THINGS TO CONSIDER
A trip to China could also be the best social media detox of your life. The world superpower’s communist government has blocked access to social networks and some of the biggest websites Australians use every day. Say goodbye to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and the search engine’s associated products (Google Maps etc). You can communicate with family at home via email, iMessage, and Skype, while Apple Maps works even if not connected to the internet. A few more things: MONEY Access money from any major ATM, just be sure to select the correct language before proceeding. STAY OUT OF TROUBLE U.S. college basketball star LiAngelo Ball recently made headlines as he avoided a decade-long stint in Chinese prison for shoplifting. Respect their laws, and their higher punishment, and you won’t have a problem. LANGUAGE Commit “Bu, xie xie” to memory. The Chinese equivalent of “No, thank you” is a primary weapon against potential scammers. You can always visit police, who are highly visible in popular centres. FOOD Chinese McDonald’s staff whipped out a photo board the moment this Westerner approached the counter, but it’s worth learning basic Pinyin. If you know basic words and complete a transaction – even by pointing – you won’t starve.