China is a vast country with many different cultures and traditions. But it all begins in the capital city of Beijing. In this blog, we’ll share everything you need to know (from getting a China visa to hitting the biggest attractions) to make the most of your trip. Let’s get started.
Know how to get around
It’s very important to know how to get around in Beijing if you aren’t well-versed in Mandarin Chinese. You need to have all the details printed out on a sheet of paper, including the hotel address.
Also, keep in mind that Google doesn’t work well in China. Before reaching the country itself, you need to take screenshots of the hotel route from the airport or take a picture of the map showing the route. There are so many hotels in and around Beijing that you might get confused about how to reach the place.
You won’t get lost
When visiting Beijing, you may be surprised to learn the country has an intricate network of tiny lanes connecting its bustling streets. The layouts are well planned and connected with public transportation systems which makes travelling easy for visitors who don’t speak Chinese.
Don’t take walking lightly
You might be a person who likes to walk around a lot when you visit a new city. But when it comes to Beijing, don’t underestimate the distance shown on the map, as you’ll tire yourself out long before reaching your intended destination.
Slurping and spitting
If you’re from a European country, then spotting people slurping and spitting on the roads might be very unusual to you but this is a very usual sight in Beijing. You shouldn’t notice this much and just carry on with your usual chores.
Pollution: It’s not as bad as you think
For years, Beijing has had a reputation for having poor air quality. However, the local government has taken massive action over the past decade. By eliminating or sharply reducing the use of solid fuels for cooking, PM2.5 levels have fallen dramatically. That said, not all is perfect, so if you’re sensitive to air pollutants, get your doctor to prescribe appropriate medication before you go on your trip.
Very friendly people
The Chinese people are friendly and welcoming. If you don’t believe us, just smile at them and say hello – they won’t think twice before waving back!
Learn a bit of Mandarin
Though you could’ve screenshots of the language containing the widely used phrases on your phone for all your basic needs and requirements on a trip, it’s much appreciated when you speak a bit of Mandarin. Trust us – the people there would feel happy to serve you if you make a valiant attempt at speaking the language.
Staring is normal
Feel that a group of people are constantly staring at you? Don’t be afraid – people in Asia aren’t exposed to a lot of immigration from other parts of the world. So, when they get to see a person with different facial features than them, they get curious. Because of this, they tend to stare for quite some time.
Food doesn’t arrive all at once
When you order food in a Beijing restaurant, be aware that it gets served straight away when a dish is ready. This may rub those from Europe and North America, but there is a logic to this. Instead of servers delivering all the food at once, it is served in small batches so that people can eat their meals without waiting too long.
1) If you find people standing very close to you in China, please don’t feel very uncomfortable as this practice is very common here.
2) You don’t have to worry about being safe as security is very tight in China. That said, know that you’re expected to carry your identity documents with you.
3) Last, but not least, it’s always recommended to eat at restaurants where you find many locals, as they would eat only in places where they get excellent and tasty food.