Today, China is the third most visited country in the world. China’s tourism has expanded and developed since the country opened its gates to the whole world. Authorities have now lowered down restrictions of traveling to China which led to this boom in tourism. China had about 55.98 million tourists in 2010. Because of this, it was able to gain an income of about 45.8 billion U.S. dollars, is the world’s fourth largest income in 2010.
China is considered to be of the oldest and most reputable civilizations in the world. With China’s growth in tourism, a lot of first-time travelers get culture shocked with China’s 5000-year culture. This culture was developed without being influenced by western civilizations. Conversely, it is this unique culture and customs that make visiting China so desirable for many.
China surely has modernized and have had some western influences when it comes to food and amenities. But there are still some challenges for those tourists who are unaware and unprepared. For those who would want to visit China, here are some tips in order to ease out the transition of adapting to different Chinese traditions and norms, and also to enjoy the visit in this great country.
The first thing to keep in mind when visiting China, as it is with other countries, is to break the language barrier. Chinese people have only been learning English in the 80s and 90s which means that having a conversation in English could be an ease with some locals. However, most of the people in mainland China speak their native language and understand only common English words. There might be a few locals who would be able to converse in English, but the language barrier could seem to be impenetrable at times. So learning about the native tongue before going to China is an advantage for first-time travelers. Learning Chinese Mandarin would be very helpful because it is a default language to most parts of China.
The next key point to keep in mind when visiting China is on focusing on your destination. China is very large in terms of land area, thus contains numerous travel destinations and historic landmarks. So it is important to have an itinerary at hand and plan on what kind of travel experience you would want to have. Some tourists would like to experience the beauty of China by visiting different landmarks like the Great Wall, the Forbidden city, the Jing’a Temple, and much more. While some tourists would like to experience the culture of China through its history and learn about historical events like the Opium wars, the return of Hong Kong and Macao, the rape of Nanking, and a lot of different wars and rebellions that shaped China today. With how ancient the country is, and how it is able to preserve most of its landmarks, making an itinerary ahead would save time for travelers and let them enjoy their stay a lot more.
A final tip of advice when visiting China is its cuisine. Tasting Chinese food is a great experience for tourists because of China’s profound food culture. China offers different delicacies from roast duck to pork buns, to dumplings and rice noodles, Chine is surely a hot destination for food enthusiasts. Street foods also offer a different experience to tourists. China offers egg cakes, and barbecues in their street stand. It might be a norm that tourists must avoid Chinese street food, but street snacks is a good way into learning more about the country’s culture.
China is surely a travel destination for many because of its history and culture. The number of places to visit and stories to learn in China makes it a very charming place for tourists. The preserved culture of China has made it hard for first-time travelers to adapt. On the bright side, locals understand this and give foreigners a leeway when it comes to clueless tourists about its culture and practices. This only makes China a great place for tourists to visit.