I left China a few days ago and had time to think about my time I spend there. Here are my top 5 reasons why you should jump into the next plane and visit this enormous country.
1. The Food
Food in China is just amazing. Yes, it is spicy, but you can always ask to have it plain. But after spending one month with spicy food I need a little bit of chili on every meal, your body will get used to it faster then you think. I didn’t get food poisoning once, and I didn’t have any problems with the food what speaks for the good quality. On the first day, I learned that the restaurants who look the worst, have the best food! Just look inside who’s sitting there. If locals sit in the restaurant it will be good, trust me! And cheap. The best meals I had were the cheapest ones. Have a look at the card first, if the restaurant has a lot of different types of food it’s probably not the best, but if they only have a few choices they concentrate on these meals, and it’s extra good because they know what they are doing and it’s fresh. People in China always share the food, in a group you basically order a lot of different plates, and everybody eats from every plate. This is amazing because you get more than one dish and can eat a lot of different things and they are usually all very good. To see what I ate during my time in China you can check out my blog post about the food here.
2. Nature and culture
Nature is stunning, and China has such an old and impressive culture and history I should have spend more time there to discover everything. I traveled from the north to the south on the east part of the country. To be more precise from Beijing to Guangzhou. I always stayed in the big cities but did day tours into nature. I hiked up the Huashan Mountains near the city Xi’an, and I did a hike in the Avatar Mountains near the town of Zhangjiajie. These were my favorite hikes in a long time. And if you’re not so much into hiking and want to take the easy way, there are always cable cars taking you to the top where you can enjoy the view. However, in that way, you’ll miss the best parts.
In addition to nature, the country is full of culture. Beijing is topping the list, here you can visit the great wall, the forbidden city and a lot of beautiful parks. But also, in other cities and even on the hikes you’ll find some temples and can learn about Buddhism.
3. The megacities
I personally like big cities and the unlimited possibilities you have in them, so China was the perfect place for me. It isn’t only Beijing and Shanghai which have millions of inhabitants, no also Xi’an a Chengdu, for example, have over 5 million people. I haven’t stayed in one city with less than a million people. Of course, Shanghai and Beijing top the list of megacities and I never saw something as crazy as this but also in the other cities you can find everything you need. There are these big markets, a lot of Street food and big nightlife districts. Shanghai was my favorite city regarding the lifestyle and the architecture, you couldn’t tell the difference between London and Shanghai.
4. The excellent infrastructure and lightness of traveling
To be honest, I think the infrastructure in these big cities is even better than in most European countries. The metro is extremely fast, and you can reach all the city with it. To travel between the cities, you always have high-speed trains which are always on time and super-fast. They have a top speed of about 315 km/h. The seats are comfortable, and they even have electricity. The best thing about these trains is that they are cheap. To get from Xi’an to the Huashan Mountains, it’s about 120 km however, the train only takes about 40 minutes and costs only 5 euros. If there is no High-speed train available there is a big offer on night trains. These sleeper trains have good beds and take you overnight to the next destination. They are cheaper than the High-speed trains, and you save a night in a Hotel/Hostel.
Everything is very affordable in China. Hostels cost you between 3 and 10 euros a night, and average Hotels are available from about 20 euros on. In the right places, a noodle soup will cost about 2 euros, the best one I ate costs me 1,7 Euro and beer is not more than 2 euros in local restaurants. In Shanghai, it’s a little bit more expensive, especially the rooftop clubs. But knowing the right people helped me to get in for free and to only spend money for one beer. In total, I spend about 1200 euros for 23 days in China and to travel once across the country which is totally affordable.
Not everything is positive in China, and some things bothered me which you can find here, but in general, it was a lovely trip through the country, and I can only recommend visiting China.
- Total countries I visited until now: 29
- Planes: 4
- Busses: 14
- Trains: 12
- Boots: 4
- Km running: 521
- Drinks: 48