Hi, my name is Steeve and I am currently undertaking a one month internship in Zhuhai organised for me by InternChina.
Within my first day of arriving in Zhuhai I was approached with the offer to join the other interns on an InternChina organised trip to Xiamen, naturally I was slightly sceptical due to the long 10 hour bus journey. However, I reluctantly joined knowing that this may be my only chance to experience the cultural history of China. Once the journey to Xiamen began, I am very pleased to say that I was completely wrong to second-guess the trip. Although the journey was long it was barely arduous. Driving through beautiful scenery and breathtaking mountainous backdrops really made the long journey a lot easier.
Before arriving at Xiamen the bus stopped for a toilet break, during this 15 minute break I was pleasantly surprised at the warmth and welcome from the locals. They sat us down and served us traditional Chinese tea. Although my understanding of Mandarin is not the best the language of welcome is universal and this village optimised it.
During our time in Xiamen we were fortunate to experience the variety of different environments the city has to offer, ranging from religious temples, to island tours. On the second day of the trip, we went to an area just outside of Xiamen which consisted of seven villages dating as old as 700 years; Yunshuiyao, Tianloukeng Tulou Cluster, Taxia Village, Huaiyuanlou, Hekeng Tulou Cluster, Yuchanglou, Heguilou and last but not least Yunshuiyao. With beautiful scenery rich in culture and breathtaking streams and water features. We got to see traditional tea making as well as traditional rice wine making. We even got the chance to meet some of the villagers, the pride they showed in their culture was awe-inspiring.
While in Xiamen we also had the opportunity to visit a famous island just off the coast of the city, the main attraction of the island is the sunlight rock. Do not let the name fool you as it was more than just a rock we saw!!
We were also fortunate enough to visit the Piano Museum where we got to see some of the greatest collections of classical pianos played by composers such as Igor Fyodorovich Starvinsky.
The nightlife in Xiamen was quite vibrant and cosmopolitan with friendly people; those who could speak English would always say hello to you and make conversation which helped us feel so welcome.
I’d like to be 1st to thank all the staff at intern China for arranging such a wonderful trip. It felt less like being taken around by talk guides and more like a road trip with close family and friends. And I would like to encourage any in turn to grab the opportunity with both hands.
If you would like the opportunity to explore China, all while doing an internship apply now
Hi, I’m Eve and I’m currently half way through a five week internship organised by InternChina in Zhuhai! Myself and five others decided to come to Zhuhai as part of a five week placement period organised by our university.
I had absolutely no idea what I was heading into when I decided to come to China. Having not even left Europe before I was definitely diving into the deep end, but since arriving I’ve been amazed every day! I have only been here for two weeks, however I already feel like I’ve gained a lifetime of new experiences and memories.
Since being in Zhuhai, I think we have managed to get lost every time we decide to explore somewhere new, however it is all part of the fun! Every night is a new adventure, even when we think we’re just going down the street to get some food we end up out for 4 hours having walked 3 miles. I’ve been in fits of laughter all whilst experiencing this amazing city through wandering aimlessly.
So far we’ve ventured into Macau (we managed to walk 30,000 steps that day), and we have also been camping in the island of Wai Ling Ding; these have been entirely contrasting experiences yet equally as incredible and I’ll remember them both for a very long time!
My internship has been incredibly fascinating too. I am working in a Chinese company so I have managed to learn a lot about Chinese Business culture, working in a Chinese company comes with a lot of benefits, for example, I’ve been taken to a rice farm, a rural farm, a rice factory and I’ve even been Chinese cake testing. I’ve drank so many flavours of Chinese tea!
The amount of things they make out of rice has continually shocked me, I have tasted a hot rice drink and even a ‘cake’ that’s made out of the stuff. I can’t say I don’t miss a good Victoria sponge but I think it’s fascinating being in and amongst the Chinese culture everyday. After trying the cakes my boss bought two boxes to take back to the office, and all my colleagues were munching on them throughout the afternoon.
Considering I’m only two weeks into my Internship, I think I’ve experienced quite a lot, and I’m very excited to continue my journey to see where else I can explore!
If you want your own experiences, I recommend exploring China with the help of InternChina by applying here
6 months ago I went on a mission to explore a culture that had only recently been on my radar. I was always fascinated with the Middle Kingdom but I honestly would never have seen myself living and working in China for half a year. With no idea of what to expect, or how comfortable I’d feel and how I’d cope with a working environment I’d heard to be entirely different to what I was familiar with, I accepted the challenge in July 2015.
As on every journey, you have your highs and you have your lows. However, as I look back, my time went by in the blink of an eye and it’s truly been a blast. I fell in love with this country and this will be the first of many more experiences in indescribable China.
Moreover, I cannot put into words, how grateful I am to InternChina for taking me on and giving me the opportunity to be part of the family. I’m not going to lie, especially in the busy summer it is a 24/7 position, but the work experience I gained – in the marketing, design and the business development sector – is something I absolutely would not have wanted to miss. Getting out of your comfort zone and acquiring new skills, while focusing on your own strengths and weaknesses is something not every employer can offer!
Now, I’m going to take you with me on my InternChina adventure.
I’m still convinced the first month didn’t have 4 weeks… it went by so quickly. The weather was hot and humid at that time but that didn’t stop us from hiking to a waterfall, visiting Shenzhen, a weekend trip on Wailing Ding Dao and going to Foshan -> This was the first trip I organised together with my PTA (Personal Travel Adviser) Janice, which ended up in a bubble war between us (20 international students) and 3000 Chinese Citizens armed with water guns.
Month two was also not lacking in events. I had the honour of giving a hand to Zhuhai Office Manager Paul Bailey, AKA Bruce, in the organisation of the 4th annual ‘Come Together Charity Music Festival’ held at the Beishan Theatre in Zhuhai. I was also directly involved on the big day itself and it was a great success – the total money raised in 2015: RMB 300,002.98 (USD 47,170 | GBP 31,000). That wasn’t it for this month: it was my birthday (thanks for the Hellokitty birthday cheese cake Leo!), we explored Guangzhou, hiked up to the Fishergirl’s husband in Zhuhai, went wild water-rafting and tested our taekwondo skills.
October also proved be a very busy month and I honestly have no idea how all of this fit into a single month, but I worked it out eventually: Zhangjiajie, Calligraphy & Tea Ceremony day, Halloween in Foshan, Hiking to Jintai Temple and relaxing in Zhuhai’s Hot Springs, Macau and Shanghai. Not to forget about my first Haircut and KTV experience in China.
And there it already was: halftime… Most of the people who had arrived in Zhuhai around the same time as me had finished their 2-3 month internships and the atmosphere in Zhuhai was now different, but a just as fun time had started. It was at this point that Zhuhai started feeling like home and the initial excitement eased into a more settled and cultural-focused phase. The activity list was still just as big though: a DIY Beijing Opera masks event, Yangshuo, the CPAZ Charity day, and a wonderful weekend with Janice and her family (thank you for being such a good friend and partner in crime).
Here, I also have to mention that the new IC intern and roomie Nadia arrived. I couldn’t have asked for better company and now that we even have the same laugh, it’s time for me to leave #yaaaaas.
In December I had the chance to visit the InternChina Qingdao office and directly work with the on-site team there for about 2 weeks. It was great getting to know everyone in person and thanks to the cold weather it actually felt like Christmas was approaching. Furthermore, Joe and his little elf Jack outdid themselves with the Christmas turkey! It was a dream!
This was followed by a weekend trip to Beijing, Archery, a night in Hong Kong and a cozy Christmas feast at FBB in Zhuhai.
Today on my last day, after sitting for 6 months on my orange chair by the window with the greatest view over Zhuhai, I can’t believe that it’s time to leave and to say good bye to an amazing team… 2016 is off to a great start already. I have learnt how to make dumplings so I can continue my addiction after I return from China, we travelled to Danxia mountain in Shaoguan and it was simply a great time hanging out with all the people I know so well here..
Before I get too sentimental, this is the end. The end of a successful mission! Thanks to everyone who crossed my path and has made it an unforgettable experience!
If you are also looking for a unique internship opportunity, apply now!
Hi all, this is my last blog post with InternChina. My time in Zhuhai has come to an end, for now. It’s been a great experience, and one that’s taught me a lot.
My last few weeks in China have been fun and busy. I went to Danxia Mountain, in Shaoguan, on a weekend trip with InternChina. The mountain is well-known for it’s ‘male rock’ – so called for obvious reasons.
The Shaoguan area has some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. Pictures just don’t do it justice, but here’s one anyway:
Before heading back to the UK, I went on a business trip to Shanghai for a few days, which was cool. Shanghai is a massive metropolis. The cold and wet weather more closely resembled my natural habitat than the subtropical climate of Zhuhai.
I’ll be sad to leave, but I’ve made great memories here. I am grateful to the British Council for awarding me a place on their Generation UK scheme. Coming to China has been a life-changing experience. I would also like to thank my boss, colleagues, and everyone on the InternChina team for their support and hard work. I’ll miss my new friends, but I’ll be sure to stay in touch.
My internship experience has made me realise that China is not a whole world away – it’s more similar than I thought. At the same time, it has also given me a greater appreciation of the differences between our cultures.
My biggest obstacle before coming here was believing that China was too different and too distant, therefore I kept putting it off. However, with these things in mind and seeing this country for myself, I look forward to coming back to China in the future.
For your chance to fall in love with China and experience an internship of a lifetime apply here!
What a weekend it has been! Taking part in my first weekend trip with InternChina did not disappoint. With a full itinerary to keep us entertained and great company, this was one memorable trip to Danxia Mountain 丹霞山 <<Dānxiáshān>>.
Setting off on Saturday morning, the 7am meeting time was not easy for any of us, but the 5-hour journey ahead gave us the much need rest before we began our tour of our first destination: Nanhua Buddhist Temple 南华寺 <<Nánhuá Sì>>.
Built in A.D. 502 this temple was over 1,500 years old, founded by an Indian monk named Zhiyao Sanzang. It has particular significance to Buddhism in China as it is home to a number of historical relics preserved from the Song Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.) such as a rare gold silk cassock embroidered with 1,000 Buddhist figures.
Once we entered, there was no doubt that this temple held history. Divided up into five sections, the walls of every room were covered in ornate wall murals and gilded Buddha statues. From the 400 year old trees planted in the courtyard, to the fresh springs flowing with water straight from the mountains at the back of the temple. Every part of the temple held some significance to your health, well-being and future.
Continuing onwards in our journey, we made a brief stop to a historic landmark of Shaoguan city, Fengcai Tower 风采楼 <<Fēngcǎilóu>>, which was built in 1497 during the Ming Dynasty.
Concluding our day was an event more than any of us anticipated. Feeling a little bit tired after a day of travelling and sight seeing we made our way to our final destination to see a Yao ethnic minority dance performance. The Yao people are one of 55 ethnic minority groups recognised by the People’s Republic of China and have a long history in the south of China extending towards Vietnam.
By the end of the show none of us anticipated that two of our interns would be married to two of the Yao girls; there would be Baijiu shots in celebration; a fire eating show; Kristin our InternChina intern would recieve a piggy back ride from one of the Yao men, while he did squats, WHILE standing on knives. Finishing off this dramatic show the entire audience were brought on stage to take part in a Yao traditional dance that left us with bruised hips and biggest laughs that we’d had that day.
Day 1 of InternChina Zhuhai in Danxia. A success!
The next day another early start proved to be struggle for some more than others, but today the was the day we had all been waiting for and Danxia mountain was awaited our arrival.
The first part of our trek led us to exhibit A:
Now I know what you are all thinking and to be honest the rest of the world is thinking this too. HOWEVER, the official name of this formation is Yang Yuan Stone 阳元石 <<yángyuánshí>> or ‘Male stone’. Just so you know.
Our trek didn’t end here. After a tasty lunch our true journey began with a 2 hour trek to Zhanglao peak. I want you to imagine us as Hobbit extras in Lord of the Rings trying to make our way to Mordor. We climbed vertical cliff faces, while battling crowds of people with buckets of sweat pouring down our faces and our thighs quivering from the strain of the climb.
What was this all in pursue of? Why so much effort? Well it was all for one of the best views that I may have seen:
For your chance to climb Danxia mountain and see China for yourself apply here!
When you think of visiting China you immediately think of the famous destinations- The Bund in Shanghai, Beijing’s Forbidden City and the Terracotta Army of Xi’an among many, many others. But if you want to be able to go home and have people saying “tell me more” rather than “I already know that”, then you’ll want to visit some of the amazing destinations our interns have discovered over the years, all close enough to visit in a weekend (which isn’t nearly long enough of course.)
From Chengdu, Emei Shan can be easily reached by both bus and train so it is an ideal overnight trip.
Emei Shan is a well-known attraction to many because of the deep cultural and religious associations with Buddhism. The first Buddhist temple, Huazang, was built here in 1AD, and the largest Buddha in the world, LeShan’s Giant Buddha (which stands at an awe inspiring 71 metres tall) is also located here.
In addition to the cultural, religious and historical importance of Emei Shan, the area is a huge conservation effort. You can find over 3,000 diverse species of plants and trees over a millennium old all around the mountains, as well as over 2,000 kinds of animals.
Emei Shan will leave you speechless- its beauty, fascinating history and religious calm will make this a trip to remember. So stroll up the mountain, take in the view, and relax as the monks from over 30 temples remind you of the spiritual importance of this place.
Kangding, also known as the Land of the Snows, is a trip for those who don’t mind braving the cold in order to experience a fascinating combination of Chinese and Tibetan culture. While you will have to endure a 10 hour bus journey from Chengdu, the sights that will welcome you throughout Kangding will make you forget all about the journey.
You will get to experience true Tibetan cuisine and customs while here- one intern said they felt as if they’d travelled to Tibet without ever leaving China.
Highlights of the trip include the Tagong and Dordrak Monasteries, Guoda Mountain, Hailuogou Valley, the Taong grasslands and the Mugetso Scenic Area. Arguably the best time of year to visit is in Autumn, but whenever you decide to visit, make sure you pack warm clothes!
JiuZhaiGou National Park is yet another area of astonishing national beauty in China… blue lakes only seen in paintings, sprawling mountain ranges, waterfalls and forests to entertain you for hours. Similar to Kangding, JiuZhaiGou will give you the opportunity to experience some Tibetan culture. While you do need to pay admission into the park, you have acres to explore and hours to do so- you can even camp out if you’re feeling adventurous.
If you want to see the park in all its glory, visit in Autumn to be surrounded by every colour imaginable while the weather is still enjoyable.
Located close to Dalian is the capital of Liaoning province, Shenyang. Shenyang is an ancient city filled with great artistic, cultural and historical importance- namely due to the excellent preservation of the Shenyang Imperial Palace. Shenyang is also widely believed to be the birthplace of the Qing Dynasty (which lasted from 1644 to 1911!), so it is a city filled with more than 2000 years of history.
Other notable relics from the Qing Dynasty include the Fuling Tomb, in which the founder of the Qing Dynasty (Nurhachi) and his Empress are interred, and the Zhaoling Tomb, home of Nurhachi’s successor Huang Taji and his Empress.
And if you are interested in more than just the history of the city, there is a curious natural phenomenon for you to play with- Guaipo. The “Strange Slope”, as it is otherwise known, is a sloping piece of land approximately 80 metres long which doesn’t abide by the rules of gravity. Cars, bicycles and tourists alike all have to accelerate to go downhill, yet can enjoy a leisurely roll back up the hill… just a little confusing!
Of course, there is the usual abundance of bars, restaurants and KTV venues to keep you occupied at night.
While Beijing is far from being an “off the beaten track” destination, it’s a popular trip for the Qingdao interns. After all, it would be a little disappointing to go to China without seeing the Great Wall when it’s only a few hours away on the train! If you aren’t aware of what China’s capital city has to offer you, a quick summary would be the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs, Tiananmen Square, the National Grand Theatre, the panda base, the Silk Market, the Lama Temple and the Forbidden City. Oh, and the Great Wall of China.
Beijing is a city with millions upon millions of people from all walks of life, and with a history spanning three thousand years it’s obvious why this is one of the most traveled to destinations in the world. You’ll have the opportunity to see ancient and modern China with your own eyes all in one place!
You can reach Beijing from Qingdao in around five hours via train, or even quicker by plane, however travelling by train is a whole other experience everyone should have in China!
Qingdao is famous for two mountains- Fushan and Laoshan. While FuShan has the attraction of being located in the middle of Qingdao, LaoShan provides a much more interesting challenge and experience… and who doesn’t love a challenge?
Located approximately a 30- 40 minute drive from Qingdao, visiting Laoshan will mean you can see rivers, waterfalls, ancient temples, beautiful forests and amazing scenery all from one place. The Laoshan National Park covers an area of around 450 square kilometres, so you will have plenty of sights to see on your climb to the top of Mount Lao. Or if the climb seems too daunting, take the cable car to the top, and relax with some local Tsingtao beer or Mount Lao green tea while you enjoy the view.
ZhouZhuang in the Jiangsu province, arguably the most beautiful water town in China, is located near Shanghai and is very easily travelled to from Qingdao by bus, train or plane in just a few hours.
If you want to be transported back to quieter times in China, then a day trip to Zhouzhang will be perfect for you. The opportunity to float along the waterways of this village on a traditional gondola and witness the locals go about their daily lives entirely on the water is not something you can see anywhere else- who wouldn’t want to witness someone doing their shopping from a boat? With the added bonus of being surrounded by ancient architecture almost a thousand years old, which has been virtually untouched by the recent developments in China, ZhouZhuang is the perfect relaxing day trip.
Macau, also known as the “Las Vegas of Asia”, is a fast paced, energetic city that you will struggle to fit into a weekend trip. Unfortunately this trip is only possible if your visa allows multiple entries, so if not it may be best to wait until you are leaving China to spend a weekend here. To visit Macau from Zhuhai, you can take a ferry across the bay or even walk!
Macau will offer you an interesting mix of Cantonese Chinese and Portuguese influences, and it is highly recommended to take time to walk around the city and take in the mix of architecture and cultures surrounding you. Make your way from Sendao Square around the streets, sampling traditional Macau food, visiting Golden Lotus Square and the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral. In the evening, spend some time around the famous casinos!
Foshan is both one of Guangdong province’s oldest cities (5,000 years old!) and one of the most modern. With a history heavily focused on the arts, including opera, martial arts and traditional ceramic crafts, there no shortage of cultural activities in the city for the art lovers among you.
If you want to try your hand at creating some traditional Chinese pottery, you can do so using the Nanfeng Kiln, otherwise known as the oldest kiln in China.
There is a much more recent connection to the martial arts as well- you can visit the house of Bruce Lee’s ancestors! If that isn’t to your interest, then the Zumiao Commercial Street filled with malls, plazas, restaurants and tea houses might be more to your taste.
To continue your cultural development, visit the Ancestral Temple, or the Qinghui Garden.
If you’ve ever held a 20RMB note, then you are already familiar with the mountain scenery that will greet you from the Li River in Yangshuo.
There are several reasons to visit Yangshou, including the incredible change of pace you’ll be thrown into (compared to Zhuhai’s easy going atmosphere). You can start the trip with a lazy rafting journey down the Li River, before visiting the incredible Silver Cave below:
There’s also the abundance of amazing local food, including Beer Fish, stuffed Li River snails, bite size Li River fried shrimp and of course, street barbecues.
If you want to visit these amazing cities yourself, then apply now to experience China yourself!
In the beginning of November our InternChina Zhuhai crew started another adventure. This time the destination was called: Yangshuo 阳朔 <<Yáng Shuò>> – a place with unique and truly stunning scenery.
But before I tell you about our trip, here is a little summary about Yangshuo:
Yangshuo County has a fairy-tale landscape with a lot of traditional Chinese, rural culture which has inspired many artists and poets in the past. Its history goes back to antiquity and was established in the Sui Dynasty in 590AD. The architecture and caves allow people to trace back the ancient history. Located in the Guangxi province close to Guilin, the area is a very popular tourist destination and a delightful escape from noise pollution in big cities.
On a Friday we started a 7 hour bus journey from Zhuhai together with about 10 Chinese tourists whom we didn’t know before. Needless to say we were all every excited.
Once we arrived, some of us went to find a midnight bite to eat. The hotel staff told us to be aware of the local “pirates”, which from that moment became the comedy theme of our trip. Nonetheless, we found very delicious BBQ lamb close by, got comfortable on miniature stools for a little while, and made it back safe and sound to the hotel without being made to walk the plank.
The next day we had an early start to finally explore the area and so we got on the bus and went to the world-famous Li River 漓 江 <<Lí Jiāng>>. There we took a boat to cruise along the river and witness the countryside imprinted on the 20CNY note. We also made the acquaintance of these lovely cormorants:
Next we went to XingPing old town aka XingPing fishing village 兴坪镇 <<Xīngpíng Zhèn>> – a street with many small shops and food stalls.
We were prepared for temperatures around 10-15 degrees, however, it turned out to be very sunny and warm that weekend and thus we were not equipped with the appropriate clothes. Speaking of clothes, this brings me to the next point on our budget list: Trying on traditional Chinese outfits at The Big Banyan Tree 大榕树 <<Dà Róng Shù>>. So on top of what were already warm clothes we put another layer of the finest Chinese materials.
We turned into the sight-seeing highlight for many of the Chinese people around us.
About 100 selfies and group pictures later we jumped back on the bus to see the Silver Cave 银 子岩 << Yínzi Yán>>. Luckily we weren’t there during the very busy season and thus had the chance to enjoy the colourfully lit rocks in only partially crowded areas.
But that was not it for the day. The moon-mountain as well as avery eventful dinner was up next.
And once again we turned out to be lucky: we met one of the ethnic minority groups “Zhuang” – really lovely ladies dressed in their traditional outfits – who ended up taking many pictures with us as well! Yangshuo is home to several ethnic minority groups and wearing traditional clothes in daily life still seems to be very common there.
Last but not least we went to see a very impressive, and the world’s largest natural theatre called Impression Liu Sanjie 印象刘三姐 <<Yìn Xiàng Liú Sān Jiĕ>>. Its stage are the waters and natural islands of the Li River and the twelve mist shrouded hills are its backdrop. The performance with 600+ actors is divided into seven chapters including the preface and epilogue which captured the entire audiences’ imagination.
To round off the day we enjoyed a cool breeze around bar street and celebrated the birthday of one of our crew members!
Like true pirates we woke up the next morning bright and early to continue our expedition. This time we took the bus to Yulong River 遇 龙河<< Yù lóng hé >> to go for a round of relaxed bamboo rafting. Even though the weather was drizzly that morning, we didn’t want to miss out on another great experience. The fog covering the mountain tops even gave the area a mysterious look and feel.
After a carefree float on the river we went for lunch close by before heading back to our beloved Zhuhai!
The destination for our InternChina Zhuhai trip last week was called Wailingding Dao – one of Zhuhai’s 146 islands.We left on Saturday around noon. The stormy weather did not stop us from pursuing our plans.
When we arrived, we dropped off our stuff at the hotel, got a bite to eat and started to explore the island. Without having a specific route in mind, we first explored the coastline of the island. The view was beautiful, in spite of the rain. Some pretty hard-core Chinese tourists even went into the sea for a swim!
Approx. 500 steps later, our route led us a little more inland. The walking track was a simple alley of trees and bushes. We hiked along it for almost an hour until we unsuspectingly identified horrendous creatures in the bushes (well at least according to some of the girls ;P). Others found them rather interesting: massive spiders. From that point on, we saw them everywhere. Next to us, above us… everywhere!
So after making the acquaintance of these charming insects we spotted remains from the island’s old military base as well as an abandoned quarry. There, our mission was to take the best IC-Flag picture ever! I guess we were pretty close, don’t you think?
One-hundred group pictures and selfies later, we thought it might be a good idea to head back to civilisation before sunset, and so we did. We walked all the way back through the spider jungle and all the while it was getting darker and darker. It was an unreal experience; very cool but at the same time a tiny bit scary as the creepy crawlies could have just fallen on our heads.
When we got back to the small area around the port, we watched the day fade away by sitting on the beach, and listening to the sound of the waves crashing in the sea.