China has now become a very favorable spot for tourism and business. The lure of the mysterious Orient is part of the charm. Even with the great advancement that China has undergone during the past few years and allowing the West to come in, establish businesses and engage in free trade, much of China is still unknown. To the rest of the world it is still an exciting travel destination waiting to be explored where ancient traditions and the new world are trying to merge and co-exist.
Despite the Western influences that have begun to take root in China, it is still a country steeped in age-old traditions and conventions that must be observed and followed if you plan to travel to this wonderful country.
- Make sure your passport is updated and valid within six months prior to your travel. Secure your travel visa to China early. Apply for it yourself or use a reputable travel agency to help you with it. You should have it at least a month before you are due to fly to China. You may apply for a single-entry visa that is valid for three months. This will allow you to stay in China for as long as thirty days.
- Get a health check-up and immunizations that you need about a month before your travel date. You need a health certificate when you travel to China and it will be safer it you get vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, rabies, Japanese B encephalitis and typhoid fever.
- Pack a first aid kit and bring all your medications, enough to last during your whole stay in China. Your medications should be in their original containers for easy identification. Include the prescriptions for prescription-only drugs. Bring a copy of your medical record with you that will be of great help in case of emergencies. Note down your doctor’s name and contact information as well as your insurance company address and contact person and numbers. Include a list of emergency numbers and people to contact as well. These should be placed in a bag that will be handy and readily accessible to you.
- Check your health insurance. This may not cover visits to international hospitals. Ask if you can extend your policy to cover this eventuality.
- Get travel insurance prior to your travel plans. This is a very handy piece of document whenever you travel to a foreign country. It will cover your loss of money and baggage, cancellation charges as well as cover liabilities to third parties.
- Check with your travel agents on the list of things that you can bring with you when you travel to China. You do not want to end up with a lot of things left at the customs inspection desk when you reach China.
- Secure a good phrase book and learn how to ask simple questions in Chinese. Although English is now widely spoken, it is still a very good idea to know some common phrases, even if just to say thank you, hello and goodbye.
- Check the climate in the areas you are going to visit and pack accordingly. Do not bring too many clothes. Pack according to your travel purpose. There are a lot of places where you can buy cheap clothing, either to be used during your trip or as gifts for people back home. Bring light and easy to care for clothes that dry quickly. Avoid taking military style clothing.
- China’s electrical system operates at 220 volts. Be sure to have a power converter and adapter plugs for your electronic gadgets.
Travel light and bring only the essentials. Make sure that you have copies of important documents with you and store a copy in your email for easy retrieval. Exercise and observe all the necessary precautions when it comes to personal information and your travel funds.