There it is- the review of one awesome year in Zhuhai!!!
One year with great experiences in Chinese host families:
Enjoying the hot springs in the ‘cold’ winter days in Zhuhai:
One year with great Chinese food:
An always changing, but an always awesome InternChina team:
Study China Programme:
Great trips to Gunagzhou,
and to Fujian:
And with a lot of other great things. Thanks to everybody!!!!!
All the best wishes for 2013!
Living in a town like Zhuhai is incredibly great. Located in the Pearl River Delta and directly connected with Macau, Zhuhai is in a geographically amazing position: Jiangmen to the northwest, Zhongshan to the north, and HongKong and Shenzhen just across the bay to the east.
Guangzhou, the provincial capital is just about 150 km to the north, and other beautiful cities, like Guilin or Fujian are accessible easily with an overnight tour by bus.
Every single city has its own charm and its own atmosphere and it is hard to imagine, that all those beautiful places are geographically so close to each other.
But there’s one hitch. Zhuhai itself offers so many opportunities to have: For example different fruit plantations, or the several beaches and numerous islands or just the wonderful city itself, with the amazing buildings. So there are definitely too many awesome opportunities and not enough time.
Last week InternChina’s Zhuhai gang relocated to Guangdong’s capital for the big weekend. 15 people spent three days and two nights exploring the third biggest city in China. How was it? Tiring, soaking-wet and … AWESOME!
Here is what we have to say about it:
Kessy: (German, fluent in Japanese, currently trying to work out Mandarin and the 4 tones dilemma )
“It was a crazy, wet, loud, hot weekend, full of fun and interesting sights. Loved the contrast between the peaceful Garden (Guangzhou Museum) and the crazy loud music in the Club. Met new friends and made some great memories to remember.”
Darya: (Russian, very nice. Includes her Chinese host family in her skype calls to Russia).
“A trip to Guangzhou was a perfect mix of exploring the city’s culture, meeting new friends, shopping and just having fun. It was great that we had a chance to see the Dragon Boat Festival, which was quite impressive. And I finally managed to witness the genuine tea ceremony at the tea market. Of course, I’ve seen it earlier but you can only trust the Chinese people! ”
Maxime: (French-Canadian, often asks people why they need sleep when we have Red Bull)
“Had a great time with the gang of InternChina, had loads of fun exploring the different corners of the city. Marvelous! ”
Anna: (Swedish, goes around chatting in 7 different languages)
“The trip to Guangzhou was, despite the weather, a really nice trip. I especially liked the markets and that we had a lot of free time to explore the city ourselves. Next time though, slow down the tours a little and try to talk to the weather gods before we arrive 😉 ” (Agreed)
Pierre: (French, gives away mojitos and hugs)
“In our hostel in front of Canton’s River, we spend our time in peaceful climate and mixed together with people from each continent. By visiting tea, art and sport places we discovered a huge city in which I already spent 2 days for the biggest Canton Trade Fair with my internship company, an incredible place where we can find business opportunities. Finally I appreciated enjoying the European Football Championship games of my teams (France & Spain) in a particular place: a club, with Chinese fans & other foreigners. An experience you won’t be able to try in any other place in this world ”
Bassem: (Canadian/Lebanese. Local everywhere he goes).
“As big and confusing as it gets, there’s always a way in Guangzhou 🙂 ” ( Bassem, there is always a way for you everywhere!)
Overall, it was a really fun trip. We (The InternChina team) are really happy to have such a big bunch of fun, adventurous people from different backgrounds here with us! Hope to see you all this weekend!
Those living in Zhuhai have the great advantage of being within easy reach of two of great weekend-break spots on the Pearl River Delta: Macau and Hong Kong. A few weeks ago we had a guest post about our neighbour Macau and now the lovely Pearl of the Orient, is due for a bit of a polish.
HOW TO GET THERE
Everyone knows you can take the ferries from Jiu Zhou Port in Zhuhai to either the airport port (provided you have a airticket) or the Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal at the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, Kowloon.
For those low-ballers amongst us, try the Sky Shuttle helicopter option which takes a smooth 15min to Macau at a even cooler $2,900. For those of you sticking around until or returning in 2016 you’ll be able to use the long awaited Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge (hopefully by 2016 the name will be shorter than the bridge itself).
Take your pick of the labyrinth MTR (subway), double decker trams and buses, pricey taxi’s and when the weather’s not mimicking a sauna, talk a walk. Public transport is made very convenient to use with the Octopus card (see below.)
While VISA is accepted everywhere, in Hong Kong at least, the Octopus card (八達通, Bat Dat Toong in Cantonese) is genuinely testing this notion!
This handy card stores credit for not only all public transport on the island, but extends to paying for goods (McMeals, clothes, books) and services (racecourse bets, car park spaces, movie theaters, photocopies) at various stores and even acts as a school attendance checker and an access control mechanism at some commercial buildings. This ID-less credit token makes life in Hong Kong infinitely easier – especially since some wet markets even accept it!
THE HONG KONG MENU
While the Brits have “tea time”, the Cantonese have “yum cha” (飲茶) which means “drink tea” which ACTUALLY means you’ll be going out to eat “dim sum”.
Possibly the most famous of Hong Kong specialities “dim sum” refers to a style of Cantonese food. It’s traditionally prepared as small bite-sized portions served in small steamer baskets or on small plates.
Dai pai dong refers to the once very popular open air street-food stalls. It literally means “restaurant with a big license plate”, referring to its size of license which is bigger than other licensed street vendors and presently there are all but 28 left in Hong Kong.
Cha chaan teng are found in Hong Kong and some parts of Guangdong. Typicall warm, weak tea is offered upon being seated and sometimes the utensils are washed/rinsed with the tea too. They offer a range of budget meals ranging from western versions of cafe snacks (like the overly sweet version of french toast) to very traditional staples like wonton soup. Both fast food and a la cart menus are available.
RECOMMENDED SOURCES FOR YOUR TRIP
- Not feeling the pull of Honkers yet? Take a look at these very persuasive photos.
- If you couldn’t be bothered to set up an itinerary – try these sample ones
- Ferry times to and from Zhuhai and Macau
- For those going specifically to get a visa extension try our recommended agency
- The MTR website will help you calculate your route and journey time
- Tips on how to shop in Hong Kong like a seasoned pro.
- Must-try foods when you’re in Hong Kong and where to go!
- Survival Cantonese phrases – print them out and take them with!
Dragon Boat Festival Trip 2012
The third biggest festival in the Chinese calendar is the unmissable Duānwǔ jié (端午節) or Dragon Boat Festival. Incredible boat races, loud firecrackers and delicious Zongzi (粽子).
InternChina Zhuhai is organizing a trip to Guangzhou to see the festival activities, explore some of the city and generally JIA HOU! (floor the gas-pedal)
The Dragon Boat Festival
Among the various contradicting theories explaining the origin, the best held is that the festival commemorates the ancient Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who held a high rank in the Chu court. But was charged with treason after opposing the Kings choice of an alliance with an enemy state. Once the
alliance turned sour and the Chu state was overtaken Qu Yuan committed suicide in the Miluo river on the fifth day of the fifth month (lunar calendar). It is thought that the people who admired him paddled out on boats to scare away the fish and/or retrieve his body (the assumed origin of the boat races) and offer him rice cakes for the after life.
These rice cakes had to be wrapped in bamboo leaves to prevent the fish from eating them, which is where zongzi is thought to have originated. Zongzi are pyramids of sticky (glutenous) rice with either a sweet (red bean usually) or savory filling wrapped in bamboo leaves, tied with string and boiled in salt water.
We will arrange a bus to and from Guangzhou and book your choice of accommodation ranging from 65Kuai (dorms) ~ 140Kuai (single private) per night at the following hostel. For more detailed information please contact Beata at email@example.com
Friday 22 (public holiday)
- Depart from Zhuhai (morning)
- Book into hostel
- Optional tour around the city
Saturday 23 (Dragon boat festival)
- Early morning Dragon Boat races
- Optional tour around the city
- Night out
Sunday 24 (return to Zhuhai)
- Optional tour around city
- Pack up and depart late afternoon
Our optional day tours through the citys’ best-known areas is something to look forward to. One of the featured areas is Shangxiajiu or “Walking Street”. As one of the shopping districts of Guangzhou, it providing ample opportunities for nabbing some awesome gifts for the mates/family back home – or just for yourself. Also at night the entire plaza lights up like Bladerunner scene and provide a great backdrop for some awesome Cantonese restaurants. The flavours buzz almost as much as the neon lights do.
Hello my lovelies!
Excuse my tardiness with this blog post, I know that you all probably spent all of yesterday frantically clicking ‘refresh’ on blog.com waiting for the site to come back up, only to no avail.
‘Twas undoubtedly an interesting weekend. After work on Friday, I played a game of pool with Jamie and Leo followed by some serious BBQ action in the far north of Zhuhai.
There wasn’t any BBQ because Jamie led us to a place that supposedly had a massive BBQ but upon arrival it was nowhere to be found. Upon asking the in-the-know locals, it was determined that the BBQ was there everyday except for that Friday because of “management”. Very peculiar. We settled for an outdoor restaurant with many fellow 珠海人 (Zhuhai-ers) dining at its tables. Headed off to an Irish bar in the Ningxi area of Zhuhai and then called it a night.
On Saturday we (myself, Jamie and Helen [Jamie’s FIANCÉE]) met up with some people in the CouchSurfing community and went to Dong’ao Island – about an hour ferry ride from Zhuhai Xiang Zhou ferry port. The ferry port was crazy – the citizens of Zhuhai are clearly huge fans of weekend getaways to Zhuhai’s 140+ islands!! We finally arrived and met up with everyone and got to an amazing secluded beach and swam, relaxed and played some frisbee. When diving for a frisbee and fighting over possession with fellow intern Frank, my right hand fingers sustained some damage and were pretty gross. Soon enough they were dripping an appetising yellow goo! Miamiamiamiam
After sunset, we all had a nice BBQ on the beach along with some brandy and beer and spent the rest of the night on the beach. We did spot a few UFO’s in the distance but fearlessly drank the night away!
Sunday we woke up early (sleeping in tents in Southern China is more akin to sleeping in an oven…) and headed back to Zhuhai and I headed over to the resplendent Sun Yat-sen University Hospital and got my wounds cleaned and bandaged and now they’re already healing quite nicely!
That’s about it for this past weekend’s escapes – forgive me for the lack of photos but my computer is not being cooperative at the moment so you’ll have to enjoy this generic picture of Dong’ao pulled from Google images!!
I cannot believe that my last day of work is a week from today and I am leaving China in 8 days to head off to Macau and Hong Kong!!!
Don’t worry, though, I am going white water river rafting this upcoming weekend so there will be one more good blog post come next Monday! 😉
你们好 mes tendres chouchous!
Last night Jamie (the big bad boss of the Zhuhai office) and I made pilgrimage to Guangzhou, the capital of the Guangdong province, about 2 hours north of Zhuhai to see Liverpool FC’s start to their 2011 Asian tour. While I am not a big fan of footy, I am a huge fan of random experiences and this fit the bill perfectly. We took the new, high-speed rail from Zhuhai north to Guangzhou south and then took the also new metro system right to the stadium. While we had originally been expecting that the turnout would be low, there were thousands of fans around the stadium, eagerly queuing up to enter. Surprisingly enough, the Liverpool fans (I am assuming that if they were sporting a Liverpool jersey, they were a “fan”) outnumbered the Sunray Cave FC (the Guangdong FC – 广东日之泉足球俱乐部) at least two to one.
Upon entering the stadium, the police confiscated my war drum (see photo of the big empty water jug). I was heartbroken and crestfallen – but still managed to make quite a bit of noise despite being deprived of my war drum!
It was an exciting match, with Liverpool winning 4-3 over Sunray Cave FC. SCFC did manage to get in two goals in the last few minutes of the game, at the dismay of the Liverpool fans.
After failing to get a taxi (Guangzhou is notorious for its lack of supply of cabs!), we got a bit lost in an odyssey of aimlessly wandering on foot along with some (very) unhelpful metro directions. Despite our hardships, we finally made it to our final destination: Chinese outdoor BBQ (THE BEST!) along with the infamous dice game!!!
The rest is hazy.
I am off to Chengdu in the Sichuan province tomorrow (flying from Guangzhou airport – can’t get enough of that city!) so expect another blog post come Monday!!!
Enjoy the photos
Bacioni fortissimi dappertutto