On the whole, Chinese peoples’ favorite holiday destinations are well-known: the seaside or the mountains. Usually young people will get together in groups of three to five and visit the Gulangyu Xiamen area in Southeast China or experience such a miraculous and beautiful place like Yellow Mountain in Central China. Guilin in southern China, is another such place that leaves a lasting impression. The next most popular destinations are famous historical monuments or places of interests in cities like Xi’an and Beijing. Families favor these sites as parents can combine travelling with a local history educational experience for their children. More recently, a lot of people have been going to Hong Kong for discount shopping in the summer and winter, coming back with lots of things.
For Chinese people, overseas travel is greatly influenced by distance. Over the years, it has been Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea that have dominated the Chinese overseas holiday market. Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand used to be the first words that sprung to mind when speaking of travelling abroad.
With the development of the economy, the proportion of North American and European Tours has increased year upon year. People usually need to book everything well in advance during the busy seasons, especially for European Tours. Many Chinese people think that cities like Rome and Athens have lots of ancient architecture and are therefore considered to be cultural centers of the world. Small towns contain more simple folk and more beautiful natural scenery and thus are not to be missed either.
Aside from Spring Festival and National Holiday, during which people can go on long distance journeys, most Chinese people like to have a get-together with a group of friends at weekends. Just as Europeans like to barbecue outside on their balconies, Chinese people prefer to eat out in restaurants. One of the most important characteristics of Chinese social interaction is chatting whilst eating. Both business deals and emotional conversation occurs across the dinner table. Friends meet and exchange interesting stories and their problems, or simply recall the ‘good old days’. After that they go to show off their vocal talent at a local Karaoke bar, regardless of whether they can sing or not. After all, holidays are used to relax, so having fun and being happy are central to them.