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17 Jan, 2015

Top 12 tips for travelling in China

Beijing, (bbs.chinadaily.com.cn). 2015-01-15 – China is a vast and culturally diverse country, which makes traveling in it for the first time incredibly daunting. China Daily Forum readers share some tips — from their experiences — to make newcomers’ lives a little easier.

1. Travel light. Most hotels in China provide toothbrushes/paste, soap, shampoo, etc. They even provide house shoes!

2. Don’t travel during holiday season. It can get very crowded. For example, the scenic West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site, drew over 1 million visitors in a single day for the first time, according to statistics.

3. Always carry tissues. You won’t find toilet paper in public bathrooms.

4. Carry a translation device in case you need to ask questions. Language skill does not seem that important until you step out of Beijing and Shanghai. Having a handy dictionary stored in your handset makes a world of difference when exploring many other Chinese cities.

5. Always buy bottle water. Tap water is undrinkable in China.

6. Learn some basic courtesy vocabulary: xie-xie – thank you. Qing wen – Please, may I ask? Mai dan – the bill please. Hui shuo ying wen ma? – Can you speak English? Bu hao yi si – I’m sorry/excuse me.

7. Travel with friends, possibly those who live in the country.

8. Always try as many varieties of food as possible.

9. Take trains whenever possible. Chinese trains are the best bargain for the money to move in the country, as well as the safest.

10. Get your destination written in Chinese, and always ask first before you take a taxi.

11. Lodge in youth hostels. They offer discount price accommodation in dorms and also singles or doubles.

12. Learn to bargain. Don’t accept the first price given by peddlers – it is likely high.