China In Review

China

 

Welcome to our Country in Review section!.  We rate each country based on 7 categories.  Enjoy!  (Claire did not participate in the rating of China)

Review Guidelines

5 Stars: Incredible

4 Stars: Very Good

3 Stars: Average

2 Stars: Bad

1 Star: Very Bad

 Safety

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Surviving the streets of China

After traveling extensively in China for 4 years, there has not been one place where I felt unsafe in the land of Mao.  Violent crime rates in China are very low and it is one of the nice experiences you have when visiting this country.  Nowhere feels off limits and you can explore carefree.  It is always a strange feeling when I go back to the states and feel less safe in my home country than I did when I was in China.  The only issue in regards to safety is the high rate of traffic accidents in the country.  Somehow, Claire and I survived 3 years of dodging traffic on a motorcycle everyday but it wasn’t easy.  Most taxis do not offer seat belts in the backseat.  Other than this, China is a very, very safe place to visit.

Food

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Breakfast Soup in Yunnan

China is a foodie’s paradise!  Whether you are adventurous or not when it comes to food, China has something for you.  Each region has its own unique cuisine, and even after 4 years, Chinese food still has ways of surprising me with new dishes and tastes.  Spice lovers will also fall over head over heels for the country as China turns up the heat on many of its dishes.  For the adventurous, China provides you with everything from barbecued testicles, penis wine, bugs, and fish skin.  There have been very few meals I have not enjoyed in China and the best part of it all… it’s usually cheap!

Sights

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The Great Wall at Jiankou

China is a HUGE country.  Due to its size, the list of sights is endless.  After years of travel in the country there are still so many places that I want to visit.  The country that boasts the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and countless Buddhist temples has to be a 5 in this category.  If your into cities, head to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong to get your fill.  If your more of a nature buff, head down south into Guangxi or Yunnan province and out west to Tibet and Xinjiang.

Culture

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Village life in Yangshou

Modern China is a baffling place for most first time visitors and once you think you have a feel on what the culture is like, it flips upside down on you again.  China is best described as a land of contradictions.  It’s modern, yet ancient, conservative, yet forward thinking.  Developing at breakneck speed, this country is changing each and everyday yet feels frozen in time in other places.  With so much history, modern China has yet to find its balance between traditions of the past and the modern cultural norms that have come with its emergence as a world power.  Prepare for your senses and comfort level to be blasted.

Nature

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Mount Kawa Karpo, sitting at 22,110 feet between the border of Yunnan and Tibet

China reminds me a lot with the United States when it comes to nature.  While the east coast of China is extremely developed, a move out west completely changes the picture.  Due to its size, China hosts some of the world’s greatest natural wonders.  China boasts the tallest peaks in the world, some of the largest deserts, and deepest gorges.   Getting of the beaten track is easy, safe, and will be where you find your most rewarding experiences.  When you travel China extensively, you have seen much of what the natural world has to offer.

Cost

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I love street food in China

 

China is an extremely affordable place to live, travel, and work.  For those on a budget, China will not leave you hungry or homeless.  For those looking to tip their toe into luxury, China offers these comforts for a fraction of the price they would cost back home in the United States.  Transportation is cheap and is usually state of the art (better than US infrastructure).  Bullet trains zoom every which way and taxis usually start at around $1.40 for the first 3.5km. Money goes a long way in China, and what you get in exchange for it is some of the best in the world.

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Beijing Duck…. In Beijing!

Hospitality

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Hanging out on the top of Fushan with my best buddies Kaka and Yang Delong from Linyi

 

 

China is an extremely friendly place to visit.  Outside of the bigger cities, most people are very curious about foreigners as you might be the first foreigner they have ever encountered.  Expect friendly hellos everywhere you go, taking pictures with new found friends, and being shown the way when you are lost.  The biggest barrier in China is language, as most of the population has little or no English language skills.  Knowing a little Chinese goes a long way and opens the door for more opportunities and friendships.

Overall

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Rooftop views in Tongli

China can be a challenging yet rewarding experience.  It is one of the few places in the world that will keep on surprising you even after you have spent years traveling here.  With world class sights throughout and natural wonders to its south and west, China appeases to all types of travelers.  Traveling here can be very cheap no matter what your style of travel is.  Cuisine is out of this world and will not disappoint.  China needs to be on the top of any travelers list of places to go as one trip to China, simply is not enough.

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Claire and I enjoying the Ice Festival in Harbin (It’s almost -40 degrees here)

 

 

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