Travelling aboard can be one of the most liberating experiences in a person’s life. I had the opportunity to travel abroad to mainland China and it did not disappoint. China was never on my radar as a country that I would ever travel to, but I must confess it was the best adventure and I can’t wait to return to continue to explore the rest that China has to offer.
Exploring a new country can be daunting on its own but travelling to a country that speaks little to no English as is cut off from the rest of the world so to speak thanks to the great Chinese firewall can be even worse. It is also no secret that China is completely different than the western world and here are some of the of the major things that stood out for me and I'm sure you will experience it in your own travels to China as well.
Spitting is Normal
So when one arrives in China the difference in culture is clearly noted. I think that China is so big and so far away that they are set in their own ways. The one thing that definitely caught me off guard was the fact the people, young and old tend to clear their throat and spit it out right there on the sidewalk. As a westerner, this would be seen as rude and inconsiderate, but in China is no one even notices it.
They have no sense of where the trash should go, or so I thought by westerner’s standards. It is completely normal for them to just through their bones and empty beer cans on the restaurant's floor and carry on with their meal. This left me speechless at firsts but later on a Chinese explained to us that everything that needs to be thrown away must be thrown on the floor and everything that needs be washed must be kept on the table. And the logic just makes sense after you see the whole process in action.
The Nicest People
But I must add that Chinese citizens are some of the most generous and caring people I have met and it’s so sad that we perceive them as rude and arrogant. They have such a peaceful and harmonious way of living and it is definitely infectious.
Things to Do in China
They have some of the most beautiful Buddhist temples, Chinese opera and downtown stores. Panda’s is a definite and of course you need to go shopping as everything is super affordable (a can of Pepsi is about 0,22 USD). I did not initially know how much money I should take with but I definitely took too much as including accommodation, sightseeing, eating, transportation and gifts, of course, was about 300USD.
Their transport is world class once you understand it and they definitely pride themselves in safety. When travelling to China you will have the option between Metro Train, High-speed train, DIDI (Uber), taxi or even renting a bicycle. You will never be left stranded. But I would suggest that you do download my top 6 apps when you visit China (Link at the bottom of this article).
Another thing that I absolutely love about China is their food, with each province having their own style and taste, and of course, I am sure that no other country can offer you the wide variety of tea’s that China can. When deciding what to eat in China hot pot is a must, and of course, you can not visit China without eating at least a few dumplings and steamed buns. The Chinese use every meal to socialize and this is evident their sharing culture when it comes to food, you would usually order food for the table and everyone will share.
If you are the adventurous type you will definitely fit right in and there is so much that China has to offer. It is such a beautiful country with a rich history. You can not help yourself to fall in love with it. Once you visited China I am sure that you will want to return time and time again.
- 6 Apps You Need When Traveling to China
This article aims to provide some insight on what apps you might need when traveling to China, The top 5 made my list on a first hand experience in my travels to China
Liz Westwood from UK on November 30, 2018:
This is a great introduction to China. In my youth I didn't know anyone who had travelled there. But in recent years more people are going there.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 29, 2018:
What an interesting article! Here in Japan, they are quite racist towards the Chinese because they say they're loud and rude. Spitting, in particular, is pretty disgusting. I sometimes have to tell off my husband for his racist remarks.
I remember a year or so ago a restaurant in Osaka kicked out some Chinese women because of their 'disgusting eating habits.' I suppose he was referring to the possibility that they were throwing their food on the floor. Holding on to one's culture is important, but it's also essential to look up local customs before traveling anywhere.
I'm glad you like China and I'm enjoying your articles about it. I also love Chinese food. Dim sum are my weakness.