7 Beijing Quirks

As we come to the end of our two weeks in the Chinese capital, this is a selection of some of our favourite quirks of Beijing:

1) When you enter a restaurant, you are handed a menu and then the waitor asks what you want before you have even opened it and they look annoyed if you try and actually read the menu to choose a dish. This makes food ordering kind of stressful as you only have about 30 seconds to choose something! Also your plate/cup/bowl arrives wrapped in plastic to show that it is clean: 

2) The women that work in the metro stations have regulation hair nets as part of their uniform with a large navy bow with sparkles on it.

3) Everyone (especially on the metro) seems to go in for very very large phones – that make the iPhone 6 look small in comparison. They then proceed to go from platform to platform, all watching films on their phones as they walk. Many even have two large phones at the same time! Apparently this is because Chinese phone operators don’t share their networks so you need multiple phones in order to have coverage over the city.

4) Vending machines in stations just for selling sponges! Other ones in the streets for library books.

5) Dealing with hot weather – the men roll up their tshirts under their arms so there is a lot of belly on show, and umbrellas are used as sunshades. This means it can be hard to see sights as there are so many umbrellas in the way!

6) Weird flavours like mung bean ice cream and cucumber flavour crisps:

7) Couples and friends (and occasionally whole families) walk round in matching outfits. Hard to photograph without looking weird so these are definitely not the best examples!



Also some great signs but I will keep those for another post…



  1. Good stuff! All 7 are universal around the whole of China. Different places have different quirks beyond the observable, too. Wuhan people are known to be tall-tellers. Shangai people are known for be stuck-up! Beijing people for being atrocious. Chengdu people are laid-back, always outside drinking tea!

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