Sometimes, you don't want long paragraphs of information about the cities you're visiting. You want quick tips. 

And here, my friend, is some quick fire information I thought some of you may find useful.  


- The Great Wall - lots of companies offer trips there, make sure you don't sign up for "shopping." Beijing Downtown Backpackers offered a great trip from Jinshanling section to Simataiand. I would thoroughly recommend them. 
- Getting around by subway is very easy and very cheap. Ask for a subway card on the first day. 
- Print out your hotel address in Mandarin, none of the taxi drivers I used spoke English. Oh and taxis are very cheap in both Beijing and Shanghai. 
- Head to the Summer Palace early as it gets very crowded. When you leave the Summer Palace you need to turn right and keep walking for about 15 minutes until you come to the subway station. 
- Avoid using the guys who have bicycles - I head a few horror stories whilst I was there from people getting ripped off and beaten up. 
- I would avoid the Silk Market, it's just bit boring. 
- The Lama temple is quite pretty and will take about half an hour of your day. 
- There are many Hutongs to visit, and I particularly loved the Hutong by Nanluoguxiang subway station. Take exit A from the subway station cross over the road and you will see everyone walking in to this popular Hutong. 

- Firstly, if you're a foreigner when you are walk along East Nanjing Road or along The Bund, you will get harassed by people wanting to take you for a "sex show, sex show." The best to deal with this is point your camera in their face and they immediately scatter. 
- The Pearl Tower is great, and the glass floor makes for a scary view of Shanghai. 
- Food in Shanghai is excellent and the hotels there serve great food. Some of my highlights include lunch at Jean George and High Tea at Hotel Indigo
- The urban planning museum was okay but I think to get the most out of it you need a guide. 
- The Little Black Jacket exhibition is currently in Shanghai and it was great to visit. So is the Museum of Contemporary Art
- Taking the subway to the airport is easy enough but a little tiresome if you have a suitcase and it's a hot day, next time I will take a cab for 200 RMB. 
- SmartShanghai is a great website to find out about local events and places to eat. You can also print off the address in Mandarin which is useful. 
- Spend an afternoon walking around the French Concession and stop in at the never ending bakeries before you carry on.  

Other notes

- As with most places in the world, people in China are extremely friendly and do their best to help, but many don't speak English so have the places you want to go to written in Mandarin. Tourists stand out here, so if you're stuck speak to them. 
- The bullet train between Beijing and Shanghai is extremely easy to book, most hotels arrange this for you. The train ride is very smooth.

China - The Facts

Posted on

Saturday, 20 July 2013


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