Sunday, 31 May 2015

3 nights in Shanghai

Shanghai has been my favourite city that I have visited in China!
I met up with 4 of the girls I met at the start of my internship, Sammy, Hannah, Laura and Kasey, it was so nice to see new old faces! Especially as I have been traveling on my own and hadn't met any westerns yet. 

The first night we headed to the French concessions. It was a really lovely area, filled with restaurants, however it was pricy and we decided not to eat hear. And instead we walked down towards the bund to take night photos of it all light up. On the way we found an Italian restaurant that's a big chain in China. So we all ate hearand got a bottle of wine all for less than £3 each. I did not expect to find places this cheep in Shanghai. 

The next day we all got up early to go visit one of shanghais water towns. We got the bus to Zhujiajiao and it took around 1 hour. We wondered about the town and took a boat ride around the area. It's such a beautiful place and it's hard to believe it's only a hours bus ride from the centre of Shanghai. 

The bus ride back did take a lot longer, I think it was over 2 hours but I fell asleep so not entirely sure. When we got back we went for dumplings at Yangs Dumplings. They were very good, but very oily. I am told your meant to suck the oil out and then eat the dumplings, but with that much oil I think I would have made myself ill. Then we headed towards the pearl tower, as we wanted to time it just right so that we could see the view in the day and the view when it got dark. It was a great surprise to find out the entry fee was half price! We don't know why but it made us all happy! (I have now found out there was lots of attractions half price accross the city, something to do with a tourism day?) The views from the top were great, there were two levels you could access with our tickets. One of them had a glass floor that was pretty cool! 

The next day Sammy and Hannah left early as they were teaching later on in the day. So Laura, Kasey and I spent the day together. We walked to Yu gardens, visited Shanghai museum and the jade Buddha temple. Later in the day when they left for there overnight train I visited m&m world and treat myself to some chocolate! 

I feel like I have done so much during my time in Shanghai and i have had such a great time. It definitely is my favourite city in China so far. And I didn't spend half as much money as I expected to! 

Speak soon,
HanHan xx

Friday, 15 May 2015

Chengdu's Pandas

The reason I decided to visit Chengdu was to see the pandas. It is thought that there is less than 1000 pandas left in the world so it was on my bucket list to go and visit them during my time in China. 

I visited the Chengdu research base of giant panda breeding. It cost 58y entry so that's around £5.80. I thought it was very reasonable I was prepared and expected to pay a lot more! The research base opened in 1987 with 6 pandas that were rescued from the wild. Now it it home to more than 100 pandas. 

The park was huge and had lots of different areas wherry you could go watch the pandas. They had so much space and looked to happy. Pandas spend a lot of there time eating so I found a few pandas eating bamboo and others where sleeping. I found baby pandas, they were the cutest and I seen one to a forward roll!

The red pandas I thought looked like a fox. At first that's what I thought it was, but then I realised!

Inside the park there was also a museum and a 20min video on pandas. It was good to gain some more knowledge about pandas while I was there. 

I would highly recommend if your visiting China to head to Chengdu and see the pandas!  

Do you know years ago, China gave pandas to other country's as gifts! Then they realised they were running out of them and stopped handing them out!

Speak soon,
HanHan xxx

Visiting the Terrocota warriors in Xi'an

Today I visited the terrocota warriors. I decided against going with a tour as I was told it was fairly simple to get there via public transport.

I took the tourist bus 5 (306) bus from Xi'an train station. The bus cost 8y and took a hour. You stay on the bus until the very last stop. When you get of the bus you follow the crowds of people all also heading to the museum. The entry to costs 150y. After paying its a 5/10 min walk to the 3 pits. However there is the option of a taxi golf cart thing, that cods 5y. However it's easy enough to walk, and by the time you wait for one you probably could have got yourself there. 

I heard the pit 1 was the most impressive so I decided to check out pit 2 & 3 first. I thought it was amazing. How much work had went into making there's figures. They apparently all have different faces, and they hold different weapons. It really is a whole army. I can't believe it has only been discovered in the past 50 years. It's such a huge part of history. 

Pit 1 was definitely the most impressive however was also the busiest, full of people taking selfies and pushing to the front to try get a better photo. It is the largest pit and the most warriors have been found and restored hear. 

Pit 1 

Pit 2 

Pit 3 

Speak soon,
HanHan xxx


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Dapeng for the long weekend

We set of to dapeng at 7am Friday morning & arrived after 6pm in the evening! Mainly due to the traffic been so bad, getting wrong bus and our taxi driver taking us the complete wrong direction. 

We chose to come to the beach for a relaxing weekend however when we arrived at our hostel we soon realised there was an all night rave happening. As I didn't arrive till after 6, and the free drinks ended at 9 so some of us decided not go. We headed down to the beach to grab some food instead. The beach was so busy still even at 8pm at night! 

The next day we visited dapeng fortress. It reminded me of the houghtons in Beijing. We wondered around the area then walked to the temple. I have seen so many temples on my travels but this was the most beautiful. There was so much colour, it truly was amazing. 

Later in the afternoon we walked down to the beach. An area was closed of as couples were getting there wedding photos taken. In China couples get there wedding photos taken 6 months before the wedding. So it's all so fake, there was loads of props along the beach and hair and makeup stations along the back. We got speaking to the manager and over the whole day more than 100 couples come for there photos. I wouldn't like to have my wedding photos taken right next to so many other couples, but I guess this is china. As the photographers were finishing, the manager let us on to his part of the beach. It was so nice to have space. As the public beach was so so busy! You couldn't even see the beach due to that many people! 

It was nice to experience a Chinese beach, but I wouldn't visit again as it is nothing like a beach we know. It's over crowded and dirty.

Speak soon,
HanHan xx

Friday, 24 April 2015

Weekend 9- My last weekend in Foshan

This will be my last weekend in Foshan. As next weekend is a long weekend and we are of to the beach! Thursday will be my last day teaching. It's came around so fast! I am sad to be leaving everybody but at the same time I feel like I have seen and done everything there is to see around this area, so I am ready to explore other areas.

On Friday night the school treat us all to an all you can eat Japanese restaurant. It was the best food we had all eaten in a long time, school dinners are not that great.

The staff cooked all the food infront of you and you also got unlimited drinks, including alcohol. We all ate so much food, we were there for over 3 hours!

Saturday night we walked to a different area in Foshan. We went to a noodle place down some back street and ate at tables on the side of the street. The food was so tasty, and was worth the walk.

Sunday we got up early and wanted to te street market. There was meats, veg, clothes and shoes. Everything you could want. I treat myself to some new shoes. They only cost me 20y, so that's £2! Then we went to the cinema to use our free movie coupon the school gave us. We watched fast and furious 7!

Speak soon,
HanHan xx

Weekend 8 - Mount xiqiao

On Saturday the weather was nice to we headed to mount xiqiao. It was just over an hours bus ride then a short walk to the entrance. It costs 70y to get in, it was quite expensive as we thought it was only 50y but it turns out that was a special holiday price. We headed up towards the Big Buddha. It's one of the largest in the world. On the way we found an abandoned building, we explored inside and managed to get into the roof! When we reached the top we bumped into some of of the teachers from the number1 kindergarten, and they walked back down with us. 

Sunday was a relaxing day, I had a much needed lie in then headed to Taste. An international super market close by our apartment. Then headed to the gym. I met up with inez and Chris to get some dinner at our noodle place outside our complex. Pretty sure it's gone up in price since last time we ate there, so next time we are going to try somewhere different. Then we had a little bakery treat. I will definitely miss these Chinese bakery treats when I go home. 

Speak soon,
HanHan xx

Monday, 13 April 2015

Weekend 7 - Exploring Guangzhou and Baiyun mountain

So this is our last weekend before pay day! It's been so long so we are all very excited to be getting paid finally. 

On Saturday I went to Guangzhou. It's the 3rd biggest city in China and I have only been hear once to go to a shopping mall so I thought it would be a good weekend to explore and wonder about the area. 

It cost me just 50p to get hear from Foshan, and it is quite far, over an hour on the metro depending what part your wanting to go to. 

I went to Shamian Island. I was surprised at how easy it was to get to. It was only a 5 minute walk from the metro station. In the 1800s the area was divided between the UK and France. So Athens area doesn't feel like china, all the buildings look European and it's a nice place to go walk about as this island is very small. 

Afterwards I went to Beijing road pedestrian street. It was so busy, full of all the international shops and malls. It reminded me of the walking street in Beijing. 

On Sunday the weather was amazing, we went to Baiyun mountain. We walked all the way up to the summit, there was so many steps and even an McDonald's half way up, but you wouldn't expect any less in china! The view from the top isn't as pretty as mountains in England as it just over looks the city and it was a smogy day but it's still worth while seeing.

Speak soon,
HanHan xx

Friday, 10 April 2015

Teaching 'Baby 2'

So I am settling in with my class now. I have been teaching them for nearly 5 weeks now, I have had some bad days where my lessons didn't go to plan and when the kids didn't listen to me but things have decently improved since I have had help from my training teacher, and gotten to know the children better.
Last months teaching content theme has been Easter & spring. So I have been teaching them all about Easter eggs, chocolate bunnys, jelly beans, chicks, lady bugs, and much much more. Last week I done a Easter hunt. They really enjoyed it!

In the morning before clas starts all classes have morning sentence, this is a game that 2 of the foreign teachers run. I played a parachute game when it was my turn. 

Also when children turn up at school, there is morning greeting. 2 foreign teachers do this, and today was my day. We have a board and ask the children to answer our questions then they receive a sticker. There is a picture below! 

This is Mr monster! The kids love it. I take a flash card out his mouth and they say what it is, then when all the flash cards are on the floor, 2 at a time them come up and race to be the 1st to find the flash card that I shout. Then Mr monster eats the card!

Speak soon,
HanHan xxx

Monday, 6 April 2015

Tomb sweeping weekend

For our first long and probably only long weekend in China we traveled to zhao quing. It was 1.5 hours away on the train from Foshan. 

The train journey wasn't as bad as expected, we had standing seats on the way there but had seats on the retun journey, they were a lot nicer than expected! 

We arrived and checked into our hotel then headed for some food. Out first day was pretty chilled, we wondered about the area, found a park. There was so many people flying kites, and not just children but adults too! It was amazing to see as this would never happen back in England.

We walked around the park and got a taxi boat back towards our hotel area. On the night we got a few drinks and chilled in the park, there was a fountain light show, and so many children just rollerblading about!

On the Sunday we got up so early. We had such a busy day. We went to the 7 star crags. It's an amazing area, we climbed up two of the crags, the 1st one was a lot nicer as it was early in the morning so not many people were abou. The 2nd crag had so many people, everyone was just taking photos of us and wanted photos with us, so it slowed us down a bit. 

After the crags we jumped into a taxi to get to the dinghu mountain. By the time we arrived it was about 2pm, we were so tired from all the walking in the morning that we took our time at this place. We didn't manage to see it all, but we walked to some waterfalls and walked the nature trail. This place was so overcrowded and had lots of tourists!

Overall I had a great weekend away! Was so nice to get out of Foshan and explore a new part of China.

Speak soon,
HanHan xx

Weekend 5 - Exploring Foshan - pagoda, lakes and pineapple

So this is my 5th weekend in Foshan. I really can't believe I have already been hear 5 weeks, the time goes by so fast. 

On Friday night after we finishd at school Emma, Inez, Lilly and I walked to the pagoda. It looked really pretty at night when it was all lit up. We couldn't walk all the way to the top as it was closed so we will have to do that another day. Afterwards we went back to inez apartment eating street pineapple on a stick on the walk back , we were going to have a movie night but we were all so exhausted so it just didn't happen.

Saturday we walked to the lake, Emma and I bumped into Chris so we walked about with him. It was nice to see a different part of Foshan. We headed towards Chris's area and found a lovely little spot for a coffee. I had an iced peanut butter coffee, it was lush and I really want to go back there again soon. Chris walked back to our area with us and we went out for some food. The place we found the menu was all on mandarin and had no pictures but luckily a guy from the table behind us spoke some English so he helped us order. The food was so good, noodles were amazing, the meal was only around £3 each! 

On Sunday I woke up at dinner time, I was so tired after all the walking yesterday. Me and Emma met up with lilly and went on another walk. This time we found a river, we walked down the river for a while then headed back. However we had to stop of at school to fill up on water as we have ran out at our apartment! 

Speak soon,
HanHan xx

Monday, 9 March 2015

Pancake day in China

So we celebrated pancake day a little bit late in China! But it was over 2 days so we had lots and lots of pancakes. All the foreign teachers where the pancake cooks and we had an allocated cooking time, and a chefs outfit, including the hat! It was lots of fun, we could make the pancakes into shapes, however all I could manage were circles and Micky mouse! Some people could make cars, hearts and boats! 

The children really enjoyed it, we took our classes to over and they watched us make the pancakes, then the added all the fruit toppings and sauces. Lots of kids came back for more. I can't wait to see what special day the school have planned next, they seem to celebrate something different every week :)


Spar day with school!

We we all got taken out to a 24 hour spar treat for ladies day! We weren't quite sure what it entailed and we were told we didn't need to bring anything, but of course we did, we thought surely we would need lit toothbrush and phone chargers if we're staying over. How wrong we were!

The spar was unreal! We checked in and got taken down to the changing rooms. We showered then got given pyjamas! Everyone walked around in there pjs. It was so cool. It was around 7pm so we wanted food. There was a huge selection of foods, it was a buffet so you could have as much as you wanted. It was a nice change from the canteen food we had been eating all week. Then we had our massage. I chose a Thai massage. We all had our own separate room, with the most comfy bed in. The massageaasted 1:5 hours! We only expected an hour! 
Afterwards we checked out all other bits te spar had, a hot igloo room, oxygen rolms, heated lie down things! Jade pool, cinema rooms. It was so nice. 
The sleeping arrangements where we all had the most comfy chair ever, in a huge big room. It was like a sleepover!! We all had our own tv, it kinda felt like we were on a plane. We went to sleep around 1.30am, but as we were doing the colour run the next day we had to wake up at 5am, but we could have stayed till 5pm the next day had we wanted to!

Speak soon,
HanHan xx

Lantern festival

We celebrated lantern festival on Friday at school, as the weather was so bad on Thursday. 

In the afternoon all the children's parents came into the class and we all made sweet dumplings together. Then we went outside to see the stalls and solve riddles. It was busy, so many parents and children! 

There was a lion dance where the lion ate the vegetables that were ontop of the pole, then it was our turn to dance. We had been learning a dance to preform I front of the whole school this week, bi we hadn't had much time to practice it as the moves kept changing. But I think it went well! 

Afterwards we went back to our classes and ate our dumplings, they were so tasty!

Speak soon,

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