Ways & How

How to Travel to China

How to Travel to China

China is an immense country in Asia with the largest population in the world. As one of the cradles of ancient civilization, China has a rich culture that shows itself in the country’s writing, food, and costumes, among other things. A lot of its culture has found its way into the mainstream and Hollywood, like the action movies featuring the kung fu martial arts popularized by Bruce Lee and the ubiquitous Chinese restaurants with their distinctive fortune cookies. Despite the proliferation of Chinese influences all over the world, it is still an eye-dropping experience to visit China and compare authentic Chinese food to the food you order back home. Here are some tips for how to travel to China.

  1. Plan for your trip

    China is different from the United States in many areas, so it is of primary importance that your trip planning includes reading through the American and Chinese Consular Affairs websites. If needed, you can contact the nearest Chinese consulate or embassy for any questions you might have. Foremost, a visa is necessary, along with a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of your travel start date.

    Be aware that there are restricted or remote regions where you might need an additional travel permit.

  2. Know what to lug with you

    Popular tourist destinations in China such as the Great Wall have modern tourist facilities and some English speakers who can assist visitors. Otherwise, rural areas are a bit rustic and may require adjustment and additional preparation on your part.

    There have been instances of tourists being arrested and deported for bringing and distributing religious literature or images. Make sure that what you pack is enough for your personal use only, such as one Bible and zero pamphlets. Keep in mind that China is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party, so there are some freedoms prohibited there that you may be used to in the U.S.

  3. Behave accordingly on your journey

    Upon arrival in China, it is requisite for you to register with the police within 24 hours. If you are booked in a hotel, they will register for you. If you are staying with friends or family in a private residence, do not forget this requirement. Bring your passport to the nearest local police station to register. Another Chinese law requires that you always have your passport and Chinese visa with you, so make sure that you keep them handy and secure on your person. You can make photocopies and leave them in your hotel room in the unfortunate case of loss or theft.

    When going around China, take care not to go into restricted or sensitive areas such as borders or areas of civil unrest, unless you have an approved travel permit or you are part of a tour group. Regardless of where you are, tourists are prone to petty theft and scams, so remain alert. Given that China is a hub of mass production, be wary of purchasing counterfeit or pirated items as well.

    Since you are travelling in an exotic locale, it might surprise you that there are Internet restrictions in China that will not allow you to post your pictures and adventures to your favorite social networking sites. While Internet access is easy to obtain, keep in mind that your Internet activity might be monitored, so behave accordingly.

Given China’s size and its diversity, travelling there will be unforgettable. You will leave with a palate that is well-satiated with dumplings, Peking duck, and noodles, as well as a mind filled with memories of the grandeur of the Forbidden City, the impressive Terracotta Warriors, and the lights of Hong Kong. With these tips on how to travel to China, you can rest assured that your experience will be unforgettable on a positive note.


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