A trip to China is not one of the easiest trips that a tourist could do. The distance is long and the culture completely different, so much even if you know what to expect, you will be surprised.
The ancient temples, the huge skyscrapers, the crazy crowds and the communist atmosphere are what a traveler knows that will see and feel in China. But what could be unexpectable? Let’s take a look at the things that no one expects to face on a trip to the country with the largest population in the world.
The Great Wall is not seen from space
We are sorry, but you can not see anything from the Moon 384,000 kilometers away and the truth is that Baz Olden (the second man in history who walked on the Moon as a member of the Apollo 11 mission) tried to put an end to this Myth. The good news is that this great building is impressive when you are close to it, with easily accessible parts just outside Beijing.
China is … empty
The country can host more than 1 billion people, but again half the country is virtually empty. Visit areas such as Tibet and Xinjiang and you will see wild landscapes, blue skies and scattered small towns and villages. Even the most numerous coastal provinces have mountains and national parks.
Not all chinese eat rice – and only few eat snakes
Rice is as popular as we think in southern China, where the sub-tropical climate south of the Yangtze River favors its cultivation. However, north of the “Blue River”, wheat dominates, so there you will find more fried, noodles, steam-damping and roasted sweet potatoes. In Xian, the local “answer” to the hamburger is a piece of meat stuffed with routyamo bread. And if you imagine that at every table in China you will find snake, scorpions and monkey minds, calm down. The worst you can see is chicken legs or an animal’s intestine. Chinese may eat strange food, but most have not tasted a dog – as many think – nor want to try.
The multitude is blooming
If you thought China is a country of oppressed people who are afraid to have their own opinion, then you are wrong. You will be amazed at how many locals you will find that can open up debate and express their views on important issues, and many Chinese are very knowledgeable about international affairs. Do not be afraid to ask questions, just be diplomatic.
China is hot – and cold
Before you travel to the Far East, take a look at the weather first, because you might expect weather conditions you did not perdict. China may be suicidal in the summer, with the cities Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanjing having the nickname “The 3 Ovens” because of heat and humidity. In winter, North is frozen, but Harbin is waiting for a special snow and ice festival (5 January to 25 February).
Chinese do not all resemble each other
The truth is that in China almost everyone has black hair. In South, however, are short and fat, while in North are taller and pale. At the same time, there are 100 million people from 55 ethnic minorities, from Tibetans to Hui, so you understand that things are not as you imagine.
China is not cheap
China is an economic Asian destination, but for those who are willing to travel with a backpack or live as locals. If you choose to stay in famous hotel chains, eat western and sophisticated cuisine and have fun in big clubs, get ready to spend a lot.
Trains are (very) fast
The fastest trains in the world pass through the Beijing-Shanghai fast train. They reach speeds of 487 km / h in the trials, although they usually travel at 300 km / h. The Maglev train, however, is considered the fastest passenger train and runs from the airport to the center of Shanghai at 430 km / h.
Forget social media
Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are among the social networking platforms banned in China, meaning that this will be an opportunity for you to stay away from them for a while. Do not think, though, that the country does not deal with social media. They just have their own social media platforms, like Weibo and Tudou.
It is a developed country
There may be great poverty in China, but its large urban centers, as well as the tourist sites are well organized and rich. Expect to see stunning airports, luxury hotels, beautiful streets and shopping venues.