原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:mini才怪 转载请注明出处

I’ve been living in China for exactly two years and three months. Basically, I’ve lived here on and off since the start of 2012. By the standards of a twenty-three (almost twenty-four) year old, I’ve been here forever. While a part of me is ready to move to a new country next year, another part knows just how easy it would be to stay here forever.


On my recent trip to Thailand and Cambodia, almost everyone I met had zero interest in visiting China. I felt the need to defend my Asia home. There are so many amazing things about China you just can’t find in SE Asia. There’s so much more to China than just, pollution and the Great Wall!


Whether you’re considering moving to China, traveling for a few weeks, or you’re curious why you should ever set foot in this country, this is for you.


#1 The People


I will admit, knowing the language definitely helps. It’s not that Chinese people look down on non-Mandarin speakers, they’re just afraid to speak English! Learning Mandarin really helped me understand how kind and curious Chinese people are. I have long conversations with all my taxi drivers and strangers I meet on overnight trains. This usually leads to free snacks and tons of selfies.


#2 The Food


Chinese food has always been one of my favorite cuisines (and Mexican food). But when I arrived in China, I realized the Chinese food I had back in America is not anything close to real Chinese food. Sure, you can find kungpao chicken and sweet and sour pork, but those dishes just scrape the surface of Chinese cuisine.


While I do get sick of eating Chinese food every day, at least there is enough regional variation to keep me interested. I’ll eat stir fried noodles for lunch, and spicy malatang for dinner. I can go to the cafeteria and get small dishes of fish, rice and a chicken leg bathed in soy sauce, or I can go to the soup dumpling restaurant. Wontons, chicken curry, noodle soup, vegetable stir fry, fried rice… the list goes on and on. I hope you’re hungry now.


#3 Five Thousand Years of Ancient History


China is really, really old. It has 5,000 years of ancient history to be exact. I currently live in Ningbo, a city you’ve probably never heard of. Ningbo contains the oldest library in all of China. It was also one of the port cities forced open after the Opium War. There’s a whole area of the city with cobblestone streets and Western architecture.

中国非常非常古老。确切地说,它有5000年的悠久历史。我现在住在宁波,一个你可能从未听说过的城市。宁波有中国最古老的图书馆。 它也是鸦片战争后被迫开放的港口城市之一。整个城市都是鹅卵石街道和西式建筑。

If you think the Opium War is old, the main section of the Great Wall was built in the 14th century by the Ming Dynasty. Think that’s old? The very first stones were set in 7th century BC.


Head to Xi’an for some real ancient history. The very first emperor of China, Qin Shihuang, united the warring kingdoms of China into one unified state. After his death, the Teracotta Warriors were created. This was in 210 BC.


Head out along the Silk Road to Dunhuang, Gansu province. Here you’ll find the Mogao Caves. In this cave complex, artists arrived over the centuries to create fantastic Buddhist carvings. By visiting the different caves, you can see how Buddhist art has changed over the years. Starting with the Indian Buddhist art that arrived with the first wave of Silk Road traders, all the way to the happy, fat Chinese Buddha you see today. The art spans a period of 1,000 years, starting in 300 BC.


#4 Culture Shock, All Day Every Day


I first came to China looking for a challenge. I wanted to go somewhere difficult, somewhere far from home with a completely different culture. I was looking to experience culture shock. I wanted to challenge myself. China is definitely the right place to experience all of these things and more.


Whether you’re being jostled on the Shanghai subway, or testing a fried scorpion in Beijing, China is never boring. Everything you do in China is always an adventure. Even mundane tasks like buying a new charger for your computer or taking an e-bike to the grocery store turn into awesome stories.

无论你是在上海地铁上被人推来推去,还是在北京品尝油炸蝎子,中国从来都不是一个无聊的地方。你在中国做的每件事都是一次冒险。 即使是像给你的电脑买一个新的充电器或者骑一辆电动自行车去杂货店这样普通的琐事也会变成精彩的故事。

See entire families on motorbikes, vendors hawking bright red “Calvin Klane” boxers, and old ladies gnawing on chicken feet. Try to order a dish at a restaurant with nothing but your dictionary phone app. Life is a challenge, but at least it’s always interesting.

你可以看到一家子骑着摩托车,小贩叫卖着鲜红的“Calvin Klane”拳击短裤,还有老太太们在啃着鸡爪子。尝试在餐厅点菜,除了手机里的翻译词典,什么都别用。生活是一个挑战,但至少它总是很有趣。

#5 Being a Celebrity


In China, if you’re any ethnicity other than “Asian”, you’re basically a celebrity. Even in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing where there are tons of foreigners, you’ll still be treated like a celebrity by all of the Chinese tourists who come to these cities. This is particularly true at major tourist attractions like the Forbidden City and the Bund. You may be even more popular than the attraction itself!


A ton of people will definitely ask to take their picture with you. People may be nervous to ask at first, but after you take a photo with one person, expect a big long line.


If you’re male, you may also generate a female fan club. For example, last weekend my school held a big festival called “Global Village” where the international students could run booths representing their country. My Canadian friends started taking pictures with the visitors when one girl asked if they could kiss her on the cheek for the photo. Immediately, a giant mob of girls formed, all wanting the same photo for themselves.


I also made the mistake of showing my students a picture of my brother last year. My female students freaked out and all started begging me for his email/QQ/Wechat. I told him that if he ever pissed me off, I’d give them all his email. That’s 500+ girls by the way.


If you’re black, expect some very interesting comments. One of my friends had an afro and everyone called her “explosion hair” and tried to touch it. One of my African friends is very tall, so people scream “NBA” at him when he walks by.


My favorite thing in the world is when people try to take stealthy photos of me with their smartphones, but it’s extremely obvious. When I notice them doing this, I just pose for the photo.


While all the attention can get annoying after a while, it’s a very entertaining part of life in China. My suggestion is to never take offense to the comments. Chinese people are just curious, and with a homogenous population with such little foreigners, they just want to learn more about other people, cultures, and ethnicities.


#6 Off the Beaten Path Travel


While everyone knows of Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, there are so many interesting places in China worth visiting! Take a bamboo raft down the stunning Li River in Guilin, ride horses on the Tibetan Plateau in Northern Sichuan, feast on fiery hot pot in Chongqing, hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan… the list goes on and on and on.


China is a massive country with so much to do and see. About the size of the USA, you’ll never run out of places to visit. many parts of China are stunningly beautiful. China actually has some of the most incredible mountains for hiking, particularly Zhangjiajie, which was featured in Avatar as the floating mountains.


You can also experience some very diverse culture in China. Head up to Harbin to see how Russian and Chinese culture intermix, or go down to Yunnan to experience Chinese minority culture firsthand. Don’t forget Xinjiang, where the Muslim residents don’t look Chinese or speak Mandarin. Last but not least, Tibet is a mecca of religious customs and traditional culture.


The best part of travel in China: It’s easy and cheap! Not only are there budget flights, China also has an amazing train network. You can get just about anywhere in China with 24-hours and $70 USD.


Looking to travel off the beaten path in China? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.


#7 Amazing Opportunities


China is the new land of opportunity. Investors are flocking here in droves. Fashion designers come to have their clothes made. Students come from all over the world to learn Mandarin. Musicians who can’t make it in America come to China to create a following. Want to be a DJ, dancer, model or designer? Want to start your own import/export company? China is the place to be.


Currently, I make $40 an hour teaching English to Chinese businessmen. What 23-year-old do you know making $40 an hour?? Teaching English abroad is an amazing way to fund your travels. Trust me, I’ve been doing it the last two years.


With my experience and language skills, all I have to do is sneeze in China and I can get a job. While I’ve been looking at moving to a new country, it’s so hard to leave when all the opportunities are here! For example, this week I’m interviewing for a job that is willing to pay me somewhere between $33-$37 thousand USD a year with free housing. Considering most of my friends back home spend almost half their salary on housing, that’s a pretty amazing deal! They also offer free health insurance and a free flight to and from America.


As much as I’d like to move somewhere else in Asia, I’d be pretty stupid to turn that down.


Yes China is a bit polluted. The Internet censorship is out of control. China is crowded and jarring. But to be honest, this is all part of the charm (except the Internet censorship, I really hate that).


So many people head to Asia and pass China by. It’s too big, the visa is complicated and the language is hard. Why not go to Southeast Asia or Japan?


I’m just going to be honest with all of you: YOU ARE MISSING OUT.


China is one of the most fascinating places in the entire world. China changes so much year to year, I almost don’t even recognize the country I saw three years ago.

中国是世界上最迷人的地方之一。 它每年都在变化,我几乎认不出我三年前看到的这个国家了。

Pack your bags, buy a plane ticket and apply for a visa. You can thank me later.