Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Chinese Friends from Work, Some Travel Advise

Lately, I have been making friends with some coworkers of mine who are from China. They have been so wonderful to talk to and hang out with, and they have given me some great advise on in country travel that I would never have gotten anywhere else.

We were all hanging out on Sunday night, chatting and having a snack, and I realized that I hadn't told them I would be leaving work soon. When I told them about when I was leaving, I became unexpectedly sad! I hadn't thought about how we might not see each other again for a long time. So if any of you guys are reading this, 離開了科學館以後會很想念你們!你們給我的建議真幫我很大的忙!我們保持聯絡吧!

If you are reading this as a flagship student, I would really recommend that you get in touch with the Chinese community at your work. It is a wonderful opportunity to use your language skills in real life situations, and your coworkers or people that you help there will be so impressed and glad that you can use their native language. I have had the opportunity to practice Chinese at two of my jobs since I started studying, and I really think that part of the reason why my Chinese progressed as fast as it did.

Additionally, here are some tips from my friends for getting to and around China:

-Beijing and Hong Kong airports are the largest international airports in the country.
-Fly into either of these, at which time you can catch a domestic flight to the city of your choice.
-Domestic flights should only be about 400 RMB (~$70!!)
-Check both Chinese and English language websites for prices. I have a suspicion that Chinese language ones will be less expensive. I was recommended this website: 携程旅行網
-When you book your flight, book a hotel for a night or two as well. These should also run about 400RMB. There WILL be less expensive options, but these will come with less amenities. Go for the mid range one.
-Make sure that you know the address of the place you are staying at. Have a printout with the address, and hand it to the driver.
-You will want to google the distance between the airport and your hotel. Look up local taxi fares, and do the math. Know what to expect regarding prices, so you don't get tricked.
-You might consider getting in touch with a Chinese travel agent when you are still in the US. They can help you navigate all of your options, and some even have some connections, useful if you (heaven forbid) run into some trouble.

Hope this helps! And thanks for everything CAS Friends!