1. Fresh Chinese Food
I don’t think I’ve mentioned food enough over the past month in china… not. Each city and province seems to have their signature dishes and each is unique and often locally sourced. The fresh variety of flavours are amazing yet so simple. I had nothing that compares to the Chinese we have in the UK.
2. Descriptions/Names of items
Some English translations really are interesting. It’s fun spotting them.
3. Easy going nature
Now I’m not saying Health & Safety isn’t important, because it’s better to be safe than sorry (and not get sued). But in China they seem a bit more carefree which makes me think that we take things a bit too serious back home.
Also I found their all singing all dancing parks very brave and inspiring! They just seem to enjoy and make the most of life. I’ll never forget being told in Chengdu when I asked why people weren’t at work in a busy park on a weekday, “Because life is for living.”
4. No tipping
It’s an insult to tip for a service/after a meal. Saves pennies!
5. Sharing food
When you go to a restaurant with a group and you can’t decide which dish to have, it’s fine because you can order lots of dishes to share. Which works out well because if you don’t like something, someone else will.
Five: No pressuring sellers
Unless you’re at a market, it’s rare that you find the pressure to buy items like you do in other areas of Asia. So its nice to walk around and browse shops and stalls without the pressure to buy anything. (However if you’re in a market, it’s exactly the same and expect to be grabbed. But it’s a fun opportunity to haggle!)
6. Beautiful sites
Mountains, skyscrapers, rice fields, rivers, forests and more. If you live in China there really isn’t any need to leave because a diverse range of places to visit!
7. Kind Nature
I found in China that the locals either love, are shocked to see or dislike westerners. If they love you it can be really special – they want their picture taken with you and their babies, they’re keen to know where you’re from and teach you Mandarin. They also offer food with nothing wanted in return except to show their kindness. Now this isn’t the case everywhere just my personal experience.
In addition, if you are a Chinese persons guest you get treated like a king! They go above and beyond to make sure you’re comfortable.
China is developed in so many ways but the western toilet is a rarity so expect to be using squatters (work those glutes!!). Apparently this is because the plumbing is less likely to block. At a few points, mainly bus stations, theres a toilet that can only be described as ‘the lazy river’. Basically its simply a river of water running through a few stalls with a drain at the end. So if you’re in the drain stall you see what everyone else has produced. You also need to carry loo roll everywhere as it’s rarely supplied. You get used to this.
1. Flem Spitting, all the time, like it’s going out of style!
I think this is a common factor in Asia not just China but it’s the only ugly thing I could think of. But it genuinely puts me off my food and shudder. Also if you’re on a public bus and they do it… too far!!!