Umbrellas are everywhere in Beijing, come rain or shine. Chinese prefer fair skin, tan skin is a sign of an outdoor, poor worker. A typical Chinese female walks everywhere with an umbrella. With approximately 19 million people in Beijing, you are often dodging between umbrellas.Watch you don’t get poked.
Learn some words in Mandarin – very few people speak English in China
wèishēngjiān (Way Shung ZJin) – Toilet
bù (boo) – No
qǐng (ching) – please
Cai dan (tie dan) – Menu
Xiexie (cher Cher)– Thank you
Ni hao (nee How) – Hello
The translation pronunciation my not be right, it might be my weird Australia/British accent, I, as always, suggest you get a translation guide or even a translation app
Avoid the friendly “students” in areas like Tienanmen square who say they want to practice their English at a teahouse or bar nearby. This is a scam in which tourists end up footing an exorbitant bill, which the proprietors then split with the scammers.
7. Food and drink
The food preparation standards and hygiene standards in Beijing and China aren’t what we are used to in the west. So choose where you want to eat carefully. Unless you have a cast iron stomach avoid street food. The better hotels have better restaurants.Do try Peking duck before you leave.
The water quality in China is not the best. No Ice in cold drinks, no salads that are washed in tap water. Drink bottled drinks or boiled water in coffee or tea
Footpaths and walkways are often uneven and with lots of trip hazards.
Children in Beijing wear kaidangku (“open-crotch pants”) and just suddenly do their business anywhere.So besides the usual dog droppings on footpaths there is children’s droppings too.
Beijing is renown for its pollution. This can effect your health. If you have any respiratory conditions check the pollution index the U.S. embassy posts a Beijing Air Quality Current Reading on its website, On days categorized as “hazardous” stay inside.
4. Personal habits
It seems every man, and some women, in Beijing chain smokes and spits (hawkes). This takes some getting used to.
Squat toilets are the normal toilet in China, you can ask for a western toilet or a disabled toilet but they aren’t common.
Toilet paper is rarely supplied, and there is never soap or hand towels. So take your own toilet tissue and at least hand sanitiser
Very few taxi drivers speak English in Beijing, and they don’t understand your attempts in Mandarin.
Print the address of your destination in Chinese characters.
Only use the licensed taxis. There are plenty of unlicensed taxis that will be happy to pick you up immediately, but then charge an outrageous price.Some cab drivers attempt to bargain, especially late at night. If they do not turn on the meter get another cab.
Be on the lookout for traffic as pedestrians in China do not have the right of way.
Pedestrians are last in the pecking order; turning cars have the right of way and do not stop. Pedestrian zebra crossings are just pretty road paintings and mean nothing.Traffic lights are a suggestion. Between dodging cars, taxis, buses and thousands of bikes you have to keep your wits about you.