After I graduated from university and taught English in Hong Kong for a year, I backpacked around Western China, and boy, did I learn some hard truths. These truths were recently reinforced by another three-week trip around the region and I am here to share my hard-won gems of knowledge.
I came, I saw, I survived, and with my help you will too. This is a remarkably beautiful area with plenty of tasty food to nom (including true Sichuan peppercorn), fresh(er) air to breathe, and non-Disneyfied sights to photograph. So don’t hesitate to book that ticket, just strap in, read on, and be prepared for backpacking around Western China.
Sichuan hot pot by Cecilia Haynes – Backpacking around Western China
1. If you value your life, you will always have cash on you.
Seriously. I cannot stress this enough. Many establishments, including hotels, do not take credit cards or only Chinese credit cards. This also goes for travel agencies, so you will want to either have cash prepared ahead of time or you will need to lift your daily withdrawal limit for a short window. You never know when you might be stranded in a small town with one (barely) working ATM that might or might not take your debit card.