What were the things you liked the least when visiting China?



Kent Cutter, lives in China

As a foreigner, buying/getting your tickets at a train station.

Seriously, this ONE thing about China ticks me off to no end. I see others mentioning air pollution, excessive smoking/drinking, getting ripped off, prostitution, etc., but IMO none of these things are as bad because either 1) they also occur in other countries, 2) they’re not things that can be easily fixed, so you kind of accept them, 3) stop being a problem the more time you spend in China and understand the language/culture.

But getting your train tickets at a train (“gaotie”) station in China is just absurdly frustrating and unfair for a foreigner.





Benjamin R Williams, Travelling between North America and Asia for 9 years.

Plenty of things I love about China, however, the elevator etiquette that I deal with daily in my office building gets to me more and more. I work in a 46 story building, and the 2 sets of elevators on either side of the lobby go to floors 1-23 and 24-46.

The morning wait for my building’s elevator.

The minor things.




1.Crowded Elevators: So this one is completely unavoidable with the number of people going up and down all day, particularly in the morning and lunch. But there usually will be at least 2 people making physical contact with you.

2.Excessive Button Pushing: No, pushing the open button or the close button 5 extra times will not make it go faster.

3.Conversations Across the Elevator: 2 or more people take their positions on opposite side of the elevator and then proceed to shout over everyone else in between to have their conversation.




More irritating things.

1.Rushing the Elevator: Should we wait until there’s space in the elevator for us to fit? No. Form a 3-person thick wall around the door and force your way in before anyone else gets off.

2.Phone in Hand: Phone flat in hand is poking the person in front of me in the back or hitting their head? But..I need to play Candy Crush during this brief ride.

3.Talking on Phone: Or more precisely, yelling on the phone. You’re stuffed in with 12 other people and decide this is the best time to make your call. “Wei? Wei? WEI? WEI?” Not only does the volume become obscenely loud and echoes off the walls or is yelled right into someone else’s ear, but it never dawns that this metal box isn’t the best place for a signal…



2.拿着手机:手机拿在手里,戳我前面的人的后背,或者敲到他们的头?但. .我就是需要在这短暂的电梯搭乘时间里玩《糖果粉碎传奇》。



Tom Chandler, Sourcing with Chinese industry for 2 decades

I have traveled to China on business many times over the past 16 years and mostly enjoyed the new experiences there, but a few things that bothered me…not in any particular order. (All of these are quite tolerable for me, and I likely have a longer list for for other countries, including my own.)


1.Driving in the evening in Shenyang, many vehicles, including public buses that operate without headlights - - seems quite dangerous. This was about a dozen years ago, so maybe this is no longer a problem?

2.Smoking during business meals - before the food started to arrive, the servers bought packs of cigarettes to the table, likely at the request of our Chinese friends. The smoke became quite heavy at times and continued through the meal.



3.Heavy drinking at most business meals. I enjoy a few drinks and can even tolerate a “good drunk” but the extent of the drinking, endless toasts with frequent “ganbei” ( did i spell this right?) often had me returning to the hotel past inebriation into sickness. Drinking is common all over the world during business and many overdo it, but in my experience, China wins this one.

4.Open prostitution in many hotels - on my first visit in 1999, I arrived late in the evening at a prominent hotel in Beijing and wanted to walk and see my new adventure. The hotel staff advised that it as quite safe to walk on the major city streets. Although I wasn't in danger I was approached quickly by street prostitutes and when I attempted to ignore them, they spit at me. On each trip to many different locations, Luoyang , Shenyang, Shanghai, Ningbo, etc. it as common to be approached in the hotel or in the elevator by prostitutes, not to mention the open sex offered at the many spas where our hosts took us after dinner. Yes, I know, that sex is an old business practiced the world over, but should be much less obvious than I have seen in China. i.e., KTV shops



5.Pollution in winter in Shenyang - the smell of coal dust took me back to my youth in the 1950′s near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ( USA) when everyone heated with coal and all the electricity was produced by coal



But overall, I love traveling to and doing business to China. The people are the same as all over the world and perhaps the Chinese are not so arrogant as many travelers from the USA, if at all!

I can say nothing negative about the food, the variety is endless and awesome everywhere - oh, I did not like the stinky tofu (least-liked food)!



EDIT: After a comment by a reader I have to add anther regarding toilet facilities in many public places and restaurants… still cant get used to the squat hole with some fellow urinating next to me in his hole, but more than that - NO TOILET PAPER. This was some years ago has this changed yet? Do all Chinese carry toilet paper ?


译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/49414.html  译者:Joyceliu


Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, 350+ days in mainland China, mostly spent in factories

I love many things about China, and the positives far out-weigh the negatives. The best part about China is that the people are generally friendly and welcoming — and if you can manage a little Mandarin, you’ll endear yourself to them forever. I have many great friends made in China — and my list below by now means detracts from that.

But here are the worst parts:



1.Erratic and dangerous driving — and a general disregard for the safety of others. The rules of the road in China (especially rural):

a.Stoplights are a suggestion. When I was in China for the first time at age 16, my dad hired a taxi to take us four blocks because I was terrified to cross the street.

b.The biggest vehicle has right of way, pedestrians never have right of way. I’ve been a passenger in a car that hit pedestrians or motorbikers two times — and I haven’t spent that much time there.

c.The lanes of oncoming traffic are acceptable passing lanes. I was in rural Hunan on a 3-way-each-way highway when the driver of my car pulled TWO lanes into oncoming traffic to avoid an oncoming semi-truck so that he could pass the guy in front of us in the fast lane.

d.Seat belts do not exist in most taxis, and given the above, that’s a problem. Uber has fixed this — I exclusively use Uber in China now (and all of the erratic driving stories of the above were from factory-hired or Hertz drivers, never had a problem in an Uber).


  1. 红灯只是个摆设。我16岁第一次来中国的时候,我爸爸雇了一辆出租车带我们走过四个街区,因为我压根不敢过马路。
  2. 最大的车有先行权,行人从来没有先行权。我坐的车曾两次撞到行人或摩托车手—我在那儿逗留的时间并不长。
  3. 反向车道可以用来超车。我当时在湖南农村,在一条三车道高速公路上,我的司机为了避开一辆迎面驶来的半挂卡车,把车开进反向车道的车流中,这样他就能在快车道上超过我们前面的人。
  4. 大多数出租车都没有安全带,考虑到以上,这是个问题。优步解决了这个问题——我在中国只坐优步(上面所有危险驾驶的经历都是工厂雇的司机,优步车从来没有遇到过问题)。

2.Squat toilets. Especially when you’re not feeling well… :/

3.Pollution. Brown sunsets in Shanghai and how trips to China now are spent looking at the AQI and often wearing an N95 mask all day.




Anthony May

I’ve only been to China once, specifically Shenzhen, for a few days.

What bothered me the most is that your average Westerner either has no idea, or quickly forgets thanks to Western media that’s mostly based on the assumption of Western Exceptionalism, just how modern and developed parts of China are. The scale is mind-boggling.





Several people have “corrected” me that the example picture I casually placed in my reply was not of Shenzhen. Yes, I knew that. But so what? No, that doesn’t mean I think “they’re all the same”. Shenzhen is just one of the cities I had in mind when I wrote that reply. But for all those who seem to think it matters, here’s a few other major Chinese cities I had in mind when making my reply:

Notice I didn’t identify them either. Because it’s not relevant to my point. They’re all large and impressive cities in their own right, they’re all distinct, but my point is, they all exemplify the scale that, I think, surprises a lot of Westerners when they visit these large Chinese cities.





Mitchell Hoiland, Been there, done that.

I visited my grandparents, who are American English teachers teaching in Beijing, in April 2015.

While I was there, something that annoyed me to no end was the extreme lack of courtesy and respect when it came to taking photos of people (eg. Me).

I have naturally blonde hair, and there's pretty much nobody else in China with my same hair colour, unless they're a tourist like me, or have dyed it. When people noticed my blonde hair they would do one of three things: comment on it, which I didn't mind; ask to take a photo with me, which I also didn't mind; or they would just blatantly point their camera at me without saying a word, or even give a simple hand gesture. Unfortunately, the last group of people were also the most common.

It got so bad that I actually resorted to just pointing my camera right back at whoever was taking my picture, which hopefully made them feel pretty awkward.

Some additional annoyances were the restrictive Internet, and the nasty pollution.

Other than that, it's a pretty pleasant place.







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