Visiting China can be a culturally eye-opening and vividly spiritual experience. Although your first time in China might feel intimidating, the payoff of experiencing such an incredible country is worth any pre-trip anxiety. It’s completely normal to worry about things such as the language barrier or how “bad” the little Chinese you do speak sounds. This is true of visiting any country with a first language other than English. But as normal as a little anxiety is, you shouldn’t let it ruin your trip. In fact, knowing what not to do in China can be key to a calmly exhilarating adventure.


1. Don’t Speak English to People

While this should seemingly go without saying, a lot of travelers visit China and expect everybody to know English. It’s true that, these days, some schools in China teach the basics of English, but very rarely does it go deeper than that. If the case arises where you’re lost, approaching someone who is college-age will be the best chance you have of conducting a conversation in English. However broken. Regardless of this, speaking a foreign language to everyone in a country is just plain bad manners.

shanghai china skyline MarsYu / Getty Images

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