"Budget Travel Through China in January" China by largerama
China Travel Guide: 29,468 reviews and 82,920 photos
We went to China for the sights. That was what we went for and they were worth the pretty tough travelling, cold, etc. The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Terracotta Warriors, Pingyao, etc etc.
Admittedly, January is perhaps the worst time to be there given the winter and Chinese New Year when all the country seems to be on the move. That was the way it worked out, however, and we are glad we went.
If spitting, staring and smoking are Olympic events in the forthcoming games in Beijing then I am sure the Chinese will win all 3 medals in each event.
Dont get me wrong I have little against smoking or spitting under the right circumstances and at the right moment but not on trains, in buses, in restaurants as you are eating, etc, etc. We never got used to, or less offended by the noise of the loudest throat clearance followed by big spit constantly. We watched young courting couples walking hand in hand then the woman turn her head and spit a huge greeny. How's that for romance!?!? It also, didnt help that with freezing conditions, phlegm was frozen in piles along the paths.
Ok staring I am sort of used to when travelling. But group staring, pointing and laughing groups of men throughout train journeys is offensive to me. Be prepared if you go even slightly off the main tourist routes.
Arriving after 3 months in India, 2 weeks in Japan and a week in Hong Kong, and having never been to a communist country before, China was a shock in some respects.
The weather was very cold from the moment we arrived until we got to Shanghai where it became British Autumn/Spring-like. It did get less cold as we worked our way down the country but the rain poured most of the time when it was not so cold.
And the pollution and modern architecture of China's cities make it seem very drab. They seem to have a love of concrete. Even where fences could be erected, concrete is used. (We were told that is because some people would steel the wood for fires from fencing).
Use of coal and industrialization on a scale not seen since in Britain since the 50s, mean the air can be very bad to breathe. Not good for asthmatics and the temperature in high places in the north is cold enough it hurts your face, so be warned.
- Pros:Sights, culture, cheap living costs, expanding budget-travel network
- Cons:Spitting, pushing and shoving, bureaucracy, language barrier
- In a nutshell:The sights must be seen before you die.
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