5 top travel tips to get you around China on your next wholesale buying trip

Thursday, January 26, 2017

When you travel to China as an importer, you are likely to be visiting trade shows, wholesale markets, supplier showrooms and factories. While your suppliers will be more than willing to help you by assisting you with transport, knowing how to confidently find your way around on your own will allow you to get the most out of your trip.

Travel Tips for Wholesale Buyers

Here are our five top travel tips for finding your way around on your next wholesale buying trip to China.

1. Install offline city maps and metro guides on your mobile device

While online maps are extremely useful, there may be times when you don't have easy access to the internet while you are travelling in China. Before you leave home, download the latest offline version of maps and metro guides for the cities you plan to visit.

Offline map of GuangzhouMetro map of Shanghai

2. Have address details in both English and Chinese with you

When you book your hotels online, the confirmation email usually contains the address details in English and in Chinese (usually Mandarin). Store these on your mobile device or print them to take with you. Obtain the Chinese address for places you intend to visit during your trip. Your suppliers will be able to give you their showroom or factory address in both languages. If you are attending a trade show, contact the organisers to request the Chinese address details.

Hotel Address Details

3. Understand how to read the maps before you go

It may look like two blocks on the map but there may be several minor roads not shown. Looking at the street view or the satellite view for an address on the map will help you to understand the scale of the map. It will also make you aware of physical constraints such as safety barriers on roadways, which will help you to better plan your route.

Tianemen Square

4. Get connected by phone and internet

For regular travellers to China, it is a good idea to buy and maintain Chinese SIM cards for your phone and mobile device so that you're connected as soon as you arrive in the country. Keep the SIM cards with your passport so that it's easy to swap them over on arrival and departure. Being able to see your current location and your destination on the map as you travel helps you to avoid misunderstandings with your driver such as being taken to the wrong hotel or airport.

You will be able to buy Chinese SIM cards from the airport, mobile phone shops and from China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom shop fronts.

5. Check for peak travel times and avoid them if you can

At certain times of the year, such as the week long Spring Festival or National Day holidays, millions of people will be travelling on public transport at once. Tickets are booked well in advance, so you may find it harder or more expensive to travel between cities at these times. Organising your inter-city travel around these times will make for a more comfortable trip.

Spring Festival 2013

Check out these handy links to help you find your way around China
  • Information about Chinese Public Holidays may be found here at Travel China Guide.
  • This article from China Daily website contains an infographic about travel during Chunyun, the 40 day period of travel that surrounds the Spring Festival.
  • Looking for useful China Travel Apps to install on your mobile device. Try searching Top 10 Travel Apps.
Learn more

You can learn more about doing business in China from Graham through a Do It Yourself Import Assistance package from QPS Importers. Graham has been importing quality goods from China since 2009. He enjoys passing his knowledge on to other people who would like to import from China.

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Originally published on 13 January 2014, this article was updated and republished on 26 January, 2017.


Author: Kathy Creaner

Kathy loves to talk about gardening, program and project management, doing business in China, social media marketing and customer service.

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