Dragon Tourist: Oriental Orientation

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  • Weihai: Knot-Making & Paper-Cutting

    This is going to be a relatively short blog post in terms of text because not a whole lot happened today. So in contrast to yesterday's gorgeous weather, we actually had our first torrential downpour during the early hours of today. The weather changed very suddenly; one minute it was really calm, the next it was raining so fast and fierce that within minutes the streets were flooded! Rex and Bhavneet decided to "take advantage" of the situation and go for a run in the pouring rain, I didn't envy them to be fair! The rain alone was incredibly loud; throw in the constant thunder and lightning and it was quite a show. Needless to say, Rex and Bhavneet came back ABSOLUT...
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    Posted on: July 8th, 2010
  • Weihai: Our First Meal At The Canteen (And TYRES!)

    So fortunately we've had yet another gorgeous day in terms of weather! Today's been a pretty short day and we spent this evening in the hotel just relaxing which is why I'm able to get this post up earlier today! We started off the morning with our first Chinese class which would have been interesting if it weren't for the fact that Sam, Rex and I already knew everything our 老師 (teacher) was saying! After our Chinese class, our Japanese and Korean friends introduced us to the university canteen! The first thing that we noticed was how insanely cheap it was! Just 5-10 Yuan (50p-£1) was enough for a huge meal complete with rice, meat, veg and sauce. The meals we w...
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    Posted on: July 7th, 2010
  • Weihai: Finally Some Sun!!

    Well it looks like we got our wish! Finally we're seeing some beautiful sunny weather and it's about time! Today has been a fantastic opportunity to see just how amazing Weihai looks when the weather is right. We had a lecture in the morning which gave a general overview of Chinese culture which was very useful and informative and was a nice introduction into the future, more detailed lectures we'll be having in various aspects of Chinese culture. [caption id="video_37" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Feels like forever since I last saw blue skies!!"][/caption] [caption id="video_38" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Talking from Weihai, China! ...
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    Posted on: July 5th, 2010
  • Weihai: Chinese School & Chinese Family

    Today was a much shorter day than yesterday but a very interesting day too. We started off by going to a Chinese high school. As usual, everyone was interested and curious by our arrival and we were followed around like celebrities. Always nice! We were split into groups of 1 and 2, with each group taken around the campus by a student at the school. It was pretty amazing how different schools are in China. For starters the school had 4600 students, which is unfathomable for me having attended a school with just 800 students! The classes also had 45 students per room and there was very little space in the rooms. A good majority of the desks also had huge piles of book...
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    Posted on: July 3rd, 2010
  • Weihai: Welcome To Weihai!

    Today's been a loooong first day, but an enjoyable one! We kicked the day off at 9am for a campus tour. Our uni contacts met up with us in the hotel lobby and told us we were all going to be giving bikes to cycle around the city! I barely cycle at home but for some reason I was really excited about being able to cycle here in Weihai, it just looks like fun! :P We cycled around to campus and got a good view of everything around, including the main building. I remember thinking how the main buildings say a lot about the difference in student culture between the two countries. For example, Swansea's main building consists of cafes, restaurants, bars and a nightclub; ...
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    Posted on: July 2nd, 2010
  • Beijing/Weihai: Xi He Ya Yuan & First Night In Weihai!

    So today I spent my last day in Beijing tracking down that Peking Duck restaurant that we failed to find yesterday, with the help of Nia, and it was definitely worth it! This time we were armed with a map of Zhongguancun and the location of the restaurant. We also had contact details for the restaurant. We arrived at Zhongguancun metro station and to our shock it was actually pouring with rain! We hadn't seen any rain the whole time we were in Beijing so it was a surprise that it was suddenly raining so heavily. This was a bit of a pain for us as we didn't particularly want to be roaming the streets trying to find the restaurant in the pouring rain! So we hailed a...
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    Posted on: July 1st, 2010
  • Beijing: Summer Palace & Zhongguancun

    As expected, today was a pretty laid back day. Everybody wanted to do different things for this last full day so we split into groups. Some wanted to go Beijing Zoo, some wanted to check out the CCTV building and the rest wanted to visit the Summer Palace. I decided to head for the Summer Palace with Satnam, Sam, Louise and Nia. Because we wanted to check out a Peking Duck restaurant nearby and we were incredibly hungry, we unfortunately didn't manage to see all of Summer Palace and the good majority of our time there was spent on Kunming Lake. That's not to say that it wasn't an interesting experience though and it was certainly worth taking the very long metro r...
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    Posted on: June 30th, 2010
  • Beijing: The Great Wall Of China (Mutianyu)

    So today has been a pretty major day in terms of sightseeing! We had a really early start, getting up around half 6 in the morning. After grabbing a quick breakfast, we got into the minivan (which was quite a squeeze for all 10 of us, and I had to sit on the dodgy fold-out seat which has no belt and shakes back and forth with the car....a little worrying considering how crazy China's traffic is!) We drove for about an hour and a half; passing the time by singing along to Tenacious D songs, which made things go by pretty quickly! We were hoping that driving so far from Beijing would mean escaping the smog but when we arrived at the Great Wall we were a little disap...
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    Posted on: June 29th, 2010
  • Beijing: Wangfujing (Donghuamen) Night Market

    So here's the second part of the day three post! Wangfujing Night Market! Don't watch the videos if you're at all squeamish!! :P Wangfujing is the main shopping district in Beijing, with all sorts of restaurants and shops at your disposal, it's a mecca for the tourist who likes to spend. However, Wangfujing is not most famous for it's shopping, but it's Donghuamen Night Market. The Donghuamen Night Market is the traditional snack streets full of vendor stalls selling all sorts of the usual stuff such as yang rou chaunr (lamb kebabs). But the main attraction of the Donghuamen Night Market is its CRAZY foods. If you've ever seen an extreme foods programme on TV, cha...
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    Posted on: June 28th, 2010
  • Beijing: Drum Tower & Bird’s Nest Stadium

    I'm splitting today into two parts because the day ended with Wangfujing's Donghuamen Night Market, which I think was so awesome that it deserves it's own separate blog post, so I'm going to write a second part for that! So since the last two days had been pretty busy, we decided to have a more chilled out day today. We had heard a lot about the Drum Tower (and Bell Tower), so decided to head over there to see what they were like. It was quite a long trip and we had to make quite a few changes on the metro, plus a lengthy walk from the station to the towers. Along the way we saw a few interesting things included street sellers of strange fish and chicks (random...
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    Posted on: June 28th, 2010
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