China

China is  a country in East Asia with the world’s largest population, exceeding 1.4 billion people. China spans five geographical time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia.

Capital City:

Beijing

Currency:

Yuan

Total population:

1.4 billion (2020)

Language(s) spoken:

Mandarin, Yue (Cantonese), Xiang(Hunanese)

Cultural dos:

It is considered polite to give or receive items using both hands

Cultural don’ts

Don’t bow in greeting. A handshake is more than enough (also common in Japan or Korea)

Continent:

Asia

Three foods you need to try in this country:

  • Peking roasted duck
  • Kung pao chicken (Sichuan-style speciality with dried chilli, cucumber and fried peanuts/cashews)
  • Dim sum

Bonus

  • Hand pulled noodle soups
  • Mapo Tofu (inc. bean curd, garlic sprouts, broad bean sauce, chilli powder, soy sauce)
  • Hot Pot

What the country is known for :

  • The Great Wall of China
  • The Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace
  • The Li River
  • The Classical Gardens of Suzhou
  • Giant pandas
  • Manufacturing powerhouse

More About China

I was not sure whether or not to include this on my destinations tab…yet. However, I spent a few hours in China in 2019 during a layover on my way to New Zealand. I was intrigued to have a glimpse of the inside of The Red Dragon. Apart from the obvious curiosity about the super power that is really giving the western countries a run for their money in economic stacks and investment, I was also interested in the opportunity to experience a taster of Chinese culture for myself. So I jumped on a day tour that took me to the Great Wall of China.

With a population of over a billion people, China has the world’s largest population. There is a debate as to how many megacities (cities with a population of over 10 million) are in China but Shanghai is the largest with over 25 million inhabitants. Along with Italy, China has the highest number of UNESCO sites in the world such as The Great Wall of China, Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City to name a few. Therefore, if interested in history and culture there is a lot to see and experience in China. I visited the Great Wall of China and walked up and town for about 3.5hrs, the structure feels is endless in its magnificence. I decided to add the country to my ‘Destinations’ as this country has seen my sweat.

China has had so much influence in many parts of Asia, and more recently Africa and South America, the curiosity is really, what is it like in China itself? With the things that they produce for the rest of the world, what are they producing for themselves? The country is known for its innovation and efficiency which has resulted in the country manufacturing goods for use locally and abroad. Some iconic inventions made in China that have brought simplicity and fascination worldwide include silk, fireworks, tea, the compass and electronic cigarettes

Although I did not get a chance to experience it, I am very keen to explore different cuisines around China as they have a variety of culinary offerings in each region. I’m certain there is more interesting flavours for me to discover than the surface offerings we get from the local Chinese take-away or Chinese buffets in the west. With the number of Chinese people living in New Zealand, I enjoy browsing the Chinese supermarkets and randomly trying out different things. I also enjoy picking out random foods from the menu in Chinese restaurants – I can therefore only imagine how delectable and the varieties I would experience in the source itself. 

The Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year/Spring Festival is the country’s biggest holiday with celebrations lasting up to two weeks long. It is a time for letting go of the old and welcoming in the new with praise and thanksgiving. Lanterns, dragons and the colour red are popular sightings during this time of the year. Each year is named after an animal on the 12 Chinese zodiac animals (dog, snake, dragon, tiger, ox, rabbit, pig, rat, rooster, monkey, cat, horse).

English

Mandarin

Hello

Nǐ hǎo

Goodbye

Zàijiàn

Please

Qǐng

Thank you

Xièxiè

How much?

Duōshǎo

Do you speak English?

Nǐ huì shuō yīngyǔ ma?

Where is the toilet?

Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎ?

May I please have some water?

Wǒ kěyǐ hē diǎn shuǐ ma?

I would like some food please

Wǒ xiǎng yào yīxiē shíwù

Where can I get a taxi?

Wǒ zài nǎlǐ kěyǐ dǎ dào chūzū chē?
 

Places visited

Destination Gallery

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