This last week I started Business Chinese, the class of the summer which will last three weeks until the end of this program. I have a new teacher, and class for one less hour a day. It’s amazing how much nicer it is getting out of class after only three hours instead of four.
The week before, everyone had our week off. I traveled to Hong Kong to visit family. It was a really relaxing break and I really enjoyed seeing all my family again. We traveled around Hong Kong to places we usually go to, like the peak tram and Victoria harbor, as well as some new things like traveling to Macau for the day. I stayed in my aunt’s apartment, and got to eat amazing food every day. Hong Kong food is a little different than China’s and it much easier to order when my family can actually speak the language. We went street shopping too, another thing I really missed about Hong Kong. There are three famous street shopping streets, one of which is only open at night. The streets are lined with shop after shop, and there is a wide variety of things you can buy from purses, headphones, shoes, and random souvenirs. My week with family was really fun. It was really nice to see family from both Hong Kong and Wisconsin.
This past weekend I traveled to Hua Shan and Xi’an. I spent almost 24 hours in Hua Shan and even less time in Xi’an. Hua Shan is famous for its mountain, which is one of the most dangerous to climb in the world. My friend and I walked/climbed the whole way up, while most other people take the cable car to the first peak. It is about a 6km hike to the first peak (north peak), and even more to get to the others. We went to the south peak next, and from the south peak there is a path called “cliff hike.” This hike is crazy. You are attached to a rope with two clamp hooks and literally stand on wooden planks on the side of the mountain as well as climb almost vertically along metal poles. Once we got to the top, we took the cable car back down the mountain. We were so high over the mountains it was crazy. It seemed almost scarier on the cable car going down than walking down because it was so high.
After or 7 hours in the mountain, we headed to the train station to Xi’an. We arrived at our hostel and went to the bell tower and drum tower area of Xi’an. The buildings were lit up an really pretty at night. Nearby was the Muslim area of Xi’an. The streets were full of restaurants and shops. We got dinner and some yogurt for dessert which was really amazing.
In Xi’an, we stayed in a youth hostel, the same hostel my friends previously stayed to in. This hostel was really nice, and they even had a cat you could play with. It was a really friendly small kitten, and reminded me of my cats at home. The hostel also had a pool table, ping pong table, restaurant, and lobby area where many people hung out.
The next morning we woke up early and went to visit the terracotta warriors. There are three main pits there, the first one being the most famous. It was really cool to see this piece of history. In one of the shops, the farmer man who found the terracotta warrior area sat at a table and took pictures and signed autographs for money. He was much older than the picture of him on the wall, but it was pretty cool to see him in person.
My trip to Hong Kong, Hua Shan, and Xi’an were all amazing. My time here in China is running out, and I’m looking forward to whatever else I can experience while I’m here.