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The absolute latest updates in China travel information.

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Our tales from the trail and dispatches straight from the source.

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What to bring, where to go, and how to get around China.

Mei Zhang
WildChina founder, entrepreneur, mother.

Chelin Miller
Insider tips on China's finer side

September 5th, 2014

8 Tips for Your Tibet Trek

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

WilChina prides itself on journeys that go above and beyond the typical itinerary. Some of our trips include more active adventures including hiking and trekking, so here are some tips to help you prepare for a trek.



1.Prepare for Altitude Changes
You can climb high, but go slow! When hiking in the mountains, people can experience acute mountain sickness (AMS). People respond to changes in altitude differently – both experienced hikers and first timers can get altitude sickness. Some people don’t have a reaction while others react with symptoms such as headache, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and loss of appetite.

To avoid these unwanted symptoms and possibly a day in bed, it’s important to hike slowly when changing altitude. When going up, plan a practical journey that allows you to adapt steadily to the high altitude. Altitude sickness is not an issue when going down, so go as fast as your heart desires!
When WildChina travels to high altitudes, we plan time for rest and elevation adjustments. In the event of altitude sickness on one of our trips, our guides take hikers to a lower level to rest. Usually after some rest and water, symptoms go away.

2.Use Local Guides
In order to get a local experience during a trek (and to not get lost!), it’s important to travel with a local who knows the land and language. Also, be sure to do your research or ask family and friends to find someone you can trust.

Here at WildChina we combat such issues by hiring local, responsible, and friendly guides that will add a personal touch to your already epic trekking adventure!


3. Do Your Research
From our experience, it’s important to read about the places you’ll visit, even if it’s a simple Google search! Before going on a Tibet trip, WildChina recommends reading these books.

4. Be Prepared for the Worst

Rainstorms every night? Unexpected injury during the trek? You don’t know what’s going to happen! So, put this in mind when preparing for your hike.

Some things that WildChina recommends to bring for those unexpected disasters: itching cream, waterproof everything (jacket, shoes), extra batteries, headlamp, and first aid kit

5. Have Good Hiking Boots
Do your research in buying a great pair of hiking boots. These shoes become your life (and sometimes even life saver). Yes, a good pair of hiking boots is expensive, but the money spent will be worth it during long, enduring treks when your shoes are the only thing separating your feet from rain and/or snow.



6. Pack Light, but Pack Right
When it comes to trekking, you must find a balance between packing enough and not too little or too much.

WildChina provides you with top camping gear and cooking supplies, however, you’ll need to prepare some things yourself. We send out a detailed list to all of our clients beforehand to make sure you’re well prepared.

7. Prepare Your Body!
Depending on the route, some hikes can be physically challenging. To get your body ready for a long hike, it’s recommended to exercise before. It doesn’t have to be strenuous – you can do small things like climbing steps instead of taking the elevator. This is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to get ready for high elevation trekking. It’s best is to climb up a tall building’s staircases.

8. Have the Time of Your Life!
You may be one of the few to have trekked this route, so enjoy it! Take pictures and share your tales of chatting with nomads or running into a herd of domesticated yaks with your friends and family.

WildChina ventures to Tibet frequently. We explore the land with experienced guides and high quality equipment, allowing clients to experience active adventure with more comfortable travel conditions. We have two trips that are considered moderate,Expedition to Tibet’s Far West (Winner of National Geographic’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime for 2014) and Journey to Tibet’s Mt. Kailash Guge Kingdom.These journeys are designed for you to discover the hidden sites that the scenic land Tibet has to offer. For more information contact us at info@wildchina.com.








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November 11th, 2009

North China is Hit by Blizzard

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

This year’s transition from Autumn to winter is already turning out to be one of superlatives. This week, northern China experienced its heaviest snowfall in the last half century. Not since 1955 has one tempest delivered so much snowfall in northern China.

On October 31, China experienced its earliest snowfall in over two decades, albeit aided by measures to alleviate a lingering drought in China’s north. Advancements in weather technology are leading to a winter marked by sudden and heavy snowfalls.


First Snowfall on the Great Wall

The heavy snowfall created picturesque winter scenes all over Beijing for the several days following the snowstorm.

If you’re planning on traveling to northern China during the winter, make sure to bring a warm coat!


Photo credit: George Steinmetz

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September 16th, 2009

More Beijing Site Closings This Week

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

Related to our recent post on Beijing road closings, there are quite a few changes with Beijing’s roads and sites leading up to the 60th Anniversary Parade for the People’s Republic of China. The full text of specific road closures can be found on the Beijing government site, but the most important thing for travelers is that the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square will be closed all day on Friday, September 18th.

Need suggestions for something else to do that day? Email us at info@wildchina.com.

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September 11th, 2009

WildChina in the Travel Green Guide

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

TIES, The International Ecotourism Society, just released their 2009 Travel Green Guide. Perfect for travelers looking for an environmentally friendly vacation in every corner of the world, this easy has-it-all  source will connect you to ecolodges in Africa, rafting operators in the Pacific Northwest, and companies like WildChina (pg 87).

You can download the whole guide for free here.

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August 15th, 2009

What Should I Pack for My Trip to China?

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

Your tickets are booked, your travel plans are confirmed, you’re ready to go! Except, what should you pack for your trip to China?

Here’s a list of items you might want to consider bringing:

- Does your trip include a visit to a school or a local family? You might consider bringing simple school supplies or snacks from your hometown as a gesture of goodwill.

- A 110/220 voltage converter may be useful, as electric sockets in China are likely to be at 220v, whereas in the US they are at 110v. Check the plugs on your electronics before you purchase a costly converter, as many chargers can take voltage from 100-240v.

- If you’re traveling with a child still in diapers, you might want to bring a supply for the entire trip. Western-style diapers are difficult to find and quite expensive, although becoming more common in cities. FYI – the same is true for tampons.

- Extra batteries and memory cards for your camera will be quite useful. These are usually expensive and of variable quality when you buy them in China.

- Comfortable, broken-in walking shoes, and hiking boots if your trip requires them. Nothing will spoil your day more than a blister from a new pair of shoes.

- A copy of your passport and visa is essential should you misplace yours. Store these somewhere safe, in a different place from where you keep your passport.

- Bring plenty of reading material for planes and travel time. While some English-language books and magazines can be found, these are expensive and often not the most recent.

- For almost all situations, casual clothes will do the trick. You might want to bring one smart outfit for dining out, but jeans and a polo shirt are universally accepted.

- A day bag to hold your camera and passport is quite useful. Backpacks are not recommended in urban or touristy areas, as these can be easy targets for pickpockets.

Did I leave something off the packing list? Let me know in the comments below!

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May 26th, 2009

Tips for Avoiding Altitude Sickness

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

In Tibet, “the Roof of the World”, Lhasa is one of the most beautiful cities on earth. At an elevation of 3,650 meters above sea level (11,975 feet), it’s also one of the highest.

While most visitors to Tibet aren’t planning on climbing Mt. Everest, the altitude alone is enough to knock you on your feet, even minus the strenuous climb. Before my visit to Tibet in 2006 I was given plenty of warnings about taking it easy and drinking tons of water. Yet as an experienced skiier with numerous problem-free visits to the peaks of the Rockies and Pacific Northwest, I didn’t pay much attention.

That is, until I landed in Lhasa. I quickly felt dizzy and short of breath. That night, I wasn’t able to hold down much of my dinner (too much information?). I quickly heeded the altitude advice I’d been given, and a day later was back in tip-top shape.

Watching the sunrise over Everest after shaking the effects of high-altitude

If you’re planning a visit to Tibet or any other high-altitude region, here are a few tips to help make your trip a comfortable one. It’s no fun to be stuck in your hotel room when everyone else is visiting the Potala Palace!

Be Active Before You Go: While altitude sickness indiscriminately affects marathon runners and couch potatoes alike, getting your lung capacity up through cardio activity could help you absorb more oxygen at higher altitudes, thus helping you fight some of the effects of being up high.

Drink Plenty of Water: This is simple advice that you’re always supposed to follow, but at high altitudes it becomes even more important. The lower atmospheric pressure means that you lose more water vapor from your lungs as you breathe. Basically, this means that you get dehydrated much faster than you do at sea level. Drinking plenty of water will stave off headaches and help to mitigate your other symptoms.

Take it Easy: It’s important not to push yourself too hard in your first few days. Even if you’re in great shape, your lungs will still be working overtime at high altitude. WildChina trips to Tibet and high-altitude areas always include plenty of time for rest in the first day or two for this reason.

Climb Slow: As you climb to higher altitudes, it’s important to allow your body time to adjust. You shouldn’t plan on climbing more than 1,000 feet per day.

Following these tips might not help you avoid the effects of high-altitude completely, but they should help diminish them enough to enjoy your trip. Most people get over initial discomfort within a day or two.


For more information about the symptoms and treatment of altitude-sickness, the following links are full of great information:

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March 10th, 2009

Making Calls and Changing Money in China

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

I just stumbled upon a few really great posts from CNReviews.com about making calls and changing money in China. I’m sure these will be very useful for those planning on visiting or moving here. Enjoy!

Anything else you want to know? Leave a comment with a post you’d like to see and we’ll be sure to answer your questions. Need something right away? Follow us on Twitter at @WildChina or e-mail us at info (at) wildchina dot com.

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December 11th, 2008

Traveling During Chinese New Year? Read This First

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

Chinese New Year is fast approaching, and while it’s one of our favorite times of year, it can also be an overwhelming time to travel. With a majority of Chinese citizens off of work and traveling with or to see their families, it takes a bit of planning and preparation to make sure your holiday goes smoothly. Yet despite the extra effort, this is one of the most vibrant and exciting times to travel in China, especially if you like to watch fireworks and eat dumplings.

  • Stay off the rails. If at all possible, try not to travel by train during peak holiday weeks in China. This is by far the most popular method of travel, and the word “crowded” takes on an entirely new dimension of meaning when we consider train stations during Chinese New Year.
  • Bring earplugs. Fireworks going off everywhere and at all hours can make getting your zzz’s in a bit hard. Packing earplugs will make it that much easier to get a good night’s sleep when you’ve had enough of the festivities.

Read the rest of this entry »

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December 10th, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide: Beijing and Shanghai

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

One of the perks (and perils) of traveling through Beijing and Shanghai is the excellent shopping that can be found, and often for great prices. With the holidays fast approaching, your resident WildChina shoppers thought we’d share a few of our favorite city haunts. Some are very well-known, and some are tiny gems that we were reluctant to part with. Happy holiday hunting!


  • For serious bargain hunters,  the stalls at Hongqiao Market will whip up strands of pearls, coral, beads, and semi-precious stones to your heart’s content, while you watch. Buyer beware: quality (and price) varies greatly, so be sure to inspect your wares before you hand over your hard-earned RMB.
  • Looking for something new for the home?  Lost and Found is the place for eclectic home-wares.
  • If you have a fan of contemporary art on your shopping list, than the 798 District is a must even if the gallery paintings fall just a little out of your budget. For those less willing to fork over the big bucks for avant garde art, this is also a great place to source art, photography and design books.
  • Grifted is home to an off-beat collection of unique, one of a kind gifts with a quirky sense of humor.
  • Find almost anything at Panjiayuan, a massive open air market, perfect for souvenirs and “antiques”. Be sure to go early though, as that’s when you’ll find the best bargains. Only open on the weekends.

Read the rest of this entry »

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September 3rd, 2008

Some Helpful China Information

By: Mei | Categories: Culture, News You Can Use

Here’s a great resource for anyone thinking about traveling to China from Peter Greenberg’s travel blog. Peter is a well-respected travel authority who often appears on NBC’s Today Show and also produces and appears in a variety of travel segments.

This post goes into detail about food, customs, culture shock, and more. If you’re familiar with China and have lived or traveled here, you’ll probably know everything they share, but for people who are China-novices it’s a thorough introduction.

Happy reading!

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