After our time in North Korea, myself and a few others from the tour group decided to spend the day in the Chinese city of Dandong before heading our separate ways. Dandong is a city which lies right on the border of North Korea, with the two countries being separated only by the Yalu river. This is the main draw of tourists to the city; to be able to catch a small glimpse into the hermit state. Our Chinese guide Michelle who accompanied us in North Korea offered to show us around Dandong and take us to a few sights-…View Post
Stories, tips and advice for visiting China.
I’ve been in China for the past 2 weeks in a place called Louguantai, just south west of Xi’an. I’d taken it upon myself to head to China through Real Gap to volunteer at a wildlife rescue and research centre called Louguantai Wild Animal Breeding and Protection Centre, in the Louguantai National Forest Park. During my time there, I was an assistant zoo keeper to giant pandas; feeding and cleaning their enclosures, and also helping the keepers with their English. I chose to volunteer with pandas specifically because they’re a very endangered species (only 1600 remain in the wild and 300 in captivity) and…View Post
Yesterday evening, we went off to explore more of the Lou Guan Tai National Forest Park, as the wildlife centre I’ve been volunteering at is situated inside it. We learned that the national park is a very important site for Taoists, as it was here where the founder of Taoism, Laozi, wrote the yin and yang philosophy. A large statue of Laozi can be found in the forest, as well as many temples and stone tablets dedicated to him and his work. The forest was stunning, with acres of lush greenery surrounding the temples, and we spent a good few…View Post
A fellow volunteer named Frank, who lives in the area, invited Meighan and I to visit an ancient town with him and his mother yesterday evening. He said that this place translates in English to “the water town” but its name is really only in Chinese, 水乡古镇. Google searches for this in the area do not bring anything up. Nonetheless, if you manage to find it, do have a look. I was not prepared for how spectacular it was going to be. The place felt so authentically Chinese, and gave me a real feel of the ancient Chinese culture and lifestyle; it was lots…View Post
During our volunteer project with pandas in Louguantai, we ventured back to the nearby city, Xi’an, at the weekends. In total, we spent 3 days exploring this fascinating city, which held a lot more history and culture than I expected. It seems that Xi’an is not particularly well known to much of the Western world, as tourists tend to head to Beijing or Shanghai; this is evident from the fact that all the locals wanted photos with us as they were shocked to see us there! Xi’an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, located in the northwest of China,…View Post