China… Preparing for A Great Trip

I love to travel, and I am very meticulous about how I go about it! Im not a hotel kinda girl… Don’t get me wrong I LOVE to stay in great hotels. But for me traveling is best when immersed in the local culture… and if you have never been, it can take a lot of research to get there! I find the best way is by speaking to people who live there or to fellow travelers who have passed through. In the past I have have found AMAZING places to stay from sites like http://www.airbandb.com and http://www.couchsurfing.org/ and yes back in the day I stayed at hostels too! I def know what its like to rough it and make it work on a budget which helped me to see that traveling doesn’t have to cost as much as you think! In the posts to follow I will be sure to share tips and share my experiences in getting ready for my trip to China!!

But for now here are some of the preliminary research that I am doing for myself that I feel is important for any trip to a new land!

Reading the basic guide books is a good start although they usually feel like a textbook but good for briefing…

What Im reading as we speak:

Fodor’s See It China

Fodor’s Beijing  3rd edition

Fodor’s Hong Kong 22nd edition

Fodor’s Beijing’s 25 Best 5th edition

Lonely Planet Hong Kong and Macau City Guide

Some things I learned that are useful for my trip:

Beijng is pretty temperate in September…. But Hong Kong and Macau are HOT with average daily temps in the 90’s. I also learned that in Beijing it ususally pretty dry in September but Hong Kong has about 10 inches of rain on average.

Tipping isn’t customary in China

Water is not drinkable anywhere in China, although Hong Kong has higher quality it is not recommended

In the guide books above I browse through and read as needed… you can get great insider tips,  learn history,  and find out basic info on places to see. I recommend only buying one of these guides and get the rest from the library! Thats just the first round of studying more tips to come.

Next thing on the list that I have to research …

Social Customs

Where can I train for the half marathon that Im training for?!!?

What is the current exchange rate

Updates soon!

Know the weather:

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One thought on “China… Preparing for A Great Trip

  1. I just got back from China 2 weeks ago. I did a similar trip. Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Macau in 2.5 weeks. Train’ed it to every city except Macau ofcourse. I live in Korea so I had somewhat of a crash course in Asian culture but boy was China was something else lol. I couldn’t find any travel books in English where I live so I just decided to wing it and do all the research myself online. We managed but I DEFINITELY order a book next time in advance.

    Not many black people travel there so my friend and I kinda felt like celebrities ; ) We were constantly getting stares, picture requests or people just taking them without asking. We also went during peak travel time for the Chinese as well so the major cities were twice as crowded. You can facebook me if you have any questions seeing as I am fresh off that trip. Ariane Torres. But one piece of advice, it is extremely hard to communicate there, so before you leave your hotel, get into a cab, or but tickets at the train stations, have your hostel/hotel concierge write things down in Chinese for you!!!

    I am excited for you to travel and since budget is my middle name, I can see us having a similar experience. Good Luck.

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