China Quick Guide

As avid travelers ourselves, know that making China travel arrangements needn't be uncomplicated. But with the myriad of choices, it's difficult to know just where to begin. It may seem like an overwhelming task, particularly if you've never experienced travelling to China before. There are, however, a few steps you can take to ensure you're able to make the most of your China holiday.

The first thing you need to consider is what sort of China travel guide you want. There are a variety of resources available for both English speakers and those who speak Chinese. Some websites also have sections specifically about traveling to China. These might be more useful for beginners as they provide a rough guide to the country that can be used in conjunction with other resources. This could, for example, be helpful for deciding which areas to visit and which restaurants to visit.

If you want a detailed guide to China, your best bet will be a downloadable e-book or printed book that outlines all of your China itinerary, including where to eat, where to shop, and how to interact with the locals. These have the advantage of being created by people familiar with China, which makes them far more informative than any random tourist walking along the beaten path who has little to no knowledge of the country. If you don't have these books, or you want to cut down on your research time, the best option may be to immerse yourself in the language. The following are some ways to do that.

Make sure you have plenty of time to read. In addition to the best travel guide books, it's best to spend a significant amount of time learning to speak Chinese, so you're doing more than reading. By learning to speak Mandarin, you'll gain a better understanding of the language and its proper pronunciation. This will make conversations with locals a lot more comfortable, and it will also open up opportunities to see places on the beaten path that otherwise you wouldn't have been able to reach on your own.

Download some of the best travel guide books from the internet. Although China isn't exactly a big country, its capital city, Beijing, is huge and finding out the most popular sights can take time and effort. Use free downloads to do your research. You may not think anything of it, but most people who download Beijing travel guide books are impressed by how thorough and well-researched they are.

Join a local tour group. If you aren't particularly savvy when it comes to navigating the internet and downloading things or even looking up the maps for the country's major cities, joining an online travel group will benefit you greatly. Most cities have at least a couple of tour groups, and you can pick their brains about certain sights, things to do, and even where to go in China itself! The advantage of these groups is that they often feature China holiday packages. Some groups may even offer you a Beijing tour, helping you see the city without having to spend money for a separate tour.

Use a travel guide that shows you where everything is. China is a massive country, and you'll likely need to take some sort of guided tour if you want to see everything there is to see. These can be used by both locals and tourists, and they come in a variety of formats. Some travel guides are made using data and virtual tours, which allow you to simply follow a path that has been created for you, while others require more physical work.

Consider using a travel guide to plan your trip. There are dozens of options out there. If you're just starting out, consider the cheapest way. If you want to really get a feel for the country, consider the best-of-the-best or the most complete. But regardless of what route you choose, be sure to use a China travel guide before you leave for your trip! It could make all the difference between a great experience or a headache, you're willing to put aside.

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to China are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

Spring and autumn are the best times to visit China. Any timefrom March to May and from September to early November are the best moments to plan a great trip.

Do I need a Visa?

British nationals normally need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao. With effect from 1 November 2018, all visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 inclusive will need to make their visa application in person at a Visa Application Centre.

See which forms you may need for entry into China.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of China is the Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in China you can grab amazing Chinese Yuan Renminbi deals via (GBP to CNY).

What about the wildlife?

Some of the animals that are native to China include the Asian elephant, sable, dugong, Pallas cat, North China leopard, binturong, clouded leopard, Tibetan macaque, golden snub-nosed monkey, and the giant panda.

What is the traditional food?

Mandarin food? China is a large and diverse country, and its many regions have different favorite dishes. Some of these dishes include noodles, fried rice, minchee, dumplings, Mao's braised pork, and char siu. However, China's globally recognized national dish is the Peking duck.

What Languages are spoken?

The official dialect of China is Mandarin, also call "Putonghua". More than 70% of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin, but there are also several other major dialects in use in China: Yue (Cantonese), Xiang (Hunanese), Min dialect, Gan dialect, Wu dialect, and Kejia or Hakka dialect. You can learn some basic Mandarin before you travel to China and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in China is the Chinese Yuan Renminbi (In Mainland China, tipping or gratuities are not common practice in most sectors of life, but it has become okay to tip tour guides, drivers, and hotel bellboys in recognition of their good service.).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 110
  • Ambulance: 120
  • Fire: 119
  • UK Embassy: +86 (0) 21 3279 2000

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is 8 hours

Travel Apps

Grab a travel app or two

Learn Mandarin

Learn some Mandarin before your trip to China

China Guidebook

Stay informed before, during and after your trip to China by buying a guidebook.