China is increasingly on our minds as we watch their economy lift millions out of poverty. Every day the development of the country seems to grow, as well as the number of tourists wanting to hear the music, taste the food, and meet the people of the most populous country in the world. Thinking about heading to The Middle Kingdom? Here are some top tips to prepare for your trip to China!
Preparing Yourself Digitally
When we think about traveling to a new country, we do not normally think about our digital lives in that place. After all, the Internet is a global network, a world wide web, if you will. So, why would I even need to think about this when traveling?
One reason would be for security reasons. For example, you may want to protect your computer from potential theft or prying eyes. This could mean a lock or a screen blocker. Also, some websites are not available in every country. Bank accounts are a classic example of a site with important geographic restrictions. But there are plenty of others as well.
For example, online betting sites are often country-specific, so you will want to find the best betting sites available in China ahead of time. This site will show you the best online sportsbooks for use in China, and how to access them with a VPN if necessary. They pick the best ones for their in-play betting features, their betting odds, the availability of sports markets, and their mobile betting interface. If you are looking to bet on sports in China, this guide will help you prepare.
Make a (Reasonable) Itinerary
There are different styles when it comes to traveling. On one extreme, we have the people who arrive in the airport without knowing a word of Mandarin or what monuments might be in the city center. On the other end, we have people who know exactly where they will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In this section, we encourage the making of a reasonable itinerary.
In a place with such a strong and unique personality, gett ing around and understanding what is the best to do in the moment can be difficult and overwhelming. It is a good idea to remove some of the pressure from the moment of the trip by doing some work ahead of time.
Do your research and make sure to hit the things that are most important to you. This may or may not coincide with a typical list of top ten things to see in Chengdu, for example. When you make this itinerary, keep in mind that moving around will likely be more exhausting and difficult than it is in your home city.
But Be Prepared to Strike a New Path
In addition to adding time to rest in your agenda, you should also be prepared to rearrange things and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. After all, traveling is such a learning experience that sticking strictly to a plan would likely mean missing out on some of the best new things.
You will also want to be prepared for surprising weather conditions. For example, have some ideas for what to do if the summer is hotter than expected. Maybe walking along The Great Wall will be less appealing in scorching heat, and you will want to rearrange plans.
These types of surprises include meeting locals. This is one of the best ways to learn about a new culture. Of course, when we travel, wherever that may be, we also want to be careful about trusting people too much right away.
Know Local Laws and Customs
A basic tenet of any trip is to know local laws and customs before you arrive. This will save face and help you integrate. For example, this guide to traveling in China, will cover everything from toilet paper to tipping culture (no tip necessary). You may be surprised by just how different many everyday things are. For example, locals do not drink tap water in China due to the concentration of heavy metals. Buy bottled water instead. Also, you can haggle at the lively markets, but not at stores. There, the price you see is the price you get!