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26/06/2013

Dalian Local Customs You Should Know

1. Constant Construction

In Dalian (an optional destination for China vacation deals), there is always something being built or being torn down. The cool thing is when the construction team finishes as floor on a new building there is a rope of fire crackers that are set off from the current floor to the ground. Very loud and painful to the ears, but very interesting at the same time. I ended up with red fire cracker paper all over my hair on more than one occasion.

2. Playing Chinese Chess

Chinese like to play, at least many of them. And you can see it everywhere. Sometimes its not so easy to take photos (like the people in Wuhan while they play Mah Jong). You also can see many people playing Chinese Chess. But normaly they dont play in this way as at the Xinghai Square.

3. International Fashion Festival

The Dalian International Fashion Festival has made the city well known throughout the world.The national young designers' contest, the fashion show featuring Chinese and foreign models, and the large-scale cultural square party have all proved a great commercial success, promoting Dalian to the world and letting friends from overseas feel the warmth of the local people.

4. Drinking water.

The tap water cannot be consumed. I do not know if it is safe after it is being boiled. By the way, I had water from the tap after boiling for a month and nothing happen to me.

It is normal to have a mineral water dispenser in the house. When I went visiting friends, they have mineral water dispenser. The apartment that I stayed in have water dispenser too.

If you are going to stay there for some time, you can just find out the number to order the big bottles of water. You have two choices: mineral water, or distilled water. Mineral water is more expensive and expire faster.

5. A la carte

Generally in the north of China, the main food (zhu3 shi2) is the dumpling which is a must-try for China tour. The other dishes are usually served and the main food will be served last after you have finish the vegetables or meat, etc.

There are several types of dumplings.

Steamed buns (man2 tou2) without filling is one of them. I love steamed buns. There are many types, shapes of steam buns as well, and my favourites among them is the "hua1 juan3" (literally translated as flower swirl).

Another type of dumpling is the "jiao3 zi". These are thin, flat pieces of flour wrapped with meat or vegetable fillings, and then steamed, pan fried or deep fried. There will be some vinegar or soy sauce to dip in. It is a bit too much meat for my liking. These are certainly worth a try and very interesting with the different types of fillings.

6. Prepare for the squeeze while boarding buses.

It is not advisable to use the crowded public buses when travelling with children. The buses will be especially crowded during peak hours, such as during the morning rush to work, evening rush to get home, and during lunch time. It is not that bad during off peak hours. When there's a lot of people, the locals will not hesitate to push one another and squeeze to be the first to get on the buses. Be prepared to be able to stand firm (a bit difficult sometimes) and squeeze up the buses. If you are in front of the crowd, the force will push you up the buses. No such things as manners like in the western world when boarding buses.

Boarding the buses at bus stations is in a more orderly manner. In that case, everyone will have to queue up. There are also many who cut queue. Many locals seems to be satisfied to cut queue even by a couple of people. Many occasions from my experience of popular China tours is that when I reach the end of the queue first, the person behind me will certainly cut in front of me. Perhaps I did not stand very close to the person in front of me, which I am not used to and prefer not to. I prefer to have some breathing space. :-) Whenever there's opportunity to cut queue, many will not hesitate.

7. Gambling tables in garden.

I went to a park called "er-tong gong yuan" - translated to be children's garden. It was in the mid afternoon and gambling tables were being set-up. Perhaps that how they kill their time by gambling in the park. You can join in if you like, just select which table you want to join. Different tables have different games and rules.

You can obtain more through China travel agents.

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