A Travellers Guide To China

So our time in the mighty country of China is drawing to a close and after now spending around 5 weeks here, we have picked up a few handy tips and things for people who are thinking of coming here to consider. Here are our top ten likes and dislikes about this place…


1- Food - generally amazing varying from my favourite- the egg fried rice to Al’s fav - the mighty spicy hot pot.

2- People- generally very friendly and helpful and dying to practice their English/Chinglish on us…

3- Beer - Tsing Tao very cheap and always hits the spot!!

4- Hostels - cheap, normally clean and staff very friendly and helpful

5- Temperature - it’s now November and it’s still around 25 degrees…

6- Culture and tradition - the place is oozing with it and everybody knows everything about it. Everything means something or has an amazing story behind it. We learnt that I am a Snake (1977) which means I am intelligent!!! and Al is a rabbit (1975) which means he is kind, generous and cute ad fluffy (but we all knew that already!!!).

7- Pandas - what can I say other than Ahhh!!!!

8- Construction-  is endless here is there nothing that they can’t build??

9- Laid back attitude - nothing seems to vex or faze them, there is rarely road rage or problems with people pushing in etc. Would not fancy seeing the Westerners responses to some of the things that go on here.

10- Cheapness - everything is cheap - fags are about 50p to a pound max, beer is similar , you can have a slap up meal for less than a fiver and clothes are dirt cheap.

And now onto the dislikes and things that have sometimes made us laugh and sometimes just make us squirm…These are in no particular order….


1- Spitting - everybdy here spits. Now I’m not talking just a small gob onto the street its an almighty Hock from the depths followed by a choking noise and a huge splat onto the ground. Old men are the worst but women and even young girls do it to and everywhere, on the carpet, in the bus, in restaurants and my favourite… in the loos all over the floor.

2- Traffic/ Driving - Here anything goes on the roads and trying to cross one is taking your life into their hands. Drivers continually hoot the horn at everyone to let them know they are coming through, for a right hand turn off they will go from the far left lane of a motorway straight across, there is no concept of braking distance or red lights and frankly scary. Bikes are just as bad and don’t stop for pedestrians and creep up on you from all directions.

3- The Noise - these are the nosiest people around. They shout on mobiles (like a Dom Jolly sketch), shout to each other, slurp food and then chomp as they are eating and have no concept of times to be quiet. It is air to say that they eat all the time how they are not huge I do not know. So as they are always eating it’s always noisy.

4- Pushing and shoving - no concept of letting people off or on to transport. When a bus arrives it’s like a bundle to get on and if you don’t push or shove you have no hope. Queues just don’t even exist you can be ordering something or buying something at a counter and someone will just interupt and get what they want and the person behind the counter just obliges. They just have to be first for everything and have no respect for each other, for the opposite sex or age. If there’s a spare seat on a bus it’s who ever gets there first has it and if a young man beats an old lady to it - ain’t no chance he’s giving it up!! No one seems to care or get irate over this though and should be intereting in 2008 for the Olympics when the country if full of pissed off foreigners trying to get somewhere or buy something!!!

5- Toilets are just discusting. They are all squats which vary from a hole in the ground to a porcelain thingy. Floors are always disgusting requiring the trousers to be rolled up and the smell is just vomitable!!! There is never toilet roll so always have to have a box of tissues handy and the concept of flushing is often alien. There are also rarely door and even if there are people do not shut htem and you walk into a loo to be confronted by 10 people sat squatting and shouting at each other. I also saw a rat down a squat the other day - lovely.

6- Babies- all  go aroung wearing crotchless baby grows - so their little arses are sticking out. This serves two purposes - to avoid nappies and so that the mums can just option the child at the side of the street or in the middle of the street and just let them pish or shit all over the place. They never wipe their butts after and then leave their dirty arses resting on their arms as they carry them about.

7- Mess - no concept of bins. The Chinese eat a phenomenal amount of sunflower seeds and leave the shells everywhere. Floor of restaurants are often and inch deep in seeds, fag buts and spit.

8- Movie time. When ever anything comes on the tele (either in a bar or on the bus) and it’s even remotely funny they all roar with laughter stimulating images of the sceen in gremlins when they are watching Snow White!! Annoying but kind of funny at the same time though.

9- Staring- My God do they stare. Have been paranoid for the past five weeks that skirt is tucked in pants or that I have food in teeth- but usually nothing they just stare. You can’t break their stare or embarass them by staring back to look away they just continue staring. They often feel the need to touch also just to prove you really are there.

10- Scams/Cons- you are never quite sure if you are being ripped off and after the tea/painting incidents are totally paranoid that anyone who speaks to you is trying to sell you something or rip you off (and probably most of the time are). however it is ingenious and they will certainly clean up when all the Westereners arrive for the games!!

So that’s it, all our wisdom shared. All said and done though we have thouroughly enjoyed China and for the most part have loved the people and found them generous and kind. This is one up and coming place and in the next ten years will rival the West at everything. Let’s just hope some of their least appealing traits are fazed out as they advance to become the next Super Power!!!

16 Responses to “A Travellers Guide To China”

Ace & Bob said:

We are not cumin to China cos they might eat us.

Posted on November 4th, 2006.

Sarah said:

Hello boys, you have nothing to fear from them eating you as they only eat farm dogs here. There’s apparently a difference here between pet dogs and dogs which are farmed for food - don’t know what kind of dogs they are and still couldn’t contimplate eating one myself but this is how they justify it.
Two pedigree pooches like yourselves would not be eaten. However it would be too hot here for you and a nightmare getting through customs!!!
Still waiting to see photos of you - you can remind mum and dad!!!!
Love to all xxxx

Posted on November 5th, 2006.

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