Believe it or not, China is a highly popular destination choice for solo travelers. It’s a relatively safe country to travel alone in, which makes it a brilliant place for first timers. With plenty of things to see and experience, there is no risk of you getting bored. Plus you won’t be completely alone as you’re in the most populated country on Earth. As with most countries, there are elements of traveling solo in China that can be difficult. But with the right preparation and planning, there is no reason why your trip should be ruined. Here are some useful tips and tricks to know before you set off.
Download a translation app
One of the main issues that solo travelers face in China is the language barrier. The English language is not used as commonly as it is in other countries. There are a number of regional dialects which can make ordering food, asking for directions and getting help tough. You can learn some basic phrases before you leave such as thank you and hello. These can be found online or in Chinese travel guide books. Alternatively, you can download a translation app onto your phone to help you. This will make it far easier to communicate with the locals. You just need to keep your phone fully charged and secured throughout your stay.
Being a solo traveler can, unfortunately, make you a target for Chinese scammers. From counterfeit money to tea-house scams, there are a number of things you need to look out for. Particularly in major tourist destinations such as Hong Kong and Beijing. Knowing about these scams is the best way to protect yourself from getting ripped off. Talk to other solo travellers on travel forums and read guide books to help you spot the signs of a scam. Your personal safety should be a top priority, so get clued up and get advice before you go.
Join a tour to get you started
With so many places to visit and activities to try out, it can be difficult to know where to start. In the first few days, you might feel vulnerable and confused. So it’s wise to join a tour group in the initial part of your trip to help you familiarize yourself. Look into organised holidays to China to see what tours are available. Tours commonly run between a day and two weeks which means you have the freedom to take part as much as you like. They will help you meet other solo travelers while showing you some top Chinese attractions. It can also give you the confidence boost you need to explore independently. Even if you just join a tour group for a few days, it will be beneficial.
These tips and tricks should help you make the most out of every second of your solo visit to China. Any trip alone can be nerve-wracking, but it can also be eye-opening, fulfilling and rewarding. So if you want to travel to China alone, don’t let your fear stop you. Just be safe and smart throughout.
Note: Images inside the blog are from Flickr