China series: On Flying to and from China

Depending on where you start from, a flight to China can take 10.5 hours to almost 14. (Definitely more if you have connecting flights, ect.)

The plane ride to China is about 99.5% Chinese and .5 non-Chinese (at least, in both cases my family has experienced.) Regarless, announcements are made first in English and there may only be one flight attendant fluent in Chinese.

Entertaining yourself can be difficult depending on what you consider entertainment. Movies are generally okay though there's a limited selection - especially if you return the same month you left. Personally, I enjoy the map feature to know how long I've been on the plane, how much longer to go and maps. I also read (it's got to be a thick book to keep me occupied the entire time) and journal.

On the flight there, if you are in the back of the plane, expect the Asian meal option to be out. Also be prepared to have something to eat or drink every 4 or so hours. At times it's annoying because you don't want to have junk on your tray table constantly.

Chinese customs/ immigration can be scary with surgical masks and lack of non-authoritative ways. However, generally if you follow the instructions you will be fine. It's kind of a show - one for a good purpose - but a show.

It's helpful to have your passport with you for the beginning of the flight for when you fill out the forms (one you have to keep to leave China) because all of them require your passport number.

At the airport, expect people to queue but don't be shocked if they don't.

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