You can get spicy food in Xi'an. Chengdu is an ok city, but nothing special as far as cities go in China in my opinion. It's a gateway to Sichuan , and that's one of the main reasons to go there; if you are not going to go around Sichuan, and you are not seeing the pandas, then perhaps it is not worth seeing. We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Just having a look at other trip reports to Chongqing and side trips to Laishan? Also, what would be the best way to travel from Xian to Chongqing?
Chongqing is one of the fastest growing cities in China. It has good hotpot, and an interesting old town, as well as good side trips to Laitan for the Buddha and Dazu for the rick carvings. Not sure about it being relaxing and less industrialised though. My students tell me that Chongqing is the biggest city in city - ergo the world - true? I'm surprised that the OP is not more interested in smaller towns. If I had 3 weeks I'd try to go somewhere a little rural. Zhuhai , I would love to go somewhere more rural. Do you have any suggestions? Tip: All of your saved places can be found here in My Trips.
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Planning itinerary - to sichuan or not to sichuan - China Forum
Planning itinerary - to sichuan or not to sichuan. Watch this Topic. Browse forums All Browse by destination. China forums. All forums. Laura H. Level Contributor. Report inappropriate content. Events in China See all. Ice Festival Harbin. Harbin Ice Lantern Show. Harbin Snow Fair. Re: Planning itinerary - to sichuan or not to sichuan. Ask a question. Pocket Wifi vs Sim Card?
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See All China Conversations. How's China Southern Airline? View Hotel. The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel. Cordis, Hong Kong. Park Plaza Wangfujing. Royal Plaza Hotel. Grand Hyatt Macau. Hotel ICON. Galaxy Hotel. Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing. Even if you are only going on a short trip, you should always travel with insurance. Travelling without insurance would be fucking stupid. I highly recommend World Nomads.
Definitely be sure to bring a good pair of hiking boots and some activewear for your adventures on the Great Wall and Tiger Leaping Gorge. This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside — you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash. AR bottle are tough, lightweight and maintain the temperature of your beverage — so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are.
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if needs be. Even if you only end up using it once, a decent head torch could save your life. If you want to explore caves, unlit temples or simply find your way to the bathroom during a blackout, a headtorch is a must.
My friend Claire also put together this great female packing list for China post, check it out.
40 beautiful places to visit in China
Generally speaking, the spring and autumn months are the most pleasant. As far as crowds go, they are definitely bigger in the summer months. Backpacking China during the Spring Festival Chinese New Year should be avoided unless you can plan things out super far in advance. Dragon Dances before Chinese New Year. In my humble opinion, the best time to go to China would be a few weeks before National Day or right after.
The weather is pretty good across most of the country at this time, and you can just miss the crowds by going before or after the major holiday. You could even stick around during National Day and soak up the patriotic atmosphere in Beijing. You can do just about everything on WeChat — send voice messages, find a restaurant, share photos, hail a cab, play games. The list goes on and on. Everyone is on WeChat in China, so this will be the best way to keep up with your new local friends.
This will help ensure you order Kung Pao chicken instead of chicken feet. This app is definitely for you. It is a great help while calculating expenses. This particular VPN allows for up to five connections which is handy for keeping all your devices connected without having to purchase multiple VPN packages. China has tons of international airports, meaning you have plenty of choices to start your trip.
Your best bets for flying into China are definitely the bigger cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, or Shenzhen. There are direct flights from these cities to Europe, and North America. China has some futuristic-looking airports. The visa policy of China is quite complicated. Your best bet is to study the Wikipedia page carefully to see if you need a visa and what kind you should apply for. Be sure to have all the necessary paperwork, as they tend to be very picky and look for any reason to send you out the door to a print or copy shop.
When applying for your Chinese visa, be sure to ask for the maximum amount of time and multiple entries. For example, Americans can now get tourist visas that are valid for ten years with multiple entries of up to 90 days each. Big cities like Beijing and Shanghai now offer hour visa-free visits, while several others give you 72 hours. A word of warning on domestic air travel — China is notorious for long and unexpected flight delays. I once sat on a plane for 3 hours waiting to take off for no apparent reason.
There are now high-speed trains linking most of the major cities in the country. For checking train times and booking tickets, I highly recommend this website. Riding that Chinese train. The cheapest option is a hard seat not just a clever name — these are not at all comfortable. A step up from this is a soft seat. On longer journeys, you can also buy a sleeper ticket.
Hard sleeper means six beds to a cabin, while soft sleeper means four. In my experience, hard sleeper is usually the way to go. Of course, you can always catch a bus to get from point A to point B in China. If you have patience, hitchhiking is definitely a viable option in China. Hitching a ride in Yunnan. I thought they were nuts, but they pulled it off! You could also catch a hour bus from Kunming all the way to Luang Prabang in Laos.
As for sea crossings, you could board a ferry in Tianjin or Qingdao headed for South Korea. One of the great train journeys in the world can bring you from Beijing all the way to Moscow. There are tons of options for this trip, which you can plan online or with a travel agent in Beijing. Your budget for China will depend on a lot of things, namely how many places you go to and what level of comfort you need. Obviously, your budget will go up if you visit a ton of destinations and have to buy several plane and train tickets.
Which type of ticket you choose will impact your budget as well, as soft sleeper train tickets are far more expensive than the dreaded hard seats. Street food is delicious and cheap in China. Street food is readily available and is both delicious and cheap. One of the biggest expenses on your China trip will definitely be entrance tickets. Thankfully, there are several free or cheap things to do in China as well.
These are the best places to soak up the local culture and you can easily spend a few hours of your day without burning a hole in your wallet. The preferred terms are yuan or the slang kuai. People in China prefer using WeChat to pay for just about everything these days. Camp : Camping in China can be a great option in rural areas, or even on the Great Wall!
Wild camping in China is definitely in a grey area. It can be legal and it can be illegal. They are purposely vague on this subject in order to give authorities the freedom to choose what to do. As long as you stay under the radar, you should be fine. They might be expats who are working there or locals. We hosted tons of Couch Surfers when we lived in China and always had a good time.
Check out Couch Surfing to make some real friendships and see this country from the perspective of locals. Long term travel is awesome. Giving back is awesome too.
Backpackers can spend long periods of time volunteering in an awesome place without spending any money. Meaningful life and travel experiences are rooted in stepping out of your comfort zone and into the world of a purposeful project. World Packers opens the doors for work opportunities in hostels, homestays, NGOs and eco-projects around the world.
Are you a native English speaker looking to earn cash whilst traveling the world? Teaching English online is a great way to earn a consistent income—from anywhere in the world with a good internet connection. Whether you are keen to teach English online or looking to take your teaching game a step further by finding a job teaching English in a foreign country, getting your TEFL certificate is absolutely a step in the right direction.
Me with my students in Beijing. The internet in China sucks, plain and simple. I always used Astrill when I lived there and found it to be the most reliable. In the past few years, many companies have brought to market a plethora of VPN products and China is for sure a big market because of the reasons stated above. To find the right one for you and your needs, check this VPN list.
When you can actually get on the websites you want to use, the internet is just fine. Internet bars are also huge in China, that is if you want to join chain-smoking teenagers playing RPG games. When it comes to must try experiences while backpacking China, nothing tops camping out on the Great Wall. At 4, m on the Zharu Valley trek. You can do the Tiger Leaping Gorge on your own but will need to sign up for a trip with a local guide for Zharu Valley. Yangshuo is one of the top backpacker towns in China and is full of must-try experiences. Get some wheels and explore the stunning countryside full of karst mountains, stopping to try some rock climbing or enjoy a bamboo rafting trip on the river.
With a population of over 1. While everyone from China is considered Chinese, there are actually 56 different ethnic groups. Great places to experience ethnic minority cultures include Yunnan, Guangxi, Ningxia, Sichuan, and Xinjiang. Hanging out in a local park. No matter where you are in China, the best place to meet people is in the local park. People love gathering at parks to do things like practice tai chi, dance, fly a kite, play chess, or just drink tea and chat.
A common sight in the big cities of China is a local girl with a lao wai foreigner dude. The place is practically a gold mine for single foreign men. I once had a buddy who would wait until about 2AM and go down into the clubs in the Wudaokou area in Beijing in his pajamas to pick up girls. He did pretty well, too. One thing I will say is that Chinese men get incredibly jealous and pissed off when they see foreign dudes picking up local girls. Cultural differences tend to get in the way, though, so many of these romances are short-term.
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Apparently, there are over 20, shops selling it. Hot Pot — This is one of the most fun dining experiences you can have. You order up a pot of spiced broth and it boils right there on your table. Then you can choose from a variety of meat, fish, and veggies to toss in the pot. Hot pot restaurants can be found all over China, but the best are in Sichuan and Chongqing.
A mouth-numbing hot pot. A big plate of dumplings never disappoints! A plate of kung pao chicken with some rice is always a good choice for lunch. That crispy duck will be one of the best things you eat on your trip for sure. Beijing roast duck is a culinary experience. You can find dim sum restaurants in most Chinese cities, but nothing beats having it in Guangdong or Hong Kong. Come hungry so you can try everything. Street Food — There is so much delicious street food in China.
Pull up a plastic stool and join the locals! When it comes to Chinese holidays, nothing comes close to the Spring Festival. If your trip to China coincides with Spring Festival, be aware that transportation will be hard to come by, and that most businesses will be closed for a day or two.
China has many other traditional festivals throughout the year. One of the most interesting for visitors is the Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place sometime in June. There are several places where you can watch the amazing dragon boat races. The dragon boats are massive. China loves drinking beer, so it should come as no surprise that there are several beer festivals. The biggest and most famous is the Qingdao Beer Festival in August. Those more into quality over quantity can find craft beer festivals in the big cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.
Gan bei! Music festivals are catching on in a big way in China, with more and more being added every year. There are jazz festivals, rock festivals, and even psytrance festivals such as Spirit Tribe in Yunnan. Some festivals are in a city park while others are out in the countryside and include camping. Psytrance in Yunnan. I put climb in quotes because the Chinese way to climb a mountain is by walking up several thousand stairs. Not quite as adventurous as actually climbing a mountain…. His Communist Party had won the war, and he took over as the new leader of a new China.
His disastrous policies during the Cultural Revolution and Great Leap Forward caused millions to starve and die, setting China back several decades. Things started to change in China during the time of Deng Xiaoping. His Reform and Opening policy ushered in a new era for China. The Chinese economy began opening up to the outside world and private enterprises finally started to spring up. Over the next few decades, the Chinese economy boomed. The population also grew, breaking one billion by the census.
Tourism finally started to open up, and foreign businesses began moving into China as well. While much had improved for the people of China, many still wanted more reforms. In , students protested in Tiananmen Square calling for democracy and more freedoms. Eventually, the government stepped in and declared martial law. Armed military officials and tanks were sent into the square to suppress the protests. In what came to be known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, hundreds to thousands of people were killed there are no official figures on the death toll.
A dark cloud would hang over China for years as a result. Under president Jiang Zemin, China continued to enjoy substantial growth. While many people still wish for a change in the government, they remained quiet after witnessing what had happened in The country did experience change in the 90s, as Hong Kong and Macau were both peacefully returned to China. The next president of China was Hu Jintao, who served from to While much of the developed world struggled to recover from the global financial crisis, China made it through relatively unscathed.
During this time, China also began to extend its influence around the globe. Next in line was Xi Jinping, who remains the president of China. While his predecessors have stuck to the two 5-year term limit, Xi recently passed reforms that removed this limit. Only time will tell how things will work out. Mass-farming of cows etc leads to the rainforest being cut down — which is obviously a huge problem. Recently, my gear-venture, Active Roots has started to sell water bottles. Need more guidance?
At first glance, China may seem like an absolute free-for-all. People drive like maniacs. People spit on the sidewalk. Men binge drink and yell at their waitresses in restaurants. Perhaps by witnessing more civil behavior from tourists, these less than ideal habits in China may start to disappear.
However, there are a few things to consider. These are very sensitive topics and can easily cause a huge argument. You may have strong feelings on Tibetan independence, but mainland China is not the place to voice those. Also, be sure to be respectful in important historical and cultural sights. This is especially true in places like the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
China may not be on the top of many backpacking lists, which is understandable. And yes, the people in China can be a bit… shall we say, intense.
However, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze if you put forth the time and effort for a massive backpacking trip. Getting soaked at the Water Splashing Festival. Then something happened. I fell in love with learning about other cultures and languages. I also fell in love with backpacking, which is great because those interests go hand-in-hand. For the next several years, I was fortunate enough to travel extensively around China, all the while trying the food, experiencing the holidays, and trying my best not to butcher Chinese.
For me, it all started in China. I know there are more glamorous places to visit in the region. Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Your support helps me keep the site going. Sasha is an English teacher, language student, blogger, and video producer. He and his wife run Grateful Gypsies, where they write about life abroad, long-term travel, and live music. Yeah, when traveling to China I would choose new VPN providers as their servers are not blocked yet there.
I used Surfshark during my last trip to China. It worked alright, speed was good enough and stable. Plus, with one account I could use it for a couple of devices I could use social media channel wherever I go. If someone is interested here is the code that I used: Surf24 it still should work I guess. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Gazing out at the Forbidden City. Kunming is a great Chinese city to visit. Visiting the giant pandas in Chengdu. Hiking in the Longji Rice Terraces. The Terracotta Warriors are a major highlight. Yurt life. One of the best ways to get to grips with a new culture is through the food!