What is polite behavior of American tourists in China?
Could you give us tips on how Americans can be respectful when visiting China? for example: I noticed most of us Americans talk really loud compared to people from other countries. What is polite in a restaurant, on the train, etc. What are the pet peeves that people of China have regarding Americans. How do we leave a good impression?
I think you don't need to do something painstakingly,just be yourself and act it naturally. Anyone who comes to China is our friend and we are doomed to spend a pleasant time with each other. Take it easy and enjoy yourself in your China travel.
Welcome you to our country,dear friend!
After all China is a developing or developed country. Tourists are the guests of the country who are contributing in the State revenue. As such Americans will be honored and respected with all amenities and securities in China- one should not doubt about it to down grade the prestige of a country.
I'm basing this on my experience of visiting Japan not China but from what I have heard the same would apply in busy Chinese cities. The first thing I noticed moving around Tokyo was the sheer volume of people, particularly on public transport. The local people are extremely tolerant of being in close proximity with one another. You can't get annoyed by rubbing against or bumping into other people and you can't apologize to everyone who you inadvertently touch. Excepting this is inevitable and not getting frustrated by it I assume would go a long way. Hope this is relevant for you.
In line with johnmce's answer, try to keep yourself in a little more compact space than you have to do in the US. Don't sprawl out every time you sit, and don't spread your things all about the car/table/floor/wherever. Basically, remember that close proximity is expected, so don't try to take up more than your fair share.
Talking loudly is more common in China than in other parts of Asia, so that's not quite as big a problem here as in other softer-spoken countries in the region.
Most importantly, I would think not coming across as looking down on the local culture is the main thing — as it would be wherever one would travel. Don't be overly critical of food, hygiene, politics (especially politics!), or cultural differences, and you'll be just fine.
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