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Holiday in China

(26 Posts)
Alypoole Fri 12-Oct-18 07:00:10

We have booked a Magnificent Tour in China with Wendy Wu. We recently spoke to someone who had used them and was VERY critical and described the food as “dire”. Have any other Gransnetters had the same experiences?

stella1949 Fri 12-Oct-18 07:53:30

We did a China tour with Viking. I think they are all pretty similar - we had a wonderful time. I guess the food might not suit everyone, since ( shock ! Horror !) the Chinese people eat genuine Chinese food, not the Western version which we are used to. Like any tour to another culture , you have to embrace the differences and learn new things. I'd go back tomorrow if I could.

NfkDumpling Fri 12-Oct-18 07:55:17

We’ve been to China twice. The second time with Wendy Wu. At the main tourist sites (Great Wall, Terracotta Army) and cities, the big hotels are standard fair with western food as well as Chinese. Off the really popular routes though (and you don’t have to go far off) food is very Chinese! And not at all the same as a takeaway in the UK. Very little meat and vegetables we’re not used to. We found out that out that the soup (which is served last) is mainly water used to swill out the wok - nothing is wasted! They’re only just starting to eat cheese and dairy products too. Pace yourself. The food arrives as it’s cooked and put on a Lazy Suzan and you help yourself to bits as it goes round. If you don’t like what comes first, hang on there’s more to follow! We found the diet, although not completely to our tastes, was VERY healthy!

But, it’s a wonderful country, very different, the people in the main are lovely and the scenery out of this world. We went to a show in Guilin put on by all the local populace. If they still do it and you have the chance to go, it’s breathtaking. Go with an open mind and accept what you see and experience. If you haven’t already done so it’s worth reading up a bit on more recent Chinese history to find out more about their attitudes. We loved it. Tiring but worth it.

NfkDumpling Fri 12-Oct-18 07:55:43

And don’t believe the labels on the wine bottles.

NfkDumpling Fri 12-Oct-18 07:58:35

I’ll come with you stella! Did you go to a dumpling feast?

Eglantine21 Fri 12-Oct-18 08:18:46

There was a fair amount of complaining about the food amongst some of the group when I went to China. Mainly because the food was Chinese!

The dumpling feast was not to my taste but there we are, I went to experience life in China, not to take England with me.

The people who complained most about the food were the ones who would only eat the “English” food on the menu or buffet. This generally was not done well because we were in China!

This was 10 years ago. I’m sure they’re more tourist savvy now. I do take a packet of cereal bars with me when I go away now. Just in case I really can’t eat what’s put in front of me. But mostly that’s my problem, not the food itself.

petra Fri 12-Oct-18 09:33:57

We called it 'death by a thousand dumplings' grin
All I will say about the food, is: if you do become ill you will get the most amazing hospital treatment as I did, and, it was on my birthday sad

ginny Fri 12-Oct-18 09:43:08

We went to China 18 years ago. Thoroughly enjoyed it and the food. Surely the whole idea is to take in the culture of the country. If people want ‘British’ then they should stay in Britain.
Go Alypoole and enjoy.

Izabella Fri 12-Oct-18 10:29:00

I back packed solo for around 3 months and the only problem I had was with my cards which took quite a bit of sorting out even though my banks knew I was going.

The people are lovely, the wall exhausting, so don't plan huge hikes On the whole extremely healthy vegetable based food. Dog is offered in outlying areas, chicken is never portioned, rather just hacked with a cleaver. If you are doing an organised tour a more sanitised version will be offered. You will miss more of the real China, but that is often more comfortable for westerners. You will have to get used to the Chinese version of personal space and the toilets in some areas! Some ethnic groups do not like to be photographed, so ask them first. The countryside varies between the most amazing scenery and troublesome pollution elsewhere.

If you go to big cities there will be MacDonalds if you are worried about local food. If you buy street food make sure it is cooked fresh in front of you and avoid ready mixed juice type drinks at vendor stalls. My overall advice would be to just relax and enjoy the culture. It is a most rewarding and wonderful place to be.

Lynne59 Fri 12-Oct-18 20:32:49

If you go in June, you'll have the pleasure of possibly witnessing and/or eating cat and dog meat.....look up the YULIN festival online. It is horrendous

NfkDumpling Fri 12-Oct-18 20:39:28

Ah, the toilets! How could I have forgotten the toilets! Can be communal and interesting!

Izabella Sat 13-Oct-18 10:32:55

Oh yes, and give Chinese opera a miss. Nuff said!!

ginny Sat 13-Oct-18 13:30:49

No, don’t give anything a miss, other than things that are illegal or cruel. The whole point of travel is to take in the culture of another country .

NfkDumpling Sat 13-Oct-18 17:41:05

The Chinese opera was ‘different’ but the main problem was that we’d been hiking and hadn’t had time to change so went as we were, in hike boots and decidedly grubby - and all the Chinese were dressed to the nines - evening wear, the lot! Most embarrassing! Going backstage afterwards though was fascinating.

NfkDumpling Sat 13-Oct-18 17:47:33

We were never offered or saw dog or cat on the menu. Chicken, pork, duck or fish. Attitudes are fortunately changing on dog/cat eating. Most Chinese find it abhorrent too nowadays. They do however, still like to buy much of their meat from market still alive. As they do in many parts of the world where there’s little domestic refrigeration. I was just amazed how many people can be fed with one small scrawny chicken. Our groups of 12 dined quite well on one!

jollyg Sat 13-Oct-18 18:07:30

Like Izabella I too travelled solo in China. I will always remember the word MAO, loosel translated as No, or I cant be bothered, not interested , and varieties of same . From Xinjang through Sichuan to Beijing, I was fascinated. On a train journey they all chewed on chicken feet, spat bits on the floor, then along came to car attendant with a mop and bucket for the diners to clean up!

Some places I went into the kitchen to see what was on offer and ate well, but other places the menu was all in Chinese, so I just pointed in hope.

years after I travelled with my husband, ate deep fried grasshoppers, and by the end could read a menu to ask for chicken.

They have a vvery interesting way of counting with palm and fingers . I was taught that by a monk on Omei San, a holy Buddhist mountain.

Fascinating place but I would find group travel awful. And yes the toilets with access at the back for removing th residue covered in hand wiping, least said the better, use your imagination

jollyg Sat 13-Oct-18 18:10:20

utube pix numbers

allsortsofbags Sat 13-Oct-18 20:22:41

DD2 can back four weeks ago from a three week solo trip and from what she said most of the time the food was fine.

She did say she got a bit over the dumplings but it was fuel so not a big deal.

She did have a tummy bug but as she thought about it she had a slushy type dirk at a train station and thinks it was that. Then she said she should have known better but she was well looked after.

Enjoy the adventure

Lynne59 Sun 14-Oct-18 15:12:02

It wasn't until recent years that the festival in Yulin began. The festival is celebrated annually in Yulin, Guangxi, China, during the summer solstice in June, by eating dog meat and lychees. About 10,000 to 15,000 dogs are consumed during the 10 days of the festival.

NfkDumpling Sun 14-Oct-18 17:33:43

I have been signing the petition against the festival in Yulin for years and the number of dogs killed is shrinking. For me it’s not the eating of the dogs but the way they’re treated.

I can only say what I experienced in the areas we went to and dogs were treated well, many are pets and much loved. The Yulin festival isn’t altogether popular in China either.

Diana54 Sun 14-Oct-18 19:29:54

You should not have problems if you travel with a UK tour group and only eat where the guide takes you, if you buy street food or drink tap water you will be ill. The food will be different as it is in India, if you are food sensitive China is not a good choice of holiday. On the bright side you are unlikely to put weight on!.

jeanie99 Fri 19-Oct-18 16:37:15

We love China we had so much fun there and the people are lovely.
Our first trip was on a guided tour with travel-sphere back in 2006. Probably for most people a tour is the way to go, you are taken to all the main tourist sites and you have no language problem. The food is different they leave fish bones in stews and soups, They eat chicken feet with chop sticks, don't understand why we like chicken breast they think it is tasteless.
But that's what makes travel interesting and enjoyable learning about another countries differences.
We travelled independently on another occasion and I can only say the people were wonderful and helped us enormously with the language problem. We got to visit lots of places we would never have been to on a tour.
Open your heart to the country and people there is so much to see and do.

Nonnie Fri 19-Oct-18 16:52:02

Just one word of warning if you are of dual heritage, someone I know was very upset because the Chinese went up to her and laughed in her face. Taxi drivers wouldn't take her.

Nata Wed 19-Dec-18 11:31:15

Did you get your Chinese visa easily? I heard a lot of applications get rejected...

Nata Wed 19-Dec-18 12:18:19

As I thought, one of the main reasons of a delay is a bad passport photo:
BTW, while searching, I have found Chinese visa photo specs: Looks like an ultimate guide, contains baby photo requirements and example of good and bad photos, too.