Before arriving in Zhuhai there are a few things you may want to know but may not have the chance to find out, or may not know where to look to find the relevant information to answer your many, many questions. Moving to a new country can be hard, challenging and exciting, as you don’t know what to expect. Here are a few things that may help answer some of the questions running through your mind.
Zhuhai is a beautiful city in the Pearl River Delta, located on the southern coast of Guangdong province in China. Zhuhai was one of the original Special Economic Zones established in the 1980s. Zhuhai is also one of China’s premier tourist destinations, being called the Chinese Riviera. The city’s population (1.6 million) is made up of mostly Mandarin speaking migrants.
Being one of China’s first Special Economic Zones, Zhuhai is home to many industries (such as electronics, computer software, biotechnology, machinery and equipment, etc.) as well as the Hengqin Free Trade Zone, making the city very popular to international businesses.
Zhuhai has been voted the most ‘livable’ city in China and because of this it is a very popular tourist destination. Due to its size, Zhuhai has everything a big city can offer without being overwhelmingly huge. With many green spaces, 690 km of coastline and over 100 islands, it is easy to get away of the hustle and bustle of city life.
With Macau directly to the South, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to the North-East, and Hong Kong just over an hour ferry ride away you’re never far away from some of the most famous cities in Asia. In both Macau and Hong Kong you can enjoy the familiarity of the Western Culture whilst they still offer their own personality.
Keep in mind though, that entering Hong Kong or Macau classifies as an ‘exit’ from China. So for those of you who only receive a one-entry visa, be sure to plan some time before or after your trip to visit these beautiful cities!
Getting in and out
With Zhuhai’s proximity to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macau it is easily accessible by air and gives you several options for buying flights when you are planning your trip to Zhuhai.
Hong Kong: We recommend that you research flights to Hong Kong first. Hong Kong International Airport is one the largest travel hubs in the world, so flying into here should be no problem from any part of the world! From Hong Kong airport you can take a direct ferry to Zhuhai Jiuzhou Port. Once you have disembarked your plane follow signs for ‘Ferries to Macau & Mainland’ here you will be able to buy your tickets and ensure that your baggage is put onto the ferry by a member of their staff. The ferry will take approximately 70 mins and will cost about HKD260, the schedule can be found here.
If you plan on staying in Hong Kong for a few days before travelling onto Zhuhai, there are also two ports within in the city from where you can take the ferry.
Macau: Macau airport is not quite the international hub of Hong Kong, but if you can find reasonably priced flights here you may wish to consider it. Macau is on the border with Zhuhai and therefore it’s very convenient to enter the city if arriving here.
Guangzhou: You can also book flights to Guangzhou. From Guangzhou airport we would recommend that you take the bus to Zhuhai, you can find the schedule here.
Zhuhai: If you’re flying from somewhere else within China to Zhuhai it might be easier to book flights to Zhuhai airport. If you are arriving into Zhuhai ‘Jinwan’ airport, there will be representative there to meet you.
Zhuhai does not have a subway system, but has an extensive bus system that can get you anywhere you want to go (buses cost 2-3RMB per ride). Taxis are abundant and quite cheap as well (starting at 10RMB). When you arrive, InternChina will provide you with a bus card as well as detailed instructions as to how to get to your company and to the InternChina office.
In Zhuhai the weather is awesome! You’ll often see the locals walking around shading themselves from the summer rays with their umbrellas, yet in the colder months the temperatures are pleasant and never really low enough for you to need your woolly jumpers, hats and gloves!
Since Zhuhai has a subtropical climate, on the whole it is hot and humid, but it can also rain a lot. The winter is short, dry and mild (12°C -18°C) and a jumper will keep you warm during the day and cooler evenings. Summer sets in from late March/early April and in July and August temperatures can reach 36°C. The sea breeze can be a welcome relief from the summer heat. So if you enjoy the sun, sand and sea bring plenty of sunscreen and swimming costumes for weekends relaxing on the beach, but remember your umbrella for those unexpected mid-afternoon downpours!
Eating out is cheap and convenient and there are always new dishes and cuisines to discover. There is an abundance of styles of cooking unique to various Chinese provinces, each more delicious than the last. If you’re a foodie and especially if you are open minded to trying new things you will be in your element!
Almost every meal is a social occasion. A particular benefit of being in Zhuhai or Guangdong province is the ‘morning tea’ or ‘dimsum‘ style of cooking native to this province. You can easily find beautiful pork filled steamed buns, soup dumplings, durian fritters, rice porridge and so much more.
Mealtimes are a social experience with communal dishes presented on a rotating disk in the middle of the table (we know this as a ‘lazy Susan’ back in the UK), giving you the opportunity to try a bit of anything. Meals tend not to be as sophisticated as back in the West and dishes come out as they are ready and eager chopsticks dive in often as soon as the plate hits the table. Restaurants are lively and full of energy although you may have to get over the sound of someone slurping their noodles or someone casually lighting up a cigarette next to you after their meal.
All InternChina apartments have a kitchen, so it is no problem if you would rather cook yourself. There is a wide variety of places to shop for fresh produce.
If you don’t speak Chinese, when you first arrive in Zhuhai the language barrier may be kind of intimidating as there are relatively few English speakers. However, the locals in Zhuhai are incredibly helpful and if you are confused or need help, they will be more than willing to assist you in every way possible, even if you do need to play a game of charades in order to talk to each other. Over time you may start to pick up some basics of the language, and once you know how to say hello, thank you, and your address, you will be on your way. InternChina can offer language classes via our partner school, if you ever feel like the language barrier is too much. Zhuhai is just like any other city in an unfamiliar country, a bit scary when you first arrive, but will feel just like home after a few weeks.
Zhuhai is an amazing city to live and work in. It’s very pleasant and relaxed but still has a lot to offer. Everyone is incredibly friendly, and the city itself is very nice and clean. You can sit on the beach on a warm day drinking out of a coconut or try your way through the different beer brands offered in the bars. While there is an abundance of industry, the entire atmosphere of the city is slow-paced, unlike Beijing, New York or London where everyone is in a rush to get everywhere. This gives you the opportunity to really enjoy China.
For all of the shopaholics, there is an underground market in 拱北 (Gongbei) where you can get all your branded designer wear for suspiciously cheap prices, as well as a handful of more western companies (H&M, Vera Moda, Only, etc.) in the shopping malls. There are also quite a few gyms located around the city, so if you’re a gym goer, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to train. Zhuhai has western cinemas, showing films in English, as well as bowling alleys, a bar street, go-karting and paint balling… so weekends will never be boring. It also has a few beautiful parks, where you can go and see Chinese people flying kites and playing live music.
Zhuhai also hosts many interesting cultural and sporting events throughout the year. At the end of 2015 the Hengqin International Tennis Centre opened and is host to the World Tennis Association (WTA) Elite Trophy and the ATP Tennis World Tour Finals. Races can be seen at the Zhuhai International Circuit on many weekends of the year and sailing events are held in Zhuhai as well. The Airshow China, the largest aviation and aerospace exhibition in China is held bi-annually. Zhuhai is also home to Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, one of the world’s largest aquariums.
The nightlife in Zhuhai is incredibly varied, there are plenty of western bars where you can meet other people who have moved to Zhuhai, or you can get incredibly cheap drinks in Chinese run bars, and then move onto the clubs. Drink prices can vary from 15RMB a pint of beer to 40RMB a pint of beer, depending where you go out and what type you get (local beer is obviously cheaper) the dress code on nights out is very casual, so there is no need to have to worry about dressing up and getting ready unless you want to of course! There is a bar street which is home to many different bars and clubs and across the city you can find many different places to suit every taste – from Irish pubs to Chinese discos.
If you come to Zhuhai with InternChina you will have the opportunity to go on a lot of trips that are organized specially for our interns. Whether it’s a visit to a bustling metropolis such as Guangzhou or the peaceful countryside in Yangshuo, China has something to offer for everyone!
InternChina also offers a variety of cultural activities in Zhuhai itself. From calligraphy workshops and tea ceremonies to tai chi lessons, cooking classes and karaoke, everyone is sure to find something new to try.
You can also check out some of our albums on Facebook to see some examples:
Cultural Classes, factory visits and trip to Yangshuo
Xiqiao Mountain / Trip to Guanzhou / Trip to Xiamen / Trip to Wai Ling Ding Island
“My internship is definitely going to make me more employable. It has gotten me more experience in my profession and experience in a different culture with a different language.” (Ross)
“It is a nice, livable city. I think the cuisine here is quite lovely and I’ll definitely miss some of the dishes when I go back home.” (Michael)
“InternChina helped me find my feet in China so I could concentrate on producing good work for my host company. I would recommend InternChina to anyone looking to experience an exciting new culture and experience an international business environment. They provided great support and friendly hands-on service.” (Benjamin)
“China is weird, it’s wacky, it’s so different, but it’s great. InternChina has been absolutely amazing. They are there, no matter what. And they come out with us and they organize the dinners. They felt more like friends than IC staff and they are amazing.” (Chloe)
“I would 100% recommend doing an internship in China. Not only because the business culture here is so different, but the culture itself is just amazing and I don’t think you get to experience that unless you’re here and you really immerse yourself in it. And if I work in China in the future I’ll be able to use the skills that I’ve learned here.” (Coral)
“As part of my work organized by InternChina, I worked in a law firm in Zhuhai under a lawyer specified in giving advice to foreign enterprises. I got to experience first-hand lots of high-profile cases, from going to court for a criminal defense case, to the liquidation process of a company with more than a hundred employees with whom we negotiated compensation. I highly valued such amazing opportunities very few law students get to experience before they even graduate!” (Wei Wei)
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As you can see from the number of InternChina blog posts on the topic, Chinese New Year is the most exciting time of year for us! Like Christmas to many westerners, Chinese New Year is a time when families get together and everybody enjoys a holiday. Now that I’m back in Manchester I wanted to see what the local Chinese community did to mark the occasion and I was pleasantly surprised!
On the night of Chinese New Year we took some friends to an authentic Chinese restaurant in town – Han Dynasty. This was quite simply the most authentic Chinese food I’ve ever had outside China. We love the northern-Chinese style ‘Jia Chang Cai – 家常菜’ such as Aubergine, Pepper and Potato (地三鲜), Chinese Schnitzel (锅包肉), Egg n Tomato (西红柿炒鸡蛋) and Garlic Shoots with shredded pork (蒜薹肉丝). These were all on the menu (so we ordered all of them!), as well as a huge range of dishes, full hot pot selection and on-the-table BBQ. Our friends were amazed and we have been talking about the food there for days afterwards! The restaurant also has a nice feeling of Authentic China, with Karaoke rooms downstairs and no other westerners (老外) in sight!
On the Sunday after Chinese New Year there is a festival to mark the New Year in Chinatown, with traditional performances, street food, some random fairground attractions and fish n chip stands (not very Chinese, but who cares!) and all culminating in a spectacular firework display. It was fun to celebrate with Chinese people in Manchester and made us miss China a lot! 新年快乐!
I am currently based in our Manchester office and dealing with all Generation UK applications, for more information about this please visit here!
This weekend’s trip to YangShuo consisted of a legend of a tour guide, a missing wallet, a damaged phone and passport, some sort of binoculars device and several outrageously hung-over interns. The 8 hour bus journey each way was not enough to put of the 16 interns whose perseverance was rewarded with a great weekend away.
We set of on Friday night, where we shared a bus with local Chinese people who were keen to interact with ‘foreigners’ and get to know us despite the language barrier. There we were first greeted by a tour guide who was a pivotal figure through-out the trip. Although he did not speak too much English, his facial gestures and enthusiastic attitude was infectious enough to make everyone fall in love with him. By getting people to stand up, make a speech and sing to the audience, he helped make the bus journey go a little bit quicker.
We eventually arrived in YangShuo at 6.30 in the morning which meant there was so much room for activities! After breakfast we set off on a boat ride along the beautiful LiJiang River where we saw the famous mountains that can be seen on the 20yuan RMB note.
After we had taken enough pictures and enjoyed the wildlife including water buffalos and a never ending line of ducks we took a bus to the Yinzi Cave. This scenic cave was made up of impressive sights including a deep underground river and waterfalls that made it distinctive to any other cave in the world.
After the cave visit we settled down to some traditional Chinese cuisine before heading out on different activities. The first group set off to explore YangShuo further and by hiring scooters, they were able to go off-road to hidden, undiscovered areas. This allowed close up pictures of the local sights to be taken and everyone who was a part of it thoroughly enjoyed it.
The other group went on to butterfly spring, another scenic cave trip and got to see a Chinese show where singing and dancing in colourful costumes commenced. As the day drew to a close, we arrived at our hotel and got ready to explore the YangShuo nightlife. We set of for dinner at 7pm and the drinking began. We were provided by San Hua a Chinese spirit that was shared between both interns and locals. This helped top of a great day with an equally eventful night. The night involved Philippe leading us on a failed search for waffles, drinking and dancing in some of the local bars and Max jumping in a river with his passport and phone.
Sunday morning therefore started with a few sore heads and Joe moaning about how he had lost his wallet and his English rail card. There was no time to nurse a hang-over as we quickly went off to the Yulong River to partake in some bamboo-rafting. This could have been the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax and get some peace but it did not turn out that way. Our favourite tour guide urged everyone to buy water guns which turned into a big water battle between rival rafts. Once you were out of sight of the other rafts, there were chances to get food and beer without getting out of the water which was pretty pleasing. After we were back on land we headed to a restaurant to get some duck soup before heading back to Zhuhai.
Overall our trip to Yangshuo has to go down as a success and is a place that is definitely worth a visit. A big thanks to everyone for coming and hope to see you on the next trip.
I went to a host family with Study China Programme participant Anna last night, and had dinner with the family, our intern Pierre came to this family almost 2 months, every time I called the host family, they always told me what interesting things they did and how happy they are. I think this is the most interesting thing from my job. I feel really very happy.
Before the Study China Programme participants came, I felt so nervous. Since february, I started to visit families, then select families for students. Most of the families are first time host students, I always scare they could not get along very well. But now when I see the 16 families and 16 students are both so happy for their unique experiences. I feel everything is worth!
Here are some pictures, they also invited some friends and relative to their home yesterday, we made dumplings and had dinner together. Because the husband of this family Mr Li is tea lover, so we drunk some tea together after dinner.