Chinese people have a simple way of showing numbers using one hand. When an American girl in our hostel let us in on this little tip, taxis became so much easier!


 Get the gestures down before arriving. Know that when a taxi driver flashes the symbol for 6, they most likely mean the fare is 60, and so on.


Toilets are probably the one single place where I would really, really enjoy both privacy and the ability to sit down. Unfortunately, you don’t get much of either in China.

Get used to the ways of the squat toilet, as they are everywhere. Also, you might want to get used to the idea of walking in on someone else in the loo.

I had my first encounter with what one might call a “trough” toilet with no walls or doors as soon as I crossed the border, and sure enough, other people taking care of business next to you is only a cause for alarm for you, and you alone.


You might want to read my guide to mastering squat toilets for females and then start building up your leg muscles in advance. If you need some privacy or a place to sit, I suggest heading to a Western establishment for a toilet.

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  • David Lee

    In late 2007, I quit my job and left the comfortable life in the USA for the open road with nothing but a 20-pound backpack, a …

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