Chinese New Year is on Sunday! Unfortunately for me I will be halfway over the Atlantic Sea on a plane to Finland (which probably doesn’t have a higher Chinese population, although I haven’t fact checked that).
China is still a cheap travel destination, in comparison to most of European countries, but that can change very soon. However , following a few simple ideas, you will be able to travel in China for free or next to nothing.
It might be a bit presumptuous, but I truly think you should go too. Don’t be intimidated by the vocabulary barrier and the pollution and the general crazyness. Go anyhow.
Like most tourist destinations, prices in China are higher during peak travel periods and vacations. You can save money on meals, lodging, transportation and attractions by visiting during the low season, which runs from mid-November through March. November is the best time to see the autumn colours. And while certain parts of China can be bitterly cold throughout the winter months, there are tropical areas that have mild winters, such as Hainan Island and Yunnan.
Meals, lodging and activities almost all cost more in the big towns. As soon as you leave them, you are likely to pay less for most factors, and you’ll also enjoy fewer crowds and get to go through the non-tourist side of China. You don’t have to skip the towns altogether; just see what you would like to see and then move on.
Three Chinese national Golden Weeks” to avoid are:
Some people are leery of street food, and it is always a gamble, but one really worth making. How else are you able to get a super tasty food for 50 cents or less? I really miss having the ability to stroll from stand to stand and select whatever international looking snack caught my fancy (and I just ever got sick once- so there).
Many credit cards charge a international transaction fee, which can add together quickly when traveling. If you expect to make a great deal of purchases with your card, you could be able to save a little money by using one that doesn’t charge this fee (see Top Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fee ).
In least that I’ve seen anywhere in the world.
Food in China-still a great value for the money-can also range widely. From the meat bun from a road cart to fancy, white tablecloth restaurants catering to China’s nouveau riche and well-heeled ex-pats.
Yet with the exception of the north during the winter, you can still discover China comfortably year-round. Summers see the heaviest rain and can be uncomfortably hot, particularly in the south near Hong Kong, which has notoriously hot and moist summers.
Admittance fees are also unavoidable to find out certain sights, such as the Forbidden City. And for some sights/experiences-like a going down the Li or Yangtze River-you’ll have to pay for some sort of cruise or tour (which also runs from luxurious cruise ships to dingy ferries).
Additional expenses such as drinking and shopping can quickly inflate your budget, so make sure to mat your budget for buying souvenirs and treating yourself to gourmet coffee!
Exactly what is awesome about visiting China is that you get to see close up it’s so much more than communism, or a billion people, or smog, it’s an amazing living and breathing ecletic slice of life.
First class travel can go as high as US & European cities in the more expensive cities. For anyone who is comparing what you’d normally spend on a vacation back home, you can still expect a better bang for your buck. Living large in China will set you back around Y1000-1500+/day ($150-200+). But if you’re utilized to really traveling in luxurious, you can still find five-star hotels in Beijing or Shanghai that reach more than Y2000/$300 and top restaurants over Y800/$120.