Xinfeng

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Cultural, Travel

Our Chinese Friends

Hey hey,
Hope you all had a smooth weekend? Mine was quite entertaining.

Chronologically starting with Friday: maybe you remember our trip to Xinfeng from two weeks ago? On that trip we met a nice Chinese couple. She – we call her Lizzy – is a bundle of energy and her husband adores her. I think he would do anything for her.

Communicating with them is not always that easy but using hand gestures and a translation app on our phones do the work.

After the weekend in Xinfeng we met her again on Wednesday evening. What did we do? Cross stitching. No, we are no grannies… yet. It was really funny. The owner of the cross stitch shop (left in the picture) showed us how to stitch and also observed our work. Lizzy was more than happy to show us how to do it right! She was sometimes she a bit commanding… 😛

InternChina - All concentrated on cross stitching
InternChina – All concentrated on cross stitching

During this stitching session we made the decision to meet again on Friday to make dumplings together and go out afterwards:

The day started with washing and cutting of vegetables and then wrapping them up in the dumpling skins (Jenny will tell you more about this process on Friday). So far no problem. But when we wanted to start steaming them we noticed we were out of gas. But everything was good as they had an extra bottle of gas in their place. So we switched the bottle and had gas again! But Lizzy was not happy with the dumplings’ taste. While we ate this batch, the second batch was steaming on the stove. Which forgot about that it was cooking so after some time there was a burning smell… Still we had a lot of fun that evening.

Later that night we dressed up – in Qipao – and first went to the tea shop of a friend of Lizzy’s husband. Where we had some tea and wine. Next stop was Barstreet.

InternChina - Lizzy and me in our Qipaos
InternChina – Lizzy and me in our Qipaos

On Sunday, we met Lizzy again. She invited us to her brother’s place who is a chef and he cooked a big lunch for us. It was really good. The starter was a sweet soup:

InternChina - Sweet starter soup
InternChina – Sweet starter soup

After lunch, we went to the Spa where we enjoyed relaxing in the sauna and took a hot shower, followed by 100 minutes of massage. That was awesome! On our way back from the Spa, Lizzy was on the phone for a while and after she hung up she told us that soon there will be a marriage in her family and that we were invited. A Chinese wedding! Sooo cool! I am really looking forward to that and I will let you know where and when it will take place. There will definitely be a blog about it.

Oh my god, what am I going to wear?? O.o

I wonder what Lizzy’s next plan for us is. I’ll keep you up-to-date.

Greetings,

Gianna aka Gini aka 吉娜

 Apply now for an internship! Experience China and make some Chinese friends along the way!

Events in Zhuhai, Things To Do in Zhuhai, Travel

An Exciting Hike

Hey there,
Wow, another week just passed by. Time flies! Unbelievable! I finally found my routine in the office and work is becoming more fun but I still learn more and more new things. On Friday for example we visited some companies. First time for me, wearing business clothes and having fun while being serious. Having put the first fear aside it was exciting to enter this unknown territory. Guess we all grow up after all.

Last weekend we went on a trip to Xinfeng about which Jenny told you in her latest blog. It was an interesting weekend, during which I got the chance to get to know the other interns that went with us a little better and also learned a little more about myself. I feel like it has been a week where I have learned more about myself. I will not tell you too much about the detailed program as Jenny will do that in her blog on Thursday – so don’t miss that one. 😉 But I still want to tell you about some things I experienced.

Starting with Friday evening on which we went to a restaurant near our apartment: As so often, the menu was written in Chinese and I just asked the waiter which of the dishes does not have meat in them. He pointed at some and I chose blindly one of them. What I got were noodles in a peanut sauce. They were delicious! So, I had them again yesterday.

InternChina – Noodles with peanut sauce

The next morning we started our trip to Xinfeng. First stop was Sakura Valley where all the cherry trees were in bloom and then we headed to the hot springs to recover from the day.

InternChina - Exploring Sakura Valley with two of the interns
InternChina – Exploring Sakura Valley with two of the interns

Sunday morning I began with my favorite Chinese breakfast: 肠粉 (cháng fěn). It is made of rice flour, egg, salad and some soy-like sauce. I love it!

InternChina - My favorite breakfast: Changfen
InternChina – My favorite breakfast: Changfen

Then we headed towards the mountain which we wanted to climb. On the way there we already passed many tree covered green mountains. The one we went to had its peak covered in clouds. After we got off the bus and took some group pictures with some random Chinese people we started our hike.

The nature was breathtaking beautiful – all green and small rivers making their way around huge rocks. From everywhere you heard waterfalls rushing down the mountain and had an awesome view over other mountains and the landscape around them.

InternChina - beautiful nature during the hike
InternChina – beautiful nature during the hike
InternChina - Cloudy mountain
InternChina – Cloudy mountain

This scenery made me and my co-hikers hungry for more so we decided to go for the peak. We noticed that 1,400 meters is pretty high for a mountain that does not have any steps to help us climb it. On our way we met three other crazy people who had the peak as their goal.

As it became more slippery and steeper the higher we got, we had to use roots and trees as a help – surprisingly no one tripped. When the mist from the clouds got so thick that we could not see into the distance, we started expecting the peak to show up around every corner but we were let down every time. Just when we thought we were the last ones on that climb we met a group of Chinese women who then told us it was one more hour to reach the top. As we were all totally exhausted and it was time to get back to the bus we gave up on the peak and made our way downhill. This was partly more difficult than the way up. But with some helping hands of another Chinese hiking group we finally made it to the stairs. From there it was just an easy walk back down to the bus.

InternChina - Exhausted but happy
InternChina – Exhausted but happy

This trip was a really awesome experience. It had everything from fascinating nature at the foot of the mountain to a thrilling hike in the upper part.

On the drive back to Zhuhai everybody was sleeping on the bus because we were so tired.

It was a really nice weekend.

Until next time!

See you and 再见,

Gianna aka Gini aka 吉娜

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Cultural, Travel, Weekend Trips

Guangdong, Shaoguan, Xinfeng: Sakura season – happiness for life, never give up

Hey guys,
It’s Jenny again.

A trip is planned for the weekend.  Some people asked me what can be expected from the excursion site of Xinfeng (新丰县) county. Xinfeng county is under the administration of Shaoguan city. First of all I looked up on Google maps how long it would take us to get there. From the InternChina office direct to Xinfeng it’s less than four hours. As we only travel by a coach, that’s how long it would take.

 

InternChina - ZHU - Shaoguan
InternChina – ZHU – Shaoguan

I did some research on the geography of Xinfeng, so that we’ll be well prepared when we get there:  Xinfeng county has an area of about 2.016 km². Shaoguan – to which Xinfeng belongs – is a city in the north of Guangdong province (of which Zhuhai is also part of). Shaoguan is bordering by two other provinces (Hunan to the Northwest and Jiangxi to the Northeast).

Once we arrive in Xinfeng we will have the chance to try many of different dishes, such as the particularly famous tofu, basil ducks, chicken rice and river fish.

“After dinner rest a while, after supper walk a mile!”  We will continue our journey after a good lunch and with full stomachs. One hour later we expect to arrive at the Sakura Valley, where we expect to be able to appreciate the beauty of falling Sakura blossoms.

internChina - Cherry Valley
InternChina – Cherry Valley

As we will be mostly in the countryside, we can have a relaxing evening in Xinfeng while watching the night scene or enjoying hot springs in the jungle mountains.

After a hopefully long and restful night we will have a good, filling breakfast, to arm us for the next hours. We want to hike from the hotel to the foot of the mountain.

We will see a beautiful mountain formation in the so called Tiaojishan Nature Reserve. The highest peak is 1438.8 meters. I’m sure those rock formations will leave us breathless for a few seconds! Once we reached the viewpoint, we will walk to the camp. On the way there we will pass the ‘red earth zone’ along  the stream.

After going through the jungles and stone zones, we will reach the second highest peak of the Cloud Bun Mountain.

InternChina - peak : 1438.8 meters
InternChina – peak : 1438.8 meters

During the whole hiking tour we will be able to listen to different kinds of birds, smell the fragrance of the flowers and enjoy the fresh air.

To sum up, I expect this to be a very relaxing trip for everyone – a chance to unwind, feel at one with nature, and to recharge ourselves!

By the way, for those of you who will join us and who already learnt some Chinese, there will be several Chinese people with which you can chat about culture, tips and tricks.

InternChina - hiking the mountains in Xinfeng
InternChina – hiking the mountains in Xinfeng

Looking forward to the weekend and I will let you all know, if my expectations have been fulfilled.

Also want to have the chance to see such beautiful scenery and take part in our adventures? Combine your travels with an internship in Qingdao, Zhuhai or Chengdu!