China is a very OLD country and dates back to 1600 BC. It’s become famous over the years for its amazing ancient monuments. The country boosts a long and rich history, it’s one of the Four Ancient Civilizations! Its home to amazing cuisine and natural wonders. You can see things such as the legendary Yellow Mountains. Plus, they have The Great Wall which was an amazing feat of engineering. It’s over 13,000 miles long and construction on the wall began in 5th century BC! There is so much to do and see in this country, it’s not a destination that can be done in one or even five trips!
Mandarin is the official language in China, but there are hundreds of variations used in different regions. It’s important that you have an app that can translate as not everyone will speak English.
nǐ hǎo – Hello
xiè xiè – Thank you
bú yào – Do not want
nǐ huì (shuō) yīngwén ma? – Do you speak English?
This hotel has traditional Chinese touches with luxury throughout. Although it is a four-star hotel it is very inexpensive to stay at! Located in the center of Chengdu it’s very central for exploring.
The average rate starts at ¥1040 per night.
Now this hotel is designed to honor traditional Chinese styled homes. The aesthetic is amazing, and it has a siheyuan which is a traditional Beijing courtyard. Fun fact it was built on a residence of a Ming Dynasty concubine.
The average rate starts at ¥2585 per night.
If you are looking to have a major splurge moment then this hotel is for you! Located on Yangcheng Island it’s a retreat style that fosters wellness. They use traditional Chinese medicine mixed with Western influences. The spa here is top notch and the rooms are all suite style with soaking tubs and walk in showers.
The average rate starts at ¥9745 per night.
I grew up on Disney and when I found out Mulan was a real person, I became obsessed with knowing more. She first appears in history in what was called the Ballad of Mulan. If you have seen the Disney Movie you know partially how the story goes. Mulan’s father has two daughters and an infant son, but he was old and ailing. Mulan was worried her father would die in war, so she impersonates as a man and goes off to fight in her father’s place as his son. She takes the ancestral sword to battle and fought for ten to twelve years! She fell in love with an officer Jin Yong while she was at war but obviously couldn’t say anything because she was a “man”. It is said she was promoted to a general and then was discovered by Yong as a woman. She finally comes out as a woman and enters the battle dressed in woman clothing rousing her troops behind her. Now legends vary on her ending, saying the emperor offered her money and title and she just wanted a horse to go home. Some say her father had died, and she later commits suicide, others say she regretted going to war and missing her life. It has been cited that she is possibly a legend instead of a real person. She dates all the way back to 386 AD so it’s hard to know for sure but I am going to argue that she was real because if so she was a complete bad ass!
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China is a huge country with a multitude of regions all offering their own unique dishes. Make sure to not only stick to "modern" dishes but to try authentic dishes as well as local street vendors!
China is a huge country with a multitude of regions all offering their own unique dishes. The top “modern eight” cuisines would be: Chinese Dumplings, Kung Pao Chicken, Pekin Duck, Pork in sweet and sour sauce, Fried Noodles, Chinese Rice Porridge, Tea, Chinese Egg Rolls, Skewers of Locusts and Bean Curd.
This restaurant has been said to be the best restaurant in China and won Best Restaurant in 2016. They have a Michelin star and only have 8 private dining rooms for a truly luxurious evening.
Average cost is $90 per person.
One of the coolest and most unique restaurants in all of China. Located in Shanghai this is a single table restaurant that tells a story while you eat. It utilizes multi-sensory technology and makes it a fully immersive dining experience. Mind you its 20 courses long! It’s not cheap and only ten people can eat there per night.
Average cost is $600 per person.
China is on the type A, C and I socket depending on the region. It is a standard voltage of 220V and standard frequency is 50Hz. To avoid issues, you will need an adapter AND convertor! I would recommend BESTEK Universal it works in multiple destinations and has USB ports. I have been using it for a while and love it! Now all my ladies out there you will need a DIFFERENT adapter for your curling irons and straighteners. I know its extra money but trust me! I have blown out a few curling irons, it’s worth the extra money and luggage space. Conair has the best adapter for pretty much every country. Check it out here.
That all Chinese language is the same. That’s a big misconception there is no blanket mandarin dialect. Most regions have their own unique variation of the language and dialects.
The overall safety is good, and most are very welcoming to Westerners! Remember China is VERY crowded making it easy for someone to get into your bag without you realizing it, making pick pocketers a problem in the cities. Public transportation can be very crammed so keep your belongings on your front. For more information click here.
October and November are the best time to visit as the temperature is ideal! I visited in the summer and its hot and really humid. With all the smog it can get a little unbearable, so cooler months are best. Each region is a al little different and some will be colder so make sure to check the area you are wanting to visit in advance.
You will need a Visa just to leave the airport! I was very unprepared for my first trip to China and didn’t know I would need a Visa. Now you can obtain one in the airport for a day as long as you are coming back to the airport. If you aren’t coming right back to the airport you will need a longer visa and that must be processed BEFORE you arrive in China. It’s important to stay up to date on any changing rules regarding the entry and exit visas! Things like you must have the Visa and your passport with you at ALL times. They do enforce these rules and you can be deported or detained, so DON’T risk it! You can visit the US travel government site for current information.
The Yuan is used in China or what is called Renminbi. While in larger cities, most locations will accept cards or have ATM’s. Once you are in more rural areas having cash is important because most locations will be cash only.
Public transportation is really the best way to go when you are in larger cities. Its quick and cost effective just be prepared ALL signs are in Mandarin. Now when going between cities they have a very efficient train system that’s also cost effective. If you are wanting to go out in more rural areas, I would recommend a guided tour or having a driver. You don’t want to get lost and you will be unfamiliar with the road laws.
Wifi is available at most locations for free but it will be limited. Depending on the length of your trip either add international to your plan or invest in a portable wifi. A company I use often is SkyRoam, they have very affordable rates!
If you are a daredevil then walking Huashan’s Plank of Death is for you! It’s been called the World’s Most Dangerous Hike!
I have made tons of travel mistakes that were easily avoidable. Forgetting convertors, not packing properly, the list goes on. To make sure you avoid the same mistakes I have made I have complied a list of travel must haves.
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