So, we tend to do these TL;DRs whenever we come back from traveling. We’ve done them on Australia, Japan, Europe, and Toronto. Now for one on Beijing and China. Hooray! I’m sure we’ll do one comparing LA’s Koreatown to Korea’s, umm, Koreacountry when we get back at the end of the month!

Back to Beijing, though, apart from the things we mentioned, there were a few other things we found interesting that we hope maybe you could help shed some light on.

Namely, we spoke with one of the event organizers at the conference we were attending. She’s a German girl living in Beijing. We asked her if she has a similar experience to us, in that Korean people often ask us if we’re American. She said no, people in Beijing often ask her if she’s Russian. Russian saram? Russian saram!? We asked her if there was the same kind of connotation there with asking a girl if she’s Russian as there is here in Korea, and she was totally shocked. So, for those of you in the know…is there a similar connotation in Beijing and China, or is it just what we’re experiencing here in Korea?

Another difference we found in Beijing: taxis. They’re still pretty cheap like taxis in Seoul, but it seems so much harder to get a taxi in Beijing than it is here. We only got into a Rickshaw after waiting for 20 minutes and not getting any taxis at all. I’m glad we didn’t get a taxi that night, though, because it was an absolutely wonderful experience and I’d gladly ride those instead of taxis for the rest of my life. SOOO FUN! We also saw a lot of “black cars” or something along those lines: black cars would stop in front of us and ask us where we’re going, but our guide would ignore them and only try to get the regular taxis, supposedly because the black cars aren’t licensed or something like that. Anyone have more info on this? We never experienced anything like that in Seoul.

Anyhow, we’d love to hear what you guise think. For those of you who have been to Beijing, what was your experience like, and what was different? We’d love to go to Beijing again. The food alone is reason for us to go. Korea: y u no have Chinese food here? YOU’RE SO CLOSE! Bring me some deep fried beans! Do it!

If you’d like some delicious deep fried beans from China, click on this pretty button below. Free beans for you!

  1. I just got back from China about 2 weeks ago and while there I visited Beijing, Shanghai, and Qingdao. In all those cities, I feel like the staring at dark/darker-skinned foreigners is much worse than pale/paler-skinned foreigners. As a black person, people automatically assumed that I was African and questioned were doubtful when I told them I was American. On a daily basis, I would have huge groups of people on public buses sport me on the sidewalk and stare at me until the bus pulled off; I also had bus drivers turn their heads 180 degrees and watch me while driving. No circumstance seemed like a good reason to not stare at the dark-skinned foreigner. It was extremely uncomfortable, annoying, and sometimes demeaning (when they would point and laugh), but it is just a huge culture difference that foreigners need to be aware of before going to China.

    In Qingdao, if a person has blonde hair and blue eyes, instead of people assuming they are Russian, based on my experience, people typically assume that they are German. Qingdao used to be a German colony, so it is heavily influenced by German culture. While I was there, I learned that it also still has a high population of German foreigners, which may be the reason for this assumption. Overall, it seems like people in China are still very ignorant about foreigners.

  2. I’ve been in China since April. You guys just pretty much described everything I’ve experienced. I haven’t been to Beijing yet though. The shirt up is a common thing where I’m at too. I found it quite odd at first. But I’ve seen it so much it doesn’t catch my attention as easily as it used to. I get stared at EVERYWHERE! I live in a part of China where there aren’t many foreigners so everywhere I go I get like what you described with the guy on the bicycle. There was a guy once that stepped in front of a bus because he was looking back at me. Also a guy who tripped on the stairs because he was staring at me. I also get the Chinese word for foreigner or American shouted at me all the time, as well as the slang word. I now walk down the street with my ear buds in so I don’t have to hear that anymore. The taxis are super cheap where I’m at. The occasional personal car will pull over for me if I’m trying to get a taxi. Here it’s just people who want a few extra bucks. So they use their own car to taxi people around. They aren’t licensed to do so, but they do it anyways. Pollution is bad here like the sky will be a hazy yellow sometimes, but it hasn’t bothered me too bad. Traffic is crazy and the way you described the lanes is the same here. But I still think the traffic I experienced in Sri Lanka was worse. I was asked only one time if I was Russian. I think the thing with Russian in Korea was because women from there used to be sex trafficked into Korea, so yeah…
    It’s interesting that your short experience in Beijing was almost like what I’m going through living here where I am in China. (And I know this is like super late replying to this, but I’ve been busy with teaching and am really behind on watching your videos. :( I feel I’ve failed as a Nasty…responsibility kicks my butt!)

  3. My main problem in China is the pollution. I’m accustomed to breathing clean, canadain air, not the densely polluted stuff in BeiJing (or anywhere else in China,for that matter). Every time I visit, I get sick, get athsma, or something along those lines.

    The driving sucks. That’s all I have to say.

    Black Cars are pretty much illegal taxis. They aren’t normally too bad andif you’re caught riding in them , it’s the driver that’ll get in trouble, not you (especially if you say that you’re a foreigner and that you didn’t know) but I guess your guide would get in trouble with her company if they found out she let you ride in an illegal taxi… I rode one once, and it was perfectly fine and even cheaper than regular taxis (if I remember correctly).

  4. I was in Beijing for several days before settling in South-West China for my semester abroad. I was lucky–the weather was beautiful, no smog to be seen. It also happened to be ridiculously hot, which–not sure if that trade-off is totally fair. Almost tricked into believing smog was an invention, but a month into my stay it was definitely noticeable. I would wipe my nose and my tissue would be black! Many companies pay employees an incentive to work in China. Pollution and hardship compensation.

    MAY I JUST SAY that your description of Rules of the Road: China is completely on point? More of a suggestion than a rule, that. I learned to look up at the skyline and pretend I was enraptured with the architecture and not the calamity that is Chinese roadways. To be fair: I never witnessed a motor vehicle accident during my entire stay.

    I was warned about the staring–I didn’t realize people would want to take pictures, too! I threw peace signs at people subtly and not-so-subtly aiming camera phones in my direction. I didn’t mind it, but thought it funny that I’m in somebody’s photo album right now.

    China has much to offer. I’m glad you took the opportunity to visit. I hope you’ll be able to visit less populated regions someday!

  5. Ps china might be the 4th largest country smaller then the USA but…. Canada is second largest. Yes i know russa is first. But sorry canada is still big then the usa.

  6. I really dont like it that most asian people will assume i am Russian. I am Ukrainian and everything thats going on with my country because of there president. I dont want to be considered Russian. Not just that i think is flat out rude to assume that someone who is white is russian. asian people dont like it when canadians assume things. Chinese people hate it when people call them korean or japanese. Koreans hate when you call them japanese and reverse. For myself here in canada i actually get mistaken for half korean. I am tempted to just go with it lol

  7. China is the 4th largest country in the world, slightly smaller than the US.

  8. I listened to you guys talking on your SBS radio show about Millennium Boy and I agree completely with you. I do think, however, that a lot of K-pop fans are getting a little carried away with the hate, and I’d love to see you guys cover this to raise awareness about what cover groups and tribute bands are about and why they shouldn’t be delivering so much hatred to those guys!

  9. oh, and yes, here in Sichuan, the bellies are OUT! :-) It’s that time of year again….

  10. Hi I am an expat who has been living in southwest China for 3 years. Although I live in China, most of my students are Korean, so I have found your videos to be very insightful with regards to understanding my students and also very entertaining! I love watching them! Your Korea vs. China videos have been my faves so far. You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head about the near-death pedi-cab experiences, the 180 degree staring-while-driving, and the less-than-healthy air. It’s a part of the daily experience. Also, I’ve never been to India, but once my friend came to visit me in China directly from India and the first thing she said when she got off the plane was “Wow, the traffic is so organized here.” haha! Anyway thanks for doing what you guys do. You’re great! :-)

  11. Seriously thought. The air in china is terrible! I loved visiting but I have asthma and lord I was suffering! I think the most disturbing part was after walking around outside for a few hours, if you felt your skin, you had a good layout or grit that would rub off

  12. PerfectGalaxy

    I have a question~
    Can you guys tell us your opinions on the stuff that’s happening to Exo and SM?
    Such as Kris’s lawsuit and Baekhyun’s relationship with Taeyeon?


    Ok, if you want to get killed by a car I really want you to come to Vietnam. Holy Farts! It is so dangerous and crazy there that you can’t go out on to the streets without later realizing how precious life is. When the light goes green every single “car”( or should I say death trap motorcycles) goes at once. There would be like a three way street and every single motorcycle would go at once………on all 3 streets! The people are like blind or something, they would be jaywalking across when the motorcycles are like trying to kill them. And they don’t care! There would be asmall street and a traffic jam is going on, and people would be walking between the motorcycles trying to sell food. And you thought that you would be safe in the taxi. Nooooooooo! The taxi divers would drive while talking to they’re wives on the phone while they drive you! And you, the passenger(only in the back seat), would not be breaking a law if you don’t want to put your seat belts on. You would be dead if you get in a car accident! But it’s ok, maybe the guy on the under protective motorcycle died first to break your crash.

  14. matchacakes

    HAHAHAHAHA, the shirtless thing!!! We were walking through Tienanmen Square when one of our guys decided to “do as the Beijingers do.” And up his shirt went. I still have pictures from it. To this day, when people ask me about China I always mention this. As for here in London, I’m surprised at how many people I see with no shirts. I think it’s just the area I live in. I don’t see it as much when I’m in central London.

    And… how people don’t mind defecating or urinating in public spaces. The split pants for babies threw me off at first, but not as much as a wall full of grown men urinating. And we weren’t even near a pub.

    The Russian thing is totally normal. I was in a city closer to the border of Russia and we had Russians along with Chinese people approaching us as well. My friends even had one coming up and speaking in Russian before he realized they were American. I don’t think it has the same connotation as it does in Korea (though I could be totally wrong).

    Another thing that threw me off guard was how many pictures were taken of us. At one point we had people following us around with professional cameras snapping pictures. People would walk up and hand me their kids or come and repeat “Picture! Picture!” I ended up asking if I could have their pictures as well just to remember how many people asked for one. The people I stayed with had a three year old daughter who was blonde haired and blue eyed. They would sit and stare at restaurants, take pictures, give her candy, and even try to touch her. At one point, I had to pick her up and carry her through the mall so the people would stop harassing her. They were consistently fascinated as if a doll had come to life in front of them.

    Also, I remember the bluntness of the Chinese. I’m not fat by any standard, but the shop keepers would always try to sell me bigger sizes. One woman, who was bigger than me, looked at me and said “No, you need a large, you’re fat.” We did hire two black taxis (You’re right, they are unlicensed by companies) to help our group. The driver of one of the cars chased down the overweight people in the group saying “Fat people in car.” He even patted the stomach of the largest guy in our group and asked him in Chinese if he had a watermelon in there.

    China is awesome though. Funny, but super awesome. I would move there permanently in a heartbeat.

  15. TL;DR Question
    Where I live, views on divorce are varied. And are different for different religions, and family views. After watching a Drama I started wondering Is it frowned upon, and considered a failure in Korea. Or is it just not talked about much. -Thank you

  16. Songbyrd2911

    Hi. I’m Lauren from LA. You guys pretty much summed up my experience in a nutshell. My classmates and I were blessed with the opportunity to in 2012 and one of the girls got her foot run over by a scooter/bike on THE FIRST DAY. I’m mean not even 15 after we stepped outside our hotel.
    I was surprised by all the shirtless people, but it seed to me like most of them were older men.
    Don’t feel bad about the stares and picture taking. Yes you’re weird (but in a good way) but that’s not the reason why. We were stared at to and asked to take picture ( some with people’s children) and I have locs so that increased the amount of stares I got. It’s really because a lot of Chinese people ( especially those from rural areas) have never seen a real American (or in your case Canadian) outside of tB. We actually had a student from Peking University tell us that we were the first group of American teenagers he’s seem in real life.
    The formally dressed foreigners were probably business people or ex-patriots.

    Despite all that (and even the air) I would definitely go back. I love the food and the atmosphere.

    Did you guys check out the 798 Art District or see some of the really cool graffiti?

  17. rerezhang

    are there any korean social media that the general population korean uses? are there any apps? i know there is twitter, but is there anything else. and what korean talk shows/variety shows do you guys watch?

  18. When I traveled to Nepal, I saw people scratching their tummys. Yes, Nepal is a hot country, but it looked very new to me.

  19. TL;DR question:
    Hi, I’m from Belgium and I like watching korean shows, but was actually shocked when I realized something. On the show ” Cheongdamdong 11″ a member from AOA got scolded for one bite of fried chicken. Well, if you check the member their profile, their BMI are too low, which means they are unhealthy underweight. Idols talk about their ( UNHEALTHY) diet like skipping meals as if it is the most normal thing to do! Most of those idols and actors are rolmodels for kids and teenagers. Now my question is: Are Korean people aware of eating disorders? Aren’t the actors, singers and idols (unwillingly) leading people ( especially kids and teenagers) to anorexia and such? What does Korea do to prevent people from having it? In Belgium, such things would have made the front news with A LOT of criticism from the media AND sometimes plaintifss from NGO’s. We also have sort of clinics where they help people with eating disorder. Not only them, but also their family and friends. So they can all understand the disorder better and how to deal with it.

    • I hope they answer this one too! I remember hearing one idol was allowed to have a potato a day or something!! There are tons of out door fitness things in Korea, so wouldn’t people be more up on being really healthy? I noticed in that Kdrama Let’s Eat, one of the characters was on a rice diet. XD

  20. The area I live in (in England) isn’t that busy, but when I go to school (by car), I have to go to this huge roundabout and one of the exits is like the biggest motorway in England called the M6 (I dont need to go in the M6 exit thank gad)
    But, it has a lot of traffic. and it is full of accidents- when i go to school in the car, the radio always says “there is an accident on the m6….” I am never surprised…
    I don’t see random taxis about- we have to call and hire them about 10-20 mins in advance
    But I hardly see a taxi in general.
    Then again, it might be different in othjer ares, I live in a fairly quiet, less urban area, I think its different in places like London

  21. exotickimchilover

    These days there has been ALOT of secret relationships in kpop; which is relevant because Taeyeon(SNSD) and Baekhyun/Bacon(EXO) are now dating, officially since like a day ago…:/. I don’t know why but most of these idols are from SM Entertainment. For example, Jonghyun(Shinee) dated Shinsekyung, Yoona is dating LeeSeunggi, and ALOT more. How are the general public in korea reacting to this? Do you personally think they are overreacting? or not reacting at all? Please enlighten me with your knowledge;) Thanks!!

  22. Hey Simon and Martina,
    I have a question, it seems kinda weird, but, how does Korea react to the FIFA World Cup? I know that South Korea is in it, and how many K-Pop idols showed their support towards the South Korean soccer team. But, is it still popular and do people still watch it even if Korea isn’t in it? I also don’t know if soccer is big in Korea.

  23. Driving is like that in Cairo, too. And horn honking. Constantly! They don’t use turn signals, just horn honks. I didn’t actually drive there, or I’d probably be dead now, but I was on a tour there and rode in a bus…the stuff we saw other drivers doing was just incredible! And not in a good way. I don’t know how they don’t have more accidents.

  24. Haha the Beijing man shirt-roll, well they have to find some way to keep cool in the Beijing summer. food in Beijing is fantastic. Miss the Sichuan food, hot pot, Xinjiang kabobs and Korean BBQ. You guys should visit Hong Kong if you get a chance. Love the show. The Black taxis are just unlicensed cabs. September and October are the months to visit Beijing as all the smog leaves for Korea.


  26. You guys should go to Kuala Lumpur. Traffic is so insane I genuinely thought about writing a will when I was living there. My home country has extremely strict driving rules so nothing prepared me for this (getting a driving license in France is so difficult you wouldn’t believe).
    Guys don’t really show their bodies here (back in France). You will find shirtless teens and young adults playing football in parks when it’s really hot, but that’s about it.

  27. I’m sure someone has already responded for the U.S., but I can say that for the most part, men are not as “modest” as in Korea. So much so that there are some men that maybe should be a little more modest. Now, I’m not talking about lifting up their shirt while in an establishment, but while outside working on the yard, washing the car, or just around the house… or walking down the sidewalk. BUT, I should say that while living in Houston, shirtless-ness happened more around the home, while in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it’s more “all over the place”…

  28. Lightning96

    In England as soon as there’s sun and the temperature is around 17+ many people walk around shirtless. It’s not just the young adults who ‘work out’ but also the older men. In reality this isn’t exclusive to males, a lot of females walk around wearing those bandeau and bra-like tops as soon as the sun hits. You’d be amazed at the number of people you can find shirtless in parks and town centres. Although this is from a town near London rather than London. I’d be curious to know what it’s like over there!

    I’ve been to India about 3 times since my parents love the country so much and the traffic there is the worst I’ve ever experienced!

  29. Maricar

    hi eat your kimchi well i recently watched this korean drama where the girl was asked by an elder woman “what is her age” and then she answered 22 in american age???.. so i just wanted to know if the age in korea is different from what we usually know.. actually here in the Philippines the age of a person here depends on how many years since the day u were born…

  30. Those “black cars” you were talking about are basically regular people trying to make some money by driving people around in their own cars. So its kinda like they are running their own taxi business but its just with their own cars and they charge you depending on where you are going. I have personally been in one once and it was fine but I wouldn’t recommend you taking one of those because they’re not really licensed and its kinda sketchy.

  31. Here in the Philippines there is always traffic everywhere. I live in one of the islands of the country. Here in the city i live in shirtless men are everywhere old and young people. There are so many vehicles, too in the streets and they don’t follow the rules or laws like the street is already small but they will still park their cars parallel to the others.

    TL;DR question: Is there any corruption in the government of Korea???…I’m curious about their politics because here in my country there are bunch of corrupt officials that almost all the news are about the scam that they did.

  32. OMG I suffer when men walk shirtless in Finland ‘cos it’s always those old and, let’s be honest, quite ugly men with their belly hanging and ugh I just can’t ugh…. and the smell! Oh gawd no.

    TL;DR question!!
    I read about sex selling grannies in South Korea. What’s the deal with that???

  33. eternal_autumn

    My friend, who is from Vietnam, says that the driving there is pretty bad. And apparently if someone hits you, some of them may purposely try to hit you again so you would die, so they dont have to pay the hospital bills. This is all according to my friend and her family.
    As for my own country, the driving is pretty bad too but there are a bunch of, not only cars and vehicles, but donkeys or horses dragging carts. Some people are obedient some arent. Some parents allow their young children, youngest i’ve seen was around 2-3yrs old, sit on their lap and let them steer the wheel with them on the drivers seat. No seat belts at all too.

    • eternal_autumn

      also in my country whenever cars stop at a stop light. A bunch of beggars come to windows of cars, either selling, wiping their windows or simply asking for money. My family usually rolls up the windows so they dont have to give them money…

    • I’m born in Belgium but my parents are from Vietnam. What you are saying is partly true. If you hit someone and he is not dead yet, then you have to compensate him by paying for the hospital bills. Sounds logic, right? Well, here is the catch: you have to keep paying him untill he’s fully recovered. If the victim has a handicap from the accident for the rest of his life, then you have to pay him for the rest of your life. Also, some victims who are not seriously injured can always use the accident as an excuse to get money. Most people have a really busy life, because they have to sell streetfood all day to have money to feed their family. So they won’t have time to go to the hospital to check the victim everytime he demands money. It is too burdensome. Sometimes people don’t have a choice. Common/poor people prefer paying an big amount once. For them it’s more difficult to pay a big amount more then once. Their families will get in finance trouble. I don’t say it is okay to hit people on purpose until they die, but rather thinking something is wrong with those people, I would say there is something wrong with the law. On the other side, when a accident happens, people gather to watch and help the wounded ones. If they see that the driver’s trying to flee,they will chase him, catch him and hit him.( not only in Vietnam, it happend once in Belgium). That’s not okay either, but at least the driver cannot flee. There’s also another thing: if a motobiker and a car had an accident, then the car have to compensate the motorbiker. Regardless who’s right or who’s wrong. big vehicule always pays the smaller one. Oh, if you’re thinking ” And the police? aren’t they doing anything?” Well, most of them ( i’m not saying all of them) are on the side of the rich people. I kinda get a feeling it is like the survival of the fittest.

  34. kaynichelle

    I went to Hong Kong in 2011 and the air wasn’t bad. It was just humid. But THE STARES were TERRIBLE! OMG, SOOO uncomfortable!! Have you seen the movie Inception? If you have, there’s a part where the girl goes into Leonardo DiCaprio’s dream and starts screwing with sh*t and everyone starts aggressively staring at her? That’s EXACTLY how I felt in Hong Kong. It’s the most uncomfortable I have been, and I lived in Japan and now I live in Busan (which is pretty bad with stares but not Hong Kong bad–No one tries to take pictures with me).

    Oddly though, I visited HK over a holiday weekend. But on Monday when the holidays were over, my experience did a 180. I was told that all the mainland China travelers come on the weekend and then go back during the week. Now, I’m not trynna be rude toward people from mainland China, but there was a distinct difference between my experience over the weekend versus on a Monday when all the tourists were gone. So maybe proper Hong Kong’ites are less… er… stare-y? But outside of the food, (THE FOOD!! OMG Chinese food and Dim Sum every morning. Love), I would never go back to China.

    • Crystal_Crown

      proper Hong Kong’ites are less stare-y. I can assure u, as I am a Hong Kong person.

    • Crystal_Crown

      …there are plenty of white ppl in hong kong. sooo Hong Kong’ites should be less stare-y. Did you dye ur hair a crazy color?? o_o I am confused to why they would stare so much… white people are not out of the norm in HK… now a mexican in HK though… I’d be the first to stare.

  35. leluka

    TL;DR question!!! Could you talk about hierarchy in the entertainment industry? How does acting/ modeling/ being a Kpop idol compare in Korea? What kind of celebrities are more rich and famous/ have more prestige? Kpop idols are really popular among fans, but what kind of celebrities are most famous overall? What is the modeling industry like in Korea? Can you be famous as a model or is it all about celebrity endorsements? Some idols, like Orange Caramel’s Nana, get called “supermodels”…is that actually a thing?

    • Yes, I agree — good TL;DR question! We sometimes see that K-Pop idols only do it because they want to really break into acting which is considered more ‘elite’ (or was that just simply plot lines from Dream High?) It seems a lot less ‘rigid’ than in other entertainment systems where models crossing over to TV presenters or singers becoming actors isn’t probably taken as well (T.O.P versus Justin Timberlake for example)… is it that once you are famous in Korea you are accepted in any role (whether you are good at it or not…*cough* no names here)?

  36. China’s traffic and driving has always been one of the worst in East Asia. The reason is that the police who are supposed to stop people when driving crazy never do, they will only do it when they feel like it. And even then, you can just pay him off. However, the foreigners and the shirt-rolling is kind of unique for Beijing. I was in Kunming, near Thailand, and you never saw any foreigners or any shirt-rolling. FYI the air is so bad in Beijing that studies show that it takes five years off your life if you live there.

  37. littledreamer

    I have a question. I recently watched an episode of Hello Counselor and one of the concerns shown was about a sixth-grader boy being touched in the privates by his father. And it seemed that it wasn’t that big of a concern and that touching the privates is a way of showing love to his child. I mean is it normal for parents to touch their child’s privates in Korea? I come from an Asian country and touching a child’s privates is seen as sexual abuse or molestation here.

  38. I have a question for next week’s TL;DR. I just watched the Music Monday about Psy’s Hangover and it it reminded me about how drinking is such a huge part or Korea’s culture, especially to socialize. For me, alcoholism and substance abuse issues run strongly in my family so I do not drink at all. How would this effect someone trying to make friends or getting to know coworkers? How would Korean people view them? And what would be a good way to explain it to Korean people? Any other thoughts?


  39. Taeils wife

    In California most guys go shirtless. This includes fit good looking guys with abs to old fat mem with hairy chests. Maybe it’s because it’s really hot. But I think it’s cuz they think they look good without their shirts. So everyone when you come to Cali be prepared to be scarred for life from the guys with their hairy nipples showing. ♥-♥

  40. In America, I’ve noticed that depending on how fit/in-shape you are kinda determines if you go shirtless or not. The folks that do go shirtless and are in shape, or lean, have no problems and no one thinks twice. However, when you see someone overweight or even too scrawny, people look down upon it and encourage those people to cover up.

    This is all with beaches and parks and hiking trails in mind. Elsewhere, like a grocery store or cafe, shirtlessness would not be appropriate regardless of the body.

  41. The belly exposure happens a lot in Mexico,too hahaha

  42. Carmen

    I think I should get recognition for noticing the ‘Lord of the Flies’ reference with the conch. >:D

  43. Carmen

    I know exactly what you mean about the road regulations and attitude towards driving in Beijing it’s shocking! It’s not so bad in Huangzhou and smaller counties but there were no parking signs and everyone just parks where they want even in other people’s driveways… Saw this one man park right in the middle of the bike and scooter lane and everyone had to go around him it was ridiculous! Haha

  44. In Hong Kong, there’s some shirt-rolling that goes on but usually by older dudes. Being shirtless, on the other hand, is quite common among workers who are moving or carrying things.

  45. Tip 1: Always follow the Beijing equivalent of an Ahjumma to cross any road. They have decades of experience and out of respect people tend not to mow them down so often. Avoid being hit in the head by the guys flailing live tortoises in the middle of intersections (nope, not joking. Kind of a Chinese drive-through to pick up a fresh tortoise on your 15 hour commute home from work as you stop at the gazzionith red light. Make sure you carry a set of gardening gloves or carry case at all times in your black car for this purpose. Yummo!!).

    Tip 2: Avoid places that advertise “roast dack”, particularly if Australian. “Dacks” tend to have a different connotation here — delicious roasted underwears, anyone? “Iiiii lost my pants… and they ended up in this lovely pancake.”

    Tip 3: Head along to a Chinese dinner show, and act like a true Beijinger (? hmm, what is the English term for a person from Beijing?) and act really bored when the phenomenal gymnast on stage spins a giant 100kg pot with a member of the audience in it on her feet whilst lying on her back and balancing a candelabra (lit!) in her mouth. Instead, gasp with amazement as the ‘magician’ attempts to pull a stuffed rabbit out of a hat and then separate two conjoined rings. Amazing!

    Tip 4: If you come across any signs that say “Don’t fall down!” they mean be careful where you are walking (e.g. the mountain passes down from the Great Wall). But it’s a handy note generally for Beijing, given the ever so slightly undulating pathways and the ever so ridiculous strength of their rice wine…

    And finally, Tip 5: If you are blonde, blue eyed, female and relatively smiley, do not assume that when a stranger offers you their camera that they want you to take a photo of them in their group for them. Nope, they want you IN their photo to take home and show their families. Ditto anyone who holds out their baby to you (they actually want you to kiss it/have photo taken with it/hold it etc, not hold it while they nip to the loo or take in a movie). Will always amaze me how many photos there must be of me on the equivalent of mantlepieces around China… hey ho, maybe someone will think I’m Britney Spears.

    • NellsNells

      your Tip 5 reminds me of that time I saw a Caucasian woman sitting quietly in the park bench by herself when a tourist bus stopped nearby and a mini mob of Chinese tourists sat and took photos with her. It was so random and happened so fast that we just shrugged at each other from a distance.
      I live in NZ.

    • matchacakes

      Hahahaha! Number 5 brings back memories. I’m not even blonde or blue eyed, but I got stopped tons for pictures. There was one day when we literally had a paparazzi following us. I remember getting off of a dragonboat in Haerbin and being handed a baby without anyone even asking me if I wanted to hold it.

  46. kissmeasia3

    the shirt rolling here in India, atleast in the area where i live, is crazy!! its like the monopoly of old men who are not afraid to show their potbellies!! even as i speak now, my neighbour is out on his balcony wearing no shirt on patting his potbelly proudly..so shirtless/rolled up shirts with exposed bellies are common here, except ofcourse in winter. XD

  47. fuzzybug55

    For your next TL;DR can you talk about the Korean money system?

  48. I live in Denmark, and during the summer there some shirtless guys walking around the streets lol It’s not really old men though, but mostly young(er) xD

  49. I live in Austria near Vienna and I also see a lot of shirtless men during summer. Luckily only young men!
    In the city I mostly see them around water, not only on beaches but also near fountains and stuff. So everytime I see a shirtless man in Vienne I think: Fountain ahead!^^

  50. A couple of years ago I was backpacking in Southern India for a month. We couldn’t get any trainticket to travel from Mysore to Kerala. In some way or another we got a car and a driver for a good price and headed south for 12+ hours in Indian freeway traffic. I remember at one point where I was dosing off the road had two lanes leading south and two heading north. I was awaken by a bump and suddenly the two lanes leading south had turned into 6 improv-lanes going south with no place for any lane leading north. Traffic stuck everywhere and in that mess there were cows walking along and salesmen running around with coffee, coconuts and other goods for sale. Our driver decided to drive around everything in the terrain to save time. It was a crazy but wonderfully memorable experience. Humans are interesting people ^^

  51. One of my favorite places to be when it nears summer is on a college campus. Nothing gets better than seeing hot, shirtless guys playing ultimate frisbee on the campus lawn~ :D

  52. Okay. So I am not saying that driving or traffic in India is not what everyone is saying. I mean I got my license yesterday and can officially drive, but I cant because my parents think I cant handle the traffic/driving in the traffic.(and I am really mad!) I 100% agree that there is not much of a lane system following here.(I haven’t been to China so I cant say anything about it) But I can definitely tell you that its way better in the major metropolitan cities than its in town side. At least people in the city follow the signals(most of the time that is) I can totally understand the driving mindset as I have been staying here since I was little. But I wont make excuses for its being “no traffic rules followed” place. Because I want to drive without risking my, or for that case, anyone’s life. And I want things to change.

  53. I got so many stares when I was in Beijing! Random people were constantly taking pictures, and not very stealthily either XD there were also a couple of girls who asked to take pictures with me and then just clung on to me so comfortably…I felt kind of like a doll or something :P

  54. I live in Texas, so the yards here are decorated with shirtless guys of all ages cooling of in the heat. I am also only 30 minutes from the beach, making swimwear a common attire here. It is funny that you mention the driving. From my experience driving can dramatically change just within the US. For example throughout Europe, specifically Germany, the driving there was amazing!!!!!!! The Autobahn may have benefited that as well. However, in the US (I drove mostly in New Mexico and Texas) it is different. In New Mexico, the turning signal is not a symbol for changing lanes but rather a signal to the other drivers to cut you off. I have literally drove next to someone trying to get over for miles!! I would slow down, they would slow down, I would speed up, they would speed up!! It was the most irritating thing. Luckly, the driving in Texas has not been that bad. Although the roads are 90% potholes. Oh well…

  55. Yzabellatrix

    Ohmygod shirtlesness in the Philippines is soo weird. When you’re in the car just doing your thing and you passed by the “poor side of the country” or the squatter’s area, you’ll see kids naked, FULL ON NAKED I TELL YOU, no matter which gender. They’re running around showing of their wieners and stuff. Plus male adults have this huge pail filled with water and they they a bath with only their shorts outside the road. Seriously. Hahaha. Sooo nasty!

  56. DanaRP

    I’m from Colombia … But I moved to the US 3 years ago …. About that shirtless thing I don’t remember the last time I saw my grandpa where one while at home lol, in Colombia as long as your at home or around the neighborhood you see shirtless men of all ages lol

  57. I’m taking Chinese next year for school as a language. It took some time choosing between Chinese and Japanese. Even though Japanese culture interests me, and Japan is very close to South Korea, I chose Chinese because I knew it would help me in the future if I ever go into business. I plan of visiting Shanghai one day, so this video in particular was very exciting!!

  58. MariaCassidy

    Hey Simon and Martina! I live in the U.S. and seeing shirtless guys is part of everyday summer life. When taking a walk or driving around you see shirtless guys jogging/running, you see shirtless guys at the pool, you see shirtless guys playing sports, heck you even see shirtless guys hanging out.

  59. I’m going to China in one day to teach English for the summer! During our orientation, we were told that if we have any tattoos we should cover them because tattoos will make you look dangerous, so that could by why people were staring at your guys so much. Also, I normally have green in my hair, but I had to dye it all brown before leaving because apparently it’s normally only older women whose hair is starting to go gray that dye their hair funky colors, so maybe they were surprised by Martina! We were told to look at it this way, everything you would normally do to be a rebellious teen in the States is done by older people in China. That just made me think of some punk rock Chinese Grandma and that made me laugh :D I’m even more nervous for the pollution now though! We were told to not bring anything that is light colored and if you do it should be something that you’d be willing to through away because the pollution in China will apparently discolor any light colored items. Black all the way for me~ Anyway, I hope you guys had a good time despite all the yellow dust!

  60. Ahh yes, the shirtless men in China. My friends living there affectionately refer to it as the “Shanghai Shirt-Roll” lol

  61. I was in Beijing two years ago and I thought the air was fine just humid. We do have a really high pollution rate but I’m surprised I missed all that stuff you were talking about. Don’t get me started on naked belies though.

  62. I’ve been to india, and oh the traffic is terrible. I was in a tuk tuk basically a motorized version of the rickshaw and watch as another tuk tuk ran over a guys foot and kept going no apology. Cars are scrunched together, horns blaring everybody trying to get anywhere. The other place that isn’t death defying but a lil terrifying…San fran…yikes!!

  63. Regarding “black cars”… I guess it’s popular in China. There are a lot of them in Shanghai too. And, yes, they don’t have any license to operate. We can just probably say they’re “freelancing” or something. Anyways, they are privately owned and usually appear at rush hours, really late at night, or early in the morning when it’s difficult to catch a bus or a taxi. They charge a little higher (or more) if you don’t know what you’re doing ( or saying). But if you know some Mandarin, then you can fake-mandarin-talk your way into the regular fare.

    Interesting fact, they also have motorcycle drivers who wait along side these black cars or outside subway stations for commuters who are desperate enough for a ride home or for those who are just in a hurry. My friend tried one of them. Glad to say, he arrived home in perfect condition. (I’m not making this up, but apparently there are drivers who would take you for a ride, steal from you and run away. There’s no use reporting it to the police even if you know the plate number because they have plenty of fake plates in stock. The same thing when you get in an accident, you won’t be able to hunt them down and make them pay for your hospital bills. My source? Subway station and train info-ads in Shanghai.)

  64. TeaLovesYou

    In my experience, I was also asked if I was Russian a lot of times. Where I was living however, there were indeed a lot of Russian and Kazakh people studying Chinese at universities and such. Only one time did it seem like they were implying something negative with being Russian. Must of the time however, I think it’s just because they see a lot of Russian tourists. Plus, if you’re not speaking English to other foreigners, they will also assume you’re speaking Russian, because apparently, those are the only two foreign languages they can distinguish ;)

    As for the taxis: they aren’t always keen on taking foreigners, especially if you look like visiting tourists. The main reason being the language border, they are just afraid they won’t understand where you want to go and they don’t want to get in trouble for taking you the wrong way and being blamed for it. Secondly, the best way to distinguish between official taxis and black taxis is by asking how much it would cost to get to your destination. If they reply, it’s not an official taxi and you better let it go, because they will rip you off if you don’t know the true cost of the ride. When they point at the meter, there’s a 9/10 chance it’s a real one, without tempered meter. Another way to recognise the official ones in by the document taped to the dashboard with their official number, name and picture.

  65. Debbie

    Hey Simon and Martina! I grew up in the Philippines and am used to seeing men without their shirts on. It’s usual in the suburbs (specially in places filled with illegal settlers in Manila) where people stay outside of their homes and chat with their neighbors. I think it’s common in hot weathered countries in Southeast Asia. However, now that I live in Qatar, I’ve never seen anyone do this here as it’s an Arab (Muslim) country where people are a lot more conservative and reserved. Thank you for this awesome TL;DR guys! *so nastyyy*

  66. Hey guys! I live in a rural area of Korea and I have never seen a guy shirtless here. Not old, not young, none (unless it’s at the gym since we have a swimming pool). Honestly, even though it’s been seriously friggin’ hot no one seems that bothered.

    The only thing I seem people doing is using fans. Like ALL KINDS OF FANS… They use them outside, in my schools, in restaurants, on buses, everywhere. No belly slapping hijinks to be found. They are just getting their fan on.

  67. xuan6793

    Beijing in a short amount of time, became increasingly polluted, so for me, it was no big surprise you mentioned it along with the driving. Although I must say China is a pretty big country, so some things you mentioned are just for Beijing in particular. I come from Guangdong(Canton), which is like the South part of China, and I tell you, it is most likely to resemble Korea in many aspects, first off, the scooter motorbikes are everywhere and the ways they sell street food are also similar. Some other things for example are very similar in all of CHINA, such as the less- crampiness of building space, I think this happens in Mainland China,and I’m pretty sure Simon would have quite the struggle if he were to live in any apartment in Hong Kong.

  68. Sometimes I like to go on this trail in West Hollywood and count the shirtless guys. Last time I went, there was 20. All pretty worthy of being shirtless. *swoon*

  69. yusuke08

    last night i read abt interview with BTS translator n writer for their show during their activities in china a few month bfore… they said that jhope and jungkook hv allergic with china’s air… i think it is true wat ur talking about…

  70. Emi

    I lived in Beijing for the summer when I was 15 back in 2006 when they were building for the Olympics. (My dad was working there for a year.) Maybe my young lungs didn’t mind, but I really didn’t notice the bad air. (I never wore a mask…oops) I could definitely see it and some days were definitely worse than others. We lived in the “western” area so we saw plenty of foreigners around. Most were business men like my dad. I have naturally blond hair like Martina and I was stared at all the time! When we went to touristy areas, people would try to sneak up and take pictures of/with me. They would leave my mom, brothers, and dad (all not blond) alone so it definitely has something to due with the hair lol. Also my dad is over 6ft and he was stared at for his height. So you two as a couple have the hair factor, height factor, and quirky factor which demands that you will be stared at 100% of the time lol. We took the subway system most of the time, taxis when it was a further trip, and occasionally bike, but that was just me sitting on the back with my dad doing all the maneuvering….he’s more assertive and adventurous! We always shopped where you could bargain (“Puma”s and “Oakley”s for $10….yes please)! And if I started talking about the food I would never stop! The thing I miss the most is good hot pot. I live in Atlanta, GA(my friend and Eric Nam attended the same church :D) which has a strong asian population and some really good restaurants, but the hot pot just isn’t the same! The only downside that summer was that I didn’t have a way of meeting kids my age. The kids of my dad’s Chinese coworkers were in school and were super studying all the time. But I entertained myself with daytime television, tons of cheap DVDs, and the small mall underneath our apartment building. All in all, I absolutely loved living there!

  71. Great video! Also, off topic but, Martina I love the pink eyebrows!!

  72. In Australia, shirtlessness is very common as many of us spend days at the beach or swimming areas. Most older men who are shirtless or wear singlet shirts are called “Aussie ocas” and this is very stereotypical as many of these “ocas” drink beer, play rugby leauge and do everything an Australian man is supposed to do.

  73. KoreanDorito120

    Well.. i used to live in nicaragua and you could see those fat old guys without shirt scratching their bellies and all of the hair
    .. that so disgusting!! But i got used to it and i had never saw a well fit man without t shirt that could be great And also little boys did the same!!

  74. eatallthefoods

    I live in Australia so seeing shirtless guys is very, very common, even in winter.

  75. Luvyou5477

    LOL.Shirtless men slapping their bellies is pretty common in Vietnam especially in you are in the rural area. I use to live in Vietnam and my house is next to a middle age guy. Everyday, in the morning when I get ready for school, I would saw him shirtless exercising in front of his house or scratching his belly while talking on his phone. It’s pretty disgusting,but funny at the same time !

  76. Tiffany

    OMG i have to agree with you guys about the AIR in CHINA. When I was in Beijing a few years ago, I could not even breath at all and felt sick all the time, it was so polluted, crowded, squashy….Here, it comes I must strongly agree with Simon, I prefer more spacious places, so yes for me coming to China on a holiday YES, but live there permanently — IT’S DEFINITELY A NO – :(

  77. angie_wi

    Oh China, driving is a matter of “Let’s shorten our life if not looking constantly on both sides”. I went to China twice (Shanghai and Beijing) and even experienced being in a car with locals (not taxi) and believe me I thought I was going to die more times than normal ^^”
    Concerning the question about being “Russian” it doesn’t have the same connotation in China. To put it simple your are “Russian” in China as you are “American” in South Korea. This comes mainly from history and relation between the USSR and China.
    For the “black cars” these are “illegal taxis” they ask you where you are going and give you a flat fare for the travel as they don’t use any monitors. Basically it’s a tourist trap, or another way to scam foreigners.
    I was in Beijing two years ago with some classmates (I started studying chinese 8 years ago) and my most vivid memory was :
    1) Traffic : it took us 3 hours(!!!) to get from the train station to the outskirts of the city !
    2) Pollution : if you looked up at the sky it was blue but when you looked at the horizon it was grey. You could litteraly SEE the pollution.
    But overall China is a really nice place and the people there are also incredible when you get to know them and they aren’t to shocked to see a foreigner (or taking a picture of you…. -.-’)

  78. Haha I lived in Beijing for a year and you guys have made me miss it so much! I can’t wait to see the food episode <

    • Ah I can’t edit >< lol I meant to also say that people there would generally ask if I was English or Russian. But Russian doesn't have the same connotations as in Korea :) I think there are just quite a lot of Russian people in Beijing what with them being neighbours and all.

  79. I was in China for a time a while back and I definitely experienced a similar reaction to the air quality that you did. Initially I was staying about an hour outside of Beijing and my reaction wasn’t as bad, it was more like I was experiencing Mid-Summer allergies in the middle of winter. Every time I blew my nose I had to pause and try to remember if I had stumbled through any coal mines in the last 3 minutes, or if I had gone dirt-biking around an erupting volcano in the recent past, it was gross but not painful. But once I moved into Beijing my reaction to the air was so insane that initially I considered seeking medical help because I thought I had contracted some kind of airborne illness. But the people who I was living with assured me that it was just because of the air and advised me to seek out “pit stops” everywhere that I went, which just meant that I had to map out indoor locations near my every destination so that I had time to clear out the smog from my poor lungs before I continued on adventuring. It was an experience to say the least, I absolutely loved Beijing, except for the whole relinquishing your life to the fates whenever you got in a car part. But, I loved the city and the people and am looking forward to the next time I get to visit!

  80. exotickimchilover

    I would never be looking forward to guys slapping’ their bellies… especially hairy dudes… 0.o…

  81. Emilie

    I’ve never been to China but my brother is playing in a small rock band in my city and his band was contacted by a chinese label some time ago to do 4 concerts in China (2 Beijing, 1 Jinan, 1 Shanghai). There’s some things that shocked him: the people there always gave him coca or over drinks but never water… and when he insisted to have some a woman gave him boiled water he still doesn’t know why xD When he talked about the beach the chinese guy from the label told him that it’s a bit dangerous as the water could be polluted. And last thing, when they went to a small restaurant, they ate some meat, and when my brother asked the waiter what kind of meat it was the answer was “meat” then he asked again thinking that the guy didn’t understand but the answer was still just “meat”… xD But there’s one thing he really appreciated, he found chinese people really kind, friendly and not shy at all ! They were curious about him and his friends, tried to talk with them a lot, they were not just staring at them ! And the concerts were crazy, with people climbing on the stage, some chinese punk and all… He still thinks that was an amazing experience :) (here a picture of the chinese rockers ;D https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151136776276617&set=pb.403785676616.-2207520000.1402086731.&type=3&theater)

    Anyway good TL;DR, can’t wait to learn more about your experience with food there ! Haha the shirtless thing was hilarious xD I have a QUESTION maybe okay for a TL;DR… I’m planning to go to Jeju with some friends and we’re all wondering what kind of swimsuit people wear in Korea ? If they do expose as much as us in France (shirtless for guy and bikini for girls). I remember seing T-shirt with short considered as swimsuit when I was in Korea and as korean fear the sun… I don’t know, I’ve never been to the beach so just wondering if we will be the only people like that in Jeju xD

  82. Katrina Go.

    I have been to China about 2 or 3 years ago for a whole month. I got student’s scolarship and studied Chinese at Xiamen University. Xiamen is not far from Taiwan and the weather there was soo exhausting. It was hot, and humid and the air was extremely heavy, so as you can imagine every time I walked outside I immediately felt wet and dirty. But weather was not as suprising as Chinese who would take photos of me wherever I went xD those more couragious would walk up to me and ask if they can take photo with me. Wow such fame. Still all Chinese people were extremely nice and the customer service was soooo good. Maybe I feel that because in Poland shop assistants and cashiers are often realy mean and it makes you really uncomfortable, but in China shop assistans were always so nice and helpful (that makes me wonder how is it in Korea?).
    The air was not as bad as in Beijing, actually you could see sky and sun what is a rare thing in Beijing.
    When I talked with my frien who lived in China for about two years she said that foreigners often take a nap in the middle of the day because of the polluted air and taht tired feeling you got after being outside and breathing chinese air xD
    (and I never saw men rubbing their bellies, maybe it’s a Beijing thing?)

  83. There have been cases of kidnap and murder of black-car(heiche,黑车) riders, better not use it. I rode black-car several times from Dongguan hotel to Guangzhou airport, but it was recommended by a friend who knew a reliable company that operated many black cars and telephone the company to pick me up at appointed time and place. The fare was negotiated over the phone by the friend. They offered a lower fare than taxi for a long distance driving. In Guangdong, even a licensed taxi driver can turn into a knife-wielding robber when he senses the customer has a lot of money. The taxi driver took all the money but gave the victim just enough money to ride taxi to hotel…

  84. Brittnay Bond

    Where I live in Alabama if people are outside especially since it gets so hot and you can get really sweaty You often see males with no shorts on. My Brother and Father regularly walk around with no shirt on, and down the road there is a guy who sits by the road in gym shorts and no shirt on. I also really often see guys mowing grass with no shirt on as well.

    BTW when Martina started talking about the man with the cut out for his belly, I had tea in my mouth and Itried so hard not to laugh like i wanted. It was so difficult.

  85. Jamrock chica

    Wah Gwan Eatyourkimchi!! I’m from Jamaica and men being shirtless is not really uncommon. From lil kids to old men either tend to be shirtless if it’s either too hot or they just felt like it. Though it’s not usually done in the town more like in the community or home setting. If they are shirtless downtown it’s either they just don’t care or dem a mad man (homeless), no one really cares just as long it is not in a formal settings.

  86. Hi everyone! First time posting with the new system.
    And I felt compelled to post about the staring in China. I’m a British-born Chinese girl and found that I got stared at a lot as well in China (& a bit in Hong Kong)… In general, everyone I’ve spoken to who’s been to China (and sometimes HK) have gotten stared at. We think it might be just in general, there’s not this “stigma” or social convention to not make eye contact and staring isn’t rude like in the UK for example. So even if you stare back, they don’t back off. So… I think you could’ve been stared at for all sorts of reasons, your height, your tattoos, your hair colour, the way you’re dressed (I noticed that there’s more modestly dressed women in China…), you’re speaking English, you’re speaking loudly, you’re the only one speaking on the public transport… the list goes on. People stare and it’s normal…? o_O
    Omg that belly-exposure LOL Sorry you had to see that, it’s just normal with middle-aged men it seems…

  87. candiceivy

    As I’m a Chinese, When I was young I consider all the foreigners as American, I think that’s what similar to Korea,also people refer to foreigners “American”. I don’t represent all the Chinese but I think it’s a common thinking back then. But now there are a lot foreigners in China, so people won’t assume you are American. And if people guess you are from Russia then it means you look European,(people think you are from somewhere Europe):p, Apology for my bad English.

  88. I’m in Korea now for summer abroad, but I live in Hawaii normally and there I’d say its pretty normal to see people in just straight bathing suits almost anywhere so like bikini tops for girls and just swim shorts for guys and some people don’t even wear shoes (but I find that kind nasty). People don’t always dress like that, but the normal wear is pretty much as little as possible most of the time. Tank tops, shorts, and slippers are the standard uniform :P

  89. In Israel I don’t think there are many shirtless men, at least not in the cities.

  90. Summer is a very scary time in England. The sun only needs to make one brief k-pop idol in sunglasses walking through an airport appearance and the guys go crazy. It’s like a race to see who can whip their top off and get a can of beer into their hand the quickest. Finish line is of course, the pub!

  91. Lasse Liltved


  92. I live in Texas and topless men are a normal sight here. My brother who is 12 years older than me (Im 29) is a big fluffy guy and has so much body hair ALL OVER that I actually braided his back hair once when I was a teenager, well he rolls his shirt up as well and slaps his stomach and picks belly button lint out of his navel. Growing up with a monkey man desensitised me to topless guys, so im like ehhh so what show your nipples I HAVE SEEN WORSE TRUST ME!!! oh and one time he put on a long hair braided wig and rolled up his shirt and pranced around outside and my neighbors gave him THE LOOK o_0 and he flipped his hair and in the most diva voice ever said “dont hate me cuz im beautiful!”

  93. I see shirtless people in the states ALL THE TIME!!! Even girls will go out with minimal clothing. It’s usually people running or going to the pool but everyone seems to jump at the chance to not wear clothes… Even the gross old men with big, hairy bellies. Ew! But on the more serious side, people really don’t care it they see shirtless people. It’s really just part of the culture. However they will take notice if a person shouldn’t not be wearing a top.

  94. Hmm reading all of these comments and about the bad air quality, I’m not sure I’ll visit unless I win in a free trip or something. hehe.

  95. Here in Finland people just don’t seem to care if they are shirtless or not. Especially if they are biking. I have no idea why, but biking + men + even a little bit of warmth is the ultimate combo for shirtlessness.
    I have even seen people inside stores without shirts, which boggles my mind (it is NOT hot inside the stores here, ever!). On the actual first “warm” day (it was about 18 degrees Celsius outside) I saw many men walking around shirtless in our town centre. Thank god our town is small, only about 20 000 people live here so the amount of men in the centre was rather small… But I didn’t think it was that warm yet!

  96. Just yesterday I was walking outside and almost naked man came towards me with only boxer shorts on…yhhh
    In Finland, when it’s summer men don’t usually walk all around shirtless in city centers but elsewhere they are not ashamed to show their skin… and especially old men are REALLY comfortable to be shirtless.

  97. NimmyG

    I didn’t know you could knit Martina! I can crochet but can’t knit… we should teach each other!

  98. I’m from australia but my parents are from vietnam, i dont know if anyone else has seen this but 3-5 people on a motorcycle…HOW THE EFFFFF i mean i’ve been on a motorcycle with 3 people when i was in vietnam but 5?!!!. It gets better they also carry furniture on the motorcycle like sometimes a whole mattress…yes a whole mattress how is it even possible. And when you cross the road in some parts of the country, don’t bother looking out for cars and whatnot just close your eyes and cross and they will avoid you.

  99. As far as I know there is not a connotation with Russian girls in Beijing. More than likely they misunderstood her German to be Russian.
    After seeing the “masks” that you were wearing in Beijing, I can totally understand why you got sick. Cloth masks don’t cut it here. If you’re sensitive, you need a FULL MASK with a filter and such. Looks a bit like Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear, but it works.
    And with the cab thing…what time were you trying to get a cab? You probably got it during a shift change or rush hour. Cabs absolutely will not take you during rush hour, because omg traffic.

  100. I live in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, and in summer, guys go around shirtless allllllllll the freaking time. Maybe I just live in bogan-ville.

    As for bad air, I went to Hong Kong a few years back in the middle of summer, and like you two, I literally died when I went outside. Even with a mask on, I had a headache, my throat was so dry and swollen and on top of that my eyes decided not to function anymore so I couldn’t see anything either… It sucked, it really did.

  101. come to India… here you’ll get a beautiful offer. shirtless drivers and really bad traffic! all together!!!

    i don’t know why i’m saying this with a sudden pride =.=

  102. Roseinyourface

    Actually, I was in Nepal two months ago, and it was almost the same, I couldn’t breathe properly, though the weather was supposed to be good, compared to how it usually is. As for being topless, in Egypt it’s not really banned for men to go topless in hot weather, but it’s just really really rare, except on the beach or something but that’s it. They almost never do it. Of course topless women is so out of the question here.

  103. I went to Beijing and Shangdong Province 6 years ago, what I experienced may not be relevant anymore though…
    The traffic in Beijing was just surprised the hell out of me. I was lucky enough to be chauffeured by “The BEST driver in Beijing. The BEST” (my host told me this every time the driver cut in front of another car, because getting to your destination fast = BEST apparently.) I thought this was just in Beijing and that other cities in China were perhaps not as aggressive, but Jinan was terrifying too. I remember walking up to a 6 lane road were my host in Jinan said that we were going to cross – not by the traffic lights, because “It’s safer to just cross here. No one stops at lights”. She had to hold my hand the entire way.
    Also, I’m not sure whether it’s still the same, but people went out of their way to avoid man holes. I asked about this and from the officials and I was told it was just superstition, but the locals would always say that it wasn’t safe to walk on them. There were also these different shaped bricks on the edges of the pavement that men would spit on.
    The staring gets worse in rural areas – I would often get asked to stop and have a photo taken of me. I remember going to a little place for breakfast once, I was too tall for the table and chairs, this sight coupled with me eating with chopsticks brought an audience pretty quick. Even the road maintenance guys stopped working to have a look. However, I never felt unsafe in my time there. I was shown around China for most of my time by political members so this did greatly effect how I was treated and what I was shown (I went to China as a young woman promoting youth politics). When I stayed with my host in Jinan I did notice that my experience of China changed drastically. In Qingdoa I also remember a lot of disabled children/young people/adults begging. No matter how much the officials tried to obscure our view of this, they couldn’t hide it from us because of the SHEER AMOUNT. There’s so much more I want to say about what I saw in China but it’s probably not appropriate. It’s a beautiful country, with wonderful people, but it is also a country that only shows and acknowledges it’s better qualities to foreign guests. I do hope you had a wonderful time there though. I wonder if there were any funny translations you remember or can share?

  104. Garru

    As an American, I was very surprised to learn that it is perfectly legal for women to go completely topless in New York City. However, I decided to do some research on the topic and found out that I didn’t know anything. The Topfreedom Act has been sweeping the nation in the past decade and it is legal for women to be topless in public in most states. In fact, only 3 states–being Utah, Tennessee and Indiana–have laws saying that it is 100% illegal for a woman to be topless in public. I am not sure they have something like this in Canada or not, but Swedan and Denmark both have similar initiatives in the works as well, being the Bara Bröst and Topless Front respectively. Needless to say, I don’t think you will be seeing any topless nudity in Korea outside of a Jjimjilbang.

    • I’m pretty sure it’s legal in Toronto. I remember being a kid when the law passed, and there were lots of demonstrations of toplessness on TV afterwards. It was a very interesting time to be a pubescent boy…

      • Garru

        I was guessing that there had to be something like that in Canada because it can be much more liberal than America on certain issues and I mean that in the best of ways! Haha

    • Yep! There’s definitely a woman who’s known for being topless all the time to promote awareness of the law, and I think Scout Willis recently did a whole thing with going topless in NYC to protest Instagram’s policies. That being said, I don’t plan on taking advantage of this law – ever.

  105. I have been to multiple cities both north, mid, and south of China several times for months at a time and I honestly don’t have a problem with the air quality. There’s no doubting that pollution does exist, but as a 20+ year old non-Chinese American having visited China, I nor my body have ever had a problem with the air quality. I can’t account for everyone including your experiences and reactions to the environment but it doesn’t seem to have the same effect for what it seems like a majority of people, including myself. I love China and have many friends over there and I just don’t want others to belittle them and think it’s nothing but a pile of pollution. I’m not being ignorant and saying it doesn’t have its problems, but it comes off a bit offensive that to make it seem like China can’t be entered without a gas mask. My experiences differ and I just wanted to share to some readers that not everyone’s body reacts the same way and you may not even notice the difference. I believe it’s more or less of a stigma that makes it seem worse than it actually is on occasion. However, I am by no means discrediting anyone’s personal reactions or experiences. I just wanted to give my own experience and let others know not everyone has the same experiences, good or bad. I’m a huge fan of EYK and I hope I didn’t come off crude, ignorant, etc.! Good luck on your future projects and here’s hoping to years of success!

  106. I live in Australia, in fact, I live in Queensland. So it’s really hot here. Men go shirtless all the time. Even old men. Like really old super wrinkly men. It’s gross. People don’t just not wear shirt’s at the park or whatever… some people don’t wear shirts to the supermarket or shopping centers. I will never understand.

  107. Guys. Guys. I created an account just to comment on this. I’ve been creepin on y’all for over a year now and here I am actively contributing to your community. wat. I’ve been living in China for a year, and I have much wisdom and mad opinions to share.

    1. Driving. Cars are WAY worse when you’re a pedestrian. Stoplights are only (suggestions) for cars– buses, scooters, bicycles, large trucks, tricycles with wooden pallets with $10000000 worth of computers strapped on do not pay attention to any traffic signals. Bikes and trikes often drive on the wrong side of the road, and when you step out in front of them to your imminent doom, they act like it’s your fault… But after walking everywhere for a while and nearly dying every 6 minutes, you learn that riding in a taxi and nearly mowing down all the weaklings on the sidewalk is empowering. Did you notice the taxis driving like they were in a video game? The manhole covers in China are notoriously iffy (so much so that people won’t step on them in case they’ll fall through), so some taxis will swerve around them in the street. It can be slightly nauseating, since the Chinese aren’t great with city planning and as such have an excessive number of manholes pocking their streets…

    2. The skyline? The buildings in Beijing are bigger and the streets are quite wide, so there is an odd feeling of space in such a crowded place. But let it be known, whether the sidewalk is 3 feet across or 12, two Chinese people walking side by side will take up the ENTIRE sidewalk. The space is an illusion… China is trying really hard to market itself as a world power, and much of that comes with appearance. Everything in China is about appearance. I think that’s where the funky buildings come in– they want to show the West that China is just as modern as Sydney or New York and can compete on the world stage, but more importantly, they want to show the Chinese that they don’t have to leave to attain an international standard of luxury and power. Did you notice how dirty the buildings are, though?? That’s the first thing I noticed when I visited Seoul. Many of the buildings were the same age or older, but SO MUCH CLEANER.

    Which brings me toooooooo
    3. The air! Believe it or not, the time you were here, the pollution was pretty nice! We look at the air quality index put out by the US government, which measures the particulate in the air. AQI measures pollutants like O3, pm10, and, most significantly, pm2.5. The “pm” stands for particulate matter, and the number following is the diameter in micrometers of the particles (Sorry if you know all this already). Pm2.5 is the most insidious because these particles are nearly the size of gases, small enough to go deep into the lungs, potentially crossing the thin barrier into the bloodstream and causing organ failure. You need extra special vented 3M masks to protect yourself properly from the particles; regular over-ear dust masks do pretty much nothing to protect you. Naturally, none of the proper masks are available at Chinese stores, so you have to order them online. Just be glad you didn’t come during January or February– the AQI was over 600 then! You couldn’t see across the street. Imagine not seeing the sun for 4 months. Worst. Winter. Ever.

    4. Staring. I live pretty close to the big student area, where there are tons of young foreigners, so people should be used to people with blonde hair. But alas, the old men stare at me every day on my walk to work. I do not have pink hair, nor sleeves of tattoos. I’m pretty average, but they still stare at me every day, turn and watch me walk down the street, stop in my way on the sidewalk and gape. And they’re not wearing expressions of fascination or excitement or concern or fear or anything. They’re staring at me as they would a potted plant, just for much much longer than necessary. It makes me so uncomfortable. And when I yell at them to stop, they just laugh and point and continue staring. My male friends say when they catch people staring, the perpetrators will look away quickly and pretend not to have noticed them, but apparently they don’t back down for girls. Ugh.

    5. Black taxis are pretty sketch. Mostly because they’re so expensive, but they sometimes try to extort you, too. They’ll drive you halfway and then not let you out until you agree to give them more money. The tuktuks do that, too, actually. That said, I have taken a black taxi before and everything turned out a-ok. Sometimes they’re your only option! It helps to be firm and to speak a bit of Chinese. And to be sober. Regular taxis aren’t always honest, either. You have to make sure you have exact change or close to it because if you hand them 100rmb expecting change, they might pull a switch and take your real bill and swap it out for a counterfeit, then yell at you for trying to pay with fake money. Then you take out another 100rmb and your 20 kuai taxi ride becomes 120. Bu hao. Or they might just not have change. They’re not so good with preparedness here.

    The food is quite good here, but I’d take Korean hygiene and personal consideration over anything Chinese any day. I’m glad you didn’t get spat on while you were here… I awake every morning to the echoes of my across-the-hall neighbor hocking a fat loogie. Did you even get to see babies defecating in the street??


    Well I think for shirtlessness in Germany it’s similar to other western countries. You’re shirtless if it’s way too hot outside (at least for males). I think the mindset is similar to when you guys went for that road trip during monsoon season and nobody scolded you for going inside of the shop barefoot.
    For females it’s just the same antiquated misogynistic idea (that if you show too much skin, you’re a slut and a whore) all over again. However, I occasionally see girls go out in like a bathing suit (not a bikini) while wearing a skirt. Those huge summer dresses that look like trash bags with floral print with floral print are way more popular though. Shorts (no hot pants!) and a t-shirt is probably the standard summer attire.
    I can’t speak for entire Germany though, since I’m from a region that’s usually considered archconservative (fuck you too bavaria)

  109. Victoria

    Sounds like you guys had a pretty typical experience in Beijing. My mom is from there and we still have family that we visit every two years or so. Last time I went was July last year and I felt the same way you did.
    Yes, the air is absolutely horrible! You weren’t exaggerating at all. I felt like I lost five years of life after spending three weeks there last summer. I might as well have been smoking.
    The funny thing about the traffic is that even though everyone drives horrendously, I’ve never seen a single car accident. Yet today I was driving down the 401 to Toronto on a cloudless sunny day and I saw three consecutive accidents. The biggest jam I’ve ever been in in Beijing was when I was riding the bus and we were stuck at an intersection for ten minutes because everyone decided to turn at once and no one was willing to let someone else go before them.
    Speaking of the bus, I think the public transport in Beijing has been their best accomplishment. When we visit, we never take taxis of any sort because every part of the city that we wanted to go was accessible by bus or subway. And it was also really easy and cheap. We had those cards you load with money and swipe them when we board. Bus fare is usually 0.40 RMB, which is about $0.07 in Canadian dollars. Students get 0.20 RMB as a discounted price. I think subway was 2.00 RMB per trip? This was only effective for me because I was with people who read and speak Chinese and kinda knew their way around.
    And when you guys said that you saw a lot of foreigners, you might’ve been on the east side of the city, where a lot of international embassies are located. Most foreigners work there and live there. I usually stayed on the west side and I hardly see any foreigners. They are everywhere in typical tourist areas though.
    This is my first post here and it’s getting long but I have to write this here. Did you guys notice the spitting? That’s one of the things I notice most when I go. The stomach exposing thing doesn’t bother me at all compared to this. A friend told me a funny story about how she bought a bird that can learn to imitate sounds and speak. She’d leave the bird in its cage on the balcony when she’s at work. One day she comes back and hears someone spitting. Then she finds out that it was the bird that was imitating spitting sounds it hears from passerbys on the street XD

  110. I live in China, and yes the shirtless/half top men showing their belly is everywhere. As for pollution I feel your pain, my city is actually worse than Beijing (Hurray most polluted city in the world!). It’s crazy but this time it’s actually better. Winter was horrible. As for being asked about being american thats only happened once. Same with Russian, most people here just assume I’m English. However, a friend of mine lived further north and was always asked if she was Russian, and if she was up for some.. Uhmm sexy time. So the connection is there depending on where you are I suppose.

    Taxis are interesting. And so are the traffic. The way it works here (in the city I live) is that only going straight is regulated by the lights, while you can still turn into places even with a red light. And yes lanes are guidelines at best. And nothing is more terrifying than a taxi trying to hurry through rush traffic.

  111. A friend’s son who came back from Beijing to visit the States (He’s an American who’s been there for about 10 years) , went to visit the doctor to have some medical tests run. After his c-scan, the doctor asked if he was a smoker, cause he had smoker lungs. This guy has never ever smoked once! Once he explained he was visiting from Beijing, that explained it all to the doctor

  112. Nina

    I’m Chinese, so I’ve been to China quite a bit. Yes, the traffic in Beijing is terrible as well as Shanghai, but the smaller provinces have less traffic. If you two ever go back to China, seriously consider going to this place called “Jiu Zhai Gou” It is gorgeous. It is in the country so the air is fresh. Best of all. ALMOST NO MOSQUITOES. Anyway, YES THE SHIRTLESS OLD MEN ARE EVERYWHERE. Even some of my relatives in China just sit around sometimes drinking a beer or smoking a cigarette. It’s still cringe-worthy to see, but you get used to it. The weird things is that they all look the same. The typical old man with a balding scalp, wearing a thin white tank and sandals. Why. Just no. Visit Shanghai! It is a busy city, but there is so much to see and do. Riding the rickshaws there was the best thing ever, especially at night, when the city is literally alive. The malls have like 10 floors. Oh and the ferry rides are so gorgeous at night and so exhilarating.
    There was this experience in Beijing that made me hate the trip that year. We were on our way to eat Beijing’s specialty: Fried duck (so good). The ride was supposed to only take around 15 minutes. However that wasn’t the case. I literally took a two hour long nap before we got there. It might have been because everyone was getting off work at that time, but the traffic was horrible. The car was moving a millimeter every three minutes. Never again. *cries*

  113. Ms. D

    Shirtless men are every everywhere in the US! Running, mowing the lawn, walking, standing in line at Six Flags….everywhere. My foreign exchange student from Korea freaks out! Literally, starts freaking out and says that they must be crazy! She really thinks that’s creepy! So now its summer and she is in Korea with her family so everytime I see a guy with his shirt off outside I take a picture and post it on her Facebook page! Its so fun! (But nothing beats the time my son came out of his room in his underwear…best.moment.ever!)

  114. abbygurl08

    Hi Simon and Martina! I’ve been watching your videos for a while but this is the first time I decided to comment :) When it comes to crazy driving, Morocco definitely comes to mind for me. Over half the people on the roads are driving mopeds and I swear they are fearless! Once I was watching from the side of the road as a giant bus was backing up and a whole slew of mopeds drove right behind it. They didn’t even slow down, but I swear they missed that bus by centimeters. The worst part, however, was when we were driving down the highway. All the cars would drive down the center of the road and it was like a game of chicken to see who would move over first when you had to pass each other.
    And Colombia was pretty crazy too! I was visiting my aunt in Bogotá and there is a highway that goes around the entire city, except it’s only one lane so people just drive down the highway against traffic. My aunts family actually genuflected every time we got on the highway. Also, they call the buses there “Borradores” which essentially means erasers in english. This is because if a bus hits you, you will be “erased.” When we drove out of the city, there were piles of headlights stacked up at every intersection from every accident that had occurred there. It made me extremely thankful for the driving laws in America! Also, here in Connecticut not many people walk around shirtless, but a lot of people who work out (guys and girls) don’t wear shirts. Girls of course wear sports bras. I think one of the reasons is that it gets extremely humid here, to the point where it feels like you’re swimming. I could be in an air-conditioned supermarket and still sweat!

  115. dana.robot

    Yeah I live in China and I can confirm your experience with crazy traffic, deathly pollution, and OH the bellies! About the black taxi thing: they’re illegal/unregistered taxis that will overcharge the crap out of anyone who doesn’t know better. My first experience with them, I had just got off the train back to Beijing and they were coming up to me asking where I’m going. Luckily, I had heard about them and I knew how much it should cost to get back to where I was staying at the time so I kept saying no and waited in line for the legitimate taxis! He wanted to charge me more than twice the real price! Also, I heard even the real taxis might try to overcharge foreigners but they don’t do that in the small city where I live. But in Beijing just take the subway! It’s the best! The rickshaws are fun and convenient too for short trips. :)

  116. Cristal.V

    LOL!! Mind palaces, gotta love the Brits. Sherlock Holmes for life!!

  117. karma1780

    My friend spent a summer in Nanjing and told me that in addition to hitting her head on every doorframe, light fixture, and anything else that hung below 5″7″, Chinese men, (especially older ones) have no qualms about doing things we Westerners consider gross like excessive farting, spitting, scratching their butts, etc. As she was once quoted as saying “Chinese guys don’t care, they’ll be nasty all they want.” [Insert "you so nasty" joke here]

  118. My uncle from Shanghai came here for a holiday once and for some wacko reason my mum let him drive me to school one day… It was terrible! He kept driving in the middle of the road and out of the lanes ;A; we got lots of honks.. and we also had to teach him how to turn on the indicator >.< ugh

  119. LovelyFantasy

    Oh my gosh, Martina mentioned mind palaces! Sherlock reference?? Yes? Maybe? Just me? *hides in corner*

  120. I am sure there are many guys who are shirtless on mainland Australia but in Tassie not so much. it is usually too cold for shirtlessness here, you do see some guys in those really loose tank tops with their nipples hanging out during summer (although that is in town, head to the beaches and you will be bombarded by shirtless men). Then again in Tasmania you never really know what the weather is going to be like, seriously it is not uncommon to have all four seasons in one day no matter what the actual season is.
    The air quality in Tas is really good compared to the mainland and since the air quality wasn’t mentioned in the Australia TL;DR I am guessing the Aussie air quality isn’t bad.

  121. deebolah

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha, I knew you guys were going to comment on the traffic!!! But seriously, having been to both China and India, the latter triumphs the former in horrible traffic.

    If you really want to go to Beijing again, I suggest going back during the early winter. The air pollution is still bad but due to the dryness of the cold, you don’t smell the poisonous gases and other funky stuff. Plus, you get to warm up with steamboat! The Chinese loooooove to have steamboat and they offer a ton of ingredients for you to add into your pot. I hope you guys will get to go back for pleasure because you must-must-must-must!!! visit the Forbidden Palace!! It’s so huge you gotta dedicate like an entire day to explore its ‘mysteries’, ha!

    Martina! You should definitely go down to Silk Road for all your shopping. They have EVERYTHING there. Although most of them are imitation goods, they’re still rather good in quality. But you gotta remember to bargain-bargain-bargain. The Chinese love to charge really high prices foreigners so if the lady says 100 yuan, say 50 yuan!

    Kinda disappointed there was no Singapore VS Korea TL:DR though (sad face!). I would love to hear your comments on what’s good and bad in both countries and what they can learn from each other, since I’m a Singaporean, teehee :D

  122. Infinitylulu

    I really wish that you could visit Shanghai, because it’s really different from Beijing. The air is better, and it would be nice to for you guys to compare the similarities and differences. Also, Shanghai has some of best tourist attractions (more modern ones), and the food is also amazing. Hope you guys could visit one day!

  123. i have been to china many times.
    YES THE AIR QUALITY SUCKS <- thats why i only go sept-oct or early march when the weather and air quality is at its best.
    traffic laws- THERE IS NONE. but i learn to accept this. i actually think the drivers at china are best considering there are no traffic laws. i have experienced many crazy drivers in china but I yet to been in a car crash.

    if u guys want to visit china again. visit SHANGHAI. it is the new york of china. best building. VERY modern. BEST shopping… however A LOT i mean A LOT of ppl… 

  124. Lullaby

    My aunt is Chinese and my uncle lived in China for about 9 years before moving to Korea. My aunt misses China a lot, but one thing she has said is that the communities were very welcoming to her when she moved. Really excited to be visiting in July and I am hoping the coffee shop will be open when I come.

  125. yeah I figured something out.. I’d like to be able to edit my comments, jajaja it posted the first time around before I finished and then I thought i was editing turned out that i was answering my half-post. oh well… so in short can there be a comment editing option added somehow? I’m shorry guyz!!! I’m not really complaining, just putting out a suggestion.. I loves you!!

  126. Sheii22

    Here in Perú is not really common to see man shirtless, though nobody cares really xDD
    Also, here all kind of public transportations (busses, taxis) are crazy, like seriously!!! they go up the sidewalk, don’t respect the red light, don’t let the pedestrians cross the street calmy, it’s horrible u.u

  127. I actually got into one of those black cars once when I got off the train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. They were super super pushy (we just couldn’t get away and they literally pushed us into the car) and were poaching people from inside the station itself. Maybe it was my paranoia, but I thought if they don’t take us to the right place, I’m opening the door and jumping out. I don’t care, I want to live! The ride was expensive and he kept trying to convince us to stay at some hotel. We were fortunate, but my mum’s friend actually got mugged. Pretty scary stuff!

  128. so speaking from experience in both US and Mexico. Mexico wins in male shirtlessness, though US wins in women randomly washing their cars wearing bikinis at fund raising car washes as well as just in front of their house.
    So first Male shirtlessness: In the US you might see some men wearing just their trunks at the beach or at the pool or maybe in front of their house, but rarely out and about in the city. On the

    • so speaking from experience in both US (specifically the golden state for 20years) and Mexico(the past 5). Mexico wins in male shirtlessness, though US wins in women randomly washing their cars wearing bikinis at fund raising car washes as well as just in front of their house.
      So first Male shirtlessness: In the US you might see some men wearing just their trunks at the beach or at the pool or maybe in front of their house, but rarely out and about in the city. In Mexico though… I have no words for the assault on my eyes everyday just walking around in historical downtown part of the city *I live there! so everything is so so close and so so noisy and incredibly polluted and yet I won’t change it for anything in the world.* so anyways as I was saying yeah my eyes they be ready to fall off after a day of walking… because the people that are shirtless are usually >60years old with big beer bellies… the young’uns are actually less likely to be shirtless.

      And as for women in bikinis washing cars in public (not what you asked but just something I noticed) ok so yeah in mexico you don’t see that. In the US many of my neighbours were fond of Saturday morning car washing with the skimpiest bikinis ever…this was also something my eyes weren’t fond of seeing. oh lord. I’m not a prude but I swear some of these girls wore what looked like two sizes too small bikinis.

  129. I’m from Wisconsin and during the summer you’ll see many guys going shirtless when it gets really hot out, and they’re never good looking usually older fat guys or just really skinny guys. Traffic in Beijing sounds so horrible compared to the time my dad and I went to Chicago, traffic sucked there >-< but I'm sure it's nothing compared to Beijing's I would be clinging on for dear life if I was there. -.-'

  130. I was warned about those black cars as well when I was touring in China, although I never personally came across one. Our tourist guide told us that they usually prey on tourists or foreigners who don’t know anything and pretend to be like normal taxis. But those “black cars” are basically scammers who charge people a lot of money. And if you refuse to pay afterwards, apparently they get a whole lot of people to surround you and actually threaten you to pay or they’ll hurt you. Our tourist guide also said that sometimes they “recommend” places for you to go, like restaurants and hostels, and actually take you there. But all those places are basically in cahoots with the “black cars” and again, charge you a lot of money and threaten you if you refuse to pay up. All of this sounds pretty scary and I’m not sure whether it’s exaggerated or not, but that’s what I’ve been told by our tourist guide and even some of my relatives who live in China.
    And YES, the driving is a nightmare wherever you go in China. I was scared for my life the first time I was there. The lanes and traffic lights are practically there for no reason, and indicating and wearing seatbelts is optional and almost non-existant. But I’ve got to say, Chinese drivers may be reckless and dangerous but they’re paradoxically skillful (I can hear all your protests already). They can squeeze the car through the smallest gaps I’ve ever seen. There was this one time where I was in Guangzhou with my family after flying back from Shanghai. It was past midnight at that time and the fog outside was ridiculous. It was basically like walking through cloud, and when I was on the plane, I didn’t even know we were that close to the ground until the plane had already touched the ground because I couldn’t see a thing outside. I was so scared when our taxi driver decided to drive through the fog. I’m not even exaggerating now, but the fog was so thick that you couldn’t even see the lights of the car in front of you until you were only three metres behind it. Most of the cars on the road just parked on the side and left their emergency lights blinking. It wasn’t a very nice experience at all, but at least we all got back safely. I now believe in a God and I thank him.

  131. On Shirtless-ness in Korea: When I was there a couple years ago, I kept noticing guys in groups lifting up their shirts and slapping each other on the stomach! This didn’t happen just once or twice either it was pretty often. It was the middle of the summer in Seoul on busy streets and everything! Modesty my tooshie.
    I asked one of my Korean friends about it and he said it was just a “gym rat” thing.

  132. itsdenisenotdennis

    I’ve been to a couple parts of China, i.e Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shen Zhen and so far I’ve had a great time! Although, I do agree that the air can be quite musky and unpleasant. The driving there is terrible though I can’t even cross the road without praying. However my trip to Beijing was memorable! The shopping district is so lively and exciting ♥ I’m also surprised that some teens in beijing could speak english! (I don’t speak chinese very well) I definitely agree that the food and architecture is  (ノ ˘з˘ )ノ beautiful and I loveee rickshaws! I can’t wait to go back there again ^^

    Also, I love the food in Guangzhou a whole lot. The dimsum there is to die forrr. ;-; and since I live in Australia, there is the occasional shirtless guy but they’re often quite buff. So I guess it isn’t a problem? ヾ(❛ε❛“)ʃ

  133. b2utiful--starlight

    I live in Texas, guys are shirtless all the time, but mostly men who I’d rather not see shirtless, unfortunately. Also a bonus, I live in a small town somewhat close to Houston, but drive 3-4 hours and you’ll get to Austin where it is apparently legal for a woman to be topless too. I visit Austin a lot though and I have never seen a woman topless, so I doubt it happens often, if at all.

  134. Migee

    Try driving in the Philippines! DRIVERS ARE CRAZY HERE. Especially when it comes to public transport (like jeepneys and busses). They’ll stop whenever they want, they’ll cut in lanes whenever they want… It drives me crazy! Sometimes our version of rickshaws (aka pedicabs) go the wrong direction in one way lanes, so when you cross a one way street look both ways just in case. I remember watching a documentary on National Geographic and the narrator said that driving in Manila is the worst he’s ever experienced :)))

    MANY SHIRTLESS MEN HERE TOO, and I don’t mean the good kind. Whenever I walk to school I see guys walking around showing of their beer belly :))) It’s not a fun sight to see :)))

  135. Wish


  136. TeawithDemons

    You guys should do a TL;DR on what its like for foreigners who come to Korea perhaps to study and how hard it is to try and find work. I remember you mentioning something about having to hire a certain amount of Korean workers before you could hire foreigners. Thanks.

  137. Note to self: add “Go to Korea and teach Martina to crochet at the coffee shop!” to bucket list.

    Note to self: make a bucket list.

  138. I live in the midwest USA (Ohio) and you’ll see guys without shirts at like, a swimming pool, or occasionally while jogging or running for a sport or something. Aaaand you get the occasional older dude mowing in the middle of the day in shorts and sandals wearing sunglasses and it’s not pleasant. Haha.

    Martina, I can teach you how to crochet! It’s really fun! :D

  139. I would love to be your guide when you’re here in K-town. Love you <3 :)

  140. zardie

    I have noticed people in beijing will stare at foreigners even if they are in normal clothes looks etc. I have caught many people sneaking pictures of me. I have noticed that it is mostly older people, however there have been a few people who have come up to me and asked if they could take a picture and they are actually from other parts of china and they were new to/visiting beijing. I actually found that when I went to places outside of beijing (xian for this example) people kinda shameless with the staring. I talked with some of them and they said that it is very rare to see a foreigner. Another thing that could have something to do with the staring is that martina has blonde hair and that is like super mega rare in China. I have had friends that were blonde (and even some redheads) and they were often asked by people if they could touch their hair. I think it is a luck thing, but I am not completely sure. The smog never really effected me that bad, but it had a very bad effect on my austrian friend. She had a lot of breathing issues. Luckily my mom sent me with some hardcore masks. I CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK IN THE FALL!

    • puavelcatsyuk

      Yeah Beijingers/Chinese people in general do tend to stare at or be fascinated by anything remotely uncharacteristic of Chinese people even if you are Chinese haha. When I was little, I used to have people come up to me in the streets and tug at my eyelashes, and they would ask my parents if they were real since they are pretty long and such… But I’m glad that you can’t wait to go back despite some shortcomings the city has! :)

    • I had some classmates (American) who went to China before and IIRC they went outside the big cities once to some smaller areas and were the first white people those people had ever seen.

    • karma1780

      My aunt used to work for some big company or another and had to do a lot of international travel as a result. When she and her blonde haired, blue eyed self went to China in 1996 people would offer her money to take photos of her as if she was a celebrity. Interestingly, she said the same things about Korea as well. Since she was staying in Seoul when this happened, I was rather surprised.

  141. Hi guys! Can you make a TL;DR on conscription in Korea? I always thought you get conscripted when you finish your education but most idols don’t study and yet they don’t get conscripted. Can you choose when will you do your service? Is there any age limit? Also according to wikipedia (most reliable source ever) the wages are very low. What happens when the enlisted person is the only breadwinner of the family? Can you get enlisted then?

  142. puavelcatsyuk

    I visit Beijing every two years during the summer since most of my family lives there. I used to go a lot during the winter when I was in elementary school since I had the time, and personally, it was worse in the winter than the summer for me. Yes, the air quality is really bad, especially during the day and in the summertime with the annoying humidity and crap, but it never really affected us in terms of being able to breathe, and we never got sick from the air. In the winter, however, it was literally so frigid every time that I went, and everyone would come back home with terrible coughs. The last time I went in the winter, I think I even got lips full of cold sores and some near my eyes, but I never got nearly as sick as my parents.

    Regarding driving, we never had a cab driver that would just randomly swerve in and out of lanes, but that’s probably because we only use cabs for relatively shorter distances in circumstances where it’s illogical to walk because of the air/heat but only one subway stop away. We rarely ever used cabs to travel long highway distances; the subway was better for that, albeit crowded. I will say, however, that drivers with their own cars tend to be extremely agitated for lack of a better word. I was taking a road trip with my uncle driving the car, and he almost reached about 100 mph (or I guess around 160 km/h) and he would just randomly swerve all over the place to the point where, yes, the lines become art. It was a pretty bad experience considering that my grandma and him got in a huge argument about it afterwards…

    Also, I don’t know if this bothered you guys, but depending on where you stayed (since you stayed in the Chaoyuan/Soho district I don’t know if this applies as much), I always notice people, especially the middle-aged/older ones, spitting in the streets. They make this weird gargling noise before doing so, and I never fail to get weirded out. -.-|| And pretty much almost all of the male population (not trying to be sexist here, just my observations) smoked and it smelled awful. In some places like where my grandparents live, the plumbing systems also tend to get really smelly too. Smoke + Sewage = not a happy experience.

    TL;DR Winter was worse for me in Beijing than the summertime. Also, some of the habits/way things are taken care of over there would definitely not be accepted by some North American standards.

    At least in Beijing, they don’t go shirtless in the winter.

  143. i went to two parts of china back in 2007…beijing and manzhouli…i guess at the time the air quality in beijing was much better because we didn’t have to wear any masks or whatsoever…the weather was sunny and cool and we took the opportunity of walking from our hotel to the nearby markets and historic places…it was pretty cold when we paid a visit to the great wall but it was a great day and air quality was excellent…and then we went to manzhouli which is a part of china that is close to the border of russia and also mongolia…the city is just full of colour, i mean literally…the buildings were painted with all sorts of bright colour, i felt like i was in oz or carebear land…and there were a lot of people from russia and mongolia living and working there, too…we also met some russians who were able to speak chinese…manzhouli was definitely a lively city especially at night…i remember as we were walking around, we came across a huge group of people in a big court-like area doing some aerobics/dancing, and we decided to join in…it was so much fun and plus it was nighttime so we didn’t perspire that much…i will never be able to explain my trip to beijing and manzhouli in full detail, but it was such a great experience…

  144. Thanks for doing a China/Korea comparison video! I’ve lived/will be living in Xi’an, China, for awhile, and watching your videos really made me wonder how the two nations differed.
    To add on to “hunnykora’s” recent comment, I have been told about the cases of assault and abduction that “black” taxi drivers are said to have had committed. While I’m sure some of the drivers are honest people who just want to make a little money, the less sensational problem with “black” taxis (and mopeds/motorcycles, which are more common in Xi’an), is that they have no meter to calculate a fare, and charge more. But yes, they are obviously shady.
    Hats off to you guys for mentioning the weird shirt thing men with beer bellies enjoy doing. I’m glad to know someone shared in my horrified surprise.
    About China’s pollution: there is no denying that it is an incredible problem. But, having been to Beijing, I can confidently say that this is not always the case in other parts of China. Xi’an, the last two times I went, wasn’t that bad (you could even see the sky!!!!) The app “China Air Quality Index” tells me if it’s safe to go outside and such. If you guys ever go back to Beijing consider downloading it. It had two readings for Beijing: that of the official government’s meter and that of the U.S. Consulate. Need I say that there’s a discrepancy?
    Lastly, I’d like to mention the Russian thing: The first time I went to China, people were always calling me Russian and I had no idea what it meant. Now I do. I’m surprised your German friend hadn’t heard of it? Then again, as a pale, blond girl, I kind of fit the image. Ergh.
    Thanks so much for your video!

  145. Kalhie

    Oh god I agree so much to each and every point you make in this TL/DR. I have been in China 4 times (in several cities also, I travel for work) AND in Bangladesh. And let me tell you… the driving in Daca is absolutely THE WORST DRIVING IN THE HISTORY OF EARTH. A lot of traffic, a lot of horns, a lot a lot a lot of everything that should belong in nigthmares. You can take 2 hours to move 10 kms, I kid you not.
    The pollution in China is also quite an issue. Fortunately, I do not suffer any disease, not even headaches so I can get along quite well. But boy is it shocking to be there. The first summer I was there, I literally did not see the blue of the sky in 3 weeks.
    And finally, if there is one thing I have learned about chinese people is that they do not care at all about what other people might think (with 1.35 billion people, you have to do this if you don’t want to lose it), so it explains why they go around shirtless in summertime. I understand, though. Summer in China can be quite a unique and sweaty experience. If I was a dude I would seriously consider it.

  146. i hear from people that driving in china and Korea, pretty much that side of the worldd, is bad. but i think driving in the states is also bad. people never use signals or look where they are going. The fast lane mean nothing to the person driving 60 on a 75 if not slower. hahah but nothing is as bad as driving around semi trucks!!!!!

  147. Kezikai1297

    Shocking to hear about the air quality! I mean, I’ve heard many times that it’s bad but didn’t realize it wasn’t an exaggeration.

  148. hunnykora

    i made an account just so i could comment on this tldr haha. although i don’t live in beijing, i’ve been a couple of times on the way to see family, and i have friends who live there. mainly i just wanted to say that the black cabs are really a thing and are really scary. like the drivers are really shady and there have been a pretty significant number of cases of women getting attacked/sexually assaulted and things like that. imo, rickshaws/subway are a better way to get around, but i’m speaking from experience of living in shanghai for a month, not beijing, so it might not apply.

  149. …Purist water I have wanted co-co-co-Cowayeeeee~ah!!!!

  150. Soeheng90

    I haven’t been to Beijing before, but I have been to the more Southern part of China, Guangdong, and I had no problem with the air or anything. It was also during the Summer time like August or September, so maybe the yellow dust past already? I have also been to Hong Kong a lot more during the Summer and never had any trouble with the air.
    On another note about the shirtlessness of men, I think it depends on the culture and situation of the country. I’m from a third world country and it is pretty much normal to see shirtless men.

  151. me.ninjakitty

    I live in China and the city I live in has apartment buildings that look exactly alike. One area is so bad that a taxi drive will just drop you off in the centre of the apartment complex and from there you need to figure out which building is the one you want. There could be 20 apartment buildings that look the same….
    Driving in China is certainly crazy, being in a taxi in morning peak hour is not one of my favourite things.

  152. irritablevowel

    Black cabs sound like Gypsy Cabs, which are illegal, unlicensed taxis. Basically someone sticks a sign in their window, and start driving people around for a fee. You see Gypsy cabs in Chicago sometimes, more so in New York (in the words of Jay Z, “Yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back”).

  153. RudeMinnesotan

    Shirtless-ness in Korea: I do not want it to happen lol. While kpop idols may have amazing bods I doubt if half of the male population here in Korea is like that as well. Most of them seem to just be extremely skinny… No from what I have noticed about kpop idols… They have weird looking nipples. (Ie: Minho from SHINee. They look like pepperoni)
    In “my country” aka ‘Merica. Where I grew up with my dad never wearing his shirt at home. I am pretty sure as a child I was like, “why doesn’t everyone just not wear tops???? Whyyyy?” Because I was an adorable clueless child.

    Lastly: AAHHHH MY COMMENT!!!! I said it on FB I will say it here: woke me up in 2.5 seconds and made my day ^^ I will totally come to your cafe to craft… As long as you have juice offerings (I’m not a coffee or tea person ㅠ.ㅠ)

  154. Crystal_Crown

    Hearing you guys talk about Beijing’s driving skills… makes me understand why Hong Kong ppl are so pissed that the government are letting mainland chinese drive in HK. Anyways mainland cars have the driver seat on the left, while HK cars have driver seat on the right. this will totally mess up HK’s traffic system. I haven’t been to Beijing, but I have been to Chimelong… and the air wasn’t really bad. But then again… that was four years ago.

    • another thing I noticed in China is that traffic lights are like suggestion. They suggest you stop, and even one way streets you have to look both ways lol. In China it’s always the bigger cars fault. If a person is hit, it is the car’s fault, if a bike in car hit, car’s fault, if car and bus hit, the bus is at fault, if truck and bus hit then….

  155. wow, I’m glad you had fun in China. Next time have Beijing duck, it’s really amazing. And they do a lot of food entertainment performances flinging noodles and the like. One thing about the black cabs, I wouldn’t take them alone for fear of being driven into a trap lol, but overall if you have more then one person, they usually get you to where you wanna go, at a negotiated price. The thing about them is, you need prior knowledge of where you’re going. If you know going to a restaurant costs 30 RMB in a regular cab, a black cab will offer you 25 RMB to get some business, but a lot of times, people have no knowledge of where they wanna go, and the black cab driver will know this, so instead of paying 30 RMB to that restaurant you end up paying 60!

  156. im going to guangzhou on june 30 … is there any tips you guys can give me when i go to guangzhou? oh and do they have etude house?

    • If you’re looking for etude house products, I suggest you be careful because fake beauty products are literally everywhere. It’s very difficult trying to find legit products, I find, and the last time I was in Guangzhou I almost got tricked too (with another brand, Soap&Glory). As for anything in particular you have to be careful about… I can’t really think of anything.

    • It would probably be a good idea to check the Etude House website store locator to tell where it is sold for sure.

    • You should check the Etude House store locator. It tells you exactly where they have stores (or booths in department stores or malls). That way you can be sure.

  157. Woah! Beijing air sounds so intense! In Australia(melbourne) in summer, you can see many shirtless men, regardless of age and women can wear crop tops, shorts and thongs. This is normally when its really hot or near a beach though ^^

  158. I’m from the Caribbean island Curaçao and you don’t usually see people shirtless walking around here. If you do it’s one of 3 things:
    1.Tourists! Lol They can’t handle the heat and think we all wanna see their nipples :s spoiler: we don’t!
    2.On extremely hot days driving through your neighbourhood you might see old men on their porches or what not shirtless so neighbourhood ahjussi’s basically.
    3. Thug gangsta people if you’re in THAT neighbourhood. Caution: Drive away fast cause they’re scaryyyy.

  159. I pretty much grew up in Beijing since I lived there for 11 years. Taxis in Beijing generally try to rip-off foreigners and tourists, because they assume that the visitors have no idea where they are going. By taking them in circles or a longer route, the taxis’ meter would actually collect more mileage and as a result more money. The so called “black” taxis in China are cars that especially aim towards picking up foreigners. These black taxis don’t have an accurate meter, and they charge you whatever they like, in other words, ridiculously high prices. Generally, everyone tries to avoid black taxis; however, during desperate times like when you have been standing in the pouring rain for hours without any luck, then black taxis may be an option to consider. Anyway, just know that “black” taxis in China are rip-offs, so try to avoid them as much as possible.

  160. In Vancouver, BC we have Wreck Beach, which is a nude beach. Most shirtlessness is limited to beachy areas (of which there are quite a few, being on the pacific ocean and all) but men will do this when it gets hot pretty much anywhere.

  161. Boys here in Spain feel free to take their shirts off in summer, but only if they are around the beach… But they will show you their abs if they can -.-, also is common of girls to show their belly (this summer that is very fashionable) and cleavage.

  162. exoverdosex

    I personally haven’t been to either Korea or China, but a friend of mine lived in both places. She told me that for the year that she lived in Korea, the driving was a relief to her, and that she wished it could be that way in China. And also, the pollution level in Korea was much lower, in her opinion. She has cystic fibrosis, so breathing was hard enough for her, and the pollution in China made it really hard, and even caused her to have lung cancer once. She was even born and raised in China and still had problems there with traffic, air quality, as well as other things. I guess it depends who you ask.

  163. Shelby Grow

    it is pretty common in the U.S., I live in a small town in Washington State and whenever it’s like 55 degrees fahrenheit; which happens rarely because it rains 9 months out of the year here, but all the time see men working outside with their shirts off and its not pretty.

  164. I am heading to China TOMORROW, so I can’t tell you what it’s like yet, but I will update you in like, a week yea? Great TL;DR peoples!

  165. JessyNedelchev

    Nobody really gives a frick-frack about modesty here in Bulgaria. Especially if it’s summer! I don’t particularly do it, but guys will take their shirts off if they feel hot.. in both ways, because most of the time they don’t really do it to cool them selves down, but rather to attract girls. :D

  166. senen_11

    Ok, so hopefully i’ll be going to study Chinese in China next year as an exchange student. I am aware that it’ll probably be the best for me to go to Beijing since Standard Chinese is based on the language of Beijing. But, the crazy pollution there is totally making me not want to go there. My other option is going to Hangzhou Zhejiang University.Hangzhou is famous for their West lake, beautiful natural scenery and is way less polluted compared to Beijing. However in Hangzhou, they speak standard Chinese with their own regional accents. Since i want to become a Chinese teacher in the future, I’m so conflicted in what to do. Any suggestions?

    p.s Im not a native Chinese.

    • While I’m not sure how mandarin is spoken in Hangzhou and whether or not it carries a strong accent, I suggest you should go there instead of Beijing. Like you mentioned, the pollution in Beijing is no joke, and besides, I imagine cost of living would be much higher there compared to other places. While I’m not sure if this is 100% true or not, but I’m fairly certain that the Chinese spoken in schools (unis too?) are standardised and don’t really have an accent, accents are mainly picked up from other influences. (I’m not 100% sure on this, while this was the case for me while I was studying near Guangzhou as the locals mainly spoke cantonese, a totally different dialect, I studied mandarin at school…)

    • Hello there!

      I was born in Hangzhou but moved to Canada when I was young. I’ve visited 6-8 times in the past 10 years or so, and the last time I went back was in March of this year.

      Believe me, my accent is very strong. I don’t have a foreigner accent in my Chinese but any native Chinese will be able to identify me as from Zhejiang province (or “South” China in general). In Zhejiang, most natives speak a variation of the “Wu” dialect, which includes what’s known as “Shanghai-nese” and also “Hangzhou-nese”. I can understand much of the Hangzhou dialect but I cannot speak it because my grandparents thought it would be more important for me to learn Mandarin properly first. In recent years, many workers from the countryside have moved into the city to find work so you’ll find that there’s quite a big mixture of people.

      In the “Southern” accent, we do not “roll” our tongues with certain sounds (‘z’ vs ‘zh’, ‘s’ vs ‘sh’, etc) and have difficulties differentiating whether words end in ‘n’ or ‘ng’ (‘shen’ vs ‘sheng’, ‘bin’ vs ‘bing’). As a result, when I do dictation in Chinese class, I often get those pinyin wrong. My dad is unable to distinguish between them either as he is a native of Hangzhou, but my mom is from a “Northern” province and can tell me which one is which. (Although I still can’t figure out the difference between what she’s saying…)

      I’ve been to Beijing on a trip (to Korea + Beijing) about 3 years ago now. At that time, the air wasn’t that bad, but I haven’t been back since. Hangzhou is so much more beautiful than Beijing! There’s greenery everywhere, lots of different historical monuments, and (slightly) less pollution than Beijing. Unfortunately, there is pollution in Hangzhou too. The smog was worse on rainy days and in the morning, it looked like fog was covering the distance but in reality it was pollution. Still, Hangzhou is (probably) the most popular destination for Chinese tourists.

      If you want to become a Chinese teacher in the future, I would suggest going to Beijing to study. When I went back to visit in March, a high school friend of my dad jokingly said they’d teach Chinese if they moved to America but it wouldn’t work out because they can’t even speak it at the “standard” level. Keep in mind that you don’t have to go to Beijing! You can always go to somewhere close, such as “Liaoning” province. As a warning though, I’m not sure how good of a job being a Chinese teacher would be as there are plenty of Chinese people in the world who can teach Chinese as a native speaker. If you plan on teaching in an area that has a small Chinese population, it could be okay.

      Honestly speaking, every area has their own regional accent (my mom/dad can tell me what city/province someone is from just from their accent) and “standard” Chinese isn’t even that important when it comes to every day conversations.

      So tl;dr: Make sure you’ve thought out your future plans of becoming a Chinese teacher because there are many native Chinese people who can do that job. Hangzhou > Beijing. Even if you want to learn “standard” Chinese, go to a province next to Beijing instead of Beijing itself.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • senen_11

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I’m actually from Canada as well! haha :)
        I’m aware that there are a lot of Chinese people in this world, but just because you were born Chinese doesn’t mean that you can teach. In fact, all my native Chinese friends have a hard time explaining simple concepts because of the fact they never really had to think about it, as they grew up with the language. Same could be said to all the native english speaks. I’ve personally always loved learning languages so i want to do something that I’m passionate about. In the further, I don’t want to only teach, but also branch out to other fields where i can incorporate my language skills.

        Here are the places i can go to:

        Shanghai- Fudan University
        Tianjin-Nakai University
        Beijing- Peking Uni, tsinghua Uni
        Jinan-shandong Uni
        Xi’an-jiaotong University
        Hangzhou- Zhejiang University

        After seeing the options, do you still recommend Beijing? ><

        All my Chinese are mostly from Southern China, and when i asked them where i should go, they all said Beijing as well. Even though they really dislike Beijing for pretty much the same reasons as everyone else. However, i want my first impression of China to be good. I want to actually be able to see the sky and breath fresh( well not as polluted) air. I really can't stand the smell of cigarettes too. omg, I know I'm totally contradicting myself lol I want to learn Standard Chinese, but i don't want to go to Beijing ㅠㅠ

        Ps- yes, I will be learning Chinese from a language teacher in Hangzhou. Heck, even my teacher at my University now is from Hangzhou! haha However, she speaks and teaches us standard Chinese. She actually told me she had to study in Beijing for a year to take a Standard Chinese proficiency test, or something like that so she could teach.

      • senen_11

        oh! i forgot the mention, i really like the fact that hangzhou and shanghai are like only 45mins away by train. I’ve always wanted to visit shanghai because it looks so pretty! If i lived in Hangzhou, i could go to shanghai during the weekend and stuff( so cool! ) Beijing is so far from all the other awesome cities like Hangzhou, Shanghai, wuhan, Xi’an, guangzhou etc hmm…that kinda sucks :(

    • PS: If you’re going to be learning language from a language teacher there at the Zhejiang university, there should be no issue. Just make sure not to get bad habits from speaking to locals.

  167. When I was younger, I went with my mom to Ethiopia to visit some relatives. I thought that driving through the city was rough, and clung to my mom the whole time since it seems like anything goes there for driving. But then, one weekend, we went to visit some relatives in the countryside. For starters, the ride was rough because there were often patches of unpaved roads. But then at one point, we had to switch taxis and when I saw it, I refused to get in. Get this — THERE WASN’T A SIDE DOOR. My mom made me get in, and I sat in the back on the opposite side, crying because I was afraid I was going to die. And trust me, the fact that it was missing a door didn’t make the driver go any slower. T____T

  168. I think most South East Asian countries have somewhat nasty traffic (maybe not Singapore and Brunei). I’m from Malaysia and I have grown up learning how to drive ‘aggressively’ just to not be bullied by other drivers, but when my foreign friends visit me, they always get a bit of a culture shock at the driving culture! I’m sure Malaysia’s traffic is very similar to Korean (from what I’ve seen), but from my travels, Indonesia/Vietnam are also culprits of incredibly crazy traffic! Here’s a link to a video I took when in Vietnam: http://instagram.com/p/i0MUJhLXn7/. I got honked for not simply crossing the road, they just expect you.. to GO.

    In terms of the air quality, I think that is also something very subjective. I never knew we had bad air in Malaysia.. until I came to the UK to study and was like WOW the air here is SO NICE! But even then, I am perfectly fine with the polluted air back in Malaysia everytime I go home… I think it just depends on how sensitive your body is but growing up in a slightly more polluted environment does somewhat affect your tolerance I guess.

  169. maggiesaus

    Ooh, now this is something I can relate to! A couple of things I’d like to point out:
    Beijing has got to be the worst air quality in all the places I’ve been to in China. It’s right smack in the middle of mountains, so the smog literally sits on the city and doesn’t blow away. Air quality everywhere else, even Shanghai, is much, much better! I saw clear, blue skies in Shanghai since back in 2009! Beijing also has my vote for worst tourist city to go to in China, ever.
    For the nekkid men thing in China, sadly, it’s a cultural norm. It’s seen as normal during summer/hotter days to have men roll up their shirts and soak in the shirtless life. It’s one of my running jokes with friends that during dinners, especially hot pot dinners, the longer you stay, the more shirtless the men get. Hot+spicy+good food+beer=shirtless, cahorting men.
    Hahaha, there’s just this overall lawlessness when it comes to traffic in China. It’s better in smaller cities, but in general following rules suck. They don’t even let ambulances/police cars with flashing lights bypass them like they do in the US or in other countries. Funny you should mention that taxis in Beijing are still cheap, because they’re the most expensive out of all the municipalities in all of China (they start at a higher flat rate and increment more per unit distance). Back when I went in ’05 with my fam, the drivers even had devices to allow the meter to keep ticking even when the taxi wasn’t driving.
    As for those BLACK TAXIS, AH! They’re the sketchy kind of things you generally don’t want to get yourself into in China. Black taxis aren’t owned by a company (ahem, government) and are just people who use their own cars to run a driving business. They’re always much more expensive than taxis and you haggle for a flat price (I’d wager 5 times the price? more?) and while you could get a black taxi that does the deal, it still isn’t 100% reliable as there are always people who might want to take advantage of you getting into their car, if you know what I mean. I was unable to get to an obscure hotel in the outermost region of Beijing that I was staying in, as the taxi drivers weren’t willing to drive me there, but a black taxi did the job. I don’t think I would have gone on them if it weren’t for the two guys with me.
    As for the Russian girls thing, I think that in Northern China (my guess based on experience, as my family is all Southern China), being so close to Russia means that a lot of Russians take vacations there. I was in Dalian summer ’11 and my host family and everyone pointed out all the Russians to me, Russians who want to escape the extreme cold and get warmer weather (summer in Dalian is incredibly nice, 25C, because it’s an oceanside city). I’ve noticed that in Northern China, since there are so many Russians taking vacation/visiting there, that the default for the Chinese to think of a white person is Russian and not American, like it is more like in Southern China.
    When comparing Beijing to all my other traveling experiences in China (Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuhan, Dalian, Shijiazhuang, Shangri-La, Kunming, Lijiang, and hopefully more in the future), I really, really, REALLY dislike Beijing. The smog already makes it suck, the overwhelming fake-ness that I feel when I go there. It’s so touristy and the students I’ve worked with are all bedazzled by the life abroad (“OMG you go to HARVARD?!” like only Harvard matters), and my favorite thing about traveling, cultural uniqueness, just feels so wrong to me in Beijing. Maybe it’s just what I feel for what once was, and what now is all for the sake of progress. Old Chinese houses, hutongs, were systematically destroyed for skyscrapers, etc. Everywhere else in China that I went to was much more peaceful than in Beijing, especially in Yunnan province which was so incredibly scenic and beautiful, for their preservation of ethnic minority culture and land. Those are just things I dig.
    I see you guys have had Peking duck, you lucky ducks. One of my favorites! There’s a famous-ish restaurant in Wangfujing that Bush went to for Peking Duck, though I have a Beida native’s account that it’s not even the best there, but regardless they’re epic to eat. Wrapped in delicious goodness!

    • senen_11

      I’m conflicted in whether to study Chinese in Beijing or Hangzhou. I would personally choose Hangzhou but standard Chinese is based on the language of Beijing. Where would you recommend me in going since you’ve been to many different cities in China. thanks!

  170. senen_11

    Ok, so hopefully i’ll be going to study Chinese in China next year as an exchange student. I am aware that it’ll probably be the best for me to go to Beijing since Standard Chinese is based on the language of Beijing. But, the crazy pollution there is totally making me not want to go there. My other option is going to Hangzhou Zhejiang University.Hangzhou is famous for their West lake, beautiful natural scenery and is way less polluted compared to Beijing. However in Hangzhou, they speak standard Chinese with their own regional accents. Since i want to become a Chinese teacher in the future, I’m so conflicted in what to do. Any suggestions?

    p.s Im not a native Chinese.

  171. Though I live in the States, I usually visit my family in Beijing during the summer. I went to China last summer, but I didn’t experience any of what you did. However, I did notice that I couldn’t see farther than around 30 meters. Everyday my uncle would wash his car, and after a day, it would be covered in black dirt. The southern part of China, in areas like Yunnan, the air would be noticeably cleaner and the sky would be blue more often than the cities.

    The driving in China, as said, is pretty crappy, and a lot of screaming out of windows and honking is usually involved.They did say say that Beijing was “first to have traffic”, which is really just a play on the phonetics of “capital” in Chinese!

    And definitely, China has really good food, especially the Peking Duck!

  172. Kairos Marie

    Where I grew up it was very common to see shirtless men. Louisiana gets very hot and humid after all. Now that I live in Virginia though the only shirtless man I ever see is my boyfriend. Unless I go to the beach that is. However, at work today some man decided he didn’t want to use a dressing room and so just stripped his shirt in the middle of the store. Nothing like pregnant-man belly to start your day.

  173. Nia

    I live in Ibiza and while most of the year is fine, as soon as may starts the traffic gets crazy. For example, taxi drivers, I might be driving at 100 km/h and they overtake me so fast they look like a blur. Then, there are tourists with rented car or motorbikes that have no clue of the driving rules or where they are going, so they its terrible to drive behind them, and of course the Ferraris, Porsches, etc that are too big and fast for such a small island.
    The polution is fine here, very low, but whenever I go to any big city I get sick because I’m not used to it.

  174. GGGina

    I was in Beijing for 3 years and I just got back to Florida last month. I never had a problem with the air either *shrugs*
    I got asked once if I was Russian but he dropped it as soon as I told him I’m American. I didnt FEEL like it had any connotation but I could be naive.
    Anyway…I do miss Beijing. It was a second home to me. I’m from Florida so you can imagine my weather=DEATH!

  175. When I go away to see my Spanish family even though I’m from England
    Well it kind of reminds me of this accept we get dry heat unless your near the coast we don’t suffer as much but I sympathise with you and the awful yellow dust but London kind of is like china when it comes to these sort of things but that’s the pollution on really bad days so I’m kind of used to the whole dust and pollution. If you think drivers in China were bad try Madrid
    You are taking your life into your hands literally inside a taxi they don’t have time to stop
    And also walking across roads unless you run … Well like I said run over or indeed dead by that point as none of the drivers have time even for older people

    Hope you guys read this and see what I mean

  176. I live in TN, land of “if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes. It’ll change.” Shirtless guys (and sometimes brazen women) are pretty common the moment it gets warm. So about April, May you start seeing them. That’s about the time everyone comes out side. Let me tell you, you can see groups of shirtless men from about April to early October. And given the weather I can’t really blame them too much. When it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 80 – 100 % humidity, you take off as much as you legally can.

  177. Suzi

    Hey guyz :) I’m Mongolian .
    I lived in China about 1 year in small city 2 hours away from Beijing. i don’t speak chinese. If you are asian and don’t know chinese your are probably korean for them. all the time they said to me Hangook :P. In Beijing in market or in black market they know Mongolian people.

  178. Hey! I live in Vegas. Here, it depends on where you are and what time of the year it is. Typically, in the casinos, you see a lot of shirtless guys because they are heading to and from the pool. In my neighborhood, I see the occasional guy (young) walking around without a shirt.

    The one thing that i do see a lot of though, are butts and boobs. I am not joking. Since it gets really freaking hot out and it feels like it goes from summer to (what we can only call) winter, it is normal to see shorts, tank tops, etc. BUT, it is taken to a whole new level when that sun is trying to burn you alive. Girls of (almost) all ages wear booty shorts and (sadly, I see this on young girls too) tank tops pulled low so their boobs are practically falling out. That mixed and really short dresses. I mean, yes, I will not deny that I own some short shorts, but at least my cheeks aren’t threatening to fall out.

  179. I live in Vermont, and the drivers here are like too nice. Seriously. As a pedestrian, if I’m crossing where there’s a stop sign (like at a four way stop), most cars won’t go until I’ve crossed, even if I’m still like twenty feet away from the crossing, a distance where they could easily go and be out of my way before I even get there. And so whenever there’s a car stopped for me, I always feel this need to speed up so as not to inconvenience them further.

    • Nebraska is like this, too. By law, pedestrians have the right-of-way and that law is definitely followed. If there is a person walking, the cars will always stop and the driver will signal to you that you can go first. Then the person walking will wave to thank them. At an intersection where there is a traffic light, everyone just obeys the signals.

    • Hekateris

      Vermonters in the hizzouse!

      I work retail and every summer we have people coming in the store absolutely amazed that drivers actually stop for pedestrians. I spent a decade in Scotland, but only drove there once – that was enough! Having said that, England was far worse. I’ve never seen cars on ‘onramps’ stop before entering the M-what-have-you, people don’t understand how to pass, or drive in bad weather, and in a week of driving never figured out how the directions work on the highways. But I know how to do roundabouts, ha!

  180. Hi! I live in Arizona where it is hoooooot hot HOT pretty much all year round. I lied, for 4-5 months its like living in hell but then it’s absolutely beautiful weather the rest of the year which is really quite lovely.

    ANYWAY, given how hot it is I’m actually really surprised I don’t see more men going shirtless since it’s not as frowned upon for a man to do it in public like it would be for a woman to do it. If I’m driving in a neighborhood I might see a man going shirtless if he’s doing yard work. Also I see a lot of guys (mostly young guys fortunately) who go shirtless when going for a run. But other than that I think it’s a pretty universal belief here in the USA (I’ve also lived in Chicago and Philadelphia so I’ve had a good mixture of different cultures and people) that it is not appropriate to go shirtless in public.

    • i wish your statement of universally unaccepted shirtlessness in public was true….
      it doesn’t happen often, but there are some men who bike around the loop with nothing on top.
      and often….not a pretty sight!

  181. HunHanInNeverland

    I’m Chinese, but I was born in America, and every two to four years, I go to China with my parents to visit extended family, and it is TORTURE. I’m not very close with my grandparents and other relatives, so visiting them really is very much of a formality for me, but the climate and culture in China just really makes me mad sometimes. In my grandparent’s hometown (which is very close to Bejing), there are plazas that you literally can’t see across because of the pollution. Because I always have to visit in the summer, it is also so hot, and the sun is like a death ray trying to fry anything that lives on the face of earth. I end up just trying to stay in my small room huddled in the corner with the AC on trying not to die from mosquito bites until I can leave.

  182. KATHyphenTUN

    Hahaha my friends visited Beijing a long tine ago and the only part i ever was told about it was how many crop top old men there was! And how they made a game of “who could find more”. So your comments made me laugh and remember their trip XP

  183. TurtleLuv7890

    I am always so fascinated every time you guys discuss topics about other countries probably because its so different from where I live.

    Here on Long Island I don’t really see guys shirtless everywhere. The only time is when they are exercising, swimming, or maybe washing a car on a really hot day. Thinking about it, I guess it does happen a lot but it’s usually young teenagers rather than old guys rubbing their bellies XD.

    The air here is also really good compared to Beijing’s but I’m not so surprised since we don’t have too much pollution or anything like yellow dust. We are also surrounded by ocean so it gets humid here and really hot during heat waves which makes everyone feel hot, sticky, and gross. Thank goodness for the beach!

    I can now proudly say that the driving and traffic here is absolutely great. People do follow the traffic lights and I rarely hear people honking their horns. We have had car accidents but I only know of three from where I live. There are also some people who are some sort of bicycle trainers and they ride on their bicycles with a helmet on along with the cars, so I guess you can say it’s pretty safe on the roads. In addition, children (well 10-15 year olds so I guess teens?) also bike and walk around by themselves to the local market and other stores during the daytime and walk to school if it’s close. I’m not too sure if this applies to all of Long Island but it does in my small town.

    Thank you guys for making this TL:DR once again you have taught me more about different places in the world :D. Ah, it sounds really scary to drive in Beijing but then again it can apply to most big cities. Can’t wait to watch the WANK about the food!

  184. As regards the air quality in Beijing, does this mean China still has not embraced emissions controls and other industrial pollution control measures? Also, does everyone there smoke or is that a stereotype? As for shirtlessness, here on Long Island, the ancient beach custom is for the fattest men who can still waddle, in an ode to beached whales everywhere, to expose the blinding whiteness of their continent-spanning guts. You haven’t lived till you’ve seen it.

    • LOL, living on Long Island, I totally know what you mean. It’s not a beach trip unless there are old men waddling across the sands with their huge hairy bellies.

    • Victoria

      The only emissions control I know of is that there is a rule with license plates and whether or not you can drive that day. My uncle was telling me that on any given day, only cars with license plate numbers that start with a particular set of number (even or odd for example) or letters can be on the road. They have a lot of traffic cameras and despite the huge population and enormous amount of people, my uncle says he’s been caught a few times and got fined. So that says a lot about privacy, huh? But besides that, I’ve never heard of any other effort to reduce pollution.

  185. quin

    in germany you dont get to see mans nipples unless its about 30 degrees or higher

  186. I’ve been to Shanghai for 10 days once, and the pollution wasn’t nearly as bad as what you described. I didn’t have any problem breathing or get any pains even though I did not wear a mask at all. Maybe it helps that it’s closer to the sea so there’s wind coming from there? Or maybe there’s just less pollution altogether, I don’t know.

    As for shirtless-ness, I live in Finland, and here in summer guys might not wear a shirt when it’s hot, but I’ve never particularly seen them patting their bellies or scratching or anything like that.

  187. Haha I am too familiar with “Windsor-d”. I grew up there and I’m actually heading back home tomorrow for a few weeks – for family and a field course through the University. I’ll be sure to alert you if things have changed (I’m betting no). I’ll see a lot of it, actually, as I’m doing water testing on Lake St. Clair and Detroit River so PRIME location. *shudder*
    Any favourite haunts you want an update on while I’m down? Other than The Loop, obvi (I feel like that could have been your scene!)

  188. Oh my god Driving! I used to live in Egypt and the driving there is HORRIBLE! It takes serious skill to not die everyday! Its the same as you said in Beijing, there are suggested lanes but nobody cares about those. People fight over parking spots, and will leave someone to stand in the spot to save it while they get the car, more often then not though, car wins over human and another car gets the spot! Also people are constantly double parking or even triple parking! its illegal yes but the police can’t do anything about it! so you better have a driver to fend off other people from blocking you in, or to drive around the block 50 times until your finished doing whatever! its serious madness is Egypt, and Indian drivers are also horrible! In Dubai all the taxi drivers are Indian and my sisters and I used to pray for our lives getting into a cab! they don’t stop for lights, or pedestrians, and don’t use signals or anything its horrible…

  189. Minty

    Well In France People don’t show their nipples ! Ecxept at the Swimming Poll There guys Show Evertything they can ! No belly slapping Here !

  190. advisercookie

    I’ve been to Chengdu (which is farther in China) before. It hurt to breathe when I first arrived (mainly in Shanghai) but after a couple of days, I didn’t really notice it. The one time I did notice a huge difference in air quality was when my friend and I went to LeShan – a mountain that has Buddha carved out of it. The large amount of trees really made the difference. You could see farther as well :)

    I was stared at a lot too…but I think that was because foreigners were not as common in that area of China. That and my friend is tall and blonde. We got asked if we would take pictures with random people as we walked around.

    Buses and traffic were both terrifying. I was really glad that sky bridges were built to cross roads because cars don’t really pay attention to pedestrian crossing signs, or you know any kind of road signage.

  191. Mainy Åkerman

    Oh jeez, air quality in Beijing is…..Not good. Not good at all. orz;; I appreciate the clean, fresh air in Sweden that much more now. I always have, but after watching the TL;DR I went and looked at photos and yyyyiiikees. That’s pretty gross. How can people live like that!?

    Oh boy, shirtless men… It’s not common but it’s not rare here, either. It’s usually old shameless guys or hot young men. It never happens in the city, though. Just in the suburbs or country side. ^^;; Nudity isn’t that big of an issue here, but everyone–myself included–is very reserved and don’t enjoy being stared at. I think I said it before when you had Disqus on here, but I’ve seen my neighbor butt naked too many times than I ever wanted to. OF course, nobody would ever dare go around completely naked!!! Just in his yard. Crinkly old man butt cheeks….Welcome to Sweden.

  192. Elly

    I’ve never been to Korea but I spent 8 days in Beijing and Tianjin. I honestly did not feel the smog that much, nor the yellow sand, yet it was during spring of ’11, so that might be why. As I want to go on and study Chinese and Japanese at University, I figured that Beijing will probably be my home for a year, so I’ll probably have to get used to it! But I thoroughly enjoyed the video, and would love to come to Korea as I love all things asian :D

    OOH I REMEMBER! Did you ever see those babies have those weird trousers on that would fold down so they can sh*t? I found that kinda bizarre, and also I got stared at a ton also and asked to get photos of me because of my blonde hair…it doesn’t bother me though because they were lovely!

    Once again, thanks for the informative video! Can’t wait for the next one!

    Love you guys :D

  193. As a child, I went to Guangzhou, Guangdong, China with my family for summer vacation. At that time, the area was still very country-like. There were a some cars, but most of them were taxis. Most people were riding motor scooters or bicycles, and if you were very rich you owned a car.
    I actually do not remember seeing any lines painted on the streets. The motorways had cars, motor scooters, and bikes criss-crossing each other. When my dad would wave for a cab, it would just cut through the roads diagonally or make a giant U-turn where ever.
    I did not remember too much about the air quality, but I do remember the unbearable heat. Like Simon, I find it very uncomfortable to breathe or sleep in hot air so I was grateful for air conditioners. The one thing I did not like were the mosquitoes.
    Also, when it rained, the roads would flood because the sewer system was built poorly. Anyone who did not have raised porches had to take buckets to scoop the water out of their entry ways.
    As for shirtless men, I just thought the weather was too hot so they were shirtless. What disturbed me somewhat were the older men with big bellies who would sit shirtless with one leg propped up fanning themselves and smoking. I was told later on that only poor people would do that. If you had money, no matter how hot it was you wore dress pants.

  194. Kinda understand why you loved the Norwegian air now^^Must.appreciate.my.air.more Also shirtless is not rare to see during the summer in norway, I actually didn’t think much about it but during a trip to east europe with some friends it was so hot that most of the boys naturally went topless, and we got alot of stares which I thouhgt what? its hot ofc they take their shirts of. I was recently in Oslo and since summer has started all the people are suntanning in the parks, and ‘m not kidding girls in bikinis and boys in shorts like its on the beach. Even in the park sorrounding the royal castle^^ so i guess its not a big deal here^^=P (though i wouldn’t recomment come to church that way)

  195. I’ve been to India multiple times (I’m from India) and I’ve also been to China, and I have to say the driving in India is SO MUCH WORSE. It’s actually ridiculous haha. Everyone is literally bumper to bumper (usually in the main cities), bicyclers and motorcycles will squeeze in every possible crevice, often times with multiple people riding on it, and you can’t go more than 10 seconds without hearing several honks. And whenever there IS room to drive, people are going 100mph. Also animals, lots and lots of animals hahah. There are definitely rules and signs everywhere, but nobody actually follows them lol.

  196. waddlingpenguin

    My favorite part of going to Beijing was the food at the hotel we stayed at! That and the fact that I could find Pringles at the local market place! Also, my relatives in China told me that the drivers of black cars do not belong to legit taxi companies, and should not be trusted. Basically, the black cars are “shady.” Maybe some locals take these cars, but for people who are just visiting (and/or aren’t fluent in Chinese), you probably shouldn’t take them!

  197. This video spoke so much truth about the air and the driving TuT…. My family moved to beijing when I was in middle school, I got this weird bronchitis like problem within a month or so…. My pores could feel the particles of dust sometimes when the yellow dust was very bad…. Even though Beijing is a very very cool city with a lot of rich culture and fun things to do, it really isn’t the best choice of residence if one wants a healthy long life with clean air to breathe in…

    As for the driving, ohhhhhh jeeeez….. I’m now so used to the polite north American driving/drivers, where not only do they follow all the traffic rules, but they would also recognize that the pedestrians are to be respected in the jungle of motor vehicles… When I went back to BJ to visit during a summer a couple of years ago, I WAS TERRIFIED TO CROSS THE STREET even when it was green light for the pedestrians…. THE CARS JUST ROAR THROUGH when the tinniest gap is visible…. and the drivers aren’t scared to honk… What the locals do is they form a giant bulk of people, and they move through the super fierce traffic as one entity… It’s a remarkable act of unity I’d say…. And I think there’s some strategic choices to be made too as to where you stand in that bulk of people, to ensure your maximum safety and agility. Even though I live in the downtown core of Beijing where the roads are equipped with a lot of electronic surveillance devices and frequent police patrols, the street-crossing scene is still the number one most frightening thing that I have to re-familiarize myself with every time I visit.

    About the taxis and how it’s super hard to get one, I had some not so pleasant experiences where when I painstakingly finally got a taxi (a regular licensed one), the driver refused to take me where I wanted to go… Maybe it was cuz it was during rush hour, and this is probably not the most common situation, but I was kinda surprised that the driver would turn down business =3….

    One thing I absolutely love about Beijing’s transportation though, is its public transit system. The subway is soooo well-built, with safety doors and stuff, especially since the 2008 olympics, the newer lines are all sooooo nice and pretty and most of em have AC. It also covers a large ground (?), you can very easily go anywhere on the subway, even to places that are considered the “outskirts” or the 5th or 6th “ring” of the BJ city. Annnnd, what’s best is that the fare is super affordable, last time I checked, it was at only 2 yuan per ticket and you can go however far you want!!! The buses are super frequent unlike the rare sighting of some Toronto TTC buses… sigh… it’s so bad in the winter. But I guess it’s cuz BJ is so much more heavily populated than TO and even at 1 or 2 min a bus it’s not enough to transport all the people sometimes…

    Woo this is a super long post =3…. just wanted to share my experience =D

  198. vannia

    When I went to India a few years ago, the one thing I remember the most was how scary it would be to drive there. So much honking!!!! and even though there are signs EVERYWHERE telling you not to honk, people still do. Also, there are no limits to how many people can fit a motorcycle as well as the police can stop you whenever for whatever reason, and really, they just want some money out of you. ALSO, when we were going up the mountains of Hamachal Pradesh, there were so many goats!!! Also there are random water buffalo loose so stay clear from them :D good tiimes

  199. Misa

    It is always so interesting for me to see you guys talk about the differences and the similarities. I can’t wait to go visit South Korea and China and see them for myself. (*≧艸≦) But going to your question about shirtless-ness in other countries…

    OHOHO… -sigh- (´;ω ;`) In Mexico, it is as common as eating tacos for dinner. It is everywhere and every single time it gets hot, you will see AT LEAST three middle-aged guys or more (probably more) with their shirts off and sadly, none of them have Rain or 2PM abs. They will walk around, rub their bellies, work, eat, everything without their shirts off. I live very close to a car fixer… car… car fixer thing (you know…) and the men who work there are CONSTANTLY half naked, it is not a pretty view at all.

    I have gone to where you guys were, Mexico DF, and I didn’t see it as much, probably because I was more in the inner city area. But if you head out to smaller cities or towns, it is extremely common, especially because we constantly have very hot, humid weather. If only they could turn into hot, sexy men! _(´д`」∠)_

  200. When i was listening to u guys i thought u were talking about India. I live in a small town in North India and I have never been to China but I bet India has many more non-sexy shirtless men than any other country because its very hot. You will even see some naked babies playing in the dirt in slums and rural areas.
    India does have a high rate of car accidents maybe because one can get a license here just by signing a few legal papers(you don’t even have to give a test) and also because traffic rules are not strictly obeyed. If you don’t want a ticket you can slide 100 rupees to the traffic policeman and you’ll be free.
    The rickshaw rides in India can be scary and will definitely give you an adrenaline rush. But its the second fastest and cheapest way to reach your destination, after the metro. The rickshaw drivers know the shortcuts and if you ask them the way to your destination most of them will readily tell the least time consuming way. They know more than the GPS will ever reveal. Also if you want to easily cross platforms in railway stations you can just walk across the rail lines when the police is not watching and when there are no trains(obviously).
    During summer its really hot and dusty here and if u r lucky there will not be a hot wind. Sometimes it can be difficult to breathe because of the rare air esp during afternoons. If u r really lucky it will rain but that will be a relief for only two-three hours. Just before the rains it gets really humid and you will soak your shirt within five minutes of walking in the sun.If you plan to visit India I would suggest the winter season because its comparatively warmer than Korea (except in extreme Northern India).
    This is just North India. South India is almost completely different.
    People in India do stare at foreigners if they are not used to them. And many people here don’t even know a foreign language other than English. I remember my friend and I were walking on an empty road when we saw a Japanese man doing yoga. And since I knew a little bit of Japanese, being the anime crazy person that i am, I talked to him. The next day i was a hit in school because apparently i was the only one who knew a foreign language other than english. Now though because of me and my kpop crazy friend we have been able to spread the goo jun pyo, lucifer, what is love, i am the best and fantastic baby fever thanks to gangnam style.
    Thanks for reading my long comment. Love you guys and I really hope you guys can come to India.

  201. Ahh, I so wanna go to China as well as Korea, that’s be amazing. I live in a more or less small town (3rd biggest in Norway), but I LOVE big cities and the skyline that these cities have!! It’s so beautiful whoa, so I can’t wait to visit these cities!!

  202. I live in North Carolina, where shirts are optional. My guy friends live for warm enough weather (80F or higher) to pull off their shirts, and on my sister’s college campus, women wander in just their bras, not even necessarily sportsbras. My friends have played jokes by going outside in the snowy weather in bare feet and no shirt, because the weather’s not cold enough for it to be all that dangerous. Or maybe they’re just stupid. Some of my girl friends wear crop tops in the middle of winter. I’ve sported a crop top in really hot weather a few times, and even one of my guy friends made crop tops out of his old shirts and wears them sometimes because he’s not comfortable taking his whole shirt off like seemingly 99% of the male NC population. My dad dwells about shirtless on hot Saturdays. Is this NC, or is this just my town?

  203. Where I come from in China, if you’re leaving downtown at rush hour to go back home in the suburbs, it is common to take “black” taxis. Instead of waiting for the bus (which has no A/C, is packed with people, dirty as dirt), there are taxis near the bus stop that embark 4 people at a time for 5 yuan/person and drop you off at a street corner near your house in the suburbs which takes about 10 min, whereas the bus is 2 yuan/person and takes around 30 min. I don’t know if it is a legal practice, but it is very common for locals to do so! In our neighbourhood, there are even taxis that take the same route as buses and charge the same price, because buses are packed full all day err day.

    As for the air quality, it is especially bad in Beijing, unfortunately due to the dry air since dust particles float instead of dropping near the ground. As soon as I got off the plane in Beijing, I started coughing non-stop until I left, and my boogers were black (TMI?)! In Shanghai, for example, or other towns, however I didn’t experience the same level of pollution.

  204. I haven’t been to China (mainland China? I really don’t know how to state it), but I have been to Hong Kong during my time studying abroad in Japan. The first thing I noticed was the AMAZING amount of nature!! My friends and I had missed it seeing as we were in Tokyo. However, the air quality there seems to be a bit bad. Personally I had no problems, but one of the girls I was with go sick and actually stayed in the hotel one day just to avoid the it. It was only a problem in the main city though, when we went site seeing outside the main city the air was clear.

    As far as clothes go…well I’m from the US so you’ll see a lot of interesting clothing choices once the sun comes out. My Japanese friend asked me the other day “why are girls in their underwear out side the library?” (to clarify the girls weren’t in their underwear! Just really short skirts and a revealing tank top.)

  205. loveteatime

    Your video made me reminisce my adventures while studying abroad in China!! I lived in Beijing for one semester and it definitely provided me with hilarious stories to tell. Did you happen to see babies wearing split pants? They’re a type of pants used for toilet training (I was told that disposable diapers are pricey). These pants are split in the back or around the crotch area which exposes the child’s butt to the world. It’s kind of funny to see babies running around with their butts hanging out, but it was also disturbing because I would sometimes see them poop and urinate right on the side walk.

  206. I’m going to Beijing, for (at least) a month this August. Any tips on how to survive? I come from Norway, so the air quality is definitely not the same as in Beijing. I might also stay 5 months in a similar city…

    I’ve heard of masks that filter the air (looks like a legit gasmask), and that you can buy air on a can etc.. (do they really do that?)

  207. I went to Beijing last year and I had crraaazzzzy experiences with the driving too! There were so many close calls with accidents. I was saved by my teacher who pulled me out of the way of a bus, and was on a tour bus and we ACTUALLY HIT A WOMAN ON A BIKE.

  208. guys, now I’m scared! I’m moving to Shanghai in August…is the air as bad in Shanghai? Are there any Shanghai nasties? I don’t wanna be alone in China :P I wish there was an EYK coffee shop opening in Shanghai!

  209. I live in Montana USA. Here it’s pretty normal for guys not to wear shirts at say a park or even running down a street a lot of people use for exercise but at the same time no shoes no shirt no service. Depending on what area your in it can be really weird. I had a bonding moment with my manager a few days ago when a shirtless man walked across the parking lot of the restaurant where i work and we were both like wtf.

  210. US college student who studied abroad in Beijing for a couple of months here. C:
    I did see a lot of what me and my classmates referred to as the Beijing Bikini, but I usually only saw older men doing it? yeah, not the most pleasant sight… usually in the US, both in my hometown in Idaho and the city where I go to college in Arizona, you only see dudes without shirts at the pool/lake/whatever, or when they’re exercising. I’ve also seen guys in America with their t-shirt almost all the way off and like… hanging around their neck like a cape, haha.

    I never had a problem getting a taxi (though for the most part I used the subway; very affordable and you can get pretty much anywhere in the city). I’ve heard that some taxi drivers won’t pick up foreigners, especially if said foreigners don’t speak Mandarin. and the black “cabs” are unlicensed and will charge a LOT more, so stay away from them.

    I had a few stares while I was in Beijing, but nothing to the extent of a few of my tall, blond classmates (I’m a short brunette, so I suppose I don’t stick out as much? not sure). it’s worse if you go into the countryside, where many people haven’t seen foreigners before.

    the pollution when I was there was pretty bad, but I never got the cough or anything. there were maybe 3 days when I had to wear a mask, the rest I could get by without it. there were also a few days when the sky was clear and blue!

  211. 私は韓国が好きです

    Its common to see people with no shirts in the summer here in the UK, especially if you live on the coast. I’ve only seen people shirtless in the cities inland when its SUPERMEGAHORRENDOUSLY hot which is…. not that often in the UK. Also, first time using the new comment section, its great! Much better than the old commenting bit :)

  212. kate plogstedt

    I don’t Know about other places in the United States, but being shirtless is very common in Florida especially because it is pretty much 90 degrees year round here. Also at beaches not only will you see some shirtless guys ,but guys in speedos and if you go far enough from the major crowd of people there may be a little party of nude people, even though nudity is illegal on majority of beaches.

  213. kate plogstedt

    My dad was in wuhan (is that even how it’s spelled?) but he said that the people there are very pushy and that they like to cut in line. Even if you are pressed up against the counter with your body, a small old women will try and go infront of you. Also my dad went to bejing a year ago maybe and he said that he tried some local food…and well. Idk he said one day he got this purple, squishy eggplant-looking thing and that it wasn’t too plesant.

  214. In Lebanon there is that kind of connotation, but not quite the same.. No one will ask you if you’re Russian meaning “are you a prostitute”, but surprisingly I hear “Russian” and “prostitute” together A LOT.. I’m Lebanese but I live it Dubai, so I was totally shocked as well when I heard people talking about “Russian prostitutes” over and over again, it seems that many of the prostitutes in Lebanon are Russian. Why? I have no idea, I never had that kind of impression about Russian women (I still don’t, that’s stupid) but I was surprised when I heard you guys talking about it too.

  215. MoonRidder

    I see some shirtless people in Utah but especially the area I’m in people tend to stay covered. I can say though that while I haven’t been to Korea I had really good luck while I was in Beijing. All 5 days I was there it was just windy enough that there was next to no smog and it wasn’t quite yellow dust season. I always seem to luck out on my travels.

  216. The very second that a single ray of sunshine peaks through our gloomy clouds in the UK, guys get their tops off. It can be really chilly and windy but they are out there showing off their beer guts. They need an intervention. A lot of pubs in the Summer have to put up signs saying that they won’t serve people not wearing shirts. We’re a weird nation.

    • That is total true. but around where I live I think the guys are aware that no one wants to see the gut so they have one sleeve in and one out (chav’s).

  217. Noooo I’m going to Korea in the beginning of July… Just my luck. I’ll be missing out on your coffee shop!

    Hahahahahaha you kinda managed to describe China (Beijing) spot on! Driving, rolled up shirts and air. Cigarette smoke is actually the number one smell I associate with China. Actually, air conditioned smoke, like, when you step into a room and it reeks of cigarettes and the AC is on. China is the only place where I’ve encountered that particular kind of air. Was this a weird description? Idk.

    I’m actually kind of surprised you mentioned the skyline, because in all the times I’ve stayed in Beijing, I haven’t managed to glimpse a skyline. Because smog. But I do appreciate the spaciousness! Well, when it is spacious. I feel like China is the land of contrasts, like some places will be huge and seem like they never end, and some places are so cramped that you’re amazed that people actually live/work/move around there.

    About the taxis, that varies a lot as well. Sometimes you just raise your hand and you have a cab right there, sometimes you wait for half an hour and you have to give up. Sometimes they won’t take you if you’re not going in the direction the want to go. It depends on the place and time. I’ve never taken a black cab, and everyone says you never should. They can scam you so bad, seriously, really, really bad. Never get a black cab.

    I’m going back to Beijing in a couple of weeks and I’m really looking forward to it, and everything you talked about… even the driving! :3

  218. I would really want to got to China once because they have a really rich tradition and culture but I’m also really afraid to fall sick because of the poor air condition ><

  219. sleepychibi

    Both the Japanese and the Korean exchange students at my college get EXTREMELY uncomfortable when the American guys walk around shirtless. I even had one poor girl duck into my room, embarrassed, when a guy took off his shirt in the hallway. I feel like Americans don’t have that sense of subtle modesty when it’s hot. I was told that instead of taking clothes off in the heat, many Japanese tend to layer it on.

  220. 刘翔宇 xiangyu

    I have been to beijing twice and I agree with the horrible traffic, it’s like a constant game of frogger! I have been to 6 other parts of china and the air quality is nothing compared to Beijing. I did not have similar problems with the air as you two did but I found it hard to breathe at times. When if is hot, men take off their shirts not only in Beijing did I see this but, also in Guangzhou. I’m sorry you guys felt sick due to the air but besides that I hope your trip to Beijing was fun. Also I have red hair and extremely pale skin. I was stopped on a daily basis by Chinese people who wanted to take my photo or wanted to take a photo with me. Since I speak Chinese they were also amazed with me speaking their language. They stare. A LOT. Although I am use to it now, someone who is not use to it will be creeped out.

  221. SHINeeUKShawol

    shirtlessness in my home country…WELL! where do i start? i see it everywhere!! at families houses, random dudes outside…even shopkeepers… and since i’m talking about Bangladesh, well you know…unfortunately some of them being shirtless is cos of them being poor…
    and if not shirtless, they’ll wear a white vest or a thin white top where you’ll see their white vest underneath it…aahaha!!
    also to go with these no top or vest top outfit, guys don’t always wear trousers there but this thing which kinda looks like a long skirt, we call it a lungi (i have no idea how to spell it in English)

    now onto my other country, England, i once in a while see guys without tops, except for these teenagers in my neighbourhood that like to go around shirtless and it just looks…gross!! (even when it’s not summer)
    it’d probably be a different story if i lived near the seaside, but i don’t!

  222. In Utah we get shirtless joggers all the time. but the most annoying thing about the summer is that is when the wife beaters come out. they are every where! I guess it helps them feel better when its 110 degrees out that’s about 43 ish Celsius.

  223. Guys I just wanted to say that your editing is amazing and that I have a lot of fun with the background music for each part of the video. Good job! :3

  224. Chinese traffic is SCARY! On the highway, there were 5 lanes but the cars were driving in 7 lanes anyway. Once, our side of the road was full so the taxi driver decided to drive on the lane going the opposite direction. My only thought was “so this is how I’m going to die…”.
    Since I look Chinese, I don’t get any stares but my dad is tall, blue eyed with blond curls. He told me when he went to China 20 years ago, whenever he was standing somewhere outside he was immediately surrounded by a crowd, like 15 people or more. Nowadays, people still stare but it got much better.
    For the air quality, I think Shanghai has the best in China because it’s on the coast and the wind blows a great part of the nasty stuff away. You should definitely go there someday! Just not on windless days…

  225. I’m originally from a small town in Ohio and once it gets a little warm it seems like all the men decide it’s acceptable not to wear a shirt. Especially if there is a county fair or any kind of social gathering. I just moved to Sacramento CA and I feel like even though it’s hotter, men keep their shirts on, which I appreciate.

  226. Lance

    I have seen the rolled up shirt and belly slapping here in the US. I’m in Portland, Oregon and occasionally in a predominately Chinese neighborhood, you will see older Chinese men doing that. I always thought it was a bit strange, but never thought too much about it.

  227. Live in the netherlands and of the temperature Rises loods of People walk a rond shirtless. Some Just at home button otters don’t care and go grocerie shopping like That. And a lot of summsr festivals arena notorius for literally getting your shirt ripped off you

  228. I live in Kansas and since it’s miles away from any beach there isn’t a lot of shirtless men. Of course if you’re heading to a pool it’s expected to see shirtless men. Once in a while there will be some young guy running without a shirt on. No one really stares or says anything, it’s not a big deal.

  229. Even though you would think there would be a lot more shirtless people in Florida, I really don’t see all that many, unless you are right on the beach. Oddly, the only people who go around shirtless in my area are the ones who really *shouldn’t*…

  230. I’m from the US, but I studied abroad in China (Beijing and Kunming) in college. I surprisingly felt almost no adverse side effects from the pollution, but I’m from a city so…?

    As to the black cabs, as far as I know, they aren’t licensed. We were given a safety briefing when we first arrived and were strongly advised not to take these cars based on the fact that there have been deaths and rapes associated with them. I don’t know how truthful these claims were, but they were more than enough to discourage me from taking them. Unfortunately two of my friends took a black cab by accident from the airport which charged them more than double the fare of the one that I took.

    Also getting a cab in China is more difficult than other countries/cities that I have been to. Speaking Chinese was really helpful for persuading a cabbie to take me somewhere.

    One last thing… Topless people in the US are everywhere.

  231. I live in England, London and you do see guys shirtless only when its really hot. however if its a chav they don’t take there shirt off but have on arm in and one arm out (I swear they look like like kids who don’t want to get change). About the driving it really good in London there’s like speed cameras every where and there loads of traffic lights and zebra crossings. I have been to India and I have to say that the traffic is terrible there are barely any traffic lights and people dive how they want. also my parents are from Bangladesh so when we go the traffic is real bad, I wouldn’t say that it is as bad as India, but you get people driving trucks and cars on there wrong sides of the lanes. Once we where driving back to the city and there was a long long traffic jam, we where on a curved road so you could see that there was like a mile long line of cars, so the person who was driving instead of waiting for the traffic to go instead drove on the side of the road, which was a river bank, it felt like the whole car was going to tip over.

  232. Ah, shirtlessness. You know it’s summer in Ireland when you’ve seen men ages 12 – 90, toned or beer-bellied, strolling around without shirts. Any day when it’s not raining and moderate temperature means that it’s time to go to the beach or chill in your front garden with a six-pack. The other day, I looked out my window to see what my dog was barking at and saw my 40-something-year-old neighbour with a beer-belly shirtless. I’m sure you can imagine how fabulous that sight was.
    I think the Irish just get excited when there’s some sun though. We’re like little kids when it snows (I’m still like this but to be fair it hardly ever snows in Ireland).
    I don’t see girls going around in bikinis though, it just seems to be the boys.

  233. Dr.Spudgiesworth1st

    Here in Puerto Rico guys can be shirtless around their own home…some don’t care to show the beer belly but you can’t go into a store or mall shirtless…so is safe there

  234. Anna_R

    Shirtlessness in Israel is more common than in the rest of the middle east becaust there is a secular majority. Traditiona/orthodox religious people be it Jews or Muslims are not keen on exposing their bodies. Generally you will encounter it in more acceptable places such as the gym or the beach. Sometimes you would, on a really hot day, see construction workers shirtless as well.
    Regarding to driving in china….. oh man…. been there, done that survived and was scared most of the time. Even crossing the road is a life danger. Ive been in china for a month and during that time i have seen at least 4 accident involving delivery mopeds and cars.

  235. In the UK (i’m in England) it’s farily normal to see blokes with their shirts off if it’s very sunny outside or maybe if they’re running round playing football or something at a park. That said it’s more like there’s a time and a place for shirtlessness like if you try to go into a fancy pants resturant with your shirt off it’s probbaly not gonna happen.

  236. Cece95

    I am from Merica. So people are without shirts all the time. Especially in Texas, where I am from, it can get up to like 115F in the summer, so you will see boys with out a shirt, and girls in bikinis, or just a sports bra. Doesn’t matter if they even have a beer belly. Those bellies are giggling for everyone to see.

  237. Please come to Hong Kong, if you have times :) SO MANY NASTIES IS WAITING FOR YOU

  238. I’ve wanted to someday visit China. Not sure where (or when, because what am I doing with my life *sobs*) but everything I’ve heard about Beijing, on top of what was said in this TL:DR comparison is deterring me from Beijing… Can’t be all that bad… right? ; u;

    I have a shirtless story to tell! Story time! I’m from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) so back when I lived in Markham, there was this kid from my school who lived down the street from me, so whenever I walked home from school in the afternoon during the summer, I would almost always see his dad mowing or watering his lawn in just his shorts. JUST his shorts. No shoes, no shirt, just… lawn service (ahh, jokes). This was on a daily basis. I wonder how he’s doing now…
    As you mentioned in your video, you don’t really get shirtless people in Toronto unless it’s hot and it’s a (rowdy) festival. But shirtless guys at festivals are usually painted on so… yeah.

  239. It’s cold in Washington for pretty much 90% of the time. But when it starts to get warm, about 60s and 70s, some shirts will come off on high schoolers boy. Otherwise, mostly dressed.

    I went to Ukraine on a VBS trip a couple years back, and the air was nice there. It was summer and HOT!!! So many shirtless men and scantily dressed women! I joined them, trying to stay cool. The beach… lots of nakedness and no shame……

    Question: Would you allow a hedgehog in your coffee shop? ;) Are hedgies even allowed in Korea?

  240. Mallory

    As an American living in Vietnam, I am constantly asked if Im Russian. I asked my husband if it meant the same thing as it does in Korea and he was surprised. He told me that historically Vietnam and USA havent always been super friendly and that Russians often would go on trips to Vietnam WAY more than Americans would (my guess because of Vietnam (and China’s) Communist governments have had a lot of exposure to Russia). Maybe its a similar deal in China?

    Also, having been to Shanghai, China and India, I can say that driving in India is X1000 times more horrifying. I was riding in a rickshaw and a SUPER PACKED bus pulled up next to us and someone vomited out a window mere inches from my head.

  241. Driving in China is a FREAKIN NIGHTMARE. Even when you are in the taxi you are on the edge of your seats. Also those scooter drives just weave in and out. People in China driving are scary as hell.

    Yeah, Beijing’s air quality is really bad, even the people in the city themselves said it was bad.

    The Shirt thing is all over china really. Many of the building and homing complexes don’t have those rectangular air conditioning things, but this is just one of the many reasons. My old study abroad mates told me that one guy did that and wore slippers at a KFC late at night. They were laughing hysterically.

    Shanghai is very similar in the shady nighttime “taxi” thing.. I was with a classmate when we were hanging out with a group at the Bundt and we got separated from our group that night (we were studying abroad). Being that my friend was Caucasian, everyone assumed he was tourist. It was also hard to find a good and Honest taxi because we did have those black vans come in and ask us to pay more than two to three times the regular taxi fare. We ended up having to walk three blocks away to find a honest taxi guy who charged us the regular fare and was nice enough to drop us off . Not going to lie, it was kinda scary because also when we were looking for a taxi, a random guy across the street yelled out something in the Shanghai Dialect at us and stared. I think it was because the both of us were just weird looking, a Chinese girl accompanying a Caucasian guy. You can leave your imagination to just imagine the rest. We just ignored him because we were more worried about getting home.

    Go to Shanghai next time! It’s like Beijing, but it is also different and cleaner!

  242. Congrationalions on the succesful promposal! So cool! >.< And I have to say I had a good laugh at that word :P, I never knew it was a thing.
    Also I wish I could travel as much as you guys! I've been saving for over a year to go to Japan but I recently had to postpone the journey another half year because of my boyfriend's uni schedule (bad uni is bad!). I'm excited to see the Beijing adventures though!
    As for shirtlessness here in the Netherlands. It's not uncommon in hot weather. And since we have miserable weather most of the time, everything above 20 degrees is considered awesome weather! So then you'll start seeing people in t-shirts and shorts and flipflops and bare legs and whenever the temperature permits you might see shirtless guys. Not the belly scratching kind but let me tell you, no 6 packs are required.
    Also a while ago I was taking a walk around a recreational lake near my parents' house and opposite from where kids were playing in the sand was a nudist beach section. Yeah.. that surprised me.. there were like a dozen nude people chilling there..

  243. oh my goodness. driving in india. im from the south, so i dont know what its like in the north because ive never been there but in kerela (the south) i swear ive only seen one traffic light in the places ive been to. one. out of the whole of kerela. they most use police men and women who control the lanes that can move and which lanes have to stop and thats okay, people still obey that because indian police are quite scary. BUT LANES ARE THE BIGGEST THING OMG. generally theres only one lane for each way you’re going. so you know, you’re driving and theres this really slow truck in front of you, what do you, YOU DRIVING INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC TO OVERTAKE THEM. there are no lane barriers to seperate the two oncoming traffic. my dad usually drives us everywhere and he’s immune to all this and knows how to drive but i always get a heart attack. Also, the roads are horrible! in comparison to a place like dubai (where i currently live) it ridiculous! POTHOLES EVERYWHERE. it feels like a four wheel drive up mountains…

  244. Henry_Who

    I normally visit China’s coastal region so its not ‘too’ bad. Also yes, the sessual belly yoo hooing for the cooling is very ingrained and is a strong cultural identifier of mainland China… dad has been in Australia for 22 years and still, come summer… self temperature regulation via the shirt curtains and slapping the tummy like some king kong mating call… sigh…

  245. Where you recognized by people there? With all the no youtube policy.

  246. In the US shirts seem to be optional for guys. You know that whole “No shoes, no shirt, no service” yeah that just doesn’t freaking apply at a lot of places. Working outside, runners, ect ect. Swear to God I was on my college campus one day walking near the Union and 6 or 7 guys ran past me in nothing but running shoes and little running shorts. Not gonna lie totally checked them out. I couldn’t get my camera phone on fast enough though…cause they are on the track team.
    Shirts and skins is also used heavily in all sports. I played Ultimate Frisbee with a group of guys and I was one of maybe 3-5 girls. We(girls) would where long sleeves when we played shirts and tank tops/undershirts when we played on the skins side.
    My brother has been an athlete his whole life and for a time worked in manual labor. I think he has a thing against shirts. He never wears one in the house.
    The south is just too hot and humid to worry about who does and doesn’t wear a shirt.
    And tbh…i’m not complaining when the sports teams run by…can i just say that soccer players are well fit man…damn…Equal opportunity ogling.

  247. as someone who lives near Detroit (and frequents Windsor to see family) i can confirm that there are lots of shirtless people on both sides of the Detroit River, and in the suburbs north of Detroit.

  248. I went to China for a school trip last year for 2 weeks and I came home with a weird cough afterwards. Otherwise, yes, Beijing had a lot more foreigners and all, but when we were in Tianjin, which is a 3 hour bus ride from Beijing, I saw no foreigner people other than our group. Therefore, we were stared at A LOT and people would come up to us asking for our emails, QQ numbers or to have a picture taken with them. In Beijing that only occurred here and then with the picture taking. Also, in Beijing and Xi’an there were so many people selling random trinkets at every famous site!
    Lastly, I’m planning on doing an internship in Guangzhou next year for three and a half months, so hopefully my lungs with survive the air quality down there. :)

  249. Strawberries

    I live in Vegas. Gets way hot here. I regularly see guys walking around without t-shirts. But I don’t really mind. In fact, I feel bad for them. It’s so hot! And the sun so harsh! It’s just starting. Barely hitting 100(37) degrees, soon it be 110(43). Some days it’s even hotter, I think the official record is 117(47) in 2005.

  250. i live in america, new york to be specific so yeah. everyones shirtless all the time haha

  251. Sweetangelmiaka

    My roots lie in China, Beijing and I would go there to visit my family during summer vacation. It’s been a few years since I’ve gone there, but I remember the day I stepped out of the airport, I had trouble breathing. I felt heavy and thought I had a cold because my nose got stuck for a few days. Since I grew up in Belgium (Europe), the air difference was too big. After a few days, I got completely used to it though. After three weeks staying there and walking out of the airport in Belgium, I felt like I was breathing fresh air for like in ages! It felt good, really good.
    About the shirtless, it’s Europe, guys go shirtless during hot days and when the sun is shining, they even go shirtless in the park and girls would go with like a bikini top with super short shorts, sunbathing. So over here it’s totally normal. Guys do it all the time and it’s no surprise anymore seeing girls wear bikini tops around during the summer though really into the city, they mostly wear tanktops or something that doesn’t keep the warmth

  252. A.J.

    I live in Georgia, and shirtless men is not uncommon. The temperature is also 95-100 most of the summer so you wear as little as possible. And oh the humidity! We’re also right by the beach which makes the whole no shoes, no shirt, no service thing obsolete most places. Korea doesn’t go shirtless, but do they go barefoot?

  253. Tropical island here so shirtlessness is pretty common, once you are in your own neighbourhood, or are near a beach. Otherwise, men must have a shirt on if you are going into most business places or restaurants. Of course that doesn’t count for the ones near or on the beach. Actually they warn tourists not to go around in bikinis and bathing trunks off the beaches because we are more conservative.

    And driving is not so bad here, just that the roads are very narrow ( due to the island being so small) and lanes are not always marked so you have to be vigilant and make sure that you are in the correct lane. Plus the buses are huge and take up a lot of room. Also even though we are small, we tend not to have very tall buildings. Most places have 3 to 4 floors tops, and the tallest building is the central bank which has 8 or 10 floors. Maybe because we are a limestone/ coral island and cannot support larger buildings?

  254. I was in Beijing for a week and I have to agree with most of what you said in this video. Number one, the air was horrible. There were things flying in the air the whole time i was there, always looked cloudy never clear. At one point I finally ended up getting sunglasses because something flew into my eyes. That is why I have never understood why people say the air in Korea is bad, cause Ive been here for almost a year and I have never experienced it, it has always seemed clear to me and I have never felt affected by it. Number 2. The driving in Beijing is the worst I have ever seen . I have been in different countries, and not even New York City driving hold up a candle to how bad it is in Beijing. If you want to be at work on time you better leave two or three hours early cause otherwise you won’t make it.Number three. Smoking is allowed everywhere. There are no smoking prohibitions and people can just smoke inside restaurants hotels, pretty much wherever they want. Number four. Guys are really gross in Beijing. I saw it constantly everywhere guys picking their noses. It was just disgusting but it seemed like it was normal. I couldn’t believe it. I had a different experience with the food, not because it was bad, but it took us a while to actually find food that we liked because we went by pictures since everything is in Chinese, and when we did so it didn’t go well. There it was not like Seoul that almost everyone knows basic English. In Beijing no one knew English therefore it was very hard to communicate. Those were the worst things I experienced in Beijing, having said that, I loved it there as well. The architecture was beautiful. I loved the traditional temples, the tea houses, the mall we went to was gorgeous. The most beautiful mall Ive been at. The taxis were harder to come by than in Korea, I agree on that, but everything was very cheap and there were a lot of pretty things. I saw a lot of foreigners but mostly at the touristic places, not that many walking around. Overall I would go back to China. It is a beautiful country.

  255. SepiaLepus

    Growing up in the desert of Southern California I never understood why my Mom (who is Korean) was so offended whenever we saw a man without a shirt on. I finally went to Korea with her about 15 years ago for a Pottery Festival and there were artists from all over the world participating. One day a Japanese guy took his shirt off (it was hot as hell so no wonder!) and someone told him that was a huge no no so the next day he apologized to each of us personally. He was so embarrassed! Any way thats my shirtless Korean story.

  256. Dramaloverr

    Hey you guys!!

    I’m from Finland and the topless thing is pretty common here…I mean among guys. No topless women!! During summer when it gets really hot in here men in pretty much all age groups walk around topless but it usually happens at home or on the beach etc. You can’t run errands if your topless. I mean you could but it’s not very appropriate. And if you’d go to a store to buy stuff you’d probably freeze your nipples off.

    Another thing about being naked in Finland. Here we go to the sauna naked and if you are close to a group of friends that have males and females in it you still MIGHT go to the sauna together naked. NOT ALL FINNISH PEOPLE DO THIS but some do.

  257. Sighman

    I lived in Beijing for about 2 months and I lived in Northern China for another 8!
    The pollution never bothered me but I did get a random eye illness during my time in Beijing, where my eye had similar symptoms to conjunctivitis and I couldn’t have it open for more than 2 minutes!
    In Xinxiang, the town(city) where I lived in China, it wasn’t necessarily polluted but the amount of dust that was floating around was ridonkulous! If you fell on the ground with a white suit you’re buggered. That’s all I’m saying.

    One thing that really REALLY freaked me out was my journey home from my hostel, which was fantastic, to the airport! They ordered a Taxi for me and the driver was LITERALLY falling asleep every 1-2 minutes! I almost grabbed the wheel on several occasions but he called me a stupid white guy. I couldn’t do anything but laugh at the whole situation! “HAHAHA I’m going to die!”

  258. Oh, China, the motherland. Yup, the belly hanging out is a Chinese thing. My friends FROM China talk all the time about the lack of…(what’s a good word?) you find among the general populace. Granted, one of them is a Japanophile and the two countries are of stark contrast. But yeah, you’ve got full-on lip/mouth smacking with open-mouth chewing (food bits flying into the communal dinner dishes as you talk), no shame of belching or farting in public. And Beijing is the only place where I had some drunk dudes on the street in broad daylight, as I walked with my family, try to grope me as I passed them (I was 14). My mom was appalled.

    Funny story about India, though. My friend’s girlfriend was there once, taking a taxi. His brakes didn’t work, which I guess was…okay? Naturally he had to stop like 50 feet before impact, and he didn’t, so he rear-ended someone. The other guy came out of his car and they had a casual talk. The taxi driver explained his brakes were out and the other guy was just like, “Oh, yeah that’s totally fine. Mine too.” And they just got back in their cars and went their ways.

  259. Well I don’t know about the shirt thingy but what i will say is that all the men in my family all walk shirtless. They are literally walking around in just shorts or shorts and a tank top. My family is Ghanaian, so it’s not just them. In Ghana, the men can walk around in their house shirtless. Nobody says anything though because it’s a natural thing and IT IS HOT AS SATAN’S SWEAT OVER THERE. So if a Ghanaian guy comes over to America, they will walk around their house shirtless since it has become a habit.

  260. beno

    hmmm…guys here are pretty comfortable being shirtless/nipple exposure here (in trinidad). its normally hot; but we dont have the belly itching and crop tops lmao

  261. Deliaxx

    I visited Shanghai before and it was super diverse! It seemed like every 4th or 5th person was a foreigner. Why is that??

  262. Oh wow.. guess I’m glad that europe kind of cares about air pollution. o.o
    Shirtlessness.. it’s not ‘normal’ in the city or sth but… no one cares if you’re shirtless at a park, sea, ect~

  263. In the US of A, It’s pretty common for men in small towns or a more rural setting to be shirtless. Which isn’t the most… ah, thrilling thing to see, in my opinion :P ehehe but yeah. Can anyone vouch for U.S. cities? There’s a few nearby for me, but they aren’t the largest, nor do I spend enough time in them on a regular basis to determine if guys actually go shirtless. Can’t really say I was looking for it though X’D I -DO- know that the whole shirt-lifting-stomach-scratching-in-public thing is not prevalent here at all, at least where I live. :)

    • caitbeans

      NYC here, men do not really walk around shirtless. You might see a young guy here or there, trying to show off how muscle-y he is, but nothing beyond that really. (Barring sunbathing in the park/beach goers.)

    • irritablevowel

      In Chicago the only time you’re going to see a guy shirtless in public is if he’s 1. at the beach 2. doing something sports related (jogging, basketball, volleyball) 3. in a neighborhood with high poverty.

  264. Fynboen

    Black cars is taxis which lure the tourists into the expensive death! No, im just kidding, but really. They are targeting tourists, because they pretend that they are real taxi drivers! They wants you to pay overprice, and sometimes they don’t lead you that way you wanted!

    • Cyber_3

      It’s true! In Shanghai, my boss had the experience of getting into one of these cars because he was desperate for a ride but they took him somewhere out of the way (not his destination) and then tried to extort more money from him or else they would not bring him back to civilization. I, myself, took an “illegal taxi” out of desperation as well (stuck in downtown Shanghai in the rain by myself, night is falling, no taxis stopping for 2 hours, no map, no bus drivers speak english, etc.) but this guy was happy to take me since I didn’t try to haggle down his ridiculous price and he even slowed down at monuments so that I could get clearer photos. One really noticeable difference in the taxis in Shanghai were the plexi-glass and steel crash cages around the drivers – I have never seen that anywhere else, was it the same in Beijing?

  265. jhmint

    Black cars are for those unlicensed Taxi that will rip off your money because they know you are foreigners and don’t know much about transportation system in China. Basically they will ask you for 1.5-2x the normal price and will take you the long way towards your destination.

    And yes, shirtlessness is a thing in China, even in Hong Kong (I live in HK btw). I’ve seen a lot of uncles and grandpas with just undershirt/tank top thing rolled up to their chest area, and sometimes even delivery workers (not mcD or pizza hut delivery, but like bulk purchase delivery guy) and movers working shirtless, just casually loitering around my apartment building without giving a shit.

    • But in Hong Kong it’s always people who are working hard physical jobs under the heat, so like construction workers and delivery guys like you said, or occasionally poor old men collecting waste paper on the street. You are not going to see a regular dude walking on the street with their tummy exposed like in China.

  266. Nic My Korean Husband

    Hugh has been to China and agreed with everything you said.

    Korean guys don’t show their chests in public but once they are inside their homes IT’S NAKED TIME! The thing is, you’ve gotta be MARRIED to a Korean guy to see it. Maybe they feel so constricted by the conservativeness of Korean clothing standards that they gotta let it all hang out once they are at home. I’ve had many many other women married to Korean guys tell me that this is such a Korean guy thing. I think I did a comic one time about Hugh taking his pants off before taking his backpack off when he came home. Also Han in one video talked about sliding out of his clothes like a snake shedding its skin once he came home.

  267. This is hilarious, I just got back from studying in China! My classmates and I went to Beijing and everyone took pictures of us ALL THE TIME. When we went to the train station in Beijing we were sweating so much and dying and we all were like, “yep we understand the weird half rolled up shirt now”

    Also, oh my lord. The amount of children I saw defecating in the street made me cringe. ALSO, SO MUCH PEEING. I SAW SO MANY PEOPLE PEE. No one cared, people peed with doors open, children wore split pants so they could pop squats anywhere. Oh my gosh I was so surprised. We were at the temple of heaven and I saw a kid poop. I couldn’t deal oh lord.

    When we got to the train station it felt like our lungs were sunburnt. I feel for the people in Beijing.

    • You know, we didn’t see any public defecation or urination whatsoever. I think we might have just flaked out. However, I remember reading in the newspaper an article saying that there’s a campaign now to stop public defecation. Unfortunately, they named it something like “Break the Silence” which – because this is us we’re talking about – only made us think of farts.

      • Hahahaha
        We mostly saw it in Dalian, the town we were studying in. So it became a game of “dodge the mystery wet spots” on the street when we’d venture out for dinner. We were told it’s something people who can’t afford diapers do. Gotta do what you gotta do then?

        • I saw a lot in Nanjing. The most memorable was a father holding his little son in the air so he can pee. It looked like a fountain >_>

    • Crystal_Crown

      ….Yeah. Heard it was socially acceptable to publicly poo and pee in public in China. I’m not talking about the children… EVEN THE ADULTS. And a lot of mainlanders that visited HK tried to bring the concept in HK… they publicly peed in the subway and ofc Hong Kong ppl were not happy. Also it’s illegal in HK. This is issue is causing a big stir right now in mainland china and HK. A elite college student in China commented on this issue and said it was of the norm and that Hong Kong ppl are just overreacting… this makes me wonder… WHAT KIND OF MINDSET ARE THEY TEACHING IN CHINA????

  268. Mr. Pokemon

    Korean person who has been to the countryside here! I have never seen the rolled up shirt exposed belly thing! Even the farmers are always wearing at least the undershirt while they’re working. NO NIPPLES TO BE SEEN ANYWHERE!

  269. Luna

    woot first comment! Shirtlessness is pretty common here, but I am from Ottawa lol and as for the driving thing…WHOA you aint seen nothing if youve never seen Vietnamese traffic holy crapola. In Hanoi there can be as many as 6 cars across the road…not to mention the motorbikes that just kinda go wherever they want… wooow. Never been to China but good to know that I need to bring a mask with me :P Love you guise!

  270. pikachumeat

    Hey guys!

    Thanks so much for making this video! Been wanting to go to China for AGES (especially Cheng Du…. I’ll admit it. It’s those traditional food documentaries, goddammit) but all my Chinese friends were always screaming, “NO. DON’T GO TO MAINLAND CHINA. GO TO HONG KONG.” I still wanted to go until I found out about “gutter oil” but seeing you guys enjoy yourselves so much has revived the fire inside my soul to go there one day! >:D

    Totally looking forward to the WANK tomorrow!

    PS: Totally saw the “daisy duke/crop-top” man thingamajiggy in Vietnam. This security man had his shirt rolled up outside a pho stand while he satisfyingly rubbed his belly in circles while getting up to stretch after his meal. Wish we could upload photos on here…. ; ^ ;

  271. timbiriki77

    The black car thing sounds a little scary…O_O What’s that all about?

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