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
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!
Saturday 5th December was meant to be a big day. My first organised trip taking the InternChina interns out to do some fierce Dragon boat racing on Doumen lake. I had it all planned down to a tee.Meet at 11.30am at the bus stop; 12.30pm arrive at Doumen Lake; allocate exactly one hour for lunch; then get on the lake and play some team games.
There were whisperings of potential rain over the weekend but I ignored them. Being from England, it rains ALL THE TIME and a little bit of rain never hurt anybody. However it did have the potential to cancel our Dragon Boat Racing plans…
Half way through the journey, we received a call from the company saying that Dragon Boat Racing had been cancelled because there was torrential rain and it was too dangerous to go out on the lake. This was so unfair. In an effort to make the best of a soggy situation and still have our day out, we made a detour to the Jintai Buddhist Temple which was close by.
Located at the highest peak of Huangyang Mountain in Zhuhai, over looking Yamen seaport, this was everything you imagined a Buddhist temple to be. Surrounded by tranquil waters and picturesque scenery, all that missing was a Chinese Erhu playing in the background to our exploration.
Under reconstruction after being destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, Jintai Temple was slowly being restored to it’s former glory. Brightly coloured with intricately painted designs and spiritual figures, it was growing into a memorable piece of work.
For me, however, Jintai’s highlight was it’s unassuming restaurant located near the entrance. We wondered in, damp and hungry to be greeted by an old man with a beaming smile.
We asked him if there was a menu, he said “No”.
We asked him how much the food was he said “Any price that you want to pay”.
To say that we were confused, was an understatement. After 5 minutes of translation between us we realised that this was exactly how this restaurant operated.
There was no menu, only a vegetarian buffet available and we did only need to pay what we thought the meal was worth.
The food was homely and comforting and the staff were so friendly and helpful, despite our cluelessness. When it came to paying the bill, not being told how much to pay definitely made me more generous than I would be otherwise. This is a very good business idea.
While my initial plans for Dragon Boat Racing may have been swept away to sea, our trip to Jintai Temple was certainly a successful alternative.
Until next time for another InternChina Zhuhai adventure….. apply here to join us!
Hey guys, we’re back from our amazing trip to Yangzhou. We left on Friday night at 7pm (right after work). We hopped on the bus and tried our best to catch some sleep before the busy weekend that was ahead of us. At 3am we finally arrived in Yangshou and were able to change our uncomfortable bus seats for a nice, Chinese hotel bed.On Saturday morning we were able to see some of the most amazing landscapes I’d ever seen. The awesome mountains surrounded the town we stayed in and looked like huge midgets and they were everywhere.
Our first visit during the weekend was to the famous Yangshuo river. We jumped on the traditional boats which are made from bamboo – (well we didn’t literally jump on the boats because this wouldn’t have been possible– they were very small!) Somebody else controlled the raft so we were able to just chill out and sail through the unique countryside and take in the view!
After the boat trip had finished we returned to reality and went to find food as we were all really hungry! Our bus took us to a nice small side restaurant in the middle of nowhere. There we had a great lunch which allowedus to be full of energy again.
Our next destination was to a huge cave filled with amazing geological formations. We walked through this great underground world for about one hour and then returned to the daylight.
Following this visit we went back to the town to chill out and do some shopping. Some of us went shopping for traditional Chinese clothes whilst others stayed in the hotel and prepared themselves for going out in the night. We all had a great night out which meant that for some of us it was really hard to get up in the morning!
The following morning we woke up at 8 o’clock and headed out for another boat trip. When we’d got off the bus a group of cute, small grannies came to us and wanted to sell some water guns. We took the waterguns with us on the boats so most of us were completely drenched within minutes! We had a huge waterfight on the river which was a lot of fun!
At the end of the bamboo rafting we dried ourselves and headed back to the bus. Then after another 8 hour bus trip we were happy to be at home and reflect on our amazing experience!
Last weekend Lars, Max and I visited Chongqing – the biggest city in the world!On Saturday morning we took a modern Chinese railway from the central station in Chengdu. During the 2 and a half hour train ride we were able to see the beautiful countryside which surrounds these metropolitan cities.
Chongqing is located in a valley, which has created Chongqing’s two main features: First, it is quite hilly. Second, it is usually really hot during the summer (up to 45 degrees).
Chongqing is famous for these features and we were hugely looking forward to see the city that is home to 35 million people!
As we arrived in the city it was not as hot as we had expected – only 32 degrees. We quickly got in a taxi and headed towards our hostel. When the taxi driver found out that two of us were German, he started to point out every German car on the street while driving!
Just by looking out the window of the car we realized that this city is unlike anything we had ever seen before. It was massive, futuristic, crowded, Chinese and Western.
We booked a nice hostel, called Yangtze River hostel, (which I would strongly recommend!). Since we were so close to the city centre, we decided to travel by foot. That’s when we realized how hilly Chongqing really is; it reminded me of climbing up Emei Shan… After having lunch in a good local restaurant we visited an old Buddhist temple located between huge skyscrapers.
It had one hall with hundreds of life sized monk statues – really impressive!
The main shopping street easily offers everything a global city should nowadays. We saw that Chongqing is not only very modern, but also very wealthy!
In the evening the hostel organized a dumpling party. Therefore we were able to spend a nice evening with locals and tourists.
What do three guys do in the biggest city of the world on a Saturday night? PARTYING! I can say that the clubs in Chongqing are definitely as good as the clubs we have in Chengdu. We met many friendly locals in the club – interesting chats and free drinks included 😉
When we woke up the next morning, Lars, Max and I took Chongqing’s famous cable car, which crosses the Yangtze River. You do have an amazing view on the platform. From this spot, we saw only skyscrapers in every direction, no horizon! The city is really huge!
Furthermore, we saw a city map which exposed the monstrosity of Chongqing.
The Sheraton seems to be a golden reproduction of Kuala Lumpur´s Petronas Towers.
Important information for everybody from Northern Germany: there will be a Flensburger Brauhaus opening in September!!
In the morning we were feeling exhausted after partying and being in the heat – what’s worse, on Sunday it was nearly 40 degrees!
We had the brilliant idea to climb up to a park which is one of Chongqing’s highest points. But the view was worth it. Anyway we still could not see the horizon, again only skyscrapers. I guess that’s the only way that a single city can be have a larger population than the whole of Australia!
All in all we spent an exciting weekend in Chongqing and we have decided that it is definitely worth visiting again!
On Saturday it was time for the Qingdao InternChina Crew to get the spirit of adventure going once again. We were ready to go for a funny, and at the same time, adventurous rafting trip. But before the rafting fun could start it was a long journey. We had to go on an exhausting three hour bus trip to get to the rafting park. After finally arriving, putting on some ugly and not so safe vests, we climbed up the mountain to the starting point….
Only to be confronted by hundreds of waiting Chinese people. This meant another full hour of waiting in the burning sun. In the starting pool you could see boat after boat after boat, so you literally couldn’t see any water! It was crazy! But the whole exhausting journey was rewarded big time. When the rafting started, and our group finally got into the boats and raved down the river and the atmosphere immediately changed.
It was no longer an exhausting, endless trip. We enjoyed a wild and tremendous experience. I could not imagine seeing so many soaking wet, happy people with a smile on their faces…
like a little child who just got a lollypop! Afterwards, we continued our fun time with a thrilling match of laser tag. The two teams had a hard battle in the forest of the mountains with some of them intelligently hiding while others went for the attack like Rambo… Happy and a little bit tired we got back to our beloved city of Qingdao in the evening.
The Chengdu community of InternChina visited one of four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, Emei Shan. Moreover, it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Personally, I totally agree with the UNESCO.
Since the national park is pretty huge, we decided to make a two day trip to the area. We started early in the morning in Chengdu and took a bus to Emei Shan City. When we arrived we had early lunch to energize us before the hiking. Straight from the beginning the hiking was quite challenging. But we had had the goal of reaching the mountaintop, so we did not lose our ambition. Firstly, we explored the main valley of the mountain range.
The Nature of Emei Shan natural park is breathtakingly beautiful. This is a place of pure nature! (I felt a bit like walking through Jurassic Park)
After climbing a lot of steps up and down we met the Emei Shan’s famous wild monkeys. Thea’s meeting with the monkeys was a bit more intimate than ours. Therefore, Thea generously donated a bottle of her water to please the monkeys. We were really tired after a long day of hiking and climbing, so we looked for a nice hostel. Some local helped us find a decent place in the middle of the mountains. Since we were obviously really hungry we were happy about the great local food served at the hostel. Everybody enjoyed a satisfying dinner.
We all knew the earlier we get to the mountaintop the better. Hence, we woke up at 4.30. To win some time we took a bus to come closer to the mountaintop. This two hour ride was an adventure for itself. The driver seemed to be quite ambitious and did not hesitate to use every chance to speed up. After making progress, we conveniently had to climb the last stage to the mountaintop – another 2 miles of steps up atan altitude of over two thousand meters. This was a massive challenge for everybody of us because none of us actually never been on a mountaintop like this before. We started questioning ourselves if it was a good decision to do this trip but we were so close to our goal.
And when we reached the mountaintop we immediately recognized that every step was absolutely worth climbing!
We were surrounded by clouds. This was an amazing experience. There is a huge Buddhist statue on the mountaintop which is really impressive as well as beautiful. Considering the fact that this is a mountaintop the area is surprisingly spacious. Next to the statue and temple there are numerous viewpoints. It truly is amazing! Peering down from our high perch made all the other mountains seem so small, similar to how you look to the clouds from a plane. At some point we were able to take a look down into the depth. This makes you feel quite humble. Emei Shan is truly a majestic place.
For some Chinese people we seemed to as much an attraction as the mountain itself. A lot of people asked us to take a picture with them. This procedure nearly lasted 15 minutes. But we did not mind at all and were happy to do it. In total we spend two hours on the mountain. Then we split up. Some of us wanted to have the adventure of using the cable car in this height, some of us climbed the stairs back down.
All in all, this trip had been really great and definitely the best nature trip I’ve done so far. I’m curious what will be my next adventures in China but it will be really hard for any sight to compete with Emei Shan.
Interested in experiencing China’s majestic natural beauty first hand? Why not come to China! Apply now or send us an email for more information.
Written by Jack Everett
My first official trip with InternChina was to the Danxiashan Geopark in Guangdong province. Here we planned to explore the Chinese countryside and also see the crudely named “Penis Mountain” and “Pussy Cave”! (This definitely allowed us to unleash our immature side!) The trip got off to a bad start when our bus ride was delayed for 3 hours. However, nothing makes you feel better after sitting on a hot bus than Chinese water rafting! The water rafting was incredible! With 5 meter drops in tiny dinghy’s it proved an incredibly dangerous but exciting activity. It was definitely a good way to start the trip!
Following my first experience of crazy Chinese water rafting, we travelled to Shaoguan where we could relax and spend the night. We treated ourselves to some local Cantonese food, had a few beers and chilled out before our tiresome day of mountain climbing in the morning!
After a short bus ride on the Sunday morning we arrived at Danxiashan Geopark. The dense forests, small lakes and winding rivers provided some beautiful scenery. It was great to explore the Chinese country side despite the intense humidity!
It wasn’t long after we started walking that we were confronted with the infamous “Penis Mountain”. The phallic shaped rock proved to be a strangely popular tourist destination… I found it so strange (and quite disturbing) that families travelled together to see the mountain! Nonetheless, it was a great place to mess around and take some hilarious photos!
After climbing what felt like a never ending amount of steps, we finally made it to one of the mountain peaks. The steep climb and raging heat had completely exhausted us, but the view from the top of the mountain was totally worth it!
The climb down from the mountain was treacherous but it offered some incredible views of the surrounding areas! Waiting for us at the foot of the mountain was “Pussy Cave”. In our tired and delirious state the cave seemed hilarious! We spent a worrying amount of time taking some more ridiculous photos and laughing at the strange tourist site.
Many hours later, we finally completed the physically grueling and shattering journey up the mountain! Although we were completely exhausted we were so proud that we’d made it! The trip had definitely been worth it. InternChina has conquered the mountain.