In your business trip to China, it is very common that the host will invite you for lunch or dinner with them. It is a gesture of friendship. Here are some of the dinning table etiquette in China.
1. Beer is drunk in room temperature, not chilled: To a lot of foreigners, this is the first cultural shock. Chinese people believe that our body and internal organs work best in room temperature. Cold food or drink will contract the muscles of our internal organs and not desirable to our health. If you want to drink cold beer, tell the waiter "Bing de" (Cold ones please)
2. Table tapping when someone is filling your cup of tea: Why drink beer when are in the country of tea? During the meals, when someone is filling up your cup of tea, you should tap the table with 2 fingers as courtesy.
According to legend, the Chinese Emperor liked to disguise himself as normal citizen and went to different provinces of the country to observe life of ordinary people. Once the Emperor was in a tea-house with his subordinate. The Emperor served him tea. This would normally never happened in real life, and if it did, the subordinate should be kneeling down to receive this gratitude from the Emperor. But he could not do it as it would have uncovered the real identity of the Emperor. Did not know what to do, the subordinate tapped the table with 2 fingers to signify 2 knees.
3. Do not put the chopsticks vertically in the rice: It looks like putting incense sticks in the rice, which Chinese people offer to the dead.
4. Do not turn the fish unless the host does it: It is very common in Chinese restaurant to serve the complete fish. After finishing the upper side of the fish, it seems logical to turn the fish to have the bottom side up. Unfortunately, doing this will have an unpredictable consequence: You have sunk the boat.
This is a major worry for regions along the coast of the country, which depend largely on fishing. The fish symbolize the boat. To turn it over is bad luck to fishermen working in the sea.
So what do we do? Using your chopsticks, pick up the end of the spine of the fish near the tail fin, lift the spine slowly until the fish head, the spine should be gradually separating from the fresh. And then you can enjoy the bottom part of the fishing without flipping over it.
5. Do not order 7 plates of dishes: Because eating 7 plates of dishes is a ritual in funerals. it is better to order 6 or 8 plates.
China nowadays has the longest high speed train network in the world, measuring 19,000 km in the beginning of 2017 and the railway department is constructing new routes every day. The average speed of a high speed train is 280 km / hr, while the fastest speed is recorded at the train from Shanghai city to Shanghai Pudong Airport, reaching the speed of 400 km / hr.
The whole network of the high speed train (Pronounced as "Gao Tie" in Mandarin Chinese) only started 12 years ago, but it has since become the most important form of transport in China. It is punctual (much more than domestic flights in China!), convenient (connecting most cities and towns), clean, economical and comfortable. In 2015, more than 900 million passengers have taken the train.
If you are taking the high speed train in China, please note:
1. You need to present your passport when you buy the ticket at the station. All tickets are printed with your name and document number on it.
2. In big cities there may exist more than 1 station. For instance, Beijing has 4 stations (South, West, Central and North). So it is important that you go to the right station for your train.
3. In the station, on the train schedule screen, the staff, even the ticket, are all in Chinese, so it is better you take the train with a translator.
4. There are 3 classes of seats in the train (Executive class, first class and second class). As a matter of fact, second class seats are very clean and comfortable already, there is no need to pay 2 or 3 times more for the other classes, which only gives you little more space, privacy and a box of Chinese snacks.
Orient+ love to take high speed trains with our clients in China!