China is still by far one of my FAVOURITE countries to go travelling. Why? The huge culture shock!
It was so different to anything I had ever experienced before and questioned everything that I had been taught and learnt from growing up in the UK. For example, us Brits are very polite and queue in an orderly manner and do NOT like people that skip the queue. We like to follow the rules and although we don’t like queuing we put up with it; because it’s the rules. Anyway, Chinese culture do not share our “love” of forming orderly queues, actually they don’t even have queues! Its every man / woman for themselves… just go straight to the supermarket cashier, never mind the other 15 people waiting… push on the train before other people get off … that’s ok YOU need to get somewhere! This may sound like I don’t really like China, but I absolutely do, I LOVE it! Because it was so totally different that I was in awe of the way they behaved compared to the British and it really opens you mind the vastness of our cultures. And then there was the food, the Country’s history, the Temples, the trains, the panda’s, the Great Wall of China and so, so ,so much more!
Here is why I recommend China to YOU and why I think it deserves a mention on your Travel Bucket List…
1) The food obviously!!! Chinese food tastes the BEST in China and eaten with chopsticks makes it so much more authentic and fun!
2) Giant Pandas – seeing this amazing animal in its natural habitat was incredible and so much better than going to the zoo. They’re a very gentle animal and relaxing to watch, as they casually chew on a stick of bamboo.
3) The Great Wall of China. A magnificent sight that will blow your mind! Be prepared to crawl, yes CRAWL parts of the wall as it is so steep.
4) Get a Chinese name – YES! I was given one by my Chinese friend and I officially have the name Wang Mei Chun. Which means King, Beautiful, Innocence.
5) The colour red is very LUCKY. It’s in fact so lucky that women wear RED wedding dresses and take their wedding pictures BEFORE the actually wedding… so the Groom sees his bride in her dress… no bad luck superstition there!
6) They don’t use 2 hands to count… they do it on just 1 hand so be prepared to learn how to count again!
7) The very, VERY cheap shopping of all your favourite brands!! You can buy all the factory seconds from local markets at the fraction of the price in the UK. I have a ‘Cath Kidshop’ purse, which I bought for less than £2, all because the label was wrong! (It should be Cath Kidston).
8) The City Xi-an. This is the original Capital City of China that has a wall built around part of it. You can hire a tandem (2 seater) bike and enjoy the bumpy ride around with a friend and get good views of the city!
9) The Temples. Seeing the contrast of the Traditional Red and Green Temples next to new grey buildings was rather extraordinary!
10) Chinese Zodiac Animals – GO when it’s your year (I’m a Dragon) and discover that you should be wearing red underwear that MUST be gifted to you by family and friends! Amazing!
11) The Karaoke! Chinese people love it! It’s set in private rooms with just you and your friends. Get food, drinks and up to date music and see all your fiends transform into the next Adele! Great fun!
12) Social Media is a no no! That’s right Facebook is blocked in mainland China but can be used in Hong Kong. Use this to your advantage and take some time away from it, you’ll be amazed at how you end up using all this extra time!
13) FREE music and films! Yes FREE! You can use a Chinese search engine to download ALL of the songs that you can think of and all of the blockbuster movies past and present! You may have to accept the picture will have Chinese subtitles, but who cares; they’re FREE!
14) Chinese baby grows. I know this sounds a bit crazy, but seriously the style is so different that it has to be seen to be believed.
(This is dedicated to by good friend and fellow GAL PAL GAL; Jenny Hull – Listen to her podcast interview about her travel adventure).
15) Kung Fu! Now, I am not a major fan of martial arts, but this is the home of Kung Fu so a 3 hour lesson is an experience you will not forget! Think sweat, stretching, and sharp specific movements and feeling like you’re in a Jackie Chan movie! Oh yeah!
So these are just a few of the reasons why I love China and the Chinese culture and why I recommend the country as a travel destination for backpackers. I hope you love it as much as I do and add it to your Travel Bucket List!
Keep on dreaming of your travel adventure!
P.S. Want to find out more about China and Travel?
Listen to Podcast episode Career Break of Epic Adventures
It’s really, really good!