Inlägg

Hong Kong

Tina skrev precis om att vi var på Coloane, och jag tänkte ta upp vår resa till Hong Kong i helgen. Hong Kong ligger, om ni inte vet det, bara 45-60 minuter och 160 MOP (131 kr) ifrån Macau, vilket gör det till en väldigt bra dagstur, eller helgtur. På lördagsmorgonen gick vi upp och tog en färja vid ca 09.30 och var då i Hong Kong vid ca 10.30. Vi checkade in våra väskor på hotellet, och började röra oss mot Causeway bay, där vi visste att shoppingen var.

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Vi spenderade hela dagen i och runt Causeway Bay, och kom tillbaka till hotellet vid 22.00. Vi tog chansen att använda det gratis WIFI som hotellet hade, då internet i Macau är ganska dåligt, så vi Skype:ade med familj, innan vi gick och la oss.

På söndagsmorgonen gick vi upp tidigt, ett tips vi fått från en bekant, för att hinna före rushen upp till Victoria Peak, vilket är en utkiksplats där man kan se hela Hong Kong.

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När vi väll skulle åka ner med spårvagnen framkom det varför vi skulle upp tidigt, då det var lååååååååång kö för att ta sig upp till Victoria Peak. Efter vi hade kommit ner, tog vi oss till hotellet, sov en stund till, för att sen fortsätta shoppa. Vi var åter igen hemma p våra rum i Macau vid kl 22.00.

// Jacob

Coloane

För någon vecka sedan åkte vi till södra delen av Macao, Coloane.  Om ni hamnar i Macau i framtiden så rekommenderar jag verkligen att ni ska åka dit! Coloane är mycket lugnare, har inga kasinon och mer natur.

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Vårat första stopp var Lord Stow Bakery som är känd för att göra Macau’s bästa eggtarts. Eggtart är förövrigt den bakelsen man ska äta när man är i Macau. Gott var det också! :))

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Bageriet är så poppis att man får ta nummerlapp för att kunna gå in. Jag och Jacob var ju bara två så vi kunde snabbt klämmas in.

 

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Tempel!

 

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Vi beslöt oss för att gå runt Coloane och det var sjukt värt! Man fick se delar av Coloane man inte kunde se med buss. Exempelvis den här utsikten. Det här är en av två stränder i Coloane.

 

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Det finns också en vandringsled som vi gick…. lite på. Men nästa gång tänker vi gå hela!

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En strand. Synd att vattnet är så skitigt att man typ inte kan bada. Dock kan man hyra olika typer av små segelbåtar och annat roligt.

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Mat!

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Köpte en Brownie för 8 kronor som var handgjord. HAHA, låter helt fascinerande. Men i Sverige får man väl en halv brownie från lidl med massa konserveringsmedel.

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Sex ingredienser!! (haha fortfarande fascinerad av detta ;))

//Tina och Jacob

NTU Summer+ Program: Two-Day Field Trip! Part 3 (10th-11th August 2013)

Well, that last party was certainly a workout! Felt like I had ran a marathon the day after, so who needs a gym anyway?

Well it was a fresh new day, ready to go again for cultural exploration and enjoy some laughs/banter along the way. So first stop, the ’National Center of Traditonal Arts’, a diverse display of the different art influences that shape Taiwanese culture today, blending Japanese, Chinese, and local styles. From Cosplay in the streets, to a Chinese opera (where a tale similiar to ’Robin Hood’ was performed!), plus a long stretch of different shops with their own niches closely connected to Asian culture. So to start, enter Waterfront Boulevard and beyond!….

Now you might be thinking ’but what about all those shops you spoke of? you didn’t see it unlessed you snapped it!’ Well most of these shops had a strict policy of no photography inside, but at least you can see a taste of the scenery! (Except for Yoshi’s ’Big Brush’ photo…I mean, breaking the rules once isn’t too bad, just keep the ’flash’ off)

So after a lengthy yet fruitful tour of this area, next stop was the water park! However, no swimming took place to begin with, we had someting far more authentic to test first (and something which my ’Viking Longboat’ roots were calling me to)…..this being of course Dragonboating!

With an efficient (and passionate ’Spartan’ style team), we completed the route at great speed, with ourselves wondering where the time had gone. A super fun team activity that I would totally recommend to anyone, whether you’re thinking about doing it or not. After this consisted of some lazying/playing around in a water park, including myself injuring my foot (only Jeddy Yuan will know why 😉 ) In any case, we all had a great time, but found ourselves starving from our physical ordeals. So how should we dine on the way back? In style of course, at a classy Sashimi style restaurant!

These dishes and many more were served up to our respective tables with one/two dishes at a time, giving our palettes a rollercoaster ride of flavours from many different types of meats, vegetables and especially seafood. This routine was a relief to myself and others, since the first dish was finished in no more than 5 minutes, while we sat there wondering ’…is this it?’. So in the end, we filled our bellies plenty, concluding our activities in Yilan, and the Two-Day Field Trip, where we would head back on our coaches to our dorm buildings in the late evening.

I can rate this trip an absolute 10/10, full of great new experiences, food, places while being accompanied with some outstanding student advisors and many amazing friends which added an hugely positive atmosphere to the trip in general. So with this gratitude, I must sign off this post and can say the Field Trip is finished. Stay tuned in, and in the mean time, stay classy people!

Två första veckorna

Nu har allvaret satt igång och jag har nu studerat på universitetet i 2,5 vecka nu. Det är väldigt annorlunda än i på universitetet i Umeå, men det hade jag räknat med. Alla här är så hjälpsamma och vill verkligen alla studenters bästa. Det har varit väldigt enkelt att byta kurser hur man vill här vilket har underlättat för mig en hel del då jag bytt kurs 3 gånger eftersom kursbeskrivningen inte alltid har överensstämt med vad kurser handlar om. Det har varit väldigt enkelt att lämna tillbaka kursböcker vid byte att klasser så det har varit toppen också.

Jag och några av de internationella studenterna här har tagit chansen att åka med på utflykter med skolan äventyrscenter (Outdoor adventure center). Så förra helgen åkte vi till Yellowstone för att backpacka och tälta ute i naturen. Vi trodde att vi skulle ha en toalett i närheten men nej, det var verkligen utomhusliv som gällde. På informationsmötet fick vi informationen att det kanske skulle finnas ett utedass, annars var alternativet att göra nr 2 i en påse som man skulle bära med sig tillbaka?! eller gräva en grop i marken. Vi fick även veta att en björnattack hade inträffa i ungefär samma område som vår campingplats så vi fick instruktioner hur man ska agera vid en björnattack, vi fick björnspray som vi hade nära tillhands. Detta gjorde att de flesta var nervösa att sova utomhus i endast ett tält. Väl ute i skogen var jag lite besviken eftersom att skogen var väldigt lik den som finns i Sverige där vi backpackade i alla fall. Yellowstone har en massa unika sevärdheter som vi inte kunde se på denna trip, det blir nästa gång. och det tar endast 3 timmar att komma till naturreservatet. Väl framme på campingplasten behövde vi hänga upp all mat så björnen inte skulle kunna få tag i den. Dagen efter så vandrade vi upp på en utsiktsplats uppe på ett berg, så himla fint att se så långt och det kändes verkligen på i lungorna när man vandrade på 3000 meter över havet. På vår stig upp på berget mötte vi två Buffalos, de var ofantligt stora så vi försiktigt flyttade oss från stigen så de kunde passera. 
När vi kom tillbaka till vår campingplast så var det middag och då på andra sidan sjön ser vi något springa i hög hastighet i riktning mot vår campingplast. Med hjälp av en kamera med superbra zoom kunde vi urskilja att det var en grizzlybjörn som sprang där borta. Med alla knep vi lärt oss för att skrämma bort björnen så kom den aldrig till oss som tur var. Denna utflykt var på 3 dagar och en härlig upplevelse.
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Den andra utflykten var Snake River White Water Rafting som är forsränning. Denna gång hade vi tillgång till dusch och toalett men vi sov fortfarande i tält. Det blev två dagar som vi åkte nerför Snake river med båtarna. Det tog ungefär 4 timmar varje gång vi åkte. Stannade mitt i och åt lunch och tog det lugnt ett tag. På kvällen gick vi och badade i ”hot springs” vilket vi egentligen trodde var utomhus så det skulle vara lite läckert men tyvärr var det inomhus i små bås som såg rätt läskiga ut. Det var typ som ett stort badkar bara. Efter badet så gick vi förbi ett bröllop som var på campingen, alla hade cowboyhattar förutom bruden då. Det var en kul upplevelse att få se hur de kan fira bröllop i Idaho.

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Nu ska det inte bli några fler utomhusutflykter på ett tag, jag vill hellre åka till andra städer och uppleva mer utav Idaho. Det är så svårt att koncentrera sig på skolan när man har så mycket möjligheter att hitta på roliga saker, det är bara ta sig i kragen och göra det man ska för att sen ha kul.

En vecka på University of Saskatchewan!

Nu har en vecka gått av inspark (egentligen studier också)! Det har varit en hektisk men extremt rolig vecka! Vi internationella studenter har umgåtts mest varje kväll och utbudet av aktiviteter som skolan har planerat har varit stort!

För att sammanfatta Saskatoon och dess invånare så är minst 75 % av befolkningen uppväxta på en farm eller äger en farm. Jag drar till med en gissning nu men jag skulle tippa på att det är 80 % som kör monsterbilar här, det vill säga truckar. Dom kanadensare som jag har träffat hittills är otroligt vänliga och hjälpsamma. Handdukar, köksgrejer och snart även en TV har trillat in i lägenheten tack vare dessa! Behöver man skjuts någon stans ställer dom mer än gärna upp också! (kanske för att få en chans att visa upp sina vrålåk?)

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Alla kurser har startat och jag känner mig ganska förvirrad eftersom allt sker på en och samma gång, alla kurserna går alltså parallellt med varandra. Sitter nu och skriver in alla quiz, assignments, midterms och final exams i min almanacka och får en smula ont i magen. Men som sagt allt löser sig ju! Så här gäller det att hålla uppe tempot och att inför varje lektion läst på för när som helst kan man få ett pop quiz eller liknande! Just nu känner jag mig väldigt stressad och vet inte riktigt vad jag ska börja med, måste smälta all information först tror jag. Det är även en kurs som jag inte alls gillar så jag måste se om jag kan byta ut den mot något mer hälsosamt som inte innehåller fem individuella inlämningar, ett forskningsprojekt i grupp, nått som kallas Friday Speaker Series som sedan ska sammanfattas i ytterligare någon inlämningsuppgift, 4 pop quizes, midterm exam and final exam (Känns som att bara den kursen kommer ta upp hela mitt liv, det där ska då alltså motsvara endast 6hp).

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På måndag kväll kommer jag tillsammans med 4499 andra studenter bli upplockade med buss utanför campus och vi åker mot hemlig destination för den troligtvis största utomhusfesten för i år! Något att se fram emot!! Kan behöva det efter mina två senaste mindre roliga dagar med felinköpt kurslitteratur, lunch 16.30, brandlarmet gick, det blev stopp i toaletten (dock fick jag och Therese oss ett gott skratt då) samt trasig spis! Thereses musplatta på datorn slutade fungera också men vi hittade sedan ett student-id som vi lämnade in på skolan och hoppas nu på att vi ligger plus på karmakontot så att vi börjar få lite tur!

 

//Amanda

Daytrip to Jasper Nationalpark

 

Last weekend almost all the exchange students here rented a car and went on a trip to the national park nearby. Or nearby… 4 hours of driving but still pretty close. Jasper national park!

 

We were 4 cars to begin with but after some racing on the highway the other 3 cars stopped for lunch and we continued on our adventure in to the national park. Jasper was beautiful and we saw a lot of nice places. Actually it was quite similar to Sweden except for other animals and higher mountains. Our friend Helga from Iceland even saw a grizzly bear from the car!!!

 

Over all it was a very nice trip and the nature was beautiful, would be nice to do a weekend trip up there when the snow comes.

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Streets in Macau

 

Mondays will not be my favourite days of the week. I was waking up at 7 a.m. to go to the university and I returned back home as late as now at 10 p.m. It was difficult to create a schedule but on the other hand, I have free Fridays and Saturdays. Chinese students usually go to study on Saturdays, some internationals as well. I will have time for travelling/ partying.

 

Anyway, to forget my long day, I returning to nicer moments, specifically to the last week and our exploring Macau. Macau is not a large Chinese region with just 29.5 km2. We managed to discover all its three islands within the last week. Our campus lies on the central Taipa island where are also situated three out of four most important Macau casinos.

 

Venetian

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Galaxy

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City of dreams

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It looks here exactly like how I imagine Las Vegas. Everything is blinking at night. Very expensive cars are passing and people are gambling or just having fun. The only one thing which doesn’t fit to my image of Vegas is that here are almost no drunk people (just international students). Apparently, Chinese people can enjoy themselves without alcohol.

Besides casinos, here is a small city centre with some shops, supermarkets, restaurants and also a park Taipa Grande with a mountain and a nice view. Actually, I haven’t climbed it yet. It is still pretty hot here for climbing but we have a lot of time to go there. That is all for our island. Everything here is close to our campus so we can walk easily. If we are lazy, we can take a bus which is very cheap 2,5 MOP only (0,25 EUR; 6 CZK).

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A bus can take us also to the main island Macau. If we want to save 2,5 MOP even though I think it is not necessary, we can take free casino buses which connect all important casinos, ferry terminal and the airport. The city has been growing very quickly. As a result, the city decided to start constructing an underground which is going to be completed next year. For now, we go to Macau by bus  over a bridge 4,4 km long.

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Macau island is very different to Taipa island. There are really a lot of skyscrapers.

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The flats look so small from outside and who knows why, the windows and balconies are caged. I would really like to see how the flats look inside.

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If you just randomly walk in the streets, you can see various shops, local crazy fast foods (I will get back to them in one of my next posts), or service providers like a hairdresser below.

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Among skyscrapers, you can see also Portugese architecture.

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After our random walk and a small lunch, we decided to take a map and find some touristic places. We came to the main square.

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There were also ruins of an old St. Paul’s church which is really astonished by Chinese visitors. It looks the same as all churches we have in Europe but apparently, here it is something unique.

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I met some people who were interested in taking a picture with me because I am European but I am not the most favourite person here. One of my friends is 2 metres tall, has blond hair and blue eyes. That’s something Chinese people really can’t miss. Here is one of the pictures in front of the old St. Paul’s church.

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Afterwards, we visited the Macau castle where you can have a nice view of the city

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A green fly really wnated to be in the picture

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or Grand Lisboa casino, the last of the fourth most important casinos in the city.

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As weather was still very favourable, we decided to have even better view and went to visit the Macau tower. Image

Here are some views from the tower:

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Besides a view, you can also experience something more crazy. Here is the longest bungee jumping in the world  longer than 200 metres or have a skywalk in the altitude 300 m. Unfortunatelly, it was expensive like hell so we returned back home.

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Last weekend brought sunny and hot weather so we decided to check the last island with beaches. According to my tourist guide, the beaches were even supposed to be clean so I really looked forward. This island is least densely populated. Here are a lot of hiking tracks and an old Portugese village. The bus left us in the village which looked really similar to European southern villages and we followed a small road leading to the beach. However, there was a police barrier after a few metres so we wanted to get back. We turned around but some local people jumped over the barrier and continued walking so we decided to follow them. After next kilometre, we recognised why the barriers. Strong rains in the last days resulted in a landslide. I am glad we weren’t walking there in that moment.

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After next several minutes, we reached the first small beach.

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There was almost nobody and it looked cosy even though water was still not so clean, but much better than in Macau. You can’t see your navel if you are in the water but at least this water doesn’t look dangerous. I was scared the temperature will be like in Dubai but it is pretty ok. I would guess 28C. It is not refreshing but also not hot.

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A lifeguard watched us.

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After a swim, we continued to the second beach which is connected to the first one by a nice walk on the rock coast.

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The second beach is much bigger but not so cosy. There is much more people and strange black sand. The advantage of this beach is a barbecue place here, but about that next time.

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That’s enough about Macau for the beginning. I think it is still a lot to see here. We missed a lot of places here. I am curious what it will show us next time.

 

Hello from Shanghai!

Hi! I’m Moa and I’m a student at International Business Program at Umeå University. I’m blogging from Shanghai, China where I am doing an exchange semester at Fudan University’s International MBA program.

When I arrived at my hostel by the Bund in Shanghai, I couldn’t decide what to do first: eat, sleep, shower or cry. I had been traveling for almost 24 hours, hadn’t eaten for the past 12 and just been totally screwed over by a taxi company at the airport. When I finally decided to get food, nobody would serve the foreigner and I felt like turning around and go back to Sweden. I had to read the note hidden in the fortune cookie I received in Stockholm “do not lose heart, things will improve within a month”

Fortunately, things improved within an hour. I bumped into the some of the other students from Umeå University and some other equally confused students staying at the hostel. The most commonly use word among us this past week has been “weird”. Although many of us have previous experiences of Asia I don’t think any of us could imagine any of the bizarre situations we’ve been in since we got here. But we love weird, and we love Shanghai! Here are some of the reasons why..

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The view from our hostel, the Captain Hostel…
At night you can get spicy bbq skewers for 2 RMB (2.16 SEK)..
At night you can get spicy bbq skewers for 2 RMB (2.16 SEK)..

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IMG_1064Every wednesday, there’s ladies night at the bar on the 92nd floor of the World Financial Center. This means free entrance and free-flowing champagne for all the ladies while the men has to pay quite expensive prices for their drinks. It’s the one day of the week where men gets to taste the bitterness of gender inequality.

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My first day of school is tomorrow, but I’ve already visited campus twice. We had an orientation day with a dinner gala on thursday where we got together with our chinese buddies, and on friday we all went through a very complicated registration process. Fudan University is quite highly ranked in China, but the quality of the campus buildings vary a lot. In some buildings parts of the walls fall off due to damp, and windows are broken while other buildings (like School of Management, which I’ll be in) are really nice and has free coffee! The surroundings are really nice though, as it consists of beautiful gardens where cats run around and it’s probably the only ”quiet” place in Shanghai where you can walk around without honking cars threatening to run over you.

I’ll keep you posted..

First post from MacEwan University, Edmonton

Hi everyone. :):):):)

So, this is our first post and we thought that maybe we should tell a little bit about us. We are two Swedish girls, Sara and Alexandra and we are both students at Umea University, we study in the same class which is business and economics at Handelshögskolan. When we made the application for our studies abroad we didn’t know that we were applying for the same university so it was quite a chock for both of us when we realized that we were going to the same university. Since we live together in Umea we thought it would be very easy to live with each other here as well because of how simple it gets with the food and all other practical things.

Before we went to Edmonton we stayed a few days in New York and explored Manhattan. The city was lovely and the weather as well, but many days in the smallest hotel room ever made us looking forward to get to Edmonton even more.

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We arrived in Edmonton after 14 hours of travelling and we were so exhausted. The day of our arrival was the move-in day for the residence (which we are staying at) so we jumped in line for taking picture for the residence id (did not turn out good since all the travelling, ha-ha), information about living at the residence and signing all the paperwork that were needed to stay here. Even though we were so tired it was very nice to arrive at the move-in day because there was a lot of people everywhere who were really friendly and also a lot of music outside of the residence so we felt very welcome! Kind of the same thing you see in a typical American movie when they arrive to the university/college 🙂

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There are about 800 students who lives at the MacEwan Residence and it is right next to the school so we don’t need to walk far at all to get inside the university which is very comfortable, and also we’ve been told that it is quite necessary to live near the school in the winter because the winter is crazy here. But we’ll see about that, we do have tough winter back home as well!

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So, we arrived one week before the school started and the entire week there was a student orientation with a lot of events. We started up by meeting all the other exchange students. Not so many though, there is only 32 of us and that is not a lot if you compare it to Umea University. This is because the MacEwan University is a very young university and has only been taking in exchange students for seven years.

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Other activities during the orientation week was play fair, kind of a get to know everyone event where you jump around and do weird things and try to remember everyone’s names, amazing race (scavenger hunt), free cinema, the almost mandatory IKEA-trip, visited a pub nearby and went to the mall that Edmonton is well known for. The largest mall in North America and the 10th largest in the world. Still impressive since they have both a waterpark, ice-skating area and an amusement park inside the mall.

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NTU Summer+ Program: The Two-Day Field Trip! Part 1 (10th-11th August 2013)

Howdy everyone!

The opening week of the summer program was nothing short of intense, with Chinese lessons proving to be quite a challenge, but fun/interesting at the same time, with two very kind and patient teachers or ’laoshi’, one for speaking and listening, with the other focusing more on vocabulary, writing and reading Chinese. Two amazing people who helped throughout, helping me to survive in Taipei where English doesn’t really cut it most of the time!

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(My Chinese teachers, Lin Laoshi and Hen Laoshi….oh, and Ryosuke, fellow student!)

Anyway, moving on to the topic of the blog entry, our first weekend would serve up an amazing trip to the area outside of Taipei called Yilan, which was anything but like the busy and metropolitan city of Taipei, instead one’s eyes could feast upon beautiful countryside as well as many interesting stops to make up an action-packed schedule. Our first stop was LanYang(蘭陽) Museum, a place which put on display the history and cultural origins of Taiwan and the Yilan area, especially the shaping of the geography! Was of course a great opportunity to get into tourist mode and get some snaps!

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(A model of Yilan Landscape, inside the Museum)

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(…..and a small taste of the landscape in the flesh)

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(….Oh, and a mandatory pose picture will fellow compatriots Jeddy Yuan and Yoshinori Goto)

Followed by this fascinating place, with perfect sunny skies to compliment the day, we moved on to the Suao Baimi Clog Village, proving that the Dutch are not the only ones who can make some works of art out of wooden footwear!

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Our meal of the day was the well reknowned ’Volcano Chicken’, said to be special due to the fact that local farmers breed and raise these chickens within the steep depths of a volcano in the local area which, according to experts, is still alive……..

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Just kidding, can’t say I remember the reason behind the name, but it tastes amazing anyway, an opinion shared by these happy chappys!

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That concludes part 1 of this elaborate field trip, questions to be answered in the next installment: Where did we stay? And the evening plans? All will be known soon, so stay tuned! 🙂