Recently, my fiancé and I traveled to China. Previously I had no interest in really visiting the east, as much of my interests lay in Europe. However, were it not for such a great deal, I would not have had such an awesome time; one of the perks not only to owning a shop.com, but also being a customer. Groupon is a shop.com partner store and provides for some awesome nation deals, on top of which shop.com pays me cash back.
We ventured to China through Gate 1 Travel, spending four days in Beijing and three days in Shanghai. A four-star hotel in each city, though Beijing’s version of a four-star was reminiscent of the rest of the city; not so clean. The Bund Riverside Hotel in Shanghai is probably the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in.
I learned a few interesting things from the Chinese, the difference in culture is just purely amazing. It was probably some of the most fun and adventure, but also culture shock, that I have ever had.
1. Western Manners Do Not Apply:
If you want to know what they manners are like, do the exact opposite of every Western custom, and you’ve just about got it. In China, you show that you like food by slurping, do not tell your mother, she may just backhand you. I watched a woman at a very expensive restaurant spit part of her dinner on the table, because she did not like it. How about being shoved in public? Its like that kid that used to plow through everyone in the High School hallway with his books; every single minute of the day.
2. People Like to Dance; in Public Places:
The Chinese really like to Dance, and infant will dance in large groups just about anywhere. They can be found ballroom dancing, Tibetan dancing or even just dancing in many parks and other public places. The interesting aspect to this, is that they all seem to move in unison, and when they are done, they clap then all walk away like nothing happened. Its such an odd site, that people can be seem at even as late as 11:00 PM, just dancing. The weirder part about the dancing is the participants, they are all very old, and move around like young people do in the US.
3. The Price is Never the Price:
The Chinese bargain for everything, and going to the markets is akin to going to a casino. Whats your starting price? Well, offer one-tenth of what they want for it, and you may just get it. The prices start huge and end up very tiny. Start to walk away, and you’ll most likely pay what you want to when they call you back. The vendors always want to know you ‘Next best price,’ or to tell you that everything is the ‘best quality.’ Also, they’ll all give you the same sob story about not making any money. Stay tough, you’ll still pay what you want.
4. The Great Wall Never Kept Anyone Out:
The great wall is massive, almost 40 feet high and probably one of the most difficult things I have ever hiked. It is one of the greatest works of human achievement, built in order to keep out the Northern Mongols; the Mongols still got in. No worries, its only 1,000 wasted years.
5. Every Site is Exactly the Same:
When Looking over pictures, it seemed to me that a huge point was the scenery. Due to most of the temples and such being from the last Chinese Dynasty, the Qing, everything had the same color scheme. The patterns were beautiful and there was a lot to see, but they were very much the same due to their time period. Being the last Chinese Dynasty, the Qing seem to get the raw deal, and saddled with the whole ‘Loss of Empire’ thing.
6. You Will Not Survive Without Vitamins
Usually, my Isotonix vitamins take really good care of me, but due to the drastic amounts of pollution in China, I had to four times my dosages to keep from getting sick. I was taking quad dosages of OPC 3 every morning to combat the pollution. It is so bad there, that on same days, visibility can get below one mile; good luck seeing the skyline.