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  1. #21
    If you have the chance, you should go at least once. There are a lot of places in China that I would classify as "you should at least see it once during your lifetime."

    One of my favorite was the ancient wall of Xiangyang. I read about about the battle of Xiangyang the history books. However, standing on the massive wall looking across the wide expanse of the Han river, it dawned on me that this fortress stood against 3 Mongol sieges over a period of 16 years and 3 Khanates. If it wasn't for the incompetence of the Song's dynasty central government, the Mongol's conquest of Song would have failed at this wall.

  2. #22
    I am Murloc! shadowmouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammy00 View Post
    Has anyone ever been to China? What did you like most about it? I really want to go there, I even planned a trip there 1.5 years ago, but due to the coronavirus everything was canceled.
    I haven't so much been to China in the sense of tourism or even short business activities. Rather, I came here to work, really enjoyed the experience, didn't like where my career had gone in the US, and I chose to stay here. It has been a bit over 20 years now, I was here before China had the 2008 Olympic bid.

    What I've liked the most, and what has kept me here, are the ordinary people and friendships. Sure, I have fun with the food and there are plenty of places on my list to see some day, but the biggest thing for me is the people. Culture clash happens, but there are also amazingly good times. I still have friends from among my very first students here.

    Side notes:

    WeChat. Yep, get it! You may need help adding money to it though. Among the many useful features, WeChat has gotten pretty decent about being able to translate messages. For other apps, I suggest Google Translate with the full download for your desired languages so you can use it off line. I am also fond of Pleco. DiDi is a common ride app and they have an English version that works decently.

    Safety. Generally it is quite safe here, but any place in the world with lots of tourists also has people who know tourists often carry valuables. Use common sense Be careful about flashing cash or expensive stuff (electronics or jewelry for example). Be aware of who you party with. Use the hotel safe, keep a bit of money someplace other than your wallet. As usual, be careful around ATMs.

    Tipping, It's not really a thing here in most situations and it can even cause awkwardness. Employees in some situations may not even be allowed to accept tips.

    Police. You may encounter them. Don't freak out, stay calm, and just let them do their job. I suggest that you keep photocopies of key documents like your passport and visa because if your stuff gets taken (lost on a bus or pickpocketed) that can help you get assistance from the police. You will encounter bored desk workers from time to tine but I've often found the police here to be polite, professional, and willing to help. Yes, really. When might you encounter them? In Beijing, the police sometimes check clubs and bars -- China is very strict about drugs. There are sometimes ID checks in subways -- some years I might never encounter a check, some years it might be two or three. You will also need to go through security checks for subways and buses and be very, very glad because I dated a girl who did delivery work for a pharmaceutical company and the stuff they had her carrying around was not stuff I would have wanted to be on the subway with. Subway checks can be pretty strict about knives, so save yourself a headache and don't carry a knife.

    COVID. For now, you can also expect to encounter checks related to controlling COVID. In some places they use a scanner, but you may also encounter situations where they expect you to let them check your wrist or something. It is unlikely, I've never even been given a regular swab test, but it was a subject of much internet humor here that you might be asked to comply with an anal swab. When you arrive, find out what the contact tracing app in your area is. In Beijing it is "Health Kit" and there is an English version.

    What's a place I liked visiting? Guilin. Next on my list when travel settles out would be Inner Mongolia to see an old friend.

    What food do I like? Yes! My favorite at any given time tends to be a factor of what style is well represented somewhere close to me. If I had to pick favorites, I suppose that across the years I've always found good Xinjiang and Shanxi/Shaanxi food reliable standbys. In general, unless you are in Sichuan or Hunan, you are probably getting something adapted for local preferences.

    What about beer and booze? Beer tends to be fairly low alcohol and not very heavy on hops, but depending on where you are and who you are with that isn't entirely a bad thing. Slamming back rounds of toasts is fairly common, and in many places summer can be pretty hot and humid. Different areas have their own take on booze, but you'll probably find most of it to be clear, fairly harsh, and often a bit higher proof than you might be used to.

    Tea is something that you should be a bit careful about. Good tea can be fairly expensive, restaurant tea suffers from restaurant mark up, and in a tea house you may end up paying extra for atmosphere and service. Apparent students who want to talk used to be a common scam used by tea houses to lure tourists in and stick them with an inflated bill.

    Street food has seldom been a problem for me, but depending on where you are you might want to be careful. A general rule of thumb for restaurants or street food is to go to places that are crowded and busy. Word gets around and reputation is important here.
    With COVID-19 making its impact on our lives, I have decided that I shall hang in there for my remaining days, skip some meals, try to get children to experiment with making henna patterns on their skin, and plant some trees. You know -- live, fast, dye young, and leave a pretty copse. I feel like I may not have that quite right.

  3. #23
    Technically, but not really. When I was in the Air Force there was a situation where the plane I was on had to land in China, pick up a person and leave. I never set foot on the ground. This was a regular passenger plane at an airport, not some secret military extraction.

  4. #24
    Yes, got to know a chinese who studied here (rich parents) when he was 16-18.
    Visited him 2y later, spent 3 weeks there hanging out with locals.

    Had a great time, great country, I actually couldn't really travel within china as it were the olympics and they were too scared to have activists going there, but did it anyway.
    Police were nice and never had any issue. Great food and culture as well.

    dating and relationships are very childish with taboos, they really don't talk about it freely. Dated a girl that in the end wanted to have sex but was too afraid of it as the only times she had sex, it were traumatic experiences. So when she was in my bed I just stopped instantly as she was so scared, almost even crying. Was the weirdest dating experience i ever had. From that, i concluded that they don't get any sexual education and that there are big jerks who rape girls without any punishment as the taboo is too big for them to talk about it. Nevertheless, that girl was so in love with me afterwards because I didn't force her to do things she didn't want.

  5. #25
    Void Lord Doctor Amadeus's Avatar
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    Nah I would never visit a place I don’t speak the language. If I did I would I’d love check it out.
    #ANTIFA "Intellect alone is useless in a fight...you can't even break a rule, how can you be expected to break bone" Khan Singh

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Amadeus View Post
    Nah I would never visit a place I don’t speak the language. If I did I would I’d love check it out.
    That, is not really a problem there, from my experience. I used Google Translate when I needed to and they have their own translator apps that work just fine too.

  7. #27
    Having lived in China before the current wave of modernization and came back several times since then, I have some mixed feelings. The practical side of me understand the modernization was overall beneficial to the overall economic welfare of the Chinese population. However, the Chinese had a tendency to bulldoze everything down and put up new stuffs. A lot of them are in pretty bad taste. Approaching tacky. Modern Chinese architecture is not known for subtlety. Simply put, I don’t come to China to look at glass, concrete and steel highrises.

    Despite all that, there are still a lot of worthwhile things to do in China.

    The Three Gorges cruise along the Yangtze River is definitely worthwhile. The price is ridiculously cheap compared to European river cruises and the service when we did it was top notch. Most of the ancestral villages along the river are now underwater. Although the governement did preserve some of them as tourist attraction.

    Chang’an (Xi’an in Shannxi province) was the capital of over a dozen dynasties in Chinese history. Including the Han and Tang dynasties. It is definitely worthy of a visit.

    From Xi’an, one can travel the Silk Road corridor between Chang’an and Tianshan. Quite a bit to do here - old town Kuqa (lots of temples, grottoes and old ruins), Tianshan Canyons, Tianchi Lake, Thousand Buddha Caves, etc.

    Depending on your level of fitness, cycling the route is very enjoyable. The roads are wide and pretty save. Most have separate bike lanes. However, get ready to do lot of high elevation climbs. I had to tether my wife’s bike to mine on some of the climbs. Or you can rent an electric bike. I understand that it is pretty common now.
    Last edited by Rasulis; 2021-03-27 at 09:39 PM.

  8. #28
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    I haven't been yet myself. I wanted to go, but the political climate there has me thinking otherwise in recent years. One of my colleagues went for work, along with a few others from our workplace, back in 2014. We were in the midst of booting up a new automotive manufacturing facility there and so he was asked to go and help the others out in the event that they had issues with any of the products that we built for them. He said it was pretty cool. They didn't do a ton of touring around because they worked most days, but they got to see the Great Wall and a few other sites. Where they were, they actually had a pub nearby that had an affinity for North American and British culture, so they had sports broadcasts on and the place was decorated like an English pub that you'd find in Canada. Apparently the people there were good to work with and generally friendly. They were driven around though because driving in China is apparently insanity.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Rennadrel View Post
    They were driven around though because driving in China is apparently insanity.
    Can confirm, I too was driven around and shit I seen on the roads there was like "fuck me".

    I thought we had some wild drivers locally who disregard rules, signs and what not, but after what I seen there I almost think of our drivers as of harmless does in comparison.

    As a tip for pedestrian tourists, crosswalks there are regarded about on the same level as a random blotch of paint on the road. It's as if they don't exist, forget about anyone stopping to let you pass aside from absolute red light.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Amadeus View Post
    Nah I would never visit a place I don’t speak the language. If I did I would I’d love check it out.
    You could go with a tour group; their tour leaders (when I went at least) are government employees and they really focus on putting their best foot forward.
    "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
    -Louis Brandeis

  11. #31
    It's different about those province, poor or rich. but there always has many people in city.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaidax View Post
    Can confirm, I too was driven around and shit I seen on the roads there was like "fuck me".
    The scariest car ride I have ever been in was a taxi in Chengdu. Holy shit.

    One piece of advice our tour guide gave us: "make sure you cross the road between two Chinese people."
    "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
    -Louis Brandeis

  13. #33
    Elemental Lord GreenJesus's Avatar
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    No and I dont ever plan on going. If I go all the way to Asia id rather go to Japan. I'd rather not get arrested and held as ransom for saying Winnie the Pooh ("disrupting the harmony")
    Last edited by GreenJesus; 2021-03-29 at 03:49 AM.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    No and I dont ever plan on going. If I go all the way to Asia id rather go to Japan. I'd rather not get arrested and held as ransom for saying Winnie the Pooh ("disrupting the harmony")
    Yeah, there are plenty of great spots to visit in Asia that aren't currently engaged in genocide (both literal in Xinjiang and cultural in Tibet and Inner Mongolia) and running concentration camps that I'd give my money to before visiting China.

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestopft View Post
    The scariest car ride I have ever been in was a taxi in Chengdu. Holy shit.

    One piece of advice our tour guide gave us: "make sure you cross the road between two Chinese people."
    Oh yeah I had a manic taxi driver experience in Shanghai, holy shit it was like Fast and Furious.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    No and I dont ever plan on going. If I go all the way to Asia id rather go to Japan. I'd rather not get arrested and held as ransom for saying Winnie the Pooh ("disrupting the harmony")
    While I'm not a CCP fan, it's always good to familiarize yourself with do's and dont's of country you're about to visit.

    For 2 months I been there I had no trouble whatsoever. Don't gun for controversies and you'll be fine like everywhere.

    Been in Japan too for about a month. Both have great stuff on their own and both have skeletons in their drawer, while thankfully Japan is not CCP-land, don't be fooled by ayayas and shit, their is a deeply conservative society with a LOT of absolutely backwater social norms and beliefs.

  16. #36
    Yes! I really enjoyed it; very diverse. Just about everywhere we went there was a lot of rich history and culture to experience. It's really something to go from a super dense mega-city to like a jungle, the desert, mountain valleys. It was visiting 100 different countries all at once.

    Great food too.

  17. #37
    Yes! I really enjoyed it; very diverse. Just about everywhere we went there was a lot of rich history and culture to experience. It's really something to go from a super dense mega-city to like a jungle, the desert, mountain valleys. It was visiting 100 different countries all at once. Great food too.

  18. #38
    The pandemic made me not ever want to, or anywhere else in Asia.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Ihavewaffles View Post
    The pandemic made me not ever want to, or anywhere else in Asia.
    Yet They wear Masks and Take much more Precautions in China during a Pandemic. Unlike the West that listens to Qanon and other Freedumb Right Wing Lies about the Virus.

    EU also opened up Borders with China, Not America.
    Last edited by szechuan; 2021-04-01 at 05:31 AM.
    Americans are the Chinese of the west. The main reason people tolerate them is because they are too big to ignore.

    "Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack." - Roger Stone (Trump's Friend, Ally, and Campaign Advisor)

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by szechuan View Post
    Yet They wear Masks and Take much more Precautions in China during a Pandemic. Unlike the West that listens to Qanon and other Freedumb Right Wing Lies about the Virus.

    EU also opened up Borders with China, Not America.
    Yes, they also welded apartment buildings entrances shut and did plenty other bullshit that totally stomped on peoples' freedoms to come out clean. Masks is a culture thing that is to be admired, but you're delusional if you think that's all it took there. Some shit they did in Wuhan, for example, was full blown dystopian crap the level of Hunger Games.

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