A trip to China is an amazing opportunity that you absolutely want to make the most of. Whether it's your first time or you are already an experienced traveler, there will be something new to see. However, in order to really make the most of this experience, you need to have a solid grasp of the basics.
Stay Safe and Healthy
First of all, look after yourself and your physical health and safety. Make sure you're healthy by eating well before you travel. You can use a supplement green or vitamin C to help if needed. The flight to China is generally quite long, and wearing a mask can protect you from all kinds of diseases. When you land, make sure you have somewhere safe to stay and you know the best advice for staying out of trouble. It's a good idea to talk to a local or an expert about that; just remember that China is a big country. What's true in Beijing might not be true in Guangzhou.
Culture and Language
In the city and common tourist areas, you probably won't have any trouble finding people who speak English, but the farther afield you travel, the more important it will be to understand the language or have a guide who does. This comes with a heavy caveat. There are many different kinds of Chinese. While the official language, Mandarin, is by far the most widely spoken and understood, it is by no means the only dialect and not all dialects are mutually intelligible. Imagine if everyone from Texas spoke Texan English that someone who spoke New York English couldn't understand at all. That's what you're looking at when you look at all the different varieties of Chinese.
One of the upsides of China being so large and so diverse is that you get to enjoy a whole range of varieties, especially in food. Chinese cuisine is very different from Western cuisine, and one of the great benefits of visiting is that you get to try the genuine article. Make sure to sample the delicious local delicacies of whatever province you are visiting.
A trip isn't truly complete if you aren't shopping, but shopping in China might be a little different from shopping where you're from. Know before you go whether it is customary to bargain and haggle; in certain areas and for certain items, haggling might be expected or it might be considered very rude. Similarly, when it comes to quality and imitations, you want to be savvy about what to look for before you go. It's also important to know what you will or won't be allowed to bring back home. There's no point buying something if it's just going to get confiscated at the airport.
Of course most people go sightseeing while they are visiting another country. If you're in one of the urban areas, make sure to visit its iconic landmarks and enjoy the bustling life of modern China, but don't underestimate the spectacular natural beauty of the parks and the countryside. The geography and geology of China makes its landscapes both spectacular and diverse, from the impossibly steep mountainsides to the broad river valleys.
There's more to China than the Great Wall and the Forbidden Palace; the country is steeped in a rich history going back thousands of years. The history of China has a depth that's impossible to fully appreciate on your first visit. You'll have to come back again and again and again.
Staying safe and being culturally sensitive provides a strong foundation on which you can explore all that China has to offer with regards to food, shopping, history, natural beauty and more. Make the most of your trip to China by following these recommendations. After all, it's a long flight and you don't want that investment of time and energy to be wasted. The point is to enrich your life, expand your horizons and enjoy yourself!