Where Will My Weekends Take Me?

If you've read my latest post Travelled So Far, you'll know where I've been. Now it's a matter of where I'll go. I don't mean career wise, just travel. The employment post will be coming though so keep your eyes peeled.

So. What travel time do I have left? Well I have 2 long weekends, regular weekends (if I can make it happen) and of course the summer after work. Let's start with the weekends.

My travel experience so far has taught me that for weekend trips, you really shouldn't try and cram in too much stuff or travel too far. Travelling too far takes up a lot of the time and doing too much stuff will just be exhausting. So, I think it's best to choose places which are close and can easily be done in a weekend (unlike Beijing or Shanghai). I have some ideas. I don't know what order they'll come in but hopefully I'll get round to them all.

The first place is Huangshan (Yellow Mountains).

Photo by All Roads Travelled

Huangshan is situated fairly close to Shanghai. I've found a trip on Meet Up which sounds great. It doesn't fall on a long weekend but that doesn't really matter to me. In the itinerary it says that they'll be hiking up the mountain (or you can get a cable car half way and walk the rest), take incredible photos, stay on the mountain tops, wake up early to see the sun rise and then return down. It's not an easy hike (and I'm not exactly fit) but it just looks so fantastic that I'm willing to try. Check out some of the google images, it's beautiful and I really would love to go there (even if it does mean sweating my arse off). Find out more about Huangshan here.

The second place is Jeju island.

Photo by buildingSMART
Jeju is a volcanic island in South Korea. It's about an hour and a half flight from Shanghai, so really close and accessible. The pictures of Jeju look incredible (click here to see) and there's plenty to do. It's definitely an outdoorsy place with plenty of walks and beautiful scenery. It's not called the Hawaii of South Korea for nothing. It's volcano and famous lava tubes are a world heritage site, but Jeju has a lot more to offer than just scenery. It has an interesting fishing history. Fishing was of course a male dominated industry up until the 17th century, where Haenyeo (sea women) were discovered in Jeju. In Jeju, sea diving was a female-dominated industry and women often replaced their husbands as the main breadwinner. The Haenyeo were described as women with 'independent spirit, iron will and determination'. I would love to go to Jeju and learn more about their history and how this flip of women as primary labourers has influenced their culture. I'd like to go on our second long weekend, the dragon boat festival, when the weather will be better.

There's a great looking trip with Meet Up to Suichang.

Photo by China Scenic
Suichang is in Zhejiang province right next to Shanghai. The trip is two nights on the May Day long weekend. On this trip I'll get to: walk through tea fields (and hopefully pick some tea), hike through the green valleys (rice fields), hike up Qianfo mountain, go river rafting and hike through a bamboo forrest. The travel company will also arrange a hotel, our meals, they will guide us around and organise bonfire parties in the evening. Sounds like a great weekend to me! I'm really excited for it and I really hope I can go. If you want to know more about the trip, click here.

There's also Hangzhou.

Photo by China Highlights
I've been speaking to a lot of Chinese people that I work with and everyone tells me that I HAVE TO visit Hangzhou. Lots of people that I know visit there quite often, telling me how beautiful it is. I don't think I want to go there for a long weekend though. I've been looking at it online and nothing really appeals to me there. There doesn't seem too much to do, however, there is a beautiful lake, a tea village and the old street. So, I suppose I would like to go just to see what it's like and if the beauty does match the hype. Maybe I'll squeeze it into a normal weekend if time (and money) allows.

Anyway, I think that's about it. I don't really have the time or money to be travelling anywhere else on my weekends. I'm going to be trying to save for after my contract ends. That'll be my next post by the way, where I'll be heading in June! I hope you've enjoyed reading this post and I hope it's given you some ideas about where you might want to travel to for a weekend in China. 
As always, lots of love and good luck to you all!



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