Qing Ming Festival, 清明节, Qīngmíng Jié, is a time where family members get together and pay respect to their ancestors but it also known as a time for everyone to go outdoors to enjoy springtime and the green scenery it brings.
For this extended weekend, to experience the great outdoors, Kenny our Customer Relations Manager arranged a trip for the interns to Conch Gully, 海螺沟, hǎiluógōu.

InternChina - Conch Gully
InternChina – Conch Gully

As expected, at the bus station, with no orderly queue formed there were masses of people pushing here and there. The ‘queue’ of people started from outside the entrance of the station and as we were walking through to the waiting area, it felt as though we were herded like cattle. Luckily, we had bought our tickets in advance as the queue for tickets was also displeasing to the eye. It is definitely always a good idea to book in advance particularly during peak season!

For me, travelling long distance by bus is one thing I loathe, especially when travelling during the Chinese holidays as it always takes longer than usual. But in the end it always seems worth it somehow, and it certainly was!

Nearly 10 hours later, with a few toilet and food stops on the way, we arrived at our accommodation. To our surprise a hot spring was available for all the guests to use. On our way we were actually discussing what to do for the evening and when we heard about this our decision was made! After our much needed dinner, we spent the rest of the evening drinking beers and relaxing in the hot spring.

InternChina - Hot Spring
InternChina – Hot Spring

The hot spring had quite a distinct smell to it but apparently the smellier the better!

The next day was a very early start to the day, we left our hotel at 6:30am and proceeded with exploring the Glacier Forest Park. It took us 3-4 hours to explore this section. We took plenty of stops within this area to take in the surroundings and the amazing scenery.

InternChina - Sun peering over the mountain
InternChina – Sun peering over the mountain

Although there was snow everywhere, it was very warm under the blazing heat from the sun. Others found it so warm they even went topless, thankfully only for a short while.

InternChina - Topless Chinese men
InternChina – Topless Chinese men

At the end of the Glacier Forest Park we arrived to an area filled with snow covered rocks and no identifiable pathway. As you walked you would often find your foot falling through the snow that settled between the rocks. As we continued walking it was apparent that there was no possible way to reach the top of the mountain by foot. So, we headed back which only took half the time and took a cable car to the top. As we went climbed higher we started to experience altitude sickness, but once we arrived to the top the feeling slowly lifted due to the breath taking views.

InternChina - Snow covered rocks
InternChina – Snow covered rocks

After a long day exploring the wonders of Conch Gully, we went back into the town to enjoy some local barbecue and another session in the hot spring. It was shame that we couldn’t stay another day longer!

Apply now for an internship and travel to many beautiful places close to Chengdu, Qingdao and Zhuhai.