There is a reason why China is one of the biggest tourist markets there is in the world: the country, despite all outward indications, is in the middle of experiencing a booming economy, which means that many businesses overseas find it attractive to do business there. And as it turns out, when there is business, there are visitors. So, dear reader, this is where you come in: travelling to a new country can always be an adventure, and much more so in China where it’s ABSOLUTELY essential to fashion your very own “travel to China checklist”!
Why the need for that, though? Well, because for one, certain modern customs in China can seem bewildering to any “outsider”. And really, you will get to see what the fuss is all about by simply reading the “essentials” of what you need to consider when travelling to a very large place like China. So, whether you’ll be there either for business or for fun, let these tips below guide you to enjoy your time at the Middle Kingdom!
Communicating with the locals
China is now in the enviable position of opening itself to foreign markets, which means that there is now a generation of mainland citizens who are quite well-versed and fluent in using English as a medium for communication. However, that does not mean that you can just rest easy and let the powers of globalization work its magic onto you and to whomever you will be speaking to in China: the country is still mainly populated by people who speak Chinese, after all, and that should remind you that not everyone has adapted to speaking in English no matter how much you would prefer it.
Thankfully, amidst all of those local dialects, there is one definite language of Chinese that everyone in the country can pick up on quite immediately: Mandarin. So, from there, you can start enrolling yourself in local Mandarin classes so you can at least pick out common phrases you can use while at China, or you can just go the “simple” route and just bring along a dictionary or download an app! Classic learning-on-the-go, indeed!
Carrying your own amenities
China is really becoming modernized at a rate that is comparable to even its larger Western counterparts. However, that does not mean that all of the facilities you can encounter there is built up to speed: for instance, simply visiting an ER entails you to get a “ticket” first that will get you to see a doctor, no matter what your ailment is; on the other hand, public restrooms in China are also notorious for not being… err, “well-maintained” at all.
So yes, these things may seem like visiting China can seem like a lot of hassle. But again, there are certain ways you can still observe to help you keep your sanity while travelling through the country. For example, you can stock up on some of the common OTC meds like painkillers or cold drops which can at least alleviate whatever it is you may be feeling while you’re travelling in the country. Of course, it also won’t hurt you if you bring your own sets of napkins or sanitary wipes which you can not only use inside restrooms, but also for the little “emergencies”, too. It’s the classic backpacker’s mentality, but it’s also one that applies in this instance very well!
Bringing along your own power converters
Now, this is probably the most unexpected item on this list. Not only do you have to bring along dictionaries, medicines, and tissues on your trip, but ALSO power converters? Isn’t that a bit too much?
Well, not exactly: for one, all electric outlets in China are built to supply 220 volts of electricity. So, if you happen to have a device that can only be supported by, say, a charger that runs on 110 volts, then there’s no question that it will IMMEDIATELY fry your devices dead!
Of course, there are some electronics that have built-in converters in their plugs. But if you’re not sure about yours, then there’s no harm in getting a universal plug converter. At the very least, it will also allow your electronics that run on three-prong plugs to be able to function well at any place you may find yourself staying in while you’re at China.
So, have you got all of these now? You can also make your very own “travel to China checklist”, too, if you want!