Traveling Around China as a Foreigner

Planning to travel through or move to China? If you’re moving to China, it’s assumed that you’re also interested in exploring and traveling while you are living there. Great news! It is incredibly easy to travel in China and around Asia. The infrastructure of Chinese cities is incredible, with plenty of affordable travel options using public transportation.

Traveling to China – self-plan or outsource?

The first step to planning a trip to China would be to decide if you are looking for a pre-planned and organized trip or if you are looking to do a self-planned trip. Don’t want to bother with planning the trip or don’t have much free time to research all the details for your trip? No problem! Plenty of companies exist that have organized tours. All you have to do is sign up!

Companies like M2Adventure, WannaTravel, CETTrip, and Insiders have a variety of trip options.

Oftentimes, they are also good ways to meet new people!

Even if you’re planning on moving to China rather than just taking a trip, you can still use some of these companies to help you plan some adventures around Asia!

Tips for planning your own trip:

  • Use trip.com (it is also called Ctrip) for booking your plane, train, and hotel. It is very convenient, and you can pay online. There’s also a phone app that you can download. You can additionally use the app to look up the different tourist sites, restaurants, etc. that are near your destination.
  • Ask for a city map at the hotel you’re staying at. They sometimes have maps behind the desk, and they sometimes even have maps in English! It is a good way of mapping out your routes and destinations. Sometimes you may even find a place on the map you want to see that isn’t listed online.
  • Familiarize yourself with the public transportation in the area. Likely, there is at least a bus going near your destination if you don’t want to spend the money on a cab or didi.
  • Ask the hotel for a business card if your Chinese isn’t up to par. This is so you have a copy of the hotel address in Chinese in case you get lost AND your phone dies! This DOES happen. You can also ask the hotel to write down your destination in Chinese if you are going to take a cab somewhere.
  • Bring a power pack out with you to charge your phone. You’ll likely be using your phone more than usual to get around and look up information.

Lastly, enjoy your travels! China has almost every type of destination to offer. You can go to a metropolis city, hike mountains, swim at the beach, visit museums, explore national parks, etc.

Take an in-class TEFL course in Shanghai

Many people choose to take an in-person TEFL course in China to both learn how to teach non-English speakers as well as to explore a new country and meet like-minded people.

Learn more about this option here!


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