Top things to remember before visiting China

China has the largest population in the world, with over 1.4 billion people.The e-commerce market in China is also the largest in the world, with over 800 million online shoppers.

Before travelling to China, here are some important things to remember:

Valid Passport and Visa

Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date from China. Check the visa requirements for your nationality and apply for the appropriate visa well in advance.The visa will depend on the purpose of your visit and the length of stay.

Passports and visas may be denied for travel to China due to reasons such as incomplete or incorrect applications, criminal records, health concerns, political reasons, or insufficient financial resources to support oneself during the stay. These reasons are aimed at ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of both the traveller and the country. It is important to carefully complete the application, follow all requirements, and address any potential issues to increase the chances of obtaining a visa successfully.

Travel Insurance

 It is highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, tripcancellation, and lost or stolenbelongings. Check the coverage details and ensure it is valid for your entire stay in China.

Here are some tips for choosing travel insurance for China:

  • Make sure the policy covers all of the activities you plan to do in China. For example, if you plan to do any hiking or trekking, make sure the policy covers you for these activities.
  • Read the policy carefullyto understand what is covered and what is not. Some policies have exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions.
  • Compare policies from different insurers to find the best coverage for your needs.


The currency in China is the Chinese Yuan (CNY). Familiarise yourself with the current exchange rates and consider carrying some cash in local currency for smaller transactions. Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities, but it's advisable to have some cash on hand, especially in rural areas.

The Chinese Yuan(CNY)

The currencies: China has two currencies: the renminbi (RMB) and the Hong Kong dollar (HKD).

  • Mobile payment: China is the world leader in mobile payment. The two most popular mobile payment apps in China are WeChat Pay and Alipay. These apps allow people to pay for goods and services with their smartphones, without having to carry cash or credit cards.
  • QR code payment: QR code payment is a type of mobile payment that uses QR codes to scan and pay for goods and services. This is a very convenient and secure way to pay, and it is becoming increasingly popular in China.

Language and Communication

 Mandarin Chinese is the official language in China. While English may be spoken in major tourist areas, it's beneficial to learn a few basic Mandarin phrases or carry a translation app or dictionary to facilitate communication with locals.

  • Tone: Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that the meaning of a word can change depending on the tone in which it is spoken. There are four tones in Mandarin: high level, high rising, low falling, and high falling-rising.
  • Directness: Chinese people are generally indirect in their communication style. They may not say what they mean directly, but they will hint at what they want. This can be confusing for people from Western cultures, who are used to more direct communication.
  • Saving face: Chinese people do not like to lose face, so they may avoid saying things that could be seen as embarrassing or offensive. This can also make communication difficult, as people may not be willing to speak their minds.

Internet Access

China has one of the fastest and most extensive high-speed internet networks in the world. This has made it possible for Chinese people to access information and services online at a rapid pace.

Access to popular websites and social media platforms may be restricted in China. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to bypass internet restrictions and access blocked websites and services. 

  • The Chinese government heavily restricts internet access.
  • This includes blocking websites and content that the government deems to be harmful or subversive.
  • There are a few ways to get around the Great Firewall, such as using a VPN or proxy server.
  • However, using these methods is illegal in China.
  • The government restricts internet access for a number of reasons, including social control, sensitive content, and intellectual property protection.

Power Adapter

China uses a different electrical plug type (Type A, C, or I) and operates on 220-240 volts AC. Make sure to bring a suitable power adapter to charge your electronic devices. The type A can also accept plugs of type C or F, which are commonly seen in most European countries. In China, this kind of outlet has two holes of the same shape and size.

Benefits and drawbacks: There are both benefits and drawbacks to the government's censorship policies. On the one hand, the government's censorship policy protects its citizens from harmful or subversive content. On the other hand, the government's censorship policies also restrict access to information and can stifle free speech.

Health and Safety

Check with your healthcare provider about any necessary vaccinations or medications recommended for travel to China. Take necessary precautions for food and water safety, such as drinking bottled water and eating at reputable establishments. It's also wise to have a basic first aid kit and travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.

  • Health: China has made significant progress in improving health outcomes in recent years. However, there are still some significant challenges, such as high rates of smoking and obesity.
  • Safety: China has also made progress in improving safety standards. However, there are still some significant challenges, such as the high number of workplace accidents

Cultural Etiquette

 Familiarise yourself with Chinese cultural norms and customs. Respect local traditions, dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and follow local customs, such as removing your shoes when entering someone's home.The correct decorum during interactions in China always entails showing deference to those who are older. It is expected that one bows their head slightly and speaks softly when conversing with someone elderly. 

The advice or opinion of the elderly should never be contested.In Chinese hospitality, the host is obliged to keep their guests fully occupied. Generally, visitors are shown many sites, offered different kinds of meals. Chinese follow the tradition of seeing off their guests. Guests are not only accompanied to the street, but they are accompanied up to their transport.

Internet and Phone Connectivity

International roaming charges can be expensive. Consider getting a local SIM card or a temporary data plan for your phone to stay connected at a more affordable rate. You can purchase SIM cards at major airports or mobile phone shops.As of 2022, China had approximately 1.04 billion registered internet users, accounting for one-fifth of the world's total. The number of China's mobile internet users grew nearly nine fold from 2007 to 2013. According to the China Internet Network Information Center.

 There are about 700 million Chinese internet users, and many of them have a high-speed internet connection. Most of the users live in urban areas but at least 178 million users reside in rural towns. A majority of broadband subscribers were DSL, mostly from China Telecom and China Netcom.

Weather and Packing

China has diverse climates, so pack accordingly based on the season and the regions you plan to visit. Check the weather forecast for your travel dates and pack appropriate clothing, including layers, comfortable shoes, and any necessary items for specific activities or destinations.When packing for a trip to China, consider

  • The weather conditions and the region you'll visit. Northern parts have cold winters and hot summers, while the south is more tropical.
  •  Pack layers, light clothes, and a swimsuit for summers, and warm attire and waterproof shoes for winters. 

Essential items include sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a first-aid kit, insect repellent, a water bottle, and comfortable walking shoes. Packing versatile clothing and a raincoat is advisable due to potential rainfall. Prioritise convenience and adaptability to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience in China.

Respect for Local Laws

China's legal system covers laws at three levels: state laws, administrative regulations and local statutes. The hierarchy of Chinese legislatures: The National People's Congress (NPC) and its Standing Committee: Constitution and Laws.Familiarise yourself with the local laws and regulations in China. Observe and respect them to avoid any legal complications. Keep your passport and travel documents secure at all times.

Travel Itinerary and Transportation

 Plan your itinerary in advance, including the cities and attractions you wish to visit. Research transportation options such as flights, trains, and buses, and book tickets in advance for popular routes.Most two convenient ways to travel in China is by:

  • Bus – Buses are generally cheaper than trains when it comes to intercity travel so they are your best bet for short distances (anything under 8-10 hours). ...
  • Train – For long-distance travel around the country, trains are an affordable and often unique choice.

The train system: China has a very efficient and extensive train system. It is a great way to get around the country, and it is very affordable.

NOTE: Be aware of the scams.

There are a number of scams that operate in China, so be sure to be aware of them. Some common scams include:

  • The "dropped coin" scam: A person will drop a coin in front of you and then ask you to help them pick it up. While you are bent over, they will quickly pick your pocket.
  • The "fake tourist police" scam: A person will approach you and tell you that you have broken the law. They will then demand money from you in exchange for not reporting you to the police.
  • The "taxi scam": A taxi driver will take you on a longer route than necessary in order to charge you more money.

NOTE:Remember to stay informed about any travel advisories or updates regarding your destination in China and follow the guidance of local authorities. Enjoy your trip and embrace the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and diverse experiences that China has to offer.

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