5 crucial things to consider before traveling to Beijing

traditional chinese palace

China is a country that tourists and business travelers have flocked to for decades. Their economy is robust, and the business sector always has something happening. If you find yourself traveling to Beijing, there are going to be some necessary precautions to take before arriving.

You may have already heard about China’s strict internet regulations. But the internet is not the only thing you need to be wary of when visiting this beautiful city. You need to scrutinize everything from general customs to finances before you go, and you must make sure you check off all the boxes. It is always best to be prepared when visiting another country.

Don’t Forget Your Visa

This should be a top priority for anyone looking to travel to China. You can now apply for a 10-year visitor visa. It is much more convenient than it used to be. It’s enough to visit their embassy website to download the necessary documents. The process got simple over the years, but you still need to complete it.

You need to send your paperwork off to the closest embassy or consulate, along with the appropriate funds for the required fees. If you are nowhere near an embassy, there are services that you can contact that will take your paperwork right to them. Make sure to keep copies of everything during your travels.

Cash Isn’t King

For the majority of civilized society, cash still holds a lot of weight, yet not as much as it once did. In China, digital forms of payment are more widely accepted. You can find the option everywhere, including taxis and street vendors. You always want to carry some cash in case of an emergency, but make sure to set up your digital payment methods first.

The two primary digital payment forms to consider are going to be WeChat Pay and Alipay. It’s something you must look into before your departure, as you want to make sure your bank will allow these different digital payment methods. Not all banks are the same, so make sure to iron out all the details beforehand.

You’ll Need a VPN

A virtual private network is a necessity for anyone who is traveling to Beijing. China has strict internet regulations. It blocks access to many different websites and social media platforms. As a business person or vacationer, you are most likely going to need access to some of these while abroad.

There are many excellent VPN services available. It is essential to subscribe to one before you leave. You do have some free VPN options out there. But if you are serious about your privacy, it is always best to go with a premium subscription. Also, make sure the service you choose has VPN servers in Asia so that it wouldn’t impact the speed of connection too much. You can find more information here: https://nordvpn.com/servers/

After setting the VPN connection, don’t forget to check the internet speed on your device. For this you can test your internet speed with https://www.speedcheck.org and even compare before and after values. Then you can use the same service to check it regularly to make sure of the reliability of your connection.

The TP Conundrum

Back in 2015, the Chinese government decided to do something about the state of their public washrooms. This reimagining of the public restroom situation did a lot to increase the wellbeing of everyone, from locals to travelers. They can now claim some of the best facilities in the world and even do so by officially ranking them.

The main issue here is that the toilet paper supply in public areas seems to be very limited. If you plan on being out for an extended period of time, bring your own toilet paper. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the washroom is if you are looking everywhere for a few squares of paper.

Drink Bottled Water

No matter how advanced a city or country may seem, you never really know what is in the water. Beijing is known to have higher than average amounts of metals in their tap water. Even residents tend not to drink it. It is essential to stock up on bottled water when you can, as you don’t want to risk any illness while you are away. It is okay for bathing, but try not to ingest too much of it.

Beautiful Beijing

Now that you know some of the things to look out for when traveling to Beijing, it is time to sit back and relax. The people are ultra-friendly to visitors, and their immense culture and history are almost unrivaled. If you find yourself needing to go to Beijing for work or pleasure, take precautions, and you will enjoy your time spent in the heart of China.

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About the Author: James Watt

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