Travel Snapshots from Golden Week

Golden Week! It is a splendid namethe best part is reality lives up to the name.

Golden Week is the long holiday (about a week) taken to celebrate National Day in China. This year was the most special of all, as National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival fell on the same day, October 1.

Now, PKUers are back on the Shenzhen campus for the rest of the long period of studying in 2020. But, we should hold on to the joys of the trips.

The Nanyan Observer had a few quick chats with some student travelers. They shared interesting stories and good places to visit with us.

Let’s see where they went and what they did!

24 hours in Guangzhou — Another MEGA-city in Guangdong

Siu-Yu Cheung (张啸宇), from the School of Transnational Law (STL), experienced the cozy lifestyle in Guangzhou, especially the laziness of lounging in an air-conditioned room away from the sun during the hot hot (never-ending) summer. “I slept almost half of the day on the 1st of October…” he recalled.

The comfort in Guangzhou is, indeed, very unique. You can find a slow rhythm within the quickly changing city. The old-school Guangzhouers keep the leisurely pace of life, not becoming too rushed. Younger people are willing to fall into the same slow tempo after a heavy work period or during the holidays. So, you can easily distinguish who is the “real” Guangzhouer, as they really love to be casual if they can.

Siu-Yu arrived in Guangzhou on the Mid-Autumn Festival. He headed towards the Guangzhou Tower, surprisingly saying that “I was thinking that not many people here visiting the Guangzhou Tower, but I finally found that the most characterized view must be the crowd downside the tower.”

The city was still filled with people during the holiday, but there wasn’t as much hustle and bustle as usual anymore because most of the people who work in big cities went back to hometown for vacation.

Guangzhou is a complex city with many different sides to experience, including both of the prosperous and simple sides. It will make you love it in only one night.

Small Sanmen Island — Exploration nearby Shenzhen

The School of Chemical Biology and Biotechnology (SCBB) is a place full of explorers. Jialing Zou (邹佳伶) is one of the scientists there with a strong adventurous spirit. He “marched” to the sea and camped on the top of a small island with fellow society members of the “Kun-Peng” Society. On the first day, they crossed the sea by boat from Shenzhen to reach the island that’s actually located in Huizhou City. That night, they caught a lot of fishes and crabs with the sea breeze.

“We were well-equipped before this trip, and going to make the crab congee on the next day. But nobody would have thought that the crabs ran away in the night,” he laughed. “Only hams were left for the congee!”

It is pretty cool to live and cook in the wild and enjoy the peaceful night far from the city. The days without noise and disturbance should be the deepest relaxation of modern life, approaching the nature and the animals (even though you may eat them). He also said that they found another team that set the camp on the beach, it was quite dangerous due to the rising tide, and suggested that the most important thing in the wild is safety and knowing how to protect yourself.

Shuangyue Bay — PKU & HIT together

Congested Shenzhen is always inspiring the students in the School of Urban Planning and Design (SUPD) to take a few excursions. Jianan Wu (吴佳楠) is a thoughtful girl who applied her academic knowledge to plan her tour. She said that the traffic is really worst in Guangdong province. She has never seen bad traffic like this before. There are scenic spots but also many people in Guangdong, thus congestion is usual during weekends and holidays.

She and her new friends at the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) wanted to go diving. They picked a convenient place, avoiding the traffic jams, and went to Shuangyue Bay in Huizhou.

During their trip, connections between PKU and HIT were extended from the academic to the daily life. Jianan and her buddies chatted a lot and felt very lucky to know each other. Unfortunately, Jianan could not dive together with them because she felt a little uncomfortable at that time, but her friends took good care of her.

This trip is meaningful to her not only because she met new friends but also gradually made her get used to her new life as a graduate student. Overall, traveling brings people together and is a way to practice consideration towards others. If you want more good friends, just join a trip together and you will find them!

Back to Xiamen — The East Sea different from the South Sea

Qiu Wenjing (邱文静), from STL, graduated from Xiamen University. She went back to meet with old friends during the break. Xiamen is familiar to her and she found the differences between Shenzhen and Xiamen, especially the sea, saying that “I think the sea view from Xiamen is much wider than Shenzhen.” (Shenzhen and Xiamen are both coastal cities, but located in different provinces and alongside distinct seas—the South and East Sea respectively.)

Each time she sees the sea of Xiamen, she recalls the memory of staying up all night with friends to wait for the dawn on the first day of 2017.

What’s more, Xiamen showed thicker cultural deposits and deeper connections between people, instead of the metropolitan self-striving spirit in Shenzhen. For example, Shapowei is the oldest port and marketplace there, and it’s still keeping the lifestyle of the old days. Wenjing recommended the food along the street, and told us to take a look there if we were going to Xiamen.

Autumn in Beijing — Missed the Forbidden City

In autumn, the south breeze comforts us taking away the heat from the city. However, one of our friends visited the autumn of the north, in Beijing. Beijing gives a classic view of a Chinese October.

Zhizhong Hou, from Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS), originally planned to take a look at the 600 years exhibition of the Forbidden City, but sadly he did not get the tickets. Thus, he went to another historical site, Badaling Great Wall. The Great Wall is too far from downtown and it took him 5 hours to get there. He then only had 2 hours for climbing.

Although it was not hot in Beijing, the travel was still exhausting. Zhizhong found a restaurant near the Zhengyangmen Gate of Beijing, he said the foods were not bad and he reenergized after a good meal.

As you can see, there are many ways we spent the Golden Week! There is much to explore, whether you are heading down to the seas of southern China or up to climb the hills of the north.

Traveling through China to celebrate her birthday is a specific feature of the modern lifestyle here. Although the holiday is gone, the memories will stay.

Written by Fong Tsz Hei