China offers something for everyone; from its vast and diverse landscapes through to its rich culture and interesting people. You will find the old and new sitting companionly side by side; and marvel at the dynamic character of this vast country, showcased in every corner. A trip to China should be carefully planned and, to make the most of your visit, you should plan your trip well in advance. Here are some key points to help you get started:
How Long Are You Planning to Stay?
China is as large as Europe or the USA and there’s only so much that you can do in a 10-day trip. Driving around large cities can be time-consuming and eats into your vacation time. It’s important not to overly stuff your itinerary, leave yourself time and space to enjoy your stay. Flight delays are quite common in China, so it’s wise to book an afternoon or evening flight where possible (if your morning flight is delayed you could lose out on an entire day).
TIP: Whatever you plan, we recommend you consider more than just one trip to China. Yes, we are biased when it comes to this country, but China really does have so much to offer and with more direct flights and cheaper prices it’s the perfect time to plan your first, second and even third visit!
What Do You REALLY Want to See and Experience?
There’s the classic “must-see” places that any first-time traveler to China should not miss out on, but why not take the opportunity to delve deeper? If you are a history buff, don’t miss out on Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai (although the history there is more recent).
Do you have a passion for nature? Then check out Guilin and Yangshuo, Zhangjiajie and the Yellow mountain. If you are willing to explore places that are a little further off-the-beaten-track, you will find many more options. There are one-time weekend group tours that usually only locals are aware of (great for a thoroughly authentic experience). Love your grub? Then China can offer some of the tastiest culinary delights in the world, and for the culture vultures out there, China also packs a punch where Art is concerned.
If you’re visiting China you shouldn’t compromise on the obvious, do go on the regular tours – they offer a fabulous way to uncover the heady sights and sounds of this great nation. But don’t be afraid to go off the beaten track and try something different – you might be surprised at what you find.
TIP: when browsing ChinaClickGo for inspiration, filter your search by “Weekend / Vacation gateways” on the upper filters’ bar. You’d be surprised what gems you can find.
When Are You Planning to Visit?
We recommend travel to China between April-June and between September-November. The temperature drops in December, and winter will usually last until mid/end of march. Don’t exclude China completely in the winter, as it does have some cool destinations to explore.
There’s the Ice Festival in Harbin – a fabulous experience but as you would imagine it’s going to be extremely cold! However, the “classic” destinations might not be that easy or fun to explore during winter. At the other end of the scale July and August are really hot, so traveling during this period could be challenging (especially with young children). Rainy season isn’t that bad, and it’s not that chilly – just make sure you pack an extra pair of shoes and a rain coat.
TIP: Avoid traveling during the Chinese National Holidays! Read more about it HERE
Who Are You Traveling With?
With an emphasis on culture and history it appears that China is a very grown up country – with plenty to offer adults travelers, but what about children? If you’re on vacation with kids you will need to find plenty to keep them occupied. As well as historical sites there are amusement parks – and where better to enter a world of magical whimsicality that Shanghai Disney.
If you are traveling with older people make sure everyone is aware of the fact that there will be lots of walking. There’s no way to avoid it; either inside attractions like the forbidden city, or simply on the Bund, in Shanghai. Benches aren’t common in China, so don’t count on taking short sitting breaks either. Where possible, plan for shorter days or a longer mid-day break – the less mobile or fit in your party well welcome a rest.
Read About All That China Has to Offer
Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your trip! Read, as much as you can, so you will be able to make better decisions and better use of your time. You want to get the most from your trip of a lifetime.
Start by choosing where to go, then book your flights and, if possible, your trains. Hotels and tour bookings should be easier after you have sorted out transport. There are many agencies offering private and group tours online. Do your research to get an understanding of the classic itineraries, and then read more. Learn about each of the destinations suggested – you can also browse ChinaClickGo’s website for more unique travel inspiration and ideas.
Read even more:
- Essential Apps for Traveling in China
- 8 Wechat Accounts to Follow When Traveling in China
- First Time Traveler to China? 10 Historical Sites not to be Missed!
If you really want to “go local”, download WeChat to your mobile phone , scan the QR code below to follow us, or look for the ID: ClickGo