China is a fantastic country with a fantastic culture, but it can sometimes be a difficult or uncomfortable place for the unaccustomed traveler. This document is the result of an accumulation of lessons learned over many trips to China. It is not my intention to rob anyone of a great story or life lesson, but having learned everything on this list the hard way, I hope this advice can be useful.
As a disclaimer to the reader, the sole intention of this document is to help foreign travelers prepare for living in China, especially those who have never visited China before. It is not my intention to pass any judgment on China, Chinese people, Chinese culture, or Chinese institutions, and I encourage you to consider the contents of this document with the same spirit. I also encourage you to spend your time in China with an adventurous spirit. Explore, seek adventure, and spend as much time as you can with local Chinese people. Enjoy the food, the culture, the fantastic transportation system, and keep an open mind :).
If anything in this document seems incorrect or inappropriate, I would greatly appreciate any feedback you might have - feel free to send me an email. Finally, some of this information (e.g. visas) is specific to U.S. citizens. I apologize for being less inclusive of readers from other nations, but I am an American and thus my experiences come entirely from a U.S. perspective.