Travelling China can be easy and tricky depending where you go. The gap between rich and poor is extreme and costs do vary greatly between places; especially the large cities and rural countryside. China is one of the most unique places in the world and it’s a shame it still hasn’t come onto the backpacking radar. Maybe that’s exactly what makes it unique. It’s untouched from the Western world but still reachable.
- Accommodation: Prices vary greatly, however, expect to pay around £3 in the smaller villages and £6/£7 in the larger cities for a dorm bed in a hostel.
- Food: Water costs around 10p wherever you are in China for a 500ml bottle. Food prices range from between 10p to £20 depending on what you eat and where. Street food is cheap, but the touristy restaurants in the centre of Beijing are definitely not. Budget approximately £3 per meal which is a generous amount.
- Travel: Trains are cheap for the distance you travel. Average travel cost is around £25, however, expect to pay more for long distances or when taking the bullet train which costs around £50. Flights usually work out at around £100 for a one-way trip. Taxi fares can be cheap and start at around £1. However, be aware of meter rigging.
- Attractions: Usually cost between £5 to £15 depending on what you are going to see and do.
- Budget: Around £30 a day (2013) for backpacking.
Top Places to Visit
- Beijing: Beijing is packed with things to do and one can easily spend a couple of weeks here. Visit the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and eat some traditional Beijing duck
- Chengdu: A city with a life of its own. The first time you come here you will be blown away by how modern and beautiful the place is. The people are friendly and it’s a great place to base yourself and do day trips to e.g. the Panda Reserve and Giant Buddha.
- Yangshuo: The most beautiful place in the world.
- Bring flip-flops in the summer! You will be surprised how much you use them.
- Bring a little bit of extra money for shopping. People always budget just enough to travel and then forget about a little indulgence.
- Leave rest days. Its the best feeling in the world to not have to do anything and just take a day easy. You will enjoy your trip so much more
- Don’t be scared to try new things! You may surprise yourself and find things delicious which you would normally not eat.
- Have more than 1 source of money.
- Try to learn some Mandarin and say Hello and Thank-you to the locals
- Keep a note of these China travel tips!