My experience in China has been an amazing one. It was filled with lots of exciting moments, a few interesting discoveries, maybe a challenge or two, but lots of lasting memories that will last a lifetime.
From the time we landed in Nanjing, i could sense that this is a different atmosphere with people from different cultures. The very first thing i noticed at the airport was residents wearing masks on their faces similar to what we see dentists wear when they walk in to do a procedure in our mouth at the dental office. It was initially shocking but then i learnt that they do that to protect themselves from any possible virusus in the air/environment. Lots of other chinese residents do not wear it however. As we arrived in Nanjing, i saw lots of people on electric bikes and mopeds, including small children on the front and back of these electric bikes. That too was astonishing especially since in the United States, such act constitutes a hefty fine :). I loved how freely the people moved almost as if the citizens have no worries or concerns.
Then there was the experience of language, where it became apparent very quickly that English is not the main language spoken and that in order to communicate efficiently, one might need to learn Cantonese. We had tour guides/volunteers that assisted with translation when needed, and they were very helpful. I for one, mastered the art of sign language and used it to the fullest. Despite the fact that cantonese is the main language spoken, the chinese people make every attempt to help you understand what they are trying to communicate.
None of these creates a better experience than that experienced during meal times. The cuisine consists mostly of the Sichuan, Cantonese and Hunan cuisines. Now, there are American cuisines if anyone wants to partake, but to be fully immersed in the chinese culture, one must try their cuisines. I definitely tried a few foods for the first time and it tasted very delicious. Dumplings and watermelon seem to be one of the favorite foods as it was commonly served. I also seldomly visited the ‘market’ and will try other foods there as well.
The chinese people and culture is so welcoming that if you have an open mind and willing to immerse yourself into their culture, you will have no choice but to really thoroughly enjoy yourself.
During our visit to China, we stayed in the city of Nanjing. Prior to the visit, little did i know of the city other than that it was home to some very good universities including the Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications (NUPT). When you think or hear of china, the cities you hear of mostly are Beijing (Great Wall) and Shanghai (the worlds largest city).
Nanjing happens to be the capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province. It was the national capital during part of the Ming Dynasty. It still houses many monuments including the city wall and the gate of China. This predates back to the 14th century section of the massive wall that contained the city’s entrance. This city wall is a ‘must-see’ if one visits china or Nanjing. Even though it cannot be compared to the great wall in Beijing, it runs for about 13 miles (initially 22 miles) and even though it was built over 600 years ago, it is still kept in very good condition with original inscriptions on the wall.
Some of the great places to visit in Nanjing are ; ‘Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum’, which is the tomb to one of the modern founders of china. ‘Xuanwu lake’, which is a beautiful lake that connects two islands with nice restaurants. ‘Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum’, which is a massive tomb that was built back in 1405 for the emperor at the time. It contains many pathways and statues. The city wall of course, which was mentioned earlier, the ‘Confucius temple’ and last but not the least, the Nanjing Museum.
This city is saturated with great historical artifacts, beautiful lakes and of course, its residents.
Prior to coming to China, I have heard of the great city of Chang Zhou for its great history and wonderful artifacts, one of which was evident during our 1st visit/tour to the city. We visited YanCheng ChunQiu Land, which is one of the great theme parks in the Jiangsu province. It is the ruins of the ancient ground city, which consist of three towns and three rivers. From its quiet ancient forest to its luxuriant bamboo trees, it is known for its uniqueness both locally and globally. The name of the theme park simply means ‘Fairyland’.
A little history about this great YanCheng ChunQin Land is that it predates from an old culture of prekin to the early Han dynasty. It is known for its 12 school of thoughts, which are; Agriculturists, Taoists, Mohits, Electics, Medical Scientist, Legalist, Logicans, Novelists, Military Strategists, Political Strategists, Confucianists and Novelists.
Speaking to one of the tour guides, one of the main goals of the theme park is to provide a great tourist experience, which in my opinion was certainly achieved. The visit was on Friday June 1, 2018. This day happened to also be ‘Childrens day’ in China. This is a day that is observed annually to celebrate their children. Schools will organize trips, events or plays to showcase the skills of their children. It just so happens that we went to that theme park on that same day. There were lots of school children around playing around the theme park. They were very friendly and courteous and asked to take photos with us as they were very welcoming of visitors.
As a first impression to a country and a first visit to the continent of Asia, this speaks volumes to a culture and society that is very welcoming of visitors, as it is apparent not only in their youths but in the adults as well.