15 Surprising Things You Need to Know About China
There was a time when, China was called the “Forbidden Empire” but today it most certainly is not! It ranks among the top 5 countries as a tourist destination in the world. Most of the people know what the chief attractions of this huge country are but many people do not know the bizarre things of this country which should be avoided as well if they want to make their visit pleasant and fun.
1 Do not ever plan a holiday to China during their official Chinese national holidays
Technically being a communist country they do not have any official holidays for festivities or religious offs like Christmas or Thanksgiving. The only time a Chinese family can plan for a vacation is during the state-sanctioned holidays and every Chinese grabs that opportunity. It would be a mortal mistake to plan a vacation during those days as you’ll drown amongst the sea of Chinese locals going to their hometowns or abroad all at the same time! It can be nightmarish for many newcomers.
Landmarks are swarmed by locals
On a state-sponsored holiday, crowds of locals swarm famous landmarks and tourist spots which mean you won’t get to see anything except the backs of the heads of a million people. What adds to this whammy is the fact that these major holidays keep changing their dates every year so you’ll have to plan accordingly, but one thing for sure stay away from China on May 1st and the 1st week of October.
2Get the train tickets booked in advance
It’s best to book your tickets almost a month in advance because if you are late you might not get any seat at all. The difference between the first and second class train tickets are insignificant but the privileges are very distinct so the first class tickets are an instant sell out, in fact, the weirdest thing of all is you can get a ticket without a seat, just in order to commute. All you need to do is to sit on the floor for a few hours if it’s acceptable to you.
3Your passport and tickets should be ready for the railway station
Yes in order to pass through the station crowd and get to your designated seat, you’ll have to pass through a thorough security check (just like an airport), that too after you have stood in a long line and got your tickets checked first so please have a lot of time in hand before you head out for the station.
4No clean sheet for the commute in train’
In any long-distance travel by train, you’ll have to do with used sheets. On Chinese trains the sheets are not changed after the departure of the earlier passenger and if you are not the lucky one to get on the train at the initial stoppage, then you’ll have to sleep or sit on someone else’s used sheets.
5Public transport is available only till 10:30 pm
In China, the public transport in all major cities are well organized and pretty impressive just that they close up quite early by 10:30 at night so if you are out clubbing or partying be prepared to take a taxi late at night. Also while traveling in a bus you need to have the exact change ready with you all the time.