Are you excited to take your first trip to China?  Your bags are packed, you have read guide books, arranged everything, and is just counting the days till your trip. Although you might have all the travel information needed, China has a number of customs which you must know about. Here are five basic customs you need to know especially if it is your first trip to China.

  • Learning basic Chinese phrases will go a long way. Greeting people in Chinese is the best way to form friendships. They love it when foreigners try to greet them in their own language, and will surely respond with compliments; you might not understand what they are saying but their smiles means they like you!
  • Gifts are welcomed. When invited to a party or a dinner, you must bring a gift.  Remember to bring little gifts preferably non-gender items when you travel to China. It is very common to exchange gifts and you must be prepared.
  • "No, thank you" does not really mean “No, thank you"! If you are offering food or drinks and they refuse, you must offer it again at least twice of thrice before they will accept. Chinese guests are expected to refuse your first offer.
  • Do not get turned off when your see people spitting in public places. Although some big cities in China have waged anti-spitting campaigns, it is very common in China. It is believed that swallowing phlegm is bad for the body, so they spit phlegm out whenever and wherever. If you are a non-smoker, you will have to stop yourself from telling people not to smoke; China is a smoker’s paradise although some hotels do provide a non-smoking area.
  • Slurping your soup might not be acceptable in western countries but in China it means you are enjoying your soup! After a hearty meal, burp as much as you want! Burping is a compliment to your host.

Enjoy your trip to China! It is one country that will captivate you with its attractions, sights, wonders, and friendly people! 

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