What I Learned From Traveling China

In the last months, I traveled China, met people I never expected to meet (got best friends with the Winner of „The Voice of China“) and saw places I could have never thought of.

China is one of the most beautiful and inspirational places I have ever visited. I enjoy every second over here and hope to give you some insights that most people in the West normally don’t get.

Because 1) I learned that China is not like you think. Life in China is not one big drill.

2) China is more developed than you think. Of course, still many people in China are poor but at the same time insanely happy. Being poor doesn’t seem to be connected to bad feelings in China.

3) China’s communism is dead. China is more western than you think. You can still see the buildings from that era, which makes it for me as a visitor even more interesting to walk around in the major cities.

4) China is huge. People told me when I travelled the first time to the United States „everything in your home country will look small compared to the US“. It didn’t turn out to be that way. But, as soon as I came to the China, I understood that there is nothing bigger than China. Seriously, come over here and look. Being stuck in traffic for days, sometimes weeks, happened to me already a couple of times. I am not kidding.

5) The Chinese government is good. The West still thinks that China’s government is bad perhaps even criminal. A total lie. It is so sad that we have to think all our lives that China is a bad country.

6) China is not full of propaganda. Zero. Seriously. In China is no propaganda at all. I rather suspect the West to be full of propaganda. Why else do we think about some countries in a bad way even though we have no underlying facts?

7) Students in China are not smarter than students in the West. Chinese students are very well educated but lack the ability to apply. Still, in the end China will beat us in everything because they just have more people than we do + people are more driven to succeed.

8) Chinese food is insanely good. China has McDonalds, more KFCs than my hometown Berlin and any kind of Western food you want. I have been twice at McDonalds in 6 months. I rather enjoy eating Chinese food. It’s much cheaper than McDonalds (surprisingly McDonalds is more expensive than in the West, even though Chinese people earn less than we every month).

9) Chinese people don’t eat sugar. You can get any food you want but Chinese people themselves don’t like eating any product that has a large amount sugar. So if you want to sell chocolate in China, be prepared to be bankrupt soon.

10) The standard of living is higher than we expect. When most people think about China, they will also think at some point about poorness. When you come to Beijing you will see many worn down houses. You might even think you are in Russia (except there are more Chinese people and less Russian characters displayed on billboards) but apartments insight the buildings are beautifully equipped with furniture (and aren’t cold in Winter, in contrast to some cities in South Korea).

11) China has beautiful parks everywhere. Because smog is still a major problem in China’s metropoles, the government planted millions of trees and opened up dozens of parks in every major city.

12) Learning Chinese is tough but not impossible. I learned fluent Chinese in 5 months (but had to study every day 16 hours). Still, if you really want it, it’s definitely possible.

Thanks for reading!

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