Clients who haven’t been to China before will no doubt have a mountain of questions for you before their departure. Below, Wendy Wu’s star tour guide George Pu covers all the top tips they’ll need for an incredible trip.

By the way, Wendy Wu isn’t being biased about what an awesome guide George Pu is. Last year he was nominated as one of the top eight guides in the world in the Wanderlust World Guide Awards. So we’re confident he knows a thing or two.

Here are his top tips.

1. Off your grid

Yep, it’s true. There’s no Google in China. That means no Facebook, no Gmail, no directions, nada. So before you go, set up a new email account to keep in touch (read: brag) with your loved-ones. While it’s not impossibly difficult to get a local SIM card in China, you will need a local to come with you, as the process is not exactly easy (unless, of course, you’re fluent in Mandarin).

2. Get appy


In China, you’ll find most businesses keep in touch with you using WeChat, and in fact this little app has become the countries’ most downloaded method of keeping in touch, with a user base of over 700 million. That’s 30 times the population of Australia. So download it before you go, and add in your home contacts, so you can be all set up to message on arrival.

3. Limber up

It’s not glamorous, but it’s a cultural fact: many toilets in China are of the squat type. At your hotel and other westernised destinations, like shopping malls and some restaurants, you’ll be able to relax your thighs, but once you head further out – think like a Kung Fu master and get squatting.

4. Hot water Mecca

One of the beautiful little benefits of travelling to the country that created tea is the profusion of hot water taps, spouts and urns everywhere you look. On long-distance trains, in airports, in central train stations, people have brought along their thermos to create either hot tea or the ubiquitous instant noodles. Capitalising on the business opportunity, and conveniently for travellers, the instant noodle market sees pop’-up sellers offering travellers the choice of dozens of flavours, making meals always available. Slurp!

5. Its. Really. Big.


This is not a bus-tour country: don’t be mistaken, travelling through China takes a long time. Despite bullet trains (up to 300km per hour), the size of the country is so enormous, that you’ll count on internal flights to get around to see the trinity of Wall, Warriors and Pandas. Though the overnight trains are entirely palatable – many even with a dining cart – you can make the actual travelling part more of a pleasure by incorporating a short Yangtze river cruise into your itinerary.

6. Learn the Lingo

George Pu Wendy Wu

George Pu

Learn some basic phrases, like Ne Hao (hello) and Xie Xie (thank you) – the locals will love you, and you’ll get a wholistic experience, showing the locals that you respect and appreciate their culture.

Are there any more China travel tips you’d add to this?