Travelling for National Week: Sinead O’Connor, China – October 2016

每年十月從一號到七號, 為了紀念中華人民共和國的建立, 全中國都連續放7天的假, 這叫做國慶節. 對大多數的上班族而言, 這是全年兩次回家的機會之一 (另外就是春節). 當作留學生, 我跟一些同學決定去中國的西南邊, 享受了不一樣的風景, 同時也學了些新詞…
重慶是中國四個中央直轄市之一, 也曾經當過國民黨的首都. 我們去重慶前,對它的理解只包括這兩個事實, 但是到那邊之後才發現這個城市很有趣!在兩天以內, 我們坐 (站)了索道, 爬了山, 逛了洪漄洞, 但是最重要是吃的! 重慶的小面, 燒烤還有當然它有名的火鍋給我們留下了非常深刻的影響 – 以後一定要多多吃渝菜!
我沒想到, 在我6天的旅程當中, 最少花了42個小時在路上. 我們在九寨溝度過一整天, 欣賞了它自然環境 (這是中國的一個非常漂亮的國家公園) .隔天, 我們 坐了14小時的大巴士到成都. 因為我以為它是乾的哈密瓜, 我買了一袋瓜子. 打開的一後才發現我買了中國人在路上最喜歡吃的零食!
到了成都, 是我們第一次真正地理解 ‘人山人海’ 是甚麼意思. 為了看大熊貓, 我們很早起床了, 度過了一個美好的時間拍拍照, 慢慢探索動物園. 但到十點遊客團體突然來了, 我們能看的不再是熊貓而是人. 可是話說回來, 像我們老師跟我們所說的 – 如果住在中國, 因該體驗一下人多的感覺.
總的來說, 我們這次旅行過得很充實 – 認識的人很多, 參觀的地方很多, 學的東西也很多. 現在我等不及春節的到來!


Every year, from the 1st to the 7th of October, in order to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the whole country goes on a holiday – called National or Golden Week. For the many people who work in cities far away from their family home, National Week is one of the two times a year they get to return and see their relatives (the other being Spring Festival). Myself and a few of my classmates took advantage of this break from school to go travelling in the Southwest of China, visiting the cities of Chongqing, Jiuzhaigou and Chengdu, and learning a lot of new words along the way.
重慶Chóngqìng – Chongqing
Chongqing is one of four ‘directly controlled municipalities’ in China, meaning power is devolved to it from the central government in Beijing. It has a population of around 30 million, and was once the provisional capital of China under the Nationalists. Before we visited it, these facts encompassed all our knowledge of the city, but once we got there we realised there is much more to it than that. In the two days we were there, we visited a tourist street which was a cave carved into the cliffside, rode a cable car over the Yangtze and walked a mountain path with views over the centre of the city, however the greatest discovery we made was the food! Chongqing noodles, barbeque and most importantly the famously spicy hot pot left a strong impression on us – now we are trying to find the same style food in Beijing.
瓜子 guāzi – sunflower seeds
Before we left Beijing, I hadn’t realised that in my 6 days of travelling we would spend more than 42 hours journeying to places. After flying there the previous day, we spent an entire day in Jiuzhaigou (one of China’s most famous national parks), enjoying amazing natural scenery. Then, the day after we took a 14 hour coach ride to our next destination: Chengdu. I bought some ‘guazi’, thinking they were dried melons, but once I opened them I realised I had bought what turns out to be China’s most popular travel snack – sunflower seeds.
人山人海 (rén shān rén hăi) – mountains of people, seas of people
Travelling in Chengdu was the first time I really understood what this phrase means – an idiom describing masses of people being in the same place at the same time. Since we left very early in the morning to see the pandas, for a while we had a very relaxed time taking pictures and strolling around the park. However as soon as it got to 10am the tour groups descended and instead of seeing pandas, all we saw was people. But, as our teacher told us before we left for our national holiday trip, if are going to live in China, sooner or later you need to experience the crowds!

We met a lot of new people, saw a lot of new places and learned a lot of new things (including some Sichuan dialect) during our journey – now I can’t wait for spring festival to go again!

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