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Insider Tips

Insider Tips for China

by Hannah Lockett | January 20, 2020

Here we have gathered together tips and suggestions from our China team on ways to help you make the most of your time in this fascinating country, experience the new, the old and the quirky. And for those that aren’t visiting China, we have a selection of our favourite books, films and artists that we think will give you a real flavour of the country’s life, culture and traditions.


Drinking Tea

When you are gathered around a table with others, drinking tea, it is considered extremely rude if you put the teapot down with the spout facing one of your companions. Make sure it is facing away from people at all times, as you won’t want to offend anyone.


There are many ‘rules’ in China surrounding chopsticks and how you should, and shouldn’t, use them. Here are a few of the main ones:

– Don’t leave your chopsticks stuck vertically in your food, as that is associated with death.
– Don’t stab food with your chopsticks, this is considered extremely rude.
– Don’t place your chopsticks directly on the table. Put them across your dish or on a rest.
– Don’t point your chopsticks at other people around the table.

Ask the Guide

Avoid going to the heavily commercialised food streets such as Wangfujing in Beijing, where all the vendors speak English. Prices are in general 3x higher than the standard, and the quality of food is usually mediocre. If they speak English, it’s a bad sign; it means they are used to serving foreign visitors thus used to charging people unreasonable prices. Ask your guide to take you to where the locals dine, chances are you will have a very nice experience and even be able to mingle with the locals!

Xian Food

Xian is the place in mainland China to get fresh dumplings, made fresh every day the standard of food here was some of the best we’ve experienced –  especially the soup pictured – we still dream about it now, it was so amazing. As it’s such a great place for foodies, why not try one of the many cooking classes on offer.


Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms tells the story of the fateful last reign of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) when the Chinese empire was divided into three warring kingdoms.

Art of War by Sunzi

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 5th century BC) and is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu.

The Water Margin

The Water Margin is one of the “Four Great Classical Novels” of Chinese literature. Based upon the story of the historical bandit Song Jiang and his companions, this epic tale of a rebellion against tyranny has been thrilling and inspiring readers for hundreds of years.



Everyone comes here for the Terracotta Warriors but the City Wall is well worth a visit, you can walk or cycle around it. It’s a really pretty and relaxing way to pass time.


The wonderful night time views of Shanghai are a guide book must. However, the best way to see the city is whilst sipping a cocktail in the stylish Cloud 9 bar, at the top of the Grand Hyatt Shanghai.

Hong Kong

We definitely recommend that everyone takes a trip to the Sai Kung area. Walk along Seafood Street, watch people buying fish from the little boats below, before taking it to one of the many local restaurants to be cooked.


We’re here to listen to your needs so if you need to chat, then why not email us or pick up the phone, we will be happy to help.