Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Hong Kong: Big Buddha

Since I get to go to Hong Kong a lot, I try and space out my tourist-y visits over the course of each time I go. Sometimes I go to buy Western clothes or food, and sometimes, I just need a break from the mainland. But, one time in December, I went to see Big Buddha.

Y'all. He was so cool. You have to take a cable car called Ngong Ping 360 to get to Ngong Ping village and then walk from there and you have the option of a glass bottomed cable car {highly recommend}. It's a cute little touristy "town" with all kinds of things to buy (including Starbucks and Subway) and it's about a 5-10 minute walk to Buddha.

There is also a monastery nearby that will sell you lunch.

Enjoy!









Sunday, March 01, 2015

Guangzhou

In my excitement to post about places like Hong Kong and Qingyuan, I've been remiss in not telling you about the city I live in. Guangzhou is a big, bustling city that reminds me a lot of Houston. It has the same weather, the same types of sprawl, and is serious about it's ice {hallelujah, ice water is not a weird thing here}.

On the other hand, it's crowded. So many people everywhere, all the time. I went to my favorite hot pot restaurant on a Sunday night at 9pm. 2 hour wait. WHAT?! Who are all these people and why aren't they in bed?

Seriously though, this city has a lot to offer. It's the unique position of sharing a border with "the West." During the Boxer Rebellion and Cultural Revolution, many people escaped through Canton {Guangzhou/Guandong} to Hong Kong. Many people here speak at least 3 languages: Mandarin, Cantonese and English. The local food is what you might expect if you've only ever had Americanized Chinese food: sweet and sour pork or chicken, steamed vegetables, dumplings, egg drop soup, etc. I personally prefer 北京菜 or 四川菜 {Beijing or Sichuan food} but it's fun to have super easily available dim sum that is also reliably delicious.

One of the most iconic structures in GZ is the Canton TV Tower. It lights up like a rainbow at night, and can be seen almost anywhere in the city. I happen to live very close to it and the city center, so there is a lot for me to see an do.

Enjoy some pictures of my city. Despite how big it is, there are plenty of scenic spots, parks, and pagodas!

{The Guangzhou Tower viewed from a busy market}

{Pearl River New Town on a blue sky day}




















{Chigang Pagoda. I see this everyday when I bike to work}.



















What do you love about where you live?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hong Kong

One of the reasons I chose to re-locate to Guangzhou is because of the proximity to both Hong Kong and other Southeast Asian countries. I'll get to see parts of the world which were difficult for me to see when I was in Tianjin.

I'll be honest: I'm not really a fan of Guangzhou. It's bigger and busier than Tianjin and I feel like I have NO personal space. Despite my loathing of big and busy cities {and I moved to China? I know}, Hong Kong is one of my very favorite places. The character just oozes out of every building there. It truly is east meets west, and I think, what most westerners first picture when they think of "what China is."

I went for the first time with my friend Olivia, from Tianjin. It was wonderful. Western manners, lots of English, and Chinese food. I had a fantastic time and have already been back several times.

Some highlights from my first three trips: Victoria Peak {gorgeous}, Disneyland, a ropes course, the JCC, and shopping. Lots of shopping. Y'all, I can't get enough of this place.









What are your favorite places?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Qingyuan

One of the nice things about working for a big company is that from time to time we get to do fun things as a "team building" project. Although I disagree on what they call "team-building" over here {sometimes, that just means dinner}, our trips are often pretty fun.

Last September {has it really been that long since I've been? Yikes!} we took a center-wide {my work location is called a "center"} trip to go "rafting." Well, it wasn't really rafting {no steering or paddle required}, but it WAS a lot of fun. Each person got into a "raft" with a partner, and you spent the next hour going down what is essentially a big water slide. The water was cool/cold, and surprisingly clean. I'm skeptical about the usefulness of the "safety equipment," {a dubious helmet and pfd combo}, but it was definitely a good time. 






As a bonus, we got to eat a catered lunch on a river boat on the way to the rafting spot. The whole thing was reminiscent of Schlitterbahn {oh, I miss Texas}, and makes me want to be in the Hill Country again. 





In October I returned to the same county to help lead adventure trips. The scenery is just beautiful, and it was so nice to be camping and biking again. It makes me crave more outdoor adventures! I have some plans in the works for Spring Festival (February) and also Christmas in the US. Whoop!

What adventures have you been on lately?