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5 Tips on Travelling to Mainland China with Kids

  • Check China visa requirements and leave yourself enough time to organise your visa (mine took four working days).  For my daughter, born in Hong Kong but holding a UK passport, I had to show her birth certificate and also copies of parents passports.  Save yourself time and hassle by organizing your visa through an agency such as the China Travel Service.
  • When Avian flu (H7N9) is a growing concern, what is the best way to approach being careful in China?  At the very least you can check you and the kids are up to date with all the required immunizations.  With regard to Avian Flu, don’t touch any animals, eat food that is fully cooked and be super hygienic.  Don’t forget to pack your hand sanitizer!
  • I would normally have been excited by all the street food vendors and gone to try some local delicacies.  With Avian Flu on the rise, I’m steering clear of that beggar chicken and all poultry.  Whether it’s sticking to eating in your clean hotel or becoming vegetarian for your trip be mindful of what you are eating and how it has been prepared.
  • IMG_8080The Chinese have a great love and affection for kids, especially yours.  Expect large crowds gathering around your little one asking to take pictures (some will snap away without permission).  I ask my blonde haired blue eyed daughter if she wants to have her picture taken.  If she doesn’t, I say ‘Bu Yao’ and walk off. Sometimes it’s a nice way to get chatting to the locals (in broken Mandarin) and for the kids to make friends.  But if it’s annoying your child, walk away.
  • If you or the kids are asthmatic, do check the air pollution level of where you’re planning to go in China.  Unfortunately, large parts of China are now party to tremendously high levels of air pollution.  I’m currently in Hangzhou and even though I’m used to some pollution living in Hong Kong, I can really feel it at the back of my throat and in the eyes.

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