Si, ya he hecho mi primer viaje por Asia, y la verdad que en este viaje hemos tenido de todo.
Hemos pasado por todas las fases posibles, desde ilusión, porque lo organizábamos mi compañera y yo, estrés porque salían imprevistos por todos sitios y queríamos que todo fuese perfecto, felicidad porque nos gusto a todos el viaje, y cansancio porque para algunos de nuestros compañeros la vuelta fue eterna.
Como ya he dicho, este viaje al haberlo organizado nosotras, he experimentado las tres fases de un viaje: pre-viaje, viaje y post viaje, pero si tuviera que calificarlo en una sola palabra sería, imprevisto. En todas las etapas hemos tenido alguno. El mayor de todos…los vuelos. Y el ser aún una novata en las aerolíneas chinas esta provocando que tenga a mi compañera Amber loquita perdida.
La verdad es que me llevé una grata sorpresa con Shanghai, porque pensé que ya no quedaría mucho de las antiguas casa chinas, esas que vemos en las películas o en los libros de historia, pero no. A pesar de ser una ciudad enorme, y una de las más visitadas…sigue manteniendo su raíz y lo mejor de todo es que tanto las casas antiguas como modernas conviven y se combinan entre sí, junto con su barrio Francés.
Uno de mis sitios favoritos fue el puente “The Bund” con unas vistas preciosas y prácticamente cantamos bajo la lluvia y nos quedaron unas fotos muy bonitas. El otro sitio que me gustó mucho fue el Bazar de los jardines Yuyuan, dentro de sus galerías estaba la casa del té y para quienes adoramos las tiendas de souvenires, es el paraíso, y más si sabes regatear precios. Y una de las nuevas experiencias adquiridas ha sido encontrar un taxi y coger un vuelo a su hora. Allí que estábamos nosotros, 16 europeos con ganas de conocer la noche en Shanghai e intentado encontrar un taxista disponible junto a “The Bund” haha ¡Sólo se nos ocurre a nosotros! Pero creo que parte de mis compañeros aprendieron a llevar las situaciones con más filosofía después de que le cancelaran el vuelo. Pero no perdieron la sonrisa porque se hicieron fotos con niños bajo el agua.
Tras este viaje, baidu maps app se ha convertido en mi guía, siempre que no quiera reírse de mí y me mande en dirección contraria. Y he aprendido que cuando vas a coger un avión en China, tienes que llevarte un libro para leer durante las horas de retraso o tomártelo con mucha filosofía.
Aquí puedes encontrar más experiencias.
So far I have been in Qingdao for a almost a month- crazy how quickly a month goes by!
I have really enjoyed getting to know the team here and all of the other interns who all make the experience fun even when it gets busy here in the Qingdao office! Not sure if my Chinese has improved a lot since I wrote a blog, but I hope my pronunciation has!
This past Saturday the InternChina office hosted a beach party along Shi Lao Ren Beach aka. the Old Man beach! We had unlimited beer (Tsingtao beer of course!) and music along the beach which was so much fun! We originally planned for the party to start at 5pm and end at 10pm, but somehow it finished at 2.30 am….
Here are a few pictures from Saturday night! I can’t wait till we start to do this more often when summer comes along!
China isn’t just work and no play! Want to join in? Click here.
On April 30th 2015, China’s ninth and the largest MixC shopping mall had its grand opening in Qingdao. The first MixC opened in 2004 in Shenzhen, South China and since then they have opened other branches around China. MixC developer China Resources means “the great land of China, endowed with abundant natural resources”. China Resources Land Limited is one of the most powerful comprehensive real estate developers. The new shopping mall is located on Hong Kong Middle Road, one of the main routes in Qingdao.
So what makes this particular subdivision of MixC in Qingdao so special? Apart from the fact it contains the world’s 3rd JOYPOLIS indoor theme park (other 2 in Tokyo and Dubai), yes a rollercoaster in the middle of a shopping mall! Inside the huge shopping mall, it also includes the most expensive cinema investment in China (with four kinds of special effects rooms including IMAX and 4D) and an Olympic standard size ice skating rink which is going to host the Skate Asia 2015. There are over 400 popular fashion stores, dining restaurants, cafes and entertainment/leisure facilities in this gigantic plaza.
Qingdao is located in East China, Shandong province. It is a small city compared with other Chinese cities. However, the establishment of MixC luxury shopping mall will hopefully help to develop the city even more than it already has in recent years. “We want to build a good public space for Qingdaonese, where people not only come to shop, but can also have a coffee, watch a movie, or even do nothing at all and just stroll around. It will be a good place for leisure and entertainment in Qingdao.”-Dave Chen (General Manager of Qingdao MixC). Ref: Redstar
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Last week the famous Lantern Festival (元宵节) was celebrated all over China. Red lantern lines illuminating the night everywhere– what could be more characteristic of China?Let me talk a bit about one of the most widely known Chinese festival.
The Lantern Festival originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty and was first celebrated about 2000 years ago. It is celebrated on the first full moon night in the Chinese calendar, which is why the date changes every year, and traditionally marks the end of the Spring Festival. After the Lantern Festival people normally stop setting off fireworks. I put “normally” because I still heard fireworks for days afterwards. It’s been, however, relatively calm during the past few days so I assume everything is back to normal now. What is special about the Lantern Festival? Visitors can enjoy various beautiful lanterns, make lanterns fly into the dark night sky, try to solve lantern riddles, eat ball dumplings in soup, join lion or dragon dances and many other things.
Well, that’s exactly what we, the IC intern group, were looking for when we went to Qingdao’s Old Town on Thursday, March 5th. We didn’t really find all of these “interesting things” but we finally managed to find a traditional temple that opened its gates for the event where we took lots of beautiful pictures. You may find a selection of them below.
元宵节快乐, Happy Lantern Festival !
What about 青岛糖球会? This is the Chinese New Year Big Market in Qingdao. It lasts one week and is well-known not only by Chinese people but also by foreigners. If you want to try strange delicacies and aren’t afraid of getting bitten by a crocodile, this is the best place to go to! Meat skewers, squid sticks, scorpions, coconut juice, and – best thing of all – 糖球 (candied hawthorns!). If you are lucky, you will manage to not lose your friends in the streets which are crowded by masses of people. Otherwise you’ll have to find your way through the crowd, passing flower headband sellers and men hitting rice pastry with a big wood hammer.
Learn more about life in China! Click here
As we already mentioned in a post from last week, Wechat is becoming a great platform for online payment. But unfortunately there are always uncertainties about online shopping for foreigners in China. Chinese customers use Taobao and Wechat payments, but for the creation of the bank account they provide their own Chinese ID. That becomes an issue for foreigners that plan to stay longer in China, and blocks them from all the benefits of cheap online shopping.
We can inform you that there is a way around this. For WeChat payment a foreigner can create account in some banks and enjoy the freedom that this creates. Not all banks allow people from abroad to sign-up for WeChat payment. Some of them require a Chinese ID and the process gets you stuck. Here are a few options that will allow this procedure:
Chinese Merchants Bank – for both debit and credit cards
Agricultural Bank of China – credit cards only
These are the banks that we know of so far. We are certain that in the future this operation will increase as China becomes more open towards the foreign markets and many foreigners come to live here.
As mentioned in our earlier article, a person can add his credit or debit cards through the “Wallet” menu in WeChat. Simply press the “Add Card” option and follow the procedure.
The next menu will just ask for your card details and then if needed it will require the Chinese ID. But for the banks that we suggested there won’t be a requirement for Chinese ID.
WeChat offers a lot of extremely convenient functions which benefit everyone. After the credit/debit card is set up, a person can get access to each of these features:
- Mobile Top Up – top up your credit for the phone. Very convenient and easy.
- Wealth – Track your spending and savings in the account.
- Lottery – who feels like some gabling? It’s on the tip of your fingers.
- Order Taxi – Easy way to get a taxi if you are in a big city.
- Specials – Online shopping mall for any kind of products.
- QQ Coins – buy currency for your QQ account with an ease.
- Lucky Money – Send and receive money from friends or contacts.
- Group Buying – special offers for meals in restaurants. Reduced prices and promotions.
- Credit Card – send money to another card or account.
- Tencent Charity – Donate money for charity.
- Movie Tickets – Buy tickets for the cinema.
- Go Dutch – find a dining place, choose how much you would like to pay and meet new people on that table using the same program.
- Air Ticket – Buy plane tickets.
All these awesome features are easier and easier to access. Tencent is creating a dominant platform for online shopping and is challenging Alibaba on its own territory. But this struggle between giants benefits only us the simple customers, because we receive more special offers and reduced prices. Hopefully this article was helpful for every foreigner that plans to stay for a longer period of time in China.
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Coming to China you realise that just like ancient Roman & Greek legends we hear about in the West, there are many ancient myths and legends that form the backbone of Chinese tradition – and Qingdao has its fair share. There are little reminders left all over the city most of which seem to have one theme in common – heroes long lost at sea.
The Old Stone Man (石老人)
One of Qingdao’s most popular tourist spots is the Old Stone Man Beach in the Laoshan District. As the legend tells it, this stone column just out to sea is the remains of and elderly fisherman whose daughter was kidnapped by evil pirates. In his grief he passed every day of his life waiting on the beach for her daughter’s return sadly watching the ebb and flow of the waves. With every turn of the tide his hopes were crushed again and again. Until finally his forlorn figure was turned to stone where he stood, and there it shall remain, mourning for his long lost daughter. (The little old man must have grown in his grief however as he’s significantly taller then any fisherman I’ve ever come across!)
Little Qingdao Island, Girl with Guqin (琴女)
Legend has it that the girl with the Guqin (stringed instrument like a harp), was a fairy goddess who fell in love with a young handsome fisherman and eventually married the mortal. She would pass her time waiting for her his return each day, playing the small harp on the beach. Until one day the Jade God heard of their marriage and went into a jealous rage. He overturned the young man’s boat and locked him at the bottom of the sea with his evil sea snakes. The fairy goddess waited in vain for 90 years for her husband to return, playing the harp on the beach as her hair tired grey and her eyes failed her. Never to hear from him again.
Mazu Goddess of the Sea (妈祖)
There are many different stories about the humble origins of Mazu. Some say that from an early age as a fisherman’s daughter she withstood perilous weather conditions, standing on the beach dressed in red to guide her father and brothers safely back to shore. Others claim that she performed magical feats before becoming a divinity. Whatever the story, she now stands as the deified protector of sailors and fisherman throughout all time, a legend that is worshipped all over China, and she has been given pride of place on Qingdao’s coastline too!
There are a few legends from more modern times too…
The May Fourth Wind Sculpture (五月风)
Not so much one legend but many, this is the ultimate emblem of modern Qingdao, a memorial to the May Fourth political movement which was triggered by the anger over the Japanese occupation of Qingdao in 1919. It’s a symbol of Chinese nationalism and the beginning of a new cultural consciousness in China.
You’ll have to come to Qingdao to discover the rest. Apply now!
GOCHINA, a once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse in the Chinese culture though a month-long trip that enables 16- 18 year olds to explore the sights of Beijing and Qingdao, learn Chinese and immerse themselves in the culture.
The application process has been launched with a limited number of spaces available for students heading to China in July 2015. The programme is designed to fulfil the high-demand from 16-18 year olds who have a desire to experience China.
The programme builds upon the success of Intern China, which provides and supports internships for British university students in China.
Managing Director, Jamie Bettles states:
‘I think by going abroad, you can generally broaden your horizons, learn new things and gain new perspectives from the people around you, so I am happy to be able to see people doing this with help from our company’.
Universities Minister, David Willetts explained to The Telegraph that he believes that international education “enriches the outlook of British students and make them more employable”, following a report from the Confederation of British Industry which found that almost three-quarters of companies were dissatisfied with students’ language skills and “shortfalls in their international cultural awareness”
Intern China has provided over 1000 students and graduates with internships since 2007 and continues to grow. The launch of Go China means it is set to enable younger students to immerse themselves in Chinese culture, learn Mandarin and benefit from Intern China’s expertise and contacts in this industry.
FIND OUT MORE DETAILS HERE – WWW.INTERNCHINA.COM/GOCHINA
You may not have heard of Qingdao before, but to Chinese people and westerners living in China, Qingdao is one of the most sought after living destinations in the whole country. The mix of clean air, pristine beaches, a moderate climate, active expat community and its close proximity to Beijing and Shanghai make Qingdao a dream location for ‘foreigners’ living in China. Qingdao is a city with over eight million inhabitants, about 2.5 million of which live in the downtown area, and boasts the third busiest shipping port in Asia. Check out infographic below:
Like the idea of Qingdao? Apply here for one of our Internship