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Cultural, Internship Experience, Travel, Weekend Trips

It’s Easy To Travel Within China!

Before coming to China, I remember thinking that when my six month internship in China is finished, I want to be able to say I’ve really seen China. During my initial emails with current Office Manager Morgan Dolan before I arrived, I told her this, and she replied with “I don’t think you realize how big China really is!” Six months later, I can actually say that I have seen a lot of China!

Hong Kong Skyline

The truth is, China is really big! It’s very easy for me to get overly ambitious with my travelling ideas, so when I initially got here I aimed for the closer places – Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Macau, etc and finally got over the idea of ‘seeing’ China. Then one day when I was sitting at the park with a bunch of my friends (fellow interns), a few of us came upon the topic of all the places in China we’d like to go. Pretty soon we had all agreed on the great places we’d all want to go. A few of us girls ended up making plans to go see these places before our internships are over; Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an. These were our goals.

Bamboo rafting in Yangshou

Planning trips can tend to be very overwhelming, so we decided to tackle one destination at a time, and planned one trip per month. After doing a lot of research and talking to some of our Chinese friends, we found that the best websites to use for traveling within China are: www.skyskanner.com, www.ctrip.com, https://flight.qunar.com/. These websites offer a wide variety of frequent flights from all of the nearby airports (from Zhuhai, the easiest airports to depart from are either Zhuhai or Guangzhou). There are also many buses that go from Zhuhai to either the Zhuhai airport or the Guangzhou airport directly, and they run really frequently so it is really easy to just hop on the bus after work on a Friday and go straight to the airport. Prices for flying within China also are not too expensive; for example my flight to Shanghai was 1000rmb (125€), to Chengdu  and Xi’an were both 1300rmb (163€), and the flight to Beijing was 2000rmb (250€). From what our Customer Relations Manager Sunny tells me, flights within China can be a lot cheaper, however this all depends on when you buy the tickets and the time of year that you decide to go – we however didn’t have that much time and simply wanted to ensure that we would go there, so we were happy with these prices.

Beijing - Great Wall of China

There are arrays of cheap, and great, hostels to choose from in each city.  By visiting www.hostelworld.com  you can check out all the local hostels and pick the best one for you. Most hostels also help you plan your trips, and can usually cater them around for you. For example, in Xi’an the hostel arranged for a private bus to take us to and from the Music and Dance Show and arranged our tickets and everything for us, so all we had to do was show up at the door. In Beijing, our hostel arranged our trip to the Great Wall, so we did not have to worry about anything when we arrived, but instead just got to relax and enjoy our trip and know that we were being taken care of.

Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors

Even if you are unable to get any days off or holiday time from your internship, it is still very possible to travel. Because we all intern in different companies and weren’t able to get the same days off, we decided it would be easier if we focused our trips to be on the weekends, meaning for every trip we’d choose the latest flight on the Friday night, and the latest flight on the Sunday night to ensure that we got the full weekend. So on the Friday, we’d leave straight from work to the airport and usually only arrive at our destination really early in the morning, but at least it meant that we had the whole Saturday and Sunday and that we were not wasting any time. Monday was always a little difficult, as we were all tired from our hectic weekend and arriving back really early in the morning, but it’s totally worth it!

Phoenix Ancient Town

Another great way to see China is through InternChina itself – we plan many cultural trips around China, some of our most recent trips were to Zhangjiajie (the scenic spot where the Avatar Mountains were filmed), Yangshou, Phoenix Town, Xiamen and Fujian. These trips are a lot of fun as all the interns join on these trips, and we all get to experience them together. InternChina also plans out everything from transportation, accommodation, trip details/itinerary and food, so the interns never have to worry about anything and just get to enjoy the amazing trips! InternChina usually plans a trip every 5 weeks, so whenever you arrive you will have the opportunity to go on a trip within China and have a great weekend away with all the other interns! You can see some of the Zhuhai teams’ blogs from our trips here: Zhangjiajie, Phoenix town, Yangshou, Xiamen.

All the places I've had the opportunity to visit during my 6 months internship

If you have dreams of seeing more of China during your stay, don’t let the distance throw you off! It’s so easy to travel within China, and it’s so worth it! My stay here would not have been the same without all my weekend travel trips – it also gives you such a better understanding of China as a whole, and the area you are living in. It allows you to experience all of the different Chinese dialects, styles, cultures, and types of food.

Are you interested in coming to China for experience and cultural awareness? Come to China and travel to all the great sites! Apply now for an internship or send us an email for more information.

Before your stay

Long Distance Flight Tips Part 1 – The Interns

Long distance flights are an annoying thing, especially if you can image so many other things you could do while sitting 10  unknown hours on an airplane, not knowing what to do. Many friends of mine were never on a flight longer than 3 hours. While staying in Europe, you can get to most destinations without having to spend a lot of time, even to countries like Tunisia you only need three hours.

So for those of you, who have never been on a long distance flight and for those, who dread them everytime they come up somewhere in the near future, our whole Intern China Team sat together and thought of their best tips for long flights. We hope you enjoy reading and have a relaxed flight to China! So…

…what do the interns say?
Dani Fernandez (Zhuhai):

1) Her first and most important tip is to not get a lot (or best any) sleep the night before your flight. You will be so tired during the flight, that you’ll just fall asleep, even though the seat might be uncomfortable.

2) Take your favorite entertainment options with you, and best more than one (e.g. books, music, games).

3) Choose an aisle seat, so you can stretch your legs a little more (and it’s a lot easier to get up in the night to walk around a little or go to the toilet).

4) Take a scarf, hoodie or jumper on board with you, in case the airline doesn’t give you a blanket and you don’t want to wear an uncomfortable jacket/coat for the whole flight.

Hanna Sand (Qingdao):

1) Most important thing for me is to have a good and fully charged battery for my netbook (tablet or laptop will do as well I guess ;)) and a hard-drive fully loaded with TV shows and films. The thing is, after finding my seat on an airplane, the first thing I do is check out the on-board TV. It’s a serious process because I start making a ‘schedule’ for the whole 12 hours (or however long I will be on the airplane). Sometimes I work out a really good programme and then I just fall asleep, which is the best thing that can happen really. But normaly it isn’t that easy, so I have my TV programme. After being happy with my plan for the next 12 hours, being able to watch all the movies I didn’t have time to see in cinema, the person in front of me starts moving their seat to the back which makes watching movies uncomfortable or I realize that the screen’s quality is actually not best or well, I never end up watching on board TV because something always happens…and that’s when I remember that I took my netbook, its 9.5h battery and a bunch of TV shows and films with me…Have a good flight! 😉

1.1) In addition to my tip above, don’t take sad movies with you, if you cry easily. Your stewardess and your neighbour in the seat next to you will be slightly confused if you look at them with red, teary eyes.

2) Choose your own seat! It’s possible with most airlines to log in online up to 36hours before departure and choose your own seat. Like Dani, I would choose an aisle seat since it’s easier to stretch legs, move around and go to the toilet.

3) Wear comfortable clothes! Nothing is worse than short skirts and tight pants on an airplane.

4) Order a special meal before your flight, if you need one (e.g. Vegetarian, Halal, Low carb, Vegan). Just getting a piece of bread in 12hours, while everyone else is eating is not sooo funny. (Therefore, Veggies, don’t fly with Aeroflot, they don’t like Vegetarians and ordering a special meal doesn’t help…).

Lisa Samani (Qingdao):

1) Our fashionista-intern Lisa’s most important tip is to not wear high heels on the airplane or any uncomfortable clothes at all, since you want shoes and clothes you can pull and carry your luggage with. You should also not wear any make up. It’s bad for your skin and the on board air is very very dry. So best just take some lotion with you that keeps your skin moist.

2) Bring your own food! Airplane food is not always good, and if you’re a vegetarian for example and forgot to order a special meal, you won’t be able to eat much.

3) Sleep on the airplane, but not before your flight! And remember to take a tooth brush with you, nothing is more disgusting than waking up in the morning and not being able to brush your teeth. 😉

4) Change your seat. You can always change your seat when all passengers are on board and if you see a free row at the back: Go for it!


Jonathan Libis (Qingdao):

1) Jonathan is not really concerned about long distance flights, since he can sleep almost everywhere. He only advises you to bring your MP3-Player and something easy to read. Just try to sleep and wear comfortable clothes.

And today’s special guest…

Frank Lenhardt (Co-Founder of InternChina):

1) The first and most important thing for Frank is to book and choose your seat in advance, so you don’t have to sit somewhere in the middle. Even AirChina allows you to do so, so don’t waste your chance to get a good seat!

2) Here is Frank’s ultimate luggage trick: If you have too much luggage, let your parents or friends wait with your actual carry-on baggage. Then go to check-in and ask them if you could – because it’s sooooo much more convenient – also drop of your hand luggage. They won’t know that it’s actually your parents having your hand luggage and you got a few more free kilos!

Share your tips and tricks with us! Send us a Tweet, share them on our Facebook Timeline or visit our Instagram feed!