“To Travel is to Live” – Hans Christian Andersen
China’s much bigger than the UK and it attracts millions of tourists every year. Even though 60% of the country is mountains, there are huge modern cities, the Yangtze River (which is nearly 4,000 miles long), and something for everyone to enjoy.
So how do you plan a trip to China? What should you know before you go? Where should you visit?
Here’s our guide to China!
As the capital, it’s unsurprising that Beijing is one of the country’s most popular cities. In the past, it was home to the Jin Dynasty and today is the country’s political centre and home to the Great Hall of the People and Tienanmen Square.
There are hundreds of outstanding sights in China? (Source: edwindoms610)
In terms of monuments, you have to see the Great Wall of China. There are also other great sites such as:
Shanghai, which literally means “Upon-the-Sea” in Chinese, is one of the biggest cities in China and the world with 24.2 million inhabitants. It’s the perfect place to stay in China and one of the most international cities. You can visit:
China isn’t just a country of technology though. When you visit China, don’t miss Xi’an in the Shaanxi Province. It’s at the end of the Silk Road and is very touristy, which doesn’t detract from just how beautiful the city is.
The Zhejiang Province is home to West Lake in Hangzhou which inspired many poets and artists. Many great emperors lived there in the 9th and 10th centuries. It’s considered to be one of China’s most beautiful cities and was the capital under the Song Dynasty.
Find out more about the best cities in China.
Whether you want to see Chinese wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites or travel around China, you need to prepare your trip well in advance.
China is a country with a rich history and culture. (Source: Silentpilot)
In addition to getting to China, you’ll need to know how to get around China by bike, taxi, bus, or train. Here are the average prices:
Bicycles are everywhere in China and are considered the way to travel. If you want to travel and learn more about China, you should learn more about important aspects of Chinese culture:
It’ll help a lot if you know Mandarin Chinese. Here’s some advice for getting over the language barrier:
Before you go to the Yunnan Province and discover more of China, you’ll have to make sure you get a visa. You need to get the tourist visa (L Visa) regardless of your length of stay. Here’s some important information about your visa:
With your phrasebook, tickets, and visa in hand, you’re ready to go!
Find out more about planning a trip to China.
Before you go, think about the type of trip you’re going on and then you can decide how long you’ll need to go for. There are different types of trips you can go on because China is a vast and interesting country with big modern cities and protected natural sites:
Make sure you have enough time enjoying Chinese culture as well as the sights. (Source: ulleo)
When should you go to China?
Most tourists visit China in April and May or September and October. You can go between April and October or during the Chinese New Year if you want an immersive experience.
If you’re travelling for 10-12 days, we recommend that you focus on the big cities such as Beijing, Datong, Pingyao, and Xi’an (where you can find the terracotta army). The best parts of this trip will probably be the Great Wall of China, Luzhi water town, and the skyscrapers in Shanghai.
Keep in mind that preparation for a trip to China can take up to six months, especially considering that you’ll need to get a visa. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t miss a single monument.
Find out more about how long you should spend in China.
In this guide, we’ve already mentioned some of China’s biggest cities. Here are some other great places to visit:
The Great Wall of China is absolutely breathtaking! (Source: jplenio)
You can also do typical Chinese things like seeing pandas. There are 4 natural parks where you can see them and they’re all under 100 miles from Chengdu:
If you’re looking for unusual places to visit, you might like the Panjin Red Beach in the north of China. This magnificent natural marsh is home to 300 wild species.
Its unique colour is due to marine algae, Suaeda, but do you know what’s even weirder?
It’s red in autumn but changes to green from April to August. It’ll take your breath away.
Find out more about the best things to see in China.
If you’d like to learn some Chinese before you go to Shanghai, you could consider enlisting the help of one of the many talented tutors on Superprof! The tutors on the site offer three types of private tutorials to help you learn the lingo: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.
Face-to-face tutorials are taught with one student and one tutor and tend to be the most costly per hour because you’re paying for both bespoke lessons and a bespoke course. They’re usually the most cost-effective type of tutorial since every minute in the lesson is spent focusing on you as the student.
Online tutorials are similar to the face-to-face tutorials but take place either on a call or over webcam. Thanks to the internet, you can now video conference tutors from all over the world and be taught for less per hour since the tutor won’t have the travel costs to worry about and can fit more students into their schedule as a result. Your tutor might even be from China!
Finally, group tutorials are more like the classes you’ll have had in school with one teacher and multiple students. However, with group tutorials, you and a group of friends (perhaps the people you’ll be travelling with) can get in touch with a private tutor to plan lessons that you’ll all attend together. While these tend to be the cheapest per student per hour since the cost of the tutor’s time is shared, you’ll also get far less one-on-one time with your tutor.
Each different type of tutorial has its pros and cons and it’s really up to you and your budget to decide how much you’ll need to learn, how you want to learn, and what your budget is going to be for Chinese language lessons before you go.