"China" Top 5 Page for this destination China by mad4travel

China Travel Guide: 30,107 reviews and 85,875 photos

How do you describe such a varied country?

How do you describe China? It's big, its populous (1.4billion and counting) it is an ancient civilisation that is rapidly changing. Its dirty and polluted yet incredibly beautiful. So you can image the dilemma of picking the main picture for this page.

My trip took me over 7000km, from Beijing to Xian, to Chengdu and Chongquing, down the Yangtze, Guilin and Yangshou, Shanghai, Souzhou and Tongli. I travelled in planes, trains and automobiles, not to mention electric cars, boats and bamboo rafts!

It was a facinating visit, culminating in singing Karaoke in a Shanghai Brothel. Its a long story but you don't get the opportunity to do that every day!

A land of surprises

I had a few surprises that I didn't expect:

Lack of Chairman Mao statues and communist party propoganda, everything in the cities seems to be Nike, KFC and MCDonalds -hooray for globalisation - not!

The Chinese stare at you. Even if you stare back they just keep on staring! Its not meant to be rude its just that many have not seen a foreign "big nose" before. One day in a restaurant in a small town we attracted a large audience outside staring in on us watching us eat- it was rather disconcerting, it felt like we were in a Zoo!

Saying that the Chinese are unfailingly friendly and helpful so you just have to get used to it.

Lots of people want to practise their english. Many are too shy and will just stand within earshot to listen to what you are saying. its a bit strange having people standing so close listening to your every word.

The rapid development- Well I did expect this a bit, but everywhere we went there was building work and cranes everywhere, houses, apartments, factories and motorways, lots of people being relocated - whether they liked it or not all in the name of progress.

The food was excellent. I was expecting not to like it too much but there was always a very varied menu and it was often much better and tastier than the stuff that gets served up at home. The sichuan cooking was especially nice - very spicy.

The not so great bits...

I would have to put my usual comments about toilets in here. I don't mind asian squat toilets but I'm not keen on dirty ones. Public toilets are horrible. Some had no doors and in one case no walls! Toilets on the overnight trains are not much fun either.

The other thing that is really noticable is the pollution, it can be really bad and I had a sore throat most of the time in the cities. I read somewhere that the Chinese government estimates that the cost of cleaning it up would equal the cost of the annual rate of economic growth which would mean that the so called booming economy would be reduced to zero - scary. I hope they do get it sorted as there is an awful lot of people reliant on having clean air and water that are slowly being poisoned by economic progress.

Enough of the politics- go there, experience it, marvel at it , enjoy it. It's unique!

For travels to Tibet and a bit more politics go to :

MY TIBET PAGES Click here.

For Pages on Hong Kong go to:

HONG KONG Click here.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fascinating place, interesting history and culture
  • Cons:can be rather baffling. Pollution is terrible.
  • In a nutshell:More than just chow mein and chopsticks
  • Last visit to China: May 2006
  • Intro Updated Aug 14, 2008
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Reviews (42)

Comments (13)

  • neodue's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2008 at 1:26 AM

    very nice china page.very good info.thank you

  • Fullmoonfever's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Hi, you mad woman :)

  • Dec 31, 2007 at 12:31 PM

    Happy new year 2008! Nikos from Greece and Emmy from Thailand.

  • Sobe-A-Rush's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2007 at 8:01 PM

    haha i got the zoo feeling there too. I loved Yangshou too......Very good pages and wicked photos. Cheeers Yanni

  • promack's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2007 at 7:15 AM

    Great travel info, I especially enjoyed the stuff on China :) I loved it there too.

  • nepalgoods's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    Very interesting uptodate page of China.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2007 at 1:25 AM

    Wow...wonder travelogue of your China page. Well done. Hope you can visit some of my China pages for comparison :) SL

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2007 at 6:27 AM

    You worked very hard , but you really great tips Thank you !! gracias !!!

  • Florida999's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2007 at 9:30 AM

    Great China page! You did almost everything I want to do whenever I finally visit China...except I think I will skip Mao... How long where you there?

  • albaaust's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2007 at 2:12 AM

    Thanks for visiting my pages on Burma - just been to China so thought I would rate your China tips.Wish we had visited Chengdu

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