Home > Topics > Travel to China
Some Common Sense during Travel in China

 

1. How do Chinese address foreigners?

2. How should foreigners greet Chinese?

3. How do foreigners address Chinese people in business and social circumstances?

4. What is Chinese people's reaction to compliments?

5. How do the Chinese say "no"?

6. What are the most popular itineraries with special features in China?

7. How many ancient cities are under state protection?

8. Is bike riding a good way of exploring city life in China?


 

1. How do Chinese address foreigners?

Answer: Officially, foreigners are addressed as Waibin (foreign guests or foreign friends) but privately, they are call as Lao Wai. In China, it is a usual practice, also the most intimate and friendly way, to address people with the word "Lao" added before the family name. For example, people may kindly call Mr. Li as Lao Li.

Analogically, they call foreigner "Lao Wai". Pronounced somewhat like "law why", this address means "old foreigner". It is not intended to be aggressive or insulting. So when you hear people call you "Lao Wai", you should feel complemented since it seems that Chinese have treated you as their own fellows.

2. How should foreigners greet Chinese?

Answer: With the development of economy and culture, most ordinary people living in large cities can speak a little bit of English. So, a "hello" or "how do you do?" is acceptable to most of them. Also, it will be more interesting if you are able to greet them in Chinese. The typical Chinese greetings include nihao (hello) and jiandao ni hen gaoxing (nice to meet you).

Of course, as a kind of universal language that needs no translation, a smile or a wave will also elicit a friendly response. On some occasions, shaking hands is a good means to greet Chinese people. However, when shaking hands with a Chinese woman, do not hold it too tightly - a light shake of the fingers will do the job.

In China, embrace is not a usual way to greet each other, except between family members and good friends. Kissing, whether on the cheeks or on hands, is unacceptable to the Chinese.

3. How do foreigners address Chinese people in business and social circumstances?

Answer: In both business and social environments, professional title is often used after the family name when address a people. For example, a people with the surname of Wang is addressed as:

Wang jingli (Manager Wang) when he is the manager of a company. Wang zhuxi or Wang zongtong (President Wang) when he is the president of a country. Wang buzhang (Minister Wang) when he is the minister of a department. Wang zhuxi, or Wang huizhang (Chairman Wang) when he is the chairman of an organization.

4. What is Chinese people's reaction to compliments?

Answer: Traditionally, Chinese people are very modest and not accustomed to show their feelings in public. So, when they are praised or complimented, the customary response is "no, no!" For example, when you praise a Chinese for his excellent achievement in the work, he would say: "no, no, my work is so-so". When you applaud somebody for his cooking skills, the most possible reply is: "no, no, it is only suitable for filling the stomach."

"No, no" here does not mean that the Chinese think your compliments are wrong or improper. It is just an unpretentious reaction to your commendations. So, when you get such a response when praising a Chinese, do not be discouraged since your compliments have already been delivered successfully!

5. How do the Chinese say "no"?

Answer: Chinese people attach great importance to their "face". They do not like to lose face, neither risk letting others lose face. So they seldom say "no" or make negative comments directly. Instead of saying no, they often express their disagreement by means of a graceful excuse or a suggestion. For example when you invite someone to have the dinner with you, if he wants to refuse you he would say: "sorry, I have something to do" or "sorry, I have a date with someone." And also if one doesn't agree with your ideas, he would say: "I have another idea!"

6. What are the most popular itineraries with special features in China?

Answer: Memorial China Itineraries: Elaborate tour plans to China's major cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin, Hohhot... Featured with contemporary spectacles in Shanghai, breath-taking scenery in Guilin, the Qin Terra Cotta Army wonder in Xian, residential houses of Qiao Family in Pingyao City and more...

Silk Road Adventure: Fascinating overland route once used for transporting silk to Europe including little-traveled parts of central China and pass through archaeological treasure houses of Xian and Dunhuang, heading into Xinjiang.

Mystical Tibet: Amazing world of the mysterious Tibetan civilization; natural spectacles of snow-capped Mt. Everest; the witness of vicissitude of Tibetan Buddhism - the Potala Palace; Tibetan festivity custom and more.

Yangtze River Cruise: Worthwhile but adventurous cruises on the Yangtze River admiring breath-taking natural scenery along the river and amazing historical site implying profound Chinese culture.

7. How many ancient cities are under state protection?

Answer: These 99 cities receive state protection for their spectacular scenery and relics.

The first 24 ancient cities of historical and cultural significance published by the State Council in 1982 are: Beijing, Chengde, Datong, Nanjing, Suzhou, Yangzhou, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Quanzhou, Jingdezhen, Qufu, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Jingzhou, Changsha, Guangzhou, Guilin, Chengdu, Zunyi, Kunming, Dali, Lhasa, Xian, and Yan'an.

The second group of 38 cities published in 1986 includes: Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Wuhan, Nanchang, Chongqing, Baoding, Pingyao, Hohhot, Zhenjiang, Xuzhou, Ningbo, Shexian, Fuzhou, Zhangzhou, Jinan, An'yang, Nanyang, Lijiang, Shigatse, Wuwei, Zhangye, Dunhuang, Yinchuan, Kashgar, etc.

The third batch announced in 1994 includes 37 cities, which are mainly: Harbin, Jilin, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Yueyang, Leshan, Dujiangyan, Tianshui and so on.

8. Is bike riding a good way of exploring city life in China?

Answer: China has for long been known as a "kingdom of bicycles" and bicycles play an important role in Chinese daily life.

Riding a bicycle means you have joined the Chinese. A bike will easily take you to alleyways and hutong, where other means of transportation do not usually have access. You can enjoy street scenes, visit small museums of celebrities, and call on residents' homes. You also have an additional advantage of freedom of movement-you can stop wherever you want.

In China, most hotels and travel agencies provide the bike rental serves for visitors, so when you needs, contact those departments. When rent a bike, a valid ID, such as a passport, should be presented. Rent is calculated based on the number of days the bike is used. A deposit is required for each rental. When bikes are returned in good conditions and a refund can be secured with the receipt.

Here are some tips for biking in China: Always ride to the right side of the street; Stop at the line before a red light; Make a gesture and let others know when you want to make a left or right turn; Obey instructions by traffic police, and when an accident happens, immediately go to the police; Carrying a person on the back seat and "hands-free" riding are forbidden; Peak hours of 7:00-8: 00 in the morning and 4:00-6:00 in the afternoon should be avoid when going on a bike tour.

Suggest to a Friend:   
Print