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This may sound like a silly question but we are thinking of booking a tour of China and I wondered if you absolutely had to use chopsticks. I have really tried but without success, just cannot get the hang of it. So, will I go hungry or do restaurants provide forks and spoons for us westerners. If not I will have to take my own!!

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Sherbrooke, Canada
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1. Re: chopsticks

Most restaurants will have some but you may want to carry some plastic ones just in case. Spoons are commonly used by Chinese.

Taiyuan, China
Destination Expert
for Pingyao County
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2. Re: chopsticks

I would bring some along, in case, but restaurants used by tour groups will often have some as well, if you ask.

New Jersey
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3. Re: chopsticks

Eddie Bauer has a nice travel plastic 'spork' which I brought with me but never really needed it. You will manage! Most everywhere had western style utensils.

We laughed watching the waiters hover around our table. If you looked like you were struggling with chopsticks, they would swoop in with a fork!

Melbourne, Australia
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2,102 posts
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4. Re: chopsticks

It is NOT a silly question at all!

Many restaurants throughout China do not provide knives or forks especially country towns and small restaurants.

Certainly no harm in taking a couple of sets with you. BUT pack them in your main luggage!!

Always ask at the restaurant for knife and fork, they do not mind because they have your custom.

But do try the chopsticks. Practice before you go.

If you really wanted to you could take a coupe of cheap K & F the real stuff that you can get from the $2 shop.

I would suggest though not to drnk the local water from the tap! buy bottled water.

Buy several packets of paper tissues from the street vendors as most places may not provide paper for toilet etc. very cheap to buy even the Chinese do this!

Have a card of the hotel(s) of their name and address written in Chinese Characters for when you get taxis etc . Keep the cards on you all the time.

Using your Bank card at the ATM and credit card is good. bank card at the ATM you usually get a better rate of exchange.

The weather pattern


March,April, May


June, July August


September,OCTOBER, November


December, January, February.

I personally think September and October are perfect months to travel to China. Avoiding the first week in October as it is National Holiday throughout China.

April and May okay spring like UK.

No daylight saving in China.

Well Hope this helps as other TAers will also give you good advice.

Just ask.

Enjoy your holiday

kind reagrds


Edited: 30 January 2012, 20:17
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124 posts
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5. Re: chopsticks

I bring chopstick holders. It's a plastic holder which you can click 2 chopsticks on. They are commonly available in The Noodles and Company in US. Something like this amazon.com/Inteliventor-6-FUNCHOP-Chopstick-…

Just show some effort to blend in. :)

Dartmoor National...
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6. Re: chopsticks

Definitely bring some plastic cutlery or you could become some entertainment in a local restaurant!

Falls Church...
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7. Re: chopsticks

Our experience is that whenever we went out of "tourist" restaurants, we were the evening's entertainment, regardless of whether we used chopsticks or not. Westerners just aren't going to blend in. People were very friendly, but we were definitely the object of lots of stares and sidelong comments.

Arlington, Virginia
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29 posts
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8. Re: chopsticks

I would suggest that you learn how to use chopsticks. If you can pick up a pencil, you can learn to use chopsticks with just a little effort. I promise.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Beijing, Lijiang
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69 reviews
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9. Re: chopsticks

Not a problem - just take along a packet of disposable forks for your travels.

If you order soup it comes with a spoon. Perfect analogy from Marty - if waiters in some restaurants see you struggling they will supply you with a fork. And if people stare at you they are not being rude - just greatly interested. The way of China - everyone wants to know everything :-)

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10. Re: chopsticks

They always gave us a spoon even though we always used chopsticks.