What to Expect When You're Visiting China?

If you’re reading this, you might be planning on a visit to China or one who just want to get to know more about China. This guide is written and dedicated for those who has some stereotypes on China.

If you’re an expatriate or a student planning to come over to China and live for a period of time, this guide is also perfect for you. It is common for anyone to face cultural challenges in a foreign country, not just in China. When one enters a new country with a different culture, one tries to adapt. The cycle of adaptation is significant. In the beginning phase, everything is new and interesting. But soon after, one will feel homesick due to culture shock as well as challenges faced such as language barriers and not fitting in to the group. If adjustments are made successfully during this period, he/she complete the transformation. The transformation to a successful multicultural person. This stage is relevant and important not only to an expatriate, but also to a student. In fact, China is one of the country with the highest expatriate failure rate. The reasons for the failure are usually associated with the difficulties in adjustments.

Fret not! This guide is here to prepare you for your new journey! We, from Hi, China Travel are also here to support you.

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First and foremost, we will discuss about the most essential aspect in our life – Food! This chapter is also suitable for foodie who just want to try out food in China. Chinese are very proud of their cuisine. An old Chinese saying “民以食为天” (min yi shi wei tian) meaning food is the paramount necessity of people. This saying states the importance of food for Chinese.

Chinese food is probably not what you expect it to be, especially if you come from the US. Speaking of Chinese food, the first thing that came in mind must be Chinese takeaways such as Chow Mein, fortune cookie and sesame chicken. But that’s not what Chinese food is all about. It’s more than that, very much more!

In fact, Chinese cuisine consists of branches of regional cuisines. There are eight culinary traditions known as the best in China, which are also the widely-known ones. The eight best known cuisines are Cantonese cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Shandong cuisine, Jiangsu cuisine, Zhejiang cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Fujian cuisine and Anhui cuisine. Bear in mind that Sichuan and Hunan cuisines are really spicy!

Chinese cuisine is also different from overseas Chinese cuisines including Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

If you google ‘Food in China’, it is not a surprise that you’ll find photos of insects, dogs, or even snakes. However, this is not what Chinese eats in their daily life. Dog meats aren’t mainstream. As a matter of fact, dog meat consumption is declining or disappearing.

On the other hand, bullfrogs, chicken feet, duck blood and pig brains are common to be served on your plate.

Personal Experience: I had my first bite of duck blood and pig brains in China. When I first saw these dishes, I was quite reluctant to try as it does look inedible to me. Despite that, I’m an adventurous person and willing to try something new. Duck blood tastes like tofu whilst pig brain tastes like pâté. The texture of pig brain is creamy but firm.