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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Food In China by Snowey on 1 October 2005 3:44pm
I'm going on holiday to China in November and although it is a package deal it is at the budget end of the market so no meals are included. I always think that trying the local food is half the pleasure of traveling and normally try (almost) everything on offer even at the risk of a touch of Delhi Belly/Montezumas Revenge etc. which I have endured in the past. I was speaking to a frequent visitor to China recently who told me to avoid meat altogether or suffer the consequences. Normally I would ignore such misgivings and eat whatever I wanted but being that the nature of my holiday package involves a lot of daily travelling (i.e not within rapid exit to the bathroom distance) I'm a little unsure of what I should or should not risk eating. Has anyone any advice or experiences on what to eat or avoid while in China.
Your help will be appreciated.
(My apologies for any duplicates or incorrect postings of this message, I'm new to all this).
Re: Food In China by Godfather on 1 October 2005 9:19pm
You'll be alright, Snowey. The food is extremely varied depending on where you go in China, and the level of how you want to eat is varied too. There are many options.

Even in the most basic noodle street stalls that your everyday Chinese go to, i've never got ill in even remote parts of north west china, where there are "communal" chopsticks.

I usually eat Veggie anyway, but have tried chicken dishes there before (if you decide to eat Veg there then there are plenty of options, and Tofu (pronounced doe-woo in Mandarin) is very common as it's the poor man's meat in China. So there are plenty of alternatives if you decide not to eat meat.

One thing to look out for (although there is not much you can do about it) is that many lower cost Chinese dishes in the places that your everyday Chinese eat in, are swimming in oil and MSG. You will have to let them know if you want less oil, less chillis, or less MSG. Other than that, you'll be alright. You're more likely to get ill at one of the upmarket restaraunts (as is usual) to be honest. Some chinese food is great, some of it is naff. Depends where you are in China.
Re: Food In China by JF on 2 October 2005 10:04am
My own experiences from spending a month out here a couple of years ago were fine. As the possessor of a digestive system that can play silly buggers at the best of times I was a bit nervous before I went but as long as you trust your own judgement, everything will be fine.

In most towns and cities the food was, by London standards at least, incredibly cheap, so you could comfortably eat in a decent-looking restaurant without breaking the bank. On a few occasions we went totally "naked" - no idea of what we were eating - but again, you trust your senses and if something looks dodgy it isn't worth the risk.

If you are in any reasonably populated area not totally off the tourist trail it's reasonable to assume that they don't want to poison visitors as it tends to have an adverse effect on future visits!

It's an amazing place, have a great time. Which places are you going to visit, maybe we can give some pointers to places we've eaten in.
Re: Food In China by Godfather on 4 October 2005 11:53am

>On a few occasions we went totally "naked"

Not dressing up for dinner then? ;)
Re: Food In China by zombie_chris on 4 October 2005 5:39pm
I've just got back from China (Beijing), and we ate the food with no problems, apart from my trusty companion getting a bit of travellers stomach (or "the urge to purge" as it became known :D).

I was a bit more adventurous than my mate was, and I ate those nice folded pancake things for breakfast with no problems. I was warned about a swine fever outbreak, but after eating a couple of pork dishes, I had no problems.

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