15 Things you need to Know Before Visiting China
1. Learn some Chinese words
As long as you start to speak some simple Chinese words, you will notice how differently people will treat you. There is nothing better for Chinese than hearing a foreigner speak their language. They may offer you their house as a place to stay overnight.
2. Exchanging money at banks in China
While many Chinese banks do not accept foreign cards except for some big band banks like bank of China and ICBC, big chains such as HSBC or CIT BANK can be used to withdraw local currency from foreign bank accounts, and the exchange rate will be a little bit better than Travelex.
Large International ATMs are available in all major cities such Beijing. Shanghai or xi'an , but may be harder to find in some small cities.
3. Hiring a translator or guide
To be frank, Very few Chinese bank employees could speak good English to help you, although in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai the bank employees should have sufficient English.
4. Buying Travel insurance for China
Actually China is a safe country with very low crime rate,and you can buy travel insurance and be sure to insure more valuable items such as personal belongings such as cameras, laptops etc.
5. Preparing Visas for China
China does not offer visas on arrival now, so you must arrange your visa well before travelling.
When applying for a tourist visa, you’ll need to provide either a letter of invitation from a Chinese friend or travel agent, or provide a detailed itinerary of whole trip, such as round flights information and confirmed reservations for hotel bookings.
6. Arranging hotels & accommodation in China
You can search for some sites that do not require 100 % upfront payment to make bookings. Chinese sites such as CTRIP require no deposit to book accommodation, and Booking.com provide free cancellation too. You can just check the booking condition of rooms type and you’ll have mind when booking through them.
7. Cash needed
Although more and more businesses (particularly big hotel chains) accept Visa . Mastercard and other credit card now, but for the most part you’ll need to pay with cash or Chinese Unionpay card .
8. Prepare some toilet papers
Most of Chinese toilets do not offer toilet paper. Big Hotels and fancy restaurants will have it available, anyway , but it’s better for you to carry some toilet papers when you travel in China.
9.Arrive at airport early
You'd better to arrive at airport 3.5 hours early for international flight and 2.5 hours early for domestic flight . Because it will take long time to pass security checking at Chinese airports cause it can often be overcrowded.
10.Taking buses and trains in China
There is amazing network of buses and trains including the fast speed G-Trains that can whisk you across whole China in several hours.
11.Bring passport when going to some big highlights
You’ll need to bring your passport when going to big highlights such as tian'anmen square.
12. Driving in China
Chinese roads can be extremely crowded in big cities of China, so self-driving is not recommended here in China .
13. Getting taxi in China
Taxi is not so expensive in China but most of drivers could not speak English, so it’s better for you to get your destination address written in both Chinese and English.
14. Street food
Chinese street food is delicious but some of street food are not very clean , and you can check to see where the locals eats If you see a big queue, and it is likely to be a safer place.
15.Preparing VPN when traveling in China
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram. most of the Google selection were blocked in China , so please prepare VPN when you want to access these while you’re in China, you’ll need to buy VPN service first .