4 Top Tips For Surviving China As A Backpacker
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4 Top Tips For Surviving China As A Backpacker

20 Mar 4 Top Tips For Surviving China As A Backpacker



China is a wonderful destination for backpackers. There are plenty of cheap hostels, delicious street food, and an exceptional train network that makes getting around the country incredibly easy. Exploring China is easy to do on a budget, too. Here are a couple of tips for travelling around the country.

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There Are Language Barriers – Be Prepared


One of the things that can make your travels around China difficult is the language barrier. People who work in the tourism and travel sector don’t necessarily speak English, but you may have an easier time in areas like Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. It’s a good idea to download an app or even buy a phrasebook depending on where you are travelling to. You are going to depend on it!


Make Sure You Write Down Addresses


Always remember to write down your hotel or hostel’s address in Chinese characters. Most places will have little business cards with their addresses on them in both Chinese and English, and some even provide a map on the back of the card, so be sure to get one. These tend to come in handy if you have to take a taxi back to your accommodation or even if you get completely lost and have to ask someone for directions to get back. Go to TheChinaTravelCompany.co.uk to check their itineraries. Their experts can even suggest fantastic hostels to you.


Avoid Those Common Scams


Unfortunately, there are some scam artists around the country. Taxi scams alone could see you spending over 100x the price of a bus ride, and that’s just one of the common scams. The tea ceremony scam is another renowned set up where two seemly innocent people will approach you to practice their English and then invite you to a local ceremony. Usually, they leave tourists stranded with a bill for several hundreds of dollars.


There is also the art school scam where young students invite tourists to an art gallery to check out their work and then pile on the pressure to buy a piece for an exorbitant amount.

These are just three of the common scams you may hear about. Just be alert and if something feels strange, or too good to be true, then get away. But, don’t let these stories put you off.


Keep Your Focus on One Region


Did you know that China is the second-largest country in Asia? It is humongous and it’s really hard to tackle it all in one backpacking trip. The best idea is to concentrate on one region and then try to explore that region as thoroughly as possible. Try to consider the distance from one city to another and then consider how much time you really want to spend getting there. If you prefer a more organized trip, you can discuss your travel plans with a travel and tour specialist which offers itineraries for independent tours.



China is a sensational country to explore as a backpacker. Use these survival tips for your travels and there is no doubt you will have the most memorable experience of your lifetime.


  • Natalie
    Posted at 16:43h, 20 March Reply

    Lovely! I have a friend who is travelling in China right now. She says it’s an amazing country and I’m hoping to go someday too! I had never heard of these scams and I’m glad you posted about them. All countries seem to have a few common tourist scams, it’s good to know what to look out for just in case! The tip about the address cards is a great idea as well! 😀

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 17:03h, 20 March Reply

      You should 😀 Thank you so much for stopping by 😀

  • Kennedy Lazar
    Posted at 19:24h, 20 March Reply

    This was such a great read! I had no idea scams were so common! I plan on traveling to Asia next year and I will definitely remember these.

    • thevikingabroad
      Posted at 19:36h, 20 March Reply

      That is awesome 😀 Thank you for stopping by 😀

  • thevikingabroad
    Posted at 08:09h, 21 March Reply

    Thank you for stopping by 😀

  • Charles McCool
    Posted at 22:41h, 22 March Reply

    Nice warning to watch out for scams. Falling victim to a scam can really ruin a trip.

  • Sheena
    Posted at 07:10h, 23 March Reply

    China is my favourite country, it’s awesome for intrepid budget travellers. It can also be a destination for everyone, your tips are spot on. The language barrier & scams are something to be aware & alert of but shouldn’t deter anyone from visiting the amazing Middle Kingdom!

  • melody pittman
    Posted at 14:57h, 23 March Reply

    Cool comments. I would be worried about finding my way around China as it is, much less being a backpacker. LOL Yes, definitely have the address in writing. I have been to a few countries and forgotten the name of the hotel I was staying at and had to jump through hoops to find my bearings.

  • Jetsetter Jenn
    Posted at 06:17h, 25 March Reply

    Focusing on one region is definitely a great tip! I know I’ll become easily overwhelmed so it’s best to keep it simple and take my time in one place. I’d absolutely love to visit China one of these days, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Danielle Desir
    Posted at 14:16h, 25 March Reply

    China isn’t on my radar for a while but your tips come in handy. Especially the language barrier, scams and writing down addresses. These are so simple yet can be very frustrating if you don’t plan ahead. What translation apps would you recommend?

  • Agness of aTukTuk
    Posted at 07:30h, 08 May Reply

    So great you wrote about the scams, Vibeke! I’ve been to China and I couldn’t agree more with you!

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