China is not just another country, but another universe. I will briefly tell you what to prepare for in order to feel more comfortable upon arrival.
The Chinese don’t know how to say “no” because they “hold their face.” To admit a mistake, your unwillingness or inability to do something is to lose face. In my opinion, the worst manifestation of this Asian trait is to promise, but not to do and not to warn about it.
Tourists may face the fact that in response to any question they will be nodded without hesitation. The Chinese can step on your foot and not apologize. Or at the last moment to cancel the reservation of accommodation on Airbnb — so it was with my friend. She booked a room in the center of Beijing for a couple of nights. On the eve of arrival, the landlady sent a message that her apartment was allegedly flooded. She insisted on canceling the reservation and added that the fireplace had also caught fire at home. I have never met a fireplace in a Beijing apartment, but I was not surprised when I heard this story.
Forget about personal space. At the end of July 2019, almost 1.5 billion people lived in the country, and the population is only increasing. The Chinese are growing up in an atmosphere of struggle for resources: from a sitting place in public transport to a place in a good university.
Get ready for the crowds on the subway during rush hours. I advise you to avoid traveling from 8:00 to 10:00 and from 18:00 to 20:00 in the metro of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen.
The usual social networks and websites, including Google, do not work in China. The country has a “Golden Shield” system, which, according to the authorities, protects the country from cybercrimes. The country has a blacklist of IP addresses of unwanted resources or sites that violate the law on information security. These include Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Telegram. Whatsapp usually works, but sometimes there may be interruptions. If some site in China does not load, then the Chinese firewall is to blame.
Since 2018, it is prohibited to use anonymizers and VPNs in the country. From 2019, they can be fined 1000 rubles for this. I used anonymizers and did not receive fines. If you want to use foreign sites in China, I advise you to download a VPN application to your phone in Russia. It will not be possible to do this in China.
If you have mail only on Google, before traveling to China, I advise you to start an email, for example, on Yahoo or Yandex and forward your accommodation reservations, tickets and everything else there.