Mandarin is the standard language spoken in China. Most Chinese people speak two languages: Mandarin and their regional dialect. People in Zhuhai speak two languages also: Mandarin and Cantonese—the main local language used in Canton province, Hong Kong and Macau.
As an increasing number of people from other regions of China come to Zhuhai to work and live, Mandarin is becoming more and more useful in Zhuhai, even Hong Kong. You can always see “Mandarin is a plus” in the recruitment information for job listings. Most of the employees in Zhuhai companies speak Mandarin as their office language, and Mandarin is also used for business communication with clients.
Mandarin is also very important for living in Zhuhai. When you go to restaurants or go out shopping, waiters or sales assistants will serve you in Mandarin. When you go to the bar, Mandarin will help you make friends with others as well. When you take the taxi or the bus, you have to know the pronunciation of the address or station where you want to go.
Speaking Mandarin in Zhuhai is becoming more and more popular and important, both for working and living. Although some people in Zhuhai have a Cantonese accent when they speak Mandarin, Mandarin is still the main way for people to communicate with each other in Zhuhai as in the whole of China.
When people think about China, the first cities that usually come to mind are, of course, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. If you know a little bit more about the country, you might think of Tibet, Canton, or even Nanjing and Xi’an. But if you have a limited knowledge and experience of China, it’s very likely that you’ve never heard of a city called Zhuhai.
Zhuhai, in the Southeastern province of Guangdong (where Guangzhou, or Canton, is also located), has a population of 1.5 million people. By Chinese standards, this can be considered a small city. So, why would a Westerner want to do an internship in Zhuhai?
To borrow the popular saying… “location, location, location”. Zhuhai is primely located in an area called the Pearl River Delta which, in geographical terms, is the area surrounding the Pearl River estuary. In economic terms, this area comprises several hugely important cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, to name a few. This region is considered an emerging megacity and is one of the main hubs of economic growth in China. Meaning: there are thousands of thriving businesses in the area and the number will only keep growing.
In 1980, Zhuhai was named a Special Economic Zone, due largely to its strategic location. This status has meant that the Chinese government is spending a great deal of resources to make Zhuhai a modern and leading city in terms of business, science, education, tourism and transportation. The amount of investment and the convenience of travel (you can walk across the border to Macau, take a 1-hour ferry to Hong Kong or the high-speed train to Guangzhou) has turned Zhuhai into a hugely attractive place for foreign capital. So, if you are a Western intern, it will not be hard to find a company that has business ties to your region of the world.
Now, we all know that an internship abroad isn’t just about the work experience. It is also about the chance to live in a place different from your own, have exciting adventures and learn about a new and exotic culture. Zhuhai is also the perfect place for this. While it is rapidly developing, it is still one of the smaller cities in the area and has not been affected by pollution, heavy traffic or crime. Here, you can relax on the beach after a long day of work and eat delicious traditional Cantonese food. If you’re homesick and longing for a bit of Western culture, you can hop over to Macau or Hong Kong for a day or a weekend.
So, as you can see, Zhuhai is arguably THE place to be when it comes to choosing an internship in China. The cherry on the cake? The Intern China family, ready to support you every step of the way and help make Zhuhai your home away from home.
Last Saturday we took our Zhuhai interns to the exciting city that is Macau. Being at such close distance – the border is just next to downtown Zhuhai – we can go pretty much any day or time we want (if we have multiple-entry visas), but it’s always more fun when you have a big group and lots of attitude!
Instead of walking across the border, we decided to take the ferry early in the morning, because it is faster to get through and we wanted to make the most of our day. After landing on the other side of the bay, we walked to downtown Macau and up to Senado Square. Macau is a great mix of Cantonese and Portuguese culture, so just walking around and looking at the colonial architecture is extremely interesting.
From there we walked through the alleys around the square, past shops selling typical Macau food like cured sausages and almond cookies. The best part is that every shop gives you free samples, so we were able to calm down our hunger before we went off to lunch.
We then arrived at the Ruins of St. Paul, one of Macau’s most famous landmarks and a very exciting sight for us who come from Catholic cultures, since it is very odd to see a huge cathedral facade in the middle of an Asian town. The fort with all the cannons facing the casinos was also very cool to see!
After checking out the sights in the city centre, we decided it was time for lunch and took taxis to the casino side of Macau. We arrived first at the Galaxy, where we had lunch at the food court. From there we walked to the Venetian, by far the most lavish and extravagant of the casinos.
The boys, of course, wanted to try out their luck so we went inside the gambling area and sat at the electronic roulette. Dina and I – the Intern China interns and the only two girls in the group – are not really into gambling so after a while we got bored and decided to check out the shops around the canal on the second floor. If it’s your first time at the Venetian, you might get a bit disoriented when you realise the sky is actually a ceiling and the great Venetian canal (with gondolas and all) is all a big replica.
As with all games of luck, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and this time the boys had to go home with a few hundred RMB less than they came with. But no one can take away the fun they had betting it all away!
We ended the night on a great note at a small, cozy Portuguese restaurant where we ate a delicious grilled chicken, French fries and salad. Some of us took a chance with the lime-juice-and-chilli sauce: it was spicy, but greatly refreshing after a long day of walking! Then of course, some well-deserved beers and sangrias and soon it was time to cross the border and arrive back home in Zhuhai.
Weekend- and the same problem again: too many awesome things to do and not enough time. The good thing is, it doesn’t matter what you are doing- it will be great.
Until February 24th there’s the Human Bodies and the Titanic Exhibition in Macau.
400 artifacts from the Titanic and her sister ships are shown in the Venetian to remember on the 100th Anniversary.
And just because one great exhibition is never enough they’re showing an unprecedented view into real human bodies right next to it on the Human Bodies Exhibition.
It’s Christmas time- even in the South of China! You always though Christmas isn’t a big thing in China? Then you are right. It isn’t. I totally forgot that before I came here. The first package with ginger cookies from home arrived and I knew I need to do something. Fortunately that wasn’t a big deal, as you can walk from Zhuhai to Macau:
Chocolate-mint cupcakes, Ice-skating, snow, Christmas trees, Santa Clause, Candy and Christmas music!
Just go, see and enjoy!!!
Travelling to Hongkong is such an easy thing to do when you are living in Zhuhai. Just catch one of the Ferries from the JiuZhou Port in Zhuhai, relax one hour on the boat and welcome to an amazing city!
Last weekend I went there again and it was like always incredibly awesome. Fortunately I found a hotel room on the Hongkong Island side, right next to Soho.
So, first evening: arriving at night, getting some drinks and enjoying the city. Everything is just completely different to Zhuhai: the architecture, the people, the shops.
Day two: doing the most popular thing for tourists in Hongkong: going to the Peak, with about 300 other people. If you want to go to there as well, please don’t think it will be relaxing. The Peak is completely crowded. Every single person on that roof wants to make the same picture. Here’s a tip: use all your knowledge about getting into a bus or standing in a queue in China: don’t be too nice, just go for it. Then you will have a really nice view over Hongkong.
There a lot of too expensive restaurants in the same building, which are really good. So eating seafood at Bubba Gump Shrimps is always a good choice. Beware of all the tourist shops there. I couldn’t stand it. I went back to the roof at night with a bag filled with Bubba Gump Shrimp glasses and some ‘I love HK’ t-shirts…
Going to the Peak is a lot more comfortable by bus instead of that Peak Tram. You have an awesome view and you don’t need to wait that long. Now I need to say, going down by bus, after some Cocktails and a whole bucket of shrimps is not the best thing to do. So, at that point there were no more else activities in the evening.
Day three: just being the most awkward tourist on earth! Going to Kowloon (wearing the new t-shirts), cross the Avenue of stars, taking a picture of the Bruce Lee star just because it is the only one you know and buy everything on the Lady’s market just because it is cheap.
Last night: get some drinks in Soho.
Getting back to Zhuhai is an easy thing to do. Just go the Hongkong Macau Ferry Terminal and take the next boat.
Living in a town like Zhuhai is incredibly great. Located in the Pearl River Delta and directly connected with Macau, Zhuhai is in a geographically amazing position: Jiangmen to the northwest, Zhongshan to the north, and HongKong and Shenzhen just across the bay to the east.
Guangzhou, the provincial capital is just about 150 km to the north, and other beautiful cities, like Guilin or Fujian are accessible easily with an overnight tour by bus.
Every single city has its own charm and its own atmosphere and it is hard to imagine, that all those beautiful places are geographically so close to each other.
But there’s one hitch. Zhuhai itself offers so many opportunities to have: For example different fruit plantations, or the several beaches and numerous islands or just the wonderful city itself, with the amazing buildings. So there are definitely too many awesome opportunities and not enough time.
Helping to provide local Chinese children with an education at school while listening to great live-music. For most of us here in Zhuhai, that was the main priority this weekend. On Saturday 1st InternChina helped organise a Charity-Event ‘Come together’ in the Beishan theatre to help raise money to buy children equipment to go to school.
Several bands from HongKong and Macau, like The High Rollers, Tommy Chung and the Chicago Blues and The Bu Hao Boys came to be a part of ‘Come together’ and made sure the Event became a big Party. While helping to collect money for a good cause, people also had a good time dancing and laughing the whole night, in very impressive scenery.
The Beishan Theatre and the Beishan Hall were built in the Qing dynasty, where the traditional Chinese Flair will hook you in immediately. Beishan was surrounded by small alleys, small Chinese shops, where men were playing cards till late at night and people were enjoying a barbecue on the street. It really did feel like you are in a completely different world.
Having fun in that incredible atmosphere made everyone excited to help out and be part of this charity project. All the intern volunteers had important tasks that they needed to do which included: coordinating the seven live bands, helping with the sound and light on stage, arranging the raffle and the donation and a lot more.
The money raised means that there is enough money collected to buy more than 50 kids their whole school equipment, so overall the charity event was a success!
Last week InternChina’s Zhuhai gang relocated to Guangdong’s capital for the big weekend. 15 people spent three days and two nights exploring the third biggest city in China. How was it? Tiring, soaking-wet and … AWESOME!
Here is what we have to say about it:
Kessy: (German, fluent in Japanese, currently trying to work out Mandarin and the 4 tones dilemma )
“It was a crazy, wet, loud, hot weekend, full of fun and interesting sights. Loved the contrast between the peaceful Garden (Guangzhou Museum) and the crazy loud music in the Club. Met new friends and made some great memories to remember.”
Darya: (Russian, very nice. Includes her Chinese host family in her skype calls to Russia).
“A trip to Guangzhou was a perfect mix of exploring the city’s culture, meeting new friends, shopping and just having fun. It was great that we had a chance to see the Dragon Boat Festival, which was quite impressive. And I finally managed to witness the genuine tea ceremony at the tea market. Of course, I’ve seen it earlier but you can only trust the Chinese people! ”
Maxime: (French-Canadian, often asks people why they need sleep when we have Red Bull)
“Had a great time with the gang of InternChina, had loads of fun exploring the different corners of the city. Marvelous! ”
Anna: (Swedish, goes around chatting in 7 different languages)
“The trip to Guangzhou was, despite the weather, a really nice trip. I especially liked the markets and that we had a lot of free time to explore the city ourselves. Next time though, slow down the tours a little and try to talk to the weather gods before we arrive 😉 ” (Agreed)
Pierre: (French, gives away mojitos and hugs)
“In our hostel in front of Canton’s River, we spend our time in peaceful climate and mixed together with people from each continent. By visiting tea, art and sport places we discovered a huge city in which I already spent 2 days for the biggest Canton Trade Fair with my internship company, an incredible place where we can find business opportunities. Finally I appreciated enjoying the European Football Championship games of my teams (France & Spain) in a particular place: a club, with Chinese fans & other foreigners. An experience you won’t be able to try in any other place in this world ”
Bassem: (Canadian/Lebanese. Local everywhere he goes).
“As big and confusing as it gets, there’s always a way in Guangzhou 🙂 ” ( Bassem, there is always a way for you everywhere!)
Overall, it was a really fun trip. We (The InternChina team) are really happy to have such a big bunch of fun, adventurous people from different backgrounds here with us! Hope to see you all this weekend!
Hi all, today we have a special guest blog by Jenny O’Donnell on our lovely Zhuhai neighbour, Macau! Considering how easy it is to reach Macau with your multi-entry visa’s, the Zhuhai crowd especially, has no excuse to pass up this great weekend break idea!
Macau – Asia’s ultimate short break destination
Asia has many fantastic tourist destinations, but few are as enthralling and unique as the Chinese territory of Macau. Located on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, and a short ferry ride from Hong Kong, Macau’s rich and varied history has resulted in it becoming a destination unlike any other.
Although sovereignty reverted to China in 1999, Macau’s years as a Portuguese colony have had noticeable and lasting effect on Macanese culture. And it’s this fusion of East and West that has transformed the territory into one of Asia’s brightest tourist hot spots.
A wealth of sightseeing opportunities
Given its relatively small size, well-developed transport infrastructure and an abundance of things to do, Macau is the perfect destination for an exciting and engaging weekend break.
Nowadays, Macau is generally associated with casino gambling. But in reality, there’s plenty of non-gaming activities to occupy yourself with. Those with a passion for history can visit one of its many museums, whose subject matters cover everything from wine and ships, to motorsport.
Another major draw are the regular festivals and events that are held. Underlining its unique blend of cultures, these typically revolve around major events in the Catholic and Chinese calendars, and there are usually several in a given month.
This cultural blend is also evident in the buildings you’ll encounter, which range from elegant Chinese-styled buildings, to the many baroque-style churches you’ll find across Macau. These also form the basis for many of Macau’s famous walking tours, which are the best way to take in its culture.
Another popular activity is to take the cable car up to the top of Guia Hill, Macau’s highest point and home to the famous fort and lighthouse, and the Flora Gardens.
Shopping and Dining
For those who prefer a good meal and some retail therapy, a trip to Senado Square comes as highly recommended. Alongside luxury boutiques and other shops, as well as great restaurants.
That said, you may also wish to consider a trip to – and up – the Macau Tower. Not only can you observe the world below, it’s also home to the renowned 360 Café.
Macau’s famous casinos
When it comes to the ultimate Macanese evening out, there’s nothing quite like a visit to one of Macau’s famous casinos. Casino gambling is booming in Macau, which has resulted in such famous established casinos as the Lisboa being joined by new venues like the Sands Macao and the Venetian Macao in recent times.
Constructed and maintained with massive budgets, these casinos are among the most luxurious entertainment establishments in the world. And for many, playing a few hands of poker or a couple of rounds of roulette in their casinos is an essential part of the Macau experience.
Nevertheless, they’re not only about gambling. All of them feature an array of dining options, and are host to some of the territory’s finest restaurants. Most also offer shows that range from stand-up routines to theatrical and musical productions. And often, so lavishly styled are they that the venue itself serves as something of an attraction.
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