1. Don’t drink the tap water. You have to boil the water before drinking it or buy bottled water. When buying bottled water, make sure it’s from a legitimate market. Shady vendors are known to sell you a bottle of tap water.
2. Media (Internet and TV) will be cencored. You won’t be able to access some sites, unless you use a VPN. Some international hotels do provide the occasional CNN channels.
3. Sensitive information. Forget accessing sensitive information in China. There are eyes and ears all over the place.
4. There are a lot of people. They will push you in crowds. They don’t know how to form a line.
5. Watch out for pickpockets. This is pretty universal. Keep an eye on your stuff if you want to keep your stuff, especially in your hotel room. Stuff from toiletries to colgne will go missing.
6. Street vendors will try to sell you everything from really cheap LV bags to Rolex watches. It’s all fake and be careful about “following” them to their shop.
7. Avoid the street food. Your stomach is probably not ready for international stomach bugs.
8. Pack your own toilet paper. It’s not provided for you.
9. Learn to bargain if you buy something from a store. It’s okay if you don’t know the language because they’ll pull out a calculator. I normally like to start with 75% off and work from there. That may seem low, but that still leaves them with plenty of profit.
10. Don’t feel pressured to buy anything. Just walk away or do what I do, put on my headphones.