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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
2 posts • Page 1 of 1
If you're a newbie to China, I suggest going to the big cities first, since smaller Chinese cities will be mostly devoid of foreigners and English speaking levels are very poor.
Hangzhou is a really nice city since it's big, but not as crowded or overwhelming as Shanghai. Plus, there's West Lake in the middle of the city, which is nice.
Beijing is another option. Beijing has so many things going for it, such as the Great Wall of China, Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City, but the air quality and pollution is so bad, I suggest buying a mask while you're there. You will need it! And try not to go out unless absolutely necessary because you will get sick if you stay out for too long.
Shanghai is an obvious must--but!--be warned about the crowds and bad behavior from the locals there. And then, there's Guangdong province, where you can visit Shenzhen and Guangzhou with both places having relatively good English levels there. Also, both cities are filled with a large number of expats, so you won't stick out as much as in much smaller cities.
If you're non-Asian, you will be stared and gawked at. That's the case in most of Asia, unfortunately. Is that racism? Yes and no, since some people are generally curious at foreigners and want to make friends with you, while others can be openly hostile towards you. But don't take it personally, just go with the flow, as they say.
Before you go, learn some basic Chinese as this will help you navigate throughout China. Most Chinese people cannot speak English at all, so remember that! Try to find a Chinese American or Chinese person who can speak English to help guide you while you're in China. You can find them on AirBnB and Couchsurfing.