The California Native International Adventures

Since 1983

From The California Native Newsletter:

There's More to China Than Beijing

By Jason Hall
Last year will likely be remembered as the year that put China on the map. Of course, China has always been a very large and extremely populated presence on any map. However, government rule throughout the decades has kept the exotic culture shrouded in mystery and, in many ways, closed to the outside world.

Naxi ladies stroll home in Li Jiang, China
In the town of Li Jiang, in China's Yunan Province, ethnic Naxi ladies share gossip as they stroll home from work.
Because the Olympics were hosted in Beijing, chances are that you learned more about China in 2008 than at any previous time. Beijing pulled out all the stops to show itself as a modern city. Much of the pageantry surrounding the Olympics served to highlight the new face of China. While Beijing remains a hot spot for travel, the rest of China is as vast and diverse as the sports represented in the Olympics.

On the other end of the country, far from bustling Beijing is Yunnan Province—home to the largest variety of ethnic groups in China.

China is a large country with a long history and diverse culture, and great changes and modernization have taken place in the last two decades, but traditions in most areas still remain as before.

While visiting China, it is appreciated when you respect the traditions, culture, local customs and taboos, especially if your trip involves more remote areas such as Yunnan and other areas inhabited by ethnic minorities.

Be friendly and sincere, polite and patient. Since China’s opening to the outside world, they have become happier, more open-minded, and prosperous, but Chinese people remain inherently shy and modest. They rarely display emotion and feeling in public, and find plain speaking unnerving.

China warmly welcomes visitors, and authorities are working to improve facilities and enhance the quality of service, but it is still a developing country. So, be flexible, show good will, and enjoy your experience in this fascinating country.

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