Friday, March 5, 2010

China Travel Tips

Each time I've been to China I've learned something new that has made future travels to the Middle Kingdom earlier.

On my first trip to China way back in 1984, I was a wide-eyed innocent who didn't know I should have gotten protection for Hepatitis A before I left the United States. Heck, I only found this out when our tour group was eating one day and someone asked whether it was safe to eat the snails in water. My second time in China I got a gamma globulin shot that was good for four months. Now I've had the lifetime vaccination. But even on my first clueless trip, I ate street snacks and, luckily, never had any problems. And still don't. While I've gotten sick on restaurant food (even in a four-stat hotel's restaurant), I've eaten my way across China on street food without a single problem.

China hands recommend vaccination for Hep A to keep you safe in China. Even the CDC recommends everyone get vaccinated for Hep A even if we never plan to leave the United States.

Getting vaccinated for Hep A is just one of the tips I write about in my latest Cheryl's Guides: China Travel Tips: 26 ideas to help you survive the Middle Kingdom. It's a compilation of things that I mostly learned the hard way in my 14 trips to China, including living in Beijing for two years. I'm hoping the information will be of use to other travelers, too. China Travel Tips is for sale as an e-book on

Other books in my series of China travel guides are:

  • Parents Guide to Beijing: a kid-friendly city. If you're taking your children to Beijing, you need this book. It's filled with things your kids will enjoy seeing and doing while visiting the Chinese capital. It's available as both an ebook and print book from GuideGecko.

  • DIY Beijing: a guide for the independent traveler. This is a nifty book telling you how to get to Beijing attractions by public transportation and things to look for while you're there. It's basically a compilation of things I like to do in Beijing as well as those I take people on my private tours to. It's a mix of the must-sees and places that are off-the-beaten tourist path. It's also available as both electronic and print books from

  • Cuandixia: an ancient mountain village in China. This is the definitive book on Cuandixia, a village nestled in the mountains about 90k from Beijing. It's perfect for a day trip, and gives visitors a sample of daily life away from the capital's hustle and bustle. It is only available as an ebook from

If you're planning a visit to China, please visit my website first. If you have questions about travel in China, please feel free to email me, and I'll do my best to answer them.

(Note: the photo is one I took during a walk through the hutongs on my last trip to Beijing.)

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