Visiting China: Thoughts and Impressions from an Outsider

Visiting China was one of the epic experiences of my Life, and I’ve been to a few destinations traveling abroad over the years. China is a land of intrigue. And it’s mind boggling just how vast this country is. One doesn’t comprehend the magnitude of its population until you visit China.

Thoughts After Visiting China

It’s been a few weeks now since we got back from China, Tibet and Hong Kong.

To be honest, I feel I’m no authority on traveling abroad. I’m a newbie, even though I have traveled to a few places in my lifetime. At what point do you feel like… a world traveler?

It’s definitely not me, and I’m lucky if I can travel overseas once a year!

But I should chime in about this latest overseas trip and fill my Travel category with some posts. As the journey to Mainland China, Tibet and Hong Kong was filled with some amazing memories and recollections.

Where Does One Begin?

For one—and this is just me personally—that the immensity of the trip doesn’t hit you until a couple of weeks later, when you are finally, and 100%, coming off of your jetlag. A difference of almost 24 hours.

See Also: 34 Essential Things to Know Before You Visit China

My Overall View of China?

It’s vast, and it’s progressing at a rapid pace. it’s modern, and yet it’s ancient and has thousands of years of history and culture to it.

Walking through its streets, you can tell that China is moving rapidly towards modernization and it’s Communist and Capitalist at the same time.

There’s a high speed train system that goes to almost every province, yet a lot of people still ride bicycles and scooters through the streets of Beijing.

I was mesmerized by the beauty and futuristic look of the Beijing International Airport. And incidentally, China’s airports and train stations were mostly new and modern-looking. I truly was impressed.

Two things, however, were points against China. One was the pollution. Some cities like Xian and Chengdu were so smoggy and polluted, my eyes felt like they were burning at one point. And those polluted cities seemed to be always overcast.

Number two was the sheer number of people everywhere. I mean, yes it’s the most populated country in the world with more than 1.3 billion people. It’s mind-boggling the more I think about it. Chongqing (I didn’t know) is about 34 million people now. It’s a huge city!

People in China seem to behave just like anybody in America, walking around with their smartphones, hustling to get from one place to another. People are connected in China. There’s WIFI everywhere. It’s just that the Chinese government has literally censored many top U.S. websites like Facebook, Google and Instagram. So, I really couldn’t update my Facebook page until I got back to the U.S., for the most part. Once we got to Hong Kong we had internet access to pretty much everything.

But overall, China is an amazing place, filled with rich culture and history. In future posts I’ll try to share images of China, Tibet and Hong Kong from the perspective of a traveler not concerned with the political aspects of the country.

So, I will try to focus primarily on the people, the culture and its rich history.

Oh, and lastly, after visiting China, I now know what a squat toilet is, and that a huge percentage of the world’s population uses these on a regular basis. But, there were still some Western-style toilets, so fortunately I wasn’t forced to use a squat toilet. And all the hotels we stayed at had Western-style toilets.

More Posts About Visiting China

Bullet Trains in China
Thursday February 22, 2018 by Carlos Rull
Filed as: Lifestyle, Travel
Visiting China
Friday February 16, 2018 by Carlos Rull
Filed as: Travel
Genmaicha Tea
Thursday February 21, 2013 by Carlos Rull
Filed as: Culture

Sunday August 3, 2008 by Carlos Rull
Filed as: Journal

Tuesday March 25, 2008 by Carlos Rull
Filed as: Journal



Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.