Essential things you need to know before visiting China
1) Cash is preferred. International hotels and restaurants in large cities are accepting Visa and Mastercard. When you are travelling around China cash is essential.
2) Get a local SIM card. China’s major carriers include China Telecom and China Unicom. SIM cards can be purchased at the airport or at most stores, and credit is quite affordable.
3) You should have a passport all the time. For checking into hotels, buying train and bus ticket and even sometimes to enter into some buildings. Make a photocopy of it.
4) Chinese do not accept Euro, US dollar or any other currency. The official in China is Yuan (RMB). The exchange rate at ATMs could be better than in the exchange offices.
5) Chinese do not expect to tip so don,t do it.
6) Make sure you download a VPN before arriving. A lot of the websites and social networks you use at home might be blocked.
7) Never accept first price offered. Outside boutiques and shopping malls haggling skills are essential and welcomed. Practice on every market because haggling is necessary.
8) Anytime there’s a large crowd of people, you’ll probably find just pushing your way through to be more effective than actually lining up. People do not wait in lines nicely.
9) Don,t drink the tap water. Not even the Chinese drink the tap water. Buy water at groceries stores, not on the street from vendors.
10) Bring toilet paper, soap and hand sanitizer. Most of the public and restaurants bathrooms don,t have toilet paper or soap.
11) Get to the airport early. It is advisable to get to the airport three hours early for international flights to China and two hours early for domestic. Chinese airports can often be chaotic and overcrowded.
12) Expect delays. Be prepared to wait in the airport (or even on the plane) when flying from a Chinese airport.
13) Taxis in China are cheap and plentiful. Most drivers will not speak English, so make sure to get your destination address written in Chinese by somebody at your hotel.