Independent Travel in China
Independent China Travel. This is a tricky one… as traveling independently in China can be difficult.
The first thing I think you need to understand is that things are likely to be frustrating and difficult; however just relax and deal with everything that comes, in a smiling… cool as possible… manner.
It does help to learn a bit of Chinese before you come, even if it is just “Hello” and “Thank You”
The tour information for independent China travel in the major cities around China is actually very good.
Independent China Travel... Out of the Major Cities
The further away from the major cities you go the harder it becomes to move around and communicate.
Yes its difficult... however it be can be done and is a lot of fun, frustrating at times, but still fun and I did it 10 years ago.
There are many very low budget hostels, hotels, around China, set up for independent China travel.
Some will have a dormitory style set up, others are like a hotel.
It pays to check the room and the sheets, for cleanliness before you pay, most places will let you inspect the room first.
These places are low budget, electricity, water, this sort of thing, will not always work, and remember this is part of the adventure of Independent China Travel.
If you travel China on a budget that is very low, these places can be bad, to say the least, if you pay that few dollars more, your resting and traveling experience will be so much more pleasurable.
At very low budget, many things with the hotel or hostel that you will expect to work or be in the room etc, just will not work or not be there, and you will not get any help to fix it... or find it…... That’s China.
• All the places, wherever you go, weather it be a big city or a small town, will have the persistent Hotel sellers, Taxi drivers, Map sellers… hassling you at all the train and bus stations.
You will just have to get used to it.
• You will get ripped off, or end up paying way to much for something, just take a deep breath and say you will be more careful next time.
Just stick to you own fairness understanding of a good price or service, and you will be ok, the Chinese, or any seller for that matter will want to get the highest price possible, where as you will want to get the lowest price possible.
Bargaining can be fun, relax and go with the flow.
If you think the price for something is fair at the time you buy it, well then it is a fair price.
• I have not heard of any problems with personal safety, anywhere in China.
You always have to be aware and be alert and not silly, always use your common sense, however I live in Shanghai and I think this is the safest city I have even lived in and I have lived in many big cities all over the world.
I have even been told by western women living here, at networking evenings, etc that they feel that Shanghai and China is the safest place they have ever lived or been to.
• In the major cities, there are banks everywhere, this means lots of ATM’s if you go out of the major cities into the countryside, you will not find many, if you do, they may not work.
It’s easy to cash travelers cheques in all the banks.
China is really a cash society, so you will need to carry cash.
When it comes to low budget accommodation within China, most Agents will not wish to handle this due to no money in booking andprocessing low budget accommodation.