china, Travel, Uncategorized

My favorite Chinese cities

Slovenska verzija: klik.

Qingdao: I visited it in 2013, right after I finished my summer job in small Chinese town (Longlin, more below). Longlin was hot and humid, in subtropical China and the sea in Qingdao was just exactly what I needed at that time. I went to swim and I became an attraction which I didn’t want; strangers were taking photos of me while I was entering the sea. While I was swimming, people were impressed I don’t need any sort of equipment for keeping my head above the water. Anyway, the climate was perfect and I walked through the city so much that my new shoes turned their shape to the shoes of a pilgrim.

Qingdao

Suzhou: I visited Suzhou two times, first time in 2013 and second time in 2017. It is really convenient for everyone who stays in Shanghai to make a day or weekend trip to this cute Chinese city. I liked its old part and their water canals. It is really inspiring place and if you listen well, the streets have many stories to tell. It is a must for all artistic souls, especially for writers, poets and painters. I would highly recommend to everyone to visit classical gardens and take a ride on a small boat along the canals.

On the boat
On the boat
View from the boat
View from the boat

Shanghai: To be honest- I have a love-hate relationship with this massive Chinese city. I lived there for a couple of months but until now I couldn’t made one side decision whether I like it or not. I was able to get everything what I needed on daily basis in Europe (for example cheese, milk and other things like liquid soap, English books etc)- things which are still rare in other Chinese cities). Shanghai is a diverse combination of old and new China and a perfect city for everyone who visits China for the first time.

Shanghai
Shanghai
Hidden street in Shanghai
Hidden street in Shanghai

Longlin: it is a town where I spent one of the most unique summers I ever had. I travelled there alone and I came to the place where I knew no one. I coordinated everything via emails and I am still glad we trusted each other on distance. When I arrived to Longlin I knew immediately people there are warmhearted and welcomed and they accepted me as we were friends from the childhood. I was teaching English language at private school and at the same time they showed me colorful China which not many foreigners have a chance to see. Longlin gave me so many stories and transformed my personality a lot. I was far away from the person who would like to travel alone, but my wish to live in an unknown Chinese town was so big that I overcame that fear and found out solo travel can teach you much about yourself.

Longlin
Longlin

Hangzhou: I visited Hangzhou two times, but first time it was in 2013 and I didn’t feel it so special. I walked around the lake and old part, but except little forest next to the lake, nothing made big impression on me. All fame and beauty which everybody was talking about just didn’t come to my heart and eyes. When I went there second time in 2017, I had not expected anything special again, I just wanted to show it to my boyfriend and it was a doable weekend trip from Shanghai. We came there by bullet train but immediately when I stepped off the train I felt something completely different than last time. We stayed in the best hostel I ever been and at that time I really needed peace from vibrant and noisy Shanghai.

Peace in Hangzhou

Shenyang: Shenyang is not the first city people usually choose to visit in China, but it will always stay a number one Chinese city for me. It was a city where I studied Chinese language in 2007; it was the first Chinese city I lived in. It is super cold in the winter (up to minus 25’C), but people are warmhearted and ready to help. You can still buy things for much lower price than in other more touristic Chinese cities and you can still enjoy some very authentic experiences, which are already gone in other part of the China (for example a ride in a small red car). When my daughter will be big enough, I will definitely bring her there; Shenyang is the place where I spent my best student times in 2007 and ten years later the nostalgic memories combined with complete new experience; i found out that life is giving me a new role- I discovered I was becoming mom. 🙂

Shanghai Normal University
Shenyang Normal University
Shenyang train station

Kitajska, Organizacija, Potovanje

Moja najljubša kitajska mesta

English version: click.

Qingdao: mesto in prijateljico, ki je bivala tam, sem obiskala leta 2013, ko sem po nekajmesečnem bivanju in poučevanju na skrajnem jugu Kitajske, nujno potrebovala osvežitev. Tisto poletje sem živela v subtropskem podnebju in osvežitev v obmorskem kraju Qingdao je bila kar super. Neprijetno je bilo edino to, da so me mimoidoči začudeno gledali, ko sem se podala v morje in nekateri so me neočitno tudi slikali. Večina Kitajcev namreč ne zna plavati in zato so bili kar osupli, ko so videli, da lahko plavam brez plavalnega obroča ali kakšnih drugih pripomočkov, s katerimi si ponavadi pomagajo pri lebdenju nad vodo. Po plavalski izkušnji sem se odločila, da kopalke raje pospravim in sem se na ogled mesta podala peš. Prehodila sem ga toliko, da so mi čevlji popolnoma razpadli in sem si morala deliti taksi s popolnimi neznanci, da sem lahko prišla do stanovanja.

Qingdao

Suzhou: sem do sedaj obiskala dvakrat. Prvič leta 2013 in drugič 2017. Mesto je dokaj blizu Šanghaja in priporočam obisk vsakemu, ki se nahaja v njegovi bližini. Nekako se mi zdi mesto polno navdiha, s svojimi malimi kanali in starimi uličicami ter hišami je pravi raj za vse umetniške duše. Zelo romantična je bila tudi vožnja z malim lesenim čolnom, ki ga je poganjal star možak in zraven prepeval izjemno lepe stare kitajske pesmi.

On the boat
Na čolničku
View from the boat
Razgled s čolna

Šanghaj: po pravici povedano- nisem prepričana, ali imam mesto rada ali ne. Tujcu nudi vse dobrine zahodnega sveta (fitnes, mleko in mlečni izdelki, tuja literatura; vse,kar se v večini ostalih kitajskih mest še vedno težko dobi). Ampak hkrati je mesto tako hrupno in nagneteno, da mislim, da več kot par mesecev res ne bi zdržala tam. Vsekakor pa je odlično mesto za vse tujce, ki Kitajsko obiskujejo prvič, saj je v njem še vedno vidna mešanica med staro in moderno Kitajsko.

Shanghai
Shanghai
Hidden street in Shanghai
Mala skrita ulica v Šanghaju

Longlin: je najmanjši kitajski kraj, v katerem sem živela. Kitajci ga pravzaprav ne štejejo niti pod mesto, ampak se jim zdi vas. Po velikosti in številu prebivalcev si je podobno s Celjem. Je mesto, kamor sem prvič odpotovala povsem sama. Vso komunikacijo sem s predstavniki šole opravila preko spleta in nikogar ob svojem prihodu nisem poznala osebno. Na srečo se je izkazalo, da so ljudje res dobrosrčni in vredni zaupanja. Mestece je res barvito čudovito in le malo tujcev ga je obiskalo. Longlin me je navdihnil za mnogo zgodb in mojo osebnost izoblikoval karakteristike, ki si jih pred to izkušnjo nisem znala predstavljati, da bi bile del mojega značaja.

Longlin
Longlin

Hangzhou: tudi Hangzhou sem obiskala dvakrat, a se mi prvič ni zdelo nič posebnega. Glomazno mesto z velikim jezerom in ogromno gnečo. Kot milijonkrat povečan Bled. Prvič sem tam ostala nekaj dni, toliko, da sem se v natikačih sprehodila okrog jezera (trajalo je več ur), a me nekako vseeno ni navdušilo. Bilo je vroče in ves čas je bila v zraku ogromna količina vlage. Tudi ko sem drugič odhajala v to mesto, nisem pričakovala ničesar. Pokazati sem ga želela svojemu fantu, saj je tudi Hangzhou primeren za vikend izlet za vse tiste, ki živijo v Šanghaju. Odpeljala sva se s hitrim vlakom, a takoj, ko sva stopila z vagona v mesto se mi je zazdelo vse drugače. Niti približno si nisem predstavljala, da bom v Hangzhouu našla mir in tišino- morda je k temu botrovala tudi lokacija najinega hostla, ki je še vedno na prvem mestu mojih najljubših hostlov (Fiona’s).

Mir v Hangzhouu

Shenyang: mesto, ki prav gotovo ni prva izbira tujcev, ki si želijo prvič ogledati Kitajsko. A povsem po krivici. V Shenyangu še vedno lahko najdete marsikaj, kar je v drugih velikih kitajskih mestih že povsem izginilo- ogromne notranje tržnice, možnost vožnje z malimi rdečimi vozili, tržnice na prostem itd. Mesto se nahaja na severu, v provinci Liaoning in pozimi je tam čez dan okrog -25’C. Sibirija je seveda povsem zraven. Kljub temu Shenyang ostaja na prvem mestu mojih najljubših kitajskih mest. Je prvo mesto, v katerem sem živela in študirala leta 2007. Deset let kasneje sem ga zopet obiskala. Nostalgično obujanje spominov na študentske čase pa se je premešalo s povsem novo izkušnjo. Deset let po prvem obisku Kitajske sem ugotovila, da me v življenju čaka nova vloga- vloga mame.

 

Shanghai Normal University
Shenyang Normal University
Železniška postaja v Shenyangu