This weekend at Intern China Chengdu our team went to Dufu Cottage followed by a relaxing afternoon of Mahjong and Tea drinking.
Dufu is a very famous Chinese poet born in the 7th century. He resided in Chengdu for 4 years during the AnShan Revolution which led to him fleeing from his home town of LuoYang in Henan province. During his time in Chengdu he lived in a modest thatched cottage by the flower rinsing shores of the river in the west of Chengdu.
It is here he is said to have been most prolific in terms of his output of poetry, writing over 240 poems. Taking in the scenery in this beautiful area of Chengdu it is easy to see where he got his influence and motivation for writing such an great number of poems.
In the grounds of Dufu’s Cottage you can see a wide variety of blossoming plants as well as a wide range of classic architecture and buildings. Including the famous hut by the river where Dufu would spend his days gazing over the river watching the wildlife.
After walking the grounds at the cottage and getting some fantastic Sichuan food for lunch we headed to a Mahjong house near to WenShu Monastery.
When arriving at the Mahjong house we chose a room with a view over the street, in hindsight this probably wasn’t the greatest idea. This being my first time playing I was amazed by the table at which we were playing. It had an in built shuffling device, contained two sets of tiles and also an under table heater to keep our feet warm.
After being taught the rules by the rest of the IC Chengdu team we began to play. Let’s just say it didn’t go too well for myself but we were having fun.
During our time playing the passing locals seemed shocked and amazed at the foreigners playing Mahjong. Asking if we knew how to play, taking photos. One gentleman even took it upon himself to stand by our table for 20mins offering instructions. Including getting animated if any of us were to do one thing even slightly wrong.
All in all it was a great day out, relaxing enjoying 3 hours of Mahjong and the serenity and tranquility of Dufu’s cottage made for a great Saturday in Chengdu.
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This weekend in Chengdu our interns took a visit to the famous Wenshu Monastery. Upon arrival, the beauty of the buildings stunned us. From the towering peace pagoda to the stunning halls, the architecture amazed us all.
Upon entering the monastery, you notice its layout in the traditional Chinese style. Wenshu is made of 5 south facing halls in a row leading up to the stunning main hall at the far end from the entrance. In classic Chinese style there was maintenance underway including this man precariously perched atop scaffolding on wheels using a jet wash to clean the beams.
Having toured the grounds of the monastery we headed outside to an antiques market. Here we found old communist memorabilia, including the famous little red book, and Mao-ist propaganda amongst other treasures. One vendor was sat outside his shop playing his guitar as his dog kept an eye on the passers by.
After looking around the monastery and the antiques market we headed back towards the temple grounds in search of some food.
The surrounding area to the monastery is home to some of the most famous food in Sichuan. Not ones to miss the opportunity to eat, we jumped in the line of a famous restaurant. The restaurant was packed full with no space to sit. Upon ordering our TianShuiMian (this restaurants famous dish) we managed to find a spot to sit and dug into to this amazing delicacy. Our interns loved the sweet and spicy contrast to these amazing hand made noodles!
After sampling this delight we wanted more and headed to another famous spot near the metro station. As is the case with all well-known eateries in China, this place also had a queue out the front. This time we were queuing for Guo Kui. The menu offered Beef, Pork, Pig’s Snout, Pigs Ear, Noodles and other delights to fill this delightful pastry pocket. I personally chose the pig’s snout, which didn’t disappoint.
Having filled our stomachs with great food and our eyes with fantastic scenery we all headed off. On the way back we stopped by Tianfu Square, right in the middle of the city to snap some pictures and take in our surroundings. All in all a great day out!
Interested in visiting Wenshu Monastery and trying some Sichuan cuisine? Apply now!
Written by Claire Sadler
From the most isolated city in the world to one of the largest cities in China
Coming from the remote city of Perth, Australia I thought interning in Chengdu would be the perfect opportunity to experience a different lifestyle.
Although when I first arrived, the difference between my coastal life and bustling Chengdu definitely gave me culture shock, this soon subsided with the excitement of being exposed to such an amazing place.
I have only been here for a month but in that time I have already made enough friends to freeload on almost every continent, eaten my weight in Sichuan cuisine and explored many parts of this beautiful city!
In an attempt to explore as much as possible during my stay, I have seen so much of what Chengdu has to offer. Some of the highlights have been the infamous pandas, Dongmen Bridge, the Leshan Giant Buddha and People’s Park.
One funny experience of my trip though was how excited the locals at Sanxingdui Museum were when they saw Dominique and I. A crowd of at least 20 people asked for pictures because they had never seen a foreigner there before! All I could think about was how they would have shown everyone the pictures of us.
During my stay in Chengdu I’m situated in Gaoshengqiao, known for the Tibetan culture. It is crazy how even doing day to day tasks I am exposed to this culture, as I even see monks shopping in Walmart!
In terms of my placement I am completing a marketing internship with Inspiration Tech. It has been an amazing opportunity to learn new marketing skills, specifically how to effectively promote a product and create advertisements. I have also gotten the opportunity to write articles and conduct interviews, which has boosted my experience in journalism.
The whole trip has been eye opening, inspiring and rewarding in so many ways. Interning in Chengdu was definitely a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget!
Do you want to experience Chengdu for yourself? Then apply now!
Written by Sylvia Liu
It’s been a bit over a month now since I first began my internship experience in Chengdu with InternChina, and I can easily say that this experience is definitely one that will be remembered!
Having travelled to many other Chinese cities before, Chengdu is a breath of fresh air; not literally however, but rather in the sense of its pace of life.
Chengdu meanders peacefully through each day; while other cities rush and are filled with spontaneity. That’s not to say Chengdu is less developed economically, quite the contrary! Just as its numerous shopping centres, nightlife and still expanding public transport systems like to prove.
Personally I have found the pace of life charming. I have enjoyed spending my Sundays temple-seeing, sipping tea at monasteries, and nibbling on sunflower seeds while listening to the indistinct chatter of Sichuanese.
Food has also held a prominent role in my time here! You will be hard pressed to find a restaurant who won’t serve at least a bowl of chilli with the famous Sichuan Peppercorns along with your meal.
The old streets of Chengdu, the majority located in the inner South West of the city, are a delight to walk through. There is plenty of opportunity to snack on the delicious street food, while being surrounded by traditional architecture permeating with historical significance.
I believe that there is knowledge that can only be learned from doing an internship in China. In particular cultural proficiency, which is always a handy skill to have even if one does not pursue a career in international business.
Some of the more interesting tasks I’ve done at the company have included researching the potential of incorporating blockchain technology with gaming, as well as game testing for current beta projects.
The employees at the company are all very inclusive, and it is interesting to gain insight into general Chinese organisational culture. The food options available at lunch are an additional highlight of the workday. The local 7-Eleven is frequented often for its lunchtime pick-and-mix boxes!
The people I have met in Chengdu have been the best part of my internship yet. Being able to meet people from all over the world through my internship in Chengdu is something I’m grateful for. I always look forward to spending time with the other interns or going to events organised by InternChina, such as Thursday Dinner, or even weekend activities outside the city.
I can say with no doubt that it is the people I have met here that make this trip the enjoyable experience it has been!
Interested in seeing everything that Sylvia has during her time in Chengdu? Then apply now!
Hi all, 大家好! My name is James and I’m currently interning in the Chengdu branch of InternChina. Having been on an internship through InternChina in Qingdao I knew I had to return to China. What better way than to work for the company that made my last experience here so enjoyable?
Having experienced the beaches, sunshine and delicious seafood on offer in Qingdao I fancied a different experience this time choosing to head to Chengdu.
Chengdu is one of the largest cities in China with a population of over 14 million. Whilst this may seem daunting, the friendly locals and laidback lifestyle quickly distract from the vastness of this huge metropolis. The city itself is located in the west of China, in Sichuan province, far away from the much-industrialised eastern coast. This allows you access to some fantastic scenery and countryside only a short trip outside of the city. Located near the Tibetan Plateau there is easy access to skiing in the winter and outdoor activities all year round.
The local food in Chengdu is internationally famed for its MaLa麻辣 (spicy and numbing) flavour with many dishes having this delicious spicy kick. The most famous dish being Hot Pot served in a large dish of bubbling spicy broth filled with your choice of vegetables and meats. This dish is to die for! The local delicacies don’t end there with a variety of different noodle dishes to please any palate. Including TianShuiMian 甜水面 (sweet water noodles) and DanDanMian 担担面 (peddler’s noodles) to name a few.
What to see in Chengdu?
With the city of Chengdu spreading far and wide there is so much to feast your eyes on. With towering mega structures like the West Pearl Tower 四川广播电视塔, at over 300m tall. Stunning architecture as seen at DongMen Bridge 东门桥, the postcard picture perfect iconic image of Chengdu. Chengdu is even home to the largest building in the world the New Century Global Centre. There is so much beauty in the structures around the city. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle there are also many parks dotted around including People’s park. Here you can join the locals and relax enjoying a cup of hot tea in one of the cities many teahouses.
Overall the city of Chengdu has an unbelievable amount to offer whether you’re coming for the food, the sights or to escape don’t hesitate.
What are you waiting for? Take a look at some of our opportunities now!
Chengdu Creativity and Design Week
This weekend, I took a trip to the Chengdu Creativity and Design Week event with my housemate/new friend Claire: the receiver of silly rants about the complicated social politics of travel, and teller of funny Chinese internship-related stories.
We spent an hour or so travelling across the city, from tube stop to tube stop, line 2, changing to line 3… it really was a bit of trek! The event was held in the New International Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is very close to the New Century Building; the so called ‘biggest building in the world’. Quite a sight to see!
So what was there to see?
The event exhibited a huge range of different design work. There were various types of technology, cars, lighting, skateboards, jewellery, packaging, figure modelling, furniture- there was even an IKEA exhibit with sofas on grass and a huge wall made of cardboard boxes!) and so much more. It was also the temporary home of the Chromacon Showcase, featuring New Zealand based artists T-Wei, Allan Xia, Scott Savage, Martin Horspook and Anna Johnstone.
It was relatively quiet on the last day of the event, although they had seen a massive 2.5 million visitors. Before we arrived there were awards presentations, artistic talks and demonstrations, workshops and book-signings. Author Master Li even signed his books in his signature upside-down calligraphy style!
Let’s get to the real deal
Obviously, the most important and exciting part of the event was the Nescafe coffee machine, with a SOY BEAN MILK button. If the UK is to take anything from Chinese culture and development, let it be this- this is the future! While we were there, and after a complimentary soy milk coffee, Claire and I wandered around as many stalls as we could possibly lay our eyes on, stopping every now and then to take photos and admire amazing design work. There were ornamental ceramic bowls and life size animal sculptures.
We gazed at coloured string structures and cleverly arranged wooden framed interiors, 3D fantasy figures, stalls for holiday park… The content was so diverse and exciting to see, and it spanned outwards seemingly endlessly in all directions.
That’s not all
We had the pleasure of meeting a few designers and people from companies all over China and further afield. We were shown around stalls and told stories of success. They asked about our travels and our purpose for being here in Chengdu. Of course many photos were taken of us, as they tend to do a lot with Westerners in China.
One company who were particularly interested in holding our attention and sharing their experiences with us were the guys at Meetion Tea. There were two of them with enough English to offer us samples of their tea. With enough broken Mandarin between the two of us, we enquired what was in them. They offered us blueberry flavours, red bean, banana, and some sweet tea we didn’t quite manage to decipher. They showed us their packaging (designed by another company). After silly amounts of tea he offers us a tasty pineapple cocktail which was probably a bit too alcoholic for 3 in the afternoon but hey, when in China…
Discovery of a love story
We also stumbled across a lovely couple who run Choclito, Tom and Lily. They made us feel so welcome and were genuinely interested in our story. So, I thought I’d share a bit of theirs. Choclito is a Belgian chocolate figure business running from China. Tom who owns the company, began his journey in Belgium, working in his three-generation-old family business in Belgian chocolate. He crafts every figure like a piece of art. The Belgian Royal family including the princess and the queen even visited the family factory! Lily told us about how they have learned to be cautious and seek perfection but also to be brave in pushing new ideas into the future.
The couple first met when Tom was in China on business. They soon fell in love. After returning to Belgium, every month Tom would send Lily a box of handmade chocolates. After the 12th box, Tom decided to move to China to live with Lily and start Choclito (Choc for chocolate, Li for Lily, To for Tom). They import all the finest raw materials from Belgium. Every single chocolate is made by hand using traditional, Belgian methods and advanced techniques. Every chocolate has its own design and story. Our favourites were the pandas!
After exchanging WeChat accounts and taking a few last minute snaps, we prised ourselves away from the pineapple flavoured cocktails and beautifully crafted chocolates. Afterwards we made our way back towards the entrance to tackle the long subway ride home. Luckily, we ran into a little street-food market close to the metro station and indulged in a stick of syrup-coated dough balls each. Yum!
If you’re in Chengdu, definitely make sure you take full advantage of the street food (except maybe the rabbit skulls and pig snouts)… And of course try out all the cultural opportunities available to you. Despite its laid-back appearance, Chengdu is still a big city and there is a lot going on if you throw yourself in!
Interested in doing a design internship in Chengdu? Check out a few of these!
Written by Gen Uk Participant Amy Dunstall
Nĭ hăo! Wo shì Shona and I’m the Design and Marketing intern at the Chengdu office, although my journey started further east, in Qingdao. I was lucky enough to begin my programme with IC working in the Qingdao office, which I was very happy about, as Qingdao is a beautiful city and right on the sea so there’s always a nice breeze to help with the heat.
Getting to Qingdao
What I loved most about Qingdao is that it’s a great introduction to real-life China, and as the IC offices are based in cities most tourists don’t think of, it’s an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the culture. Due to Qingdao’s history, there’s a real European feel to the city; however don’t let that fool you- the mass of markets and restaurants remind you that it still is, very much Chinese.
Settling in to China life was pretty easy for me, and while the first week was a bit of a shock- such as getting used to the commute to work (I’m still amazed how many people can fit on a bus here), the culture shock passed quickly. It’s incredibly easy to get used to the lifestyle and turn into a true Zhōngguó rén.
Life in Qingdao
I really enjoyed the lifestyle in Qingdao; there’s always something interesting happening, and despite how fast paced it seems initially, it also feels as equally laid back.
The work/life balance in Qingdao is just right and my favourite post work treat is winding down at the local BBQ spot with some Shao Kao and Tsingtao in hand- now that’s the life!
While in Qingdao I had the chance to help organise fun events each week, my first one being sailing! What better way to experience a Chinese seaside city than by boat? It was my first time running an official event, so I was a little nervous but the event ran without a hitch and everyone had a blast.
One of the best nights I’ve had in China was camping on the beach, at the foot of Mount Làoshān; the real highlight was floating around in the sea, surrounded by friends and all watching the fireworks light up the night, and moments like that are why I love China.
The first big Summer trip was a joint excursion to Beijing with the Chengdu, Qingdao and Dalian IC offices, and being my first trip in mainland China, I was so excited to see the China I’d seen in movies growing up as a kid.
We saw iconic landmarks such as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, and the icing on the cake, the Great Wall. It’s safe to say I wasn’t disappointed as Beijing has so much to offer, but the pinnacle of our trip was visiting the Great Wall at Mu Tian Yu.
The Big Move: Swapping Cities
Three weeks into my internship I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Sichuan to help support my colleagues in the Chengdu office. I had always wanted to visit Chengdu and love to travel so when the chance arrived, I jumped at it!
Travelling to Chengdu was exciting; even the legendary Chinese flight delays, which gave me the opportunity to make friends with the locals using my broken Mandarin, couldn’t dampen my mood as I headed to panda city.
First Days in Chengdu
Arriving in the Sichuan capital, I was lucky to have a few days off before starting work. So what’s the first thing you HAVE to see in Chengdu? Pandas! The panda base, or Xióngmāo jīdì as its known here, is hugely popular with tourist groups so it’s important to get there bright and early.
After waking up at the crack of dawn, I jumped in a cab that took me straight from my apartment to the base for 60 kuai, which was worth it just to beat the queue.
July in Chengdu is the peak of summer and with average temperatures of 30 degrees, and with it being so hot outside the pandas were hidden away in their cool enclosures. This meant I had to fight my way through the tourist mob to catch a glimpse of the famous bear cat, but it was worth it- after all, pandas are an icon throughout the world so I couldn’t pass through Chengdu without stopping by!
Life in Chengdu was a bit of a shock at first, especially the morning commute to work. Chengdu feels like a combination of the fast paced lifestyle of cities like London with bustling subways and seas of people, along with the easy going nature of the Chinese locals, sat playing Mahjong on the street at night- a contrast if there ever was one.
Since coming to Chengdu I’ve been involved in all sorts of IC events, from the weekly Thursday dinners eating famous hot pot to the Four Sisters mountain trip in western Sichuan. When staying in Qingdao I used to think it was the city that never sleeps, however since coming to Chengdu, I’ve realised what life really is like in a busy Chinese city.
Here in the hub of China’s “Go West” policy, there’s always something to do, somewhere new to explore, and it’s the perfect mix of culture and business. I’m looking forwards to what the next two months bring here in Sichuan.
More of China!
As soon as I finished studying in Suzhou, Jiangsu, I knew I wasn’t ready to leave China, there was so much more that I wanted to learn and experience. Luckily, I found InternChina and the opportunity to use my new knowledge of business in China and basic Mandarin, and so, I began planning my Chengdu arrival.
Back to the Start
When I arrived in China in February 2017, I experienced some culture shock, although that easily went away once I started socializing more with other international students and locals. That’s what I enjoy the most about living, studying, and now working in China- being connected to the international community. Learning about a new city on your own is fun but having tips and advice from people living in the area is always an advantage. Therefore I am excited to be part of the community that InternChina developed in Chengdu over years.
What is Suzhou like?
Suzhou is smaller compared to Chengdu, but it does have the same relaxing vibe. It’s widely known for being the Venice of China as it contains beautiful water towns that still look good for their age, along with two beautiful lakes, Jinji and Dushu.
I lived in the urban area called SIP, which was easy because it’s filled with universities and felt like a student city. The city centre boasts a big international atmosphere, and everywhere you go there were foreign students from all parts of the world!
Apart from studying, I took the opportunity to travel as much and as far as I could. My first little city trip was visiting the great Buddha in Lingshan, Wuxi, and later I saw the beautiful and serene West Lake in Hangzhou. Lastly, some fun and exciting nights in Shanghai!
While traveling in China was fun, getting to travel to other Asian countries was great! First, I got to see a breath-taking view at the Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, and then I did some island hopping and hiked mount Hallasan in Jeju, South Korea. Finally,I saw the sun rise over Mount Fuji on my flight to Tokyo.
Now that I am in Chengdu and working, I don’t plan to stop travelling, and alongside InternChina, I’m going to get to know the Sichuan province very well.
Going from school to work can sometimes be difficult, but fortunately for me, the office environment has been very comfortable and fun. I’m happy to work with easy going colleagues who are professional and have strong work ethic. I am excited to introduce InternChina to other schools in the Netherlands and the Caribbean.
Interested in an internship opportunity in Chengdu? Check out the positions that Chengdu has to offer!