lonely planet

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Before your stay, Cultural, Internship Experience

First time in China?

So you are planning to come to China soon and it’s the first time?

Qingdao

If the answer is yes, here are some good tips you should know before you come.

I’m especially writing this for the French BTS Students, firstly because I’m a former one; when I came here the first time I can tell you that I was really surprised since I had different expectations about China.
Secondly because for most of the BTS people, this trip is the first (and certainly not the last) international experience and coming to China is a big challenge for most of them (at least it was for me).

My best advice before you come: buy a guide to China (like Lonely Planet, or Le Guide Michelin and le Routard for French readers). These small guides give you the most precise idea of what China looks like. They contain advice on how to behave in daily situations, with some Chinese vocabulary in it, so you can order food or explain where you want to go to a taxi driver.
I swear by my Michelin guide, it was my best friend when I came the first time and used it countless times.

I also believe you should be prepared for the contrasts here. You can be walking in a rich part of town where people don’t even look at you and you have to pay attention not to be run over by these same people in their big western car. Then if you continue your walk, maybe less than a kilometre away you may arrive at a part of town where not so many foreigners are living, and people are surprised to see a white guy walking around and sometimes even take some pictures with you.

Be also open minded in your everyday life, don’t have a western outlook on things. Otherwise you’re going to be disappointed – adopting a cool and relaxed attitude is the best way to really enjoy your Chinese experience.

You won’t feel lonely in China because you will always have people around you, Intern China teams in Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu will always be here for you if you have any problems or questions about the Chinese way of life, plus there are many other interns who can help you.

That takes me to my next point of advice: Mingle! The best way to integrate into Chinese life is to meet people and create a strong network of friends and acquaintances. There are many foreigners in Qingdao, Zhuhai and Chengdu so it’s likely that what you experience will have been experienced by someone else at some point. So talk, ask questions, exchange thoughts and ideas, and soak it all up!

If you have any questions or concerns before you come to China you can always send me an email at: jonathan.libis@internchina.com.

Do you want to have a really interesting internship experience in China? Please send us your application at info@internchina.com or apply on our website.

Cultural, Job Market in China, Travel

Philippines during Golden Week

Hello Everyone!
Philippe Touzin office manager in Zhuhai here!

Last week was the Chinese National Week (1st of October – 7th of October) which is the anniversary of China’s Liberation and Revolution.

It is more commonly known in China as Golden Week, and in Tourist Language “Hell Week”

Some facts from Wikipidia regarding Golden Week:

 

In 2012, the PRC government announced that national highways would be toll free for Golden Week, and as a result 86 million people travelled by road (13% increase compared to the previous year). The same year, the Forbidden City in Beijing had a new record of 182,000 visitors within one day on October 2, the Mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen had 215,000 visitors on October 4 (10 times the number of visitors on a normal busy day), 7.6 million people travelled via domestic airlines, 60.9 million people travelled via railway, and revenues from tourism totalled at 1.77 billion renminbi.

 

That is about 154.9 million people that travelled in the space of 7 days!! Now I know that China holds a population 1.4 billion, but how many people live in your country? If you are from France, Germany, UK…that’s double the population that went travelling…If your from the US, that’s half your population then went on a Wonder.

The movement of people is incredible, and thus comes the term of “hell week”, because if you are travelling within the Chinese borders, you can be sure that the buses, airports, train stations will be fully packed and then the hotels get booked out 2 weeks in advance. Now lets say you managed to be organised and booked in advance your hotel and train tickets, you may think you are now on your way to a nice peaceful holiday in the serene beauty that is China’s nature. No.no. and no. Bet that 10 million other people had the same idea than you to visit the “traditional village” during that exact same week.

That is what happened to me last year when I went to yangshuo in the Guanxi province. (my friend didn’t book in advance and ended sleeping on a mattrass, on the roof of the hotel . giggles.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love travelling in China, it is AMAZING and the infrastructure for travelling is great. Except during Golden Week. J

So this year I decided to travel to the Philippines for the Golden Week. Flying from Zhuhai to The Philippines, with a domestic flight in addition (flying between islands), cost me in total 160 GBP/198EUR/ 256USD. Basically the cost of a return Ryannair/ Easy Jet ticket. Great start!

I booked my flight leaving from Macau. Thus at the end of work 5h30pm, I left the office, took a tax and was at the border within 5 minutes, then it was 30 minutes of queues and shuffling about with my two friends, and we were in Macau! Our flight was at 9h30pm so we decided to go and have a beer in the old Portuguese colony and get to the aiport.

My friends who work for two Exporting companies here in Zhuhai and myself were looking forwards to a vacation with no computers, phone or internet.

We flew to Clarck who was and still is a heavily active US Airforce Base ( I didn’t know this) so it was abit suprising to arrive and be transported to the US form the street signs/roads and military personel. However we were there only shortly and then took our next flight to go to the Western island Palawan.

We landed on the East Coast, Puerto Princessa, where we had rented a doorless Japanese military jeep to do a 3 day road trip up north to El Nido.

No license needed, just a signature and off you go. I drove for 30 min (great fun, but slightly wonky) until I noticed my feet were wet with oil and saw that the pedals were leaking oil…not good. Drive back to rental place and get a nice Pajero instead to go road tripping..only issue no radio, so we each went on jingles duty…devastating experience.

Palawan is very much under developed with the bggest technological success being a road which goes ¾ of the way up North, this may be painstaking for tech junkies, but this was perfect and you don’t go to the Philippines (over 7’000 Islands) for development, but more Beaches, the water and sea life. To quote a hippie who was travelling to “find himself” I met.  “This place has a raw and kind off elemental nature”

 

We drove to and stayed for one night in Conception, the to Roxas, TayTay and finally the dirt tracks to El Nido (I drove very safely on those roads 😉 ) The road crosses mountains, hills, rice fields, Rainforest. Beautiful

El Nido Was amazing, , touristy, but amazing, the sea, the renting of boats for day trips of snorkelling and fishing (2kg yellow fin tuna and some yellow/white fish). A good book, the beach and days of doing nothing except for eating, sleeping and swimming were great.

 

I could keep writing a give you a full detailed trip on Palawan, but the best to do here is go and discover yourselves, come to Zhuhai were you have easy access to all over S.E.A and go discovering. InternChina is of course there to help give advice and tips on where to go during Golden Week, including the Chinese hotspots if that’s what you are out for  😉

I will continue the description with the pictures below:

Thank you for reading and until next time!!

Philippe

www.internchina.com