China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Monday, August 2, 2010

Visiting Local People in their Homes

Most clients who come to me to do their tours are interested in the rich culture of China. One of the best ways I know of experiencing any culture is face to face talking to the local people especially in their homes. I encourage my clients to have home visits. These are not set up situations at all as most people might believe. Chinese people are extremely hospitable especially in the countryside and small villages. Often it is the custom to open your home to strangers on request and offer them a cup of tea. They are as much interested in you and where you come from as you are in them. Your guide serves as the go between in conversation as they may continue doing their household chores while talking to them. It is a great way to learn about each culture as there are 57 different minority peoples besides the Han Chinese. Above the elderly lady is Mosuo woman at Lugu Lake. The young man is in a Tibetan home in the mountains of Sichuan province where 1/3rd of all Tibetans live. The three woman are Dai minority people living in Xishuangbanna. In 25 years I have been in several hundred private homes all over the country and have learned so much directly from the people first hand that can't be found in books. The more I learn the more I realize I have yet to learn.
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