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Cultural, Internship Experience, Travel

Travelling out of China

China has a lot of beautiful places which are worth a visit but sometimes you may be looking for something new and adventurous. With a multiple entry visa you are able to discover all the amazing countries around China like Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and lots more. All these countries are just a 3-5 hour flight away, which include beautiful islands with amazing beaches to relax. If its winter in China you just get on the next plane to Bangkok, like I did.
 

temple in bangkok
temple in bangkok

One of my amazing experiences in China was sitting with a couple of friends having a BBQ in December even though it was super cold. We were having some beers and were enjoying our holidays, but we wanted to escape the winter and wanted something new. From nowhere, we had this idea to book a flight to Bangkok. So we started searching for flights, one of the websites I recommend is www.skyscanner.com, it is easy to find a cheap flight to another country around China, and of course we did find one for the very NEXT day. We booked the flights and everyone went home to pack for the next day’s flight to Bangkok. We didn’t worry about booking a hostel as we knew we will find something cheap and nice when we arrive. We spent 4 days sightseeing and crazy partying in Bangkok. It was the first time that I went for such a spontaneous trip but it was amazing and when you are in China EVERYTHING is possible!

My friends and I, enjoying the food on the famous bar street on Khao San Road in Bangkok
My friends and I, enjoying the food on the famous bar street on Khao San Road in Bangkok
eating fried bugs
eating fried bugs

For example, when I decided to stay after my studies in China for an internship, the government changed their regulations and it was not possible anymore for me  to apply for a new visa in Hong Kong, which would be for me the easiest way because I was living in Guangzhou. I was told that the only option I have is to go back to Germany to apply for a new visa, but I didn’t want to spend my money for an expensive flight back to Germany as I will be going anyway 6 months later. I found another solution which was way cheaper. I decided to go to Malaysia as it is pretty close to China and the flight tickets were really cheap.

Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur by night
Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur by night

So I went to Kuala Lumpur to apply for my visa in the Chinese consulate and I had to wait 4 days, I decided to stay these 4 days on an island near Kuala Lumpur, which I could reach by bus and ferry. It was my first time in Malaysia, so I was really happy that I could get to know a new country, save money and solve my visa problems at the same time.

Island Pangkor in Malaysia
Island Pangkor in Malaysia
 Sunset in Malaysia
Sunset in Malaysia

If you are working in China and you have like 2 weeks holidays you can do really nice and cheap (compared to Europe) trips. Especially when you are in the south of China everything is pretty close. You can take a 3 hours flight to Thailand and in Thailand you can get around really cheap with buses and trains. You are able to take buses and ferries to the beautiful islands in Thailand and then go by bus to Malaysia, as these countries are really small compared to China, and visit the capital Kuala Lumpur for sightseeing and Malaysia´s islands to relax. When you are in Malaysia you can take a bus to Singapore (but I recommend to stay in Singapore like 3 days, as this country is really expensive compared to Thailand and Malaysia.)
As you can see you have many options to come around when you are in China with the right visa. It is very cheap to travel and create amazing memories.

If you want to have an adventure like this, then apply now for an internship and discover new worlds during your holidays 🙂

Things To Do in Zhuhai, Travel

Island Trip to Wailingding Island

It’s getting cooler in Zhuhai – so we decided to take the last chance to visit one of the many islands around us. So 15 of us packed our stuff for camping trip on the beach right next to the sea.

zhuhai sea
zhuhai sea

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t considerate of us – it was still warm but cloudy due to the terrible typhoon that is raging in the Philippines at the moment. We checked which direction it was heading to, and there were no worries about our destination.

 

camping in zhuhai
camping in zhuhai

We arrived at the ferry port on Saturday noon and it was already very windy outside – but we didn’t care, because it was the weekend and we were on the way to a beautiful island. Unfortunately it seemed like the ferry captain made his first experience with wild sea that day. During the one hour horror trip to the island, about every third person on this boat had to throw up. The stewardesses distributed small plastic bags and on the way back they collected them in one bigger bag… they had a lot to do. Luckily most of us made it through without being sick.

Finally we arrived back on land – we started to pitch up our tents that we rented there. The windy was pretty hefty by now, and so pitching the tents was not easy business. Sometimes, if you weren’t careful enough the tent just flew away. 😀
Some of us (the softies) booked a hotel room to be safe from the cool wind from the sea. This, at the end turned out to be the better decision. We had a great time out there, sitting together and playing games, but at night the wind got stronger and it started to rain – some had a tent that wasn’t as waterproof as expected. First a lot of rain found its way into the tent, and soon it gave in to the wind, collapsing down on its inhabitants. So they escaped to join the softies in the hotel.

hotel prison
hotel prison

Sunday was a very lazy day, we chilled at the beach because it stopped raining. Some of us went up the mountain, others just walked around to explore the island. One hour before our ferry was scheduled to leave, some locals warned us that due to the typhoon there would be no ferry transfer that day. Worried by this news we started to contact the ferry office and our travel agency. It turned out that the typhoon indeed had changed direction and was headed our way. We were told that there may not be a ferry on Monday nor on Tuesday. We were stranded on the island for at least another night. We packed up our tents and hurried to find a hotel, as everyone on the island rushed to find accommodation.

zhuhai island party
zhuhai island party

Thankfully we managed to find a ‘beautiful’ hotel we could stay at. As the ATMs on the island didn’t work, money was our next problem. We were all low on cash, so we shared a double room with 3 people. Our plan for the following nights was to put as many people in one bed as possible, so we could save money. 🙂

 

zhuhai island
zhuhai island

We spent the night playing games, and since we had no money left, we couldn’t even afford a couple beers to lighten the mood. The next morning, after a good night’s sleep, we finally managed to get some tickets for the only ferry available that day. The typhoon had calmed to a tropical storm.

To sum it all up we are very happy that we were stranded for just one night on the island and made it back alright.

You want to make your own experience on one of the beautiful islands around Zhuhai? Then apply now.

 

Things To Do in Zhuhai

Trip to Hebao Island!

This weekend the Zhuhai InternChina office arranged a trip to Hebao island! It was an incredible island with sandy beaches and great water to swim in. We’d been concerned leading up to the trip because it had been heavily raining in Zhuhai all week. Luckily, when we got to the island we had good weather and were able to swim and even catch a tan!

View of Hebao Island
View of Hebao Island

After a long walk carrying all our camping equipment to the beach, we couldn’t wait to get in the water! As soon as we’d dumped our stuff on the beach we ran into the sea and stayed there for hours. The strong waves made it a lot of fun, (I was completely taken out by waves on numerous occasions!!)

Chilling out in the sea
Chilling out in the sea

When we’d finished playing in the sea and sunning ourselves on the beach it was time to set up the BBQ. The food was amazing! We sat around the BBQ eating and having a few beers which was so relaxing. It was also a great chance to get to know some of the new interns and hang out as a group.

Tasty Island BBQ
Tasty Island BBQ
Playing games on the beach
Playing games on the beach

When we woke up in the morning we were exhausted! A whole day of swimming and partying had taken its toll! However, what better way to freshen up than a morning swim in the sea?

Partying on Hebao Island!
Partying on Hebao Island!

We swam in the sea all morning before it was time to head home. It was definitely a good trip and I was glad that I’d been able to visit one of the hundreds of islands that surround Zhuhai! The only downside is that I’m now in agony from sunburn… but that is totally worth it for the amazing weekend we had!

Would you like to join Jack in Zhuhai? Apply now for the following internships!


Travel

Spring Holiday in Sri Lanka

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!

InternChina – Sri Lanka

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.

InternChina – People meditating at the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree Temple

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.

InternChina – Sigiriya Rock

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.

InternChina – Sri Lankan Traditional Cooking

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.

InternChina – Elephants Bathing in the River

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.

InternChina – Beach Sunset in Galle

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!

Before your stay, Chengdu Blogs, Qingdao Blogs

Intern China City Comparison: Climate

InternChina – City Comparison Climate

China’s climate is extremely diverse depending on the geographical location. Generally, the North is dry and very cold in winter and warm and humid in summer, the South is mild and humid in winter, hot and very humid in summer. The winter in West China is milder than in the North but temperatures can still drop down to zero, the summers are extremely hot. Of course, the climate also depends on altitude and the distance to the sea, so best is to take a closer look at the city you want to go to.

Now, if you take a look at our office locations we chose them not only because of the beautiful cities but also for geographical reasons. We want to offer nice places all year around, so for winter we would definitely recommend Zhuhai (South) as it is very mild in winters, some even say you could compare it to European spring. On some days the temperature can drop down to about 15°C and in South China you can’t find any heatings, however if you are sensitive to getting cold you always can use the air-condition to warm yourself up. Zhuhai winters are very short and there is no real spring, it more or less changes really quickly to summer temperatures.

Chengdu (West) would be the second choice for winters as the temperature is comparatively warm, however locals say that it is still pretty humid, which makes the temperature affecting you a little bit more. Chengdu winters are not very long, so in March/April you already can go out in T-shirts again.

If you are not coincidentally a Sibirian, Qingdao (North) would not be the first choice for winters, as it is getting really cold (and windy!). However, it is the right place for almost daily sunshine and usually it does not rain or snow. In Qingdao you can find a central heating system, so at least at work you don’t need to wear your long underwear during winters. 😉 Qingdao’s winters are longer than European ones, it often is around 0°C in March, only in April they have a very short spring and in May it is beach-time again.

If you want to come to China in summer, I would definitely recommend Qingdao as a first choice. The temperature is higher than in some european countries (like Germany, the UK or Scandinavia), however the fresh sea breeze keeps you stay refreshed and the beautiful beaches help you cooling down and relaxing by swimming or doing sports on weekends. In Qingdao we organize beach-volleyball every Sunday, where you also can meet other foreign and Chinese locals.

If you are a relaxed person who can take it easy, you are definitely recommended to come to Chengdu – people here are said to be really laid-back due to the extremely hot weather in summer. Beautiful parks and tea-houses invite for relaxing and you can find a lot of strategies from locals to cope with the heat. I personally find it relaxing to visit the panda research base when it is too hot as they have a really thick bamboo forest, which can offer some shade to cool down.

If you like islands and the sea, your place is Zhuhai. However, you should consider that in summer it is extremely humid in Zhuhai and often affected by rain and typhoons. However, you also can go the beach here, swimming and bathing, meeting friends and having beach-parties as rain periods are just very short (but heavy). The air in Zhuhai is very fresh and clean in general and a summer rain surely helps to keep it clean.

To summarize, China is all year around a fascinating place to visit and we always help you to make the best out of your stay. However, if you are sensitive to weather or a certain climate, it can help to take a look beforehand, which place would be the best for you.

 

If you are curious which city is the best for you, also take our test or contact our team directly!

Travel

Traveling with a Chinese Tourist group

Crowded streets, closed supermarkets, long queues everywhere: National Holidays in China. One way to get out of it is to travel to one of the awesome countries around China.
Last week I went to Vietnam with 30 other people and a Chinese not English-speaking travel guide. Now I never want to hear something like ‘Organized Traveling is boring’ anymore.

InternChina – Our Lovely Travel Group

The trip started at Saturday night, in a sleeping bus, which drove us directly to DongXing. After walking behind the tour guide for about one hour, without any idea of why walking behind the not English-speaking tour guide, we crossed the border by foot.

InternChina – Vietnamese-Chinese Border

Till then the Chinese travelling started: we jumped into a bus and sat there for hours, taking pictures out of the window until we arrived in HaLong, a wonderful coastal city. Everything seemed to be relaxing so far: sitting at the beach, drinking beer on the streets and enjoy the atmosphere in Vietnam.

InternChina – Streetbeer in HaLong

But then the next morning came: bus, bus, bus, bus, picture break, bus, bus, bus, buy some Vietnamese outfits (just the foreigners of our lovely group) and then an awesome boat trip in LongWan.

InternChina – Without Words

After some more hours sitting in the bus, and a really great night in Hanoi we spend one more day in the bus to get back to HaLong, to make a boat trip which reminds everybody a little bit too much at the bus (which seemed to be understandable- all the Chinese people were sitting inside, looking out of the window instead of enjoying the air at the awesome sundeck).

InternChina – Boat Trip at the Sea

A few hours in the bus later we jumped out of the bus and ran after all the Chinese people and our travel guide because the Vietnamese-Chinese border was closing.

InternChina – Lao Ban

That was an exciting trip and the best possibility to learn something about the Chinese Culture without being in China.

InternChina – At the Island

Things To Do in Zhuhai

Zhuhai Fishing Boat Trip

On Saturday InternChina organized a Fishing Boat trip to Guishan Island: Enjoying the sun on deck and breathing in the wonderful air at the sea one whole day.

InternChina – On the Boat

The staff pulled out the fishing nets and we could take a look how they caught our lunch directly from the sea. A few hours later the boat arrived at Guishan Island, were the staff cooked an incredible meal for us with all the fresh seafood they caught.

InternChina – Lunch

After having the best and the freshest lunch ever, everybody of us left the boat to go on the Island to visit one of the beautiful beaches there.

InternChina – On the Island

Thank you everybody for being there. That was a wonderful day!

Travel

Traveling in and around Zhuhai

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.

InternChina – Zhuhai

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.

InternChina – Nature

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.

InternChina – Village

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.

Cantonese, Travel, Weekend Trips

HONG KONG

Those living in Zhuhai have the great advantage of being within easy reach of two of great weekend-break spots on the Pearl River Delta: Macau and Hong Kong. A few weeks ago we had a guest post about our neighbour Macau and now the lovely Pearl of the Orient, is due for a bit of a polish.

HOW TO GET THERE

Everyone knows you can take the ferries from Jiu Zhou Port in Zhuhai to either the airport port (provided you have a airticket) or the Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal at the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, Kowloon.

For those low-ballers amongst us, try the Sky Shuttle helicopter option which takes a smooth 15min to Macau at a even cooler $2,900. For those of you sticking around until or returning in 2016 you’ll be able to use the long awaited Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge (hopefully by 2016 the name will be shorter than the bridge itself).

GETTING AROUND

Take your pick of the labyrinth MTR (subway), double decker trams and buses, pricey taxi’s and when the weather’s not mimicking a sauna, talk a walk. Public transport is made very convenient to use with the Octopus card (see below.)

InternChina – Hong Kong Tram
InternChina – Hong Kong Taxi

InternChina – MTR Map

ACCEPTED EVERYWHERE

While VISA is accepted everywhere, in Hong Kong at least, the Octopus card (八達通, Bat Dat Toong in Cantonese) is genuinely testing this notion!

InternChina – Don’t leave your hostel without it

This handy card stores credit for not only all public transport on the island, but extends to paying for goods (McMeals, clothes, books) and services (racecourse bets, car park spaces, movie theaters, photocopies) at various stores and even acts as a school attendance checker and an access control mechanism at some commercial buildings. This ID-less credit token makes life in Hong Kong infinitely easier – especially since some wet markets even accept it!

THE HONG KONG MENU

While the Brits have “tea time”, the Cantonese have “yum cha” (飲茶) which means “drink tea” which ACTUALLY means you’ll be going out to eat “dim sum”.

Possibly the most famous of Hong Kong specialities “dim sum” refers to a style of Cantonese food. It’s traditionally prepared as small bite-sized portions served in small steamer baskets or on small plates.

 

Dai pai dong refers to the once very popular open air street-food stalls. It literally means “restaurant with a big license plate”, referring to its size of license which is bigger than other licensed street vendors and presently there are all but 28 left in Hong Kong.

InternChina – Similar to outdoor BBQ stalls around the mainland

Cha chaan teng are found in Hong Kong and some parts of Guangdong. Typicall warm, weak tea is offered upon being seated and sometimes the utensils are washed/rinsed with the tea too. They offer a range of budget meals ranging from western versions of cafe snacks (like the overly sweet version of french toast) to very traditional staples like wonton soup. Both fast food and a la cart menus are available.

InternChina – Typical fare of Milk Tea and French Toast

RECOMMENDED SOURCES FOR YOUR TRIP

  • Not feeling the pull of Honkers yet? Take a look at these very persuasive photos.
  • If you couldn’t be bothered to set up an itinerary – try these sample ones
  • Ferry times to and from Zhuhai and Macau
  • For those going specifically to get a visa extension try our recommended agency
  • The MTR website will help you calculate your route and journey time
  • Tips on how to shop in Hong Kong like a seasoned pro.
  • Must-try foods when you’re in Hong Kong and where to go!
  • Survival Cantonese phrases – print them out and take them with!
Internship Experience

Wonderful Summer Internship Experience

I am Bonnie, the summer intern in the Intern China Zhuhai office. I have been here for nearly 3 weeks,  it’s a great honor for me to join this team, with a wonderful time during this period,I enjoy the time that I work together with all of the persons in the office and our interns. Now I want to share the wonderful experience with all of you. O(∩_∩)O
I joined this team since May 28th, I met Jamie, Philippe, Sunny, Beata, and Mandy in the office, and they are nice guys!!(*^__^*)  And also knew many other Qingdao friends from the Skype. Btw, Skype is really a good platform for people’s communication.

During this period, I sent the posts and some blogs on the website, such as Weibo, Sohu etc. I assisted with them to prepare the welcome package, look for the home stays & apartments, and build & translate some documents. Besides, Sometimes, I also will pick up some interns and do other many interesting things.

InternChina – Nice Picture

For the home stay, I think it is usually a good way for cultural exchange, Chinese families and foreign interns can exchange their ideas and improve their language skills, and the most important is to have a better understanding of different cultures. There is an unforgettable thing, one of our host families, it has a 7 year-old boy named Lucky, he drew a beautiful picture to welcome one of our interns named Kessy to live in their home, let’s see the picture, hahaa~ it’s really very nice, it shows a wonderful time they have fun together and build a long-run friendship.

In addition, we also have many interesting activities, such as the language exchange every Tuesday night, Friday beer time on the roof and so on! Besides, the Sunday Beach Volleyball, round table in the bar, and the island trips and Dragon Boat Festival Guangzhou trip, I believe everyone will enjoy a good time!! Now, let me show a photo, we have a wonderful time here. (*^__^*). I really enjoy the life here!

InternChina – Hello