First time to China

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Oct 1st, 2003, 03:52 AM
  #1
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First time to China

Hi, I'll be travelling to China at the end of October 2003 for 2 weeks, mainly Shanghai & Beijing with my boyfriend. I've done some research (guide books & internet)Is it safe for me to travel by myself there ? I'll be by myself most of the time there as my boyfriend will be working. I'm chinese born overseas, but I barely speak chinese & don't read chinese at all! another worry that I have after reading the guide books, one particular topic is on the view of foreigner & chinese woman, my boyfriend is Australian (caucasian), will we have any problem ? such as haring room in a hotel, etc. Any information on this will be very much appreciated.
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Oct 1st, 2003, 04:43 AM
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As far as safety in China, in my experience you will be very safe touring around on your own. Take reasonable precautions with regard to your purse, wallet, camera, etc as you would in any large city, esp in crowded places like Tiananmen or the Forbidden City, or when using public transport.

I think the biggest problem you may have is that locals will assume you are also a local, and will start speaking to you in Chinese. It would probably be helpful to learn to say "Sorry I don't speak Chinese" in Mandarin and possibly Shanghainese. On the plus side, you may find that you get better prices when bargaining than your Australian boyfriend, so you should do the shopping for both of you!

I am Caucasian and have travelled in China with my Chinese boyfriend. (He is Singaporean and only speaks Teocheow, so he learned to say "I don't speak Chinese" in a few dialects.) We did not encounter any problems checking into hotels, etc. To be perfectly frank, as there is somewhat of a prostitution problem in Asia, you may encounter some looks from the clerk until you present your passport and the clerk realizes you are not from the PRC. We never drew comments on the street or elsewhere.

Have a great trip!
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Oct 1st, 2003, 04:30 PM
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Ditto what Cicerone said about safety. I have no reservations about traveling around Shanghai and Beijing on my own.

Sharing a hotel room will not be a problem as you are both foreign nationals.
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Oct 2nd, 2003, 03:12 AM
  #4
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Thank you both for that information. I feel much much better now and looking forward to the trip with no worry! I speak a little bit and understand a bit of Chinese. May I ask you both a question about taking a train. My brother went there about 2 years ago and he said it's really bad & complicated. Is it ? I'm planning to catch a train by myself from Shanghai to Beijing.
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Oct 9th, 2003, 06:16 AM
  #5
 
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Hi

My wife and I went to China on vacation in March this year. We stayed in Beijing for about 6 days...I have posted a long trip report and quite a few pictures on my homepage www.gardkarlsen.com. Maybe you can find some useful information there

Have a great trip

Regards
gard
Stavanger, Norway
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