If you plan to come to Qingdao, you will inevitably hear about Laoshan, a must-see in the region. However, while waiting for warmer temperatures to go exploring this beautiful mountain and take a breath of fresh air, you can still go to Fushan, if you want to have an escape in the nature for a few hours.
Fushan is a 5km long and 2km wide mountain in the eastern part of Qingdao. Its highest point is roughly located at 384 meters above the sea. To go up there you won’t need a lot of time, just a bit of willingness. That is what we needed, me and a friend of mine, when we got up at 4:45 am on a Saturday morning (What? Lie in during the week end? Never!) to go to Fushan in order to see the sunrise from the mountain top. Rude awakening, I have to admit, but once our hiking shoes were on, we were up for climbing all of the mountains of the world. Well… it was only Fushan, but anyway.
We walked for a while in the quiet early morning of Qingdao. As we had already been there once, we were familiar with the small passage that allows you to enter the mountain: only three stairs separated the link between the street and the wildness of the mountain. From there, no more roads could be seen but only natural trails. We knew we were going to make it on time, thirty minutes before the sunrise, but the sky was becoming lighter and lighter (good job because otherwise we would have fallen more than once on the way). After few minutes walking gingerly, we reached the stairs. Here is where the real climbing began!
Time quickly passed, sweat and 500 stairs later, we found a comfortable rock to wait for the sunrise. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side, we didn’t even see the sea from the mountain. But even though we had chosen a foggy day, there were beautiful colors and the muted atmosphere caused by the fog was relaxing. We were just about to give up waiting, thinking we would never see the sun coming out, when suddenly we saw it, shyly emerging out of the fog, perfect bright sphere in the sky. We stayed there for a moment, just enjoying the moment.
Afterwards we made our way back home, after a short passage in a bakery for a well-deserved breakfast.
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For last week’s Saturday Event the InternChina crew decided to walk up Fushan.
Fushan Mountain is one of the highlights of Qingdao. The whole mountain range is about 5 km long and the highest peak is perfectly embedded into the city. With a height of 384 meters it is not as exhausting as Laoshan to walk up but the lack of roads leading to the top makes it a great adventure! And Fushan is famous for its marvellous natural scenery.
Our small group of three people met Saturday afternoon to start the hiking trip. Since lots of people who had recently walked up Fushan gave me advice about where to start and where to go, I was quite confident that we would find the right way. But as soon as we got there it seemed to be a little more complicated.
We started our tour by finding our way around a locked fence with a red flag on top of it, walked up a few stairs and that was it. There was no obvious path that lead to the viewing platform, from which, I was told, the courageous ones could start their climb up to the final top of Fushan. Instead we were standing in the middle of pine trees and bushes with only a one foot wide path to follow.
After more than half an hour of following the path it suddenly stopped and instead of the viewing platform we were standing in the middle of graves. The ground was heaped up all around us with yellow squares and gifts for the dead in front of it. This was definitely not the right way. But as none of us wanted to turn around and go back to where we started, we decided to continue on our path. And after a one-hour walk through pine trees and high bushes we finally crossed the promised walking path right where it ended and the climb up to the peak began.
And the last bit of the hiking trip up Fushan was the best. Instead of walking you actually have to climb up big stones to get to the top. We started with the lowest peak but it was not enough, hence we continued to find our way over stones and through wild bushes to the highest Peak of Fushan. The wind was quite strong on that day but even though we made it to the top. At the end of our trip we were rewarded with a beautiful pre-sunset and a great view over the city. And our Tsingtao beer never tasted as good as it did after climbing up Fushan.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, summer is up and running now, temperatures are rising, the sun is shining and images of beaches and tan people in bathing suits flood the advertising spaces everywhere. If you are a student, school is probably over for the semester or you are wrapping up exams and project deadlines.
It’s likely that you’ve already made plans for the summer (after all, you’ve been thinking about it since spring break was over). But if you still don’t know what you’re going to do for the next three months – or if you like to plan so far ahead that you’re already thinking about next summer – let me tell you why an internship in China is the best thing you can do with your summer.
You might be thinking: “Working? During my summer holiday? Why on Earth would I want to do that?” Yes, of course, everybody’s idea of summer is chilling in the sun by day and partying with piña coladas by night. But the truth is, you will most likely go on vacation for one or two weeks, and then spend the rest of the summer playing Xbox with your friends, hanging out at the mall or running errands for your mom.
What I’m saying is: do something more meaningful with your summer! These days, in the competitive business world that we live in, work experience is highly valued and if you graduate university without any at all, chances are you will have a very hard time finding a job that satisfies your career goals and rewards all the hard work you put into your studies (check out Penelope Trunk’s great blog about the importance of doing a summer internship). Of course, you can do an internship in your home town or even try to find a summer job but, now that you’re already thinking about it, why not do an internship in China?
Having work experience in China gives a great boost to your CV. It is not only the fact that China is increasingly gaining importance in the worlds of business and industry, which will definitely help you stand out to recruiters. But they will also see that you are not afraid to take on a challenge, given that you are willing to travel halfway across the world to live and work in a country with a completely different culture and way of life. How you adapted and handled the language and cultural barriers – this will be a great topic to mention in future job interviews.
But coming to China for an internship during the summer is not only great to improve your career prospects. It is also an opportunity to learn about a new culture and have fun while doing it. Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu are great cities to do this: great weather, not as busy or expensive as Beijing or Shanghai, but still close enough that you can visit them and big enough that there are plenty of places to go to keep your evenings and weekends occupied with fun activities.
Just to mention a few examples: in Qingdao you can spend a day playing beach volleyball, sailing and jet skiing; or go climbing Laoshan Mountain if you’re a bit sportier. At night, you can sit outside drinking beer and eating street BBQ. In Zhuhai, you can go swimming in the sea or a pool, take a trip to one of the 146 islands around the city and even hop over to Macau or Hong Kong for the day, do some sightseeing and eat a delicious meal. Chengdu is a great place to go cycling for both pros and amateurs, given the fact that the landscape is mostly flat so you can go far without wearing yourself out too much. You can also have a relaxing afternoon at a tea house and of course, go see the pandas!
As you can see, doing an internship in China gives you the ultimate summer experience: working, learning and having fun! Conclusion: what are you waiting for?
Would you like to spend your summer doing an internship in China? Apply now on our website or send us an email for more information.
Having an expat dad living in the same country as you has its perks: you get to tag along on his travels! I must admit, after witnessing all the preparations in the weeks before Chinese New Year, I was a little bummed out that I wouldn’t get to see the actual celebrations. But when the opportunity arises to travel to an exotic island in Southeast Asia, you just can’t say no!
I spent all of 8 days in Sri Lanka, and I have to say, it’s nothing like any country I’d been to before. For instance, around 70% of the population is Buddhist, meaning: lots and lots of temples! My dad is sort of a Buddhism aficionado, and it seems to be his personal mission to visit as many temples and shrines as possible. Sri Lanka definitely gave him a lot of material, including the stupas in the ancient city of Anuradhapura (where the oldest tree in recorded history has remained guarded for over 2000 years), the tiny temple where Buddha’s teachings were put in writing for the very first time, and of course, the Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple in Kandy, which houses Buddha’s Sacred Tooth Relic.
One consequence of visiting all these temples is you have to do a lot of climbing, since monks have the tendency to choose high grounds for their meditation duties. I am not a very sporty person and at the beginning I was a little mortified to have to climb all those steps, but I have to say the outcome is very much worth it. Especially at Sigiriya, the ancient fortress built on a flat rock nearly 400 metres high, where I literally felt like I was on top of the world.
Other awesome highlights of my trip were the visit to a spice garden, where I learned all about Sri Lankan medicinal herbs and got to buy a whole bag of goodies, the tea factory where I found out how my favourite cuppa (English Breakfast) gets made, and the gem factory, where I had to beg my dad for an elephant pendant with a tiny incrusted topaz. And let’s not forget about the food: with so many practising Buddhists, Sri Lankan cuisine relies a lot on vegetarian dishes, and most of the meat dishes are either chicken or seafood. But their amazing variety of spices and tropical ingredients all come together to create some of the most fresh, flavourful and – on top of it all – healthiest food I’ve ever had.
But my personal favourite was the chance to be in close contact with animals: as an animal lover, Sri Lanka is as close as paradise as I’ve ever been. Buddhism teaches to be kind to all living creatures, and you can really see that here. There are dogs and monkeys everywhere, and as dirty or skinny as they can be, people don’t mistreat them and they happily coexist. I also got to go on a safari at Yala National Park, and see all kind of birds, buffalos and even a short glimpse of a leopard. The cherry on top of the cake was the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Being mere metres away from dozens of elephants, watching them bathe and play and feed their babies – plus touching them and feeding them myself – was an experience I’ll never forget.
Coming to the other side of the world for an internship wasn’t just about work experience or even learning Chinese – it’s about having the opportunity to visit places you’ve only ever read about and never in your wildest dreams thought you’d see.
Want to explore Southeast Asia like Daniela? Come to Zhuhai for an internship and go on lots of adventures! Apply now via email or directly on our website!
Last Saturday we went to Laoshan for some hiking. Laoshan means ‘mountain lao’ and it is located in the east of Qingdao.
Our Group was guided by Mu & Richard, two ‘Qingdaorens’ who love hiking. Although they are professional guides, they have never been in charge of such a big group of foreigners. We met at 7:45h next to Hisense Plaza where the bus collected us. After 40 minutes, we arrived at the bottom of Laoshan.
It took us nearly 3 hours walking, climbing and abseiling to get to our picnic area where we ordered ‘di san xian’ (地三鲜) and ‘ji’ (鸡). In fact, we didn’t know that this ‘ji’ (chicken) was still alive at the time. But it wasn’t our only weird experience with animals that day. Some of us found snakes in big glasses which were filled with alcohol. The owner of this restaurant told us that this special snake-alcohol would make a man stronger and macho, so some of us drunk it – but sadly didn´t feel any difference!
Right next to the little picnic area was a lovely lake where we all went swimming. The water was fresh and crystal clear. After this nice stop, we were ready to go all the way back. The way down as expected, was much easier than the way up. We also had more time to admire the amazing view.
We all enjoyed the trip, had a great time and are looking forward to the next one,which is likely to be to the Huangdao beach.
Intern China has rock climbing expeditions around Qingdao. We do these with our interns and language students but we also book individual and group treks as well. See below… Please copy and paste the link and check out our services!
InternChina’s Climbing Website Click Here!
Want Even More? Then Check Out www.rockclimbing.com!