Traveling to China
China, also known as the People’s Republic of China, is one of the biggest countries in Asia at 9.6 million square kilometers and one of biggest populations as well, with over a billion people within its borders. The country has 22 provinces, 4 municipalities, and 5 autonomous regions. It is one of the major birthplaces of civilization and has been a country since 2070 B.C.
Traveling to China is an exciting prospect simply because of all of the history located there. Although it goes by one name, and the country emphasizes the unifying spirit of China, there is still a great diversity of culture and sites throughout the mainland, from the major metropolitan areas like Beijing, to the more rural parts like Tibet and Inner Mongolia.
If you decide to go to China, there are a lot of things to do in preparation and once you get there. For instance, it would be wise to learn a little bit of Mandarin before you go. While English is taught in schools, the people you will be interacting with at shops and stores will have a bit of a language barrier for you. So learn a few of the basics before you go, so you can break through the language barrier and be able to communicate your needs a little better.
Another thing to understand is that China is huge, so it is a good idea to put together a solid itinerary to see the highlights before you go. For example, if you are into seeing ruins and historical places, check out an area like Sichaun. There are several areas that are still full of ancient Ming Dynasty villages and artifacts. It is also scenic and rural, giving you an opportunity to appreciate the mountains and lakes of China.
Bejing, of course, is the capital and busiest city in the country. There are tons of great things to visit here, and will most likely be the place you fly into. You can easily reach the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and other important Chinese cultural sites while in the city. It will also give you an opportunity to buy the most souvenirs.
Once you arrive, it is easy to be overwhelmed, but just remember that most people will try to be as helpful as they can to you, language barrier or not. When wandering the streets, don’t be afraid to try foods that you might not have in your own country. Street food is one of the best parts, despite some people’s reluctance to try it. Don’t be afraid and broaden your horizons.
If you can avoid it, try to go to the country during non-holiday seasons. This will be better because most of the locals will be at work and school, so the streets won’t be oppressively crowded. Check the calendars well in advance and make sure you are avoiding any Chinese holidays.
Finally, remember that China censors the internet pretty heavily. Make sure you get all of your maps and information before you arrive in the country, because you might find yourself locked out of Google. Just prepare ahead of time, and it shouldn’t be a problem.