First Time in China

I just found out I’m going to be in China for the next couple weeks.

Hong Kong, Dongguan, Guangzhou, a few others and possibly up to Shanghai.

Its my first time… I’d love to hear any advice, places to see, or things you wish you knew your fist time.

Bring extra shirts. You’ll be sweating your ass off running from meeting to meeting, and it’s never a great idea to show up with massive pit stains.


I am a student about to undertake a degree in ID back in England but moved here to China (Beijing, but have travelled around a bit) for a gap year.

The main thing to watch out for - Taxi drivers.

If you clearly don’t know what you’re doing, they will screw you in to the ground. ALWAYS use the proper taxi drivers and make sure they are on duty and using their meters. If they refuse you (probably if you’re Western, they hate Westerns after an incident in Beijing), then point to the clear numbers on their dashboard. It basically means ‘do as I say or I will report you to your superior.’

Apart from that just make sure you keep your wits about you in general. All the time I’ve been here I have felt safe but it’s just people trying to take your money if you can’t speak the language or obviously don’t know anything about where you are.

There really is a lot to say about this but yer, it’s Taxi drivers. If you don’t use the proper ones with them using their meters and on duty (if not they will try to agree a price before hand) then you could end up losing an awful lot of money.

Have fun though! It has many positives here but the negatives can often weigh you down so don’t let them!


Don’t trust the local water, food and air…
Take a med-kit with you because the local doctors will prescribe heavy-duty anti-biotics for the smallest ailment.

Its very hot & humid this time of year.
Tropical weather gear
Sunglasses, Sun Tan lotion, cotton clothes

The air is polluted but its fine if you are just visiting

Load your ipod with some Mandarin podcasts so you can enjoy the experience more.

A map with mandarin writing on it for each city. Taxi driver likes maps like this.

This is good if you need directions as people only read mandarin

My name is Samuel Cruz and I’m an student from the University of Puerto Rico. I’m interested in knowing how was your experience in China and how is the people of the country. I have learned that they are more quiet than people from the United States and that they trend to be more Low Context in communication, instead of High Context. Please tell me what was your experience and how people treat you in China.