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The guide for travelers in China
By Pierre with Franzi

A journey in China is not an easy thing. Even for experienced travelers, China requires a time for adaptation. The purpose of this guide is to prepare you for your eventual journey in the oldest country of the world!

2



The Chinese

It is certainly the first thing that you are going to meet in the country, there are only 1,3 billions!

And these Chinese will be deeply interested in you. Thanks to the color of your skin, you won't avoid the Chinese selfies. Prepare yourself for that because your agreement will not be asked most of the time. Also you can count on the help of the inhabitants to find directions or facilitate you the life - especially if they know a little bit of English.

Their education is very practical, more than 70 % based on the learning of their language and the mathematics. They know barely the history of their own country (the Cultural revolution was effective) and even less the world outside their nation. An example of the filter exercised by the State which limits the outside influences is the "great Firewall of China, blocking any westerner social technology of communication: Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Dropbox.
Practical information: VPN allows you to connect as user of another country. So to pass besides the firewall, I suggest you Psych and GreenVPN, two Apps I tested and approved for Android.

Finally China is hyper populated, the Chinese are everywhere! Some of his millionaire cities are qualified as towns and are little known. And you will cross daily crowded streets without being wary of pickpockets, because China is one of the safest countries to the world. The reason is simple: the crime, the offences (and especially to the tourists) are severely repressed there.

3



The language

What is the spoken language by most world? It is neither the Chinese, nor English but mandarin.
During my learning of the mandarin notions useful for the travelers, I asked to my companions in the train for the pronunciation of "Thank you". They answered me: "See-ay See-ay", "Shi-ay-Shi-ay" and "Shay-Shay". And my translating application Pleco indicated "Xièxiè" in Pinyin. What?
Explanations: every region of China has its own dialects and the inhabitants have to learn, besides their local language, the mandarin and its tones difficult to master. That is why they stutter the "x", the kind of expired "ch".

Pinyin? What is it?
Mao Tse Tung decided to simplify the language and the numerous characters. Furthermore, they introduce Pinyin, a Latin alphabet with four accents (flat, up, down, down-up) to fix a universal pronunciation for every character. The Pinyin facilitates the learning of the mandarin and accustoms the Chinese to Latin characters. The Chinese speak badly English, although I attest hope is coming with the young generation:

When you ask: "do you speak English? " And when a person answers: " No, I don't speak English. " Go for it! This person masters a basic English, enough for helping you! The Chinese are very modest about their skills.

4



The Chinese tourism

Necessarily, you will find on your way these Chinese tourists. Having only few holidays, they spend massively their money, make tons of photographies (SELFIES!) and look a lot for curiosities. The tourist installations are planned for this effect: entry ticket are very expensive, destruction and reconstruction of bulwarks, shops and atmosphere like in Disneyland in every single park, and the exclusively in Chinese bulletin boards, defining only the name of things...
They may be a billion, their behavior is rather identical and very different from the optics of the western traveler, looking for a quiet haven of peace, of the authentic culture or the sports challenges. Leave the paths, climb a pass or go for a trek and you will arrive in a desert with only Westerners. Surprising?

5



Parks in town

In a country full of cities, green spaces are of course necessary. And China has its own type of park, mixing artificial lakes abounding in aquatic flora and fauna and pedal boats, green lawns and paved paths leading to pagodae, and natural appearances. Oh! I was going to forget, fill it with thousands Chinese obviously. They sing, dance, play, make their jogging...

6



A view of histogram bars...

Let us continue to extend about the constructions:
- In China, the populations of campaigns remained poor and there is an important drift from the land towards these cities. So Chinese civil engineering sector works well and builds everywhere with no control, because of an important speculation.
As a result: these clusters of very ugly identical buildings are sometimes filled with10 % of their capacity, that makes the Chinese cities gigantic and extend over kilometers until the limits of cities.
To understand this notion of scheduled obsolescence to the extreme, you just need to see: the state of hostels or in local house... the obsolescence of the new house is so obvious! We have been invited in a beautiful apartment of first-class outside appearance and built three years ago: inside, the paint badly applied begins to flake, the plumbing is already defective... A plausible explanation: the Chinese state can decree the demolition of a construction at any time, that is Chinese don't bother about quality... Made in China.

7



Made in China

As we tackle the topic: in China, the life expectancy of your purchases is divided by five. The state does not regulate the Chinese production. Therefore, they copy competitors, they skimp on the quality, they falsify.
One day, we had a faked bill of 50 ¥ (yuan). People returned it back to us and we gave it directly to the next restaurant. Pay attention to know how to spot them, because nobody fights against the counterfeiters in China.
"Made in China" is the poor quality supreme brand. I recommend you not to trust anything from there!

8



Why all these umbrellas?

To make funny photos...
Speaking about quality in China, the sales of umbrella rise up every summer. The magnificent Chinese parasols are replaced by single use umbrellas to protect from the sun. As every Asian people, Chinese idealize white skin, as a symbol of wealth and especially youth.
The research to the youth is in the daily life of the women, getting dressed and looking like fifteen years younger. When you meet twenty-year-old girls wearing of a Mickey tee-shirt, you will remember me!

9



The sanitary conditions

Get ready because it is often a point of no return. In China, the hygiene is deplorable. I shall not mention their public restroom "squat toilets", without paper in open air and door. Nor I shall evoke their manners inside the modest restaurants, when it is a question of sucking up noisily a soup of noodle with the baguettes and spitting out the bones - it is better there than in the street. No, I can just assure you that the cleaning operatives are very efficient and that the incivility and other customs consisting in polluting the places of its waste, begins to be corrected in certain developed cities.
Oh I should tell it to you at once, the hot/cold regulation of your shower will regularly be inverted. Get used to, it arrives three times on four.

10



The hotel business

In China, in summer, it is necessary to book your hotel to be sure to get one. The summer is the holiday season and the young Chinese travelers are everywhere.
That's why we shared our dormitories wth 6 to 32 people. Girls and boys are often separated and I appreciate it like that...

We tried to use Baiduditu, the Google local Maps who lists cheap beds. Some good savings but especially unforgettable experiences (lock yourself in the bathroom!) and simpler meetings with very generous people!

11



The food

The Chinese eat anything or almost. It is because of the Japanese that starved them during the World War II. Many dogs are perished. Now only 1 % of the Chinese eat of the dog, that still makes that 13 millions...
The Chinese food is very different from your favorite Chinese one in France. They adapted their cooking to our western tastes. But in reality, the Chinese food is based on the hot water and the rice - few meat. Their pastas, which we call noodle, are also made by rice.

12



The restaurant

Here you are ready to eat to the restaurant in China. Please hold on! First clash, the menu is fully written into Chinese and if you are lucky, there are photos.
We were used to recognizing the symbol of meat ? ('Rou' in pinyin, pronounced 'ro') and its prefixes indicating cow, pig or chicken. The sheep is rarer, only on the West of the country - where there are Arabic minorities.
Choose a dish - or the fate works. Generally the cheapest is a soup of noodle with some vegetables and peanuts. Still hunger? Do not hesitate to ask for a MiFan (??) - remember the first character. It is about a bowl of rice in 2 or 3 yuans, to complete your meals. Also you got served hot water.

The Chinese nibble all the time, that is why the meals in China are rather light! Do not expect to be sat with a big dish. I lost four kilos in six weeks without privation.
Hold your chopsticks and enjoy your noodle soup!

13



The public transportation

We experimented the slow trains between long distances: for example, 26 hours between Guilin and Beijing and it is not a big deal. Some sleeping time, some discussions with the neighbors and time flies!

First of all in Hard Sleeper, the staff takes care of you: extinction of lights at 10 pm, waking up at 8 am or at the station during the night.
In Hard Seat, you share your space with your two neighbors. Being at the window allows you to sleep on it. Sometimes there are the dtanding passengers, the last-minute tickets that squat in the free seats.
Some hot water is available in the train, and as you never want to go in the TOILETS in the Chinese trains, it will be your unique movement of the journey.

To book, nothing more complicated. Go on ctrip.com, choose your itinerary, your seat, select the option "Picking", pay then go to pick your ticket at the train registers of the station with the number of Picking and passport. Generally we chose the shortest tail (even if it has nothing to do with it) then in front of lost foreigners faced, the staff will do his/her best to print the ticket.

Ticket in hand, cross the safety check (pass with knives and lighters if you "forget" to declare them), find the good train, the good queue of Chinese. Trains are on time in the starting up - not really on arrival.

Coaches are more used in mountain. Except damaged roads, it is a long quiet cruise decorated with breaks wee-wee and lunch in shops-for-Chinese-tourists.

14



Two wheels in China

We also tried the electric scooter, the bike and the tandem. The most impressive is always to leave the first city long for kilometers. Nevertheless, we recommend these individual means of transportation that allow you to draw your own road outside the tourist paths and to inhale an air only for you.

15



A conclusion

To travel in China is not an easy thing. There are so many differences with the western way of living. Nevertheless with a little of effort and preparation, you will overcome difficulties and take advantage of your immersion on the Chinese ground. It is a unique experience!

1


The guide for travelers in China
By Pierre with Franzi

A journey in China is not an easy thing. Even for experienced travelers, China requires a time for adaptation. The purpose of this guide is to prepare you for your eventual journey in the oldest country of the world!



The Chinese

It is certainly the first thing that you are going to meet in the country, there are only 1,3 billions!

And these Chinese will be deeply interested in you. Thanks to the color of your skin, you won't avoid the Chinese selfies. Prepare yourself for that because your agreement will not be asked most of the time. Also you can count on the help of the inhabitants to find directions or facilitate you the life - especially if they know a little bit of English.

Their education is very practical, more than 70 % based on the learning of their language and the mathematics. They know barely the history of their own country (the Cultural revolution was effective) and even less the world outside their nation. An example of the filter exercised by the State which limits the outside influences is the "great Firewall of China, blocking any westerner social technology of communication: Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Dropbox.
Practical information: VPN allows you to connect as user of another country. So to pass besides the firewall, I suggest you Psych and GreenVPN, two Apps I tested and approved for Android.

Finally China is hyper populated, the Chinese are everywhere! Some of his millionaire cities are qualified as towns and are little known. And you will cross daily crowded streets without being wary of pickpockets, because China is one of the safest countries to the world. The reason is simple: the crime, the offences (and especially to the tourists) are severely repressed there.



The language

What is the spoken language by most world? It is neither the Chinese, nor English but mandarin.
During my learning of the mandarin notions useful for the travelers, I asked to my companions in the train for the pronunciation of "Thank you". They answered me: "See-ay See-ay", "Shi-ay-Shi-ay" and "Shay-Shay". And my translating application Pleco indicated "Xièxiè" in Pinyin. What?
Explanations: every region of China has its own dialects and the inhabitants have to learn, besides their local language, the mandarin and its tones difficult to master. That is why they stutter the "x", the kind of expired "ch".

Pinyin? What is it?
Mao Tse Tung decided to simplify the language and the numerous characters. Furthermore, they introduce Pinyin, a Latin alphabet with four accents (flat, up, down, down-up) to fix a universal pronunciation for every character. The Pinyin facilitates the learning of the mandarin and accustoms the Chinese to Latin characters. The Chinese speak badly English, although I attest hope is coming with the young generation:

When you ask: "do you speak English? " And when a person answers: " No, I don't speak English. " Go for it! This person masters a basic English, enough for helping you! The Chinese are very modest about their skills.



The Chinese tourism

Necessarily, you will find on your way these Chinese tourists. Having only few holidays, they spend massively their money, make tons of photographies (SELFIES!) and look a lot for curiosities. The tourist installations are planned for this effect: entry ticket are very expensive, destruction and reconstruction of bulwarks, shops and atmosphere like in Disneyland in every single park, and the exclusively in Chinese bulletin boards, defining only the name of things...
They may be a billion, their behavior is rather identical and very different from the optics of the western traveler, looking for a quiet haven of peace, of the authentic culture or the sports challenges. Leave the paths, climb a pass or go for a trek and you will arrive in a desert with only Westerners. Surprising?



Parks in town

In a country full of cities, green spaces are of course necessary. And China has its own type of park, mixing artificial lakes abounding in aquatic flora and fauna and pedal boats, green lawns and paved paths leading to pagodae, and natural appearances. Oh! I was going to forget, fill it with thousands Chinese obviously. They sing, dance, play, make their jogging...



A view of histogram bars...

Let us continue to extend about the constructions:
- In China, the populations of campaigns remained poor and there is an important drift from the land towards these cities. So Chinese civil engineering sector works well and builds everywhere with no control, because of an important speculation.
As a result: these clusters of very ugly identical buildings are sometimes filled with10 % of their capacity, that makes the Chinese cities gigantic and extend over kilometers until the limits of cities.
To understand this notion of scheduled obsolescence to the extreme, you just need to see: the state of hostels or in local house... the obsolescence of the new house is so obvious! We have been invited in a beautiful apartment of first-class outside appearance and built three years ago: inside, the paint badly applied begins to flake, the plumbing is already defective... A plausible explanation: the Chinese state can decree the demolition of a construction at any time, that is Chinese don't bother about quality... Made in China.



Made in China

As we tackle the topic: in China, the life expectancy of your purchases is divided by five. The state does not regulate the Chinese production. Therefore, they copy competitors, they skimp on the quality, they falsify.
One day, we had a faked bill of 50 ¥ (yuan). People returned it back to us and we gave it directly to the next restaurant. Pay attention to know how to spot them, because nobody fights against the counterfeiters in China.
"Made in China" is the poor quality supreme brand. I recommend you not to trust anything from there!



Why all these umbrellas?

To make funny photos...
Speaking about quality in China, the sales of umbrella rise up every summer. The magnificent Chinese parasols are replaced by single use umbrellas to protect from the sun. As every Asian people, Chinese idealize white skin, as a symbol of wealth and especially youth.
The research to the youth is in the daily life of the women, getting dressed and looking like fifteen years younger. When you meet twenty-year-old girls wearing of a Mickey tee-shirt, you will remember me!



The sanitary conditions

Get ready because it is often a point of no return. In China, the hygiene is deplorable. I shall not mention their public restroom "squat toilets", without paper in open air and door. Nor I shall evoke their manners inside the modest restaurants, when it is a question of sucking up noisily a soup of noodle with the baguettes and spitting out the bones - it is better there than in the street. No, I can just assure you that the cleaning operatives are very efficient and that the incivility and other customs consisting in polluting the places of its waste, begins to be corrected in certain developed cities.
Oh I should tell it to you at once, the hot/cold regulation of your shower will regularly be inverted. Get used to, it arrives three times on four.



The hotel business

In China, in summer, it is necessary to book your hotel to be sure to get one. The summer is the holiday season and the young Chinese travelers are everywhere.
That's why we shared our dormitories wth 6 to 32 people. Girls and boys are often separated and I appreciate it like that...

We tried to use Baiduditu, the Google local Maps who lists cheap beds. Some good savings but especially unforgettable experiences (lock yourself in the bathroom!) and simpler meetings with very generous people!



The food

The Chinese eat anything or almost. It is because of the Japanese that starved them during the World War II. Many dogs are perished. Now only 1 % of the Chinese eat of the dog, that still makes that 13 millions...
The Chinese food is very different from your favorite Chinese one in France. They adapted their cooking to our western tastes. But in reality, the Chinese food is based on the hot water and the rice - few meat. Their pastas, which we call noodle, are also made by rice.



The restaurant

Here you are ready to eat to the restaurant in China. Please hold on! First clash, the menu is fully written into Chinese and if you are lucky, there are photos.
We were used to recognizing the symbol of meat ? ('Rou' in pinyin, pronounced 'ro') and its prefixes indicating cow, pig or chicken. The sheep is rarer, only on the West of the country - where there are Arabic minorities.
Choose a dish - or the fate works. Generally the cheapest is a soup of noodle with some vegetables and peanuts. Still hunger? Do not hesitate to ask for a MiFan (??) - remember the first character. It is about a bowl of rice in 2 or 3 yuans, to complete your meals. Also you got served hot water.

The Chinese nibble all the time, that is why the meals in China are rather light! Do not expect to be sat with a big dish. I lost four kilos in six weeks without privation.
Hold your chopsticks and enjoy your noodle soup!



The public transportation

We experimented the slow trains between long distances: for example, 26 hours between Guilin and Beijing and it is not a big deal. Some sleeping time, some discussions with the neighbors and time flies!

First of all in Hard Sleeper, the staff takes care of you: extinction of lights at 10 pm, waking up at 8 am or at the station during the night.
In Hard Seat, you share your space with your two neighbors. Being at the window allows you to sleep on it. Sometimes there are the dtanding passengers, the last-minute tickets that squat in the free seats.
Some hot water is available in the train, and as you never want to go in the TOILETS in the Chinese trains, it will be your unique movement of the journey.

To book, nothing more complicated. Go on ctrip.com, choose your itinerary, your seat, select the option "Picking", pay then go to pick your ticket at the train registers of the station with the number of Picking and passport. Generally we chose the shortest tail (even if it has nothing to do with it) then in front of lost foreigners faced, the staff will do his/her best to print the ticket.

Ticket in hand, cross the safety check (pass with knives and lighters if you "forget" to declare them), find the good train, the good queue of Chinese. Trains are on time in the starting up - not really on arrival.

Coaches are more used in mountain. Except damaged roads, it is a long quiet cruise decorated with breaks wee-wee and lunch in shops-for-Chinese-tourists.



Two wheels in China

We also tried the electric scooter, the bike and the tandem. The most impressive is always to leave the first city long for kilometers. Nevertheless, we recommend these individual means of transportation that allow you to draw your own road outside the tourist paths and to inhale an air only for you.



A conclusion

To travel in China is not an easy thing. There are so many differences with the western way of living. Nevertheless with a little of effort and preparation, you will overcome difficulties and take advantage of your immersion on the Chinese ground. It is a unique experience!

.