Top ten most greatest English encountered on the road

Now that we’ve wrapped up the Asia section of our trip it seems like a good time to collect some of the most humorous assaults on the English language we’ve come across on the road so far… While Japan is known for its Engrish it actually seems to have been mostly cleaned up by now, but luckily China has stepped in to fill the gap and take the art-form to dizzying new heights. The very best ones somehow manage to leave you with the feeling that even if the language and grammar was perfect, what they were trying to say still wouldn’t make any sense…

On our last trip the most memorable one we came across was an Indian restaurant in Vientiane, Laos, which promised “A forgettable taste of India”! I think this trip has been more fruitful though. Here’s our Top-Ten: 😀


Drunk by the beauty of nature at the Leshan Giant Buddha

“Some expert of heritage of leshan is as impressive as seeing many of the other great cultural stone monuments such as the shyphinx.”

And also…

“Looking away from the place, you would find that the tree E mountains are calm and peaceful, and wagching the river running out from behind the hotizon, you would be drunk by the beauty of nature.”

Sign by the Leshan Giant Buddha.

Sign by the Leshan Giant Buddha.


Cool T-shirts at the Chengdu train-station

T-shirts with English writing on them are very cool at the moment in China – it doesn’t really matter if the owner doesn’t speak the language, or if what’s written on the shirt wouldn’t even make sense to someone who does. One of the best one’s we spotted was worn by a young girl at the Chengdu train-station and sported this cryptic statement:

Bike Loveing A.
[picture of bicycle]
To punish their onw!


The CCP helping you find your aim in life on Mount Emei

Probably the one bit of communism that still survives in China today is the public information campaigns with very specific rules on how you should behave in various aspects of your life…there was a list of a full 20 Do’s and Don’t published everywhere on Mount Emei (“Don’t put disorderly” etc.) as well as Socialist Viewpoints about Honor & Disgrace (“Take hard work and struggle as an honor, regard extravagant and dissipated as a disgrace etc.)…and this helpful little gem in a public toilet (also on Mount Emei):

“It is so civilized to take one more step further close while urinating.”


Warm Notice on Mount Emei

“Otherwise you’ll be seriously punished, which may give you an unpleasant tour.”

Warm Notice on Mount Emei

Warm Notice on Mount Emei


Food flavoured biscuits!

…I had to buy a packet of course. Turns out they don’t taste like food at all – at least not any kind of food I know.. (..except perhaps fish food, mixed with lots of cardboard). I bought them in Lhasa in the “Family of supermarket common people“!

Nothing but lies...

Nothing but lies...


Menu’s in Tibetan restaurants

Found this gem in a restaurant by Namtso lake at 4700 meters altitude…

Pork missed with garlic sauce.

Sold pork mixed with garlic sauce.

Cooled pork’s forgive mixed with chili sauce.

Roofs with vine gal sauce.

Pork’s stomach with viregal and chili sauce.

Saeef snshewnufs.

Dining at 4700 meters (cucumbers with garlic sauce sounds good...)

Dining at 4700 meters (cucumbers with garlic sauce sounds good...)

Dining at 4000 meters.

Dining at 4000 meters.


The same menu also had “Hot pot with pork’s guts”

Here’s another one from a place we ate in two days later:

Shrellded Mest with Lattureroot

Fired Pork Srices with eggplant




Something to do with sculptures on a Khajuraho temple signpost

“The temple stands on a modest. This is the only temple at Khajuraho which lacks erotic sculptures are three bands of sculptures around the walls and all the sculptures.”

…and just in case the 89-word sentence that follows this delightful short extract somehow still fails to give you a headache, the whole thing has been written in upper-case!

There will be a test at the end!

There will be a test at the end!


May we remind you…

Quirky policeman on a sign-post outside the Temple of Heaven in Beijing thinks you’re definitely up to something…

May we remind you: Please be self-restraint and be a good tourist to mold a well-mannered imagination!

May we remind you...

May we remind you...


Eggplant With Corporal Punishment in Beijing

Beijing restaurant menu.

Beijing restaurant menu.

So many delightful delicacies to choose from on this menu!

Couple Lungs

Blend Jellyfish

Pickled Pig Unguis

Fried Pignut

Pickled Elbow

Numb and Sore Chicken

Eggplant With Corporal Punishment


As well as a selection of various Entrails and Intestine -based dishes… Is the Eggplant With Corporal Punishment served separately or simultaneously me wonders?

Menu page2, page3.



The careful roof falls the snow…

Poetic yet borderline informational at the same time, this Mt. Emei sign is our favourite so far 😀

Be careful of slippery.
The careful roof falls the snow.

Signpost outside a temple on the Mount Emei summit

Signpost outside a temple on the Mount Emei summit


* Runner-ups…

At the Great Mosque in Xi'an's Muslim quarter.

At the Great Mosque in Xi'an's Muslim quarter.

Theretrdspectientower in Xi’an

The “Theretrdspectientower” can be found at the Great Mosque in Xi’an’s Muslim quarter.





Fire extinguisher

Granted, it is a difficult word to spell.. In fact every place that has one spells it in a different way. “Fire exting uis herbox” and “Fire Exting Atsher Box” are two fine examples.

Mount Emei version.

Mount Emei version.

Xi'an version.

Xi'an version.






Xi'an restaurant menu.

Xi'an restaurant menu.

More unexpected dishes in Xi’an

“Lettuces with Bacteria” – there is a picture even!

Learn English at the…

“Teaching Hotle” in Lhatse.

Teaching Hotle.

Teaching Hotle.









Unexpected levels of greatness at the Terracotta Warrior museum

“The museum devotes much attention to enhance cadres and staffs’ ideological level and professional quality, even makes great efforts on training a group of excellent personnel owning both ability and moral integrity, who have already accomplished different kinds of tasks outstandingly at their different working post.”

“All these brilliant achievements make museum progressive every year.”

Stay safe (and inspired) on the mountain.

Stay safe (and inspired) on the mountain.

Nuts in Yangshuo

“Almonds. Please edible, avoid in change quality dampness.”

Stay safe on Mt. Emei

“Being in wonderful famous mountain landscape under the sun .keeping the words of safe tour in mind.”

One Response to “Top ten most greatest English encountered on the road”

  1. Yvonne says:

    Hi guys, this is hilarious!! I have to say my favorite by far is the eggplant with corporal punishment. Please, please tell me that you actually ordered it. I can only imagine how much you guys are laughing on your trip. We just came back from SA where we were in stitches half the time because of the language. Afrikaans is just too funny for dutch people, very hard to keep a straight face 😉
    Hope you’re doing well. (And although I haven’t left a lot of comments please keep updating the blog; it’s so much fun to read!)