As of July 2017, China lands the top place in the world’s most populated country with a population of 1.388 billion. This is equivalent to 18.47% of the total world population. It has over 500 cities that locals and tourists could visit. Different choices may vary as to what purpose we have for visiting – it may be for business, leisure or education.
There’s a vast selection and it’s a must not only to explore the grandeur of well-known cities but also the unusual tourist destinations. Regardless of what city you’re planning to visit, it’s important to take note of three essential things to prepare for before traveling to China. This is to lessen the possible troubles we could encounter and also help saves times.
First and foremost is to take necessary health precautions. One of which is to get oneself vaccinated. China is known for are their exotic street foods and this might be part of your “to try list”. Before trying out any food, it’s best to have a vaccine shot of Hepatitis A. This is to prevent the spread of the disease that is brought by contaminated food or water. In an unfortunate event, an Australian got a Hepatitis A upon eating berries from China.
Another precaution we could take is to bring our daily vitamins and other medicines for stomach ache, fever and more. A change in the weather, depending on which country you’re coming from, could greatly affect one’s body. As cliché as this saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Second would be to install a VPN (Virtual Private Network) app on your phones. A bunch of websites, especially widely used ones such as Google and Facebook, are blocked in China. A VPN allows one to bypass and access these websites. Unquestionably, the internet has already been a part of our daily routine. When we’re out in a public place, one of the most common questions we ask would be the Wi-Fi access and/or password of the establishment. Answering emails, checking social media accounts and browsing the internet may it be for work or personal reasons are just some of the activities we commonly do.
Because the internet is so easy to access these days, getting updated with the current events happening all over the world is at our fingertips. Some of which are the disputes regarding the South China Sea, the controversial Rape of Nanking, and the unceasing wars in countries such as Syria. All these, we would still be able to access in China if we download any trusted VPN app. These are available for both Android and IOS users.
Last but not the least would be to download a Chinese dictionary on your phones. Most parts of China, including its capital Beijing, are still unable or couldn’t speak English articulately. This could be a stumbling block for foreigners who are not familiar with the use of the Mandarin language. Thus, this could then lead to unspoken and misunderstood communication of thoughts. It would be advisable to have a companion who knows who to speak the native language of China especially when shopping.
However, in the event that such is not possible, having a translator app would be your best friend. The most widely used one would be “Pleco”. There are several options available such as the dictionary, audio and even handwriting. Now, life in transit would be a whole lot easier.
There is still a lot to consider before traveling to China, but these are just some of the top three picks that could be of much help to your stay there. When going to an unfamiliar place, there are things that are out of our control, but there also some that we could prepare for. For the latter, it is best to be prepared and knowledgeable of their restrictions and culture for us to have an overall pleasant experience.