available. It is wise to visit the breakfast buffet early, if offered in your hotel.
-China is a predominately cash economy (unless you are a citizen who has access to Chinese banks, credit cards and monetary apps). You will want to be sure to have enough Yuan converted prior to your arrival. You can order Yuan from your local bank. Be sure to allow enough time for your bank to process your request (sometimes up to a few weeks).
-There is no need to tip at restaurants in China. It is not a part of their customs so do not tip at the restaurant. It is customary to tip your bellman, tour guide and tour van/bus driver.
-You may want to look into international phone plan and internet options for when you are in China. Most phone companies will allow you to add on an international plan for your trip duration. Additionally, some social media sites are restricted in China so you will want to research what sites are available to you while traveling in China.
-Always protect your passport and valuables when traveling internationally. Crime is relatively low in China but it is always best to be safe.
-You will want to check with your doctor and/or Center for Disease Control regarding potential vaccinations for when you travel to China.
Lingo Bus highly recommends you visit China at least once in your lifetime! You will learn about many amazing aspects of China including the differences in food, language and culture in various regions. We are positive that you will take away many wonderful stories to tell you friends and family about your trip to China. China is a country rich in culture, food and the arts. Your exploration of China will be unlike any other country you may visit. We encourage you to visit China to experience it for yourself.
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