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docklang Nov 5th, 2015 12:54 PM

Rural China and dogs
I just returned from a rather unpleasant trip to Guangxi and Guiyang. I really was trying to be open minded and open to different cultural experiences but failed. My guide told me they no longer boiled dogs alive. Wrong. I went into a vegetable market but immediately heard howling. Yes they beat the dogs to taste better then boil them alive and hang up their bodies. Someone told me during the dog eating festival that a lot of dogs are stolen pets. Yes I eat meat, but dogs are not livestock. Enough of that rant.

The rest of the trip was uninspiring. The "minorities" dress up for a price. The shopping is like San Francisco Chinatown. I did find one great store with original embroidery but most was machine made.
One mountain rice terrace is enough. There were just a few foreign tourists where I was. The Chinese tourists themselves are a interesting bunch. At one spectacular event, no one watched. They were all texting and talking on phones. Getting loud and stupid on rice wine is the national pastime The men smoke even in restaurants where they are not supposed to. Smoke is in all the hotel air con systems so asthmatics beware. And the globs of mucus with the sounds accompanying the spitting gets old. And the tourists crowd out the foreign visitors like we are invisible without a smile on a single face. No one went out of their way to be pleasant. The only smiles I got were from Israelis.

I have have been in countless third world countries. I enjoyed every minute of them. I think I'd rather go to South Sudan than China. I loved Thailand, Mongolia and India. I'll leave China to the Chinese. Sorry if I offended anyone

needmorevacation Nov 5th, 2015 02:43 PM

Did you do a lot of research on China before your trip?

docklang Nov 5th, 2015 10:21 PM

Obviously not enough. I felt I needed to see a part of China tourists normally don't go. My guide told me usually he only sees French tourists. I really did not want to go to a polluted area and Yunan was already very popular and touristy

kja Nov 5th, 2015 11:17 PM

It's unfortunate that you found your experience so unpleasant, docklang. While I don't mean, in any way, to criticize, I think needmorevacaction hit the nail -- advance research is helpful for ANY trip, and critical for any place that has very different cultural norms than your own. For example, smiling in public is considered inappropriate in several cultures, not just some regions in China. Knowing that, in advance, might not have changed your feelings about the trip, but at least you would have had some context in which to interpret what you experienced. Your post should prove an unfortunate, if necessary, reminder to travelers to do some research before venturing into the unknown.

Welcome home!

julies Nov 15th, 2015 03:05 PM

I appreciate your honesty, and I doubt that more research prior to your trip would have prepared you for some of the things you found annoying. Not everyone likes or enjoys the same things about all different cultures, and that is fine. We too really enjoy India, but many of our close friends tell us they have no interest in ever even thinking about visiting India. No amount of prior research would make them feel comfortable about some of the things in India that we are fine with.

kja Nov 15th, 2015 08:03 PM

Seems to me there are two different questions here: (1) The question julies poses: Can prior research prepare one for, or make one comfortable with, everything one sees? IMO, the answer to that one is easily and resoundingly NO. (2) The question I posed, based on my (possibly mistaken) interpretation of needmorevacation's question -- can prior research help? IMO, the answer to that question is decidedly YES. JMO.

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