Survival China Travel Tips and Tricks
These China Travel Tips, Survival Techniques, will help you get around and make your trip to China easier, so you will be able to experience real China with a little less stress. China is an odd beast that needs to be respected; major cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian, all have their own personalities.
Some complex situations that you think would be an organizational disaster turn out to be great and you wonder afterward what all fuss and worry was about. Then simplest of tasks can turn out to be a major calamity.
This is when you have what we call here a “China day”.
These days come and go and are part of experience of everyday travel in China. One needs to have an open mind when travelling China. It is a place with thousands of years of history and culture that is trying overnight to adapt to Western ways of living.
You need to have a very open mind when you Travel in China. I have listed below a few China Travel Tips that will make life that wee bit more bearable on your Travel China experience.
China Travel Tips – Be Toilet Wise
• Never expect a clean toilet 100% of time.
• Be prepared; Carry some tissue.
• You may have to use a squat toilet, again if you know this before hand it is not a shock. If you don’t know how to use a squat toilet, try following experiment at home.
While holding onto something for support with both hands, lower your body down into a low squat position, so that cheeks of your bottom is almost touching your heels or back of your calf. Now, let go with your hands. See if you stay in this position for at least 1 minute. If you fall backwards or you cannot get up, then a squat toilet could be a problem for you! Practice, you will be happy you did.
• If you see a clean toilet, Go… it may not come again for a while.
• There are many public toilets around cities, usually ones you pay for are OK, (RMB .5), others best to stay away from if you can. You will soon notice them as you walk around cities.
• Be warned that public areas like bus and train stations are usually what I class as “tough toilets”, however if gotta go you gotta go. • Outside of major cities, toilet systems are old or have very narrow plumbing /pipes and get blocked easily. In these cases a small basket is usually beside toilet, this is for your used toilet paper.
One of best China Travel toilet Tips I can give you, is use hotel lobby toilets; these are everywhere and are always clean. Still they may not always have toilet paper. It depends on class of hotel that you are using.
I do not wish to scare you. However, of all China Travel Tips in all other web sites I have read, this is a topic not often mentioned, but it is very important to us all.
So outside of major cities conditions can be tough. But most of time everything will be fine, especially if you book a tour; everything will have been checked out before hand. However even best laid plans can go wrong, so be prepared, toilets in smaller cities, towns and villages can be scary.
China Travel Tips – The Food
• The food is great and variety is overwhelming. Most of time you get to choose what you eat, or you can recognize what you’re eating, however sometimes you do not get a choice. Carry a chocolate bar or something; this will keep you going until some food that you can recognize turns up. Drink bottled or boiled water, as tap water is NOT safe to drink, this is for whole of China. Even boiled water, while sterilised can contain a lot of minerals and iron deposits that you probably do not want in your system. The safest bet is to drink bottle water. Tap water in most big cities is OK for brushing teeth.
• Eating habits - Most Chinese people have a great habit of being very noisy when they eat and lunch and dinner times can be a wonderfully noisy celebration, food tends to go in all directions, its just part of being in China.
• People also smoke at table while everyone is eating, so some restaurants get very loud and smoky.
• If you get stuck what to order as most of menu’s are in Chinese just look at table next to you and point to dish you fancy and ask how much it is, this system works really well and know seems to mind.
• I have a basic menu that will help you order safe food, (no Cats or Dog) this will enable you to visit a larger selection of restaurants, not just tourist ones with high prices. You can carry it with you and use it in local restaurants where most will be able to serve what is on it. This way you will know what you are eating.
These local places are very cheap and food it great. Contact me if you would like me to send it to you.
China Travel Tips – Taxis
• China Travel Tips- Taxis - Taxis are an experience that can have you griping seat and gasping for breath; however you soon get used to it, after first few rides, you’re an old hand.
• The taxis in Shanghai are, overall, quite good. Try to get Blue, Blue’ish Turquoise, Gold and White taxis, these are best… these are four major taxi companies and are generally recognised by their single colour paintwork. The others are OK, just older and a rougher ride (the others also may have faulty metres). No drivers will speak English.
• Carry your hotel or accommodation business card with you, written in Chinese, this helps if you get lost walking around town.
• In all taxis around country you will see drivers name and taxi registration number in plain sight. If you have any problem, or if you think you have been over charged etc, just take this number down, make a big fuss about it, and driver then should wake up and fix whatever problem you have. Even better is to take receipt. This has all trip details on it and you can ring taxi company if you want to take things further or if you’ve left something in taxi. • The government takes rip-off drivers in all cities, Beijing and Xian especially, very seriously and if you complain they will lose their license. This is their livelihood. So far I have had not one driver in 3 years that has not backed down and we have then agreed a price for trip or solved our problem.