I’m in China. Now what?
Some people are reluctant to travel beyond their comfort zone – this can happen on a personal level just as well as when we talk about tourism. Going to another continent, interacting with different cultures, breaking the language barriers can be difficult, but the bravest of us have no such fears. At a certain point in your life, for instance, you might get to say: I’m in China. Now what?
China is a splendid realm of great contrasts and exquisite beauty. Ancient history, myths and modernity, minute art and an unparallelled culture is what’s in store in China. Nevertheless, there are certain issues that you should always bear in mind.
China is a communist country. It is also a strong economic player, which makes it very corporatist in the eyes of some thinkers. Nevertheless, although China today is a relatively modern state and a strong world power, there are certain restrictions, one of which is related to the Internet. Google, Facebook, Youtube are just a few of the major websites that are blocked in China, so be sure to use other communication methods.
There are tender cultural aspects that one should avoid doing in China. They are culture-dependant and, to avoid accidentally offending the person in front of you, you should know the basics of the (unwritten) code of manners.
Asians don’t like to lose face. This is one of the golden rules: never put the one in front of you in an embarrassing situation. Also, never anger anyone and don’t get angry in public unless you want panic and discomfort.
Politeness is also important, so never address anyone by their first name unless invited to do so. During visits, be sure not to come empty handed. Tokens offered can be very small, but be sure to bring something with you.
Something that remains easy and universal, though, is car rental China. The general rules apply and this is a very handy service if you are traveling extensively.