Published: March 8th 2012March 8th 2012
Big Ass Dinosaur
'You're not that hard'
Changzhou is, as far as I’m concerned, a good location to start your teaching career. It is located in the southern Jiangsu province and is a mere 50 minutes away from Shanghai on the bullet train. It sort of reminds me of my home town, Dundee, in that there are better places to live in the country (Shanghai and Beijing spring to mind) but you would much rather be there than certain other locations. The main attractions of the city for tourists are ‘Dinosaur World’ and Hongmei Park, and I have visited both.
Dinosaur World, for me, was an absolute must; even before I left bonny Scotland that was the one place I knew I had to visit. And I have to say it certainly does not disappoint. I am a massive kid at heart and the Jurassic Park films are some of my favorite films ever; and these two facts led to me even pushing little kids out of the way in an effort to get on the rides first. In all seriousness though the Park is truly phenomenal, and I would highly recommend a stop in Changzhou for any travelers for this attraction alone. The first
'Old China at its best'
thing you encounter upon entering the park is a massive lake with numerous real size dinosaurs, as well as numerous food stalls and gift shops. Further into the park, there are countless rides, a museum, Malaysian travelers with elephants, a seal show which I have to say is really funny. The park is a real day out, I think I was there for around 6 hours or so and it is quite reasonably priced too – 160 RMB which is equivalent to 16 pound. As I said earlier I’m a big kid and that really did come out at the park. I was putting dinosaurs in headlocks, got my face painted, held my first up to an elephants face as though I was getting ready for a fight. It really was lots of fun.
The other big attraction of Changzhou was just as fun, but for much different reasons. Changzhou is an extremely rich city and much of the old traditional China has completely vanished; and that is why Hongmei Park is a must for tourists in that everything a foreigner expects China to look like is located within the park. The park is huge and is
filled with ancient Chinese architecture, beautiful lakes and rivers, and perhaps its most amazing feature is Tianning Temple with its giant pagoda. If I’m not wrong, it is the largest pagoda in the world and from the top you can see pretty much the whole of Changzhou. But not only can you see the whole of Changzhou, you can see the sharp contrast of the old and the new. The beauty and serenity of the park is a world away from the massive buildings, the traffic jams, and the general 100 mile an hour lifestyle that characterises China these days.
Despite the fact that I’m a teacher and have lived here for 5 months now, I still feel a little bit like a tourist. I still can’t stop myself from taking out my phone and taking some photographs. This is especially true with regard to the small park that my apartment overlooks. There, some nights, roughly ten or so elderly women gather and play music until the late hours. And every now and then I see two men practicing Tai Chi; it really does warm your heart. And at the same time reminds me that I’m a
'This ride isn't scary in the slightest'
world away from home.
There are more photos below