China is Home To Some Strange and Unique Traditions and PracticesBy April Q
Since China has been pretty much locked up to the entire world for ages, it’s no wonder that the rest of the world considers it a pretty mystical place that has a lot of strange things; in some cases, they might be right. There are actually a lot of events and even routines in China that may seem a little bit strange to most tourists. For example, a lot of Chinese people carry around a thermos. Strange? No, this is pretty common in the main streets of China. Still, these “strange” things are pretty cool to see and experience, especially if you are a traveler. If you’re planning to visit China anytime soon, you might watch out for these odd things that you can find only in China:
No Men Allowed
China has definitely taken the “women are bad drivers” phrase to a whole new level. The country actually has parking lots that are specifically for women. So what’s the difference between the women-only parking lot and the others?
Well, the women-only parking lots are more spacious. This is probably a subtle message telling us that women aren’t as good at parking as the male drivers. Another feature that you’ll see is that these parking lots are apparently placed near the entrances of stores. This is to allow women to run out of the store and to the car right away. It’s most likely done for safety purposes to prevent them from getting mugged or pickpocketed in the parking lot.
Somehow, there are a bunch of dentists that perform orthodontal procedures on the streets. While it is peculiar, we’d say that it is something good as dentists can reach out to people who usually can’t go to dental clinics. Are these dentists legitimate and licensed? Well, that’s another story that we won’t know until we actually tried it.
We think that it’s a great idea though for people who truly need to fix their botched teeth and gums. We just think that the guy should at least be using gloves. We hope the tools are sanitised properly to avoid further infections from brewing! Granpa’s going to go home with a nice pair of pearly whites.
Musical Chairs? No It’s Something Else
A little flood isn’t going to stop people from crossing the road as they usually create bridges that are made out of chairs. That way, they won’t have to get their feet wet. Floods are very common in China so the locals are actually quite used to it (although the really strong ones can be devastating).
As we mentioned, it’s no unusual sight to see bridges that are made out of wooden chairs. And if you think that they can’t get any more creative, wait until you see them use mattresses and sofas as boats.
The Robot Bank
In China, you’ll find something that you won’t really find in other countries yet – a robot bank. There is literally a robot that (AI) that will do all of the banking transactions for you. China Construction Bank is the very first bank that offered this service, and so far, everyone enjoys it!
They also have a cashless based society where they use an app to pay for all their needs. It looks like China is elevating their tech game with their growing technologies. Face recognising doors that open by scanning your nose? Looks like a possible invention too!
Ever wonder how Chinese women can stay so fair even if they go to the beach pretty often? Well, maybe the Facekini can answer your question. While most women from other parts of the world go to the beach in their bikinis or one-piece swimsuits, Chinese women prefer to wear Facekinis to make sure their skin stays as pale as possible.
Why would they want to do that anyway? Well, in China, pale skin is a really big thing. We’re pretty used to our women here wanting to get a tan when they go to the beach. In China, it’s actually the opposite. Now, one fun fact is that the typical facekini isn’t really a facekini. We’d probably say it’s a whole-body-kini as it not only covers the face but the whole body as well. If you wear one, you’ll probably look like one of those luchadors from Mexican wrestling shows.
We all have to admit that pandas are really cute. However, pandas were considered endangered for many years. Thankfully, they’re back on track as many pandas have been breeding. The Chinese also contribute to this number as the Panda is their national animal.
It’s only right that they preserve as many Pandas as possible. What’s pretty cool here is that the people’s love for pandas is so great that labourers even dress up as pandas in panda clothing or costumes. It’s not unusual to see a labourer walking around the streets in a panda “uniform”.
Air For Sale
You’ve probably seen some news about some Chinese people selling air. Well, that is actually true! There are areas in China, such as Beijing and Guangzhou, where the air is so bad that fresh air is actually a scarcity.
That’s why it’s not uncommon to see air being sold by the can. While most of us may think this is pretty ridiculous, it is an actual reality in some parts of China. In fact, it’d probably surprise you that there is an actual Chinese businessman who made a fortune selling clean air in just a little over a week. The guy’s name is Chen Guangbiao, and he was able to sell 8 million cans during that time! Talk about being one shrewd man.
Lighting up the Sky
The lantern festival is a beautiful time of the year. It is an event that signifies the end of the Lunar Year. During this time, people let lanterns fly up into the sky until it is filled with beautiful moving lights.
It’s beautiful to see these lamps cascade into the sky. They probably look like stars from the distance. You can even make a wish and see if the heavens grant your requests. This is a sacred tradition in China that they observe every year. We’d certainly like to book a ticket in the future to witness this beautiful sight.
The Ultimate Trio
In Chinese culture, you’ll probably come across three very prominent figures: a bald guy with a staff and beard, a guy with a long beard and hat with horns pointing upward, and a guy with a traditional Chinese hat. These guys are the Gods of happiness, wealth, and career.
You can literally see them everywhere you go in China. In fact, they’re pretty iconic that some locals even use them as inspiration for their marketing and architecture.
The Big Bottleneck
Traffic jams in China are really bad. That’s probably because there are up to 50 lanes that merge into just 4 lanes. With the number of people and cars in the country, how will that kind of scheme not make traffic worse?
If they had built the roads to accommodate 50 lanes until the very end of the driver’s destinations then things would end well. But we’re afraid that this type of city planning has resulted in many accidents. We hope their city planning and governors will bring this to light to prevent accidents. The road rage must be real here!
No Privacy Here
When we say that China has a population of about 1.4 billion people, we’re not kidding! What’s more, is that the population crisis is evident in their water parks. When you go to a water park, you’ll see that it’s extremely crowded to the point that you may not have any space to move around.
Yes, that’s true! In most countries, there is still some actual space wherein you can move around, swim back and forth from one side to another, or even cannonball into the pool. In Chinese water parks, the story is a whole lot different. You are literally surrounded by people in the water park. If you find a spot, then you’ll either stay there or push others to get around.
Guard Geese Force
Guard dogs are usually the companions of police because they’re pretty ferocious and have great hunting skills. However, the Chinese police may have found another animal with the same ferocity – the goose.
It may sound silly, but there are some local police who make use of guard geese to chase criminals. They are pretty feisty and can fly, so they really may be able to get the job done if you let them loose. We don’t know what’s scarier though: a pursuing goose or a man with a police hat?
You probably have seen this already in some toilets in other Asian countries; however, a squatting toilet is something that’s very foreign in the West. A squatting potty is pretty much a toilet mouth that is installed and embedded onto the ground. When you need to do your business, you’ll need to squat because there is no seat for you to sit on.
Some argue that this is how humans used to naturally go to the bathroom. We still prefer our regular toilets but maybe one of these days we could hop on one of these toilets and give it a go. Who knows? It might feel more natural and right this way.
All The Single Ladies Gather Round
Chinese all over the world are known to practice arranged marriage with the help of a matchmaker. However, it’s only in China that we’ve seen an actual marriage marketplace.
So how do things work in a marriage marketplace? Basically, parents will list down the traits of their child and then hope that someone passing by will accept the “offer”. It’s pretty much like a regular marketplace, except that you’re offering love instead of products.
Power of the People
Having that much manpower in one country does have its perks, especially when you can make use of a lot of men to do a big job. With enough men, you can even help push a plane that stalled. The cool thing in China is that the locals are pretty helpful in nature. Manpower is something that the country is known for, so they’ll definitely make use of it.
We’re in awe of how these people managed to push a B-3008 airplane with only their limbs. Not only are they a unique bunch but they’re also strong in nature. We have one question though: how in the world did the airplane end up there?
Time For A Snooze
In China, you can actually nap anywhere and no one will really care. In fact, you’ll find people sleeping in the oddest of places – in public. And when we say odd, we really mean odd. In China, it’s possible to see people sleeping on stairs, public chairs (in the oddest positions), and even on public playgrounds.
It’s even possible for a person to sleep on the chains of a blockade. Yes, that is actually possible! How they’re able to balance their bodies on such thin surfaces is still a mystery to us. If you could turn napping into a job, the guys in China will probably be a bunch of top performers. Not only can they nap anywhere, but they can also do so in any position.
Trucks On Top of a Bigger Truck
The Chinese are pretty resilient people. They will find a way to get things done in the fastest possible time. We may call it lazy, but we can’t say much if it works. In this particular scenario, we can see a big truck carrying 10 smaller trucks at one time. Why?
Well, this guy probably had to transport small trucks to another area and thought that it’d be a waste of time and gas to make 10 rounds back and forth. So why not fit all ten on the back of his big truck to save time? That’s pretty efficient! But it definitely doesn’t look safe.
Dance Dance Flash Mobs
Flash mobs are pretty common in China, and we’d say it’s one of the things that make visiting the country worth it. You’ll encounter a lot of instances wherein random people will just break out dancing. What’s cool is that a lot of people participate in the activity, especially a lot of older citizens.
Of course, these flash mobs aren’t without complaints. There are a number of citizens who do complain about these flash mobs because they’re often quite disruptive and noisy. Others enjoy these mobs and may even join them in dancing. In any case, it’s a pretty common occurrence in the streets of China.
Climbing the Dragon
This is more of a tourist spot than a strange phenomenon, but it’s still pretty cool. This Dragon escalator can be found in the Longqing Gorge 50 miles from Beijing. You use it to go up the gorge but walk when you go back down. It is a pretty cool sight to see, and it’s definitely something Instagram-worthy.
If you’re afraid of heights then this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re the thrill-seeking type then this will fall under the things that you must try at least once in China. China is also known for their unique structures, this being one of them. You’ll also see a lot of dragon motifs around the country as well.
In China, fishing is pretty strange because you’ll find people using the rod for a lot of different reasons. Some use their fishing rods to feed other animals while some even use rods as weapons. Can you also imagine Chinese eating freshly caught fish just right after they catch it? Well, it is a habit that a lot of local fishermen do.
Even though they’re giving food to other animals using the rod, we’re not sure if zoos should be doing this,. Perhaps this seems like a job for a well-trained zoo professional. After all, those bears could claw at one of the people with the rods. Yowza!
A Horde of Objects
In other countries, this type of activity may be seen as a hazard, but it seems to be common in China. The cool part of it all is that it’s not just common in China but in a lot of other Asian countries as well. In Vietnam and Indonesia, it is possible to see a motorcycle stack products on top of each other and tie them down to the back seat of the motorcycle.
And it’s not just things that they carry. In one motorcycle, it’s possible to see up to 5 people being ferried. You really do have to give it to the riders though. They can really show you their biking skills by that act alone.
No Lighting Fireworks Signs
It’s common to see No Smoking signs in many areas, but No Lighting Fireworks signs? This tells you one thing – the Chinese love their fireworks. They love it so much that they’re willing to light them up anywhere and anytime. Otherwise, why else is there a need for such a sign?
So where are these signs placed? Well, it’s pretty common to see them in places where fires can easily start. For example, you’ll probably see a no-firework sign in a gas station. Sure, it may seem like common sense not to light fireworks in a gas station because the fire will start an explosion. However, it does pay to be sure that no one does it by giving a warning.
Showing Some Love
Remember a while ago when we talked about people in Panda uniforms? Well, it turns out that in wildlife conservation areas, wearing a Panda costume is a must! Why? Because the people working there need to blend in with the Pandas if they want to take care of the Pandas. What better way to do that than to become one with the bears?
It’s also a great way for panda lovers to express their love of the animals. If you think about it, it’s the perfect job to have if you’re an animal lover. You get to feed pandas, play with them, bathe them and take care of them – all while wearing panda suits!
Spicy-Hot Eating Contests
Chinese just love to test the boundaries of their capabilities. Locals often hold chili eating contests to see who can eat the most. So what’s it like participating in a local chili eating contest? Well, you and a few competitors will be in a pool full of fresh chilis. From there, you need to eat as many chilis as you possibly can. Obviously, the one who gives up loses. The last one standing wins!
If you can’t take spicy food, then we don’t recommend that you attend any of these contests. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of spicy food, then why not give it a go?
The Nail Houses
Nail houses are called as such because they stick out like a nail – literally. As in they’re built in the middle of the road and can’t be torn down. It’s a sign of some good old-fashioned Chinese resiliency wherein residents won’t be moved. They eventually became some kind of a trend that turned into a tourist attraction.
These unique structures are all over China and are a huge tribute to their cultures and tradition. They’re called nail houses for a reason and they want to leave a lasting impact on your experience to China.
Mao’s The Man
The youth of this country are extremely patriotic and often show it in their haircuts. And no, we don’t mean old school Chinese haircuts or haircuts of famous Chinese celebrities. We mean haircuts of Tiananmen Square or the Forbidden City with Mao’s picture on it. This is bizarre but true.
We wouldn’t want a haircut of Trump or any other president on our heads. Now, this level of patriotism is some next-level stuff! And the flag was the cherry on top of the ca..we mean haircut.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Chinese have already been using facemasks to shield themselves from air pollution. Due to this, we can get to see a lot of stylish facemasks in the market.
You can find facemasks with different styles like animal designs, flower designs, and even anime or cartoon designs. If you want your own custom design then there are shops to create any kind of mask you want. Are you going for a Futurama theme? We’re sure they can make a mask in honour of Bender.
We’re guessing the Chinese are extremely comfortable walking around the streets. Too comfortable in fact, that they’d wear their PJs outside. For many of us, going out means dressing up and looking decent for the public eyes. In China, you just have to hang loose.
That’s why it’s a really common thing to see people in those pink or blue onesies while riding on a motorcycle to go buy groceries. It seems like their sleeping clothes are also their morning errand clothes.
The Red Beaches
The Panjin Red Beach is literally a red-colored beach that turns into that color every Autumn. How is that possible? Well, this is due to the seaweed in the area. Normally, the seaweed is colored green. However, it does turn red during the Autumn season, thereby giving it its bright red color.
Imagine being here during autumn when the flowers are bright fire red. This would make for a great Instagram picture or even memorabilia to frame on our walls. That sight is truly majestic and certainly should be added to anyone’s bucket list.
We all know that China is the land of piracy, but we probably didn’t think that they’d be so blatant about it. In fact, some chains knocked off other brands just by changing one part of the original brand’s name and slightly modifying the logo a bit.
Don’t believe us? Try visiting China and you’ll find a total knock off of KFC called KFG – complete with the chicken mascot and a modified version of Colonel Sanders. We give them props for the logo and for the Asian man who looks like Colonel Sanders!
If people in most countries walk around with water jugs, Chinese walk around with thermoses. What’s inside these thermoses anyway? Is it chicken soup or tea? Nope, just plain old hot water that you can drink anytime you want.
Chinese actually prefer drinking warm or hot water compared to cold water for health purposes. That’s why Chinese tea is always served whenever you go to a restaurant. That’s also pretty much why they’d rather carry a thermos than a regular water bottle.
Have you ever wanted to live in a place completely upside down from what we’re used to? Well, we’ve got something that’s close to that. In China, there’s actually an upside-down house.
However, it’s not exactly a house that you can buy; rather, it’s a tourist attraction that you can visit. And yes, there’s also upsidedown furniture inside. This unique concept is another reason why Chinese practices are special – who else would have thought of doing this?
This is targeted for the elderly to help them keep fit and hang out with friends at the same time. It’s not as strange as the others, but it’s still a unique thing. We’d also say it’s a really good thing to have outdoors.
A lot of the Chinese elders live until they’re 90 or even 100. We can attest that exercising is healthy but maybe even having public exercise equipment is even healthier! We’d like to grow old without creases too, please.
There are a bunch of buildings found in China such as malls, parks, and apartments that are completely empty. In fact, visitors dub these areas as “ghost cities”. Don’t worry though as they’re not exactly haunted. In fact, there are a lot of cities that are now flourishing. We’d probably chalk it up to unfinished projects that are taking time to get done.
What a waste of construction supplies that could have been used for other buildings. Hopefully they’ll upcycle these buildings and turn them into parks or even shopping centers!
In college, you’ve probably tried to save money on books by buying secondhand stuff or borrowing old ones. In China, there is actually a place where you can buy photocopies of originals so you can save even more money and effort.
We think this idea is great but it also gives way to more piracy being observed. What do you think about this? Is it a good idea or perhaps they should do away with it? You decide.
Crab Vending Machines
Has there ever been a time wherein you just craved seafood on the go? Luckily, China has crab vending machines. Yes, you can buy ready to eat crabs for just 25 Yuan a piece – just in case you’re in the mood for some seafood.
The cool thing here? There are many different tastes that you can try out. All you need to do is choose your favourite flavour, push a coin in, and get your crab. Just like a soda vending machine but with seafood. How bizarre!
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge
This is another great tourist attraction that may seem a little scary at first. It’s the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge. It’s literally a bridge made out of glass! You can totally see the bottom of the cliff through the bridge! While it’s definitely a cool sight to see, we wouldn’t recommend it for the faint of heart.
If you’re scared of heights do stray away from this bridge. But if you’re in for the ride of your life then this is a sight that shouldn’t be missed.
Chinese people are really creative! They believe that if they can make a product at home, they don’t need to buy it.
No denying Chinese will do almost anything to try to save money. You’ll be able to see a number of examples in the streets themselves. In fact, you’ll find people using old small radios as replacement headphones by placing the radio right next to the ear and tying the radios to their heads.
When it comes to architecture, Chinese people are extremely daring! Our example can be found below wherein an 11-story building is in the shape of a phone.
We love how their buildings have many quirky designs. Not only do they strawy away from the conventional types of buildings but they like to use their own creative twist to their buildings. This one is certainly unique and the bright yellow phone stands tall against the blue backdrop of the sky.
For the Chinese, Sunday is the ultimate chill day. Our guy below is the perfect example of how the Chinese just love to relax during the last day of the weekend.
He and a bunch of other friends are a testament to how chill the Chinese are that they can just walk around the streets in their PJs. On a Sunday, you’ll see even more of that.
Yellow Rubber Ducks
You’ve probably seen these giant rubber duckies on social media. We’re here to tell you that they’re all real! You can find these giant rubber duckies swimming in local lakes.
Not only are they cute but they give their environment a humorous twist. Are they all migrating because its summer or perhaps some of them strayed away from the pack? We can’t tell. But you can make up your own guess and take a picture while you’re at it too!
Houses Beside Houses
Notice that the houses in China are all sticking to each other. Well, you’ll really need to make use of as much land as possible to accommodate everyone.
These houses pop up like ant hills. First there’s one of them then there’s 40 of them. We simply can’t count all of them! The question we’re all wondering is how do you know whose homes is what? We’re shocked by the city planning maybe consider painting different colours for the roofs?
For most homeowners, a pet cat or dog is good enough of a companion. For some Chinese, however, cats and dogs might not be enough for them. Some even adopt tigers or other wild animals as pets. Aren’t they scared of getting eaten up? Well, we don’t really know.
Well, the tiger looks healthy. Luckily it isn’t starved and passed out. Taking pictures of these animals up close isn’t such a great idea but hopefully they’re well trained enough not to attack anyone. This woman has some guts! And with her kid too. Oof!
English isn’t the first language in China, and this can be evident in some signs. That’s why you’ll see a grammatical error or two in some of the signs there –and they’re pretty funny to see.
We wouldn’t want to be carefully slipping and falling down when we see this sign. We hope that they were able to change this sign before someone saw it. Otherwise, accidents would be evident everywhere. Whoopsy daisy!
Chinese are imaginative when it comes to marketing products. For instance, there’s this guy promoting the 2008 Beijing Olympics. While it is eye-catching, we don’t think the wheels are doing anything for his travel.
This is still a pretty creative idea and he made this bike just in time for the Olympics in Beijing it seems. Give this man center stage. He deserves an award for creating a functional bike. Who knows how far he went?
Apple definitely doesn’t make shoes but some locals decided to imagine the possibility if they did. Yes, they made shoes that said “iPhone” on the side. Check it out for yourself.
They look sturdy enough to wear but we’re not sure if we’d like to don a pair of apple shoes using our apple phones. One apple is enough. Unless we owned an Android phone now that’s another story…
China’s roads are sometimes like mazes or labyrinths. There are so many twists and turns that you need to take note of, and they’re pretty cool if you’re after an adventure.
We’re astounded by the amount of thought put into the design of their roads. This one is strange but we’ll give them an A+ for it. Just looking at this picture is giving us a headache but we’ll make sure to wear our seatbelts when traversing here.
Insects, Octopus and Other Dishes Oh My
China has actually gained a reputation for being a land with extremely exotic dishes. But that’s not really something that’s pretty surprising. China has been known to create dishes out of various raw animals and insects. While most of us think that some of the dishes are really bizarre, a lot of them are a norm in the country. It’s possible for locals not to bat an eye while eating insects or even a live octopus inside some kind of broth.
If you’re the daring type of person, then you probably wouldn’t mind eating an alligator with an orange in its mouth or maybe a starfish or a set of bugs on a stick. We’ll probably just leave it up to your imagination as to what other exotic foods this country has.
The Bicycle Graveyard
Just like an auto graveyard, China has its own bike graveyard. This was made after the whole bike-sharing project failed. That’s why a lot of bikes were eventually dumped and shredded. They now lay here to be put to rest.
It’s beautiful that they managed to keep this as a graveyard but also an art piece. From the top view it looks like a forest with scattered rocks or shells. They could have burned these bikes or placed them in a warehouse but decided to keep them for people to remember. Do you think it’s a good idea?
Most of us will probably agree that cockroaches are disgusting and should be killed on sight. However, the Chinese don’t seem to think so since they actually have breeding farms to multiply them. Why you may ask?
The Chinese believe that milk or extracts from a roach are really healthy. Other than health purposes, roaches can also be used as animal feed. Kinda gross in our opinion but for some other countries it’s a delicacy just like how insects are munched and chewed on.