What things can you do in China that you cannot do in the USA?
Brian Sloan, Lived in Beijing 2007-2016. Sex toy manufacturer. Profiled in Playboy.
I lived in Beijing from 2007–2016 and I had a couple of tiny electric cars that would not be street legal in the USA. They are also probably illegal to drive in China but that doesn’t stop anyone from driving them.
The first one, pictured above, cost about $2,000 and was powered by a removable lithium ion battery that weighed around 30 pounds. It could go about 15 km per charge per battery. I had two batteries so that I could swap on the fly if necessary. To swap, I had to fold up the seat to reach the battery compartment, unplug one battery and plug in the other. The batteries were homemade by some guy. He bought individual cells and taped them together using black tape, and attached a circuit board that regulated the power output.
A week after I bought this car, the seller frantically called me and said he wanted to meet me to “fix” the wiring in the car. Long story short, that week, this type of car made the news because several of them had caught on fire. The reason was that the wiring was too thin for that amount of current. I think the batteries output 12 A 48 V and he used a gauge of wiring that saved him some money but put his customers at considerable risk. Because he was afraid that the government would come after him if I was killed, he decided to fix my wiring by putting in thicker wires.
我买了这辆车一个星期后，卖主疯狂地打电话给我，说他想跟我见面“修理”一下车上的电线。长话短说，就在那个星期，这种汽车因为好几起着火事件而成为新闻。事故原因是电线太细了，无法承载那么大的电流。我想电池的输出功率是12 A 48 V，他使用了某种规格的电线，虽然为他节省了一些成本，但也让他的客户面临相当大的风险。他担心如果我遇到不幸，政府会逮捕他，所以他决定用更粗的电线来修理我的线路。
This car only lasted about 18 months before it started leaking pretty badly when it rained and the batteries started dying because of who knows what. I was not about to spend $400 on a new battery and I didn’t want to deal with selling it so I parked it somewhere I knew it would be stolen. It was stolen within 2 weeks.
I then decided to spend a bit more ($5,000) on the car pictured above. This thing is amazing and could revolutionize transport in crowded cities. The company that makes it is called Dayang, which is also one of China’s largest motorcycle brands. There is an Italian version of this thing that costs around $17,000 because it uses a removable Lithium Ion battery. Mine used a huge rechargeable lead acid battery that was not removable. It plugged into any regular wall outlet, not one of those car charging stations. To charge it, I paid a man who owned a small shop selling brooms and stuff a bit of money and parked it outside his shop once a week or so. I got 75km per charge. It had heat. It was made of a very heavy plastic with steel roll bars and glass windshield and glass roof. Search the brand name online, its called Dayang Chok. There are also many other models. It needed zero maintenance. I think there must be hundreds of thousands of these in use all over China because they are the most effective form of transportation ever, both cost wise and speed-wise. Max speed is 40kph.
The reason you cannot drive these in the USA is because in case of even a not very serious accident, you would probably be smooshed to death. I miss living in China.
Daniel Walzinski, lived in China (2015-2017)
Originally Answered: What things can you do in China that you cannot do in the USA?
Drinking Beer in Public
Go to Family Mart and buy a single beer from the cooler. (They typically don't sell 6 or 12 packs). Then walk down the street with your beer drinking it after a long day of work. Buy another beer and sit down at any local restaurant and drink it. BYOB is almost always accepted unless you're going to a bar.
Go to hospital without insurance
There are a variety of hospitals that you can choose from depending on your needs. You can go and pay cash for most occurrences. Expect to get a good deal for seeing the doctor and medication. You more than likely will have enough cash in your pocket to pay the bill.
Travel from city to city quickly
Since most everyone uses public transit the system runs at high speed, capacity, and frequency.
Damien Defranco, Serial Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, Consultant & Mentor
When it comes to China, it’s really the opposite of the USA. There is a ridiculous amount of things you can do in China freely that you couldn’t possibly do in the USA (and even Canada.)
Having been in and out of China myself since 2010, more times than I can count. Being in an our of China since 2010, I own factories, warehouses, retail stores, farm land/rural land and much more. So I’ve experienced/seen everything.
As an authority on this topic I’ve put together this list. Based on my experiences, my friends experiences, my staff/employees in China, my business partners in China. This list views as the majority of China - this is a generalized list. While some areas it doesn’t apply to, it applies to most of China (China is very big).
- Break/overlook rules, and bend laws. China is very flexible when it comes to laws. Money and relationships can solve everything. There is NOTHING in China that cannot be solved with money. Money solves everything. US is pretty strict, you can’t pay your way out of things, and often relationships may not be enough.
- Drive the way you want. In the US, you’ll get traffic violations/tickets for not following the rules. In China, you can make your own rules in many areas. As I have said for the last 8 years about China; Green means go, yellow means go, red means go. Want to drive on the other side of the road? go ahead. Want to drive on the sidewalk? go ahead. This is true for almost all cities/rural areas except the big ones (tier 1, tier 2).
- Open/start any business anywhere. It’s relatively easy to start a business and begin making money in China. You don’t have all that red tape like the US has to get registered, accounts created, and government filings right away.
- Walk around at night. China is very safe, especially in tourist areas. My apartment in China I could leave, and walk for an hour and always have a police in my sights at his station/post no matter where I went, no matter the time. US can be dangerous at night.
- Easy travel between cities. China is the king of transportation. Buses, subways, trains, they are everywhere. You really don’t need a car, there is more rail systems and buses in China then the rest of the world combined. US you pretty much need a car if you travel far.
- Drinking. You can buy drink, and drink at any age. I always had a beer at 6am with my breakfast. I gained a lot of weight, but it was a great time. And I still do it every time I am there. No ID. I’ve seen 8 year old’s get beer for family/parents. Most minors in China don’t drink, China is responsible overall. US has age restrictions (21?) and ID requirements.
- Open carry drinks. Expanding on the drinking, you can take your drink with you public. Walk to the mall, take a taxi, drinking wine, beer, whatever. While you can do this in China, many people don’t. Can’t do this in US.
- Smoking. Same as drinking. You can smoke anywhere pretty much. I used to carry 1–2 packs of smokes with me at all times, and I’ve never smoked in my life. They’re great for business meetings, or buying expensive stuff. It’s a social thing. Gifting cigarettes are good if you want to lower cost of items when buying. US has a lot of smoking restrictions.
- Buy anything you want. You can buy anything you want, including replicas and knockoffs and never get into any trouble. US has a lot of restrictions on this too.
- Fireworks whenever you want. I once set off over 2000 fireworks outside one of my hotel I was staying at one time. It was loud and fun for about 8 minutes. The kids loved it. Anytime of the year pretty much, anywhere you are. People are always setting off fireworks, every day. US has laws and regulations for each city that determine when and where/how to set off fireworks.
- Almost no harassment at airports. Security at airports are very relaxed. USA I’ll get scanned, padded down, luggage scanned, I’ll get into secondary and get interviewed, and bags searched. In China, I just go through, other then showing a single person your passport with valid visa for stamping, and walking past a drug sniff dog at all airports, China’s security is the non harassing type.
- Haggle. You can haggle for everything you buy in China. The price is never the price. This goes from food at a market, to buying a car or apartment rent, even hotel costs. Haggle. They want your business an will lower price to ensure you don’t go elsewhere. US doesn’t really believe in bartering.
- No line-ups. China has no line ups really, fast food, trains, buses, you just need to get to the front and push other people politely (usually elbows). US has a line system, wait your turn.
- Jay-walking, that’s fine. You can walk wherever and however you want in China. US you can get ticketed for jay walking. I played Frogger a lot in China. Though you don’t want to do it on faster speed roads.
- Customized food. In China, restaurants will often allow you to custom order something, even if it’s not on the menu. They’ll do you up something as long as they can get the ingredients. US, not so much, if it’s not on the menu, they won’t serve it (higher end restaurants, and hotels sometimes take custom orders).
- Car/bike security. China has paid parking everywhere, but it’s not always to a machine. Often time you pay a certain person that watches a ‘zone’. You pay them and they stand there all day (or their team) and watch the cars/bikes. No one will steal or break into your car/bike. US, not so much, you can get your car broken into easy in the US.
- Spank and properly punish kids. China allows parents to discipline kids as they see fit. Spanking is very popular, and effective, and is very positive on everyone. People are brought up proper, with respecting authority/parents/elders. US is the opposite. People will call police and Child Protective Services if they even think you spank your kid. Which is why there is so much crime, disorder, and entitlement in the US.
- You can eat ANY thing you want. You can eat anything you want in China, including Dog if you so please. China doesn’t waste anything, all organs, brains, intestines, every aspect of every food is utilized. US has food and health/safety regulations.
- Sell anything at night on streets. At night in China, vendors come out, setup and sell just about anything. From jewelry, to souvenirs, household items and food. Popup shops. Anyone can do this, police won’t enforce it at night, they’ll even be your customer. But in the US, you’ll get fined for operating a business without a license and outside a zone/event.
- Gamble/play cards on the streets. You can get your friends and setup a card game and gamble on just about any side street. If police catch you, they may just take a bit of money and leave and let you continue. But nothing major (in most cities, harder to do in Tier 1 cities). In the US this is like a criminal offense.
- Use any of the billion public washrooms that are everywhere. China has a massive amount of public washrooms. And in cities with KFC, McDonalds which are all basically 24/7, you can use these. US you are limited to like gas stations and very few 24/7 places if you buy from them.
- Are not expected to tip. China doesn’t except tips on services/food. In fact, most places will refuse or get angry if you try to tip. US’s culture is that they expect tips, regardless of how good the service is. Even if its poor service they expect 15–20% minimum tip.
- Calling out for your restaurant server loudly. In China, you get your servers attention to your table by calling out “waiter/server”, and they come. It’s normal there. In US it would be very rude, you have to wait, and wait, and wait, and hope they eventually make it around to your table.
- Download/stream anything. China you can download/stream ANY thing
KTV Night and KTV Girls
In some cities you can still find KTVs that with entry, includes a girl that you choose to accompany you. This is popular for guys night out. KTV night is also one if the most popular events to have in China for businesses and friends.
Eat Chinese Food
Even in Chinatown it can be difficult to find a meal that represents true Chinese cuisine. Chinese cuisine is influenced by the economy of food and dining culture. Many things that are served in China are not typically found in the United States. Anyhow it's a great experience.
Jacob Bertrand, Live life with no regrets
Things you can do in Beijing:
- Sell anything on the streets at night. The police rarely scan the streets for vendors. Most street vendors hang around metro stations, especially in the more popular areas.
- 100% agree with safety peace of mind. At most you have to worry about pick pocketed. Not so much being mugged, assaulted, or killed over your wallet.
- Most KFC and McDonalds are open 24/7. You can also get street food all through the night pretty much everywhere within a short walking distance.
- Easy and cheap transportation. There are plenty of Metros, Taxis, Trains, and Bike-Cabs that go pretty much everywhere.
- Public restrooms are literally everywhere.
- See ancient historic sites and structures are within a 15 minute ride
- Don't have to tip anywhere
- Get to call the waiter "WAITER!" (in Chinese) without being disrespectful
- Stream or download anything copyrighted easily without having to worry about getting sued
- Walk around drinking a bottle of beer in public
- Easily lose weight with all the walking you do compared to living America. You rarely see anyone obese or even chubby.
- Get full (eating) off $1 USD, or buy $1 beer at a bar
- Buy counterfeit clothes easily
- Jaywalk wherever and whenever
- Spit anywhere you feel like without getting dirty looks from others
- Cut in lines as queues are almost nonexistent
- Smoke in most places
Maureen Jan, Travelled Europe,UAE, India, China, USA, Canada, Taiwan, SEA
Take a modern super fast bullet train from city to outskirts of town and back to city at 310 km per hour. China has more bullet train rail tracks then any place on earth. They are helping Indonesia to build their speed rail network.
Eat yellow eel rice every day in the county of Taishan in Guangdong province. I couldn't find this (Dad's favourite dish) highly nutritional and delicious dish while in Guanzhou, however it is very popular in the county.
Have authentic and incredible variety of delicious freshly made dimsum. Food in southern China is awesome. Some of the best tasting dishes in the world.
Be helped with advice on directions by a friendly stranger on the street and be asked how old are you, are you married, where are you from, how many children do you have. All within two minutes crossing the road with this person. It is very normal for people in China to ask you these questions upon first meeting.
See gatherings of senior citizens come out at night and dance, sing, some even play saxophone while tourists and residents sing, clap, dance and be happy. This I observed in Shanghai. Fun!
Hear a myriad of accents from people from far and wide including visitors from New York to France as you climb the Great Wall. You hear exclamations like 'la vue est magnifique!'