What is your biggest cultural shock and realization from visiting China?




Shane Thomas, Have budget travelled to 111 countries, 600 cities

In 1994 it was the starring at the tall strange foreigner with the white skin and big nose.

It was instant stardom in rural areas, the 50 hello's a day from kids, I would say Nihao back and they where most impressed. Swarming around you.

Lack of being understood in English. 6 different English speakers would give you 6 different answers to your question.

IN small cities locals knowledge was limited to where they where born, and had not left that Area, so where not worldly.

I was amazed at helpfulness of the poor even though we had no common language.

The rudeness of pushing in front of a line of people demanding a ticket.

Spitting everywhere.

Noise produced by a simple act as brushing teeth. The harshness of the tonal language and it seemed like they are allways yelling at each other.

The number of copy cat business beside each other.

The beauty of the country

The size of the country.

The number of big cities.

The density of people, clustered 40 story apartments blocks.














IN big cities, 6 to 10 people to a room

Eating of dog. Rat, snake, found in the local markets.

Climate varies below zero to high 30's

Number of mobile phones and Internet cafes. Having to supply Id to use a Internet Cafe.

IN 1994 city intersections had hundreds of bicycles merging from all directions

The size of the 3 gorges dam, with it's 600km long Lake, I saw what is now 70m below the water line, millions of people displaced.

IN modern times the improvement in high speed transportation including a maglev train that does 4 33 kmhr and has done so for 20 years.

Golden weeks last 7 to 10 days, and happen twice a year,  the whole country is traveling at once causing koas on transportation and prices go up on accommodation

Having to register with the PSB, the police if staying with a local. Hotels do this automatically with out u knowing.

How much richer China has become in the last few years, prices have increased.

Landlords to scared to rent properties for fear the tenants will trash them.

Happy travels














Rosco Johns, studied at Colleges and Universities

There were many things that amazed me in visiting China, and in each of my visits something else did.

The development. I was amazed at the empty 6 lane highways everywhere.. empty except for men in straw hats pulling their carts along them. Equally i found it odd that i am queueing for a trip on a modern high speed ferry boat with people carring chicken crates.

I was dissapointed at the volumes of trash floating down nearly every river i saw.

I was amazed to see all the motorbikes were electric, and not a petrol engine anywhere. equally amazed at how many drove on the wrong side of the road

I was shocked at walking along a road to my hotel pulling my suitcase and having a group of men drinking across the road throwing bottles at me. Equally i was shocked at a chinese policeman walking up to me outside some markets and eyeball and abuse me for no reqson whatsoever.

In a non tourist city was uncomfortable sitting on a bus enjoying the outside view, to turn around and find almost the entire bus were just staring at me.

I was a little annoyed at queue jumping when waiting for a restrauant table, and amazed at how many times i asked my chinese friend what others were fighting about when overhearing their yelling, only to be told theyre not fighting

译文来源:三泰虎  http://www.santaihu.com/47655.html  译者:Joyceliu









Anissa Fayza, studied at Bandung Institute of Technology

Originally Answered: What was your biggest culture shock going to China?

There are some interesting things I notice during my single one week travel to Shanghai in 2015. Contrary to my assumption about them before coming, I found them kind and hospitable towards their guest, and would do efforts to make their guests comfortable, despite their lack in English.

1.Massive amount of food they serve. They seemed never let the tables and plates empty during dining, and endlessly offer the guest to try all the food they serve.

2.Seems everyone drink alcohol. I don’t know if that’s applicable to all Chinese, but people I’ve met all drink alcohol with their meal. And they insisted that their guests drink alcohol too. I’ve told them that I don’t drink alcohol, but they insisted that I should drunk. I hate to brought up religion matters, but seeing that they still insisted, I eventually told them that I don’t drink because of my religion (and should have been clear to them because of my look, I wear hijab). But still, they persuaded me that drink alcohol was part of their hospitality toward guests, and that I should be OK drinking it because I was in China, lol

3.How wide their roads are. They seem to build infinite length of road that are really, really wide.







Abhishek Agarwal, Nothing to say

Interesting that I came across this question as I just landed back in Delhi after 15 days in southern China.

1.Infrastructure: Best i’ve seen. Most of it is better than U.S. The reason for this is everything is brand new. The metro is extremely well connected to every part in the city.

2.Women: Because I went for work I interacted with a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners and to my surprise, almost half of them were girls or older ladies.

3.Openness: I found their society very open. I don't know if it was just for business, but in general I found it very easy to talk to them.

4.Food: The food I had there was completely different to the Chinese food I’ve been having all this while in India and China.

China has a lot to offer and I loved their country. I will go back and explore more in future for sure.








Budi Kurniawan, Self Employed (2009-present)

I’m Indonesian chinese studied mandarin at guangzhou and shanghai for 1.5 years total, some of the biggest culture shock:

1.The culture is totally different. Being chinese descent with short ties (my grandfather came from mainland) i thought mainland chinese has familiar culture, but i was wrong, everything is different. For example mainland china has a very strong save face culture and care less about the cost of saving face while most indonesian chinese is well known to be frugal and care less about image.

2.Confucianism. In indonesia we have temples that teach confucius values and which people prays on, it’s considered as a religion called kong hu cu, i thought this religion came from mainland china and most mainlanders practise this same religion. To my surprise most chinese are atheist and not considered confucianism as religion but as guidelines on moral values.

And there’s still a lot more






Kelly Kennedy, Spent two weeks in China while sick and hungover

I recently visited my brother who lives in Shenzhen. For two weeks, our family went from Beijing, Xi’an, Zhangjiajie, Shenzhen, and then finally to Hong Kong.

I hated China, but I had some wonderful experiences on the Great Wall, the avatar mountains, and even doing some cliff diving by a beach near Hong Kong. The thing that struck me most about the Chinese culture was how much they didn't care. I like to think I'm a very compassionate person and I am careful to make sure I am not a hinderance in other people’s lives.

They could not care less about others because they are so focused on their own survival. Littering, defecating anywhere and everywhere, ripping off Americans for fun (they were thrown off guard when they realized my brother is almost fluent in mandarin), and more. Honestly, if they could take advantage of any situation, even if it would affect others negatively, they did it.

And I know that this behavior is universal to a certain extent, but there are no words for how much the average Chinese citizen will screw other people over.






M.F. Cappiello, The shortest Caucasian that Chinese people have ever seen

I was surprised at how happy people were. I came in 2000, and everything you saw about China in the US portrayed Chinese people as miserable. You would get the idea that people had basically no freedom in their everyday lives, and every day was gray and awful there. Then I came and saw all these people acting goofy and happy, like guys singing in the street, people laughing, people enjoying their lives. Even those who lived in poorer circumstances seemed to get a lot of joy out of everyday life — especially with their friends, co-workers and family members. That’s not to say that the average Chinese person doesn’t have a lot of worries and pressure (just like Americans do), but it wasn’t the dystopia I had been led to believe.



Janelle Alicia Monroy, Chinese Language student, not a Chinese person

The amount of beer that is consumed.

Since I grew up in a primarily East Asian neighborhood and spend a lot of time on Quora, many of my experiences here haven't been particularly shocking.

But what surprised me is that there is beer at Burger King, beer being sold from street vendors, on airplanes, etc. Men walk down the street drinking beer. Beer is seemingly everywhere.

I’ve found this to be pretty suprising experience.






Lucy Tokairin, Gi2C official representative, a professional internship provider in China

Originally Answered: What was your biggest culture shock going to China?

Firstly I have to say that I love China and love being in China. But... yes, there was a shock indeed to see that people (not always small kids) pee or even defecate on a streets. In Beijing, with its weird but amazing architecture, with its free public toilets every 100 meters! Yet, there are still people do their 'business' on a street like they just don't care (actually they really don't).

I remember myself having dinner at nice Chinese restaurant at Houhai (tourist area in Beihai North with lakes, hutongs, bars and restaurants) I was enjoying wonderful view of a night lake and white bridge, that looked so beautiful with all lighting ad lanterns. Then Chinese couple stepped on a bridge to help their kid pee directly to the lake. A public toilet was just 50 meters away, it was open.





Nomad Bears, studied Budget Travel & Travel Tips at Visiting and Travel (2018)

Originally Answered: What was your biggest cultural shock visiting China?

We’ve been here for three weeks and there are a few big ones.

1.The number of people: Taipei is comparable in size to Toronto or Chicago but there is so much less space for the same number of people.

2.The efficiency: The trains are on time, there are no delays and food is served in minutes. Everything here happens so fast.

3.The language barrier: We hadn’t realized before arriving the huge barrier that the Chinese language presented. It is impossible to read the signs or menus. It is not like visiting a European country and sounding out the word.

Those are our big three, otherwise, it hasn’t been that bad. The smaller towns probably offer a different experience but compared to Toronto the culture shock hasn’t been a struggle.








John Bickel, Quality/process Review in a Data Center Company

Originally Answered: What is your biggest cultural shock from visiting China?

That would relate to factors on both ends, to what someone experienced in China (which would relate to where), and to which cultures they were already familiar with. For someone visiting from Taiwan it might not be all that different (although per one take that is actually part of China), and other Asian countries may include some degree of commonality.

I visited China while living in Thailand. The two countries and cultures are quite different, in a sense, but at the same time Chinese culture is probably the main individual influence on Thai culture, perhaps more so than any original native local culture. Per my understanding the Tai people were the main group of any origin who now comprise the modern Thai population, a wave of immigration from Southern China that occurred mainly around 800 - 1000 years ago. It would be difficult to separate out early and late Chinese influences. It’s easy to notice that Thai Buddhism came from India rather than China, and that the food is different in the two countries, but the rest of the cultural background mixes.

So back to the question. I first visited China about six years ago on a business trip to Shenzhen. That wasn’t an ideal way to experience a native, older form of Chinese culture with freedom to explore; quite the opposite. Shenzhen is a newer, more developed area that per my understanding roughly equates to parts of California being a basis for tech industries. My family also vacationed in China five years ago, visiting Beijing and Shanghai. That wasn’t exposure to rural, diverse forms of Chinese culture but the experience scope was a bit more broad.





To make a long story short China was a lot more modern, developed, and familiar than I expected. It looked a lot like Thailand, just not quite as rough in places, with a much higher degree of infrastructure development. Chinese culture related to how people interacted there didn’t stand out in any particular way. Japanese people definitely seem reserved, and Thais would come across as friendly but perhaps not as open as Americans, and Chinese people just seemed normal to me. Urban culture tends to cause people to be a bit more serious and reserved, due to people being exposed to so many other people all the time, and if anything the people just didn’t express quite as much of the relaxed nature of Bangkok Thais, which is atypical for large cities anywhere.

So I was shocked that I wasn’t shocked? Surprised instead, maybe.

Air pollution was really bad in Beijing late in the trip, like a grey fog over the city, but otherwise not notable at all in those three cities. A local Chinese family friend joined us in Shanghai and I was surprised that the local people interacted differently with her than with us. They were much more vocal, and at times would seem to argue loudly with her. That might’ve just been related to her being a bit forward or abrasive, even though she never was with us. We had been friends with her for a couple of years, and our kids went to school together in Bangkok. One friend’s mother was very reserved and kind, and she was friendly but a bit more vocal, so it seemed like variation by person was the rule more than a related cultural norm.




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