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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pack for a Trip to China#2

* Find a cassette language course, or bring a translation dictionary. While it is important to understand some Chinese, don't stress, just know the basics, enough to get you by. Keep in mind, though, that most Chinese people, outside of employees at 5-star hotels/restaurants and shops that cater to foreign tourists, will NOT be able to speak English. (aside from "hello!!") So, if you want to venture off the beaten path, learn some key phrases. Also, ask someone at the hotel you are staying at if they could write down, in chinese, the places you wish to go during the day. That way, if you have a taxi driver, you can show them where you want to go. #If you are staying in the urban areas, chances are high that you'll be able to communicate OK in English.
* Always carry a business card of the hotel you are staying at. This way, no matter what happens, someone will be able to get you back to where you want to be. Just in case of emergency, it would also be a good idea to bring a copy of you passport with you and leave your real passport locked in the safe at your hotel.
* Know where to find your currency collection places. It is not possible to obtain Chinese currency outside of China. So you will need to know where to access major hotels and big banks in the big cities so that you can cash the travelers' checks or credit card when needed.
* Pay attention to how much cash you have with you. It is a good idea to keep enough to get a taxi back to your hotel. All major airports will have ATMs, so get the money once you arrive.
* Spend some time with a map and get to know the places you are staying or will be visiting. It will help you get your bearings before wandering off into the city.
* Insider Tips: Chinese people respect visitors from the Western world, and are quite helpful. Drink Coke whenever you're in doubt about the kinds of foods you have eaten - it will help digest whatever is not appropriate in your stomach...but don't overdo it.
* Make sure you know what you're eating and how well it's been cooked. In places like Wangfujing market in Beijing, sometimes many of the snacks aren't cooked thoroughly.
* If you are of Caucasian or African ancestry, do not be suprised if people ask you to take a picture with them.
* Prepare for your trip by making a print with all the hotels you will visit in Chinese charcters (use the chinese website for this or google translate). This will help the taxidrivers. Very rarely they speak English.

Warning to all,if you going trip to china please remember this
* Chinese culture is unique, and sometimes comes as a shock to outsiders. Don't be the obnoxious tourist! People will be more willing to help you if you aren't stubborn.
* Be aware of pick-pockets, as you should when in any big city or foreign country. Have a short chain connecting your belongings to yourself. In crowded areas, such as train stations, wear your backpack/purse on the front of your body, instead of on your back. Use carry-on locks on your zippers. Wear your wallet in a chest pocket. Dress in black formal attire, and look around as if sizing people up for a fight (if you're a man) to intimidate thieves. If you're a woman, you're SOL since most Chinese do not consider women dangerous or intimidating.
* In major cities, be wary of giving money to the poor. If you give money to one, others will almost always follow and ask for money too.
* Make sure the taxi driver uses the meter, this way there is less chance of being cheated. Be careful!
* It is always safest to buy water bottles than to drink from fountains.

Happy Vacation and enjoy your trip.....

1 comment:

Mike.... said...

pernah maen2 ke cina bro?hi..hi..