Welcome all my little travelers!
This is the best advice I could give for traveling to China during the winter! I had a quick three day trip or 72 hours to visit the Great Wall of China and Beijing; we did have to first apply for our tourist visas because we were flying out of a second Chinese city before leaving China, so double check what you may need! I learned a lot about traveling and getting around in China and even though most signs are in Chinese, there is usually English writing below the word so you can find your way around, hope these tips for traveling to the Great Wall of China in Winter help you on your way and subscribe below for more blogs to come!
Tip 1: Download a VPN (Virtual Private Network) Before you go, you will need to download a VPN in order to use apps like Google Maps, Instagram and Facebook in China. I recommend downloading more than one before you go as they are regularly shut down and stop working.
Tip 2: Download WeChat It is an app which is the Chinese version of Whatsapp and many wifi locations allow you to sign in using this app.
Tip 3: Taxis Will Inflate Their Prices A taxi from the airport to the center should cost you around RMB80-120, do not let a taxi driver tell you differently! If you take the airport train into the city, certainly cut that number in half for wherever you are going. Always try to get a metered taxi, these are the most honest taxis and do not be afraid to bargin if you think you ended up in a taxi that is trying to take your money!
Tip 4: Go via Public Transit I definitely recommend going via transit, to any of your destinations, this is the cheapest way and it is quite easy to figure out! It may take you a few tries; I often found someone who could speak english by asking at a cafe if I am going the right way as they usually had at least one person who spoke a little english and who could help me get to where I was wanting to go.
Tip 5: Wifi There is wifi everywhere! A lot of cafes and restaurants and hotels/hostels have wifi, just make sure you have that VPN from Tip 1 if you want to check anything such as Google Maps, Facebook, Whatsapp or Instagram!
Tip 6: Bring Warm Clothes If you are traveling during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months, typically November to February, make sure to pack layers and a thick jacket. We were surprised how chilly it got in China while we were there, the weather was similar to Canada and we were not prepared!
Tip 7: Definitely Visit the Great Wall while in Beijing! Though the Great Wall is always an excellent place to want to explore, I recommend planning for a summer month visit. However, if you find yourself in Beijing during the winter months, it is certainly still worth the trek. Be sure to dress in multiple layers, as it can get VERY windy in the mountains. Also, there can be some very steep parts of the wall and it can be quite slippery and with the very strong winds so it can be dangerous to walk along. Summer months or slightly warmer months are more ideal due to the higher temperature and brighter colours, but we fully enjoyed our trip and it was just as STUNNING as we had imagined!