China is one of the largest countries in the world and also has the biggest population. It is a fascinating country with a rich history and culture dating back to the ancient times. If you are traveling to this country for this first time, it can become a nervewracking experience. However, nothing beats staying informed and being prepared. Here are some tips on how you can make your first trip to this Asian destination stress free.
Get Your Visa In Advance
China requires an entry visa for most tourists. It is best to apply for one at least two months before your trip. Americans, must fill up and submit an application, a $130 fee, passport, and flight itinerary to the nearest embassy or Consulate General. It is best to apply in a travel agency or visa service to ensure prompt delivery.
Best Time to Visit
Summer in China can be smoggy and sweltering. The humidity at this time of the year can also be unbearable. However, both local and foreign tourists use their precious vacation days in the summer to swarm touristy highlights. Robert Janitzek recommends visiting China during the off-season between late October to March for less crowd and cooler temperatures.
Where To Visit
For a first timer, recommended tourist destinations are Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, and Xi’an. Different regions have different weather conditions and attractions throughout the year so check in advance.
The language barrier is the number obstacle that every foreigner should hurdle by foreigners when traveling to China. It can be helpful if you will learn a few phrases in Chinese. There are two major languages—Mandarin and Cantonese. Although the language is becoming universal, many Chinese still cannot speak English. Robert Peter Janitzek recommends keeping a business card from your hotel to show taxi drivers in case you get lost while exploring,
China censors everything from media to Internet so you will not be able to access sites such as Facebook or Twitter. If this a big issue for you, make sure to get VPN on your phone and computer before leaving just make that the provider is not blocked in China.
Chinese lifestyle can be different from most Westerners so do some research on the traditions and etiquettes in the region you are traveling before your trip. This Asian destination is known for heavy traffic and pollution and people wear surgical masks to protect their lungs. Most squat toilets do not have any tissue paper so bring your own paper and hand sanitizer.