Updated: May 4
Welcome all Travellers!
This is the best advice for travelling to China during the winter! First things first is applying for a tourist visa. Checking online to see what type of visa is recommended for your specific length and type of travel is best done through a government site. Luckily most of the signs in China have both Chinese and English writing so it makes getting around easier for those travelling to the country. If you find the tips below helpful make sure to subscribe below for more blogs to come!
Tip 1: Download a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Before heading to China it’s best to download a VPN in order to use apps like Google Maps, Instagram and Facebook. It is common for the VPN to stop working or end up getting completely shut down so it is recommended to download more than one before arriving to ensure you can get connected.
Tip 2: Download WeChat
It is an app which is the Chinese version of Whatsapp and many wifi locations allow sign in using this app.
Tip 3: Taxis Will Inflate Their Prices
A taxi from the airport to the centre should cost around RMB 80-120, do not let a taxi driver say different. When taking the airport train into the city, certainly cut that number in half. Always try to get a metered taxi, these are the most honest taxis and do not be afraid to bargain with the driver if you believe they are trying to take your money!
Tip 4: Go via Public Transit
It’s definitely recommended going via transit to any desired destinations, this is the cheapest way and it is quite easy to figure out! It may take a few tries; but often you can find someone who can speak a little English around, usually at a little cafe that can help give some direction.
Tip 5: Wifi
There is wifi everywhere! A lot of cafes, restaurants, hotels and hostels have wifi. Remember from Tip 1 to have that VPN if the goal is to search on Google Maps or check Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.
Tip 6: Bring Warm Clothes
If you are travelling during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months, typically November to February, make sure to pack layers and a thick jacket. Many forget the weather is similar to Canadian weather during those months and don’t go prepared for the chilly conditions!
Tip 7: Definitely Visit the Great Wall while in Beijing!
Though the Great Wall is always an excellent place to want to explore it’s definitely recommended planning for a summer month visit. However, if you find yourself in Beijing during the winter months, it is certainly still worth the trek. Be sure to dress in multiple layers, as it can get VERY windy in the mountains. Also, there can be some very steep parts of the wall and it can be quite slippery and with the very strong winds so it can be dangerous to walk along. Summer months or slightly warmer months are more ideal due to the higher temperature and brighter colours, but we fully enjoyed our trip and it was just as STUNNING as we had imagined!