The Halloween 4-Day Sale
Apply coupon: HALLOWEEN

Off to China?


Hi there, is anyone of you traveling to China soon? Or did you just return from a great trip to China? We would love to hear your stories, what you did, where you went, how you got on with your Chinese etc. Don't be shy ;)


I am planing to spend several weeks in Shanghai this spring. Question, can one obtain a Visa thru the mail, and not go to the Chinese Consul? Forget travel agents, I always buy discount tickets. I live in Portland Or, and I can't see going to LA just for a Visa.


Hi there, I know someone who flew to Australia via China and didn't have a visa for China because he wasn't aware that you need one. He got one when he arrived in China and it seemed like a standard procedure, however he was only in transit, so it might be different if you actually intend to stay there for a few weeks. I would recommend doing a search on the Chinese's consul's website. There will be information on there on how to obtain a visa. I usually get my travel agent to organize it for me, which is pretty easy. Even if you don't book through them they might still be able to help you out? I hope you have a great time there. Please let us know how you get on.


I should be booking time off work to travel round nepal/china in october, the plan is to travel from tibet as far alng the yangtze river as possible in 3 months. I'd like to make it to shang hai but thats a lot of ground to cover if im going to do it at a suitably relaxed pace. does anyone have any suggestions for points of interest i should stop and see along the way? I have to see the terracotta army and i plan on stopping at the great wall and any buddhist temples find along the way. is there anything else i shouldnt miss?


wow! That sounds fascinating and very interesting. How are you going to travel? By bus?


bus and boat will probably be the main mode of transport, it will be a case of speed vs cost as im trying to keep the budget under control. do you think its realistic to travel across china in 3 months, bearing in mind i dont want to spend all my time rushing across the country without time to soak it in? im mulling over flying a bit of the way to save time but its early days yet and im still waiting for work to confirm i can get the time off.


[quo]*Quote from * Lin Ping Hi there, is anyone of you traveling to China soon? Or did you just return from a great trip to China? We would love to hear your stories, what you did, where you went, how you got on with your Chinese etc. Don't be shy ;)[/quo] Hopefully I will be more fluent on my second trip to China in June. The first time I had to tell a bus driver. Qing Kai man yidiar. Is this correct or should it have been phrased in another manner.


I am hoping to go to Jinang in Shandong Province in September. I was hoping to go via Seoul (S.Korea) rather than Beijing. (There are direct flights daily from Seoul to Jinang) But maybe that will not work if the situation with N. Korea gets even more delicate. Anyone have experience of traveling by less-direct routes?


I would love to go to China! I really want to visit my friend who lives in Shanghai. Not to mention all the site seeing that I would do. I would visit the forbidden city, oh and the great wall of china. Too bad its on the other side of the world not to mention the price of travelling there. At least I can speak the language!


well, one day you might go there. Just imagine how much nicer the experience will be - being able to speak Chinese, being able to talk to locals, being able to really get to know China. ..


I am off to China in December, starting off in Hangzhou and travelling to the surrounding cities (those within 1-4 hours away by train). I am a little worried about things such as buying tickets at some places where you can only speak Chinese and obviously the culture shock, but these have also brought about some excitement as well. Does anyone have any recommendations about where to go around that area. At the moment I have down Shanghai which is the obvious choice, what about the smaller cities?


Hi, I'm from Australia and spent six weeks in China in 2006. Flew into Shanghai via Singapore and spent a few days in Suzhou (a 2500 year old city dubbed The Venice of the East and famous for its silk production)and Hangzhou (gardens and tea plantations) before flying to Beijing for a few days. Then went by train to Xian (ancient capital of China and famous for the terra cotta warriors and start of the silk road) and into northern Tibet, southern Mongolia and by small bus right across the Gobi desert to places such as Xiahe, Lanzhou, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, Korla, Kuqa, to Kashgar. When in Kashgar we saw the start of the Gobi Desert section of 'racing the planet'. Then flew to Urumqi for a few days and went up into the mountains which has scenery very much like that of Canada. As one proceeded westward the language changed as did the food as we were entering a more Muslim society. Very contrasting types of scenery and cultures. Many had not seen Caucasians before. Some of the art painted on grotto and cave wall dates from before Christ and a Buddha carved in the rock face 200 feet high. Also the museum at Urumqi is extremely interesting. I would recommend if you can get to China to get well out of the big coastal cities into the far flung areas and see the real China.


I plan to go to Taiwan next year I want to stay as long as I can (six months). Has anyone ever been there?? Would love any info, especially about visas. Also I want to know where would be the best place to live (Cheaply) in Taiwan, city or rural. Thanks much!


Hi. I started this course because my child has Chinese language lessons in school and I wanted to be able to keep up with him. The style is different of course but I find that these Rocket Chinese lessons have helped me to understand him a bit. The last time we were in Hongkong I was able to know the price of the hostel room from someone who spoke no english whatsoever just using the numbers I've learned. My son(6 years old) and I are so excited to go through this course together.


Hi Liza, I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying to learn my language! All the best for your learning and keep posted if you have any inquiry :)


Ni hao ma? I am off to China in November '10. Will be visiting Bejing, Shanghai, Wehzhou! Hangzhou, and some villages along the way, should be fun. I did go for 4 weeks in 2008 and traveled to Kunming on my own by bus (that was a life experience) plane and taxi. You learn very quick that way. The key is regular lessons and going over prior stuff; left it a bit late but enjoying daily lessons and the routine. I am trying to think what to say to people in Chinese during the day which is helping solidify yesterdays lesson. Another tip is don't be shy just go for it ! I am an English guy but live in the US. This course is just great and raises a few congratulatory smiles from my Chinese friends. A US pilot who transferred to Air China is also using the course. Also doing Japanese. Zai Jian.


Ni hao ma..Lin, my name is mike wong...very popular chinese name in meigoren. My grand parents were from Guangdung and hong kong. I was born in Jamaica but am now living in Canadagoren. Went To Korea for a year and taught esl.Took a trip to bejing and did the usual tourists tour. My dad spoke Haka but i just refused to learn even that as at the time in Jamaica Chinese was not needed, now im trying to catch up dad would be sooo proud to know that one of his sons can speak Madarin. My agong or grandad was actually a teacher in his village before he left and came to jamaica... Anyway thanks for teaching me, im really learning a lot everyday...if ever yur in Toronto pls let me know..we can go to our Mandarin Restaurant.... Mike.


Ni hao Mike! Thanks for your post! Wow, sounds like you have quite a travelling history! :) I'm really glad to hear you are enjoying the course. If there's ever anything we can do to help, let us know! Lin Ping


ni hao! I was wondering if you knew about any study programs in china. I've wanted to study mandarin for a long time and I'd like to study it when I get to college or university but I also wondered if I could study abroad to gain a more in depth understanding of the language and culture. I don't know how to find out, let alone aply for a course. On the other hand, I could wait until I'm old enough and book a holiday with some friends or family. xiexie. zaijian!


下个学期,二月,我要到清华大学去学中文!我那么兴奋了! Next February I am going to Tsinghua University for a semester to just learn Chinese. So excited!


ni hao Lin, I have just accepted a position at a school in Dalian. For this contract I will teaching students about information technology and business in English. I would like to be able to bridge their learning by knowing a few words in Mandarin in case the kids get stuck and don't understand what I am trying to communicate in English. Of course, I would also like to know what I am ordering in a restaurant, go out with friends and chat with local people to learn about the culture. :) xiexie for asking.


My wike and I travel to China last March and had a wonderful time. My wife and I are going back this year. We were in Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Chonching, Xian and several other cities. We found China to be a wonderful destination. I felt very safe and found the people to be friendly and helpful. I forgot to mention we also did a river cruise. What a fantastic trip.


Hi Everyone! I am teaching English in Shantou, China. I have been here for one and half years and ashamed to say I can only say a few words in Chinese, that's why I have started the 'rocket chinese'! I am having a great time here and can really recommend working here! Regards Martin


My family and I will be traveling to Tainjin City, near Beijing, in October to complete an adoption of my new 3 year old daughter. I would like to be able to communicate with locals and especially my new daughter. I am trying out the rocket chinese software to see if this would be a better way to learn chinese than purchasing some other language software. I have looked at Fluenz Mandarin and Rosetta Mandarin programs. Regards, Thomas


Hey Thomas Good luck with your trip and of course your successful adoption! I like the Rocket Chinese program...I have only managed to master 1.0 and 1.1 in 5 days but its seems good. I also look at some other free sites as well to compliment this one. The main thing is to practice practice practice! I tell my students all the time and now I have to keep telling myself the same thing! I try talking in Chinese to the locals with varying success. Next week my students are back at school so I will have many chances to prectice with them which will help. Good luck and kep trying. Martin


Hey Thomas Everyone learns differently and I use a number of methods to learn. Rosetta stone is one of them, but I find I REALLY DO need translations and some direction in order to learn better. This program for the cost, is real value for money. I've lived in China now for nearly 3 years, part of which was in a place very close to Tianjin. I am now in rural china which is a real challenge as pretty much no-one speaks English here. I have a Chinese lesson each day with a teacher who speaks reasonable English - persistence is the key. Tho - I cheat and use pinyin - still can't my head around han zi. If you want any info about local stuff feel free to email me [email protected] Take care Kathie


Hey everyone, I'm a college Student from New York University studying at East China Normal University (in Shanghai) for the semester (till Early June). Rocket Chinese was a good way for me to get a bit ahead of everyone in my beginner Chinese class. I just interviewed a local student using only Chinese - how cool!


Ni hao everyone. My wife and I just started the Rocket Chinese course tonight. We are very excited to be learning Chinese. My wife has a job at Zhejiang Science and Technology University in Hangzhou. We leave Australia in early July and travel to USA, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Thailand and then land in Shanghai to begin our new life. I am hoping to obtain an english teaching job when I get there. In March of this year (2011) we travelled to China. We spent time in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Cheng du. We love China and have lots of friends there. Hangzhou looks beautiful! Looking forward to meeting new friends on this forum. Hope to talk again soon. Tim & Azam


Hi Tim and Azam Good luck with the move. I hope your experience there is a positive and rewarding - Shanghai is a wonderful city. I am in Thailand on holiday at the moment (Phuket), amazing place! Kathie PS - there are lots of English speakers in Shanghai to help you out when you run into trouble.


I plan to move to China within 6 months to advance my Mandarin language skills and experience Chinese culture first hand. I plan to teach English to sustain myself. An acquaintance of mine, another American who has lived in China for a few years now, told me that there a scholarships available for non-Chinese citizens who want to learn Mandarin in the university system...does anyone know anything about this? Also, any recommendations for private schools that treat their teachers well? Any info would be greatly appreciated, and xiexie in advance.


Is there a reason you need to learn in the university system? Our school provides lessons free to its teachers and they're quite good. I combine these with RC. Having said that, I am beginning to find that RC (at least the first level) is more geared to travellers that people actually residing here.


Hi Jim, No, I guess there is no reason why I would need to learn in the university system. Tell me more about you school--where is it located, what student demographic do you teach, is it private or public, are you a teacher yourself?


I just returned from China. I was invited to Chongqing university for a lecture and was treated there like a king. Aftewards I flew to Shangri-la. Made the Tiger leaping gorge hike (highly recomended two days hiking). Went to Lijiang and the most beautiful palace. Lugu Hu (the Mosuo, the so called last matriarchal society). Passing Dail to Chendu the Pandas and Taoping (The defense village with towers) and went out by passing Shanghai. Here my Chinese story. I have been learing Chinese for 3 months (I-pod and computer, no teacher). So communication was not easy. There were times I was really frustrated (I should have understood this). There were highlights. The best, I was able to understand a chinese joke. It goes: A chinese male is attracted by a beautiful american woman. He tells her: You are beautiful. The girl understand some Chinese and is also familiar with the way she should respond. She replies Nǎlǐ Nǎlǐ (instead of Nǎli nǎli ). Well the joke had to be repeated once until I got it. Yet it convinced me that Chinese can be learned


Hello Everyone! Keep these amazing experiences and stories coming in! They are all very inspiring and I hope they inspire other beginning to students to strive for the same things. In regards to Kathleen S, your question about scholarships, the Confucius Institute has many offices all around the world and they also offer an abundance of scholarships for those wishing to spend some time in China studying the language. I believe the scholarships range from a few week to a couple of years. I definitely feel that this is worth a look in. Keep on learning and inspiring - Lin Ping


I lived in Chongqing for four years (Chongqinghua is quite a different dialect than Putonghua, but everyone understands Putonghua). You can get a one year visa but you have to leave the country every 3 or 4 months (I forget which), which just means going to Hong Kong, doing an about turn and coming back to the mainland. If you have a contact in the PSB (Police) you can get that requirement to leave the country waived. I love Chongqing and will be moving back soon.


Hi Kathleen, Sorry for the delay. Not sure why I didn't see this... your questions are almost a month old. Yes, I am a teacher. I'm certified in BC, Canada. I teach at a private BC Curriculum school in China west of Shanghai. Although I'm also a language teacher, right now, I'm doing mostly math and science. The school is called Sino-Canada. I really like it... obviously there are always things you would change in every environment, but I will likely be back next year... barring any unforeseen changes. Cheers


I have been all over China from Beijing/Xi'an to Dunhuang/Tulufan/Ulumuqi through the Gobi desert to Potala and the Himalayas to the Xiamen and the Fujian, Chengdu and more. I love China and it has been one of the best places I have visited and I have been to many. The people are nice and accepting, it has so much history and culture, most that few Americans have ever even heard of. There is still more that I look forward to seeing such as the 'vertical stone' region that is depicted in the Kung Fu Panda story. I have to admit that my wife is from XiangGang but, as far as language goes, people from the mainland cannot understand her. She can understand Mandarin but few mainlanders can understand Cantonese or any of the other dialects.


Ni hoa. I went to Shenzhen at the end of November (2011). I flew into HKG airport and took a small 7 passenger van to the boarder with mainland China, walked through customes then the van picked me up on the other side and took me to my hotel. At the begging of this thread there was a question about visas. I have always got mine through a travel agent, but I understand you can get visas to mainland China at the Hong Kong airport. If your are not an American, I understand its pretty fast, but being an American, I wouldn't try it. I have been to Shenzhen a few times, but have never gotten much past ni hoa in learning the language. This is my first serious attempt. Being a computer guy, I enjoyed the electronics market where you can buy anything from computers and phones to chips and even the machines that place the chips from hundreds and hundreds of small vendors. Shezhen is a very nice city and a great place to visit. There are many restraunts, spas, etc. You can get around OK with English, but it will be great to return with some Mandarin under my belt!


Well, another new story, I will go to Dalian from 12th january , main reason , i will get married before 23th (chinese new year - as you all knew) then I do come back. And have to figure out if i will go to live in China or we stay in Belgium. For me I would love to move to china but i also have to be sure I can survive there. If anyone has more tips please let me know. By the way is there a possibility we can send messages to other comunity members. I would like to get in touch with Jim Jutte. My fianceé is chinese and we talked a lot in english , she did not knew i was talking these lessons to. must say she is telling me verry good in very short time. I do think this audio downloads help a lot. I do put them on cd and where ever I go they go with me. I did some adaptions because the intro's are so long .. Anyway I think Rocket chinese is very good , but not the only way you should try. Also try movies , music all the things you can find , what helped me a lot was tv. I do have one big problem, vocal it works fine, written of reading chinese .. no i do not get the hang of it and do not find a starting point to get me going. when i took korean it was on that part much easier because you see how characters are build up out of 3 parts , i don't find something like that back on Chinese. maybe i am just to ABC minded


Hello Olivier, What is your first language? Your name would suggest French, but in Belgium... there are at least three possibilities aren't there. Whenever there is a new post, I get an update in my email box. I hesitate to post it here because there are so many different people. Congratulations on the wedding by the way. Myself, I am looking at the big 25 in two more years :) As to learning writing, there is a pattern you will start to see and frankly, you need to just keep doing it over and over. Eventually you find recognition and then creativity beyond that. I'm still working on recognition, but because I am teaching in English, I find it difficult to go faster than a snail's pace. ;) Cheers Jim


xie xie / thank you I speak dutch but languages are not realy a problem for me. i also speak French , german , english, korean (advanced) , and now slowly chinese ;-) Jim are you teach at/in dalian city ? I do also some teaching but its on a different level. if you want to find out you can visit my side just take my full name and put .be behind it you will find out , also how to contact me. zaijian from a verry stormy belgium at the moment; belgian cultural tip: most flemish (dutch) speaking persons now a little french , the way around , french native speakers mostly do not speak dutch at all.


Hello everyone! I am currently looking for a job teaching English and have decided on Beijing or Shanghai because of the fashion cultures in those cities....but I don't know what the pros and cons of either would be. Does anyone have any advice or insight they wouldn't mind sharing with me? Or about any other cosmopolitan city in mainland China that has a strong art and fashion culture? Thank you.


I never got to Dalian, my wife got sick. Now that I have care for her at home, I am teaching in Jiangsu province about an hour west of Shanghai. I had friends teaching in Dalian and actually three of my former classmates are teaching at Maple Leaf in Dalian. Also was kommt zwischen .be und ·@... oder schreibst du @Vanlaer. My wife is also Dutch... well, Dutch-Canadian. Her parents are both from the Netherlands. They laugh as her mother is from "Friesland" Kathleen, I understand that Beijing is the "cultural" centre and Shanghai is the "financial" centre... however, I would say that there are so many jobs for people wanting to teach English... that if you didn't like Shanghai for example, you could always find something in Beijing... just be careful with your visas though. They don't full around here with that stuff. I need to get myself to class now... Cheers


Done... Now we can let the good folks here get back their subject related conversations.


Hi there, Everybody keep these stories coming. If ever you feel like your study is too hard or are losing motivation, it is often such inspiring stories of travel and adventure that can give you the kick start you need to get back into your language study and prepare yourself for one day traveling to China and using your language. Kathleen, as Jim said Beijing is the cultural and political centre while Shanghai is considered the financial hub of China. It is hard for me to have an opinion on these two cities as I haven't spent a lot of time in either of them. However, Beijing may be the better option given the fact that there are growing opportunities there as well as the most pure form of 'standard mandarin' (if you are looking to further your Chinese as well). Alternatively, Kunming is another option that you should think about. It is relatively clean and green and has a thriving foreign area in the city which offers bars and cafes. I love Kunming and have only recently returned from it. I would not yet consider Kunming as 'cosmopolitan', however, it is a lovely city with many teaching opportunities all the same. Keep these stories flooding in and study hard! - Lin Ping


Hi everyone, Currently living in Changsha for the second time. Can't seem to stay away. Friendly people, spicy food and always busy here. Debating whether or not I'm going to stay here for a few years or settle here. Seriously considering the latter. As far as my 汉语 goes, I am still a beginner. Got lazy recently and stopped studying, but now I'm back at it. Although a bit difficult here, as most of the people speak Changsha dialect. I have to remind them to speak Mandarin to me. But so far, a great experience and I encourage anyone to make the leap and just come to China. And the Spring Festival is coming very soon, so I would like to say 新年快乐!


i might go to china this yaer, but i was wondering what phrases i should learn


Jason i think it depends on what you would like to do. But it would sure be handy to do the intire course because you will hear much more and than atleast you understand some of it. I know now ( i am in China now) that this is a good start but not enough to get started at all. + it does depends of where you will go in china. Like Josh said if you are going to a place where they speak the local language , it has little or no help. Also here in Dalian it seems locals are speaking with different tones what makes it for me sometimes difficult. and wow chinese do speak fast. so it realy is handy to learn the phrase "to ask them to talk slowly", Also directions are very handy. And absolutely the numbers because same thing if they speak it , and you have to translate it does go fast . what i discovered if you start in chinese while you want to buy something the prices are lower than if you try in english. and do not forget , try to get atleast 1/2 of the price they tell you.


We went to Kaohsiung, Taiwan last year. My mom has family there. I was born there, too. It was really neat to go there and see so many cultural traditions and stuff. Selena


你好 Selena, Thank you for your input into our forum. How did you find the language in Taiwan? And what were some cultural differences you noticed? Keep the communication and learning going! - Lin Ping

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Chinese trial here .