Special Tips for Travelling along the Silk Road
Advice on Visiting Temples
|Buddhist Temple, Silk Road|
Addressing a Monk: "shi" or "fashi" is the honorable title of the Monks and Taoists, and "zhanglao", "fangzhang" or "chanshi" of the Governing Monk."Heshang" and "chujiaren" are regarded as the impolite way to address a Monk.
Proper Manners: put yourng with the monks. Attempting to handshake, embrace or touch the head of the monk is considered sacrilegious.
Topics of Conversation: topics relating to killing, marriage and eating meat are forbidden.
Visiting Behaviour: Be respectful. Do not touch or deface any religious artifacts, and be silent and nonjudgemental during religious ceremonies.
Gender Issues: make sure that the temple or hall you visit is open to the public and (if you female) to women.
How to Visit the Families of Ethnic Groups
|Visit a Local Family in Turpan, Xinjiang|
The best time to visit is in the afternoon; however the busy festival period should be avoided. Orderly and clean clothing is a symbol of politeness. Short trousers, waistcoat and hats are impolite. Before your visit a culture, get some knowledge about their religion, habits, living styles and especially taboos. Some gifts should be prepared at the first visit. Don't bring things that they would consider taboo and don't touch the utensils in their houses. When the hosts treat you with their local food, it is considered impolite to refuse it. If you are really reluctant, thank your host and offer some a reasonable explanation. When the hosts toast you, you should receive the cup and first offer your thanks to the hosts. Then you can drink it or let other people help you if you cannot bear the whole cup of wine yourself.
China is probably one of the safest countries to visit, although you should still travel wisely and keep your money close to you at all times. In hotels, leave your valuables in the safe. Be cautious in crowded public areas like bazaars, bus and train stations since thefts from pockets and day packs are not uncommon. The best prevention against theft is a money belt worn inside your clothing.