Explore Bangkok: Visit To The Royal Thai Military Academy
August 25, 2016
How To Work In China, There’s More Options Than Just English Teaching
December 29, 2016

Working and Travelling China

Chris Long at The Bund, Shanghai

Lets go China style!  

I’m back to the world of social media!!  For the last 3 months I have been Working and Travelling in China.  No one has herd from since my last post in Bangkok because even tho China has good internet and access to Facebook and stuff now I just didn’t have time while working.  And you can only access Facebook using a VPN and its pretty slow!  That’s why not many people in China use Facebook, and fair enough, they have “Wechat” which is now my FAVORITE social app.  Facebook has so much to learn from its Chinese competition.  But then, the whole world has a lot to learn from China!

 

Over looking the town of Yangshuo. For China this is a small tourist town however for me it was dstill more ike a small city. The mountains around Yangshuo are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The limestone makes it a very popular rock climbing destination.

At the end of my season I had time to do some amazing biking around these mountains around Yangshuo with friends Yunyun from China and Noel from Malaysia.

Bamboo rafts on the river near Yangshuo

Technology

The other day I was on  high speed train and was doing 307 km/h between Guangzhou and Shenzhen.  And a few days after that I was on the 118th floor of the worlds second tallest building.  The engineering in China is incredible.  Unlike anywhere else in the world except maybe Dubai.  What used to take 12 hours by slow train between Guangzhou and Yangshuo now takes 2.5 hours and costs about 15USD.

 

 

My work

I have been working as an outdoor door instructor, program coordinator for “Dragonfly”  a company based out of Hong Kong.  My job was to oversee programs where we would take groups of international school kids on outdoor an cultural experiences.  For a job working in China this was perfect for me because I got to work in four different locations, unlike if your English teaching where you will be stuck in the same place the whole time.  I got to work in Yangshuo, Zhaoqing, Yunnan and Hong Kong.

 

Some of the team I worked with. It was about half western and half Chinese, a great mix

One of the activities with the kids is tea picking. Here with Yunyun at staff training at the start of the year

Staff party, KTV Karaoke

We would take our students to do community service at some of the local primary schools and kindergartens. This little kid was 3 in a small kindergarten in Shaxi Village, Yunnan.

Looking over Shaxi Village, Yunnan. Very near the start of Tibet.

 

Travelling in China

While at work it was very easy, I always worked alongside Chinese logistic staff and they were amazing.  Everything in Chinese was sorted by them.  On my weekend I would try to get away from work and go off by myself and it is was a completely different world.  As a non Chinese speaker it is very difficult to travel there.  You don’t know the language, or the writing.   It very hard to order food unless there is pictures and taking busses is almost impossible!  Its also unlikely that you will find someone who speaks English enough to help you.  The one thing that is in English is the train system and the city underground systems.  Once you leave that its tough!!

For me this was a great challenge because after travelling 5 years everything has become kind of the same and quite easy even if the language is a bit different.  China is defiantly the hardest country I have travelled in and it was a great Challenge!  There’s nothing like the feeling of being completely lost and not having a clue how to find your self!

That was at the start but after a few months there I picked up enough language and started to recognise enough characters that I could make my way around easy enough!

Looking down on Shanghai from the 118th floor of the Shanghai Tower, The worlds second tallest building.

The crazy West Street, main Street of Yangshuo town.

The inside of a limestone cave in Seven Star Park in Zhaoqing.

Rice terraces ready for harvest in Shaxi Village, Yunnan

My friend Anya with the Canton Tower on the Pearl River, Guangzhou.

 

Chinese People

Chinese people are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.  At first they can feel a bit “cold”  but once you get to know them they are amazing!  Most people know some English but not many are confident enough to speak to you.  The funniest thing was when a group of girls would say :hello” to me and then run away in fits of giggles!  As a tall white person I was pretty popular.  You get very used to being asked to take selfies with people.  The funniest is when I had a guy ask if I would take a photo with his wife.  I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t ask my wife to take a picture with a stranger guy!

I had dinner with a friend of a friends family and her father had never had a white person in his house before.  A lot of people have never seen a white person before so you get a lot of attention!   I love taking photos with people and after 9 months in Asia am very used tot he attention.

My work mate, Shelly and Karen from China and Hugo from Canada.

Anya and I again at Korean BBQ in Guangzhou

Yunyun in the Seven Star Park in Zhaoqing

Yunyun at Moon Hill, Yangshuo

 

Food

Eating small lobsters with Anya in Guangzhou

An interesting spread of delicious Chinese food in Guangzhou. Included is sheep stomach and silk worms. Both taste very good!

This was one of the best meals I have ever had anywhere in the world. Sichuan hotpot, with Anya and Queenie. I travelled with these two in Indonesia for 3 weeks in July.  You can read my post: Picture Perfect Indonesia from that trip.

Yunnan Hot Pot in Lijiang

Food often comes very spicy in China and when in the country side you often see bunches of chilies hanging up in the court yards of peoples houses.

 

China, The new most powerful country in the world

China is fast becoming the most powerful country in the world.  In my opinion they already are but some still argue that the USA and China are still pretty even.  Even tho the USA has a much larger GDP they owe trillions of dollars to China.  China is a booming country, growing at 7 percent every year, and they own the money!  And lend it to everyone else.  If you lend others money you basically control them after that.  If you own the money there’s much less that can go wrong.  They are rapidly buying up and investing all around the world.  Especially Africa.

There’s a lot of similarities between the USA and China ad some big differences,  but I will talk more about that in a later post.

 

The skyline in Shanghai is one of the most impressive you will see anywhere in the world. Most to note is the Shanghai tower which is the second tallest building in the world.

From the ground looking up in the centre of Shanghai CBD. I took this picture 10 minutes after standing on the 118th floor of the Shanghai tower.

Shanghai World Financial Centre, 492m tall and i’m looking down on it.

Guangzhou skyline. 5 years ago this city did not have a skyline at all and now they have multiple sky scrapers in the top 10 in the world.

Everywhere I went in China I saw construction.  Unlike in any of the other 50 countries I have travelled to. From apartment building, skyscrapers, to tunnels, to bridges and highways.   And no one builds thing as fast and efficiently as China

 

Pollution

Pollution is always a big talking point when it comes to China.  Where I was in the South East the pollution isn’t usually too bad compared with other areas like Beijing.

I still saw some bad pollution however.  For a few days in Zhaoqing, a city near Guangzhou, the visibility was under 1km for a few days.  The sky would be blue but you could hardly see the sun.   Most places you go there is always a constant haze and it very rare to see clear blue sky and clear mountain in the distance.

People from the western world give China a very hard time for this and a lot of blame is pointed.  I think this is very unfair.  In my opinion any person who buys cheap Chinese made goods cant point fingers.  And that is about 99 percent of people.  The western world makes things in China because its cheap and there’s not so many rules.  If we paid more for the products then they could afford to follow more pollution rules.  The rules are in place, small factories just cant afford to follow them in many cases.

 

This is a pretty normal day in Guangzhou. There’s a bit of smog. I saw much much worse than this i just cant find the pictures of it.

Sad To Leave

My time Working and Travelling in China was amazing.  I recommend it to everyone and I think its something we should all experience.  China is fast becoming the world leader and this country has so much to offer.  From incredible nature, to food  and technology and amazing people it has it all.  Outdoor instructing is a great way for people like me who are more adventures and don’t really want to teach English in the same city for a year.  China is slowly opening its boarders and its becoming much easier to Work and travel there.  

I can honestly say China is the first country I have been sad to leave and I will certainly be going back again. 

4 Comments

  1. Jorge says:

    Hi can I have the contact number where you volunteer? Tea picking with yun yun. Thanks!

    • Wildkiwi says:

      Hi I was working then. We would take kids to the tea farm for education. I don’t think they have volunteers sorry

  2. Richard says:

    Great to see some of China where our family was all those years ago, Eh Chris! Enjoying following your footsteps!

    • Wildkiwi says:

      Yes it was very interesting being there with that background. A few people knew of HA Giles and his system, Wade-Giles System. Now they use Pinyin for the simple Chinese. I actually had a lot of Chinese people seriously ask if I am from China, but that was from the name Long. A common Chinese name. People loved it. it means dragon. My Chinese name is “Long Gau Fei”. High Flying Dragon!! Haha!