Last week I probably did my last trip during my time here in China. After being to Shanghai during Golden Week and visiting one of the holy mountains of China, Taishan, I definitely wanted to see the capital of China – Beijing.
Before the trip started my good friend Aubry came to Qingdao two days in advance and I had time to show him Qingdao (which has been my home for the past 5 months). I showed him around in our beautiful old part of the city, as well as our nice beaches.
On Thursday our trip to Beijing could finally start. We decided to stay in a hostel called Sanlitun Youth Hostel, which I can really recommend to you, if you want to stay in Beijing for a few days or even a while. It has cheap prices, a warm atmosphere, clean rooms and even offers some nice food – I can definitely recommend you the big Swiss breakfast.. yummy! Besides that, you have a young, open minded and very international audience that we liked to hang out with.
The next day we took a trip to the Great Wall which I have really been looking forward to. It was a great experience to walk up all the way on our own and enjoy the landscape. Also the wall itself was quite impressive. At the end of our walk on the wall we found a part which has not been restored – this is where you can have the nicest of all views!
The following day we started exploring the city a bit more. We visited some of the more famous sights of the city as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. A personal tip here is to go to the Jing Shan Park near the Forbidden City. It is not very much crowded and is a really nice area. If you go up the little hill inside the park you have a great view above the Forbidden city and also the city in general.
After we explored much more of the city area, we decided to find ourselves a nice place to eat. We found out about Sanlitun village which is a big complex with lots of restaurants and shopping. The place you should not miss if you like some Mexican food is the Cantina Agave. Atmosphere and food there are top notch. Near Sanlitun village is also huge bar street where we had some drinks in various bars.
All in all it has been a nice experience and Beijing is a city that is worth a visit. We had a decent time and I guess we have really been lucky with the weather, as it was sunny all day and there was literally no smog at all. Beijing is a bit more Chinese than Shanghai in a way but is also just as lively. Nothing more to say than – bye bye, Beijing!
大家好！Hello my name is Katharina, I am 24, from Germany and I just arrived in China last week. After landing in Beijing I immediately left for Jinan to visit a Chinese friend and then went on to Yangzhou to visit some old friends of mine. This weekend I arrived in Chengdu and started my internship at InternChina.
I studied Cultures and Societies of Asia, with main focus on Chinese Studies and Ethnology at University of Cologne and just finished my Bachelor’s degree. I have been fascinated with Asian culture, especially China and Japan, since I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and Anime. As I love to study languages as well I decided to study Chinese and go to China.
I spent my year abroad from 2010 until 2011 in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province. It is a relatively small city, but maybe some of you know Jiang Zemin, who was born there and during his political years helped to develop the city a lot. The atmosphere was very relaxed and there weren’t too many foreigners which helped to improve my Chinese. I still met many people from all over the world and it was a great experience.
As I approach the end of my studies I was looking for chances to go back to China as soon as possible. I found out about InternChina and thought this would be a great way to gain work experience in the field of cultural exchange and come back to Chengdu, which I have visited before and loved. Although I am not used to eating spicy food I will learn slowly, or as Chinese would say 慢慢来Mànmànlái. Jenny, Kenny and the other office interns received me very friendly. I am looking forward to improve my Chinese, learn a lot of new things and meet many nice people and of course to see the panda bears again 😉
On Saturday it started- the awesome InternChina trip to Guangzhou. Meeting at 8.30 am and taking the new Zhuhai-Guangzhou High speed train. That was the plan so far.
But how boring would it be if everything would work as it should. No tickets anymore, no chance to go to Guangzhou by train before lunchtime. But instead of getting nervous we just decided to have a little breakfast and take the bus. Buying tickets for that is just a lot more relaxing and easy. Just go to a bus, with some people standing in front of it (there was nothing like ‘Guangzhou’ written on it), go into the bus, wait half of the way and give a little money to a guy that is walking around then to collect it. Easy.
About two hours later we arrived in Guangdong’s capital. Sunshine, good mood, great start to a great weekend.
After checking in into our hotel, right in front of the river we enjoyed the traditional Guangzhou food like wu liu jia dan (fried egg and onions in sweet sour sauce).
We crossed the river with one of the ferries and went to one of the biggest fish markets in Guangdong. After visiting the Cheng Clan Academy we all went to Beijing Lu to do some shopping, to have some awesome Thai food and just to enjoy all the lights and the city life.
Like most of the great days in China that one ended with some beers at the Street BBQ.
Sunday: Skydrop on the Guangzhou tower! And that was definitely the best seconds of the weekend!
Eating Guangzhou noodles, seeing the famous five goats, the Guangzhou museum, Yue Xiu Shan, the oldest stadium in Guangzhou, built in 1950, going to IKEA- there’s a lot of great opportunities to spend your time in Guangzhou.
And our way back home we finally could take the new Guangzhou-Zhuhai train.
Philippe Touzin office manager in Zhuhai here!
Last week was the Chinese National Week (1st of October – 7th of October) which is the anniversary of China’s Liberation and Revolution.
It is more commonly known in China as Golden Week, and in Tourist Language “Hell Week”
Some facts from Wikipidia regarding Golden Week:
In 2012, the PRC government announced that national highways would be toll free for Golden Week, and as a result 86 million people travelled by road (13% increase compared to the previous year). The same year, the Forbidden City in Beijing had a new record of 182,000 visitors within one day on October 2, the Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen had 215,000 visitors on October 4 (10 times the number of visitors on a normal busy day), 7.6 million people travelled via domestic airlines, 60.9 million people travelled via railway, and revenues from tourism totalled at 1.77 billion renminbi.
That is about 154.9 million people that travelled in the space of 7 days!! Now I know that China holds a population 1.4 billion, but how many people live in your country? If you are from France, Germany, UK…that’s double the population that went travelling…If your from the US, that’s half your population then went on a Wonder.
The movement of people is incredible, and thus comes the term of “hell week”, because if you are travelling within the Chinese borders, you can be sure that the buses, airports, train stations will be fully packed and then the hotels get booked out 2 weeks in advance. Now lets say you managed to be organised and booked in advance your hotel and train tickets, you may think you are now on your way to a nice peaceful holiday in the serene beauty that is China’s nature. No.no. and no. Bet that 10 million other people had the same idea than you to visit the “traditional village” during that exact same week.
That is what happened to me last year when I went to yangshuo in the Guanxi province. (my friend didn’t book in advance and ended sleeping on a mattrass, on the roof of the hotel . giggles.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love travelling in China, it is AMAZING and the infrastructure for travelling is great. Except during Golden Week. J
So this year I decided to travel to the Philippines for the Golden Week. Flying from Zhuhai to The Philippines, with a domestic flight in addition (flying between islands), cost me in total 160 GBP/198EUR/ 256USD. Basically the cost of a return Ryannair/ Easy Jet ticket. Great start!
I booked my flight leaving from Macau. Thus at the end of work 5h30pm, I left the office, took a tax and was at the border within 5 minutes, then it was 30 minutes of queues and shuffling about with my two friends, and we were in Macau! Our flight was at 9h30pm so we decided to go and have a beer in the old Portuguese colony and get to the aiport.
My friends who work for two Exporting companies here in Zhuhai and myself were looking forwards to a vacation with no computers, phone or internet.
We flew to Clarck who was and still is a heavily active US Airforce Base ( I didn’t know this) so it was abit suprising to arrive and be transported to the US form the street signs/roads and military personel. However we were there only shortly and then took our next flight to go to the Western island Palawan.
We landed on the East Coast, Puerto Princessa, where we had rented a doorless Japanese military jeep to do a 3 day road trip up north to El Nido.
No license needed, just a signature and off you go. I drove for 30 min (great fun, but slightly wonky) until I noticed my feet were wet with oil and saw that the pedals were leaking oil…not good. Drive back to rental place and get a nice Pajero instead to go road tripping..only issue no radio, so we each went on jingles duty…devastating experience.
Palawan is very much under developed with the bggest technological success being a road which goes ¾ of the way up North, this may be painstaking for tech junkies, but this was perfect and you don’t go to the Philippines (over 7’000 Islands) for development, but more Beaches, the water and sea life. To quote a hippie who was travelling to “find himself” I met. “This place has a raw and kind off elemental nature”
We drove to and stayed for one night in Conception, the to Roxas, TayTay and finally the dirt tracks to El Nido (I drove very safely on those roads 😉 ) The road crosses mountains, hills, rice fields, Rainforest. Beautiful
El Nido Was amazing, , touristy, but amazing, the sea, the renting of boats for day trips of snorkelling and fishing (2kg yellow fin tuna and some yellow/white fish). A good book, the beach and days of doing nothing except for eating, sleeping and swimming were great.
I could keep writing a give you a full detailed trip on Palawan, but the best to do here is go and discover yourselves, come to Zhuhai were you have easy access to all over S.E.A and go discovering. InternChina is of course there to help give advice and tips on where to go during Golden Week, including the Chinese hotspots if that’s what you are out for 😉
I will continue the description with the pictures below:
Thank you for reading and until next time!!
Hello, this is Philippe!
I went travelling last weekend to an area called ZhangJiaJie (张家界) in Hunan Province (湖南) which was Beautiful and Legendary!
I was with several friends who are having internships in a company in Zhuhai. We started the trip by taking a 2h30 bus ride to Guangzhou (广州), where we caught a 13h Sleeper Train to ZhangJiaJie! The train ride itself was an adventure due to us sampling all the different kind of snacks and foods passing by our sleeper beds in the little trolleys, then having a “couple” of beers, ending with most people of the group going to bed, whilst me and another friend went to the Food Wagon, where we ended up drinking with the train Chief and the train Police Chief!!
ZhangJiaJie is a city surrounded by enigmatic and impressive mountains, with several attractions.
We first went to the TianZiShan (天子山) mountain ranges, for which you catch a cable car (longest in the world!) in the city centre to the top of the mountain, there are many magnificent views, apparently, as when we went up there when it was quite cloudy and so couldn’t see much of the views 😀 . I am actually quite happy that it was cloudy, as I have a slight phobia of heights and several of the walkways follow the precipices!
The cable car stops halfway, so that you can get off, jump on a minivan and go off to see a great hole in the mountain, in the past years the Russian Air force made a show and flew 3 jets through the hole, and a guy jump out of a helicopter with a wing suit and flew thought it!!!
In the Evening we went to eat in a restaurant with traditional architecture and discovered a room where they held live animals for cooking! There were boars, pheasants, pigs, geese, chicken, snakes, turtles and other animals which I cannot name. Spicy but very tasty food!!
The second day we went to WuLingYuan (武陵源), the national forest park, and this was truly incredible. This national park is humongous, and one could take a couple of days to hike through it, we unfortunately only had 1 day. Early Chinese breakfast, bus, and arrival at 9am, we were ready to hike our socks off. We took one of the longer/ less used path (main path= hordes of Chinese tourists with umbrella’s/flags/multi-coloured raincoats and speakerphones). We entered a world of calm, and forest sounds with ancient architecture popping up and enticing path alternatives (see pic), we saw and marvelled at wild monkeys. But most of all, we were astounded and mesmerised when the fog let up and in front of us appeared a vista of mountain spires with trees growing on them. We had never seen anything like this, it looked wonderful on the pictures from the internet, but being at the foot of these spires, was incredible and a feeling of aw at the sheer energy of nature. (I am no hippie, but this was really cool!). LEGENDARY.
I have travelled quite a lot in China, and there are few places I would go back to only due to the scenery, but ZhangJiaJie was definitely the trip of a lifetime and I am certain I will be back to keep exploring it!
See you all next time and hopefully soon in China!
This weekend I decided with a friend to go and have an Island trip in the South China sea Archipelago (104 islands), on the Zhuhai coast.
We took a 50 minute ferry from Zhuhai to Dong’Ao Island where we rented a tent on the Beach (Sa’Tan). The beach is clear, salty and soooo nice and warm to swim in. After our initial dip we decide to go island exploring and so packed a waterproof bag and left our stuff in the tent, and proceeded with our Robinso Crusoe adventure. We found another smaller beach with some fisherman huts, but decided to keep going, and ended up doing some sea rock climbing for 40 min until we reached a secluded beach with white sand where we decided to make camp.
This being the Chinese sea, there is a bit of plastic and debris on the coastline, but the water was clear and clean. The debris provided us with rope, a hook and a big stick of which we created a fishing rod, we then tried out our fishing skills on the jumping fish we kept seeing…which aren’t that great as we lost the hook! 😀
So we resorted to our pre-prepared picnic and lying on the beach for hours. We then decided to head back, as we didn’t really feel like rock climbing in the dark, but found a path higher up which led us to the initial beach with the fisherman, with whom we had some tea!
We had a barbeque on the beach for dinner and fell asleep to the waves crashing down on the sand…Sweet.
I am highly looking forwards to my next weekend Beach trip, Viva my internship with Internchina and living in the tropics!
Hope to see you all in China,