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Do’s and Don’ts in China

As we all know, different countries have different customs. These customs have been handed down through the ages. When you come to China, you’d better know the do’s and don’ts in China, which will help you leave a  positive impression on others.

Now, I will show you the do’s and don’ts in China.

Meeting and Greeting People

Do’s in China

  • The handshake is considered the correct greeting ritual. Stand apart from one another approximately 60 cm and shake.
  • In everyday life, you can wave and smile at everyone, or just a nod. Which can show your respect and sincerity.Do’s and Don’ts in China

Don’t in China

  • No matter who you meet, no matter how excited you are, don’t forget that you’re in China now! You should avoid close contact such as kissing and hugging, or you will frighten others and be regarded as a rude man!
  • Don’t embarrass them in public by asking personal questions.

Table manners

China is well known for its hospitality. When you’re in China, There is a very great chance that you will be invited to dinner.Now you need the table manners. Table manners in China refer to the proper behavior while eating at the table.

Do’s in China

  • On arrival, you should introduce yourself firstly, or let the master of the banquet do the introduction if you’re unknown to others. Then take a seat according to the arrangement.
  • You should let old people eat first. Or if you hear an elder say “let’s eat”, you can begin to eat.

Do’s and Don’ts in China

  • When using chopsticks, you should place both sticks between the thumb and forefinger.
  • When someone put food onto the plates of you, you should say”thank you” and eat it. You’re supposed to know the point, Chinese people are very enthusiastic hosts. They like to enthusiastically offer their guests more food, and they hope their guests will eat a lot.
  • You should pick up your bowl with your thumb on the mouth of the bowl, forefinger, middle finger and the third finger supporting the bottom of the bowl.
  • When finding your favorite dish, You ought to consider others at the table. If there is not much left on a plate, you should first ask others if they want it.
  • You should concentrate on the meal and your companions. If you watch television or use your phone, others will think that you are an impolite people.
  • When you want to cough or sneeze, use your hand or a handkerchief to cover your mouth and turn away. If you find something unpleasant in your mouth when chewing or phlegm in the throat, you should leave the dinner table to spit it out.

Don’t in China

  • Don’t use chopsticks to point at someone and don’t leave them sticking up in a bowl of rice.
  • Don’t use chopsticks to move bowls or plates or spear with food.
  • Don’t talk too loudly at the dinner table.Do’s and Don’ts in China
  • Do not wave your chopsticks around in the air too much or play with them
  • Don’t chew on the ends of chopsticks or bang your chopsticks as though you were playing the drum.
  • Don’t ‘dig’ or ‘search’ through one’s food for something, in particular, a bad manner known as “digging one’s grave” or “grave-digging”.
  • Don’t eat in a hurry and make terrible noises.
  • Don’t wipe your mouth with your hand instead of napkins.
  • Don’t Leave the table ahead of others instead of waiting for others to finish and leave table together.

Giving and Receiving Gifts

Do’s in China

  • You should present and receive gifts with both your hands.
  • You’d better unwrap your gifts after the guest leave. It is considered polite in Chinese culture.
  • You should express your thanks whatever you receive.
  • You should reciprocate if someone gives you a gift.
  • The present you want to give others should have some thought behind it.
  • Send one gift or send them in pairs. In China, even numbers are considered good luck, with number four being the exception.

Don’ts in China

  • When wrapping gifts, Don’t use white or black wrapping paper, and avoid wrapping elaborately. You can consider red or other festive colors.
  • Don’t send a clock or things to do with four as a gift, because they are associated with funeral and death.
  • Don’t give presents such as scissors or sharp things, since they symbolize severing relations.
  • Don’t accept the gift from the man u don’t like.
  • Don’t present too expensive or too cheap gifts. Small items like books, CDs, perfumes, cigarettes and candies from your own country are always well received.

Traveling in China

Do’s in China

  • Take in the culture and customs first when you reach a place.
  • Take a map of China to avoid getting lost.
  • You’d better master some Travel Mandarin Chinese to have a simple conversation, such as asking directions, greeting others, booking tickets, ordering food, bargaining and so on.
  • If you don’t know the Chinese language at all, you need a professional Chinese guide. There are many dialects in China, It is very hard to understand them.
  • Greet local residents with a smile, Chinese people are well known for their hospitality.
  • Protect the environment in tourism destinations.
  • Pay attention to food hygiene trip to buy food, to be careful to eat raw food, raw seafood, do not patronize unlicensed roadside stalls to prevent overeating, prevent the occurrence of diarrhea and other diseases journey.


  • Don’t joke with others at random. Chinese people are always serious and cautious.
  • Don’t comment on local tradition easily. 
  • Don’t refuse the hospitable reception from local,

General Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s in China

  • Praise their countries rather than criticism. Chinese are proud of their country and their so many visitors. They want to leave a good impression on their visitors. But every country has its own problems, like other countries, China is working hard to deal with problems of environment and population and so on. So when you come to China, even though you think the environment is far from your satisfaction. You should encourage them instead of complaining. They know some things are not perfect, and they are trying their best!
  • Keep calm when dealing with government officials if tense situations arise. Raising your voice or getting angry will help with nothing but creating a losing-face situation for all.

Don’ts in China

  • Don’t discuss regarding politics, state leaders, recent history, and issues about Taiwan, Xinjiang, and Tibet. They are still seen as sensitive.
  • Don’t ask personal or intimate questions, Chinese people don’t like to be asked personal questions, such as age, marital status, family, job or income. Which will give you a sense of being watched.
  • Don’t write things in red ink. It is a symbol of protest and severe criticism.
  • Whatever you do, don’t be late. No punctuality is a bad habit. Chinese people will consider you as an impolite man. Being on time shows your respect for others. In the mind of Chinese people, showing up a bit earlier is a way to show their earnestness.
  • Don’t be too open in China, China is a conservative society. Public displays of affection are frowned upon. Don’t kiss, hug or put your arm around someone’s shoulder, which will make a Chinese people feel uncomfortable and disgusted. Because they dislike being touched by strangers. But if you are familiar with each other, you can do it.

Regional Etiquette

In Tibetan Areas

  • Don’t poke your camera in the old man’s faces without their permission.(If you want to photograph them, you should ask for their opinion, maybe you can present them some small gifts.)
  • Don’t step on a lama‘s shadow.

In Temples: 

  • Don’t point directly.
  • Don’t dip your fingers in the yak butter lamps in the temple, to taste the butter. 
  • Don’t walk between a person praying to the Buddha and the statue.


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