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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.

我在中国生活了整整两年零三个月。从2012年开始,我就断断续续地住在这里。以一个23岁(差不多24岁)的年龄标准来衡量,我已经在这里算呆了很久了。虽然一方面我已经准备好明年搬到一个新的国家,但另一方面,我也知道永远呆在这里会是多么舒心。

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!

在我最近的泰国和柬埔寨之行中,我遇到的几乎每个人都对去中国毫无兴趣。我觉得有必要保卫我在亚洲的家。中国有许多你在东南亚找不到的神奇之处。除了污染和长城,中国还有很多东西!

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.

无论你是在考虑搬到中国,还是到这里旅行几个星期,如果你很好奇为什么你要来这个国家,下面的内容都是为你准备的。

#1 The People

1.人民



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.

我承认,懂得普通话这门语言绝对有帮助。这并不是因为中国人看不起不会说普通话的人,他们只是害怕说英语!学习普通话真的帮我了解了中国人是多么善良和对世界充满好奇。我和很多出租车司机以及在夜间火车上遇到的陌生人都进行了长时间的交谈。这通常会让我得到许多免费的小吃和大量的自拍照。


#2 The Food

2.食物

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.

中国菜一直是我最喜欢的菜系之一(还有墨西哥菜)。但是当我到达中国的时候,我意识到我在美国吃的中国食物根本就不正宗,和真正的中国食物完全没法比。当然,你可以在美国找到宫保鸡丁和咕噜肉,但这些菜充其量也就是名字相同。



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.

虽然我确实厌倦了每天吃中国菜,但至少有足够的地域差异让我保持对中国菜的兴趣。我可以中午吃炒面,晚上吃麻辣烫。我也可以去自助餐厅来点儿鱼、米饭和酱鸡腿,或者去汤饺店,那里有馄饨,咖喱鸡饭,面条汤,炒菜,炒饭...这个清单还能写很多很多。我希望你看到这里已经感到饿了。


#3 Five Thousand Years of Ancient History

3.五千年的悠久历史

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.

如果你认为鸦片战争很久远,那么长城的主体部分建于14世纪的明朝。你觉得这个古老吗?它甚至最早从公元前7世纪就开始建了。

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.

你也可以去西安了解一下真正的古代历史。中国的第一个皇帝是秦始皇,他将战国时期的各个国家统一成了一个国家。他死后,兵马俑被创造出来。那是在公元前210年。

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.

沿着丝绸之路前往敦煌。在这里你会看到莫高窟。几个世纪以来,无数的艺术家们来到这个复杂的洞穴,创造了奇妙的佛教雕刻。通过参观不同的洞穴,你可以看到佛教艺术在这些年是如何演变的。第一波丝绸之路商人带来了印度佛教艺术品,这些艺术品从公元前300年开始,历时1000年,一直发展到了你今天看到的快乐、肥胖的中国佛像。



#4 Culture Shock, All Day Every Day

4.每天都能感受到文化冲击

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.

我第一次来中国是为了寻求挑战。我想去一个困难的地方,一个远离家乡,有着完全不同文化的地方。我想感受一下文化冲击。我想挑战自我。中国绝对是经历所有这些事情以及更多事情的最佳的地方。

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

5.成为名人

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!

在中国,如果你是“亚洲人”以外的任何种族,你基本上就是一个名人了。即使在像上海和北京这样的大城市,那里有大量的外国人,你仍然会被所有来到这些城市的中国游客视为名人。在紫禁城和外滩等主要旅游景点更是如此。你可能会比景点本身更受欢迎!

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.

很多人肯定会要求和你合影。人们一开始可能会很紧张地向你询问,但是当你和一个人合影后,你就会看到后面排起了长队。

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.

如果你是男性,你甚至可以创建一个女性粉丝俱乐部。例如,上周末我们学校举办了一个名为“地球村”的大型节日,国际学生可以在那里摆放代表他们国家的展台。当一个女孩问他是否可以在拍照时亲吻她的脸颊时,我的加拿大朋友同意了,和她拍了一张合影,很快后面就聚集了一大群女孩,她们都想给自己拍一张同样的照片。

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.

去年我也犯了一个错误,我给我的学生看了一张我哥哥的照片。我的女学生们看傻了,都开始求我把他的电子邮件/qq/微信给她们。我告诉他,如果他惹恼了我,我就把他所有的电子邮件都给她们。顺便说一下,有500多个女孩。

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.

如果你是黑人,你可以期待得到一些非常有趣的评论。我的一个朋友留着非洲式发型,每个人都叫她“爆炸头”,并试图摸她的头发。我的一个非洲朋友个子很高,所以当他走过时,人们都对他喊“NBA”。

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.

我在这个世界上最喜欢的事情就是人们试图用他们的智能手机偷拍我,但是这很容易会被我察觉。当我注意到他们这样做的时候,我只是摆好姿势让他们拍照。

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.

虽然有时也会觉得被人过多的关注很烦人,但在中国,这是生活中非常有趣的一部分。我的建议是永远不要因为人们的评论而生气,中国人只是对你感到好奇而已。中国人口单一,外国人很少,他们只是想更多地了解其他人、其他文化和种族。


#6 Off the Beaten Path Travel

6.与众不同的旅行

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.

虽然每个人都知道上海,北京和香港,但中国有那么多有趣的地方值得参观!在桂林乘坐竹筏顺漓江而下,在四川北部的青藏高原上骑马,在重庆享用火锅大餐,在云南的虎跳峡远足...这样的例子不胜枚举。

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.

中国是一个幅员辽阔的国家,有太多的事情要做,有太多的东西要看。在一个和美国差不多大的国家,你永远不会找不到可以去的地方。中国的很多地方都美得惊人。中国实际上有一些最令人难以置信的山脉可供徒步旅行,尤其是张家界,它是《阿凡达》中的浮山的取景地。

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.

你也可以在中国体验到一些非常多样化的文化。去哈尔滨看看俄罗斯和中国文化是如何融合的,或者去云南亲身体验中国的少数民族文化。别忘了新疆,那里的穆斯林居民看起来不像中国人,也不会说普通话。最后但并非最不重要,西藏是一个宗教习俗和传统文化的圣地。

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.

在中国旅行最棒的地方是:简单又便宜!不仅有廉价航班,中国还拥有令人惊叹的火车网络。只要24小时和70美元,你就能到中国的任何地方。

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

想要在中国开始一场与众不同的旅行吗?别担心,有我罩着你。



#7 Amazing Opportunities

7.惊人的机遇

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.

中国是充满机遇的新天地。投资者成群结队地涌入这里。时装设计师来这里做他们的衣服。来自世界各地的学生来这里学习普通话。那些在美国没有成功的音乐家来到中国吸引更多的追随者。想成为一名DJ、舞者、模特还是设计师吗?想成立自己的进出口公司吗?中国就是你该去的地方。

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.

目前,我教中国商人学习英语,每小时挣40美元。你知道哪个23岁的年轻人每小时能挣40美元吗?在国外教英语是一种为你的旅行提供资金的好方法。相信我,过去两年我一直在这么做。

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.

凭借我的经验和语言技能,我只要在中国打个喷嚏就能找到工作。虽然我一直在考虑搬到一个新的国家,但是当所有的机遇都在这里的时候,真的让人很难离开!例如,这个星期我正在面试一份工作,这份工作的年薪在3.3-3.7万美元之间,并且提供免费住房。考虑到我国内的大多数朋友几乎把他们一半的工资都花在了住房上,这是一份相当棒的工作!他们还提供免费的医疗保险和往返美国的免费航班。

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

虽然我很想搬到亚洲的其他地方去,但是拒绝这样的工作邀请是非常愚蠢的。

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).

是的,中国是有点污染。互联网审查也令人崩溃。也是拥挤和不和谐的。但说实话,这也是其魅力的一部分(除了互联网审查,我真的很讨厌这一点)。

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?

很多人前往亚洲,却与中国擦肩而过。他们觉得它太大了,签证过于复杂,语言也很难。为什么不去东南亚或日本呢?

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

我要对你们所有人说句实话:你们可能错过了什么。

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.

收拾好行李,买张飞机票,申请签证。你以后会感谢我的。