15 Things a Singaporean Should Know When in China

Not going to do a detailed post on my 10-day trip to the gorgeous Chengdu (成都)just yet- still sorting out the photos & all that jazz.

In the meantime, I’m just going to share with my readers some of the super important things to know while you’re there. This could very well be your basic survival guide in China. 😉

1. Lower The Heck Out Of Your Lavatorial Standards

Oh yea. I totally mean this.

First off- having a door is a privilege there. So basically, everyone can clearly see you doing your business.

Sometimes, your toilet doesn’t even have a flushing system- it’s basically a long drain. So everyone just lines up, squatting… doing their business… *scarred for life* 😮


2. NEVER Be Without Tissue Paper In Your Pockets

You’ll thank me later. They’ve come in handy for me on countless occasions!


3. Activate Your Mental Calculator

I didn’t do this often enough… I just assumed that everything ought to be cheaper anyway.

And my mental calculator was sooo rusty, I got conned a few times.

4. Not Everything Is Cheaper

It might seem like it- but that’s not always the case!


5. Don’t Ask For The Price If You’re Unsure of Buying

This could potentially get you into a lot of unnecessary trouble. So if you’re actually not that keen on the product, don’t even bother!

I tried being polite by at least pretending to be amused by the product- but it just landed me in shit. So just reject them straight off!


6. Be Shameless When It Comes To Bargaining

I’m still a noob in this area, but my aunt is such a pro!

The quoted price for this necklace I wanted was 150RMB- my aunt just slashed it to 50RMB and did not budge!

In the end, we got it! That is like 1/3 the price!!

7. Know WHERE You Can or Cannot Bargain

Now, as much as the place on a whole might seem like it’s “bargainable– IT’S NOT!

Some places are proper legit stores that really don’t appreciate you cheapening their quality products. So please use some discernment here! They can get quite offended…


8. Lose Some Of Your Mannerisms

Like they always say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. So the same concept basically applies here.

Sometimes they can really cross the line… In Singapore we generally just frown, look pissed off, probably rant a little on social media… And that’s it. But when you’re there… Just let loose man.

If they want to be uncouth with you, you go on ahead & do the same thing! To me, I don’t see it as a form of being impolite- I see it as survival. If you just go on & let them be mean to you, they’ll just continue bullying you.


9. Accept There’s Usually No “Queuing” Concept

In Singapore, we all have qualifications in Queue-For-No-Reason-ology. It’s just in our culture; we’re a bunch of obedient little whiny brats (in my opinion). But others are not.

First time I went to the washroom in the airport, this b*tch just jumped queue and ran straight into the cubicle that was meant for me! I just stood there gobsmacked.

So when you want your turn at something (especially in the loo), be blatant about it! Or else you’re probably going to wait there till your grandchild will have to pee for you.


10. There’s No China-wide Safe Word To Call A Lady

I had no idea about this initially… but apparently calling a lady Xiao Jie (小姐)in some parts of China is offensive. It’s like implying she’s a prostitute or something.

It’s kind of tricky and I honestly haven’t really found a term that’ll be great for every female. Especially waitresses in the restaurant! So I just go, “不好意思” (Excuse me).


11. Don’t Take Those English Translations Literally

…and don’t laugh too badly at them either. There were quite a few that I saw that totally cracked me up XD, but I noticed the locals getting conscious about the signs.

So I decided to just laugh inside… As much as I could.


12. When Being Paddled, Just Look Down & Walk Away

Or just try to blend into somewhere. The paddlers can get really persistent!


13. Internet Restrictions Are Abysmal 

First off- most of the hotels provided rather shabby wifi services.

But seriously there wasn’t anything much I could do with internet connection anyway. :/ No access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… Sometimes can’t even connect to my games!

The only thing that was getting through quite consistently was Whatsapp…. And that’s it! Only Whatsapp!


14. Appreciate the Rich Culture & History of the Country

When in China, it is easy to lose focus of the natural beauty that’s all around when you’re busy pushing paddlers away, trying to tolerate some behaviours that we find intolerable in Singapore…

But I’m actually really proud to be Chinese! *beams proudly* Probably brainwashed by my uncle… but there’s soooo much in the culture & history. It is so friggin’ interesting!!

DO.NOT.MISS.THIS.OUT. I actually had a lot of fun reading those signboards at those historical places!


15. You’re Bound To See Some Fellow Countrymen

So if you’re actually looking for a place whereby it’s entirely alienated by Singaporeans- China might not be your ideal location.

I met countless Singaporeans along the way and it’s super easy to distinguish them from the locals; even though we are all Chinese!

And usually we won’t call out to each other, but we’d have this mental high-five exchange. Like, “Yo, SG!”


Overall, I really enjoyed myself!

Can’t wait for my next overseas trip again! Yay!


One response to “15 Things a Singaporean Should Know When in China”

  1. Lol awesome post. I was born in Sichuan and I’ve been living in SG since 6 so I can conclude that what you have just said above can’t be more true. Kudos.


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