When I told friends I was travelling around China, I was shocked at how many people were pessimistic about the food options I'd have, being a vegan. Most of my friends had only ever visited China on tours and having no say in where or when they ate, couldn't explore the options. They thus filled my ears with horror stories of weeks surviving off of only rice.

But in my eyes, China was the home of fabulous vegetable and tofu dishes, and so much more. I was sure I would be fine, and with some trusty phrases in Chinese explaining my diet loaded onto my phone, I set off.

#SpoonTip: The most useful phrase was 'wo chi su' (I eat vegetables)

This hope was only reinforced when I got lost on my first day and found a vegan restaurant all of 5 minutes from Tiananmen Square, which was perfect for helping me forget my 30 hour journey . There were even multiple dessert options and pictures accompanying the menu, making it even easier to choose.

Happy Cow and blogs such as Vegetarian China (which even has a list of common vegetarian dishes) were my best friends across China. I got to experience a different restaurant almost everyday, even if I had to travel a bit farther than normal to get there. These sites also contain restaurant reviews, which led to having some amazing food, like at Vegan Hut in Beijing (See photo above).

Using these allowed me to stick to Chinese cuisine most of the time, and even helped me find vegetarian restaurants over 90 years old.

Plus, street food was everywhere including sweet potatoes, tofu dishes, potato dishes - with the Muslim quarter in Xi'an made up of multiple streets selling the most amazing range of dishes. Many of the temples I visited had vegetarian restaurants inside with small, busy kitchens serving hearty and healthy food to the monks sat around me.

At the end of the day, there was always a chance some of my meals outside of vegetarian restaurants had been contaminated with meat oil, but nothing that I was served had actual meat in it - although the mock meat and fish in China is very impressive.

The moral of the story is: don't let your diet stop you from travelling. Yes, it means a little more research, but that is no reason not to visit somewhere, especially if you are a foodie who enjoys hunting out good spots.

(Disclaimer: I did stick to large cities, so options in rural areas may be more limited.)