I have mixed reviews about China. There's so much history and culture to see. It is after all the longest continuous culture on earth. But everything you want to see is old... the new China is a different beast. People are so aggressive and frankly, mean. I'm sure part of it had to do with the fact that everyone thought I was Chinese since I am Asian American. I'm rather behind on my blog, so as I write this I have been to Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, and Malaysia since China. The Chinese are by far the most rude and just not very friendly people I have encountered. Now, as all generalizations go this doesn't apply to everyone. And certainly not everyone in the other countries I visited were nice. There were plenty of nice Chinese people I met, they just all worked at the hostels I was staying at, or were working at the places I was visiting. Generally people on the street were not nice.
The Chinese also seem to have a spitting problem. They like to spit everywhere. When I say spit I mean they like to hock it from deep down. It's pretty nasty, especially when they do it while standing or sitting right next to you. People all over the poor areas I've visited spit, but nobody spits like the Chinese in China. The Chinese people outside of China, like in Singapore or Malaysia or Taiwan, do not act like this at all. I heard spitting was something Mao used to do a lot so it became popular in China. I dunno how true that is. I mean look, I went through a spitting phase too, when I was like 9. I'm over it. I've pretty much been over it for YEARS now. I hope the Chinese people get over it too.
Anyway, my Mother was born in China, and my Grandparents fled the communists. Both my Grandparents were educated people, but of course when you lose everything to the commies and immigrate to a new country you're no longer rich. Still, despite this I cannot ever say I saw my Grandparents act the way the people in China do. They did not spit, they did not yell at people on the street, and they certainly had a sense of pride about their heritage. The current Chinese aren't the same. Some people tell me it's because Mao burned their book, or because the cultural revolution chased out anyone that was educated or cultured. Well, I suppose it was a success, the Chinese have their own new culture now (make money at any cost)... and that's their choice. I was still glad to see some of China's past. I can't say I really look forward to being amongst their people, but the legacy of their culture and history is truly something special.
Frommer's Guide (Entire Info Free): http://www.frommers.com/destinations/china/
Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/china
1 USD = 6.8 Yuan
Weather was a mix between Humid (Shanghai) and Cooling down for winter