I'm planning on travelling in May and hoping to do something like Beijing-Xi'an-Guilin-Yuangshou. I know this isn't exactly off the beaten track but it's my first time in China and I'm travelling alone. Is there anything in particular I should be aware of or watch out for? Is it easy to book train tickets at the station? Should I pre book all hostels? Will I meet people to travel with?
I traveled alone, in China, around 9 years ago. I think it is safe, for women. The only time I had any trouble, with men, at all was, if I was out after dark. And even then, it was just mild harassment. During the day, they left me alone.
The only difficulty I had, with booking boat, and bus ticket was that very few people can speak any English at all. If they dont understand what u are saying, they will just wave u away. I think the best thing, is to get somebody to write down in Chinese where u want to go, and which class, on the train, and then show it to the ticket seller. Maybe a person working at your hotel, will write that down for u. People tend to be helpful, if they can understand at all, what u want.
I dont think there is any need to prebook hostels. I didnt, but still always found someplace.
U wont meet as many foreigners, to hang out with, as u would in some other countries. And Chinese people rarely speak English. However, I did meet a few foreigners, in Shanghai. Outside Shanghai, in smaller places, I did not meet any, at all.
The supermarket is a better place to buy food, than outdoor markets. The prices are already fixed. In outdoor markets and small shops, u will be charged several times as much, as a Chinese person, so it will be more expensive, than the supermarket, for u.
In case u dont know already, be careful where u point your camrea. Dont take pictures of any police stations, police, government buildings, army stuff...
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 20, 2007, at 2:24 AM by Mel. ]
Going over to Beijing this May too. Beijing and Xi-an.
Just found out that there is this Mount Huashan near Xi-an, looks interesting.
well, if you want to visit those places in May, Please dont go during China'a public vacation if you dont like stay in crowed place . You could go those places after May 7th . You could meet many foreigners in those places coz more and more foreginers visit china these years.
Thanks for the advice Mel and Cherryhe, I've now changed to arrive after the holiday, thanks. Vincente, all I know about Huashan is that it's one of the 10 sacred mountains and you can get a bus to trek it ...