No country in my opinion is off-limit for a solo traveler.
You just have to be mindful of the culture and customs for some before you embark on your solo trip. Some can be vastly different from what you are used to and know how to stay safe and healthy is paramount when venturing solo away from home.
I visited Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai for a 9-day solo trip.
It was an experience, one that could have been easier for me with a bit of research so I hope you come across this to help you plan and set expectations before you set off.
Where to stay?
Beijing: Wangfujing (where I stayed), Nanluoguxiang or Houhai, Qianmen, and Xi’dan are all highly recommended.
Xi’an: Xi’an city center, Beilin, Weiyang, Lainhu, Xincheng (where I stayed) are all good areas to look at.
Shanghai: the bund and people’s square (where I stayed), old town, Pudong, and Xintiandi area.
Best time to visit?
Beijing: September and October. May and June with early summer weather are also good choices
Xi’an: Spring (March) to Autumn (November), especially in June, July, August, and September
Shanghai: October to November, Summer months are packed with tourists and the Winter months can get quite chilly.
I visited all three cities in March, Beijing was a tad chilly, Xi’an was perfect weather, and Shanghai rained all the time. be mindful of the items you pack according to the time that you visit.
What every solo traveler should know?
1) Have the address of your hotel/destination printed out in Chinese, it’s also best if you have a common phrases handbook to help you get by.
2) If you haven’t sorted a VPN app on you’re phone prior to arrival then get used to using BING. That is the only English search engine you can access on local WiFi.
When you get a Chinese page on your browser after connecting, type BING in the search box, and then you’ll be able to look for things in your own language English or otherwise.
3) Resist paying anyone standing outside an attraction to be your guide, it might seem like the easy option but you can pick up an audio guide for all major tourist attractions and go at your own pace for a fraction of the price.
4) Don’t carry your passport out and about, I think that applies to any country, to be honest. You’ll be asked frequently for a passport when accessing tourist attractions but you can use your driving license any other form of photo ID.
5) You will lose your personal space! Get used to it!
6) Carry extra hygiene items with you at all times, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, gloves, waste bags, etc.