China is a country as vast as it is interesting. Are you preparing to go there for the first time? On this page you will find general information on topics as diverse as the language barrier, tourist destinations, climate, how to negotiate and culinary specialties, which can be very useful during this first trip. Let’s travel with airpaz to make the most of the journey. Here are some tips that you might want to take note of.
1. Break the Language Barrier
The language barrier is certainly the main obstacle to overcome for a stranger during a trip to China. That said, many Chinese have begun to study English from primary school (especially the generations born in the 1980s and 1990s and living in urban areas), so if you can speak that language, and that you do it slowly and distinctly, you will not usually find it difficult to find help, at least in the cities.
If you can, study some rudiments of Chinese before going to China. This will put you in confidence. Mandarin (or putong hua 普通话, literally meaning “common language”) is spoken almost everywhere in the country.
2. Choose your tourist destinations
China is vast. It is home to spectacular scenery and prominent cultural sites. For example, there is the highest mountain in the world, some of the largest deserts on the planet, huge meadows, elegant karst formations along the Li River, and many historic sites and minority villages. It is quite impossible to have even a glimpse of all the most beautiful sites in the country in just a few days of travel.
The recommended tourist destinations for a first trip to China are Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Guilin.
Beijing: The capital of the People’s Republic of China has many world-class sites. The most famous is of course the Great Wall, sometimes called the eighth wonder of the world. There is also a large imperial palace, the Forbidden City, an imposing place of worship, the Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace, whose park is one of the four most famous gardens in China.
For a glimpse of old Beijing, it is best to go for a walk along the Hutong, the streets of the capital.
Shanghai: This is the largest and most modern city in the country. It is distinguished both by its historical sites (Jing’an Temple, Jade Buddha Temple, Yu Garden) and its ultra-modern architecture buildings (Jinamo Tower, TV Tower). , better known as the Pearl of the Orient, the world center of finance, etc.), as well as the small towns of canals that are nearby, such as Zhujiajiao. Shanghai is not far from Hangzhou (only 41 minutes by high-speed train), where it is worth planning a trip to take a closer look at the famous West Lake.
Xi’an: Cradle of Chinese culture, Xi’an has many historical sites and buildings, including the terracotta army of the first Qin emperor and the city walls. There is also near the city a mountain with steep peaks: Mount Hua.
Guilin: Guilin is home to one of the most beautiful natural sites in the world, the Li River Nature Park, known for its marvelous karst formations, sometimes called “sugar loaves,” standing on the edge of the water. From Guilin, it is worthwhile to plan an excursion to Longji rice terraces, which form a sumptuous landscape, and where you can discover the traditions of the Zhuang and Miao national minorities.