Saturday, June 8, 2013

Travel tips contest winner!

Beijing's Forbidden City
Coping with the language barrier can present problems when it comes to getting around a Chinese city when you don't read or speak the language.

One way solo traveler Aleah handles this is to take a picture of her hotel to show taxi drivers when she's ready to return home after a day of sightseeing. Her tip was deemed the most helpful for first-time travelers to China by the panel of judges in last month's travel tips contest. Aleah wins a walking tour of Imperial Beijing on CD and a PDF copy of my best-selling China Travel Tips ebook.

An alternative to searching for the hotel photo is to carry the hotel's business card with you. One side is in English, the other side in Chinese. The Chinese side frequently includes a small map.

Honorable mention goes to Jean Ash, who offered several tips, one of which I'd wished I known when I was traveling in South China many years ago. Jean says to make sure you have plenty of yuan (Chinese money) before heading out to smaller cities. While these places normally won't be as expensive as Beijing or Shanghai, you may not be able to find ATMs that take foreign cards or banks that will change your money. I remember needing money in a small (one million people being small for China!) on Sunday. Banks were open, but as I was told, they only accept money on Sundays, not give it out, which they would be doing in an exchange. I finally ended up going to a major hotel and lying about being a guest there so I could change money.

Are you going to China?

If a trip to China is in your travel plans, please visit my website, Cheryl's China, for tips and recommendations, or email me if you have any questions.