I made a trip to China last year with a group of my childhood friends and I must say it was one of the most memorable foreign tours in my life. I was exposed to not only a different country and language but also a completely different culture.
If you are planning a trip to China, follow some simple but useful tips to make the most of your tour abroad.
Pick up a few words in Mandarin: If you make a visit to the tourist areas, you will meet some people who can speak English. However, it is better for you to learn some words like “qing” (please) and “Xie xie” (thank you). Knowing some Mandarin will also be great during buy and bargain.
Bargain a lot: Believe me or not, bargaining is an art and importance of it cannot be stressed enough. The sellers are in habit of marking up prices much higher, especially if you are from Europe or America. Knowing a little bit of Mandarin will be of some help. For example, “yao” means need/want and “bu yao” means you don’t need or want. Learning those phrases is very important. Go for shopping with a pack of friends. While some of you will be busy bargaining, the rest will show their feigned nonchalance and will try to force you to visit other shops that offer better pricing. That works just like a magic in favor of the shopping enthusiasts. Try to remain within your budget. I was able to bargain a pair of earrings from 400RMB to 20RMB. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
Watch outflow of your money: Prices are much lower in China if compared to US market. And if you are good at bargaining, you can drag it down further. Impulsive buyers often end up picking up what they don’t use or even need. Know the exchange rate of kuai or RMB in terms of US dollar. Make a budget and adhere to it at any cost.
Keep your bag light on weight: Chinese airlines allow only one take on a purse, bag as well as one checked bag. The maximum weight limit for checked bags is 20kg whereas that for carry-ons is 10kg. However, these are not usually weighed unless they appear bulky. If you fail to abide by the rule, be prepared to pay a fine per extra kg.
Hotel charge: Hotels in China charge their guests for anything used or taken. Make sure that you have good understanding of what you actually need and what is not essential. If anything in your room goes missing, you will be charged for it.