Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

Talk:China

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

One Way Plane Tickets[edit]

This is my first time participating in a wiki, so apologies if I mess up somehow. I would like to get a one way ticket to China then rail out of the country eventually. But, someone told me I could be denied access on the plane or into the country without a return ticket. If anyone has any information on this scenario, I would appreciate an update to the "Plane" section.

This is not hard info so I'll put it here as a start. A few things to keep in mind : first, airliners need to pay for the return ticket if they bring in a passenger which for some reason cannot enter the country, and needs to immediately fly back, ticket or no ticket. I think this is covered by something called the Chicago Convention. This creates an incentive for the *airline personnel* to check your visa, and that's why you might not even make it on the plane. I am indeed seeing staff check this for every passenger (in Europe), so you may have to convince these guys even if you're pretty sure everything is sorted out with the Chinese ! Bring documentation, written statements, itinerary prints etc. Or just check with the airlines in advance before boarding time to avoid any stalls or stress. Second; for example in Japan it's going to be a tricky job to show up just like that and convince them that you really are going to leave the country before time's up. Basically because many people without a return ticket, well, don't. And considering that Japan is very relaxed, compared to China (many nationalities can just show up and get a 90 or 180 day visa on the spot), I wouldn't try this in China without having a lot of documentation, or even better "something" that got approved with the nice big red stamp on it. So the best thing to do is probably to contact your Chinese embassy; visa is icky stuff, even more so if it deviates the slightest from the common use. Peirz
I found that you could get around that if you flew one way into Hong Kong or Macau where, for most nationalities, you can get a 30 day visa upon arrival, then cross the border by land and you will find that they don't even worry about you having a return air ticket. I was able to get a multi-entry visa at the travel agency at the Macau land crossing in under an hour but the price was kind of steep. Celticevergreen 01:43, 9 March 2007 (EST)


Depending on your nationality, a consulate may require you require you to present a ticket for "onward travel", not necessarily a "return ticket" to your point of origin. Airlines have to check that you have a valid passport, with a face that looks like yours and a name that matches the name on the passport exactly: if your name is Madeleine and the ticket says Madeliene, you will not board. On arrival in the PRC, I've never been asked to produce more than a passport and visa -- I hold a Western passport. It may or may not make a difference.

Taiwan and China[edit]

Someone with the photo editing skills should de-color Taiwan and put a star over Taipei on the map to reflect the fact that the PRC does not control Taiwan and that Taipei is the capital of the Republic of China. --Jiang 00:47, 9 Sep 2003 (PDT)

Now I'm confused. Taipei is in Taiwan according to the map. If China does not control Taiwan, then how can Taipei be the capital of China? Isn't Beijing the capital of China the same as the map indicates? (I know that over on the wikipedia the China/Taiwan entries caused MUCH colourful debate...) KJ
A bit of history: after World War II, China was racked by civil war; rival warlords battled various political parties and bandits and other groups. The Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, were unable to hold power against the oncoming Communists, led by Mao Tse-Tung. The Nationalists retreated to their stronghold on the island of Taiwan. Both groups continued to claim all of China as under their jurisdiction.
Now, this was at the height of the Cold War. The USSR immediately recognized the Communist government of Mao -- called the People's Republic of China -- as legitimate, but the United States (and some other Western countries) continued to think of the Nationalist government, or Republic of China, as the only legitimate government of China. So there were two Chinas for about 25 years -- both laying claim to territory they didn't occupy.
In the early 1970s, however, the USA conceded the inevitable and accepted that the Communist government -- the People's Republic of China -- ruled China. As part of the negotiations for mutual recognition, the USA agreed to withdraw recognition from the Republic of China -- the nation comprising one island, and huge areas of phantom land.
And that's the way it's been for about 30 years now. Everyone trades with the government in Taiwan, which claims to be the "Republic of China", yet they accept on paper the PRC's suzerainty over the island. The PRC, meanwhile, claims Taiwan as part of the whole of China, but has no presence or authority there. Because our maps come from the CIA, they have to reflect USA policy on what the country looks like. Since the USA recognizes the PRC's authority over Taiwan, the map shows Taiwan as a province, not a separate country, and it shows Taipei as an important city and not a national capital.
In recent years, there's been a movement in Taiwan to just state the obvious: that Taiwan over the last 55 years has become a separate country, ruled by a separate government. The problem is that the PRC has declared that it won't accept such a declaration and will break the uneasy peace and attack the "rebellious province". It's a touchy subject pretty much everywhere.
Now, as to how we need to deal with this: we're not the CIA. We're a travel guide. So, I think we should give information that's realistic rather than idealistic. And, realisticly, the ROC is a separate country from the PRC, occupying the island of Taiwan. You have to get ROC visas and ROC money to travel in Taiwan. It would do ill service to travellers to try and pretend that Taiwan is anything but a separate country. -- Evan 07:50, 9 Sep 2003 (PDT)
I generaly agree with that. However, I think it is not wrong to add that not only China claims that taiwan is a rebelous province, but also Taiwan has been claiming the opposite for a while, even after US recognised PRC. Just look at the name it still gives too itself. Even if the current governement seems to be trying a few move towards recognition of independance, it is still very controversial.
By the way, not only the CIA, but most governements, and the United Nations consider taiwan as officialy part of PRC.
I think it is an extremely hot issue, probably the hottest, conserning China. We certainly do not want to make a decision too lightly, that would be considered a provocation by any chinese/taiwanese person reading this page. I think that for parctical matter, taiwan's travel information should reside in a separate page, but there should be some kind of carefully phrased disclaimer that we do not do it for political reasons, and that we acknoledge both the world-wide official position of taiwan being part of china, and the fact that both sides functions independantly.
As fot de-coloring taiwan on the map, I would advise against it. We are not in position to redifine countries borders. Let's use world wide accepted standards. And not forget that taiwan itself has not (yet?) claimed independence. If we leave PRC and ROC in the same color, some taiwanese people might hope things were different in the real world, but will probably not complain about it to wikitravel. If taiwan is marked as an independant country, be sure that most chinese readers will be offended.

Wikipedia has some extensive information on this topic:

To add on what Evan extensively stated - Taipei is the "provisional" capital of the Republic of China (Nanjing, in mainland China, is still the "official" capital), while Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China. Also note that "Taiwan independence" is not so much becoming a separate country, but officially recognizing the national borders that have defacto existed since 1949 and renaming the country the Republic of Taiwan.

I suggest renaming this page to mainland China since Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are all listed separately. This will prevent people looking for HK from going here. The statistics only cover the mainland anyways. --Jiang 14:13, 9 Sep 2003 (PDT)

Actually, the star over Taipei is not needed. Cities of foreign states are not indicated on the map. Taipei should be blotted out and Taiwan should be colored brown. --Jiang 14:16, 9 Sep 2003 (PDT)

Well, we're just getting up to s|peed on doing the map stuff. We've got a Wikitravel:Mapmaking Expedition started, but not much production yet. Working with the bitmapped images from the CIA factbook is hard -- I'm going to try to produce SVGs from the PDFs at some point so we can work with those, also. The upshot: I don't see us modifying the map for a while. Maybe we need to start a Wikitravel:Requests for map changes page to track this kind of thing? -- Evan 14:58, 9 Sep 2003 (PDT)

I am currently living in China and suggest that the page be renamed to "mainland china". This term is used by the Chinese English-language CCTV9 TV news channel and the English-language China Daily and Peoples' Daily newspapers. As all news media in China carefully adheres to government polices for fear of censorship it can be concluded that "mainland China" is an officially accepted term. It works for them and it works for us as it nicely describes all of China except for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and some small islands in the South China Sea. Hong Kong and Macau can simply be linked to on seperate pages but listed as Special Administrative Regions Of the Peoples' Republic of China. It would also be wise to steer clear of political debates on this site or I fear that the Chinese government may block it as they do with Wikipedia. That would be a great loss for travellers in China.--akajoey 01:22, 7 March 2008 (EST)

There's no need to rename it. There is already a disclaimer box so people looking for Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan will click on the link for the respective territories. We have made it clear in the Taiwan article that Wikitravel is not a political endorsement of either side.

Province list[edit]

I'm just copy/pasting this from the article to replace it with the 8 traditional regions of China:

Provinces

Autonomous regions


Municipalities


Special Administrative Regions

DhDh 16:56, 26 Dec 2003 (PST)

I've put that stuff back in, under a sub-heading, since people may want to understand the administrative status of various areas. Pashley

And within a day or two, someone took it out again, though they left my "administrarive regions" heading and related text.

I'm tempted to just put it back, but that seems silly, so I'll ask for comment here.

No comment in several weeks. I'm now thinking of making it a separate list like List of Indian states and union territories. Seems a reasonable compromise to me. I'm away the next few days (Yangshuo, Wheee!), will do it when I get back unless there are objections by then. Pashley 01:40, 27 April 2006 (EDT)

OK No comments so I'm creating List of Chinese provinces and regions. Pashley 06:47, 3 May 2006 (EDT)


What's RMB? I think I've seen the phrase "ren min bi" somewhere, but what's it mean? -phma 21:44, 15 Mar 2004 (EST)

"ren min" means people. "bi" means currency/money. Together it means "people's currency". The Chinese government likes to use the term "people's" everywhere (People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army, etc). --Uw badgers 19:10, 22 Oct 2004 (EDT)


Let's all try something new, right now, here at Wiki and find a way to close or finish all the projects which are still 'stubs' or those projects which need more attention and contribute more content by 'reciprocating' things around.
If you have a "live" website, it is very 'do-able', here's how I set it up:

This method, I believe, would benefit us and Wiki - if we don't personally have time to continue contributing at Wikipedia or WikiTravel, why don't we leave and share the rest of the time to our website viewers and others around the globe, who, perhaps, have other real-life or unique travel experiences than we do.
If we give others a break, only then that we can have the 'peace of mind' we really deserve.
Admit it, we don't have all the time and resource to be in one place at the same time and win, the 'World' is our virtual collaborator, we can't take all.


'All chinese are rude peasants'

"Something else to remember is that China has recently experienced a huge economic explosion, catapulting rural residents who are often quite socially inept into the status of metropolitan businessmen or "migrant workers". This results in a large class of people who have not yet become accustomed to living in a modern society. This means that, from time to time, you may encounter folks who due to their moderate (and sometimes substantial) financial success will appear to be reasonably cultivated but who in fact aren't and behave in a manner that most people from fully developed nations would find unacceptable. However, these peculiar behaviors are usually benign in nature.

Things you can expect from many Chinese people are..."

Am I the only one who has problems with this sort of arrogant cultral absolutism? I had changed this to say something like Chinese maners are difernt from western ones and it got changed back to chinese don't know the right way to behave. Some suport here please and I'll change it back to a more intelegent, less ofencive way of saying it. keithonearth

Have you been to China? In my view the paragraph you quote is largely accurate, and I regularly hear overseas Chinese and even well-educated(/rich) mainland Chinese moaning about the same thing. Jpatokal 22:14, 12 Jan 2006 (EST)
I've been to china four times, each time for a cupple months. I know that the points individually are true, i.e. chinese do often stare, or have loud conversations. The point is that it's not rude to stare or talk loud in china. It is in the west. To aply western maners on the world and then say that you should be ready to meet rude people in china is closed minded and arrogant. keithonearth
Hey, friend, I happen to live in China (over four years and right in middle of the country) and my own family is Chinese, and I'm the one who wrote that passage that you find offensive. I stand by it and will continue to change it every single day, if I have to. It is accurate, true and not at all chauvinistic toward this culture, which I call my own -- the statement is *fact*, even if it sounds a bit ugly to you. BTW, if you, Sir, are going to change an article or write Pollyannaish judgments on this discussion page, the least that you can do is spell right and use correct typography!! This is a serious page, not a page for wannabe politically-correct cry-babies! arcueil
        • Just because you live in China and that your family is Chinese doesn't mean you are not viewing China from a strictly Western point of view. Your writing on China is just as bad as the Frommers book. You sound like someone from 19th century England overlooking his dominion.*****
Thank you for finally coming forward to stand up for work, I just wish you had something intelligent to say about it. Or basically anything to say about it at all other than "I'm right, you're wrong". I never said that you are out and out wrong, I simply think that it's a shallow, arrogant, and most importantly unhelpful way of understanding. Anyone with this attitude will enjoy himself less, spend more time angry than one with a more laid back, accepting attitude. It's not about what's a *fact* and what's not, it's just different ways of seeing the same way. Your is unhappy, antisocial way of dealing with it. If you can manage to understand that you'll see that Political Correctness has nothing to do with it. PC is about trying not to offend others, I'm not worried about that. Nor did your opinion, despite it's astounding crudeness, make me cry; I've pretty much come to terms with the existence of large numbers of simpletons in the world. I also would like to thank you for being so explicit in stating that you are not at all interested in other peoples opinions, that you are just going to change it to what you KNOW to be the *truth*. I can't change it back daily, despite that people like you exploit the weakness of wikis, to shout the loudness and get your selves heard. I hope your next four years in china are more plesant than your last four. Keithonearth
Nonsense... It has been you, and continues to be you, Sir, who has been immature enough to repeatedly attack me in these pages. Anyone with an IQ higher than that of a chicken can see from your own posts that you have done nothing but accuse me of all manner of things and judged me in the process. It is enough. If it continues, I'll have no choice but to report you and your IP to the moderators with a view to have you banned. As I said before, this is a serious page that is gradually being improved, not a page for personal or pseudo-intellectual attacks. Cool off and back off. arcueil
I told you I'm not going to get into a shouting match over your views, no matter how narrow, angry, and arrogant they are. I will point out that on when I saw there was someone who was actually standing by the statement I did try to make a compromise, and reflect both our views, but you just reverted it to your original statement obliterating any trace of my veiw. I don't understand how you expect the page to be gradually improved if you refuse any change to any of your work, and state outright that you will change it back "every single day". keithonearth.
Hmmm... If I remember correctly, it was you who obliterated an entire section I wrote (along with a small portion written by someone else, by the way) with a silly, incorrectly typed and spelled ditty -- anyone can find out simply by looking at the history page. This kind of thing does a disservice to potential serious travelers because it waters down the realities of a country with excessively mild "goo". I have no problems editing my own work (or having others edit it for me) if the other contributors have a certain modicum of respect toward others and can also write well. For example, notice the small change in the section about staring. Someone (perhaps you) posted an addition to it which I thought was very useful. I kept it, with only a slight rewording to make it sound a little better. All you have done so far, and right off the bat, has been to attack me. Just read the very opening "quote" you wrote in this discussion. It's gross, and quite frankly, I (and other Chinese folks who live right next to my place and who have been following along with me) thought that to say, even if used as an irony, that "all Chinese are rude peasants," in big bold letters, is, in itself, very inconsiderate. If you read carefully the passage that drove you nuts, you will notice that it is balanced -- some sections are hard-hitting, rather "salty" even, while others offer a counterpoint in order to shed light and not scare people away. It's just the truth, really... Just read it with an open mind and pay attention to every word, not just a few select words. Also, and as aside to this discussion, if I am so terrible, despicable, arrogant, etc., etc., etc., how come did I write the entire Etiquette section (minus the last two small paragraphs, I should point out) around the same time as the other section you found so objectionable? Do you have a problem with that section as well? I hope not. You jumped the gun, big time, and insulted me right and left. The response you got was only natural and deserved. Regardless, let's cool off and put it behind, OK. Let's keep working on it slowly and eventually the page will be great. Cheers. arcueil

How about this for a compromise statement, which hopefully takes into account both your concerns? If you agree, I leave it up to one of you guys to do the honor of cut and paste. If you think the present paragraph is preferable, that's fine too. I have no opinion on the matter as I have not been to China for many years:

Something else to remember is that China has recently experienced a huge economic explosion, which has catapulted vast numbers of unprepared rural residents into the status of metropolitan businessmen or migrant workers. This has created a somewhat two tier social structure in major cities. On the one hand there are the more sophisticated urbanites and on the other their more rustic cousins. While the two may have equal economic footing, the latter group often behave in a manner that many people consider inappropriate in a large city. However, this behavior is generally benign.

WindHorse 2 Feb 06

While I don't feel that the above reflects my feeling that one needs to accept things as they are while traveling in a foreign country, and not be judgmental (as judgments made by tourists have no effect on anyone but the tourist him/herself) I do feel much more comfortable about the wording of the above. It represents a vast improvement over what's up on the page now, and would be happy to leave it up. I'll leave the cutting and pasting to arcueil, so as not to offend.

keithonearth 14:17, 3 Feb 2006 (EST)

Done. Very good edit. Posted it with some small revisions. Thanx. arcueil

I noticed the small change that WindHorse made and revised it to make it very compact and direct. I hope that's agreeable with WindHorse and keithonearth. arcueil

We're getting there. WindHorse 3 Feb 06

thanks guys. it's definitely progress. keithonearth

keithonearth: I know that you really want your addition to the passage, "the lesson is clear." I didn't like the wording you used and kept reverting it, but I eventually decided to keep it after some editing. I hope it's OK with you. I think it sounds right and it preserves the meaning of your thought intact. arcueil

Disclaimer box[edit]

I'd prefer that we don't get into one of those edit wars that constantly happen on China or Taiwan related articles on Wikipedia, however I'd have to say that the previous content of the disclaimer box: The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau and the island of Taiwan, while part of China, are covered in their own articles is just asking for trouble. I've modified it to read The Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau and the island of Taiwan, while administered or claimed by the People's Republic of China, are covered in their own articles. This avoids taking sides on the issue with each person free to make his or her own interpretations on what it means, and we can stick to the business of writing a travel guide rather then getting mired in politics. -Loren 17:07, 26 Jan 2006 (EST)

that seems sensible to me, ok as it is but wouldn't it be a bit better to differentiate between Hongkong/Macau and Taiwan the one country two systems thing seems totally different from the situation between PRC and Taiwan. A minor change could reflect that. keithonearth

punishment for criticisms of the CCP or leaders?[edit]

Can travellers in PRC get in trouble for insulting or questioning the chinese communist party or chinese leaders? --153.104.16.114 01:09, 18 March 2006 (EST)

If you insult or question the party, you'll be shunned by most people; you might even piss someone off and get insulted back (even if you only questioned it). If you insult or question the "leaders" while talking with someone, more often than not you'll get the same response as above. If you insult the "leaders" directly to their face, all bets are off -- you could be deported, jailed, forced to privately and/or publicly apologize, or any combination of these. arcueil

Edit war in Internet section?[edit]

I rewrote the section on the Great Firewall a while back and 202.something changed it back. I just rewrote it again, a bit differently. Input from others is solicited. Pashley 23:27, 13 April 2006 (EDT)

Edited the section in question. Hope that it is OK with all concerned. arcueil

Check out Wikitravel:Manual of style for where to put standard stuff like Ettiquite. In order to be consistent across the entire site, we like to keep the headers mostly standardized and be consistent about where we stick stuff like Etiquitte. I've reverted your move of etiquite stuff back to Respect (see Wikitravel:Country article template#Respect) -- Colin 16:02, 14 April 2006 (EDT)
Etiquette = Rules governing socially acceptable behaviour. Respect = The condition of being honored; an attitude of admiration or esteem. Since the passage in question has nothing to do with "respect" but instead with "etiquette", I changed it back to its original form. I will continue to do so, if needed. Sorry... but no cigar. I propose changing the term throughout the entire site. arcueil
And we'll keep reverting you then. If you want to change this, the correct place to bring it up is Wikitravel talk:Article templates. However, note that "etiquette" isn't a verb while "respect" is. One of the 9 definitions at dictionary.com is "To avoid violation of or interference with", which is the traveller's primary concern and the main point of the section --> respecting the customs of others. Jpatokal 03:02, 17 April 2006 (EDT)

Well, aside from being totally ungrateful toward me after having written about 20% of this article, now you are just going to go for the pettiness of plastering some obscure definition from some internet dictionary here... how sad. Respect and Etiquette are NOT synonymous, and etiquette is the proper term, not respect, regardless of what you heroes think. Who cares, name it whatever the hell you want. arcueil

Why are you making this personal? Wikitravel:Article templates says that the section on cultural mores etc etc should be called "Respect", and the same heading should be used in all guides, that's all there is to it. I, personally, am quite grateful for your contributions, but we need to enforce a certain structure to the guides to make them easy to use. Jpatokal 04:17, 17 April 2006 (EDT)
Alright, alright... I apologize. If those are the rules, then so be it. I really do think that "etiquette" is a much more accurate term than "respect" though, and I have a feeling that most readers (although perhaps not the contributors) feel the same way. Just because Wikitravel says that such and such is the correct way does not automatically make it so. It's not very important though, so whatever; I'll just let it be. arcueil
No apology needed. You are also Wikitravel — if you seriously think that Etiquette is better, then by all means bring it up on Wikitravel talk:Article templates, that's what it's there for. Jpatokal 06:16, 17 April 2006 (EDT)
Hi. I'll probably do that later, but I want to wait until this and other pages have expaned a little more and reached a "near-finished" state. The "etiquette", "respect" thing is a minor issue -- it can wait and one way or the other doesn't affect the real content of the information presented. I don't mind all that much, really; just perfectionism, I guess. Anyhow, if one looks at what is on the China page now in comparison with 4-6 months ago, one notices a pretty huge difference. Great work from all. arcueil

Size relative to US[edit]

Our text has said China is "slightly larger" than the US and "slightly smaller" at different times. I thought China was a tad larger, but numbers in the text box (presumambly from CIA factbook) say smaller. Does the answer change if you include/exclude Taiwan, or the disputed territories on the Tibet/India border? Does it depend on counting coastal waters as territory? Does a traveller care?

So I've just edited it to "about the same size as the US". Pashley 06:40, 14 May 2006 (EDT)

Chinese Government Type[edit]

Earlier I changed the "government" field in the sidebar from "Communist State" to "Socialist Republic". Later, someone changed it back. Let me make something clear: I was simply changing that description to reflect the one that exists on Wikipedia. A closer look at Wikipedia's article on "Socialist Republic" reaveals that the 1982 Constitution of the People's Republic of China officially declares itself as that. The description "Communist state" comes from, I believe, the CIA's World Factbook. Now, it could be disputed as to what the *real* government type of China is (esp. without the Marxist price controls - in my opinion, I'd avoid calling it anything with "communist" or "socialist" in it). However, it seems most appropriate to put the officially declared type (which, anyway, is practically synonymous with "Communist state").

It seems like the folks at Wikipedia have already had a huge argument concerning this.

Forezt 01:12, 23 June 2006 (EDT)

I'd say "One-party (Communist) state with a largely market (capitalist) economy." Pashley 01:36, 23 June 2006 (EDT)
As long as the one party in question is the Chinese Communist Party, I think it's fair to call it a communist state, regardless of how well they follow Marxist doctrine. The original Chinese (共产, "shared production") leave no room for doubt either, socialism would be 社会. Jpatokal 01:42, 23 June 2006 (EDT)
A bit too long for an info box... and a more verbose description should appear elsewhere in the article, so don't sweat getting the sound-bite perfect. -- Colin 02:05, 23 June 2006 (EDT)
We're not Wikipedia, so using words with a precise meaning is not so important. Instead, The traveller comes first. So the question isn't what is correct (and of course, anyone using the word Republic in reference to China should be taken out and run over with a tank), the question is what short phrase gets the point across to the traveller best? The phrase Socialist republic either makes their eyes glaze over in incomprehension, or makes them think they're going to a nice, friendly Asian version of Germany. Either way, that ain't good. The phrase "Communist state" makes one think of the recent cold war where there were communist countries with one-party systems, no democracy, little following of actual Marxist theory, but which were reasonably safe to visit if pemitted by the State. So unless you have a phrase that is more useful to the traveller, then no. -- Colin 02:05, 23 June 2006 (EDT)

Thanks for clarifying... I agree that communist state has a better deserved presence. Though if I weren't so respectful of the wiki system I would have put artificially-regulated capitalist feudalism with tinges of anarchy on countryside. (Okay, so I'm in a cynical mood. But sometimes it seems and is that bad.)

The word communism just irks me since it's probably the least apt word to describe the Chinese government... it's ironic that the meaning, however, has been twisted by the West to fit what that government has become. I suppose that's what you were getting at. Forezt 09:11, 18 July 2006 (EDT)

I live in China and I have no love for the government here, but just to clarify something, "Republic" means a country with out a king, it does not necessarily imply democracy, so I think it is fair to use the word republic. It's when China claims that it's a democratic republic that I get ill David Straub 09:23, 19 July 2006 (EDT)

Having lived in beijing for six months, and heard chinese residents discuss elections, I have had no choice but to change government type to Peoples democratic republic, as is the official type, USA officially is a federal republic, which is shown in usa article, rather than capitalist state, which may or may not be more approriate-- Dan

Per above, Wikitravel:That traveller comes first and also the ruling party calls themselves "the Communist Party." Please ask them to change their name or allow free elections first before changing this. -- Colin 11:32, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
For your information, they do hold free elections. China has the largest democratically elected parliament in the world, please research this! --dan
See comments in Talk:North Korea for how to gather a consensus to go around my opposition unless you have any more useful arguments to convince me. -- Colin 17:28, 25 August 2006 (EDT)
Free elections which only party members take part in, and which though free are seldom completely fair (at least if the tales I've heard from my party member friends are anything to go by). Anyway, my own take on the matter is that "Communist state" is probably OK as far as conveying the right impression to travellers is concerned. Though it's not strictly speaking factually accurate, given the lack of much resembling actual communism in modern China, the fact is that for most western travellers "communism" conjurs up one party dictatorship, restricted civil liberties and certain symbols (all of which China has) more than any abstract notions of control over the products of labour etc. We should be aware that "Communist state" may conjur up different images in other parts of the world, however. --Paul. 12:30, 1 September 2006 (EDT)

Map question[edit]

I'd like to replace the current map in the article with something better. In particular, I think we need a map that shows all the cities we list as important. One possibility is one of these, [1] or [2] from the U Texas collection. According to our mapmaking article, those are OK to use, mostly public domain. Site says they are CIA maps.

However, there are questions:

  • Does anyone know of a better map? Or want to draw one?
  • There are two maps. I prefer the one with shaded relief. What do others think? Is there a policy?
  • There are two formats available, JPG and PDF. Neither is ideal for us, but which is better?
  • These maps show Taiwan as part of China. Anyone know how to fix that?
  • They show all the important tourist cities except Guilin. Anyone know how to add it?

Pashley 03:39, 23 June 2006 (EDT)

The map shows Taiwan as part of China, because the US Gov't hold same stance as China does so we can maintain the cozy relationship. I'll make a new map, but do we include Taiwan as a seperate entity? Doing so might get us censored by China. - Sapphire
I'd say ignore the politics. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau all issue their own visas and have their own currency. For purposes of travel, they need to be treated separately. Pashley 00:56, 24 June 2006 (EDT)
Curiously, in 2002 the CIA indicated on the maps, produced by them, that Taiwan was a seperate entity from mainland China, however the CIA maps currently indicates Taiwan to be under mainland Chinese administration. - Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 02:11, 24 June 2006 (EDT)

Begging[edit]

"There is relatively little begging, and most beggars tend to be people with obvious physical problems. In general, beggars are not too aggressive..."

Not my experience in Beijing in 2004. I was staying near Wangfujing, and as soon as I left the hotel, one beggar after another would follow me - some old, some children, most normal-looking. They frequently grabbed my arm. We were able to get them to give up, but it wasn't easy even though we knew enough survival Mandarin to make clear they weren't getting anything out of us. It was quite unpleasant.

In terms of heading off people trying to sell something we weren't interested in, which was an even bigger problem in Shanghai than in Beijing, I found that saying "buyao" (I/we don't want it) worked well. Vendors might come at us from all directions, but they were less persistent and less unpleasant than beggars. In Changchun, the vendors were actually pleasant, as was almost everyone else we encountered in the center of town. - Michael 11:46, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and my experience is in completely different parts of China, so I've rewritten the section. Pashley

I've lived in China 5 years and traveled to most of it's provinces, and I gotta say, the only place you see beggars is where you see lots of tourists. I have to agree with the original statement that beggars are rare in China. Beijing might be the worst I've seen in China. Shanghai has some but they are not much of a nuisance. The Chinese are poor, but most of the beggars are professional and many do have "obvious physical problems." China isn't like Latin America, where tons of homeless kids mob you, or like India, where opportunist kids will come up to you. I've edited the begging section to reflect this. --David Straub 10:07, 26 July 2006 (EDT)

I've been to China many times over the last decade, my experience is that begging is very dependent on the location. In general beggars are very rare but there's a good chance I'll encounter one if I go past a temple. Pass a temple on a holy day and it's a flood of them.218.80.210.250 00:59, 30 April 2009 (EDT)

I agree. I was reading this particular part and I think that's a pretty general statement. Begging is extremely prevalent in certain places and also non-existent in many others. I feel like the statement above regarding Chinese attitude towards begging is rather misleading for travelers. If I were reading this, I'd think that begging isn't a problem, but it is (in some places). 96.48.67.7 05:24, 16 April 2011 (EDT)

A uniform way of describing Chinese money[edit]

I've been editing a number of the China articles and I've noticed a problem: we're all using different words to describe Chinese money. There are several different ways in Chinese to describe Chinese currency: yuan, rm, RM, Ren min bi, and Kuai. After living in China for 5 years, I can say that "yuan" is rarely used in spoken English. Kuai and Ren min bi are the most frequently used. I've seen use "Y" on travel, which resembles the symbol the Chinese use but doesn't have the two horizontal dashes. I propose that we all use capitalized RM as the travel standard for describing Chinese money. It is more concise then Kuai and easier to pronounce for novices. The "Y" with two horizontal slashes would be easier but it may appear as a different character on computers with non-Chinese scripts installed. Suggestions? Ideas? --David Straub 10:00, 26 July 2006 (EDT)

I think either spelling our "yuan" or abbreviating "¥" are the only correct options. The "RMB" thing is popular but strictly speaking incorrect (it would be like giving British amounts in "sterling"), and kuai is spoken Chinese, not English. Jpatokal 10:25, 26 July 2006 (EDT)
By the way, "¥" is also the standard symbol for Japanese yen, which is included in most mainstream western font sets, so it should display fine on most computers. - Todd VerBeek 11:14, 26 July 2006 (EDT)
Okay, that sounds fine. I think ¥ is more convenient than spelling out yuan. Then we should make a standard and making things uniform. Right now it's a mess. I'd be willing to do some of the changes. --David Straub 22:58, 27 July 2006 (EDT)
I changed everything I caught to ¥ on the China page and a few other pages. It would be helpful if in the future we all used ¥ as the uniform standard. --David Straub 23:55, 3 August 2006 (EDT)
Great work! Now all we have to do is nuke every other occurrence of "RMB" in Wikitravel... Jpatokal 00:17, 4 August 2006 (EDT)
So we don't care that Chinese people never use ¥? Some Chinese may even find the yen symbol offensive, ehehe... The symbol they use is 元, though I realise most people don't have the fonts to input that... Texugo 23:08, 21 August 2006 (EDT)
This is the English Wikitravel, so we use Latin letters. On the Chinese one they can and should use 元. Jpatokal 23:31, 21 August 2006 (EDT)
Actually the standard set down in Wikitravel:Currency is "prices should be listed with the currency symbol that travellers will encounter, specifically the local formatting". There's no mention of which alphabet is preferred. Still, the font issue may override other considerations, in which case ¥ is probably the next best option (I've seen it used on Chinese websites, and a small number of shops/stalls). --Paul. 12:13, 1 September 2006 (EDT)

Marriage Section[edit]

Is the Marriage Section to much information? Seems to me that if you're going to marry a foreign national, you'd need information about your own countries laws too. And there's no good place to put that here. So can we just let everyone find their own lawyer for this subject? -- Colin 02:20, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

I wrote this section and I don't mind it being altered, but I do think it has a place at this site. Tens of thousands of foreigners wed in China each year, including an increasing number of couples who meet over the internet. As for the comment "you'd need information about your own countries laws too", that's fine, but this is mostly information on what all foreigners marrying in China must do. I didn't include info on immigration for Chinese spouses because each country has its own laws; this section is mostly about marriage in China. If you want to move the American section to it’s own page, that's an option. As for having to "find their own lawyer", I recently got married in China and didn't pay a lawyer a cent. I wrote this so people could avoid the hassle of having to cut through the bureaucracy and expenses of hiring a lawyer. No problem editing this section, but let's have a discussion first.--David Straub 06:26, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

I eliminated the section for Americans only and cut down on some redundancy. What does everyone think now? --David Straub 09:23, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

We have Driving in China as a separate article, information not of general interest but useful to some travellers. Why not treat marriage the same way? Pashley 22:21, 21 August 2006 (EDT)

No comment in six weeks. I'll plunge forward with the change if no-one objecs before I find the time. Pashley 09:33, 7 October 2006 (EDT)

Many of the claims are no longer true in China. A Chinese do not need permission from the government if he or she is marrying a Chinese. The process can be done within 3 hours. Marrying aliens could be another story though.

I kind of agree with the above, it's a bit of a surprise to discover a lengthy explanation on this topic in the middle of general information about China, especially as it has nothing to do with travelling per se. If you're planning to marry in China, you're probably already familiar with the country, so why write that kind of information in a general-introduction type of page ? Seems like a huge jump in targeted audience there.

While I still don't think the section belongs, I did list this issue on Wikitravel:Requests for comments and no objections other than mine were raised, so it seems like consensus is to keep the section. Please do remove anything which is incorrect though. -- Colin 15:43, 21 December 2006 (EST)
I'm with Colin on this one -- it's too much information on too obscure a topic, and doesn't belong on the main China page. I wouldn't object much to a separate "Marriage in China" page, although even that is kinda borderline for a travel guide. Jpatokal 22:37, 21 December 2006 (EST)
I've moved the text to Marriage in China and edited some. Methinks it could still use work. Pashley 01:15, 22 December 2006 (EST)

Regions[edit]

The current region setup seems fairly arbitrary and weird to me. When I see "North East China", for instance, I normally think of Dongbei, which consists of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang and definitely doesn't include Beijing (I don't think I've ever seen Beijing described as being part of the north east before). Equally, it seems a stretch to include Shanghai as part of south-eastern China, typically Shanghai is seen as part of eastern China while the south-east is usually considered to be Guangdong and surrounding provinces (at least in my experience). So I'd like to suggest the following divisions, which are roughly based on the Greater Administrative Areas and at least attempt to group the provinces into culturally/economically as well as geographically similar blocks:

There's a few provinces that I'm not 100% sure about and which could move (Inner Mongolia is technically geographically north, but I put it in the north-west since it's culturally closer to Xinjiang than Shandong; and Sichuan, Chongqing and Henan (which I know very little about) could maybe move into the southern-central section) so comments and criticisms are welcome. I do think the current setup needs changing, however, as it neither reflects common regional divisions of China nor is it a particularly useful division for travellers. --Paul. 03:34, 2 September 2006 (EDT)

Sounds good to me. Jpatokal 12:00, 2 September 2006 (EDT)
Me too, though I wonder about "South-east: ... The old trading centre." and "East: ... The new economic centre.". Shanghai has been a trading city for a long time and the Pearl River Delta is still a major economic center. I don't have anything better that's short enough, though. Pashley 00:23, 5 September 2006 (EDT)
Well Guangdong and Fujian were trading areas back when Shanghai was just a fishing village, but I do take the point that it's not the best description and was just what popped into my head at the time. The actual descriptions if we used these regions would differ from those above. The east should probably mention both its current financial boom status (Shanghai and Zhejiang are the main targets of foreign investment nowadays) and its historical importance as home of two major capitals (Nanjing and Hangzhou). The south-east should mention its historical and still current role as gateway to the east and south, and maybe its reputation for food. Maybe there's other things I'm missing too, I don't really know the area at all well. --Paul. 12:39, 5 September 2006 (EDT)
We seem to have consensus, so I've changed the page. I put Chongqing and Sichuan in south and Guizhou in Southwest, though. Pashley 09:20, 10 September 2006 (EDT)
I've re-linked the region pages, corrected their (respective) list of regions, started an East (China) page for the new region, and tried to synchronize the isIn listings and ledes for each of the provinces and municipalities listed. I'd appreciate some double-checks on those, though. --Evan 11:48, 10 September 2006 (EDT)

Chengdu stuff[edit]

An anon user has added stuff under both "Drink, Coffee" and "Internet" recommending the same cafe in Chengdu. I'm going to chop it out here and move it to Chnegdu if it is not there already. Pashley 10:41, 16 September 2006 (EDT)

Copyright in Learn section[edit]

Resolution: went ahead and removed this section, what was left after rewrite was besides a copyright violation, void of content ("there's a website somewhere by a ministry that governs something") Peirz 11:56, 12 January 2007 (EST)


Most of the section appears to be copyright violation. It says "source: China Daily" down at the end of the section. I cannot trace it there, but word-for-word identical text turns up here: http://www.chinatravelclub.com/news/02070412.asp

Does someone have time to fix this? I don't right now. Pashley 05:41, 5 October 2006 (EDT)

What do you mean fix ? Take the same information but reword so it is technically no longer a copy ? Or get rid of it altogether and write something else, such as general info about scholarships and procedures to get one ? Both ? :) -peirz
I'd say it needs a fairly extensive rewrite, get rid of stuff that's not needed in a travel guide, make the tone less formal, ... But whoever does the work gets to decide. Pashley 23:51, 23 December 2006 (EST)
Ok, I gave it a shot for the scholarship information. Two things,
  • most of it is from personal experience; I didn't read those websites are check with official sources so details might be off. Eg, the "procedure varies from country to country" bit is because "I heard" that some students had to take a test;
  • this might be going the way of the marriage section, with too much info unrelated to travelling. I tried to keep it topical by pointing out this is a good way to stay in china for an extended time (paperwork and monetary benefits). Feel free to move around, chop up, etc. :) Peirz 01:08, 24 December 2006 (EST)
Add: I've moved HSK around as well, if this is OK then imho there's not much actual info left in the "government bodies" bit, so perhaps that section can go altogether ? Peirz 03:46, 24 December 2006 (EST)

Consistency[edit]

Is there a guideline about when, and how, to write pinyin ? At the moment we have pretty much every possible permutation of with or without hanzi, with or without pinyin, with or without accentless pinyin, pinyin before the hanzi, after it, between parentheses, italic or not, etc. If there is a specific preference we can start going through the article and cleaning everything up to it. If there isn't, how about consistenly writing non-italic pinyin everywhere a chinese unit or word is mentioned, with the hanzi between parentheses. I'd use non-italic for accents' readability, an put parentheses around hanzi to not freak out users too much who see "?????". This assumes all computers can do pinyin, so there are no problems like the page becoming unusable for users who see "n? h?o" and crap like that. Peirz 07:01, 8 January 2007 (EST)

  • Use tone marks, not tone numbers. Use the tone converter if necessary.
    • 中国 is Zhōngguó, not "Zhong1 Guo2"
  • Write syllables words together and in lowercase. Split up long strings into sensible chunks.
    • 南大街 is Nándàjiē (South-Great-Street), not "Nan Da Jie" or "NanDaJie"
    • 天河北路 is Tiānhé Běilù (Heaven-Lake North-Road)


There are guidelines, but the problem is enforcement: for example, my Chinese is just not good enough to be able to enter tones correctly. See Wikitravel:Romanization#Chinese for starters, with the important bits above.
In general, Wikitravel recommends using italics for foreign words, but I'm tempted to agree with you that an exception should be made for pinyin. Jpatokal 08:12, 8 January 2007 (EST)
Thanks, that's a good start. The actual romanization shouldn't be a problem, there are fixed rules for hanyu. What I mean with consistency is also a matter of sequence, here are examples of some variations from the article, at the risk of whining/sounding pedantic :
    • China (中国 Zhōngguó) <- everything in (), hanzi first
    • public city buses (公共汽车 gōnggòngqìchē) <- same but now italics
    • "What's the lowest price?" (最低多少 zuidi duoshao) <- dropped the accents
    • Laowai (lit. meaning ... <- no accents, and now no hanzi at all
    • "tong" and "bu tong" are "pain" and "no pain" <- same but now with quotes
    • Sanlunche (三轮车) -vs- jiao (角) <- hanzi are back, but italic is random
    • more polite term is: "wàiguórén" <- accents are back; quotes
    • the front door 洗衣 (xiyi) <- now the hanzi outside and accentless pinyin in parenthesis. (and, bold not helping readability imho)
Apologies if people think this is not really an issue; it's just that I've added pinyin a few times to correct a hanzi-only bit of text, and I wasn't sure which style to pick. Peirz 03:22, 9 January 2007 (EST)
I think "China (中国 Zhōngguó)" style is best. No quotes, no italics, no bold; always give the hanzi and use tone marks the first time the word is used. Jpatokal 03:40, 9 January 2007 (EST)
Hmm. On second thought, I'm not sure italics for pinyin are a problem, and they would have the advantage of being consistent with every other language on Wikitravel and standing out better ("hey! I'm not an English word!"). Jpatokal 03:50, 9 January 2007 (EST)
I agree, but what about places where pinyin is part of the text. Again, in order to minimize damage for systems that can't show proper accents, how about simply sticking to this rule, result is something like this :
      • tong (痛 tòng) and bu tong (不痛 bú tòng) are "pain" and "no pain"
broken systems will show up as a still halfway usable
      • tong (? t?ng) and bu tong (?? b? t?ng) are "pain" and "no pain" -- Peirz 10:45, 11 January 2007 (EST)
I'm happy with what I take to be the consensus above, China (中国 Zhōngguó)
Where the pinyin is part of the text, I have a mild preference for the simpler: tòng (痛) and bú tòng (不痛) are "pain" and "no pain"
Are systems that don't do accents common? Doesn't almost everyone use some character set that handles most European languages? I thought Windows and Linux both had one as the default. Pashley 21:13, 13 January 2007 (EST)
I agree it looks better, and it probably should work everywhere. I'm just worried about two cases, 1) the first and third tone don't seem to be part of standard Latin Character Set (see this), 2) people using eg lynx over SSH, or any other funky text-only, old-school 7-bit terminal based affair to get online, or to get around a firewall (*cough*), etc. But maybe those groups are small enough to go with the easy-on-eyes option anyway. Peirz 00:45, 14 January 2007 (EST)
Me three. Writing things like "tong (痛 tòng)" is just too redundant. Jpatokal 01:23, 14 January 2007 (EST)

Replace reading list[edit]

I removed the Mezines book since it is widely regarded as pseudo-history by most academic historians and replaced it by three other books which are aimed at a popular audience which that are much more highly regarded by historians.

Roadrunner 15:16, 19 April 2007 (EDT)

Hm, given its popularity, your previous edit that added the note about it being regarded as bogus is perhaps better, then..? Otherwise the next person to run into it will again think it's for real ? Especially as I thought the first part that describes China in that time was interesting as well — unless that's crap too :| Otoh if the goal here is to list just a few books, it's perfectly ok to just drop it I guess, it's not wpedia (Peirz 05:05, 20 April 2007 (EDT))
Yes, no, maybe? I'm putting it back and see what happens :) {Peirz 06:16, 18 May 2007 (EDT)}

Does anyone know the rule that .....[edit]

a foreigner is to stay in China longer than 24 hours, he / she has to register their residential address with a local police station??? I have been told by a local authority that if my stay is longer than 72 hours without notice to the local police station, I have to get a fine of RMB100 with 7 pieces of papers to be signed by the offender, who can not keep the copies of the signed document.

I have tried to search the website of 上海市出入境管理局电子政务平台 and Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau but can not find the relevant information. All I have got is the page of

http://www.bjgaj.gov.cn/epolice/zhusu.htm

in which there is no such stories about the 24 hour- or 72 hour-delay of notice. Would anyone please verify it. If this is true, please add the information to the article

  • It is real but does not apply to most travellers. If you stay in a hotel, they do the reporting. If you are working in China and living in employer-provided housing, the employer deals with it. However, if you're staying with friends or renting your own apartment, you are supposed to register with local cops. Pashley 19:33, 9 September 2007 (EDT)

Finally find some.....[edit]

  • I found 中华人民共和国外国人入境出境管理法实施细则 at

http://www.gqb.gov.cn/node2/node3/node5/node9/node107/userobject7ai1372.html

in which

第三十条 外国人在中国居民家中住宿,在城镇的,须于抵达后24小时内,由留宿人或者本人持住宿人的护照、证件和留宿人的户口簿到当地公安机关申报,填写临时住宿登记表;在农村的,须于72小时内向当地派出所或者户籍办公室申报。

To be very interesting, there is no rule, in this document, which could apply for the penalty for breaching of this article. Is there any 中华人民共和国外国人入境出境管理法--实施--细--细--则???

Since all the relevant documents don't have the clear document history & numbers, I have been very confused which one is active and which is ceased to be effective.

Have a look at these links

http://www.law-lib.com/law/law_view.asp?id=3412

http://www.mfa.gov.cn/chn/lsfw/qzjj/fafg/t267621.htm

http://www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/chn/lsfw/flzn/t9777.htm

http://www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/chn/lsfw/flzn/t9778.htm

Sadly enough, the only link that I consider as authentic can not be opened at

中华人民共和国外国人入境出境管理法 - http://leshou.com/show/140282

it returns an Error 404: /page/flfg/smflfg\fg9.jsp

there is no alternative for me to access to this link. Goodness me, lots of headaches ahead.

Be careful such a website.....[edit]

http://www.mfa.gov.cn/chn/lsfw/qzjj/fafg/t267621.htm

The page has been updated since the above post and the publisher is jumped from one to another. That is why I have doubted about its authenticity, even though the domain conains ....gov.cn

Guidebooks[edit]

So basically anything other than LP should be kosher? 65.113.42.23 19:51, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

Visas for U.S. citizens[edit]

In the section of the article on Visas, it says, "All visas are now issued as multiple-entry visas with a one year validity and 90-days term of entry each stay." I'm unable to verify the validity of is statement through the Chinese Embassy website or the websites of various visa services. I assume it is an incorrect statement, although I wish it to be true. Can anyone substantiate the validity of this sentence?

Last time I got a tourist visa — Canadian passport, Macau visa office, July 2007 — I asked for 60 days and they said only 30 was possible. Pashley 18:44, 20 November 2007 (EST)
I got a 12 month multiple entry visa through mychinavisa.com in March 2008. They told me that this is automatically issued now instead of a single/double entry visa. They are all $130. Perhaps this is a quirk of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, but I did get it without a problem.
Nothing has changed. There are still single, double and multiple visas to China. Here is a great source for Chinese visa requirements not for U.S. citizens only, but for all nations around the world - http://china.visahq.com/
I'm currently in Shanghai on a one year multiple entry/60 day visa so obviously something other than the 90-day visas exist. Note that the rules are more lax than the main page indicates, I am staying with relatives with no letter required. Furthermore, two-year visas exist but are hard to obtain. Last fall when my wife (a former Chinese citizen) got a new visa they gave her a two year/90 day visa. The travel agent felt that I could get one also--however, I wasn't going that trip so I didn't apply then. This spring things aren't as good, they didn't even try for the two-year visa.218.80.210.250 01:09, 30 April 2009 (EDT)


Food Safety[edit]

I added a note (in the "Staying Healthy" section, sub-section on street food) mentioning that ginger will resolve minor stomach discomfort. User:Cjensen removed this with note, "Ginger is not a bacteriacide." I'm aware ginger isn't an antibiotic, but it still resolves minor stomach discomfort -- it's better against nausea than many OTC and prescription remedies (here's an example: http://www.med.umich.edu/opm/newspage/2005/ginger.htm; though I can't vouch for every single piece of the extensive research done on this common herb.) I'm posting this here instead of re-editing the article, so that there might be a consensus first. Perhaps I should use different wording -- "Ginger is effective against nausea, though it does not kill bacteria."? I'll put this in the article in a few days if no one objects. Tatterdemalion 05:09, 20 November 2007 (EST)

With the clarified wording, by all means put it in. Pashley 18:46, 20 November 2007 (EST)

Respect, or disrespect[edit]

There may be valid sentiment behind this contribution to the "Respect" section, but it's not in step with the style of the article; the first part is made entirely redundant by the "talk" section and the second is phrased with shocking misogyny. I took this chunk out, but I'm putting it here; someone with more involvement in the article might care to rehabilitate the content. Tatterdemalion 06:07, 20 November 2007 (EST)

[i]When in Rome (or Beijing).... Try to learn some Chinese and use it, people will treat you noticeably better when you at least try to speak the local tongue.

Ghosts of the pass If you are a non Asian male try not to walk around with Chinese women by your side as if you are some kind of sex machine, given its history Chinese do not like that, many westerners have been beaten due to that exact reason. Try to keep the relationship clean, many young travelers thinks its ok to show off their new catch in public, Chinese see that as an insult to their people, an attempt to "colonize" their women. [/i]

I actually agree with the sentiment the author is trying to express, it's just worded really badly... it would probably best be reworded as a recommendation to avoid excessive public displays of affection with anybody, but particularly local girls. Jpatokal 06:46, 20 November 2007 (EST)

History section[edit]

This section has recently been modified a fair bit. I disagree with several of the modifications but, since most of the original text was mine, I'm holding off changing it and instead asking here for other opinions. Pashley 06:08, 8 December 2007 (EST)

IMHO the style of your version was uniformly better, and there's not much particularly worthwhile factually in the new edits either. Jpatokal 12:20, 8 December 2007 (EST)
I've edited fairly heavily, trying to include some of the other editors' points and add some (too much?) detail. Comment or further edits solicited. Pashley 09:24, 9 December 2007 (EST)
I spy some more tampering -- I'm using that loaded word because someone specifically added "not much new has come out of China since the Industrial Revolution" and another negative-opinionated edit. You might want to be aware of this. Tatterdemalion 09:37, 9 January 2008 (EST)

Proxy servers[edit]

What about adding a list of proxy servers that are accessible from China? Those traveling in China may want to access sites back home that may be blocked.

The problem is the whack-a-mole nature of this — any sufficient popular proxy server or even a site listing proxy servers will get banned sooner or later. Jpatokal 10:12, 5 January 2008 (EST)

Money[edit]

I think it would be a good idea to move all subsections in the Buy section that deal with money, currency and banking into a seperate section called "Money". I don't think they match the idea of the Buy section and are deserving of there own section. Any thoughts? --akajoey 01:26, 7 March 2008 (EST)

I've gone ahead and done this.--akajoey 04:26, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

Be careful for fake money in China. The note size increases with its value, i.e. bigger notes are worth more. There are 10 cent and 50 cent notes labeled with 1 or 5.

Possibly controversial change[edit]

I just deleted the second sentence of this, in the introduction to the History section:

  • The first civilizations in China arose in the Yangtse and Yellow river valleys at about the same time as Mesopotamia, Egypt and India developed their first civilizations. Of these great ancient civilisations, China is the only one to have existed continuously till today.

Certainly, that is a common claim, something Chinese say all the time. However, I think it is nonsense. Lots of other places — Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, India, or even the Mediterranean cultures of Greece, Rome and then Christendom — could claim to have had continuous civilisations for millennia. And China has not been all that continuous; for one thing it has been conquered by outsiders like Mongols and Manchus.

Anyone care to argue the point? Pashley 08:17, 29 June 2008 (EDT)

map of chinese dialects not working?[edit]

the image or map wont show up??? --Hayfield 15:06, 13 November 2008 (EST)

Works for me. Firefox 3 on Linux. Pashley 19:07, 13 November 2008 (EST)
cool good to know that it least is showing my internet is just not showing it hmmm strange but thats okay if you got it on firefox thanks for letting me know. :) --Hayfield 19:42, 13 November 2008 (EST)

Contact:Internet:Access - NSA Monitoring?[edit]

"Traffic may be monitored by PSB; if you are an American abroad, you are being monitored by the NSA too. "

Who added that little pearl about the NSA tracking the online actions of an American abroad? I am intrigued, as this sounds like bulldust to me - how does the NSA identify an American internet user, located in China, and then have the means to monitor their internet usage? I can imagine that the NSA may monitor internet activity between China and America, and would be able to do that for people of any nationality - not just Americans (ie an Australian, in China, accessing GMail located on a US Server), but just American users? As I said - sounds like a bit of fantasy to me.

Anyone have any references supporting this claim? Just wanted to check before reducing it to "Traffic may be monitored by PSB."

--Lucanos 07:35, 8 June 2009 (EDT)

Cryptography and Internet security are my field. The claim strikes me as implausible bordering absurd, but of course I could be wrong. The US does monitor a lot of things, e.g. via Echelon. Also, they interfere with citizens abroad more than other governments, collecting US taxes on income earned abroad, and prosecuting for actions abroad such as visiting Cuba or providing technical help to a foreign project that violates US arms export restrictions. Pashley 07:47, 8 June 2009 (EDT)

Visa Restrictions?[edit]

I heard that due to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square "incident" and the 60th anniversary of the creation of the PRC (October 1st) no more one year multi-entry visas are being issued. Is there any truth to this?

Rumours abound. In Hong Kong in August, I was told by an agent that only three-month visas were available there. Universities, and for all I know some other employers, can still obtain Residence Permits for foreign staff. Those are in effect one-year multiple entry visas. Pashley 22:54, 19 September 2009 (EDT)

Status of this Article[edit]

Having understood (I think!) the bar for a country article to reach guide status here, sadly I do not think China comes even close (it would be a hell of an achievement if it did). For example, some of the immediate sub region articles are empty. I have changed the status of this article to usable.--Burmesedays 05:04, 21 September 2009 (EDT)

I made a pass through the region articles, found none entirely empty but all problematic. I've done some work on them, but they need more. So do several of the province articles. Volunteers? Pashley

Looking at Wikitravel:Country_guide_status, it looks to me like this article has most of it, "Has links to the country's major cities and other destinations ... a valid regional structure, and well developed prose in all the standard sections. ... Layout closely matches the manual of style. All important ways to get in should be detailed, along with some suggestions for moving out, and thorough information on getting around. At least 2–3 good-quality photos accompany the article; preferably showing famous or important attractions." We have all that here.

However, the two places where I have "..." above both give requirements for lower level articles. This cannot be a guide until all the "major cities and other destinations" and all the immediate subregions are at usable status. Many are, but there's a fair bit of work to do on the rest.

Volunteers? Pashley 09:55, 8 November 2009 (EST)

All the subregions are at outline status, as are most of the province articles. The major cities are all usable or guide. Among the first group of "other destinations", only Hainan is at outline. In the other groups, nearly everything needs work. Pashley 10:24, 8 November 2009 (EST)

Getting off the train[edit]

How do you know which station to get off on if you're traveling by train? Do you just show your ticket to a conductor if you don't know Chinese? I had this problem and wound up going one stop too far. 24.7.70.89 04:25, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Yes, or ask your neighbors. The stations do generally have signs with the name in pinyin, but they may not be visible or not in time to get off. Pashley 08:54, 14 October 2009 (EDT)
Also not a problem on the D trains as they have 'next station is...' announcements in English and a scrolling LED sign at the end of each carriage. Cardboardbird 06:54, 25 January 2010 (EST)

Books & cinema[edit]

We currently have long lists of both books and movies. Do we actually need them? Are they useful to a traveller? I'd recommend Wild Swans as orientation to anyone coming to China, as a way to get a feel for the place, but that's the only thing on either list that I'm certain is worth mentioning here. I'd say the cinema section is pointless and so are most of the books in this context. I'm not questioning that they're interesting or well-written, just whether they are useful in a travel guide. Pashley 08:54, 14 October 2009 (EDT)

Ran across Talk:Antigua_Guatemala#Antigua_book which seems to say don't link to books at all. I'd have left the Antigua one in, and want to keep the one at Macau#Read, but I do think there's a slippery slope here and the China article is already too far down it. Pashley 07:59, 19 October 2009 (EDT)

I'm in favor of the sections as an idea, but the 9 limit used elsewhere (such as city lists) should be applied if length is becoming an issue. (And in this specific case, no, the article doesn't need five Zhang Yimou films.) Gorilla Jones 08:34, 19 October 2009 (EDT)
I agree with a hard limit of 9; a few books are useful but too much is too much. Jpatokal 09:26, 19 October 2009 (EDT)

Popular cities to visit[edit]

There's a note "don't change or add anything to the list of cities" on the article, so I'm doing that now. Suzhou is so close to Shanghai that it should be mentioned so those wanting to visit Shanghai can now Suzhou is just a stone's throw away. Stating Hangzhou is south of Shanghai by a 2-hr car ride is debatable. There, hopefully I didn't piss off anyone.Zepppep 15:59, 21 December 2009 (EST)

It's not really bothersome to me, although that information can also be mentioned in the "Get out" and "Get in" sections of the Shanghai and Suzhou guides. ChubbyWimbus 02:48, 22 December 2009 (EST)

Other destinations[edit]

This section should list only 9 articles and have no sub-sections. We currently have a very long list there, split into categories. With all the China based folks we have here it should not be hard to get this list into line with WT policy. --Burmesedays 20:56, 18 January 2010 (EST)

Drats! I kind of like the convenience of the list, although it does go against policy... ChubbyWimbus 01:39, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Yup. Bad luck :). This format has has been copied elsewhere also - see Phillipines for example (I have already cleared a long list of mountains out of there). So we ought to deal with this one. --Burmesedays 02:06, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Well, for the record, I didn't create the list. I simply allowed it to exist knowing it was against policy...
As for what to make the official 9, I like these:

I also like Mount Wudang, but I'm biased. It's worthy of being on top, but it may not be well-known enough. China has so many amazing sites, I'm sure others will have more good sites. Since itineraries are already on the page, do we list them in the 9? The Silk Road is obviously a great choice for the top, but it's already there in the itineraries. Actually, the Yangtze River is also an itinerary... ChubbyWimbus 02:27, 19 January 2010 (EST)

I know close to zilch about China, so I will not be very helpful I am afraid. I would suggest we should avoid redlinks though. And I would pitch for the Giant Panda sanctuaries - I think they make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sichuan? --Burmesedays 02:52, 19 January 2010 (EST)
This is our best bet for Pandas: Jiuzhaigou_Nature_Reserve. UNESCO World Heritage Site, pandas, karsts, waterfalls and a very nice article (which I am about to go through and tidy up). There is no article for Wolong, which is the one I was initially looking for. --Burmesedays 08:32, 19 January 2010 (EST)
That Jiuzhaigou_Nature_Reserve article is stunningly good. After some formatting I have whacked it straight up to guide. --Burmesedays 08:48, 19 January 2010 (EST)


I think the itinirary's section is a great way to fill in more sights, so let's use it, so we can use Yangtze River's spot for something else, how about Yangshuo, which very conveniently handles itself as a region, rather than just the town? I hear the town is looking more and more like Kao-San every day, but I'm sure the mountains and Li river haven't changed that much since I was there. Never mind had missed Guilin in the city's list --Stefan (sertmann) talk 08:51, 19 January 2010 (EST)
I like having one of Sechuan's panda cities/places in the list, so I think that's a good add. I made my list without looking to see if all of them existed. The Yungang Grottoes link to Datong. I thought of the Gobi Desert, because it is so famous, but if we don't have a city in the area, I think we can find other places. Most of the suggestions are cities, but Wuyuan County, Jingdezhen, and Turpan are some other interesting places. ChubbyWimbus 22:39, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Before I start talking, I should say that I'm not an Asiaphile and know very little about China. The Jiuzhaigou_Nature_Reserve is a nice article, but it says that "due to the park's size, and the many tourists, the chances of seeing them are very small." So are there better options to see pandas? Keeping in ming geographical diversity, don't forget Tibet, which has three interesting ODs on that page. And since I like Central Asia, I must promote the Uighur Xinjiang region which has Tianshan Tianchi National Park and Turpan. Turpan is a technically a city (250,000 people), but there's a few interesting sites 20-50km from it: ruins of 2 Silk Road cities, Flaming Mountains/1000 Buddah Caves, and a lake 155m below sea level (second lowest on Earth). Perhaps we can treat it specially? AHeneen 02:56, 20 January 2010 (EST)
Depending on who you believe, there could be as few as 1,000 wild giant pandas left in the world. Absolute maximum is 3,000. In other words, very, very few. Couple that with the fact that they are shy and retiring, and I doubt a casual traveller has more than a very slim chance of seeing them anywhere. The good thing about the Jiuzhaigou article is that it is clearly a very impressive place, Pandas on view or not. Hard to enthuse too much about Tianshan Tianchi National Park - I tried, but it does not seem a particularly important place. Turpan is definitely better, providing we accept that it is a bunch of archaeological attractions and not a city. I would be happy with Turpan. --Burmesedays 03:39, 20 January 2010 (EST)

Mail[edit]

Some questions I have about mail, I couldn't find this in the article. Would be usefull if answers were added.

Where can you buy stamps in China? Are postcards available at tourist spots? I heard you had to watch the postal worker actually "stamp" your mail or they will take off you stamps and reuse/resell them? 84.196.52.80 08:06, 13 February 2010 (EST)

Other destinations cut[edit]

Following the discussion, I cut the list and place the rest here for the future:



The skyline of Pudong, Shanghai

China has dozens of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Sacred sites[edit]

For sacred mountains, see the next section.

Several sites in China have famous Buddhist art:

  • Yungang Grottoes in Shanxi Province - more than 51,000 Buddhist carvings, dating back 1,500 years, in the recesses and caves of the Yangang Valley mountainsides
  • Mogao Caves in Gansu province - art and manuscripts dating back to the 4th century
  • Dazu Rock Carvings near Chongqing - dating from the 7-13th century
  • Longmen Grottoes near Luoyang - 5-10th century

Mountains[edit]

The Hong Kong skyline, with a famous Star Ferry in the foreground

China is home to many sacred mountains.

The Five Great Mountains (五岳 wǔyuè), associated with Taoism:

  • Mount Tai (泰山), Shandong Province (1,545 meters)
  • Mount Hua (华山), Shaanxi Province (1,997 meters)
  • Mount Heng (Hunan) (衡山), Hunan Province (1,290 meters)
  • Mount Heng (Shanxi) (恒山), Shanxi Province (2,017 meters)
  • Mount Song (嵩山), Henan Province, where the famous Shaolin Temple (少林寺) is located (1,494 meters)

The Four Sacred Mountains (四大佛教名山 sìdà fójiào míngshān), associated with Buddhism:

  • Mount Emei (峨嵋山), Sichuan Province (3,099 meters)
  • Mount Jiuhua (九华山), Anhui Province (1,342 meters)
  • Mount Putuo (普陀山), Zhejiang Province (297 meters, an island)
  • Mount Wutai (五台山), Shanxi Province (3,058 meters)

The three main sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism:

There are also several other well-known mountains. In China, many mountains have temples, even if they are not especially sacred sites:

  • Mount Qingcheng (青城山), Sichuan Province
  • Mount Longhu (龙虎山), Jiangxi Province
  • Mount Lao (崂山), Shandong Province
  • Mount Wuyi (武夷山), Fujian Province, a major tourist/scenic site with many tea plantations
  • Mount Everest, straddling the border between Nepal and Tibet, world's highest mountain
  • Mount Huang (黄山) (Yellow Mountain), in Anhui province, with scenery and temples
  • Mount Wudang (武当山), near Danjiangkou in Hubei, Taoist mecca, birthplace of taichi and Wudang kung fu
  • Changbaishan/Paektusan (Chinese:长白山 Korean:백두산), the most sacred mountain in the world to both ethnic Manchus and Koreans, located on the border with North Korea

Revolutionary Pilgrimage Sites[edit]

  • Shaoshan (韶山) - First CCP Chairman and Chinese leader Mao Zedong's hometown
  • Jinggangshan (井冈山) - The first CCP rural base area after the 1927 crackdown by the KMT
  • Ruijin (瑞金) - Seat of the China Soviet Republic from 1929 to 1934
  • Zunyi (遵义) - Site of the Zunyi Conference where Mao Zedong joined the Politburo Standing Committee
  • Luding (泸定) - Site of a famous forced crossing of a high mountain river
  • Yan'an (延安) - Primary base area for the Communist Party from 1935 to 1945

Outlying territories[edit]

--globe-trotter 13:00, 7 June 2010 (EDT)


Thinking further about this, I think these could be reworked a little and added as subheadings in the "See" section. It's good travel information, but too much for the OD. ChubbyWimbus 19:05, 7 June 2010 (EDT)

Cities list[edit]

We're having a debate about keeping Lhasa in the Talk:East Asia article, but it's not even listed here!! Shouldn't there at least be one city from the Western part of China included? --globe-trotter 19:09, 18 July 2010 (EDT)

You are right. Any city that makes it at the continental level should be important enough to be one of the 9 cities on all lower levels that it is a part of. Tibet and Turpan are both listed as "Other Destinations" which may be why Lhasa is left out of the cities. If Lhasa is added, I would say Guilin or Hangzhou out? ChubbyWimbus 20:03, 18 July 2010 (EDT)


Having Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou in the list definitely seems like overkill, since the two latter could more or less count as suburbs of metropolitan Shanghai, if you pit things a bit on the edge anyways. Not sure whether Lhasa or Urumqi are the better candidate though. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 20:07, 18 July 2010 (EDT)
Hangzhou is the top city for domestic tourism, and Guilin the best-known tourist area in China for natural attractions. Suzhou is worth keeping too. If we're going to add a Xinjiang city, I'd put Kashgar and Dunhuang ahead of Turpan or Urumqi, Pashley 20:37, 8 August 2010 (EDT)

Length of Understand section[edit]

Recent petty edit warring notwithstanding, the history section of this article has grown enormous — compare to its neighbors Russia, Japan, or Korea, all of which have good overviews at a fraction of the length. Further down, People and Habits isn't far behind, and is showing many of the worst traits of overgrown Respect sections everywhere. Objections to giving it a drastic trim after the anonymous user wanders off? I'm thinking down to around 8 paragraphs of history, give or take, and eliminating the third-level subheaders entirely. — D. Guillaime 17:30, 8 August 2010 (EDT)

Agreed, maybe we could copy the history section to Wikipedia :P. It should be more concise and more travel-related (I think it should point to interesting historical places one might travel to). --globe-trotter 17:44, 8 August 2010 (EDT)
Agreed. Respect section should also be cut to a couple of paragraphs. Pashley 20:40, 8 August 2010 (EDT)
I do not think that the section needs to be as long as it is. Be that as it may, I consider the in depth work so many contributors have made to the development of the history and culture sections to be a sign of maturity. As the wikitravel guides should, in my opinion at least, be able to eventually take the place of expensive store-bought guides, we ought to provide a level of richness and detail comparable to guides like Lonely Planet and Fromers. Hence I would say, some trimming would be alright but I would be opposed to a whole scale shortening of the sections. -- Guiyang laoshi

An anon user has taken a crack at this and drastically shortened the article. It was reverted. Certainly the anon user's shortening is not perfect — he even cut out some of my peerless text — but I'd say it is a move in the right direction and his chopped version is better than current text. Pashley 04:04, 11 August 2010 (EDT)

Hi Sandy, thank you for your hint to that discussion. It appeared after purging. I don't like the mass deletion of the anon user due to two reasons. First, it kills several good parts and second the rewrite of the homosexual part is very biased. I don't have the in-depth knowledge about China to do it myself but i'm fiercily opposing mass deletions. It doesn't do justice to the work done. jan 04:24, 11 August 2010 (EDT)
I'd agree with Jan here - there's no doubt that some trimming is needed, but the anon user making these changes refuses to discuss them and stubbornly keeps showing up to re-delete huge portions of the article. Wikitravel policies are pretty clear that a revert of the anon's changes is an acceptable solution, but it would be great if someone else could step in and try to clean this up in a more reasonable way. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:19, 11 August 2010 (EDT)
Yes, reverting the anon changes is fine. Pashley 21:55, 12 August 2010 (EDT)

What should the history section look like? It currently has an intro and three subsections, each multiple paragraphs. Can we summarise it as four short paragraphs? Should we? I'd say yes, but I do not have time to do the work and I'd be somewhat reluctant to anyway since it would involve deleting much text that others have worked hard on.

I'd also shorten the rest of the Understand section:

  • remove most historical detail from the Dynasties & capitals section: all it needs is dynasty name, possibly dates, & link to city
  • delete Politics section entirely; should be covered under History. For more detail, link to List of Chinese provinces and regions
  • delete People & habits, covered under Respect
  • cut books to exactly six -- Marco Polo, Wild Swans and the four classics
  • delete film section entirely

What do others think? Pashley 21:55, 12 August 2010 (EDT)

Totally agree, except with the film section. Sure, it could be cut to about 6 films, but I think the section should stay. It should just be worked out better (like in the Chicago article [3]). --globe-trotter 22:01, 12 August 2010 (EDT)
I agree to the suggestions regarding Politics and People & habits. I also agree that some trimming of the history section could be needed. However, I do not share the view that it should be much shorter than it is, and I think the Dynasty section is fine. I think, many of our country articles have miserable and too short history section, --ClausHansen 03:30, 13 August 2010 (EDT)

As an alternative, would it make sense to create a travel topic article on "Historical China" or some such, move nearly all the history section, all of dynasties & capitals, books & films, whatever else fits there? Leave just a brief outline here. Pashley 22:53, 5 November 2011 (EDT)

I will also agree that the People and Habits can be merged with Respect and then deleted. Cutting the books and films is also okay with me, since I have never found those sections very useful. I want to support the initiative to cut info from the Dynasties and Capitals section but I feel there is a lot of good information there and it is not present in the history section. I would suggest merging some of it into the history section but the history section does not seem to be organized by dynasty, so I worry that may muddy it up... An article that relates the history to actual sites in China could certainly be worth creating, but I'm not sure that it should replace the history section of the China article. ChubbyWimbus 09:04, 7 November 2011 (EST)

An anonymous user shorted and re-wrote much of the history section recently [4], and I think it's a great improvement! I'd still like to trim down People and Habits (and I confess it was something I'd meant to do many months ago) -- some of which I think can be thrown out entirely: the behaviours bulletpoints from the fourth one ("staring") on down, as they're not specific to China, and the entire lucky numbers section. Thoughts? -- D. Guillaime 22:11, 17 June 2012 (EDT)

Protection?[edit]

I'm proposing a week-long semi-protection of this article, to allow a good long cooling off period with regards to the edit war. --Peter Talk 14:05, 12 August 2010 (EDT)

Okay to me. This article has changed a LOT over the past few months for better and for worse. ChubbyWimbus 15:39, 12 August 2010 (EDT)
Agreed. --globe-trotter 17:54, 12 August 2010 (EDT)
Semi protection is installed but China is always sensitive. jan 03:09, 13 August 2010 (EDT)

This is wikitravel, not wikirant. Whoever the administrators are, they need to lock this page down and delete all the crap. The 'understand' section is, necessarily, going to tick off Chinese hardliners. I'm not going to start my own rant though, so just cop this: Wikitravel is about practical information for travellers: those innocents should not have to trawl through subject matter that belongs in a text book, whether biased or objective.

The historical information may not seem travel-related, but actually, it's extremely important for any traveler wanting to know more about the places and things they will see in China beyond the obvious. Even just knowing the Dynastic order can help a person better appreciate things. There is a lot more to say about Chinese history of course, but a summary about each country's history, in my opinion, is an essential part of any respectable guide. As for "offensive" sections, I agree there are parts that could be worded better, but I couldn't find anything I would call a 'rant'. Could you point out the offensive rant? ChubbyWimbus 13:44, 19 September 2010 (EDT)

Difficulty of the language[edit]

I reverted the edit "Like standard Mandarin, all these "dialects" are tonal languages and not easy for Westerners to master." to the "Talk" section but another user reverted my revert, so I'll address it here as is protocol: I don't think this information is important nor is it very accurate. Tonal languages may take some getting used to, but with such similar grammatical structure to English, Chinese is really not that difficult to learn to speak/understand for those who actually try. Those who say Chinese is difficult typically have never made any serious efforts to learn and are basing that assumption purely on the fact that it's Asian and therefore "different/weird/strange".

Perhaps more importantly, though, I don't think the information is pertinent nor do I think it sets a good tone. What is the purpose of saying that Westerners are bad at Chinese/tonal languages? To discourage them from travelling to China? To discourage them from trying to learn anything before they visit? To promote the stereotype of Asia as a mysterious and incomprehensible land to outsiders? I'd like to rerevert it... Thoughts? ChubbyWimbus 20:09, 10 April 2011 (EDT)

I get some of your points, but I have to say, I am very good at learning languages: I'm fluent in English (my mother tongue) and Malay (well, I was fluent and will be again within a week after going back again) and have very good conversational and reading skills in Italian and French when in practice, and I speak a smattering of a bunch of other languages, including Mandarin. The fact that I'm a musician and used to tones in that context helped me to learn survival-level Mandarin before and during my first trip to China in 1987 and improve my skills further before and during another trip in 2004. Yet there's no doubt that of all the languages I've tried to learn, Chinese has been the most challenging (with Hungarian in 2nd place). However, if you feel that discussion of whether it is challenging for Westerners to learn Chinese is not pertinent to the article, I won't dispute your rereverting on that basis. Ikan Kekek 23:58, 10 April 2011 (EDT)
I agree that the notion that Chinese is hard for westerners is a too often repeated stereotype. Yes, it is tonal but a great deal is communicated and understood by context. "tonal languages and not easy for Westerners to master." as it is mastering any second language. No point trying to scare off travellers by telling them they cant get around China without being fluent in Chinese. A few simple words or phrases like those on the language pages will be enough for most, and we should tell them exactly that. - Cardboardbird 10:33, 11 April 2011 (EDT)
A couple of side points here: No-one is telling anyone they have to be fluent in the local language to get around, and I don't think our job is to either encourage or discourage anyone from traveling anywhere, but just to present information and let people make their own decisions. Is the purpose of this guide to promote travel? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think so. I think the purpose is, instead, to assist travelers and prospective travelers. Ikan Kekek 13:50, 11 April 2011 (EDT)
Well, I think the tone and "be fair" policies are at least partially meant to encourage writing that makes destinations appealing to travelers, so in a way we are promoting/encouraging travel to each destination. Of course, we also have to be realistic about each destination's dangers/downsides. For me, after having studied Japanese, I thought Chinese was refreshingly easy to pick up, since I could pretty much plug in any new vocab without worrying about sentence-structuring like in Japanese, although I only learned basic Chinese.
On the discussion topic, are we in agreeance then that the information about language difficulty is inappropriate? ChubbyWimbus 22:22, 11 April 2011 (EDT)
You presented it earlier in this discussion as not pertinent, and I agreed on that basis. But, by the way, did you learn how to say "How do you say [English word] in Chinese?" I found that unless you say "[English word], shenme shuo?", you get a confused look and no answer. So while I don't know enough Japanese to compare difficulty and I am aware that its grammar is more complex, if you really think word order is always the same in Chinese as in English, your Chinese may be more basic than mine.
[Edit:] Sorry, it looks like I somehow forgot to sign my comment directly above. Ikan Kekek 21:02, 12 April 2011 (EDT)
Alright. I changed it. I like to get final confirmation, since I was the one that started the discussion, just to make sure no one feels like I made a decision quickly in order to get my way. lol
I didn't mean that the grammar is always the same, but generally, the structure is similar to English (much moreso than critics would lead one to believe). I never really asked someone how to say an English word in Chinese, because I found that if they knew the English word, they would speak English, and if they didn't, they weren't able to give a Chinese equivalent. I could get around but not really have discussions, so your Chinese is likely better. ChubbyWimbus 22:38, 12 April 2011 (EDT)

Etiquette Section[edit]

"Putting table scraps on the floor is pretty common, but may not be accepted everywhere. See what others do first."

I have never ever seen anyone put table scraps on the floor even in the most rural parts of China, so I removed it. Chymali 06:57, 16 April 2011 (EDT)

Aircraft carrier turned luxury hotel[edit]

The Kiev, former Soviet aircraft carrier, will soon host a luxury hotel [5]. --CurvyEthyl 06:47, 20 August 2011 (EDT)

Orwell[edit]

An anonymous contributor added "George Orwell's novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four have been seized at Chinese airports as they are critical of communism." I am tempted to take that out because I have seen both in the state-owned Xinhua bookstore. On the other hand, perhaps this is just yet another of China's contradictions. If the comment comes from experience rather than rumour, it should probably stay. Pashley

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages