Impressions of China from a First Time Visitor


It’s perfectly ok to use white people as your backdrop in a selfie…like posing in front of some monument or notable locale.

selfie with foreigner

For an example, random man in photo. We caught many people taking selfies in front of us trying to line us up in their background.

Everyone wants to take photos with you and your white children. It’s all friendly and well intentioned, just exhausting at times.


The signs forbidding you to feed the animals at the zoo are optional.

Google and Facebook are banned in China…sometimes.


We were able to check in most of the time. It was hit and miss.

Internet works in China…sometimes.                                                                                                  china-internet-freedom

Essential apps we used throughout our trip like WeChat and Didi made messaging, payment and getting around super easy.

The smell of cooking, rotting pork upon rising (local breakfast fare) is vomit inducing.

pork brekkie

Vegan and vegetarian Chinese food is inexpensive and everywhere. There are so many fabulous new dishes in our repertoire now.

dry fried green beans

Dry fried green beans with chili and garlic

Vegetarian food abounds but if you want an alternative to cow’s milk in your coffee you are SOL.


We enjoyed fabulous coffee throughout our visit  – thanks to That’s Mags 

When queueing, you must physically touch the person in front of you. Sense of personal space is non-existent.

Millions Commence Traveling After Lunar New Year Holiday

Take time to look at yourself in your phone’s camera to primp and take many selfies in lots of non-interesting ways.

selfie 2

Paper isn’t given out. We carried tissues, toilet paper and baby wipes with us at all times. Better to be safe than sorry.


Plastic is given out freely. Drinks served in disposable plastic cups naturally come in their own plastic carry bag. Purchase a rain poncho for very little money to hop on one splash ride, exit said ride and throw it away.

rain pancho

The subway system is awesome. It’s easy to navigate, air conditioned, internet works well and tickets are cheap.

The high-speed bullet trains are so smooth, even traveling 340km per hour. Amtrak could learn a thing or two.

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Walnuts can be really expensive.


At a local antiques market

Foreign children learn to use chopsticks very quickly when traveling throughout China.

china food

Not finger food and no forks in sight

Bicycle lanes are everywhere with many people using a bike share system.

China is crowded…Expect to see 500 – 700 million people travelling within China during National Week – no joke!

crowded national week

Beijing during Golden Week

Ubiquitous response to most questions – “same-same”


Borrowed this one from Google

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