China Part I: Beijing

Each year we try to go someplace new, a country that we have never been to yett and in 2016 that was China. We randomly stumbled upon an amazing deal on travel zoo and purchased it within 24hrs. It is safe to say, if you're traveling to China (and for the first time) the best way to experience the culture and country is via a guided tour. There is a very large language barrier and we were surprised how very few people spoke English, so thank goodness for our travel guide! There is a lot to discover in and around Beijing - the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and the Great Wall! The pollution in Beijing is unfortunately hard to miss but the Chinese pride themselves on Beijing being an industrial and commercial hub. 

A few things to consider when you're traveling to China:

1.     Get a visa – This is a week long process but you can’t enter the country without one.

2.     Most credit cards and debit cards don't work - bring cash. 

3.     There are firewalls up on the internet so even in hotels you can't access Google, Instagram etc, - download a VPN (we used VPN Express app) and secure a connection to bypass the restrictions

4.     Always carry a business card from your hotel – it’s easiest to hand it to the driver considering they most likely won’t know how to understand or read English

5.     Check the weather – make sure you pack appropriately