Travel From Vietnam
So you’ve decided to do a life-changing internship in Vietnam. But whilst you are in Vietnam why not take some time to travel elsewhere in South East Asia!
Vietnam borders 3 countries; Cambodia, Laos and China. All of which are easily accessible by either plane or train from Vietnam!
Famed for it beautiful temples and stunning natural beauty this is somewhere you’ll definitely want to visit if you plan on travelling.
Temples to see in Cambodia include the world famous Angkor Wat. This temple dates back to the 10th century and is surrounded by a vast moat. There are a large number of temples in Cambodia each unique to the next.
Furthermore, in the South, there are some beautiful as yet untouched islands, unlike the mass tourist destinations of Thailand. Expect endless rolling sandy beaches, picturesque fishing villages and bright blue oceans.
The natural beauty and undisrupted nature of Laos make it a fantastic destination for travellers. Whilst Laos is completely landlocked this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any beauty. Nature lovers can tour the country taking in the wildlife including gibbons and elephants.
The extensive network of rivers and caves in Laos make for great exploring. It’s a more off the beaten track destination than other locations in the region. Laos is the perfect destination for the traveller within!
Whilst China might not be the go-to location for travellers in South East Asia there is so much to see and do in the country of over 1 billion people. From the deserts and grasslands in the north and west to the bustling cities on the east coast.
China is full of culture and beautiful nature. A short trip from Vietnam can get you to Hong Kong or the beautiful tropical island of Hainan. China is definitely a country to consider when you are thinking of travelling around Asia.
Interested in seeing some of these places for yourself? Why not join our travel programme?
For the average Chengdu resident it probably is not the most interesting thing, but for the foreigners, especially those who are ready to explore, Chengdu metros might be one of the first things, which they may become curious about. Therefore, we present you a series of metro stations in order to introduce Chengdu in an approachable way.This week, we want to introduce you the Wenshu Monastery!
Wenshu Monastery (Manjushri Monastery), located at Exit K of Metro: Wenshu Yuan. It is the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu.
In 1681, Cidu, an accomplished Buddhist monk came to the temple. He built a simple hut between two trees and for several years lived an ascetic life there. According to legend when Cidu was being cremated, the statue of Wensu (Bodhisattva Manjusri in Sanskrit) appeared in the flames, staying for a long time. So people regarded Cidu as the reincarnation of the Bodhisattva Manjusri(Wenshu in Chinese). Thereafter, the temple is called Wenshu Monastery.
Cultural relics are the highlights of Wenshu Monastery. Since the Tang and Song dynasties, over 500 pieces of painting and calligraphy by celebrities have been stored here.
In addition to its cultural relics, Wenshu Monastery is famous for its exquisite garden and solemn halls. Tourists and locals can also enjoy vegetarian food in the Buddhist Restaurant while listening to music by folk artists.
Therefore, it is a perfect place to explore the ancient China and have traditional dishes in a 14 million city like Chengdu. We are looking forward to take the entire InternChina team there!
This past Sunday InternChina organised a trip to the famous Laoshan mountain (崂山), located close to the city of Qingdao.
We met with many of the interns at 7.30 AM in the centre of Qingdao and we took a bus for about one hour to arrive at the mountain.
The weather was really nice, blue sky with no clouds. We arrived at the first part of the mountain to visit some old temples, we could smell the incense sticks and see monks that are still living there. From the top of the mount, the view on the yellow sea was amazing.
The Lao mountain is an important place for the Taoist religion and according to an old legend, many Chinese emperors came here to try to meet the immortals. The Laoshan is also famous in Qingdao because of its pure water springs. Originally this water was used to brew the Tsingtao beer and today you can find bottles of water from the mountain in every shop of the city. The water quality is assured by a protected and delimited zone, in order to avoid any kind of pollution that could contaminate the source.
We spent the second part of the day “climbing” another part of the mountain on a cable car, which was quite funny to see in China and without snow, because for some of us, it’s the kind of thing you’re used to have when you’re going skiing during winter.
After arriving at the top, we spent half an hour enjoying the view and chilling before we had to go back down because the bus was waiting for us to go back to the city.
Last week InternChina and all or our interns had three days off during the May holidays, so we decided to go to the Shilaoren Sightseeing Garden 石老人观光园, which is located about 30 minutes by taxi from the city centre of Qingdao. The whole day was quite an adventure!
The first 15 minutes in taxi were ok, with no major traffic. Halfway there, however, there was a huge traffic jam and we couldn’t go forward anymore, everyone was stuck. Our taxi driver tried to continue but after 15 minutes he told us that it would take at least two hours to go there instead of half an hour…
It turns out that the right part of the road was being renovated, and the left part was divided in two, creating a huge mess with lots of stuck cars and buses.
We decided to leave the taxis and met all the interns on the side of the road, our question was: what do we do now? Should we continue on foot? Or should we go back?
As the beach was very close from our location, some of the interns decided to go there and enjoy the beautiful weather. So finally only 6 people stayed and we decided to go to the garden on foot.
We could see the temples and the garden from the place where we stood, so we thought it wouldn’t take long to get there. We had to walk between all the cars, we could see how a slalom event looks like at the Olympic games!
But we really had the impression that we were walking in the desert, lots of wind, hot temperature and lots of dust. It took us 45 minutes to arrive to the garden. We were quite happy… until we saw that we had to climb on the mountain to see all the temples. More exercise, bring it on!
It took us some time to find our way on the mountain but when we arrived on the top we could enjoy the great view on the sea and a part of the city centre of Qingdao. We could even see some monks who are still living in the monastery and we prayed in a temple, one of the monks said the prayers and we had to bow three times in front of three huge statues.
After two hours there, we started to walk our way back to the city. The weather was really nice and all in all it was a really interesting day. If you want to see some traditional Chinese architecture I definitely recommend you go there!
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!