China,  Round the world,  Travel Hacks

Kilometer 20 146: are you ready for China?

Wanna go to China? Go, go, go! But do prepare a bit beforehand. Whichever country you choose as your next destination, there will be always something to surprise you. It will be odd, it will be peculiar, it will be more fun or less fun than what you’re used to. In China, though, it seems that the elements of surprise are lurking around every corner. Let’s find out whether you’re ready to travel there, shall we?


You feel attached to aesthetics. You don’t enjoy listening to people farting and expectorating. You don’t enjoy seeing masticated meat pieces on the restaurant table. You don’t enjoy watching the waiter clip his toenails while you eat.


You’d rather think that your pork chop was harvested from a tree or manufactured in a supermarket. You don’t care for eating other parts of an animal than the breast and the ham and you don’t want to see somebody else munch on chicken feet, dine on tongues or duck’s throat that’s still attached to the beak.


You are a law-abiding driver and you expect the same from others. Forget it. The traffic lights and signs are there to make the streets more colourful and as a pedestrian, you don’t get to have rights. None.


You appreciate when your interlocutor understands what you’re telling them. You like to believe that you’ll get what you’ve ordered and that the few words that you had learned from your online translator and “My little Chinese phrasebook” will make your communication more efficient.


Your cutlery includes a spoon, a fork and a knife. Oh, how painful and hungry the life will be if you come to China without practicing your chopstick skills! The only chance of getting a fork in a restaurant is when you ask for tea using the phrasebook vocabulary. See above.


You can’t count. Aha! You thought that showing six fingers would mean 6? Until 5 you can scrape through (number 2 makes it tricky), after that it gets tough. You only use one hand for counting and how each sign evolved is a well-protected secret.


You start your day with coffee. You want to start your days with coffee on your holidays as well, moreover, you need your coffee to be tasty. Dear guest, you can either switch to weak green tea (alternatively just hot water) or you can learn to accept the overpriced 3in1 instant Nescafé.


Your sweets are usually made of chocolate. They do not contain beans. You don’t want your sweets to contain beans. Peas and meat – also no.


The idea of haggling doesn’t sound that fun or exciting to you, at the same time, you don’t care too much for overpaying. You reached stalemate.

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After a hot day you crave cold beer. You may get it basically everywhere, but firstly, it won’t be cold and secondly, it won’t really taste like beer.

Like their noodles, the Chinese take life with a pinch of salt. Give it a try too, it’s fun.


We're starting the journey with the desert town of Dunhuang
We’re starting the journey with the desert town of Dunhuang


On itinerary: climbing the dunes
On itinerary: climbing the dunes
... and admiring the oasis from the top
… and admiring the oasis from the top
Mogao caves - an impressive complex of Buddhist temples
Mogao caves – an impressive complex of Buddhist temples


We stayed there with a very nice family, so despite many of you challenging me to camp on the Great Wall... well, we didn't.
Jiayuguan is the place to admire the Great Wall lowstream. It has the other end of the wall, the one where almost nobody goes 🙂 We stayed there with a very nice family, so despite many of you challenging me to camp on the Great Wall… well, we didn’t.

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