Eight things to know about China

  1. China is safe. Most of the people are hardworking, honest and basically mind their own business. There are however some petty thieves so watch out for pick pocketers and keep your money and passport close.
  2. Vendors: The Chinese do not have a set price on anything so they expect to haggle. This makes browsing extremely difficult so if you are genuinely not interested do not give them any encouragement. If, however, you are caught and genuinely do not want to buy, then be firm but friendly.
  3. Average costs? -Here are a few indicators. Food ¥5- ¥10per meal but western food will cost ¥20-30. Bearing in minds that ¥5 is less than a dollar then I’m sure you can well afford that. Mobile phones can cost anything from ¥100 to ¥5000 depending on the quality of the phone and service costs are ¥10- ¥50-again depending on your requirements. As for that all-important Beer Only ¥3- ¥5 and remember the Chinese love their foreigners so they might throw in a few pints for free if you play your cards right.
  4. Queuing or lining up. The Chinese do not queue well. It would not be unusual to see several of them skipping the queue, so be prepared to hold your ground.
  5. Women travelling on their own. Many young Chinese women take off from home in search of better jobs and brighter futures so as a country it is socially acceptable for women to travel on their own. That is not to say that in the local areas you might get asked where your friend, boyfriend or family are, but this is mostly curiosity and by no means intrusive.
  6. The adventure: When we think of China we think of busy streets, massive crowds and smog filled cities but it is not all like that- You can visit holy mountains, sea-side hotspots, remote villages, national parks and many historical sites. See our Top 6 places to visit in Vietnam (Link here)
  7. The Infrastructure.: China has pretty much made it possible to travel to all corners of its 3.7 million square miles by train or bus. It also boasts the biggest high-speed network in the world with nearly 700 miles of track. Chinese trains are not expensive and they are very punctual. You should know that you select your trains by classes and each class is represented by a letter. Each letter is an indicator of the speed and service- G trains being the fastest and T trains being the slowest. Don’t worry you will get the hang of it in no time.
  8. The Language: Based on four different tones and 10,000+ characters so if you learn the language practice it with a native or you could be saying something rude!!

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