Don’t do these things in China.

china

 

While China has become more westernized, there are still some basic things you should and shouldn’t do while you’re there. These are just basics, but as long as you’re friendly and bring your best manners, you will get along fine and have a great time.  

 

Don’t be Late:

It can be seen as rude to be late. Always be on time or even a little early to meetings or dates.

 

Never Show Up Without a Gift   

If you’re meeting someone, it’s customary for both parties often exchange gifts.  For instance, if you’re meeting your fiancée’s family for the first time be aware that you’re expected to bring a gift.  Gifts are not usually opened until after you leave. If they do insist you open your gift, ask “Is it ok if I open it?”  

 

Special note: Don’t bring four gifts or clocks as gifts- the Chinese associate these with death and are considered unlucky.

 

Don’t Call People by Their First Names Only:

Unlike in the West, Chinese people don’t call each other by their first name. Let’s say a man is introduced to you as  “Lee Ming”.  You can safely address him as Mr. Lee not Mr. Ming, because the family name comes first.  As an example  Joe Smith is known as Smith Joe. This will be a little different if you’ve already got a close relationship with them, but let them say so first.

 

Avoid Public Displays of Affection:

Generally, public displays of affection (PDAs) are frowned upon.  Hand holding is becoming acceptable but play it by ear and ask if it’s ok.  Your girlfriend or fiancée will appreciate the gesture.

 

Never let someone else pay the Bill without saying, “No, please let me.”

Let’s say you go out to a meal in China. It’s time to pay for the meal and your dining companion says, “I’ve got the bill.”  It’s considered good manners to argue and fight for the right to pay the bill. Showing eagerness to pay the bill is just good manners. Be willing to go back and  forth a few times with the “No, let me” before it’s settled.

 

Don’t Take The First  “No Thank You”  Literally

People in China will almost always automatically refuse things like having a drink or going out for food automatically, even if they are really hungry or thirsty.   In China a  good guest is supposed to refuse at least once, so you as a good host should always offer at least two or three times.

Never Accept Food, Drinks , or Gifts Without Refusing a Couple Times.

Likewise, don’t immediately accept anything offered.  Chinese people will expect you as a guest to refuse at least once.

Don’t Brag

 

Chinese people are humble and polite. Let’s say have dinner and give your host a compliment like “That was the best dinner ever!” Your host will say, “No, that was really bad.”  They’re not being rude, just humble and polite.

 

So be humble too. Keeping the  boasting to a minimum will help keep things from getting awkward. Be modest about yourself: if someone pays you a compliment , be humble and say something like “No, not at all” or “I’m not good at it, but thank you for saying so.”

 

We hope this brief guide comes in handy, especially if you’re going to China to visit a Fiancee or girlfriend (or even meeting her family!).

 

Looking to date a Chinese girl? Find her on Cherry Blossoms <3

 

Etiquette links:

 

http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/guidebook/etiquette.htm

http://www.commisceo-global.com/country-guides/china-guide

10 Chinese Etiquette Tips

Chinese Travel Information

Updated 04/07/2017.

CHINA – New procedure with Chinese Translation

IMPORTANT: Chinese Immigrant Visa Procedures may have changed since this was posted. Please visit US Consulate – Guangzhou China for more information.

Subject: Immigrant Visa Instructions
Date:

From: GuangzhouIVAppoint@state.gov
To:
U.S. Consulate General

#1 Shamian South Street

Guangzhou, China  510133

 

Case Number:

Name  (P)  :

Preference Category:K1

Traveling Applicants:

HUI

IR, CR, IW, IB, K and SB1 visa applicants

Important: As of March 16, 2013, the U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou has implemented new visa application procedures. Under these new procedures, a number of services will be provided to visa applicants directly by our authorized partner, CGI Stanley. ALL applicants will need to register directly through CGI Stanley for visa interviews and passport delivery. Only those applicants who register through CGI Stanley will be able to receive their passport after their visa has been processed. Please follow the instructions below to schedule your visa interview appointment through CGI Stanley.

Dear Applicant, Petitioner, or Agent of record:

This office is ready to begin final processing of the immigrant visa applicant(s) named above in this case. Please follow these steps to schedule and prepare for your visa interview:

1.      Once you receive this notice, please visit http://ustraveldocs.com and register a document pick-up location by selecting the “Select Document Delivery Address” option in the Immigrant Visas section of the website. If you have already registered, you do not need to register again. Failure to register prior to your visa interview will result in delay of your visa application.

2.      Once registered, visit http://ustraveldocs.com and select “Schedule My Appointment” in the Immigrant Visas section of the website to schedule your visa interview appointment.

3.      Once you have scheduled your appointment, download the Immigrant Visa Instruction Packet (or K visa Instruction Packet for K visa applicants) and follow the instructions inside it to prepare the necessary documents for your visa interview. Instruction packets can be found by selecting “Prepare Documents” in the Immigrant Visas section of http://ustraveldocs.com.

4.      All applicants, regardless of age, must complete a medical exam and vaccination(s) with one of our designated panel physicians at least two weeks prior to the visa interview. (Please refer to the detailed instructions in the instruction packet.) Applicants must bring a copy of this letter with them to their medical exam.

5.      On the scheduled date and time, the applicant(s) should come to the Consulate with all required documents and a copy of this letter. Applicants who do not bring a copy of this letter may not be allowed into the consulate for their interview.

Failure to follow these instructions will result in delay of your visa application. Please do not reply to this email. Any replies sent will not be received. If you have any questions, please use the following web site to contact us: http://guangzhou.usembassy-china.org.cn/immigrant-visa-unit-question.html.When communicating with our office about your case, please provide your name and case number exactly as shown in this letter.

Sincerely,

Chief, Immigrant Visa Unit

The Chinese translation for this appointment letter is as follows:

IR, CR, IW, IB, K , SB1 类别的签证申请人

重要通知2013316日起,美国驻广州总领事馆将实行移民签证申请的新程序。在这些新程序下,一系列的签证服务将由我们授权的合作伙伴CGI Stanley提供给签证申请人。所有申请人必须直接通过CGI Stanley进行安排签证面谈时间以及登记文件送达地址,只有通过CGI Stanley登记的申请人才能在签证批准之后收到他们的护照。请按照以下指引使用CGI Stanley提供的签证服务网站安排你的签证面谈时间。

亲爱的移民申请人,美国申请人,或指定代理人:

本馆即将开始对你的移民签证申请进行最终的处理。请上述列明的签证申请人按照以下步骤安排你的签证面谈时间并为面谈做准备:

1.     收到此通知后,所有签证申请人必须立即登陆签证申请服务网站http://ustraveldocs.com的移民签证信息页面点击“选择文件送达地址”进行登记。如你已经在此网站登记,无须重复此步骤。未能在签证面谈前登记将会对你的申请造成延误。

2.      登记完成后,所有签证申请人必须登陆同一网站选择“安排约见时间”进行签证面谈时间的预约。

3.      一旦你安排面谈时间后,你必须从此网站上下载“移民签证申请说明”包裹,(K类签证申请人应下载“K类签证申请说明”),并务必仔细阅读所有的相关信息,严格按照指引准备面谈所需的材料。签证申请说明包裹可从网站http://ustraveldocs.com移民签证信息页面的“准备资料”链接中下载。

4.      请注意,所有移民签证申请人,不论其年龄大小,均应在签证面谈至少两周前到指定的机构进行体检与接种疫苗(详见签证说明包裹内指引)。请上述的申请人带上此通知并在体检时向体检机构出示该通知。

5.      申请人应在安排好的面谈约见时间,带上此通知和面谈所需材料来到领事馆。签证面谈时未能够出示此信的申请人将无法进入领事馆面谈。

未能按照指引办理将会对你的申请造成延误。请勿直接回复此电邮,因为我们无法收到任何对此电邮的回复。如果你有任何关于移民申请的问题,请使用本馆网站上的咨询表格与我们联系,网址为:http://guangzhou.usembassy-china.org.cn/immigrant-visa-unit-question.html  在进行咨询时请提供你正确的名字及档案号码。

此致,

美国驻广州总领事馆移民部

This email is UNCLASSIFIED

 

Chinese Travel Information

Chinachina flag

Boasting the largest population in the world with the second largest landmass, China is a one-party state with a division of power between the National People’s Congress (NPC), the President and the State Council . Officially known as the People’s Republic of China, the political leadership within the state are also the leaders of the party, creating a single centralized focus of power.  Under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the NPC (National People’s Congress) is the highest branch of state power in China.

The city of Beijing is the country’s capital and the second largest city in the country. With a population of over 20 million people, Beijing is the nation’s political, cultural and educational center. It is also home to the Beijing Capital International Airport which is the second busiest passenger airport in the world. Most of China’s state-owned companies are located in Beijing and it is a major hub for the country’s highways, expressways and high-speed rail networks.

Traveling to China is best done in the springtime from March to April or autumn from September to October.  Given the sheer size of the country,  the weather can be extremely diverse depending on your destination.  In the northeast the summers are hot and dry and the winters are extremely cold.  The north and central regions have lots of rain coupled with hot summers and cold winters.  In the southeast there is frequent rainfall, semi-tropical summers and cool winters.

Before You Leave

Passports and Required Travel Documents

As a US citizen, you will need a valid passport and a prearranged visa to enter China.  If you already have a valid passport, check that your passport will not expire for at least six months from your return date. If you need a passport visit the State Department’s website to find out how to apply for either your first passport or to renew a previous passport.

A visa is a stamp or endorsement placed in your passport granting you permission to visit China. Visas must be obtained prior to leaving the US and are usually issued by the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC or a Chinese Consulate office located within the US.  Visit the Chinese Embassy website to find out how to get your tourist visa for China prior to your departure.  This process may take several weeks and requires your valid passport, so leave plenty of time for all required travel documents. There are also several private companies that can assist you with obtaining your passport and your visa entry documents.  We suggest checking with: http://www.passportsandvisas.com or http://visacentral.com if you need help or are short on time.

Visiting Hong Kong or Macau does not require a visa for stays of 90 days or less as a  US citizen. You will still need six months validity on your passport and a return or continuing airline ticket.  Be sure to apply for a tourist visa prior to your departure from the US if there is any chance of a visit to the People’s Republic of China while you are in Hong Kong or Macau.  Entering China from Hong Kong still requires a tourist visa. You will need to fill out an entry card on arrival, usually handed out on the plane. The entry card is given to immigration control, who will hand you back the carbon copy. This should be kept until you leave Hong Kong, as it needs to be given to immigration control.

Health Concerns and Vaccinations

Any international traveler should be up-to-date with all routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT), and influenza (Flu).  Travelers to China should also receive vaccinations against typhoid and hepatitis and make sure their polio vaccinations are current.  If you will be staying in China for over a month or will be visiting rural areas outside of the city centers, check with your doctor regarding the recommended Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine and anti-Malaria drugs.  Check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  for information on these vaccinations and current precautions or updates.

Pack all necessary medications in their original containers and bring a letter from your doctor describing any serious medical conditions if you have any concerns.  A small first aid kit with bandages, antibacterial cream, a pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, a sunscreen, mosquito repellent and an anti diarrhea medication is also useful.  Make sure you get your teeth checked before you travel, and if you wear glasses take a spare pair and your prescription.

 

Because of the humidity of China, take precautions to avoid dehydration and drink plenty of sealed, bottled water. The tap water throughout China is not safe to drink until it has been boiled.  This is true in most hotels as well. Be sure to ask and never assume the tap water is safe without boiling first.  Use bottled water to brush your teeth, especially the first few days as your body acclimates to a new diet and a new environment.  Be sure to use a mosquito repellent always as dengue fever and malaria can be present.

 

Flights/Hotels/Cars

When checking flights to compare travel prices and itineraries we suggest checking:

www.cheaptickets.com , www.travelocity.com or www.expedia.com for airfare and hotel bookings. They often have the best prices for flights and flight hotel packages.

 

You may also want to look into trip cancellation insurance.  Check out travel insurance at squaremouth.com  where you can compare hundreds of travel insurance products.  Oftentimes getting a combination of trip cancellation, medical, and medical evacuation insurances is the best value for your money.

China does not recognize the International Drivers License and you will not be allowed to rent a car in China without a Chinese drivers license. Fortunately, taxis are usually plentiful and very inexpensive in most town centers. These travel guides should help you with any questions you have about getting around in China:

www.lonelyplanet.com                                 www.fodors.com                       www.frommers.com

 

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

This program is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. This program allows the Department of State to better assist you in case of an emergency. Your itinerary is submitted and you can also receive updates on Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts and other information for a particular country.

You can enroll in the Smart Traveler Program by clicking here: Smart Traveler Program

 

Electricity in China   

China uses  220V, 50HZ, AC so you will need voltage converters and plug adapters for any electronics you plan to take with you.  If you’re bringing a laptop or tablet with you, don’t forget a surge protector too.  Check out these sites for more information on voltage converters, plug adapters and surge protectors.

www.walkabouttravelgear.com            www.radioshack.com                     www.amazon.com

 

Common Wall Sockets in China:

Chinese  Money  

 

The Renminbi (RMB) is the currency of China.The primary unit of the Renminbi is known as  the Yuan (CNY). One Yuan is worth ten Jiao and a Jiao is worth ten Fen.  It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different bills and their colors and values before you leave.  Chinese Renminbi banknotes are available in  1 Jiao, 5 Jiao, 1 Yuan, 5 Yuan, 10 Yuan, 20 Yuan, 50 Yuan, and 100 Yuan. The coin used is 1 Yuan and 5 Jiao. The current exchange rate from US dollars to Chinese Renminbi (RMB) can be found at: www.oanda.com.

You can change dollars or travelers checks at border crossings, international airports, tourist hotels and branches of the Bank of China. The official exchange rate is honored almost everywhere and the charge for changing money or travelers checks is standardized, so there is no need to shop around for the best price.  Keep at least a few of your exchange receipts. You will need them if you want to exchange any remaining RMB you have at the end of your trip.

 

Visa, Mastercard, American Express and JCB are accepted on a limited basis in China.  Be sure to have extra Chinese currency if traveling away from the city centers. Never assume the restaurant, bar or hotel will take a credit card.  The Chinese do not use credit cards regularly and many businesses are just beginning to accept them as a payment method.

 

Time

China is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. There’s no daylight savings time in China and since 1949 all of China has recognized one standard time: China Standard Time.

 

Is it Safe?

While violent crime is almost nonexistent in China, petty thievery and pick pocketing can be a problem.  High-risk areas in China are train and bus stations, city and long-distance buses (especially sleeper buses), hard-seat train carriages and public toilets.

You will have no problems if you take some precautions:

  • Keep your passport and cash in a concealed travel wallet. Some examples of  travel wallets can be found at http://amazon.com
  • Keep your valuables in the hotel safe.
  • Use your common sense. Stick to well traveled roads and don’t walk down dark alleys.
  • Avoid traveling alone or walking alone at night or in isolated areas
  • Never flash a lot of cash, jewelry or expensive camera equipment

If you need assistance, the local equivalents to the “911” line in China are 110 for police, 119 for fire, and 120 for ambulance.

Check the “Threats to Safety and Securitiy”  page on the US State Department’s website by clicking here: US State Department.  You will find other valuable country specific information on this website under “International Travel.”

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in China, you are subject to the laws of China even if you are a U.S. citizen. If you are arrested, contact the US Embassy immediately.

Cell phones in China

Most of the cell phones used in the US will not work in China.  Some of the newer high-end phones are compatible, however.  Check with your cell phone company prior to leaving for China. International roaming charges can be extremely expensive so beware.

You can also buy a cell phone in China.  Many well-known brands such as Motorola, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and others are sold in large department stores or franchise stores.  Be sure to ask about a SIM card too.  These do not automatically come with the phone but are necessary to operate a cell phone in China.

If you plan to use your cell phone in more than one city, make sure to activate the national roaming service.  But also check the rates on this roaming service.  It can be expensive.

One service you can check for renting or purchasing a worldwide cellphone is www.Mobal.com.

 

Availability of Healthcare:

 

Medical facilities and healthcare in China are not what they are in the US.  If you take any type of prescription medication or supplements, bring you own supply in the original container, including each drug’s generic name and carry the doctor’s prescription with you.  Many commonly known drugs, vitamins or supplements from the US are not available in China or do not have the same ingredients or potency.

 

In an emergency, it is often quicker and more efficient to take a taxi or other vehicle to the nearest major hospital.  Chinese ambulances are known to be slow and not well equipped.  Be prepared to pay cash upfront for any medical emergency or a deposit for any procedures or hospitalization. Medicare and Medicaid do not provide coverage for medical costs outside the U.S.

 

If you elect to have surgery or other medical services in China, be aware that there is little legal recourse to protect you in case of medical malpractice. The U.S. Embassy and consulates general in China maintain lists of localEnglish-speaking doctors and hospitals, which are published on their respective American Citizens Services web pages.

 

To avoid contamination of Hepatitis, always ask doctors and dentists to use sterilized equipment and be prepared to pay for new syringe needles in hospitals or clinics.  Reuse of medical supplies is not uncommon and foreigners should be careful and diligent.

Medical Insurance

Do not assume your health insurance will go with you when you travel. It is very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:

  • Does my policy apply when I’m out of the United States?
  • Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation?

 

Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy does not cover you while you are on your trip, it may be a good idea to take out another hea lth insurance policy that will cover you while you are away.  For more information, please see the list of Medical Insurance Companies on the US Department of State website at:

Medical Insurance.”

Important Links:

For information on traveler’s insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and medical insurance while traveling, we suggest: http://www.squaremouth.com

For information on medical transfers and evacuations, visit: http://medjetassist.com

 

US Embassy and Consulate in China

U.S. Embassy in Beijing

S. Embassy in Beijing China

No. 55 An Jia Lou Road

Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600

Telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000

Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000

The Embassy consular district includes the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin and the provinces’ autonomous regions of Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, and Xinjiang.

The U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu

Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Renmin Nanlu,

Chengdu 610041.

Telephone: (86)(28) 8558-3992

Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000

This consular district includes the provinces/autonomous region of Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang (Tibet) and Yunnan, as well as the municipality of Chongqing.

 

The U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou

5/F Tian Yu Garden, Phase II

136-142 Lin He Zhong Lu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou

Telephone: (86)(20) 8518-7605

Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000

This consular district includes: the provinces/autonomous region of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and Fujian.

 

The U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai

Westgate Mall, 8th Floor, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu,

Shanghai 200031

Telephone: (86)(21) 3217-4650

Emergency after-hours telephone:   (86) (21) 3217-4650

This consular district includes Shanghai municipality and the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

 

The U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang

No. 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District,

Shenyang 110003

Telephone: (86)(24) 2322-1198

Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000

This consular district includes:   the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.

 

The U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan

New World International Trade Tower I

No. 568, Jianshe Avenue

Hankou, Wuhan  430022

Telephone: (86) (027) 8555-7791

Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000

[Please note that consular services are provided only during quarterly outreaches in Wuhan.Contact the Embassy in Beijing for other consular and emergency services.]

Updated on 04/07/2017. Please let us know if this information is outdated.

Schedule Travel To Asia to See Your Girlfriend or Fiancée.

Travel to Asia

Cherry Blossoms Friends,

 

With oil prices at a 10 year low, airline ticket prices are slowly coming down. This is great news for you if you’re looking to save money on a flight to see your lady!

 

Of course, you’re going to want to plan ahead. A recent study concluded that the best time to book your international flight to Asia (and save the most money) is 160 days in advance.

 

Additionally, it’s best to purchase tickets well in advance if traveling internationally. If you’re planning on travelling to the United States, it’s recommended you buy 54 days in advance. If you’re looking at traveling to Europe, it’s best to purchase tickets 120 days in advance.

 

Cherry Blossoms members, if you’re looking at traveling to see your girlfriend or fiancee AND you want to get the cheapest tickets, right now is the right time to book your tickets.

 

Aloha,

 

Bob

CB Staff

Sources

https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/when-to-buy-international-flights/

   https://blog.blossoms.com/?p=2100   

Asian Travel Information:

Thailand Travel Information
China Travel Information
Visit the Philippines

Updated 04/07/2017 by the CB Staff

The Importance of “We”

The Importance of “We”

It’s no surprise that online relationships can be challenging, especially when trying to meet Filipino or Chinese women online. Whether you are looking for a pen pal; a long term relationship, of your future bride; building a future life with an Asian woman will take work and many are up for the task. Looking for love outside of your own culture can be exciting and rewarding; as interracial couples (Caucasian or European men and Asian women) tend to report that just being aware of their cultural differences increases curiosity and discussing their differences directly may even enhance intimacy.

A recent research study (Seshadri & Knudson‐Martin, 2013) examined inter-cultural (as well as interracial) relationships in the United States. Cultural differences, especially around tradition (how we “should be”/“should behave”/”social expectations”) in a long term relationships or marriages become opportunities to co-create new traditions, increase personal meaning, and intimate strength in relationships. After conducting multiple interviews, researchers identified 4 relationship structures involving mixed culture relationships (see below).

One wife said ‘‘I thought I was pretty westernized until I married my husband. Then I realized that I was actually pretty Asian in a lot of ways. I think it’s relative to who I’m with…’’

 4 Relationship Structures with cross-cultural relationships (marriages)

Couples can use 4 major strategies to manage their cultural differences on a day-by-day basis:

  • Creating a We. Building a life after meeting online, dating and agreeing to marriage involves co-authoring a new chapter in a life story, your story. The key pieces involved in creating a ‘‘we’’ include: friendship, common ground, similar goals, working together over time, and commitment.
  • Framing Differences. How couples look at cultural differences makes all the difference. Key pieces in framing differences include sharing differences as attractive, being flexible and respectful about your spouse’s culture, and understand that cultural differences are something to learn about and celebrate.
  • Paying Attention to Feelings. We all need somebody to lean on. Strong emotions may come up from difficult culture-related situations, for example disapproval from a family member.  Communicating with your spouse about your feelings and insecurities, and clearly listening to theirs will help strengthen the emotional connection. Find ways to make adjustments around culture-related differences and find support with each other.
  • Connecting with family and community members.  “Hi Mum and Dad…Meet my special someone.” No couple is an island, it is important to set boundaries and draw respectful lines with family and community members who may have strong feelings about your friendships and relationships.  Sometimes it is best not to react to negative opinions; stay calm, collected, and unwilling to get into an argument over your relationship with your Chinese or Filipina girlfriend (or wife). Some couples use humor (appropriately) to deal with cultural differences. It may just take some time to let family and community members come around. Give them space, and in this case not physical space – emotional space. Emotional space gives the person time to come around on their own terms.  Once family members start to relate and connect to their new in-law as individuals; cultural issues fade away.

Putting it all together – finding the right woman from a different culture (Chinese, Filipina, or somewhere else in the world) online for chatting, an email pen pal or a future bride; it is important to communicate about culture and understand that integrating cultural traditions, values, and ideas into a solid state of “WE” will support a long and satisfying connection.