OH, CHINA #1
China is a huge country. I have only visited Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Xiamen. My view is based on my experiences in those parts of the country.
THE ONLY PHOTOS I TOOK IN BEIJING. I WASN'T A HUGE FAN. THE CITY WAS DARK, CLOUDY & EMPTY.
DISCLAIMER: My opinion doesn’t really matter, because there different types of people around the world so I will just share my stories.
I have a serious love hate relationship with China. I mostly travel to China to board cruise ships. This means I will enter the country a day or two before and have time off in various Chinese ports. It’s now 2018 July and I have stopped getting off the ship in Chinese ports. I also dread embarking or disembarking in China.
THE CHINESE PEOPLE
I find Chinese people to be very nice! I know it sounds different from what we hear all the time but I honestly believe that. My few trips there have shown me that they are willing to work hard, they are helpful and pretty simple people. The kids don’t run shy away from me. The parents push their babies towards me and I don’t ever feel threatened. Yes they cough everywhere without covering their mouths. They sneeze. They push you, they talk super loud and they eat anywhere available including in steam rooms. Oh and they spit a a lot!
With that being said, the average Chinese person doesn’t put up with anyone one’s crap. They will fight back and get aggressive. So don’t take their kindness for weakness.
Chinese people are nice and all but existing in the society as a foreigner is really rough. The push a lot without caring and they are always trying to hike up the prices and make you pay more.
Feel free to scream back at them, it’s the best form of communication.
SINGING FOR CHINESE PEOPLE
I love performing for Chinese people. They are true music lovers ! No matter what I sing from kids to older people love it. I am also pretty energetic on stage and that works perfectly for them. They are a very busy set of people and don’t like to stay still very much. They always need to be engaged. If you can master that then you are a winner.
Chinese music is also very very beautiful. It sounds so much different from the spoken language. The singing is super melodic and easy on the ear.
Listen to some of my Favorite Chinese songs here.
THE BEST TIME
My first trip to Shanghai was amazing! I went on my own SHANGHAI HIGHLIGHTS TOUR. I took a tourist bus starting at THE BUND around the city. Finding the bus and getting information was a little tricky but it worked out. The bus took us to a street full of temples which I found fascinating.
When we tried to take the bus back , it was no where to be found and never came so we decided to walk because taxis were nowhere around.
The walk back to The Bund was very interesting. It was my first look into how to Chinese people actually live. See photos.
I can’t eat in China! Period! My diet does not include pork, beef, duck etc. I will only eat chicken sometimes and only in specific places. I eat fish but China turned me off from eating fish there. The food is all meat and all covered in deep sauces.
If you want to be gluten free, good luck because its all white rice and finding good quality white rice in restaurants is also pretty complicated.
Pizzas are never made properly. The cheese is almost always bad. Basically if you are strict with what you eat then China is not for you. Most foreigners love the dumplings but I am always scared some pork will be inside so…
Hippy-style restaurants are not a thing but you can find fruits everywhere. Will there be any juicy-ness in the fruits ? NO!
After hiking the GREAT WALL my friend and I went to friend and I were so hungry that we went searching for food. He was way more open to food options and I was pretty much holding him back. He stopped at a noodle shop while I kept on walking. I found a wonderful little Jazz spot went in and ordered some food. I ordered a vegetable fried rice which I made sure didn’t have any meat in it. The food was delivered by a young man apparently from another restaurant. The food wasn’t covered and the waiter and the delivery boy had a full conversation over the plate before placing it on my table. EWWWW! Then there were no vegetables! It was canned beans with fried rice.
I saw a man selling what I thought were chicken wings on the street and I thought maybe Monique just maybe. I bought 2 pieces and spent the rest of the night and the following day on the toilet. I honestly thought I would die . Thank God for peptobismol!
This was the second time in my life that I got food poisoning.
VISAS & IMMIGRATION
THE RULES KEEP CHANGING!
Most countries require a visa for China. Yes there is a 48 transit rules etc where you can stay in the country for 3 days without a visa BUT I have seen countless times where people have been turned back because they plan to go to another city in China etc. Its always safer to get the visa if you can and if you don’t have time then research carefully! The rules are constantly being updated.
IF YOU ARE A CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER or CREW MEMBER, please get the visa. Just get it.
Always travel with photocopies of your passport when traveling to China especially via cruise ship. They always need it for some reason. Whatever you do, do not allow them to use mobile phones to take photos of your passport page. Chinese immigration loves to do that to send it via a social media app called Line for verification from other immigration officers.
China is new to the world so it's very different. Unfortunately of all the places I have traveled to , this is the one I don't look forward to visiting. I heard the country is so beautiful especially in the country side but I won't find out because everything is too unpredictable. China is for the ultimate backpackers.