From the majestic beauty of the Forbidden City and the awe-inspiring sights along the Great Wall to the hustle and bustle of Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing, China offers a wealth of opportunities for avid travelers. Whether you’re traveling for business or for pleasure, the world’s most populous nation has a wide variety of cultural landmarks and picturesque scenery that’s guaranteed to surprise and delight just about any traveler.
Here are some transportation, shopping and safety tips to keep in mind before heading out to China - one of the world's busiest and most exciting countries!
Bring Emergency Kits and Safeguard Important Items
Before setting off on your trip, it is important to make sure that you have all of your travel papers in order. Make sure you keep your passport and other papers in a safe location, to safeguard against loss or theft. One ideal thing to have in your possession is an emergency card with your detailed contact information. A service that claims to protect your identity, such as Life Lock, may be a smart resource to look into before setting out on your Chinese adventure.
Visas and Passports... How Long Can You Stay in China?
U.S. citizens must have a valid passport and China visa prior to their arrival. You can obtain a visa from the China Embassy and Consulates General in the U.S. prior to
your departure. Do not rely on organizations that claim to arrange visa
insurance upon your arrival. Citizens traveling to the Hong
Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) can stay within the region for up to three months without a visa. However, you’ll need one if you plan on traveling outside of Hong Kong.
China visas are available at Hong
Kong International Airport.
You can learn more details about these issues at TVNZ
Now that you are safe and ready to have fun in China, you'll want to know how to get around. Because of the extremely high population of this country, there is so much backed up traffic in it's urban cities, that it would be worth your while to rent out a bicycle. This way, you can easily weave in and out of the crowd, avoiding busy traffic and maximizing your time spent having fun! Also, look into motor bikes or using the Rail Lines or Rickshaws.
Shopping in Shanghai and Using Yuan
Nanjing Lu in Shanghai is well known for its excellent marketplaces. According to TVNZ, It is the premiere shopping district, with malls and specialty stores everywhere. Before spending your money, it's important to know that checks can be converted into RMB (yuan), the local Chinese currency, at banks, hotels and Friendship Stores. Be sure to find reliable currency exchange centers before you transfer your American dollars to Chinese money.
Accommodations and Mandarin Guidebooks
Of course, you should have your hotel or hostel accommodations arranged before you head out, allowing you to comfortably transit into Chinese culture without the travel hassle. Even if you are already familiar with some Chinese culture, it's generally a good idea to purchase a guidebook. You should also bring along a book of basic Mandarin Chinese translations. Having these books can help make navigating your way through major Chinese cities much easier.
These useful tips can help keep your China travel experience fun, unique and safe! Now, head out on your adventure and take some fancy pictures!