Traveling to another place can be a lot of fun. But when you're going to another country, it's important to know about their culture and customs to ensure that you have a good time and that you don't offend or upset anyone who lives there. Although researching another culture and trying to get everything right can be tedious, it's definitely important to make sure that your trip goes smoothly.
When you're going to China, there are a few simple things to know about your behavior and etiquette that will ensure that your trip goes absolutely perfectly.
To see 10 etiquette tips to know before you go to China, keep reading!
10 Know How To Give (And Receive)
If you're going to be staying with or spending a lot of time with someone while on your trip to China, you may want to give them a gift. Giving them candy from a famous Chinese brand or something that you brought from home is always an excellent choice. When giving them the gift, don't be offended if they initially tell you no - insist that they take it.
Trying to reject the gift at least once is customary and considered polite in China. If someone attempts to give you a gift, make sure to insist you can't take it once or twice before you agree to accept. Not doing so may come across as greedy or rude.
9 Don't Point
In many parts of the world, pointing to things or people is a perfectly fine way to get people's attention to where you're trying to show them. Whether it's a person or a direction that you're trying to direct someone towards, pointing works perfectly.
But if you go to China, make sure that you motion with your entire hand instead of just a single finger. Pointing with one finger is considered rude in a lot of parts of the world and China is most certainly one of them.
8 Watch The Clock
Even though being on a trip somewhere else is a great time to relax, it doesn't mean that you don't also have to pay a little bit of attention to what's going on around you. Being on time for reservations and appointments is always important, even if you're on vacation.
But if you're in China, being on time is extra important. Being late to any appointment or reservation is considered really rude in China, so make sure that you've got an eye on your clock!
7 Know When To Tip (And When Not To!)
In countries like the US, tipping is pretty much expected for most services like restaurants, hotel housekeeping, and other services. It's less common in some other countries, so it's important to know when you should be tipping - and how much!
When you go to China, tipping is incredibly frowned upon and even not allowed in some places. While it's still customary to tip your tour guides and the person that carries your bags to your hotel room, tipping at restaurants can be seen as rude. If you insist on giving someone a tip, put it into a brightly colored envelope as though it's a gift and be very discreet about it.
6 Skip The PDA
If you're going to be visiting China with a spouse or significant other, make sure that you cut back on the PDA. Although there are a lot of fun things there that the two of you can do together and visiting a new place with a loved one can be fun, this is definitely something to keep in mind.
Holding hands while you're exploring with your significant other is fine, but keep the kissing while you're in line to a minimum. It can be frowned upon to behave that way and you might draw some unwanted attention from the locals.
5 Lay Your Chopsticks Flat
If you're masterful enough to figure out how to eat with chopsticks, use those skills while you're in China! Chopsticks are the traditional way to eat in many Asian countries and you definitely won't offend anyone by trying, even if you're not great at it.
But, if you need to set your chopsticks down while you're eating, make sure that you set them down flat on your plate. Don't stick them into your plate so they're straight up in the air. This can resemble the incense that's used during mourning and honoring loved ones that have passed away, so it's not something people want to see while they're eating.
4 Remove Your Shoes
This is one that is likely something that everyone is aware of before they even start planning their trip to China. Still, it's something to remember before you go on your trip.
In a lot of different parts of Asia, taking your shoes off when you go to someone else's house is customary. In some countries, you go barefoot through their house. In China, they'll typically give you a pair of slippers to wear around the house. Whether you're at a house or a hotel, leaving your shoes in the lowered area near the door is customary.
3 Try Everything
Who doesn't love Chinese food? All of it is delicious and eating some authentic Chinese cuisine is definitely one of the best parts of visiting China. But whether you go out to a restaurant or you're taken out to eat by someone you meet in China, it's important to keep a few things in mind while at the restaurant.
One important thing to remember is that it's considered impolite to not at least try everything. Even if you're pretty sure you're not going to like something put out on the table, at least take a bite of it to be polite. You might end up with a new favorite food!
2 Be Respectful In Temples
Being respectful in temples when you're visiting another country is something that just about everyone knows. When visiting a temple in China, there are a few things that visitors should keep in mind.
Dress modestly with your shoulders covered and shorts or skirts that at least go to your knees. Some temples ask visitors to remove their shoes, so be aware of that when you're going in. There will likely be a place for donations and although they're not required, it is frowned upon to leave without leaving a donation.
1 Tap The Table
Even though tipping isn't particularly common in China, it is important to make sure that you show gratitude to the people that are working as servers. When having tea, there's a special way to thank the person who pours your refills!
After someone refills your tea, it's customary in China to tap on the edge of the table with your fingers in order to thank them for giving you such good service. It's always good to be recognized for your hard work!