Travel tips for China

Visiting China and its forbidden city in Beijing
There are few countries in the world with a culture as distinct as China. A country of contrasts, China offers thriving Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, but also extremely rural areas in the west. This is a country stuck between the developed and developing world. Rapid change has attracted curious people from around the globe, so it’s a great time to dip your toe into this amazing culture.

Accommodation – Prices start at around $6.50 USD for a dorm (but can be closer to $20 in Beijing) and are about $20 USD (city dependent) for a private room with a shared bathroom, or $30 USD for a private room with ensuite. Budget hotels begin around $22 USD per night for basic accommodations that are basic but good value. Expect higher prices in Hong Kong, with a single room starting around $33 USD per night.

Food – Eating in nicer restaurants will cost around $7 USD. A simple meal of noodles or street food will cost just about a buck! There is a ton of cheap and delicious food in China (which is nothing like what is found in “Chinese” restaurants in America), so you’ll have no problem eating on a budget.

Transportation – China may be a huge country, but it’s easy and cheap to get from one place to another. Buses are the most popular way to travel and usually cost between $0.25 – $0.50 USD in a city. Inter-country buses cost around $3 USD per hour of travel. Major cities also have extensive underground systems that are less than $1 USD per ride. Taxi fares start at about $1 USD.

Activities – In general, sights are affordable in China. Only certain activities, such as the Great Wall ($7.50 USD + optional $16 USD cable fee), are pricey by local standards. However, wandering around the cities and visiting many of the historic temples are free. For hikes or outdoor excursions, expect costs around $30 USD. You’ll also find prices in Hong Kong much more, with museums starting around $10 USD, so budget a bit more here.

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