Know China: Hotels and Food

Hotels and Food

Many of the international ‘brand name’ chains have hotels in the cities and honeypots across China. They offer However, high quality hotels are available at much lower price, but without the international brand name. Also, some western booking agencies charge western prices, which are much higher than traditional Chinese equivalents.

Even many small restaurants have photographs to help you to choose from the menu, and larger ones usually have English (or, sometimes, Chinglish, but you can usually get the idea).

In places in south-central China, such as Hunan and Sichuan Provinces, food is spicy. Very spicy. But you can specify - if you are cautious then you can ask for ‘boo laa’ (an approximation to the Chinese, which, if you are lucky, will be understood, meaning ‘not spicy’).

Steamed foods like dim sum and ‘baozi’ (small packages of meat and vegetable) are popular.

Jucy steamed packages of meat and vegetable, untouched by human hand once cooked.

In cities there is normally little problem in finding at least one of McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut or Subway.

Being a vegetarian in China is not easy, but possible. Many dishes have a mix of meat and vegetable, but there are alternatives such as tofu.

Dim sum - steamed delicacies, often featuring seafood

Drinking wine is not a Chinese tradition, but habits are changing. Beer, likewise, is not part of a long-standing tradition.

At formal and not so formal meals, especially business meals, ‘baijiu’ is consumed. This is sometimes translated as ‘white wine’, but it is a very strong spirit. Drink with caution.

Tea is served as a matter of course. and is often used at the start of a meal for a ritualistic cleaning of bowls and chopsticks (which usually arrive at the table wrapped in cellophane for cleanliness).
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