In the beginning of November our InternChina Zhuhai crew started another adventure. This time the destination was called: Yangshuo 阳朔 <<Yáng Shuò>> – a place with unique and truly stunning scenery.
But before I tell you about our trip, here is a little summary about Yangshuo:
Yangshuo County has a fairy-tale landscape with a lot of traditional Chinese, rural culture which has inspired many artists and poets in the past. Its history goes back to antiquity and was established in the Sui Dynasty in 590AD. The architecture and caves allow people to trace back the ancient history. Located in the Guangxi province close to Guilin, the area is a very popular tourist destination and a delightful escape from noise pollution in big cities.
On a Friday we started a 7 hour bus journey from Zhuhai together with about 10 Chinese tourists whom we didn’t know before. Needless to say we were all every excited.
Once we arrived, some of us went to find a midnight bite to eat. The hotel staff told us to be aware of the local “pirates”, which from that moment became the comedy theme of our trip. Nonetheless, we found very delicious BBQ lamb close by, got comfortable on miniature stools for a little while, and made it back safe and sound to the hotel without being made to walk the plank.
The next day we had an early start to finally explore the area and so we got on the bus and went to the world-famous Li River 漓 江 <<Lí Jiāng>>. There we took a boat to cruise along the river and witness the countryside imprinted on the 20CNY note. We also made the acquaintance of these lovely cormorants:
Next we went to XingPing old town aka XingPing fishing village 兴坪镇 <<Xīngpíng Zhèn>> – a street with many small shops and food stalls.
We were prepared for temperatures around 10-15 degrees, however, it turned out to be very sunny and warm that weekend and thus we were not equipped with the appropriate clothes. Speaking of clothes, this brings me to the next point on our budget list: Trying on traditional Chinese outfits at The Big Banyan Tree 大榕树 <<Dà Róng Shù>>. So on top of what were already warm clothes we put another layer of the finest Chinese materials.
We turned into the sight-seeing highlight for many of the Chinese people around us.
About 100 selfies and group pictures later we jumped back on the bus to see the Silver Cave 银 子岩 << Yínzi Yán>>. Luckily we weren’t there during the very busy season and thus had the chance to enjoy the colourfully lit rocks in only partially crowded areas.
But that was not it for the day. The moon-mountain as well as avery eventful dinner was up next.
And once again we turned out to be lucky: we met one of the ethnic minority groups “Zhuang” – really lovely ladies dressed in their traditional outfits – who ended up taking many pictures with us as well! Yangshuo is home to several ethnic minority groups and wearing traditional clothes in daily life still seems to be very common there.
Last but not least we went to see a very impressive, and the world’s largest natural theatre called Impression Liu Sanjie 印象刘三姐 <<Yìn Xiàng Liú Sān Jiĕ>>. Its stage are the waters and natural islands of the Li River and the twelve mist shrouded hills are its backdrop. The performance with 600+ actors is divided into seven chapters including the preface and epilogue which captured the entire audiences’ imagination.
To round off the day we enjoyed a cool breeze around bar street and celebrated the birthday of one of our crew members!
Like true pirates we woke up the next morning bright and early to continue our expedition. This time we took the bus to Yulong River 遇 龙河<< Yù lóng hé >> to go for a round of relaxed bamboo rafting. Even though the weather was drizzly that morning, we didn’t want to miss out on another great experience. The fog covering the mountain tops even gave the area a mysterious look and feel.
After a carefree float on the river we went for lunch close by before heading back to our beloved Zhuhai!
One of the things Dalian is famous for is the freshness of its seafood selection – fish, shrimp, crabs, shellfish, sea cucumber, sea conch, echinus, abalone, sea bream and so on. Therefore seafood is undoubtedly king of the local dining scene.
Moreover, the cooking is influenced by the city’s history. Many of Dalian’s residents have roots in Shandong province, and that’s why the dishes are featured in the style of Shandong (Lu), one of the famous eight cuisines in China. Due to the geographic location and the influence Japan had on the city, Dalian also offers a great variety of delicious Korean and Japanese dining options.
What to eat:
There are a few dishes and snacks that are a ‘must-try’ in Dalian, such as:
Stir-fried Prawns – with ginger, spring onion and spices. When cooked the prawn should have a bright look, like a red flower. Taste: fresh and tender.
Steamed Sea Bream – with ginger, spring onion, mushroom, ham pieces and bamboo shoots. A very famous Shandong dish and often served with wine.
Steamed Scallops – steamed with lima beans, shallots, wine and sauces. Served on tender, white egg pieces with vegetables and diced carrot. Taste: light and fresh.
Lantern-shaped Steamed Abalone – with seasoning of shallot, gingers and salt. Usually served with a simmering shellfish soup. Taste: fresh flavour of abalone
Men Zi 焖子 – traditional and most popular local snack with seasoning of smashed garlic, sesame, and sauces. Protein-rich and coagulated from an extract of pachyrhizus (something like potatoes)
Salted Fish and Corn Pancake (Xian Yu Bing’Zi) 咸鱼饼子 – traditional Dalian snack. Best place to taste it seems to be the Shuangshengyuan seafood restaurant.
Ban Hai Liangfen 拌海凉粉 – is seaweed that has been picked from the ocean floor. After it has dried, it has to be boiled for 8 full hours, shredded and mixed with parsley and other seasonings.
Kebab-style grills – of either beef, mutton or local sleeve-fish are also very popular among street diners.
Other delicacies include: dumplings, thin pancakes rolled with smoked meat, tea eggs and bean-milk
Where to go?
Night Market on Tianjin Jie – this location offers mouth-watering local specialities and barbeque seafood to be enjoyed while sitting outside with a cold beer or two.
New-Mart Shopping Mall – on the 5th floor of the mall is a huge food court.
Zhongshan Square & Friendship Square – here one can find plenty of small restaurants, such as the Wanbao Seafood City (No. 125, Tianjin Jie, Zhongshan District),
Tian Tian Yu Gang at Yan’an Road – a great place to find modestly priced but good seafood. Tian Tian Yu Gang has in total eleven locations in the city and is a locally well-kown restaurant brand (No. 41, Yan’an Lu, Zhongshan District).
Two famous dining streets for local Snacks – the Tianjin Walking Street and the other one can be found in Hei Shi Jiao
Dalian has numerous restaurants providing a variety of mouth-watering cuisine from the best seafood to authentic Brazilian grills. If you want to have a look at our special selection of places to enjoy delicious Dalian food, click here
Last tips: The dishes are usually salty. Make sure to tell the cook if less salt is desired. In addition to that, it is recommended for seafood lovers to avoid the period from July to August when fishing is prohibited (to protect the ocean) and the choices are limited.
You would also like to get a taste of Dalian and experience the ‘Real China’, then apply now!
Blog written by Leo Wang
In most of China’s cities you can pay the bills by using credit or debit cards and also the internet banking has been developed for many years. Since smart phones were invented 8 years ago, mobile phone banking is another convenient way of paying. But that’s not all: the Wechat wallet and Alipay now became a very important part of young Chinese people’s life.
According to the news, Denmark will become the first country to stop using cash and Wechat declared the 8th of August as the “non-cash day”
Personally, I am a big fan of using the Wechat wallet, Alipay, MI wallet and other internet banking possibilities to save the time of searching for money in your bag or wallet and getting change, to avoid receiving fake notes, taking too much cash at once (not safe), taking too little cash (not enough for expenses) as well as finding ATMs and waiting in the line to withdraw cash. And Last but not least to avoid getting in touch with germs from bank notes.
This is why I decided trying to live a day without cash and here is my report of the day:
Bus: bus card
Taxi: Di Di Da Che, Uber and Shenzhou
Food and drinks
A lot of restaurants, Cafe, Fruits shop and bakery have signs at their doors that they welcome using Alipay or Wechat Wallet
Shopping online or in shops, super markets
Credit cards, Alipay or Wechat Wallet
Charging phone credit:
Just one thing failed – and it was breakfast.
In the morning I always go to small breakfast restaurants. They are so delicious! Each breakfast meal costs about 5 RMB. But here comes to tricky part: the small restaurants don’t accept the Wechat or Alipay option to pay the bills. So I had to use cash.
However, there is a solution for not using cash yourself to pay the bills in a restaurant which doesn’t accept Aplipay, Wechat pay or credit card. Just transfer money to your friend or colleague via Alipay or Wechat wallet and voilá, they pay in cash for you 😀
If you also want to experience a cash-free day with Leo in China – apply now!
Being in China for almost 2 months now, I have noticed how the elderly are integrated in all aspects of life and how remarkably fit most of them are – even in their twilight years. This is what drove me to do a little more research about it, and finally, to write this blog.
With 144 million people over 60 (which is more or less 10% of the population), the elderly population in China grows at a much faster rate than that of most other countries. Consequently, retired people can be found in all sorts of public spaces
Coming back to the fitness, every morning outside my apartment I spot the Chinese doing impressive stretching moves, performing Taiqi which is known to improve the way energy flows and circulates around the body, and using the free, public sports equipment installed in the outside area of the complex.
But that’s not it for the day. With dawn starts exercise session No.2. In Zhuhai you can watch the elderly swinging their hips to slow, rhythmic and traditional music in front of sights like the Yuang Ming Palace or at Jida Beach.
A great example here is also this 70 year old women from Chengdu called Dai Dali who pulls of amazing pole-dance moves. Respect!
Being close to the gambling metropolis of Macau, the Chinese here also seem to love spending their evening playing card and dice games. This is either done in private circles close to/ outside their homes or in restaurants – the noise of such activity is quite distinct!
What I find another very interesting phenomenon is that grandparents are the default babysitters for their young, professional offspring and thus become the primary caretakers of children in China. This seems to be the easiest solution for young parents as they can still enjoy their lives and at the same time don’t have to commit their kids to strangers or pay a lot for childcare.
Three generations living under one roof is therefore rather common, and it’s quite normal to hear kids talking about how they grow up with their grandparents. All in all, the elderly still play vital roles in a common household and are valued as an integral member of the family.
Traditionally, elderly people in China were held in high regard and they used to enjoy almost absolute power over their children. With cultural concepts like “孝顺” – roughly translates into: respect and obey your elders – and “百善孝为先“ – of all the good virtues, respecting your elders is the most important one – the Chinese society established ethical codes about what behaviour is acceptable.
One of those codes implies that children ‘shall not disobey’ and another that they ‘shall not travel far’. Adult children are expected to live with their parents to take care of them – failure to do so would mean a major loss of face for any family. This responsibility, and the ties it creates, is very well reflected in the massive family gatherings seen during the Spring Festival, also called the Chinese New Year and National Day holidays.
While this solidarity between the generations may seem eternal, the ‘one-child’ policy is changing the social attitudes of China rapidly. The children nowadays seem to have little respect or time for tradition and prefer to focus on improving their own standing instead.
As a result of that, and also due to a more and more westernized Chinese society, the concept of grown-up children living in their own apartments starts to be widely acknowledged
To wrap this blog up I’d like to share a quote by Confucius:
“Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.”
Here I’d like to point that China is a vast country with distinctive cultures and that this blog partially reflects my own experience and observation in the area around Zhuhai.
If you want to compare how the lifestyles within China vary and what the most interesting differences between our destinations are, click here
Looking at the map of China, most of the city names may not be familiar to you, apart from Beijing of course (I hope…), but there’s one small dot on the map that everyone should have heard of. It’s the port city in the very South of China – Hong Kong. If you’re currently interning in Zhuhai, or will be going there soon, you’ll most likely fly to Hong Kong first and then travel over to Zhuhai by ferry. It’s that close.
So what exactly is Hong Kong? If you’ve been to Hong Kong before, you might be wondering why you don’t need a visa to enter Hong Kong, but you do as soon as you want to go anywhere else in China (except Macao, but that’s another story). It’s full name is actually Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Yes, that’s quite a mouthful. In short, this means that Hong Kong presides under the One China, Two Systems principle, meaning Hong Kong has its own government, legal system, police force, monetary system, official languages etc. To understand how this came to be, we need to go back in time a little… a lot.
Back in 1839-42 China was caught up in the First Opium War with the British Empire. When China was defeated, Hong Kong as well as the Kowloon Peninsula were ceded to the Brits and hence became a British colony. There was a bit of back and forth between the British and the Japanese during the second World War, but essentially the British Empire kept control of Hong Kong until 1984 when the Sino-British Joint Declaration transferred the port city to the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong officially became part of China under the One Country, Two Systems principle in 1997.
So there’s your History Lesson. Let’s move on…
Where to go?
Firstly, a word about transport. Although, it’s more expensive than China, buses, taxis and the MTR (Underground) are still relatively cheap in Hong Kong. It’s a very well connected city, and although it can be daunting at first, the MTR map is easy to navigate. Most people travel by MTR, so I would avoid taking the trains at rush hour. Nevertheless the trains are very frequent and punctual.
Before I came to do my internship in Chengdu last year, and again before I came to Qingdao this year, I visited Hong Kong for a few days. Here’s my 3 favourite places I would include in your holiday planner:
If you go to Hong Kong, you can’t not go to the Peak. If you haven’t been up there, then you haven’t seen Hong Kong. Take the Peak Tram up to the top (this is half the fun!) and once you’re up there, take a deep breath and be amazed. The peak offers you an incredible view of the impressive cityscape and sparkling Victoria Harbour all the way to the New Territories. It is also beautiful at night. One word of advice though, don’t go when it’s foggy or cloudy…
Tsim Sha Tsui or TST
This part of town is right by Victoria Harbour, and the Star Ferry Pier. TST is basically Hong Kong’s shopping area. Hong Kong is already riddled with shopping malls, but here, you can go from mall to mall without ever stepping outside. Apart from shopping though, I would definitely recommend taking a walk along the Avenue of Stars, where various celebrities (including Jackie Chan) have left their handprints, and there’s even a statue of Bruce Lee! As a bonus, you also get a beautiful view of Central on the opposite side, which is especially scenic at night.
This funky place is only three stops away from Tsim Sha Tsui, and it definitely has its own character. You’ll find old and new high-rise buildings, shopping malls and pedestrian areas, street vendors, night clubs, bars and massage parlours. With it’s incredibly high population density Mong Kok has actually made it into the Guinness World Records as the busiest district in the world! What makes Mong Kok famous, however, is its Ladies Market. The street to look for is Tung Choi Street, where you can bargain yourself through over 100 stalls selling everything from suitcases to underwear…
Of course this is not all Hong Kong has to offer. Want to go somewhere quiet and remote? Yes, Hong Kong has that too! Stay tuned for my next blog on some more interesting places to see, and as a special treat, I’ll be talking about food… Dim Sum, anyone?
Night market: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/56498339
My name is Henry, I am from a small city in Guangdong province and I moved to Zhuhai in order to begin my studies. After 4 years of studying I finally received my degree and during those years I fell in love with this city. It is not only a beautiful and relaxed city full of lovely people, it´s also the city where I met my lovely girlfriend Lulu. After my graduation, we both decided to settle down in Zhuhai and enjoy the fresh air and vibrancy of the city. I feel very happy to have the chance to work for InternChina, because the company helps me to grow and improves my English a lot. I´ve been working with IC for only 6 months and already made so many foreign friends and learned a lot about foreign cultures. I am responsible for customer relations in order to ensure the best possible time in Zhuhai for our clients, ranging from arranging pick up´s, apartments and homestay arrangements to solving any kind of problem you can imagine.
As a Chinese person I think it must be very interesting for foreigners to know what Chinese people think about the foreigners coming to Zhuhai or China in general. Therefore I would like to share my thoughts with you.
First of all I feel so surprised that almost all of my foreign friends don´t like Chicken feet. It is one of the most famous and delicious dishes in China but my friends think it´s weird, can you believe that? Also there is another dish which I need to mention. FROG!, My very favorite food. If you ever come to Zhuhai, I would be more than happy to take you to the best frog restaurant in the city. I´m 100% sure you will like it! Just imagine eating the best fish mixed with the best chicken, there you go. Cut the frog into pieces and fryit in soy sauce and chili which gives it a very special and unique flavor. The best flavor of course! But actually Chinese people don´t eat frog that often. And of course, for everyone for whom this sounds ridiculous, we also have normal food that isn’t like the Chinese food you can get in western countries and is in fact way better J It ranges from Tofu, spicy rips, Beijing duck to every imaginable kind of vegetable. Last but not least you should know that Zhuhai is famous for a lot of seafood at a very reasonable price and you can get everything from oysters to clams.
Furthermore my foreign friends really like to discover all the secrets of Zhuhai in their free time such as going to the islands or climbing mountains. But most of them are, for those who didn´t guess, totally into the Bar Street. This is an amazing place where you can buy beers or cocktails, relax or party. But be careful with the alcohol, Chinese people like to “challenge” each other while they are drinking and often try to pursue you to drink more which is part of our culture, of course including drinking games as well. Maybe you will be a bit confused by this but just come and see it yourself and of course if you don´t want to drink you don´t have to but it can be loads of fun.
What do I like to do the most with my foreign friends? That would be going to the famous KTV (karaoke TV) in order to have a night of drinks, singing and fun. This is the thing Chinese people like a lot and they go for KTV very often. You can rent a private room with Karaoke, order whatever drinks and snacks you like and sing songs in Chinese or English with your friends. Most of my foreign friends love it and tell me that it´s the perfect place to release any kind of pressure. We really enjoy it!
I hope I can meet you one day in Zhuhai too!
Written by Henry Guan | Customer Relations at InternChina
My name is Kristina and I am an International Business & Management student from Germany. I did my internship at Captivate Training & Consulting for 3, 5 months.
I gained a lot of experience during my time in China especially about the Chinese culture and business environment.
My daily tasks at Captivate included creating Newsletters, writing blog articles, different research projects, working with a Customer Relationship system, phone calls with clients and e-mail writing. Moreover, I was responsible for the company website which was really interesting. My boss James took me to lots of meetings and his training classes for companies like IKEA. Through his soft skills training I was able to develop new skills and strengthened those I already possessed. I was part of two events which he organized at the Shangri-La Hotel which was an overwhelming experience to the fact that I had the chance to network with more than 50 HR Managers and Businesspeople.
Every last Wednesday of a month, I joint the Qingdao International Business Association (QIBA) which is also a networking event with valuable presentations about important business topics. The most important knowledge I gained was how to do business in China. I received an understanding of the business culture and Chinese lifestyle. This broadened my horizon and build the base for my future. It was an experience I will never forget.
Thank you Internchina for this opportunity and that I was part of the IC network.
My name is Kevin Dean Kowalczyk, I´m 23 years old and from Berlin, Germany. I´m in Zhuhai, China for almost one and a half months and I´m currently pursuing my internship at InternChina which is an agency for providing unique internship opportunities for students as well as for graduates in order to experience the real China. InternChina is located in three different and great locations which are Zhuhai, Qingdao and Chengdu.The InternChina team is young, passionate and ambitious which made me feel home from the first day. It is also very mixed environment and made up of a variety of nationalities and backgrounds.
Within my first weeks I received several tasks the three main areas Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Relating to Sales my task is to get in touch with potential interns, answering their Enquires, make them feel comfortable and find the best possible internship position relating to their individual background.
In Marketing, I took over managing the Xing company profile as well as our YouTube channel and Iam now responsible to ensuring both professional and interesting articles as well as providing exciting useful video material. I manage the content of all three offices and ensure that the articles and videos will be in the right place at the right time.
Finally Business Development plays an important role in order to give our interns a broad range of different companies they can choose from as well as to ensure that every intern will find their dream placement in China. My role is to continuously expand our relationships between current partner companies and introduce new companies to participate in our programs.
To sum it all up, I really enjoy being in China and interning for InternChina. IC has a very open company culture and so every office intern gets a lot of freedom how to do projects. Interns can implement their own ideas to shape the company’s future of InternChina and by extension, the experience of hundreds of interns. The family atmosphere of the company is remarkable and is a key company value that is felt every day. So if you want to know more about how we work and what you can expect from us, visit our website here.
With the Mid-Autumn Festival and its accompanying three-day weekend coming up, InternChina Chengdu decided that the time was ripe for a trek up the classically scenic Mount Emei (峨眉山).
Bleary-eyed and hung-over, we took an early bus from Chengdu to the town of Emei, just at the foot of the mountain. Upon our arrival, we fuelled up with lunch in a quaint restaurant, were treated to an animal butchery show in that very same restaurant. Afterwards, we armed ourselves with our trusted travel companions and set off.
And so we began our epic journey, ten companions and one goal: The Golden Summit. The only thing that could stop us was… well… 4,000m of uphill steps, rain, landslides, rocks tumbling, slippages and scores of monkeys. However, despite the daunting prospect of reaching the top, we were in awe of the stunning scenery.
The journey wasn’t just milling around pretty waterfalls and valleys. There was a lot of suspense involved too. By suspense I mean dodging jumping monkeys on a wooden and rope drawbridge whilst surrounded by tourists who were teasing them. Once we’d broken through the pandemonium (and a long stretch of torrential rain), we arrived at our stop for the night- Xianfeng Monastery.
Staying in the monastery was as peaceful an experience as one might expect, except oddly enough I personally didn’t see any monks during my stay (?). Day two began by waking up and God-knows-when and setting off at crazy-o-clock up what’s called ‘99 bends’. I didn’t count them. It would have been mental torture. Nevertheless we soldiered up, met some nice Chinese tourists, passed another monastery and eventually reached the clouds.
Yes clouds. We were walking through clouds. It was a very surreal and, ignore the pun, mystifying experience. However, by this time of many for us the trek was beginning to take its toll physically. After having lunch at one of the stop points, we decided to split the group: some pushed on the summit while the others meandered along a few hours behind to cop out and take the cable car.
The last stretch after the cable car station was by far the hardest. We were down to half our original number and were skimming it for time. We walked and we climbed and we despaired at being told we still had many kilometres to go. But then, as if by a miracle, we could see the blue sky again and within half an hour we had made it to the Golden Summit. The sun was full on our faces and we had a spectacular view above the clouds. Considering that only happens on a few days in September, I’d say we were pretty lucky.
When you hear that people are visiting China, one of the first destinations you think of is always Shanghai! Whether you are interning in China like myself, or simply being a tourist, I would strongly recommend Shanghai to anybody who is prepared for the hustle and bustle of this monolithic city.
So I travelled with 2 fellow interns, Mehmet and Christopher, making it 3 guys on internships in Zhuhai heading to Shanghai for the first ever time. We left on Tuesday – taking the train and metro to Guangzhou airport. It was typical that when we got there, we were hit by a flight delay of 4 hours and ended up arriving in Shanghai at the Dockbund hostel at 5am… needless to say we didn’t do alot that night.
The Dockbund hostel was in the popular tourist area known as ‘The Bund’ – a very scenic location adjacent to a lovely pier where you can see the Shanghai Pudong skyline. There are also several great clubs in The Bund, Muse and Bar Rouge to name a couple.
On our first day we decided that we wanted to try Mr X on Jumen Road– like a game from a TV show where you are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles in order to complete the challenge – cost is 100RMB. We didn’t do amazingly at this game; in fact we sucked at it, completing just half of task 1! But it is definitely something I want to try again… mainly so that I can recover some pride. [Tips: you can only book Mr X in person or online as it is a ticket event where you will be given a set time. It is also helpful to have a Chinese speaker with you as not all staff members can speak English]
Afterwards, we explored the neighbouring area to Mr X, it was a fairly average Chinese area so nothing special. We did however find a ‘game centre’ (an arcade) and spent a couple hours there. One of the best things about this game centre was how cheap it was! Each game needs 1 token and 1RMB got you 2 tokens, after applying some maths that meant that you could play any arcade game for 0.5RMB, so we played racing games and hoops until our arms ached!
Come sundown, we decided to head to one of the main attractions of Shanghai – East Nanjing Road. This is essentially the main shopping area where the most upmarket and modern malls and shops are. When we got there I couldn’t help but draw numerous comparisons to another great city I’d visited, New York due to the huge architecture, bright lights and the general atmosphere.
By night time, we were exhausted. Although we had planned Shanghai with the intention to party hard, we were actually satisfied to stay within the vicinity of The Bund and just walk along the pier with everyone else there and enjoy the skyline. [Tips: The lights of the main buildings making up the skyline come on from around 7-11pm]