Tips for your trip to China

  • Bring small bills for the subway. Machines usually don’t take cards or big bills.
  • Stock up on tissues. Restaurants usually don’t have napkins and toilets almost never have paper.
  • Don’t forget hand sanitizer.
  • Download Baidu translate. It’s a life saver. You can talk or write and it can talk back to people. Works 1000 times better than Google translate. You can have a proper conversation.
  • Don’t be scared of the language barrier. Locals are super friendly and happy to help. If you both want to get yourselves understood, you will. A smile and some good old gesturing go a long way.
  • If you come from Hong Kong, China Mobile has a prepaid SIM card that works in the mainland too. Best thing is that you can use internet unrestricted. I think you can get the card in the mainland too but then you get limitations.
  • In Yunnan and Sichuan, levels of spicy start from tongue​ numbing.
  • Make sure you book long distance trains with as much advance as possible so you can get a soft sleeper, especially during Chinese public holidays. You don’t want to get stuck 13 hours overnight on a hard seat carriage. Believe me. We’ve survived it.
  • If you need a mask for Beijing, Vogmask has some cool designs and they have good filters. 3M are good too.
  • Bring your passport everywhere. You need it for train tickets and for some attraction entrances.
  • You can’t buy train tickets later than 55 minutes before departure.
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