DON’T – Leave Baggage Unattended. While violent crime against foreigners is extremely rare, theft is common in crowded areas and tourist destinations.
DON’T – Bargain To Extremes If You Have No Intention To Buy. Westerners are often quoted prices much greater than the actual value of the product, often times as great as 400-500% higher. When given a price, you should answer with something much lower, and work your way up. It will depend on your bargaining skills to get the price you desire, but remember to stay friendly with the vendor and smile when bargaining. Bargaining can certainly be a lot of fun, but be mindful that it is many peoples’ livelihood so try not to push the price far below what you are willing to pay.
DO – Ask For Permission When Photographing Locals – When taking photos of locals, especially in more remote areas, it can be a good idea to ask their permission by making a small gesture with your camera. Generally they will not ask for anything, and will simply be happy if you show them the digital photo after snapping it.
DO – Conserve your water usage. The availability of a clean water supply is a growing problem throughout China, and tourists often disregard this when showering or washing up. While brushing your teeth, do not leave the faucet running. Do not shower for any longer than is necessary. Minimising water usage is very easy, but is often overlooked and will have a tremendous impact on a destination’s resources
DO – Use Local Energy and Water Efficiently. Make sure you turn of your lights and air conditioners when you leave your room and minimise your need for electric appliances.
Dining Etiquette – Eating plays a very large role in Chinese culture and it is very important to have an understanding of what is expected and what is frowned upon when dining with locals.
- Lifting your bowl to your mouth or lowering your head to the bowl or plate is normal while eating in China.
- It is always polite to keep the host’s cup full while dining or drinking or to scoop rice for everyone if you are next to the rice pot.
- Lay your chopsticks down on your bowl or the table while not eating, do not stick them into your food or bowl
- Finishing everything on your plate or in your bowl is the polite way to show the chef that you appreciated the meal.