When at the beach, you expect to see tourists from all over the world exposing as much of their skin as possible to get a nice tan. The consensus in China, though, is that pale skin is desirable, so you won’t see women going to the beach in a skimpy bathing suit.
They still go to the beach, but on their own terms…in the beaches of Qingdao, for example, a local entrepreneur popularized the facekini, which conveniently protects both from UV rays and jellyfish.
Resting in Pieces
You might think this is the shredded-up product of a recycling process in China, yet notice that those are trucks around all those multicolored objects. Although it looks like astroturf or something, this is a bicycle graveyard that was created after a dockless bike-sharing initiative failed.
For the most part, these initiatives have transformed the streets of Chinese cities for the better, yet there are those lambasting the new bike-sharing platforms for the chaos they cause on the roads.
Parking for Women
While some people have praised the women-only parking spots that you can see in China today, others have criticized them for being misogynistic. The parking spots are bigger, implying that women need more room to park because, supposedly, they aren’t as good at driving.
On the other hand, they are often conveniently situated near exits, a point which supporters say grants women a feeling of safety. Whether you believe this to be a step in the right direction or not, it’s definitely a curiosity to be wondered at.
The Chinese have different labor standards than you’d expect to see in Western countries — indeed, the acceptable amount of weekly work hours differs significantly — but that doesn’t mean you won’t see Chinese workers having a good time dressing up at work (as Panda bears).
These majestic creatures are at risk of becoming extinct because of habitat loss and a low birth rate, yet it seems that the whole nation is behind efforts to save one of China’s most iconic symbols. In fact, a few years ago they were redesignated as “vulnerable” instead of “endangered.”
Clean Air Is a Commodity
You might have heard news reports about how polluted the air is in Chinese metropolises, from Guangzhou to Beijing, and the reality is the residents deal with this issue on a day-to-day basis. In such environments, fresh air has become a commodity — literally.
In recent years, Chinese vendors started selling canned air from where the atmosphere has less airborne contaminants. Chen Guangbiao, a Chinese entrepreneur who formerly focused on recycling industries, sold 8,000,000 cans in just 10 days!
Chinese food in China is usually different from what people expect from the Chinese food available outside of China. The different regions in China use starkly different spices and flavors, but one thing that you will see everywhere is food that other cultures don’t consider fit for human consumption.
Cockroaches, scorpions, crocodiles, bugs — you might find all sorts of meat you’re not used to eating. Whether you try it or not is up to you, just be respectful…and keep in mind that what you think is a pet store might actually be where locals buy groceries!
There are almost 1.4 billion people living in China, making it the most populous country in the world. When you go visit, one of the first things that you will notice is how the people seem so accustomed to these ridiculous crowds.
The Chinese simply do things differently, as seen in this picture from a Chinese waterpark. They look like they’re having a good time squished together in the water, but if someone suddenly wants to get out it seems like it would take some effort!
In the West, people sit down to deal with their bowel movements, yet in many countries, such as China, the norm is to squat. You won’t always find a Western toilet in China, so if you don’t want to try something new you may find yourself in a bind.
While many places do cater to the sit-down style, as you can see in the picture, that doesn’t mean that your expectations of bathroom privacy will also be met. Instead of private stalls, doing your business is a communal affair here.
Some municipal police departments have opted for an unorthodox replacement for guard dogs: geese. While some might say that being chased by a dog is scarier, those people have obviously never rubbed a goose the wrong way. But wait, aren’t these just elegant and graceful creatures?
Despite their beauty, these birds are also extremely territorial and will not hesitate to attack you. Plus, don’t forget that they can fly. You can climb a tree to escape a dog, but the same cannot be said about geese.
This will disgust those who see these creatures solely as pests, yet billions of cockroaches are bred each year in Chinese farms. Cockroach extracts have some surprising health benefits, it is claimed, and they can also be used as animal feed. Don’t forget that cockroaches are eaten by humans as well in China.
If anything goes wrong on one of these farms and the roaches successfully stage a daring escape, though, local communities will be overrun with these bugs. The big question is whether such an escape will be a free food boon or public health concern.
While many cultures practice arranged marriages, China takes things to a whole new level. Visitors to China will notice odd markets where elderly parents try to snag a spouse for their young boy or girl.
Parents list the relevant information about their child and, hopefully soon, a passerby will come offering a suitable match. We don’t know what the kids think about all of this, so let’s hope the parents at least let them meet their spouses-to-be before they marry them off!
Taking a Nap
Another cultural phenomenon visitors may notice is that people seem to pass out everywhere and anywhere. While this often is an indication of vagrancies in Western societies, in China people won’t bat an eye if someone falls asleep in a public place.
These images show how the Chinese take things to the next level when it comes to getting enough hours of shut-eye in a day. These guys are professional nappers who didn’t forget the importance of head support.
A Truck Taking 10 Trucks
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, especially in China. If someone doesn’t want to do a job, someone else will do it, and that means that people will often go to extremes to get a job done as efficiently as possible.
While other people might have loaded fewer trucks on more trucks to deliver the order, this entrepreneur found a way to get 10 on one truck! How well they are secure, though, is a completely different question that will only be answered if the driver takes a sharp turn.
Dancing in the Streets
China isn’t always painted in the best light in the media, yet visitors who come back won’t be lying if they report dancing in the streets. Flash mobs are really big in China, and older women often join in as a good way to have fun and stay active.
Not everyone is such a big fan of this, however, and other residents have actively tried to stop the phenomenon because of how often loud music blares in public, which is aggravating, understandably.
Longqing Gorge, just about 50 miles away from Beijing, is one of the most popular getaways for people looking to enjoy the great outdoors. It also houses one of the biggest dams in China, but you need to overcome your fears to see it — the only way in is through a ferocious dragon’s mouth!
Actually, it’s a giant escalator network, which is the largest of its kind in the world, but it only goes up one way. To get down, you can either walk down the steps or take a toboggan.
Funny Fishing Habits
You’ll often see Chinese people fishing at sources of water, even those that don’t seem very clean at times. However normal that might seem, these images caught some Chinese people fishing very oddly.
In the first image, you have what looks to be people feeding the bears at the zoo with fishing poles, but bear fishing sounds like a dangerously bad idea. In the second image, it looks like this guy is trying to act like a bear and catch fish with his mouth.
Overload on the Road
Two-wheeled vehicles are popular all over the world, but the way they are driven in China is slightly different than how you might be used to. Other places might not consider them suitable to take so much stuff, but in China, it’s not uncommon to see an absolutely unsafe amount of cargo being strapped onto a moped or motorcycle.
Keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you is extra important when you can plainly see how haphazardly things are attached onto bikes.
Fireworks Are a Common Fire Hazard
The Chinese invented fireworks, and this invention remains popular today in China. Apparently, though, the Chinese like their fireworks just a bit more than the average nation, judging by this sign.
Who would have thought that they are lit with such abandon out in public that gas stations need to put up “no lighting fireworks” in place of “no smoking” signs? Clearly, the gas station is going to put up a sign warning against the most likely cause of a potential fire, and voilà!
Giving it a Push
This image of plane passengers giving the plane a push is one of the most peculiar on this list. It looks like it just needs to get started, but the truth is the plane broke down after it landed and ended up in the water.
Everyone onboard was really lucky to be alive and not the victims in a tragic crash, yet the 20-ton plane needed to be taken half a mile back to the runway, which took two hours. In China, don’t expect a truck or tractor to do the work of a hundred men!
The Panda bear, one of the most recognizable symbols for wildlife conservation worldwide, is also one of the most important symbols for China. Seeing as the creature is native to China, Chinese scientists have an important role in helping the population thrive in the wild.
To do so, they dress up as pandas and douse themselves with panda scent so that young pandas don’t get used to humans. If they are used to relying on us when they grow up, too, it threatens their chances to make it in the wild.
The Chinese are famous for some of the biggest projects in the world, from the Great Wall to the enormous dams they build today. They’ve famously evacuated millions of people for various projects, yet some people refuse to leave, despite the offer of compensation.
These are known as dingzihu, or nail houses, as they stick out like a stubborn nail that refuses to be hammered in. Although this house impedes traffic, it’s far more than a vestige of what was there before, representing an individual’s right to their home.
Would You Accept This Challenge?
Eating competitions are thrown all over the world, but China does it a bit differently, just like a lot that they do. Here you see a chili-eating contest where the contestants are made to sit in a pool of peppers up to their waists.
It’s a funny gimmick, but it looks like the Scoville measurements of these peppers are anything but amusing. The expression on this poor man’s face is all you need to see before taking extreme caution with these peppers.
The Mao Cut
Just like other nations, the Chinese are proud of their culture and heritage. This patriotic youth wants to celebrate his homeland, and what more iconic symbol to emblazon in one’s hair than Tiananmen Square in Beijing?
This barber is showing off his mad hair-cutting skills — just look at the intricacy of the Chinese characters! All that needed to be added is a sticker Chairman Mao, considered the father of the modern country, and the hairdo is perfect.
Don’t Forget Your Thermos!
While you will often see Chinese people walking around with thermoses, they’re probably not filled with chicken noodle soup. Chances are it’s not coffee or tea either, as you might expect, but just hot water.
Chinese people will just drink plain hot water because it’s considered somewhat of a panacea in China, where people are just as conscious about their health as in other places. Although this is widespread in China, drinking hot water by itself hasn’t yet become as widespread in the rest of the world.
China’s economy boasts impressive growth, judging by the GDP of recent decades, yet the reality is that its transformation into a global powerhouse has come at a serious price — pollution. Water contamination aside, the air pollution we associate with China can cause all sorts of medical complications, including lung maladies.
Many Chinese people wear medical masks outside to prevent themselves from breathing airborne particles. They have become so widespread that women wear them as a fashionable accessory, like this lady in pink.
The Chinese aren’t the only nation who don’t consider it a fashion faux pas to go around in public wearing pajamas, yet that doesn’t mean it’s not surprising to see people like this going out in public wearing nightclothes.
While it might be comfortable to wear and have the advantage of covering the whole body, pajamas aren’t the first choice when finding proper biking attire. We might be able to forgive her had she worn a helmet, but seeing someone like this on the open roads is jarring.
Panjin Red Beach
Panjin Red Beach, located in Liaoning province, is where tourists flock every autumn to see the red beaches. This phenomenon occurs because of a species of seaweed, normally green, that changes color in the autumn, similar to the foliage of New England.
A lot of the beach is closed off to tourists because human presence can easily compromise the delicate balance in the ecosystem, which also includes 26 species of birds, but there are several areas that are open to visitors.
Colonel Sanders must be rolling over in his grave! And it’s hard to imagine that Starbucks, a trademarked company with thousands of locations open in China, would be fine with this copyright infringement.
The fact is, though, there are so many people and so many eateries in China that regulating such details is impossible for the authorities. In either of these cases, it’s up to the corporation to make a legal claim. Meanwhile, the business-minded restaurateurs know they can attract extra business by ripping off recognizable global brands.
There’s a lot of weird stuff going on in China, so don’t be too surprised when you see bizarre tourist attractions such as these. In fact, is it really that different from things like “the world’s biggest ball of yarn” and other random tourist destinations in the U.S.?
This home is located in Fengjing Ancient Town, an old town with ancient bridges just south of Shanghai. This was built to attract more tourists to the area, and features upside-down furniture stuck on the floor — or would that make it the ceiling?
It’s important to stay in shape for general health in all ages, and one thing you will notice is elderly Chinese people doing exercise outside. Sports such as basketball and soccer will be more attractive to the younger generation, but the importance of regular physical activity isn’t lost on the older generations.
This can be Tai Chi or dancing in the streets for some people, while others prefer to go to the exercise machines placed in public parks to get their blood running.
A sight that might be unsettling to many visiting China for the first time is the “ghost cities” that one can witness while traveling the country. These are cities with high-rises, malls, and public parks, yet they remain completely empty.
There are a lot of people in China, which will inevitably bring about even more people, so it’s unfair to see this as a wasteful policy. In fact, many former “ghost cities” are now inhabited and flourishing.
Photocopies of Originals
Textbooks are really expensive, as any college student that studied in North America will tell you. In China, the cost of higher education is far cheaper, but the salaries are pretty low in many rural areas. Indeed, why spend all that money when you can just buy a used book?
Or, better yet, buy an exact photocopy of the original for a reduced price? Business-minded Chinese bookstores have long ago capitalized on selling photocopies books, but this is something publishers aren’t too thrilled about.
Banks worldwide have completely transformed since the advent of automatic teller machines (ATMs), and the next revolutionary step in making banks even more modern happened in China. China Construction Bank (CCB) made history when its Shanghai branch opened up to the public, as it was the first bank in the world to be operated by AI and robots.
You walk in and are greeted by a robot, just like the one featured in the picture below. About 90% of the banking functions are automated, yet there are also private rooms to video chat with an actual human representative.
Crabby Chinese Vending Machines
Vending machines are something we’re used to seeing stocked with drinks or snacks, and it’s not completely unheard of to see one with a sandwich. In China, on the other hand, they take things several steps farther — can you imagine picking up seafood at a vending machine?
These are usually stocked with chips and candies that will stave your hunger for a bit, but crabs are a main course! It comes complete with your choice of ginger tea or crab vinegar to go with your ready-to-eat crab. Hungry yet?
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge
Zhangjiajie, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in the world, cannot be more recommended. While the city is nice, it’s the unique nature surrounding it that brings millions of tourists every year.
Located in Hunan province on the border with Szechuan province, Zhangjiajie inspired the setting for James Cameron’s movie, Avatar, which takes place on another planet. One of the best vistas in the area can be found on the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass bridge. It’s 1,400 feet long and 980 feet above the bottom of the canyon.
Forever Tuning In
There is no denying that the people of China have their own way of doing things compared to many other nations. However, it is also impossible to deny the creativity they display in many mundane, everyday tasks. Take this guy, for example, who managed to create his own headset as opposed to spending a small fortune on a new pair of headphones.
While it’s probably not the best thing to do when it comes to one’s hearing, we’re confident that other Chinese people have tried this unique trick.
Dial “B” for Brilliant
If there is one thing that people of China know how to do – it is taking their architecture extremely literally. Take this 11-story building, for example. The aim of this strange design is to inform insiders of exactly what is going on inside.
A building full of communications of offices shouldn’t have to look like all the other typical buildings out there. Why not make the front of the building resemble a cell phone with someone’s gigantic hand surrounding it?
Easy Like Sunday Morning
While it is an unspoken international rule to relax during the weekends, some people in China take things to a whole new level, like this man. Of course, wearing your pajamas during the weekend is perfectly normal.
However, it seems like this guy has no problem wearing them while doing his grocery shopping for the weekend. Many people in China have no problem walking around like this and can even be found enjoying themselves at their favorite restaurants.
Gumbo Rubber Duckies
Sure, rubber ducks are popular around the world. But it seems like the people of China look at them in a very different light. While they can be found in many bathtubs, you also find some much bigger versions in certain parts of the country.
These specific giant rubber ducks can be found on Taihu Lake, in Huzhou, Jiangsu province. Artist Florentjin Hofman is responsible for this strange floating art installment and they sit in front of the 27-story Doughnut Hotel.
Slip of the Tongue
Throughout the world, you are bound to find important warning signs that can get lost in translation along the way. Take this sign in China, for example, which is obviously warning people passing by to not walk too fast because of the slippery floor.
However, the term “carefully slip and fall down” doesn’t quite hit home what the sign is intending. That’s the general issue with trying to translate signs from one language to another.
Due to the high population in China, town planners and architects are under intense pressure to ensure that they use as much space as possible to account for the huge numbers of people. However, this doesn’t mean that all accommodations are full.
On the contrary, there are a number of unoccupied housing complexes throughout the country, which are often referred to as “ghost cities.” While people might eventually move into these areas, they currently have empty supermarkets and skyscrapers, amongst other buildings.
We’re not suggesting that this is a normal thing to see in China, by any means. However, this photo is real and a mother actually had the audacity to sit with her baby right next to a tiger.
It’s unclear if this was part of a trip to a zoo or if a random owner of a tiger was happy to display their ferocious feline on the streets of a Chinese city. We just hope the tiger showed this family plenty of compassion.
Just Don’t Do It
Just to clarify – Apple doesn’t manufacture its own shoes. At least, not yet. So whoever made these shoes in China claiming they are part of Steve Jobs’ firm is setting themselves up for quite the lawsuit.
Anyway, if Apple did make their own shoes, why would they put the word “iPhone” on it? Moreover, they wouldn’t display the Apple symbol backward. China is certainly better than this and is completely capable of making their own original shoe designs.
Three Is the Magic Number
While many of these photos are funny for a variety of reasons, there are some photos taken that simply show China in all its majestic glory. This huge country has some truly stunning architecture and this is a classic example.
While we personally think it is stunning, the Beijing Tiazi Hotel was actually ranked as China’s ugliest building back in 2012. The three figures are supposed to be the Chinese gods that symbolize happiness, prosperity, and career achievement.
A Maze of Roads
One thing that the people of China are well and truly familiar with are the crazy labyrinths of long, winding roads that overlap each other in some parts of the country.
The Huanghuewan Interchange in Chongqing, South China is a true sight to behold and is a company junction that many people have to commute to and from work on every day. With so many bending roads and under and overpasses, it’s amazing to think that this is actually real (and legal)!
Chinese Lantern Festival
The Chinese traditionally mark the end of their New Year celebrations with a lantern festival, so if you’re in China for the first few weeks of the year, this is a truly beautiful attraction you must see.
These lanterns, which symbolize good luck, rise high up and adorn the sky with little flames after they are lit. The little candles inside heat up the air trapped in the lantern and, in turn, provide the lift necessary to travel up and away into the atmosphere.
50 Lanes Merging to Four
This photo was taken at the end of a Golden Week, which is a biannual vacation in China that hundreds of millions of people take advantage of to see relatives and travel.
If you happen to visit during one of these holidays, you can see the sorts of traffic jams the Chinese get into. These 50 lanes merge into 25 toll booths, yet this number decreases even further to just four as the highway continues.
Something that may shock visitors to China is seeing dentists treat patients in the middle of the street. The Chinese are a nation of talented individuals, and many of them make their living offering wares or services in the streets.
Let’s hope this guy has a medical license and isn’t just some random guy who thinks he’s good with teeth! It can’t be sanitary to take out all that medical equipment into the middle of the road…
While the commercialism we’re used to comes with gimmicks, inevitably, China’s unique culture and economy means it comes up with some ridiculous ones! At first, it looks like what we have here is someone who built a bike with oddly-shaped wheels, but realized far too late that this might not be the best way to get from point A to point B.
On second glance, it looks like a gimmick from back in the day to promote the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Do you think you could ride it?
These crafty guys didn’t let the flood stop them from crossing the road. They appear nonplussed at the downpour and are merely trying to get from point A to point B. They would have probably been fine just wading through it, as they all have flip flops on, but it’s always best to stay as dry as possible.
Getting in a makeshift canoe might be the most fun way to traverse the river of rainwater, but this is the easiest and quickest solution they came up with.