Where in China for 1st time.

Jan 15th, 2014, 02:22 AM
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Being honest, kind, generous, helpful and (pls add your own adjectives) is one thing. Having manners is another. Main problem with Chinese people (and I am Chinese myself) is that most have very bad manners, if you ask most people from most developed countries.

If you cannot stand people with no/bad manners, then your trip to China can be very unpleasant.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 04:22 AM
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Thanks for your candid reply.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 05:22 AM
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Bad manners is a matter of perspective. Depends on the culture. They will also find several strange things about you. Different cultures is what travel is all about.
JPDeM is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 09:55 AM
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No/bad manners? Your good manners may different greatly from a mainland Chinese person. They are different. Not bad.
Belinda is online now  
Jan 15th, 2014, 03:09 PM
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I am Shanghai-born now living in the US, and understand everyone's perspective of manners whether good or not. Internationally accepted manners can be learned, during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, a huge campaign to observe and practice good manners was launched, and it worked pleasantly. As soon as the events were over, people went back to their old ways.

Belinda: Have we met in SF? On California/Fillmore Streets?
Shanghainese is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 04:31 PM
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That's exactly what I am talking about. Some traveler enjoy other people's "different manners"; some despise it. One should honestly ask him or herself which type he/she belongs.

Personally, I don't mind "different" manners when I am in poor, rural areas of China. But when it is the big cities, I can't stand it. I also cannot stand it when the Chinese travel to Hong Kong and other countries and continue with their "different" manners.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 06:43 PM
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Interesting discussion. When I am abroad, I have sometimes been so embarrassed by the "good manners" of fellow Americans that I have pretended to be Canadian. (My apologies to all Canadians for my failures in doing so.)

It seems to me that if one can be tolerant of, and maybe even intrigued by, the unexpected norms of other cultures, then one will have a far better experience than if one expects everyone to obey the norms that one thinks one obeys. And since most norms are very deeply ingrained, I'm sure it isn't even always obvious to others when they are violating a norm. Prime examples are "don't do X" norms -- people who think X is perfectly acceptable probably don't realize that no one is doing X because we are all more inclined to notice what people DO do than what they DON"T do.

Count me squarely in the "isn't that part of what travel is all about" camp.
kja is offline  
Jan 16th, 2014, 07:10 AM
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Really??? I thought people were extremely nice and very friendly. Hawking up massive lugies in public and having little kids running around in split pants with their butts hanging out was just part of the experience being somewhere so different from home.

There's also a non-stop from Shanghai to ORD. I went on my own and just had a driver for a day out on the GW (which was fantastic and I loved talking to the driver for the entire drive out to the section I chose to visit). I think I spent most of a week in Beijing, then took the overnight train out to Xi'an for a couple days, then another overnight train to Shanghai for a couple days. It was a good mix and introduction but I did miss out on the smaller towns and cities.

The language barrier was only an issue a couple times... I ordered a pork chop and it took a while for the poor girl to figure out how to ask how well done I wanted it (we got help from someone at another table who called a friend) and when I tried to find tampons. Other than that, everyone was more than happy to practice their english, put up with my broken couple of words in chinese and play charades.

Start with a guidebook and trip reports. That will give you ideas for what other people have done. For info on the GW, there is greatwallforum.com that has a LOT of info you can browse to get ideas for what section of the GW you might want to visit based on time and athletic interest/abilities.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Jan 16th, 2014, 11:26 AM
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How is the air quality in Shagnhai vs. Beijing?
jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 16th, 2014, 12:05 PM
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Much better air quality in Shanghai... would definitely visit there if you can... it's a nice mix of the old & new China.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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OK! Will consider that.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 16th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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I found the Chinese people to be very helpful and mostly friendly during our visit last year. We didn't see as much spitting as we had expected, but we're not bothered by cultural differences. To us, that's what makes traveling so much fun. The Chinese people are a bit pushy and are not known for their patience in standing in lines, but if you consider their past experiences, you can better understand that perhaps one had to be pushy to get food and to get ahead in a society with such a large population.
dgunbug is offline  
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