Tools & Tips

Travel Guides
Sights of Beijing & Shanghai (YouTube)
Beijing | Shanghai
TripAdvisor - Unbiased reviews from other travelers
Web | iPhone | iPad | Android | WP7
Unlike City Guides- Cool & hip city guides
Web | Android
Lonely Planet - Expert reviews
Rapid Travel Chai
Beijing | Shanghai

PS. We don't get paid or pay for any of these links. We are just providing them because we find them useful. If you have any suggestions for links or apps, please let us know.

Tools & Tips
Tools & Tips
Find out more about where you are traveling to and learn about tools that can help you make the most out of your trip.

How do I bargain?
Bargaining is an art. You can typically bargain at markets and souvenir shops. Good final prices are 75%-90% of their initial offer price. Buying in bulk usually helps. Restaurants, department stores, and more established venues are less likely places for bargaining.

What should I know about taxis?
Taxis in China are generally safe, cheap, and reliable. Just make sure to have your destination (and return location) written in Chinese. Meters are typically used unless you hire a taxi for an all day excursion.

When should I visit China?
Anytime is a great time to visit China. We make it easier since we don't vary prices based on high or low season.

China is a huge country and there are plenty of climatic differences between different regions. The months of May, September, and October are ideal months due to weather. The months of March and April are typically lower-priced shoulder seasons.

During peak travel times for domestic China travel, flights and hotels are typically more expensive and difficult to book. It's best to ask a reliable travel operator to secure your itinerary during these dates:

Independence Day Holiday Week - October 1 - 7
Chinese New Year Holiday Week - based on Lunar calendar, week of January 23 2012, February 10 2013, January 31 2014, February 19 2015, February 8 2016, January 28 2017
Student breaks - Winter: January - February, Summer: July - August
What health tips should I be aware of?
Never drink unboiled water. Bottled water is the best choice.
Street food in China is good, but be careful where you eat. See if the vendor provides disposable utensils and how the food is prepared. Avoid eating raw or undercooked food sold at the roadside.
Wash your hands frequently or bring a bottle of hand sanitizer.
Don't forget to apply sunscreen.
Fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly in purified water before eating.
Restrooms off the beaten track might be primitive so it is best to bring your own sanitary necessities and toilet paper.
What should I pack?
Here's a good list to start with:

Your (unexpired) passport with necessary visas.
Comfortable travel clothes.
ATM cards (There's plenty of ATM's to withdraw RMB (currency in China); Credit cards; and Traveler's checks if you prefer.
Airline tickets and printed itinerary of your trip.
Air travel in China has very similar guidelines for luggage as in the U.S. Please check with your airline.
Medicine and vitamins for your daily use, may be a first-aid kit.
Hat, lip balm, sunscreen, insect repellent, and sunglasses. Rainwear or umbrella depending on the season and your destination.
Leave a copy of your itinerary and passport with your family or good friend in the U.S.
Tell me about the destinations?
Want to learn more about the cities in China? Read more for a brief introduction to each city.

Beijing is the ancient and modern day capital of China. The capital is a sprawling metropolis with a unique blend of the ancient and modern. Interspersed and surrounding the Capital, are the monumental historical sights, which enable visitors to experience the ancient past of China's people, culture, and incredible history spanning ... more

Shanghai is a major port city and the modern financial hub of China with its newly constructed Pudong Economic Development Zone. In addition, Shanghai offers a blend of East and West from its past as a major commercial port, and from its metamorphosis into a modern, dynamic, and international metropolis ... more

Hangzhou was settled as early as 4,700 years ago. As one of the seven ancient capitals and a key scenic tourism and historical culture city in China, Hangzhou was once applauded as "the most splendid and luxurious city in the world" by Marco Polo, the Italian traveler in the 13th century ... more

Suzhou was built 2,500 years ago, and was founded in 514BC. The city is situated on the lakeside of Taihu, and is built around canals, which criss-cross the city. As a result, the city is known as the "Venice of the East." Suzhou's beauty is exemplified by its 60 classical gardens. Because of its incredible beauty, there ... more