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Old 09-15-2017, 01:29 PM
 
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I love China and Chinese people are typically very friendly. Chinese infrastructure is quite good, most trains are pretty good. China is also very beautiful, but the pollution and poverty can ruin many of the rural areas. China also isn't very foreigner friendly. Many times in smaller cities and rural areas, people won't know how to do basic things for you. I've had to wait 30 minutes for a train ticket because they didn't know how to get one for me. I've also been refused to stay at hotels because they didn't know how to check in a foreigner. The reason isn't because they are rude, it's because by Chinese law you have to have a Chinese ID to use the train or stay at a hotel. A passport is acceptable, but in many places they have never ran a passport through their system and simply don't know how to do it. I stayed at a pretty nice hotel once and finally the manager just put me in the hotel under his name and used his personal ID. Little things like that can happen, so just learn to be patient. Luckily, Chinese are more then happy to try to help, but sometimes they just don't know how.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Manchester NH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
I love China and Chinese people are typically very friendly. Chinese infrastructure is quite good, most trains are pretty good. China is also very beautiful, but the pollution and poverty can ruin many of the rural areas. China also isn't very foreigner friendly. Many times in smaller cities and rural areas, people won't know how to do basic things for you. I've had to wait 30 minutes for a train ticket because they didn't know how to get one for me. I've also been refused to stay at hotels because they didn't know how to check in a foreigner. The reason isn't because they are rude, it's because by Chinese law you have to have a Chinese ID to use the train or stay at a hotel. A passport is acceptable, but in many places they have never ran a passport through their system and simply don't know how to do it. I stayed at a pretty nice hotel once and finally the manager just put me in the hotel under his name and used his personal ID. Little things like that can happen, so just learn to be patient. Luckily, Chinese are more then happy to try to help, but sometimes they just don't know how.
That sounds really nice. Not that they don't know what to do but that they want to help.

Some countries when you leave the tourist areas they treat you like an unwelcomed visitor but it's great to here the Chinese are different.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Winterfall8324 View Post
True but almost everywhere in America is connected one way or another where as I'm not sure if I wanted to go to Dunhuang or even further west to a place like Tibet if it would be that easy due to a less developed rail network out there.

The second part is I don't know (emphasis on the I don't know) if some of the amazing mountains and natural parks like Mount Qingcheng or Wulingyuan are as easy to reach (partly due to the size of the country) as say Yosemite in the US which has a city and airport built around it with multiple bus tours, ticket sales and easy entrance into the park or Mount Koya in Japan that has a train from Osaka to the base of a mountain then an electronic lift to the top of said mountain.

I know China has the major cities well connected by I'm speaking of places like the aforementioned.
In those more remote areas (agree they are less accessible than many American destinations), local Chinese usually hire a car and a driver by the day. It is usually very affordable by western standards (for example $30 a day). Be careful of scams though, they are the most annoying part of China particularly in less developed areas.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:05 PM
 
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This past April we went to Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, and Shanghai. I fully expected to love China but I didn't. There were a few highlights but overall I found it so dreary - something I'd describe as colorless, no music, not "happy". I wasn't a fan of Hong Kong and Singapore was a one and done for me (although I had a great vacation there). I'm glad I went but there are too many places to see in the world so it's extremely unlikely I'd go back.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Sydney Australia
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Originally Posted by LaBuenaVida View Post
This past April we went to Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, and Shanghai. I fully expected to love China but I didn't. There were a few highlights but overall I found it so dreary - something I'd describe as colorless, no music, not "happy". I wasn't a fan of Hong Kong and Singapore was a one and done for me (although I had a great vacation there). I'm glad I went but there are too many places to see in the world so it's extremely unlikely I'd go back.
I presume you know that Singapore is not part of China.
We went to China in April. I had not been there, other than to Hong Kong, since 2003. I found the amount of development amazing. We did go on a tour and went to Hong Kong, Beijing, Chengde, Xian, Yangtze cruise, Chengdu, Zhongdian Lijiang Dali and Kunming.
The pollution was sometimes bad and you have to accept that smoking is much more common than in many western countries. Otherwise we really enjoyed it. Roads, airports, high speed trains, all super efficient. Beautiful scenery especially in the Yunnan region.
We had already been to Shanghai and Harbin and a few other places closer to Hong Kong. My husband has been there a couple of times on golf tours. We will probably return at some stage.
It is one of the safest places we have visited and one of the most interesting.
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Winterfall8324 View Post
That sounds really nice. Not that they don't know what to do but that they want to help.

Some countries when you leave the tourist areas they treat you like an unwelcomed visitor but it's great to here the Chinese are different.
Iíve been to 9 different countries and China has the friendliest service people, to foreigners that is. Sadly, Chinese people donít always treat each other very well. Watching them push and shove to get on busses or trains can drive a westerner mad. Common curtesies arenít as common. But, since I was discussing foreigners, foreigners are treated differently and if you donít know the language, you donít have to worry so much about what people are saying about you. Ignorance sometimes is bliss.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,175,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Iíve been to 9 different countries and China has the friendliest service people, to foreigners that is. Sadly, Chinese people donít always treat each other very well. Watching them push and shove to get on busses or trains can drive a westerner mad. Common curtesies arenít as common. But, since I was discussing foreigners, foreigners are treated differently and if you donít know the language, you donít have to worry so much about what people are saying about you. Ignorance sometimes is bliss.
Never heard of China having great service for foreigners. I've stood at plenty of hotel desks, with my reservations in hand, being told to go away. It's routine and it's confusing. Many hotels and businesses have no English, so it's hard to know if you are even in the right place, or if they just don't want to deal with you.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:11 PM
 
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They often say the mainlanders are hillbillies. Spitting everywhere, and dumping their baby dumps in the gutter. Kunming might be worth a look. Hong Kong is historically quite nice, but too pricey. I think Tokyo or Singapore would be better. Get the air quality widget for Chrome...follow US Embassy Beijing...you would wish you were in LA on the worst day of the year. Beers for a buck at PEK, and a free shower to use....much better than ORD...and CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES has the most beautiful hostesses on the planet.
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
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There will be vastly different opinions on whether China is one of the greatest countries ever. First off you need to define "greatest". Secondly, how far back in time are we going back, since the current country was only founded in 1949. I've been to China several times, as that's where my wife is from. From what I see, they are still developing, not on par with the most advanced countries but developing rapidly. I enjoy visiting the historical sites since I like history in general. The people there in general are rude, obnoxious, selfish and treat each other like dirt. However, if you're a foreigner, specifically a white foreigner, they will treat you much better. I'm a foreigner myself, but since I'm also Asian I'm generally treated with either dislike or indifference with people in general refusing to help me with the language barrier. So basically I think there are a lot of historical sites and beautiful scenery to see, but the people make me have an overall negative impression of China as a country.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Never heard of China having great service for foreigners. I've stood at plenty of hotel desks, with my reservations in hand, being told to go away. It's routine and it's confusing. Many hotels and businesses have no English, so it's hard to know if you are even in the right place, or if they just don't want to deal with you.
I've travelled all over China and I've never been refused a room. It's almost happened (and I've heard it happen to other people), but we've always been able to get it worked out. I've never had anyone yell at me, get angry, or even get impatient. They are almost always smiling and laughing, but sometimes, just getting checked into a room can take half an hour or more. I remember being in a train station in some small town in Henan and the clerks had no idea how to run a passport through their machine to get me a train ticket, they kept asking for my ID card (lol)... as I said before, it requires a lot of patience traveling in China, but I've never been treated poorly in all of those experiences, it's not the employees fault that the Chinese government requires foreigners to be treated differently, once people get over that and learn to be patient, it really eases traveling in China. Traveling in China, especially outside the main cities and the biggest tourist areas with no knowledge of Chinese would be almost impossible.

Also, I said friendliest, not great, there is a difference... The worst experiences I've had traveling was in the Bahamas and in Chicago. I'd rather be patient while the employee is figuring something out, then to deal with rude employees. Once you get used to some Chinese cultural norms, I find Chinese people to be very friendly.

The Chinese government recently (this year, 2017) made new changes requiring a national standard for English in tourism and national parks, so hopefully we will start seeing more (and better English) signs and service especially at national parks and in the tourism industry. Most federal signage and documents are currently in Chinese and English, but many times what is written isn't comprehensible.
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