- Many hotels in China are for residents only and are much cheaper than tourist hotels. Hostels are small but if you are traveling alone or with two people they should suit your needs.
-In Shanghai a local woman showed us Hantings Hotel in Lujibang (near the metro station) and they accommodated us (although they spoke no English). We stayed there for several weeks and we would stay there again if in Shanghai.
- We stuck with Hantings in Beijing and they were helpful to the best of their ability. Even walked to a place to get our phone recharged.
- In Wudangshan we stayed at (…..). The place is run by a lovely young couple who were very accommodating and generous. They had delicious food and made meals that were fresh and delicious.
Trains and metros
-Metro stations are easy to catch in Shanghai and in Beijing. You simply purchase a ticket before and scan your way. Connecting trains are easy to navigate as well.
-Train travel throughout China is more complicated. You need to locate a travel agency or place that sells tickets. Do this in advance because trains fill fast. Once you arrive at a station you need to go through security and head to your waiting area. When the time comes for boarding your ticket is checked and you are allowed to head to your train.
-There are many types of tickets. Seats, open sleepers, and rooms but they generally do not serve food so have money to buy something or bring some of your own.
There are buses but we only took them once or twice. We stuck with the metro, since it was fast and the stops were clear.
- In China in general look for Food Republics. Its a food court with lots of choices. In Shanghai near People’s Square there is one in the shopping center called………..
- Try the make our own soup places. You can add your own ingredients and they cook it for you. Its very good.
- In may restaurants near Lujibang you can find cheap meals for 10 to 15 Yuan. Most of these places don’t have English menus but if they have pictures then you can point to what you think looks good.
- Try the bubble teas too from Coco. They are a nice cheap treat.
- Wangfujing has many places to eat as well as a the Oriental Plaza which has another Food Republic.
- There is also a Sushi Express that has dishes for 6 Yuan a piece. It was a delicious meal.
- In Beijing you can find a crepe like wrap that has a crunchy crispy cracker inside it with egg cooked on it with some herbs and spice. Its 2 or 3 Yuan and a great snack for the road. You can even find a place that sells them in the Food Republic at the Oriental Plaza but on the street is much tastier.
- Wudangshan has delicious food over all. Its easy to find vegetable and tofu dishes cooked with lots of flavour as well as meat dishes if you prefer.
-Just note that a chicken combination dish usually means different parts of the chicken such as the neck, feet and who knows what else etc.
- Finding English speakers in China is not easy. If you learn some chinese it will be very helpful. We found that even with a Chinese language book we were struggling to pronounce the words properly. But with that said we got by with gestures and pointing out words.
- For Chinese Visas (if you plan on staying longer than 30 days) don’t get a multiple entry visa. It will cost money to leave and reenter China. Instead simply get your visa renewed while you’re in China. Its much cheaper and will take only about a week.
- Also on a Chinese Visa application they ask you for specific locations of your stay. In our case we didn’t know where we would be so be simply put that we were backpacking around China and our visas were still approved. However it might not work for everyone.
Love Alexandria and Family.