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The Top 5 International Travel Myths & Stereotypes Debunked

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Myth 3: Asians Only Travel by Bike

Hong Kong traffic. Credit via Wikimedia user Grandvgartam

Younger readers might not catch this myth, so here’s a bit of history. Since at least the Ho Chi Minh trail, a human-powered supply-line during the Vietnam War, many have stereotyped Asians as perpetually cycling.

Yes, there are probably more bikers per capita in Laos that Los Angeles. But get this: car ownership in China has increased from just 4 million to a whopping 35 million.

It’s now the largest national car market in the world. And while many still ride two-wheelers, they are usually powered scooters and motorcycles.

A growing middle class and a generation of suburban cities are making the car emperor of China’s transportation. Most Chinese households still own a bicycle. But in big cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, bikes are more likely to be used for a ride around the block then a commute to work.

Bicycles are still great for tourists though. There’s no better way to see a city like Beijing from atop a bicycle. So next time you’re in Beijing, check out bike tours, like Bike Beijing. Too cool for human-powered bikes? Check out motorcycle and sidecar tours across China, such as Beijing Sideways.

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