Here are the things to consider when traveling to China for the first time.
1.Plan for your visa in advance!
Travelers from most countries will need a tourist visa to enter to China, and the last thing you want is to pay for a flight and not be able to get on it and experience the amazing trip you have just spent hundreds of dollars and weeks of time planning out! The turn-around time and costs for obtaining the visa do vary dependent on your nationality. Click the link for information for your country: America, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.
The most popular areas to visit are Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Guilin. These areas each have their own unique charm, culture and cuisine to offer so it really does depend what you are looking for. From the historical Great Wall and Tiananmen Square of Beijing to the modern sights of the Bund in Shanghai. Weaving through the picture perfect scenery of Guilin (literally…. look at the back of a 20RMB note) to embracing the historical significance of the ancient capital of Xi’an. With the sheer size of China and the variety that brings, there are many other breathtaking travel opportunities a little more off the beaten path
Warning, requires patience and a steady hand….
What’s the point in doing all this if you can show-off to your friends on Social Media right?!… To ensure access to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. make sure you have downloaded a VPN to your phone/tablet/laptop before you arrive. Although paid options usually ensure a faster and more stable connection, you can use free ones that do the job just fine and will keep the gram lit and 100 at all times.
4.Potentially becoming the tourist attraction
Particularly pertinent for those travelling to smaller cities, don’t be surprised if you yourself become the tourist attraction! Many locals will not have seen a lot of strangers before, so be prepared for plenty of looks, smiles, “Hello’s!” and even photographs (say cheese!). This comes from a point of curiosity with no negative connotations, so try and be polite and just have fun with it!
Generally, Chinese people have a favorable opinion toward foreigners and crime involving foreigners is extremely rare. Your biggest risk will be when crossing the road. Traffic laws are looser than most Western areas and there are lots of buses, cars, e-bikes and bicycles knocking about, so avert your eyes away from your phone and that lit Insta page you got going, look both ways and then look again. Like any big city in the world, pick-pocketing can occur, so keep an eye on your valuables in crowded areas. Apart from that the only other risk to your wallet is in the ‘Fake Market’ when haggling for the price. They do inflate the initial price, you are supposed to argue it down, and you are not being rude by doing so, just smart.
China is an amazing place to visit and you will undoubtedly have a great time and create memories of a life time, and hopefully these tips help you prepare and get the most out of your time! Check out Teaching Nomad for more useful blogs.
About our company: Teaching Nomad is an American owned and operated education recruitment company based in Shanghai, China. Our goal and purpose is to help great teachers find great teaching jobs. Year round, we have hundreds of teaching job vacancies. Whether your goal is to be an ESL teacher or teach in an international school, we have a teaching job for you. You can browse jobs online at www.teachingnomad.com/job-search for the latest job openings. Teaching Nomad is here to make teaching in China easier, so please feel free to reach out and contact us with any questions or inquiries!