When travelling in China you must simply accept the fact that you´re travelling in the most polluted country in the world. There are many ways the Chinese have managed to pollute their country and below we will take a look at what kind of dangers loom around the corner and some tips on how to deal with them.
Typically a small Chinese town is as polluted as a big European city and a big Chinese city, well there are basically no limits and chances are you will spend most of your time in the big cities. There are some good apps that you can download for free and will inform you about the level of pollution. You have to know that the air pollution level is measured by individual measuring stations spread across the cities and towns. Therefore on your app you can choose to view the average level of pollution within the city you´re currently in or choose to view the pollution measured by the closest measuring station to your current location.
The data is updated every hour and is drawn on a neat chart. Funny thing is, one day the pollution can be minimal and in a course of few hours or overnight change into an extremely unhealthy cloud of stench. How can you fight it? Buy a mask, but a proper one. While you will see many people on the streets wearing surgical masks, you have to know that these masks are made to prevent the spread of germs outside of the masks but do nothing to block the air coming around the mask into your nose and mouth. You should get yourself a proper mask with an air filter and use it when heavy pollution strikes. There are many different masks on the market so you can pick your favourite. Even without the air pollution apps it´s fairly easy to spot if there´s high pollution in the air – when pollution is high, visibility worsens to what seems like a thick fog
Finding drinkable water in China is well, good luck with that. The safest thing you can do is just buy bottled water. But since bottled water in China is not really as cheap as one would expect the other thing you can do is to boil the tap water. But on the other hand boiling tap water only kills microorganisms present in the water but does nothing to filter out the harmful chemicals and particles. How are the locals fighting this problem? The wealthier buy bottled water or install tap water filtration in their homes and the less wealthy simply boil the tap water.
This one is a bit less obvious than the previous ones but is nevertheless annoying and will start to bother you sooner or later. China is in the middle of a construction boom which in reality means that pretty much in whichever town or city you find yourself there will be whole neighbourhoods under construction. Everywhere there is something being built. And that brings along constant noise coming from all the heavy machinery which will make your sleeping hours in the mornings shorter. So bring those earplugs with you and you won´t regret it. They will come in handy on other occasions as well, like when using public transportation in the more impoverished rural areas where especially older people can speak at a decibel level of a fighter jet take off.
This one sounds kind of funny and it is in fact not a life threatening problem. But still, it means that you will have trouble locating starts in the night sky during your stay and will begin to miss all the stars you´re probably so used to seeing in your home town.