If you have ever seen a Chinese landscape painting, you know about the Middle Kingdom’s incredible scenery: Rushing streams, mountain peaks wreathed in mist, terraced farmland clinging to sides of hills. Hiking through this rural backcountry is an idyllic retreat from modern life. To safely travel and fully enjoy all of the beauty that China has to offer, proper vaccinations are a must, especially in less developed areas in which mosquito and insect-borne diseases are more common.
5 Tips for Exploring Rural China
- Start off small if you are not used to walking long distances. Wolong Valley is a beautiful and easy trek located in the province of Jiangxi. Only six kilometers long, the trail leads hikers near a river and ends at the point of two beautiful waterfalls. It is easily accessible via bus and well worth the visit.
- Remember that English speakers are quite rare in rural China. You will most likely need a bilingual guide. If no guide is available, you will have to rely on your dictionary.
- If you want to avoid throngs of tourists during a trip to Wuyuan, try to avoid visiting in April, early May and Golden Week, which begins on the first of October.
- Those who want to get from point A to point B without relying on public transit will be pleased to know that they can hire a taxi or a motorcycle with ease. Taxis often congregate on main streets so you will have little issue finding them.
- Finally, you need to receive vaccines for China if you wish to fully enjoy the beauty of the countryside. Protecting yourself against illness will ensure that you can properly savor every moment of your trip. One of the most important vaccines protects against Japanese encephalitis.
Why Do I Need the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine for Travel to China?
While it sounds a bit odd to get vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis for a visit to China, the truth is that this is a very severe disease that can potentially be fatal. The disease is carried by mosquitoes and human disease cases peak during the summer and autumn. In tropical and subtropical areas, people are more susceptible to infection during the rainy season. After a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, they may develop a fever, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. In some cases, the brain can become inflamed, leading to coma and death.
The exact recommendations will vary from person to person, but most travelers are encouraged to receive a vaccination against Japanese encephalitis if they will be traveling to rural China. The eastern half of China has seen a spike in reported cases of Japanese Encephalitis, and studies performed by a joint team of Chinese researchers and CDC scientists showed that an alarming number of cases were appearing in Dehong Prefecture in Southern China as well. If you plan on traveling to these areas, a specialist will most likely recommend that you should receive these shots for China.
In addition to getting a Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, travelers are also encouraged to receive their routine inoculations, which include the MMR and TDaP vaccines. Other recommended immunizations for China include Rabies, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Polio and Yellow Fever. In some cases, your travel health specialist may prescribe anti-malarial medications as a prophylactic measure.
Rural China: Don’t Go Unprepared
China has some wonderful natural scenery in its rural areas, and seeing places like Huizhou or Wolong Valley are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Getting vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis and other diseases can ensure that you enjoy your visit to the fullest extent possible. If you plan on traveling to China, make your travel health appointment today and start getting the vaccinations that you will need for your trip.