"China" Top 5 Page for this destination China by mad4travel
China Travel Guide: 30,441 reviews and 86,804 photos
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!
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.
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:Fascinating place, interesting history and culture
- Cons:can be rather baffling. Pollution is terrible.
- In a nutshell:More than just chow mein and chopsticks
Suzhou is located between Shanghai and Nanjing. you can get there easily by train - only take 45 minutes from Shanghai... more travel advice
Normally I would never go to an acrobat show but this was truly amazing. There were lots of different acts of people... more travel advice
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