Gwyn’s Tips for Traveling in China

March 13, 2015


Chloe Xu ’15 organized an exciting opportunity for the SSM community to travel to her home in the region of Kunming, China during Spring Break. Six intrepid students, along with Mr. Garlinski and Ms. Sobol jumped on the opportunity to spend ten days in China with Chloe as their tour guide.

There was a greater purpose to the trip as well. Chloe has an interest in building cross-cultural understanding and had received an ANNpower fellowship and grant from Ann Taylor to help her accomplish this. 

During the upcoming days, our students and teachers will offer some reflections on their China adventure. Enjoy!

Tips for traveling to China:

1) Know some Chinese. Not everyone knows English.

2) Don’t expect people (especially younger people) to NOT know English.

3) Even though a tour guide seems touristy, get one because they help (and pay for food!)

4) Don’t rely on English translations. They normally aren’t correct.

5) Ask someone from China on what to do while you visit.

6) Watch out for smoking. A lot of people in China smoke and it’s unavoidable.

7) If you’re allergic to something, always ask and DO NOT EAT IT (Dom).

8) Be ready to take pictures with people if you are not Asian. You will be treated like a celebrity and people will like you (why? I don’t know)

9) Bring toilet paper and do lots of squats in preparation for squat toilets.

10) Bring more Tums than expected.

11) Make sure you have connections with people (Chloe’s mom)

12) Don’t go to too many touristy areas. That way you get to see what China is really like and what their culture is.

13) Know how to barter. It helps when buying things because they’ll raise the price for you. 

14) Bring extra plastic bags. Just do it.

15) Be adventurous but not too much. Find a happy medium. Especially with food. And duck heads (which Dom and Mr. G ate).

16) As long as it fits in your suitcase, buy anything you want because everything’s really cheap (especially if you barter).

Follow these tips and you might just survive out there!! Good luck in your travels!

 Gwyn eating PockyGwyn eating Pocky

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