Two Months of Traveling: 中国

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Another reason I was MIA on this blog during March and April is because I was travelling every weekend. I didn’t know if I was going to be staying for another year so I crammed four trips in one month to Linyi Hot Springs, Zhangjiajie Mountains, Chengdu, and Beijing of course. These were the most exhiliterating yet stressful months of travelling. For the remainder of April, I went to Tokyo and then Shanghai Disneyland before returning to the US. I’ll write about those trips on the next post.

Linyi Hot Springs

BEST Rexalaxing Weekend Ever. Did not expect the hot floors room, this many spring baths, a water park and TOWELS on TOWELS on TOWELS. You can find this place in the Shandong Province, home of many natural hot springs. Comment for the name of the resort we went to. 



Zhangjiajie Mountains

Arguably known as the Avatar Mountains because the director of the movie denies he got the inspiration for Pandora from this mountain range. Yet, China has embraced it by putting several statues of characters from the famous movie. It looks identical to me.



 Chengdu

Roughly did the the same thing I wrote about last time but got to experience it with different people. BUT we found donuts🍩 and a beautifully lit tower!



Beijing

I’m always down for another section of the wall, art, and delicious food. Stayed in a new area and managed to sleep comfortably in a 10 person hostel.


Look forward to the post about Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo and also some tips about how I managed 6 trips in two months 😀

October NTL Holiday: Malaysia 马拉西亚

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So for October 1, China’s National Day I decided to leave the country and not deal with Chinese tourists in China. I packed my bags to Langkawi, Malaysia, an archipelago of 99+ islands. I got to be lazy on a beach, fish, island surf, ride a scooter, slide down some wells, drink coconut water, eat Malaysian, Indian, and Arabic food, jungle trek, and snorkel for nine long days. Enjoy the pictures! No first impressions on this one because I wasn’t trying to be impressed. Cause any beach and any sun would have been fine.

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Fished. After 4 long hours I caught one. Even if it was small, I still caught one.

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 Snorkled: First time ever! Even though I am a weak swimmer, I was still able to explore the underwater coral reef with this life jacket. img_20161007_195456

Jungle Trekked: Yes, I got to be Tarzan for a couple of minutes. I sucked at it. But hey, I completely believe Tarzan’s capability to learn to swing from vine to vine, these things are STRONG

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Slided: Down Seven Wells. It was dope.

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Reflected: on why the hell I am in China with bad air pollution and not living on this island.

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Ate: Chicken Satay is to Yang Rou Chuar

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Scootered: For hours, and even in the rain. At least Joel was driving

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If you want to see more pictures. Let me know. You know free wordpress has quotas. Look out for the Halloween Post

Week Eleven:内蒙古

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My school took all of us teachers (3 centers combined…150-200 peeps i think) to the Grasslands in Inner Mongolia- the greenest and bluest side of China. There were several Highs and Lows during this trip.

The Highs

  • Green, Green, and more Green
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    That famous husband and wife tree

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    A part of the grasslands

  • Fresh Air

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    So fresh

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  • Traditional mongolian costume dress up time

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    #tribe

  • The 2nd Horse Ride in which I rode the horse by myself with no one pulling me. That means I was going too fast to take a picture…
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  • Us foreigners dancing on a big stage

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    It is empty in this photo, but it was full in the video which I can’t post on here :/ gotta upgrade the plan

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  • That poncho that kept me warm because I forgot to bring a jacketIMG_20160711_163620
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The Lows

*** Obviously there will not be pictures for the LOWS. >_<

  • The 8 hour bus ride from Beijing
  • Every hour a tour guide will speak for like an hour in a microphone while I’m trying to sleep
  • The school had us go through a tour 😦 So we basically did tourist trappy things
  • The school didn’t tell us we would have to shuffle out 500 kuai for this one day grassland activity stuff
  • The 1st horse ride was supposed to be 45 mins but it was only 10
  • The food!!! It was the same meal 3X a day for 4 days -_-

 

WEEK TEN: 北京

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I promise this blog is not dead! Ive been without proper functioning wifi for the past few weeks! 😦

Anywho, I went to Beijing with the other foreign teachers. I helped compile and edit a video. Here it is.

BTW “waijiaos”= foreign teachers.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW…i know it seems sketch but it’s not, I promise.

               Beijing Unrated

Week Eight:九如山

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I still can’t believe we did so much on this weekend! On our Monday off, me and a couple of foreign teachers decided to accompany our chinese coworkers to Jiu Ru Mountain(九如山)。 Ticket prices were the standard 120 something kuai, but I got a student discount because I conveniently still had my university student card( even though i graduated)!

The place was very pretty! Of course most things like the stairs and the closures to the waterfalls were man-made, they still did  a great job maintaining the cleanliness of the environment. You know you have been in China long if you think a bathrrom is fancy because it at least has soap and/or toilet paper 😛 But really, their restrooms were very very nice!

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What I liked about this mountain is that is was very peaceful and didn’t really give you the tired feeling that you are climbing a mountain. It had plenty of shaded resting stops, swings, and free tea.

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I definetely recommend this if you want to take a casual and light hike and maybe have a picnic. It could be a good date spot too!

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It was super easy to get to from Jinan. We just had to get on bus 312( and pray that there were seats because there were 40 stops until we got to the mountain. Standing up for that long would not have been good). Thankfully there were seats!

Oh! One cool thing happened on the bus. I got to improve on my chinese speaking skils as this 爷爷(grandpa) started speaking to me in Chinese. In about 45 minutes we covered politics(US elections and  US-Sino Relations), the standard “foreigner questions” that must be printed in a handbook somewhere because EVERYONE asks them, where I have been in China, and some things to go to in Jinan. That was the hardest conversation I have ever had! I could only fully understand him 65% of the time, and sadly had to guess what he meant. I didn’t realize he was asking me about the US election until he said something that sound like Hilary’s name. haha! Hopefully I can take more classes here in China to improve more.

Well, after the mountain a few of us went home to shower to get ready and go to Papa John’s. Papa John’s was a wonderful treat after a long day of hiking!

Tuesday I went to this really good brunch place called “Across Brunch” that had a young looking chef, then went and played soccer, tutored a kid, went bowling, and then watched Alice through the Looking Glass! Of course I fell asleep during that movie because 1) I was exhausted, but 2) the movie was not that great! I feel like that plot could have been covered in the previous movie. There was no need to make a whole new movie!

Anywho, I really need to work on a blogging schedule or maybe do a challenge to help motivate me to stay on top of this. I do enjoy it at times, it’s very relaxing to take a pause from life here in China.

 

Week Five pt 2: 济南& 泰山 ft. Jason

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First surprise was a new roommate. The second was my Chinese bestie Jason came to visit me in little ‘ole Jinan! I met Jason back in spring 2014 when I studied abroad in Shanghai. He was one of the Chinese roommates in the CET Academic Program. We have been friends ever since, so I was stoked that he would come to  Jinan for me.

Our time together was a bit short due to the fact that I had to work on May 1st Labor Day Holiday….I don’t even want to begin to explain how much we wasted time that day going to the school…

Anywho. Monday night we hiked up Taishan to see the beautiful sunrise. It took us about 5 hours( Jason and Me were a bit, maybe too much out of shape?)

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The person who took the photo sucked at it. Us at the beginning of the hike

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Me and Jason after 1 hour of hiking.

Two lessons: 1. Sweatpants and a hoodie is not enough 2. Stairs in China, especially on the mountains are not the same height. They are all different so you have to be careful when taking each step.

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4:30 a.m. all bundled up together waiting on the sunrise

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Such a beautiful sunrise. pc moi

The view on the hike down was AMAZING. I felt like the staircase was a vine through a junge. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but that’s what I felt!

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Roomies 🙂

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WOW!

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Sweatpants and hoodies are NOT enough..

This was first trip out since I’ve been in Jinan and I can’t wait to start getting salary so that I can plan more vacations. I hope to go back and visit Jason and my other chinese friends in Shanghai pretty soon.

What are some mountains that you guys have climbed?

 

Blast from the Past VI: 长城

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Had a good last week in the US 😀 I depart to China in 1 hour!!

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“…

The Great Wall

We pulled off a two-day excursion to Beijing because A wanted to celebrate her birthday (March 29) on the Great Wall.

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Celebrating A’s Birthday

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If there was a competition for the best birthday parties, I think this one was the best. We had an amazing tour guide because we were able to see portions of the Great Wall that is not accessible to the public. It was not crowded and I preferred to see the ruins than the renovated part.  Attached are some photos. I took too many so you guys are going to have to wait until I get back to see all of them.

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The “Entrance

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Cherry Blossoms are blooming

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Hook ’em

The lunch after the Great Wall was AMAZING…I don’t know what the name of the dishes were but those spicy fried and dried green beans were to die for.-It was Sichuan green beans ❤

 

 

 

Beijing Day 2

We went to the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. It sucks that is was PACKED, but seeing the elderly people sing in the park was the highlight of my day.

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We went to the Temple of Heaven early in the Morning and were amongst the Elders. I wish we had this in the US where elders would have membership to the park for free and get to play badminton, join a choir, play an instrument, chit chat, play cards etc. if there wasn’t so many people in China I would’ve retired here. Hehe. This day the others and I were featured in random photos taking by Chinese Tourists outside and even on the subway. On our way back to shanghai we rode the Bullet Train. That thing is really fast, it reached about 425 Km an hour! -actually I think I was exaggerating but it was definitely over 300km However there is one thing everyone should know if you take a train at night in China. The taxi cab line is Shanghai is ridiculously long. When you get off the train you  must RUN, lol. We didn’t know that so we waited about half an hour to an hour past 11 pm until we got a Taxi.

These two weekends have worked my poor legs. I am really sore, but spring break is coming up! I will be going to Chengdu then Guilin!

Classes are relatively the same. However this week I have two 3 hour econ classes, internship and a test.  Properly thanking teachers for cramming everything in before the start of Spring Break.

Well I hope everyone is doing fine in Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, and other places where some of you may be. Send me updates!