If you are on a group or private guided tour you see China at its best. Professional
Guides add so much to a tour and often point out things that you wouldn't see just passing by. An English speaking guide although they may speak excellent English must still deal with the many accents of English as well as tourists that English is a second language. Be patient and speak slowly using common words and NO SLANG which is most common to us in the U.S. It is impolite to ask a tourist to repeat a question that is difficult to understand. The coastal major cities it is not much of a problem but once you go into the interior parts of China it can be a bit more difficult. English is being taught in all the schools these days so it is becoming less of a problem. Culture dictates that it is impolite to ask for something that is not possible. A guide normally either tries to avoid answering it or gives you an indefinite answer. That usually means NO. A Guide needs to give a positive response to questions so if what you ask is not possible, you will often get a vague answer. One couple wanted to visit Beijing University since it was on the way to the Summer Palace. It requires a permit to visit which must be obtained in advance. The guide not wanting to give a negative answer, said she would see if it is possible on the way back to the city. The guide knows that the time is too short so that she wouldn't have had to say No to them that it couldn't be done. This is Chinese Cultures differences from ours as one example. I have a book available called "Encountering the Chinese" A Modern Country; An Ancient Culture. It is required reading for college students who will be visiting China and need to know more about interacting with the Chinese. It is difficult to find so I have copies available at $24.95 post paid. If you would like a copy, please send a check made out to Interlake China Tours and send it to Interlake China Tours, P.O. Box 33652 Seattle, WA. 98133 along with your request.