Embrace the culture and get the most out of your time in China.
Going to China for the first time can be an intimidating experience, even for those who have studied the language. In fact, traveling to China for the second, third, or fourth time can also be a challenging experience, especially if you intend to be fully immersed in daily life, get off the beaten path, and experience the "real" China.
This China etiquette and culture guide is about how to get things done in China. Decoding China gives you down-to-earth information on how to deal with everyday situations—like eating at a restaurant or shopping at an outdoor market—that present unique and unexpected challenges for foreign visitors.
Why being polite when you board a bus is a big mistake
Finding a toilet (and what to bring along!)
How to bargain for anything in a Chinese market
Which train ticket to buy—hard seat? Soft seat?
How the Chinese view privacy, and why it may make you seem suspicious
Working in a Chinese office, and the politics of lunch
As the Academic Director at the Chinese Flagship Center of Brigham Young University, Dr. Matthew B. Christensen has seen countless foreigners arrive in China…and fail to accomplish simple tasks like ordering food, boarding a bus, or making friends with a Chinese colleague. Why? Because they didn't understand China's basic cultural codes. This travel book will help you crack these codes. And with it, you'll soon be able to navigate your way in any situation.
Matthew B. Christensen
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have lived, worked, studied, and traveled in China. I wish that this book had been available several decades ago when I first went to live there. It would have saved me a lot of puzzlement, frustration and occasional embarrassment. This book is full of very practical advice and insight for the non-Chinese visitor, and can help ease your transition and aid your communication, whether you're a tourist who is just travelling for a short while, or someone who plans to live in China long-term.
There are other books on Chinese culture and language, but nothing I've seen approaches the everyday practicality of this book. Even as a person who is quite familiar with China, I found the book to be extremely useful, and I found explanations and solutions for a number of frustrating cultural dissonances that I had never really figured out on my own, but make perfect sense when I saw them explained.
Anyone from the U.S. who is living in China or is planning on visiting...
Just finished the e-book this week, and can say with confidence that the author has a good grasp of Chinese cultural norms. He gives excellent advice for both short-term visitors and longer-term expats as to how to have the greatest chances for a happy experience and success in the "Middle Kingdom".
My wife is Shanghainese, and while we live in Denver, we go to China frequently as she needs to care for her widowed mother often. I've personally been there six times for a total of over six months since 2009. It is a wonderful and fascinating country to experience, and everyone who can do so should absolutely visit China at least once. However, it can be rather difficult to adjust and get most out of the journey, especially if the visitor isn't fluent in Mandarin and is traveling independently (and not with a group or packaged tour). I am lucky in that my wife can act as my private guide and interpreter since I don't know the language well, but most others aren't...
If you have never been to China this is a good primer. However, if you have spent some time there most of what is mentioned will be pretty well already understood. The descriptions of things are pretty accurate but not too detailed so if you are looking for real detailed information go elsewhere. If you want a quick overview of almost everything involved in what you may see in China, its a solid read
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