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All You Need to Know, Before your stay, How-to Guides, Travel

Getting Ready for China: Setting up Your WeChat Account

Ever wondered how to use the famous WeChat? Here’s a handy guide to turn you from no to pro.

A Little Introduction

WeChat is the biggest social media platform in China, with over 963 million monthly users. It is primarily an instant messaging app however there are many more features than just instant messaging. WeChat or Wēi Xìn is the bread and butter of daily life in China and an essential part of your stay. You’ll need it to speak to friends, contact colleagues and even buy your coffee with it!

Image of the WeChat logo on a PC screen

Getting Started with WeChat

It’s actually really easy to set up a WeChat account. The process is very similar to Whatsapp, in that you need to download the WeChat app from the app store (iTunes, Google Play etc.) and create an account using your phone number.

Here’s a step-by-step guide of how to set up WeChat on your phone:

  1. Download the app.
  2. Once downloaded, open the app and click “sign up”
  3. Type your number into the field and click sign up, be sure to choose the right area code, e.g UK, USA etc.
  4. WeChat will send a verification code to the chosen number: go into messages, find the verification code and enter it into the “Code” field.
  5. Once confirmed, type in your name and finish creating your account.
  6. After this you’re good to go!

 

 Opening your Keyboard

To start a text chat, open your keyboard just like in WhatsApp or SMS. Tap the space beside the speaker icon and your keyboard becomes accessible!

 Adding Friends

Now that your account is ready to go it’s time to start making friends. Adding people on WeChat is quick and easy, so it’s great for networking or if you’re on the go.

You can add friends a few ways. The first is to search for their username or phone number, and the second is to scan their personalised QR code.

Adding Contacts by Username & Phone Number

  1. Click the ” + ” icon at the top right hand of your home screen.
  2. Click the space beside the search icon which says “WeChat ID/ Phone.”
  3. Type the username/ phone number into the space saying “WeChat ID/ Phone.”
  4. When you type in the username, click on the green search button that appears.
  5. Their contact card will appear on your screen. Click “Add”
  6. You’re now connected!

Adding Contacts with a QR Code 

  1. Click the + icon at the top right hand of your home screen.
  2. Select “Add Contacts” then “Scan QR Code”
  3. Ask your friend to show you their “Profile QR code”.
  4. Point your phone camera at the code to scan it.
  5. Their contact card will appear on your screen. Click “Add”
  6. Congrats! You’ve just added your first contact!

­­

Lettings Others Add You 

Others can add you by your username, the phone number associated with your account or by scanning your personalised QR code.

To access your personal QR code, go to the “Me” page in WeChat, click on either your profile picture or the QR code beside your username, and open your QR code!

Making a Group Chat

To make a group chat in WeChat, simply go to the ” + ” symbol in the top right of your screen, and then select the “Group Chat” option. Then, add your contacts!

 

Following Official Accounts

Groups are a big part of how people communicate via WeChat and we regularly use them to post updates about IC activities. To keep up to date with weekly dinners, trips and the latest news be sure to follow the official InternChina subscription accounts and join the group chats.

You can join the subscription accounts the same way you add contacts- simply choose “Official Accounts” in the menu, and then search for the account you want to follow! You can type in “IC” and this will bring up all the InternChina city accounts.

How to Communicate

In WeChat, you can text, send voice messages, make phone calls and make video calls (similar to Skype.)

Sending a Voice Message

To send a voice message, click on the speaker icon beside your keyboard. Then, press the “hold to talk” button, and continue holding this until you are finished speaking. Then simply release and your message is sent! To cancel a message, just drag and release your finger.

Video Calling

You will most likely use a WeChat video call for your interview with your host company, so it’s important you know how to make one!

  1. Open the right conversation- either an existing chat with the contact, or open a new chat by finding the contact in your contacts list.
  2. Open the chat menu by pressing the ” + ” button at the bottom of your conversation screen.
  3. Select the option for a video call.
  4. You’re ready to go!

The same method applies to starting a voice call.

 

Once you have your WeChat set up you are ready to start life in China! Check out our video on how to use WeChat to sign up to IC activities and follow our official account.

 

 

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Meet Jess, Zhuhai’s New Office Intern

About Me

I’m Jess, Zhuhai’s new Cultural Events Management and Marketing intern. Given by my teacher, my Chinese name “má là” (麻辣, spicy) replicates the sound of my surname (but is also in part due to my hair’s reaction to humidity reminding her of a particular spice girl). Although just beginning to learn Mandarin, I recently graduated from MSoA and moved to China two weeks ago.

Jess standing in front of a fountain during her Graduation

Background

Film and photography are my passion, but I also have experience in project management of my own non-for profit social enterprise LightUp Collective. The allure of travel, language and culture drew me away from my UK projects to this internship in China. In hand with a fast growing economy, the country is investing record amounts in the cultural sector. Through organizing events and excursions, my role ensures that our interns are enriched in Chinese culture. My camera, captures them doing so.

Experience of Interning in Zhuhai

Leaving for China can be daunting. On the last leg of my 22 hour journey, stressed and agitated I trudged off the plane. Although most excited for the prospect of my bed, as I stepped off the aircraft into Guangzhou, the realization that I had an opportunity to work in paradise (or near enough) hit me as quickly as the wave tropical heat.

A cup of coffee and a plane ticket in the airport

Two weeks into my time in Zhuhai and my mornings consist of a commute lined with palm trees, my days spent working hard affront a view of Macau glistening on the horizon. China, Zhuhai especially, is not what you expect, it’s more.

Lovers Road in Zhuhai

Chinese Traditions, Cultural, Discover Chinese culture, Eating Out in Chengdu, Eating out in Zhuhai, Food, Qingdao Eating Out Guide

Using Chopsticks – why I’m a convert!

An estimated 33% of the world’s population (give or take) use chopsticks on a daily basis. For the hungry first time user, guzzling down your meal with two small wooden sticks can be a real challenge. Chopsticks might seem tricky to master and somewhat unnecessary for those of us that grew up with a plastic knife and fork in hand, so why have they come to dominate the culinary habits of much of Asia?
Chopsticks are over 5000 years old, long sticks of bamboo were first used to retrieve morsels of food from cooking pots on the fire. Later on, evidence of chopsticks used as table utensils emerged as far back as 500-400 AD. It’s said the spread of popular chopstick use across China was down to population boom and fuel shortages; food was chopped into smaller pieces in an attempt to make the meagre rations go further (thus eliminating the need for knives at the table). Whatever the reason, people in Japan and Korea soon followed the trend not far behind!

The ultimate legend of Chinese culture Confucius (or debatably perhaps his disciple Mengzi) added his own two cents on the matter too, which always helps. Apparently a firm believer that “the honourable and upright man keeps well away from both slaughterhouse and kitchen, and allows no knives on his table.” 有名望的和正直的人要远离屠场和厨房。

FUN FACT: Did you know that Confucius was a vegetarian?

I’m not ashamed to admit that after 3 years in China, I am a total convert. Using chopsticks makes me appreciate my food more. Whatsmore, the sociable side to Chinese dinning, sharing and array of mouth-watering dishes, picking out tasty tit-bits from any dish at will, never gets old.

So here goes, top facts you should know about different types of chopsticks:

THE CHINESE CHOPSTICK
InternChina - Chinese Chopsticks
Typically unfinished wood, slightly rectangular top with a cylindrical blunt end. Doesn’t roll off the table so easily and more surface area means you’ve got a higher chance or transferring those tasty morsels all the way from the middle of the table right to your bowl!
FUN FACT: It’s a faux-pas to tap your chopsticks on the edge of your bowl, as this is what beggars do to attract attention.

THE JAPANESE CHOPSTICK
InternChina - Japanese Chopsticks
Traditionally lacquered wood or bamboo, with a rounded top and a pointy end that’s perfect for de-boning fish. They’re a little bit smaller than the Chinese equivalent and you often find red pairs for the ladies and black ones for the gents.
FUN FACT: Never stick your chopsticks vertically into your rice bowl, it’s reminiscent of incense sticks at a funeral.

THE KOREAN CHOPSTICK
InternChina - Korean Chopsticks
The shortest model of the three, Korean chopsticks are usually stainless steel and flat or rectangular shaped. Potentially more hygienic but it definitely makes it harder to get a grip on your food!
FUN FACT: The king used pure silver chopsticks which would change colour if they came in contact with certain poisons. The people started using metal chopsticks to emulate him.

InternChina - chopstick inventions

Anyway, hope this can inspire you to pick up a pair of chopsticks and come to China yourself. Even if you struggle to start with new chopstick inventions are coming up every day, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest ‘Chork’ on the market!

All You Need to Know, Zhuhai Blogs

Zhuhai: Everything you need to know

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.

Overview

The famous Zhuhai Fisher Girl
The famous Zhuhai Fisher Girl

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!

InternChina Destinations

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.

Transport

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!

Zhuhai weather

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.

Zhuhai Food

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.

Lifestyle

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.

Nightlife

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)

 

READY TO BOOK YOUR PROGRAMME IN ZHUHAI? HIT THE BUTTON BELOW!

OR IF YOU WANT TO READ ABOUT OUR OTHER CITIES… CLICK ONE! QINGDAO / CHENGDU / DALIAN

 

 

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Travel, Zhuhai Blogs

First Weeks in Zhuhai

In 2009 I set foot in China for the first time. I was in Beijing for a semester at Peking University and my time there passed in a blur. I barely knew the language and it was my first time being abroad on my own. So now, seven years later and with more Mandarin under my belt than just xie xie (谢谢) and bu yao (不要), I am ready to take on my second Chinese adventure.

InternChina - Zhuhai Skyline
InternChina – Zhuhai Skyline

After being here for a few weeks now, I can definitely say that I am happy I chose Zhuhai to do my internship. While Zhuhai does have everything a big metropolis has to offer, it doesn’t feel overly crowded or hectic. There are parks and green spaces all over the city and life here is a little more laid back. That does not mean that being here isn’t a little overwhelming at times. It takes a while to get used to living in a different place and being in a different culture, and it isn’t always easy. Not being able to fully speak the language also makes every interaction a little more difficult, as each time it takes a little bit longer to get my point across, but that’s OK. I’m here to soak up as much as I can and with every day it gets easier and easier. I have a great support group here with InternChina and they have definitely made my first couple of weeks here a breeze.

InternChina - Zhuhai Street
InternChina – Zhuhai Street

My favorite thing about coming to China and living in Zhuhai is the food! I love that food is such a big part of the culture here and plays an important part in daily life. On every street you can find little shops selling all kinds of different stuff. I love trying new cuisines and dishes, and I haven’t had a bad meal yet!

InternChina - Hotpot
InternChina – Hotpot

I am really looking forward to my internship and to living in Zhuhai. I can’t wait to see what the next few months will bring!

Cultural, Food, How-to Guides

TWO WOKKY DISHES FOR YOU TO COOK IN CHINA

So I’ve been roped into writing another blog. Last time I was writing about wacky shrimp-charmers and typical Chinese benevolence but I’m toning it all down a bit in an attempt to brandish my questionable cooking talent. However, do not fear these recipes, for they have earned critical acclaim from seasoned pundits such as my ex-flatmate and anosmic sausage-dog. What’s more is that I present an opportunity to make friends with your local veg-stall owner. Just visit every day and say ‘shēng yì xīng lóng’ after you’ve paid and you’ll be friends for life.
Perhaps I should stop flaunting my credentials get on with what you came here for.

Dish One – Egg Fried Rice

‘It sounds boring!’ I hear you cry. “It’s too easy!” you moan. Pfft. Don’t you remember the social sec from that questionable university rugby club telling you not to knock something until you’ve tried it?

egg fried rice
Egg Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • Egg, obviously. You’re going to need 2-5 of these, depending on how much you hit the gym.
  • Rice. Try to scale this with the number of eggs you’ve used.
  • Some kind of oil to grease your wok. I use peanut oil because it’s the cheapest.
  • Vegetables. Normally I go with a solitary carrot because I’m boring, but you should try adding broccoli, pak choi or cauliflower. If you’re feeling really adventurous then add all four.
  • Soy sauce, obviously. This is China after all.
  • Sesame oil. This is the secret ingredient that sets apart the Jamie Olivers from the normal Olivers.

Method

Start by getting your rice cooker on the go. While she’s doing the hard work for you, chop up your vegetables into little chunks and crack open your eggs into a small bowl. Then, fry the veg in your wok on a medium/high heat in some oil.

Once those seedless fruits are looking nice and cooked turn down the heat to low/medium and throw in the eggs. Be sure to give them a good whacking with a wooden spoon. Beat them until it looks like that scene from Team America when the hero-guy comes out of the pub.

Now you need to add in the rice. Make sure that it isn’t all mushy with water then throw it into the wok. Pour some soy sauce over it and stir it in. Usually you’ll need about 10-20mL of soy sauce, but you’ll soon work out how strong you like your flavours. Finally, pour some sesame oil into the wok and mix that in too. About 3-5mL is all you need.

And voila! That took about 15 minutes.

Dish Two – Chicken Stir Fry

This is my signature dish in China. My old housemates back home in England know how proud I was of my first bhuna and others find my bolognese irresistible. However, China isn’t fond of curry and you’ll pay a lot of money to cook yourself a proper bolognese so I’ll try to keep on topic.

chicken
InternChina – Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients

  • Chicken. Cluck cluck.
  • Rice or noodles. This is a great opportunity because you can disguise this single recipe as two by using either carbohydrate base.
  • Carrots. Feel free to add other vegetables but the carrots are the best thing about this dish.
  • Ginger. You’ll need about 5cm of this, maybe more. Who knows? You’ll find out how much you like soon enough.
  • Garlic. While we’re on the subject, anyone reading who hasn’t been to China might be interested to know that the Chinese like to munch on whole garlic cloves. You’ll need about three for this dish.
  • Soy sauce. You’ll work out how much you need.
  • Oil. Again, I use peanut oil because it’s the cheapest.
  • Honey (not essential).
  • Peanut butter (not essential).
  • Peanuts (not essential).

Method

Choose if you want rice or noodles. Prepare them but wait until later to cook.

Slice and dice your chicken and slap it into a moderately oiled wok. You don’t want to turn on the heat yet unless you like your chicken black. Wash your chopping board if you don’t have access to another and use it to chop your carrots. Slice them into 1cm thick batons, wash them and leave them aside. Turn on the chicken to a medium heat. Then start chopping up the ginger and garlic into tiny pieces. A big meaty cleaver helps with this. The smaller the better. You’ll see what I mean.

Somewhere in the middle of chopping up the ginger and garlic you’ll hear a mysterious voice whisper in your ear: ‘don’t forget to turn on the rice’. This will only occur if you chose to cook rice. Obey the voice.

When the chicken is almost cooked, which is usually when you’ve just peeled the garlic and ginger, put your carrots in the wok. If you’re cooking noodles, boil the water now.

When you feel like you can’t be bothered to chop ginger and garlic anymore, put them in the wok and turn the flame up high. I try to make some room in the middle of the wok and put them there, adding the soy sauce at the same time. I find that the flavours come out better when it’s been blasted with heat. Leave it for about 15 seconds and then stir it all in. After a few minutes I like to pick the wok up and toss the ingredients up into the air and catch them again in the wok. (I actually do this with the lid on but it’s still good practice). Finally, add a squirty of honey and a spoony of peanut butter. Stir it like that rumour you spread about Tom and Lucy back in ‘08.

If your choice was noodles, start cooking them now. They need about one or two minutes. If you chose rice, it should be cooked by now. Put it in a bowl and add a little bit of soy sauce. I like to add the noodles to the wok and stir fry them with some extra soy sauce.

About now everything should be ready. Just serve it up. Garnish with peanuts to add extra protein and a new crunchy texture.

And that’s it! Another just-satisfactory blog that has slipped through the editor’s occasionally slippery net.

Cultural, Homestay Experience, Internship Experience, Learn about China, Travel, Zhuhai Blogs, Zhuhai Nightlife

First Impressions of Zhuhai

My name is Alizée and I am currently doing an internship in Zhuhai through InternChina. At the end of my Bachelor’s degree, my need to explore new horizons automatically brought me to China. It was the most logical choice, being the farthest country and, by all standards, the most different. But after only a week, I already felt right at home. Here are a few of the first things I discovered about Zhuhai.

Alizee Blog PanoInternChina – View from BanZhangShan Mountain

1. Guangdong is the land of the Cantonese

Zhuhai situated in Guangdong, and being so close to Hong Kong and Macau, has quite the Cantonese influence. Along with the language (both Mandarin and Cantonese), comes delicious Cantonese food! It is the most populated province in China, Guangdong’s capital is Guangzhou. It’s hard for me to believe, coming from France where we are 66 million people in total, but Guangzhou hosts over 50 million habitants, in one city only. In comparison, 10 million people live in Paris. These proportions are hard to grasp.

2. Beware of the Karaoke!

Here, it’s called KTV (short for Karaoke TV, as you might have guessed). Basically, you gather all your friends into a private room and sing loudly together. In China, KTV is a cultural institution, suitable for all generations and social backgrounds. The name for us westerners can be quite off putting. Since it is not being broadcasted, why is it called TV ? It originated when new piracy laws from the GATT’s Uruguay round shut down it’s predecessor in 1988, MTV (MovieTV, Netflix’s ancestor). The company, not put off in the least, then simply switched it’s market to a less regulated sector; the music industry, and changed the first M to a K, with little regards for it’s meaning.

My first experience with this strange practice was during my company’s party, reuniting over 30 people from different branches, in a large pandemonium of beer and music. It was quite fascinating to watch my colleagues, usually so assiduous and solemn, turn into such party animals. The classic studious and hardworking stigma that is usually observed, was largely proven wrong during those few hours of letting loose. Unfortunately, knowing no Chinese music, I relied on a good ol’ Beatles song, and got away with it. My second experience was in the home of my host family daughter’s friend. In a smaller setting, it was indeed quite a different mood, and I got to pay greater attention to the meaning of the songs. In order to be prepared, I could advise everyone to learn one famous Chinese song; it’ll make them laugh, and make you practice your pronunciation!

 3. Menu Tasting & Furniture Shopping

 My company is on the verge of opening its new vegetarian restaurant. So for lunch, Juan (another Indonesian intern) and I taste tested the new menu. My personal favourite is the tangyuan, which is the Chinese version of the Japanese mochi, a glutinous rice cake filled with various pastes or nuts. Part of the Japanese Washoku, listed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, it’s Chinese equivalent is just as delicious.

Alizee Blog 4
InternChina – The dishes Alizée tested at for the company’s new vegetarian restaurant

The following day, we went to buy furniture for the new restaurant. On the outskirts of the city lays a vast warehouse-like furniture store, specialized in traditional goods, which is actually composed of multiple little shops. From old locks, to carved doors, to tea tables and stone water fountains, it was quite a delight to the eye.

Alizee Blog 1
InternChina – The furniture hangar (left) & Wesley, Alizée’s manager, testing out a new desk

4. A Peak at the Local Life

 For anyone wishing to truly experience the local life, I can’t insist enough on how great a homestay can be. I was extremely fortunate to intrude into the life of the Kong family. They have welcomed me into their daily routine and have been continuously generous and attentive. They have already promised to come visit me in my hometown, and I really hope they do! Having come to China to experience being a fish out of water, I quickly realized that all human beings are the same, no matter how far apart they seem to be. Sure, the food is different (it’s delicious!) and the language’s structure is arduous to grasp, but in the end, it’s a small world, after all.

5. Oh, one more thing:

 Most public place doors here aren’t outward opening as they are in the west. So don’t look foolish (like I did for a week): open doors as you would in your house, inward.

If you looking to immerse yourself in Chinese culture whilst getting yourself valuable internship experience, apply here now!

 

Events in Zhuhai, Things To Do in Zhuhai, Travel, Weekend Trips, Zhuhai Blogs, Zhuhai InternChina Events

Weekend Trip to Xiamen

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.

InternChina - Villages
InternChina – Villages

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.

InternChina - tianluokeng
InternChina – tianluokeng

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.

InternChina - Xiamen
InternChina – Xiamen

If you would like the opportunity to explore China, all while doing an internship apply now