China is one of the biggest superpowers in the world, a country that has grown at a rate not seen since the emergence of the United States a couple of hundred years ago. As it becomes more ingrained into the International community, increasing trade and other connections, China is becoming a popular tourist destination with people seeking adventure and looking for something new.
For Western tourists though, this is a different world, and to ensure you survive and strive in this part of the world, you need to follow some tips.
Use Language Apps
Making an effort to speak the language in the country you’re visiting will go very far, earning you a lot of respect with the locals. You don’t have to be fluent, and these days there are many language apps that you can download to help you. If you have a smartphone or tablet then download one of these apps and take it with you. They make speaking basic words and phrases so much easier and can be a vital when it comes to communicating with those who don’t speak your native tongue.
Despite being invented here many hundreds of years ago, toilet paper is rarely found in public restrooms, so be sure to take your own supply with you.
You should always invest in a guidebook, as you can learn a great deal more about the country and its best attractions that you could ever discover yourself. Be sure to find one that suits you, from those that take you to the main tourist hotspots to those that take you a little off the beaten track and allow you to explore the real China.
The Chinese, like several other nationalities (the Greeks and Italians spring to mind) tend to talk very loudly and passionately. If you see people doing this or if you are spoken to in such a way, don’t worry, there’s a good chance you’re not being shouted at.
If you’re desperate for an English speaker then seek out young Chinese residents, especially in the big cities. As is the case in many other countries, the younger generations tend to speak English more than the older ones, and they are also more accustomed to International cultures.
Sample Street Food
Rather than staying for breakfast in your hotel every morning, hit the streets and the backstreets to find some local food. This is the best way to sample local cuisine at anytime of the day.
Try Some Tea
China is the biggest producer of tea in the world and it is a great place to sample some of the best varieties and blends. These include green teas, black teas and fermented and aged teas. There are many specialist tea rooms and tea shops, where you can enjoy everything from a cup of the finest local brew, to a bag of the best blend.