Planning to go to China to study, work or do a business? If yes then you must read traveling to china tips.I have tried to write about essential and most important things you need to know before coming to China to stay for a year or more. So here are my tips…
1-Learn Chinese for basic communication before coming to China.
If your Chinese is nil, I suggest you learn basic Chinese, words enough to get you to and to ask people in the airport about gates and terminals and get to the hotel etc. Most Chinese people don’t speak English, and when you ask a person if he/she speaks English they will say a little, but in fact its a lot less than ” a little”. Younger generations though has just started learning English as a second language, they often can help more than the information personals who works at the airport.
If you are using iphone you will find many applications that can help you learn Chinese, download them.
2-Bring some of your favorite food from your home country.
I meant your favorite tea bags, coffee, creamy cheese, rice or even your favorite cereals. Although there are many international supermarkets in China yet some products are very difficult to find here. If you prefer a certain type of cereal, rice or pasta then bring it along with you, because you might not find here. The availability of famous international supermarket depends on where you’re staying, if you are staying in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou it’s going to be a lot easier.
3-Open Bank account in Chinese Bank.
In China, if you are holding Bank of China card and you used bank of Communication ATM to take out some money, you will be charged small fee for every single transaction. Therefore, I suggest you open at least two different bank accounts. Let’s say Bank of Communication ATM is closest ATM to your place then open an account in Bank of Communication, so when you do any transaction you will not be charged. Fore major transactions I suggest using Bank of China.
4-Be careful when making a deal with a Chinese person.
If you are buying a car or renting a house from a Chinese man or doing any deal, be careful. Chinese can be very wicked, liar and greedy specially when dealing with foreigners. They know you don’t speak their language and that makes them happy because they can steal your money easily. I suggest you get help from someone who speaks Chinese, write everything in contract and make sure that you have deadlines and punishments in case one of the parties has done what he/she suppose to do within the time frame.
In case you are buying a products examine each and every single thing you buy carefully and ask for warranty.
This is what I did with the help of friends who speaks Chinese and also a Chinese man who read and understand Chinese characters.
5-Renew your visa and do the accommodation registration as soon as possible.
Once you move in to your new apartment you must go to the nearest police station to do the accommodation registration. Accommodation registration form will be given to you upon your arrival in china by the university or the company your working at.
You will need many 4*6 photos and you must use black pen when filling the form.
You must renew your visa as soon as possible as well, because if you don’t you will be charged with 500 Yuan every single day. So lets say you are 5 days week, that means you will pay 2500 Yuan.
6-Remember the golden rule; if it barks don’t eat it.
In China dog’s meat is legal and it’s socially acceptable because Chinese believe that dog’s meat and liver has special pharmaceutical properties. Be careful when eating outdoors specially when eating in fancy restaurants. Dog meat is quite expensive. Therefore, it is uncommon to be served in small cheap restaurant but mainly its served in big and more expensive ones.
Note for Muslims: Muslim Halal food is easy to find in almost anywhere in china. But be careful, Muslim restaurants are not so halal. Some restaurants might hang pictures of Quran verses or Arabic welcome phrases on their wall but they still sell pork and alcoholic drinks. I suggest you go to restaurants that are famous, popular among Muslims who are living in your area. It’s much safer.
Chinese people believe that foreigners are rich and for that reason they will always charge you a lot more than the actual price of almost everything. Therefore, I recommend bargaining before buying anything, and trust me you will be able to decrease up to 50%.
Oh and by the way, just because you see that everything has a price tag in the shop it does not mean its fixed price unless you are shopping in a supermarket.
8-Find out about buses near your home, workplace and shopping areas.
There is a lot of buses with different numbers, find which one goes to your work, college or shopping areas write it down and find which one take you back to your home. Its easy to find out because there are always signs next to bus stations telling you which bus is heading where. If you couldn’t understand, ask a local Chinese person. If you want to use a taxi then you must have your address written in Chinese characters. If you know your way to work, college of home very well you can just buy a bike.
That’s it for now. If you have any questions please contact me or write your question down here. I will try to answer you as soon as possible.