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What to do on a holiday trip to China?

November 14, 2007 – 7:22 pm

There are countless offers for trips to China. Most read like this:

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Monday: Visit to Temple of the Heavens, then a short excursion to the endless flowers park. At the way back You will seethe famous Golden Temple.

Tuesday: You start with the Southern Temple, go over to the Temple of the East and have breakfast at North Temple. After That You can take photos at the Big Temple.

Wednesday: 7 more temples….

After Your trip You have seen probably 2843273 temples. At the same time You have see nothing. You have wasted money at different tourist traps. And probably eaten lost of Western food. These persons who organized the trip will take Your money and go to a bar in the evening. This bar is the real China, but they won’t show it to You. They will talk there about dumb tourists.

So when You go to China, do Yourself a favor. Organize Your trip Yourself. Go with friends, or make friends with a person who is already there. Also visit some bars at the evening. Check out a KTV. Play some majang. Go shopping in the modern shopping temples. Go and eat some food in small restaurants in a back street.

If You go there without Your girlfriend it’s even better, because You could meet some of the local girls. They are very happy if You teach them some English and will teach You Chinese in exchange. Your trip might even lead to some cultural exchange.

Another good idea is to join a course to learn Chinese there. And don’t forget to spend an whole afternoon in a teahouse.

So what to buy for Your loved ones who stayed at home? Don’t buy some tourist crap! You could buy:

  • Copied video DVDs. These cost 4 Yuan cheap quality. 10 yuan for full quality. Don’t do it. It’s illegal.
  • Fake clothes, watches, …. It’s very cheap. Don’t do it, it’s illegal.
  • Real clothes from Asian brands. Damn cheap yet good looking.
  • Tea, Green tea, Pu Er Tea
  • Books, especially Chinese learning books and dictionaries. They cost 1/10th in China.
  • Pirated Software. It’s hard to buy some, because normally Chinese people download it from the internet and don’t buy it, but You might find it somewhere. Don’t do it, it’s illegal.
  • Electronic articles. Like mp3 player. But this option is not so good, because the prices are often close to western prices. Hong Kong has unbeatable prices on electronics, but You should know what You need before You go there.

All big cities in China have a decent, vibrant and intense nightlife. And it is more and more part of the Chinese everyday culture. Especially the Chengdu nightlife is a great memory to me. Don’t miss it.

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