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Places to go: Xi’an

Places to go: Xi’an
Before I started my internship here in Qingdao I spent my last semester studying in Xi’an and want to share some of my experiences and impressions on all the tourist sites. Therefore I have written a short travel guide for those of you who want to spent a couple of days there.
About Xi’an

Xi’an(西安), the capital of the Shaanxi Province, is a huge city of 4-8 million inhabitants. Depending on how you count. In recent history Xi’an got quite unlucky and missed out when China’s Special Economic Zones were decided. So the city might lack the international flair of Beijing, Shanghai etc. However the city’s rich history can still be found in many places. Xi’an (once called Chang’an 长安) is one of the 4 ancient capitals of China. Therefore the city is probably most interesting for those of you who want to experience some Chinese history, but still has a lot to offer for any of you who just want to have a fun time.
Places you should check out:

The Terracotta Warriors 兵马俑

Xi’an‘s most famous historical site, it attracts quite a lot of tourists from China and around the world. So no matter when you go, it will probably be crowded. Try to avoid Chinese holidays and weekends anyway. Watch out for merchants who sell overpriced souvenirs and overly persistent tourist guides. You will get the souvenirs everywhere in the city and a tourist guide is not really necessary. Most warriors are still in the process of restoration and the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi has not been opened yet. Therefore the Terracotta Warriors might be a lot smaller than you would expect. Nevertheless you should still not miss it when you stop by in Xi’an.

Terracotta warriors

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda 大雁塔

A tower once erected by a famous Buddhist monk. The tower itself is actually not that interesting. You may enter it for a small fee, however the scenic area nearby is what you should check out. There are shopping malls, restaurants, a park and a big fountain. The park area is quite big for Xi’an standards and at noon you will find Chinese seniors playing the Erhu (二胡, a two stringed Chinese Violin) and singing there. The singing is quite a sight to see, as the traditional style involves quite a lot of high-pitched screaming. You should check out the fountain in the evening, as there will be cool water and light show every evening.

Big-Wild Goose Pagoda Fountains

City wall 西安城墙

The city wall of Xi’an is one of the oldest and best preserved in China. It encircles the old city centre and you have a great view from the top. For around 100RMB you may rent a bike and go for a ride on the city walls. Depending on your speed this might take you around 40 minutes. The best place to get on/off the wall would be the south gate. Just west of the south gate you will find a lot of cool bars and if you turn east you will find a small market which sells Chinese and local souvenirs.

Marian Xi'an South Gate

Huimin Street 回民街

The Huimin Street market is a popular destination for tourists in Xi’an. Originally run by the Hui Muslims. You will find a lot of Barbecue and local dishes and souvenirs here, as well as a small fake market. However as it is mainly directed to tourists prices here are high and you might need to haggle a lot. On your way to the Huimin Street you might as well have a look at the local Mosque, the Belltower (钟楼) and the Drumtower (鼓楼). However I would not recommend entering the latter two. Entry fees are decent, but there is actually nothing much to see there.

Huashan 华山

My personal highlight in Xi’an (Although technically not in Xi’an). The Huashan/Mount Hua is one of the five sacred mountains in China. It is located not too that far from Xi’an, if you take the speed train it will only take you about half an hour. You may get to the summit by riding a cable car. However it is ridiculously expensive and will spoil the experience for you. The traditional Chinese way would be to climb the steps at night and wait for the sunrise at the top. It will take you about 6-7 hours to get there, your legs will hurt like never before and you will be frozen cold. However the view on top is truly amazing and worth the pain (although opinions might differ on that). Pack thick clothes, gloves and enough food and water, as prices go crazy the higher up you go.

My recommendations:

Han Tang Inn & Hostel
My favorite hostel in Xi’an. The Han Tang Inn/Hostel is located right in the city centre, close to the Belltower (The airport shuttle bus stops at the Belltower, so it’s just a 5 minute walk from there. Taxis to the city centre are fixed at 150RMB). Don’t worry about the language, the staff speak fluent English and have a lot of experience with foreigners. Furthermore there is a nice bar in the Inn, with occasional live music and a rooftop terrace on top of the Hostel, which is pretty cool to hang out and enjoy a beer in the evening.


If you take the subway to Xiaozhai station (小寨) and got to the top floor of Saga Mall, you will find a food court. The food court itself is nothing special, however a little hidden in the North West corner you will find a Restaurant kept in old Shaanxi style. The interior is resembles old Chinese restaurants. The waiters are dressed up in old uniforms and there are music shows every day. Last but not least: The food is awesome as well. However you should avoid going there in the evening, as it gets really crowded and you might have to wait for an hour or more.
In Xi’an watch out for:

1.Winters get really cold and smoggy. Summers are extremely hot with temperatures well above 40°C. So you should choose wisely when you plan to go there.
2.Xi’an is notorious for pickpockets. Please watch your belongings at crowded places or when riding in public transportation.
3.Congestion is quite terrible in the morning and the evening. Try to avoid buses or taxis at those times, as you will only end up being stuck. Better take the metro.

That’s it from my side. I hope you’ll have an awesome time in Xi’an!

Things To Do in Zhuhai, Zhuhai InternChina Events

Unterwegs in Zhuhai

“Was bietet sich in einer Küstenstadt mehr an als ein Trip zu einer der nahegelegenen Inseln?“, dachte ich mir. Gedacht, getan, geplant:
Die einfachste zu erreichende Insel von Zhuhai aus ist Qi’ao Dao (Dao= Chinesisch für Insel), da diese durch eine große Brücke mit dem Festland verbunden ist. Idealerweise fährt ein Bus von Zhuhai bis in die Mitte der Insel; Unsere Reisekosten beschränkten sich also auf 2-5 RMB pro Fahrt.
Auf der Insel angekommen, mieteten wir uns Fahrräder (10RMB) um auf Erkundungstour zu gehen.
Zuerst ging es für die IC Bikergang durch die engen Gassen der Altstadt von Qi’ao Dao.

Old city of Qi'ao Dao
Old town of Qi’ao Dao

Der erste Stopp war ein kleiner Tempel mit Kanonen vor seinen Toren. Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts gelang es damit den Inselbewohner erfolgreich die britischen Opiumverkäufer und Streitmächte im ersten Opiumkrieg abzuwehren.
Nächster Halt für uns war ein kleiner Strand mit umliegenden seafood restaurants.


Nach einem kurzen Fußbad und einer Kletterpartie über Felsen knurrte uns der Magen und wir begaben uns auf die Suche nach einem passenden Restaurant.Nach ein paar Minuten startete das Festmahl: Von Tintenfisch über Shrimps, bis hin zu Flunder wurde alles aufgetischt. Super lecker!
Weiter ging die Biketour zum “wet forest” einem hübschen Mangrovenwald durch den sich ein Holzsteg zieht. Zusammen mit einigen chinesischen Familien erfreuten wir uns der Natur, während eine leichte Brise durch das Schilf wehte. Nach einer kleinen Eis- und Wasser-Pause an einem winzigen Stand, ging es zurück zu unserem Fahrradverleih.

Internchina bike gang
Internchina bike gang

Im Bus nach Hause sahen alle glücklich, aber ziemlich erschöpft aus. Einer der wenigen Samstage an dem das Bett Zuhause wohl verlockender ist als Barstreet!

Hast du auch Lust auf mehr als nur ein Praktikum? Komm nach China! https://internchina.com/apply/

Chengdu Blogs


It’s been a while since we talked about nightlife in Chengdu, (did you know for instance that in Chengdu there are more bars per person than any other city in China) here is an update on some of the key party locations in the city.

beernest 1

Poly Centre 保利中心

The Poly Centre (保利中心) or has quickly become one of the first Chinese words the interns in Chengdu learn, This huge skyscaper like complex, with over 20 floors, is filled with foreign companies, cafes and restuarants and even archery. But what it is mostly known for is nightlife.

New additions to the nighttime scene include, TAG where you can hear the best in electronic music being played by DJ’s from as far away as the UK and Germany whilst admiring one of the best views of Chengdu.

Helen’s is also in the same building, and is a firm pre-drinking favourite; with free happy hour beer, cheezy tunes and a nice mix of locals and foreign students / interns – it is certainly a place to enjoy a beer (or 4).

Best for – views of Chengdu, electronic music, free beer

Beer Nest & Beer Nest 2 啤酒窝酒吧

The Beernest and now Beernest 2 have added a new option for those wanting to enjoy a real craft beer in a cool location. A friendly atmosphere, staff passionate about beer (embodied by Dieter – who keeps the beer flowing) and now delicious food options make it a perfect place for an after work beer, drinks with friends, part of a bar crawl or a place to network during one of their regular entrepreneurship evenings. With two locations in the city in less than two years it’s become a popular evening hangout – and quite rightly so!

Best for – quality beer, networking, Belgium food! , after-work drinks

Blue Carribean Plaza 蓝色加勒比

Situated on Ke Hua Bei Lu 科华北路it is one of the most student friendly areas with decent restaurants on the bottom floor, the new and improved Spot, the well known Cafe Paname and JellyFish as well as some new bars and restaurants which seem to come and go. This is the place to make friends with locals, dance the night away to your favourite songs and generally have a crazy night!

Best for – BBQ , cheap drinks , Top 40 music.

nighttime 2

Lan Kwai Fong (兰桂坊)

Lan Kwai Fong Chengdu, named after the infamous party street in Hong Kong, is a purpose-built entertainment complex in the heart of the city centre on the riverbank that caters for the better-off crowd. It offers some restaurants, cafes and shops, but even more clubs and bars for the party crowd. Lan Kwai Fong attracts an international crowd with its numerous establishments like CC Club, MIU, The Imperial Family NO.1 Club, Lan Kwai No. 8 Club, just to name a few. You can easily go do some club and bar hopping during the night to see which one suits you best.

Shao Lin Lu Bar Street (少陵路酒吧街)

Shao Lin Lu is a bar street in the city’s west and has a more Chinese vibe to it. You will seldom find foreigners in this area, which can make your night out a never-ending row of ganbeis (bottoms up) with random Chinese people who are just happy to meet you. You can find about 10 clubs right next to each other – like True Color, 88, BABI and yet another Muse.. 😉

Riverside Bars

The Riverside in Chengdu offers quite a few bars to hang out at different locations. There are bars along the river near Jiuyanqiao and west of Ren Min Nan Lu. One of the best ones is probably the reggae themed Jahbar. There are regular free jam sessions and cheap Tsingdao beer in a nice setting. What more can you ask for.

Flower Town (三圣乡)

Flower Town in the Southeast of Chengdu is a in a quite rural suburb and offers a relaxed setting for some of Chengdu’s wildest parties. Unfortunately, there are rumors about plans from the city government to rip down the main bar street and construct yet another touristy ‘ancient’ shopping street.

Dojo: This is the venue for the infamous Flower Town House Parties. The music on the three floors ranges from Hip Hop to Funk and Minimal to Dub Step. Additionally, there is lot of other entertainment, like Beer Pong, fire shows, live visuals and a bouncy castle. The bar offers all sorts of drinks and snacks like homemade pizza and baiiu watermelon.

Morning Bar(早上好)
: The Flower Town branch of the Morning Bar has a mix of open air and indoor areas to chill out. There are some live performances and even occasionally small music festival here.

For event listings in Chengdu check out https://www.gochengdoo.com/en/calendar

night time

nighttime 3