The Chinese people

1 05 2010

To be honest, when we arrived in China we were a tiny bit skeptical about China and the Chinese.  We have seen Chinese tourists in action, rushing forward in a big group without respecting any rules or customs and we read the book Lost on Planet China so we didn’t really know what to expect.

However we have found the Chinese to be great people in every respect.  We have been travelling through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos but we have found the Chinese in general to be the happiest and the most helpful of all the people we have met. 

Despite the apparent language barrier the people on the here have been so helpful, giving us directions and trying to help us in any way, that it has been fantastic and they have seemed really interested in us having a great time in China.  Sometimes we have been skeptical and thought that  some people have been out to get us but they have always had the most genuine intentions.

We have also found the people here to be very cheerful, always joking around and sheering laughs – no matter the situation.  Before coming to China I thought it was all hard work and no play but that has been proven wrong as well.  People  seem to be very happy and contend with life even though they really work a lot and put in more hours than we generally do in the West.

The only complaint that we have about the Chinese (generalizing again, I know) is that despite the enormous crowds the Chinese don’t seem to know how to behave in a crowd.  Proper lines are almost unheard of (like in Iceland) and people elbow them selves through the crowd (literally).  When exiting an elevator or the subway they stack up in front of the entrance and seem always as surprised that someone comes out of the door.  On the streets there is no code of conduct like trying not not get in each others way or anything like that – like in the traffic where it is not enough to have traffic lights to control the traffic, they also have to have traffic wardens so that people obey.  This made us very uncomfortable.

We have also noticed one thing about the Chinese psyche – or at least the tourist authorities psyche – they are extremely engineering minded.  All signs and guide books that we have seen are extremely occupied by how many square meters each exhibition or sight occupies, how high or wide a road/bridge/tunnel/cave is and where in the world order a particular sight is – they always want to be at the top. 

To get to the top they just invent really narrow categories like “The longest city wall in the world still standing and publicly accessible” or “the largest underground tomb fully excavated” or “the longest graveyard in the world”. 

To be fair to the sights that we visited they can really stand on their own without any previous hoopla.  China has many fantastic sights to offer and the Chinese seemed (at least to us) fantastic people.  All the hype and over-advertising just spoils the fun.

So if we have any advise to all the people that want to visit China: believe all the bad things (as it drives town you expectations) and don’t listen to all the hoopla – just enjoy the great things China has to offer when you are there.



One response

8 05 2010
Re-review of Lost on Planet China « Orn's Travel Blog

[…] like China more and more each day.  We definitely loved China and the Chinese people (as you can see here) the culture and the many historic sites in China – even though we thought that quite many of […]

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