Blogs from Ji'Nan, Shandong, China, Asia


Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan October 12th 2016

So time for my first real experience of traveling In China! I left work at 3:30 and went straight to the train station in my lovely little Yantai for the first leg of my journey to Jinan a bigger city in my province. The train took around 4 hours and without realising I had booked a first class ticket... Lovely sit was definitely needed as I was not very well on the journey and super appreciated the extra comfort to get some sleep. Arriving in Jinan I immediately realised it was a much more lively city than mine as the bright lights on every corner blinded me I decided to skip the mile long taxi queue and walk to the hostel estimated 40 mins not a ad after sitting down for 4 hours so off I ... read more

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan January 4th 2015

Happy New Year from China! Becky and I seized a rare opportunity of having a couple of days off at the same time to hop on the Chinese fast train (305km/hour) to Jinan, Shandong Province, some 450km away from Beijing. You’ve never heard of Jinan? Well, me neither before 2015! Jinan is actually the capital city of Shandong Province, an attractive area of China mostly famous for 3 other places (I believe): Qingdao, the coastal city where the sailing events of the 2008 Olympics took place, Qufu, birthplace of Confucius, and finally Taishan, one of the Five Great Mountains of China. In other words no tourist ever makes it to Jinan when visiting Shandong… Why did we go there? We wanted to visit a place none of us had ever been to, and Jinan is mentioned ... read more
at Qian Fo Shan, January 2015
The most famous Spring in Jinan: Baotu Spring
Big Buddha in Jinan

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan December 13th 2012

I’m hoping this will be my last blog from Jinan as my flight is due out tomorrow morning at 8am. However there is a forecast for snow overnight so let’s hope roads and airports remain open. So these are the things that are on my mind after living and working here for 10 weeks: There is an obsession with keeping the roads swept with an army of people out there with their brooms, dust buckets and bags collecting up anything that may fall on the roads and footpaths. Yes this does employ lots of people. But there is little education about putting rubbish in any of the numerous bins, little information about what rubbish is recycling and total disregard for littering with some areas looking like garbage tips, right beside an immaculately swept street. The new ... read more
Footpath ideal to park your truck
Green means go but not just walkers
Gutted and abandoned buildings

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan December 9th 2012

Putting away the dishes this morning whilst waiting for my kettle to boil water for the pot of tea that is MANDATORY to start the day I had to break up the ice on the dish draining rack. Hmmm, yes it was cold overnight. I keep the window open a little in there and door closed to the rest of the apartment, but there is a radiator heater in there to take the chill off things, thank goodness the red wine may have frozen otherwise. English corner today and then lunch with Howard from Australia and 4 young Chinese guys. The top today was 0C but around midday today it was really cold, enough to freeze any water drops being dripped from the buckets being dragged up from the springs, into little icicles along the stone ... read more
Spring water
Picture menu
Interior of restaurant

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan December 8th 2012

I decided to go for a walk in the beautiful winter sunshine. Blue sky, little wind, half my wardrobe on me and out I ventured around 11am. According to the internet it was -4C, yes it was cold and water froze in puddles from mops and bowls of water being thrown out on the footpath, but walking in the sun it seemed OK. My new beanie which I bought from Carrefour for Y9 kept my head warm, my jacket crackled in the cold and off I went to walk the whole side of Daming Lake from the East to the West. As usual there were people out and about everywhere; winter does not deter the Chinese from the great outdoors. They just rug up with the children wearing so many layers their arms almost stick out ... read more
Ice at midday
Rugs for sale
Hot roasted goodies-delicious

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan December 3rd 2012

Cold, chilly, grey skies and English corner. Getting dressed to go out now is a major marathon involving 13 items of clothing, underwear, undershirt, top shirt, jumper/vest, tights, socks, jeans, shoes, jacket, scarf, gloves and hat. But English corner awaits and a dedicated bunch of Chinese are there wanting to chat about this that and everything. And really I use it as much for me, to glean what the real Chinese people think. We talk pretty much without any filter, I try to remain positive but I do go near those tricky subjects of politics and religion and comparison of East and West. Today we got around to talking about the one child policy and the implications of this. China’s population is still growing as this policy is not as simple as it sounds. It only ... read more
English signs and carols too
Parc 66 Christmas tree
Think these are presents

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan December 1st 2012

A Saturday with no obligations, fine cool weather, with a semblance of blue sky; time for a stroll around Daming Lake. But firstly let me tell you about my new love: sexy, sophisticated, super, sleek, smooth, supple, silky, stretchy, slinky, and strong; everything you would want in a pair of warm tights. I bought them after the failure of my thick pantyhose I had brought over from Australia, from turning my legs mottled purple due to wind chill and cold. With a size that said M to XXL I was a little dubious as to whether they were talking my XL or theirs, but they are super stretchy and so warm and cosy under my cords and jeans. So me and my many layers of clothing ventured forth for a big walk to the lake, around ... read more
Daming Lake
Braille map

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 29th 2012

You look at the jeans you have been wearing for the past 5 days and go, yeah sure why not; another day or two would be OK, it’s not as if I’m sweating at all. All the marigolds have been taken out of the flower beds and replaced with the “cauliflower” plants. Two colours, purple and white, they look just like cauliflowers. All the trees have lost their leaves and the trunks are painted white, a paint to reduce fungus and insects apparently. The trees are wrapped up for the winter in a fetching arrangement of a wicker basket. The large shops have a huge thick blanket at the front doors to keep the heat in and the cold out. You look longingly at the lingerie shops, but not at bras and knickers; but at long ... read more
Painted trunks for winter
Winter forest
A tree snug and warm for winter

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 23rd 2012

Today started off just right with a sleep in until 8am. Some days the body clock kicks in and you are awake and that is that; but today no 6am get up and 7am 1 hour bus trip…… no sireeee. Switched on the TV, lay back in my warm snug bed and watched “Take That” reunion concert at Wembley Stadium. What’s not to like about 4 gorgeous guys who can sing and dance and harmonize? Late breakfast of toast and tea. For anyone familiar with Chinese bread, you will know it is sweet and if you attached a balloon it would float away. Getting whole grain bread to Western tastes here is like searching for the Holy Grail. Ole supermarket in Parc66 has the only one that I have found that runs close. Off on the ... read more
Map of the area
Coffee shop/bar
View from window of coffee shop

Asia » China » Shandong » Ji'Nan November 21st 2012

Paraphrasing and borrowing this famous saying attributed to the Jesuits, I would have to say that the children of Zhangqui Experimental Kindergarten in Jinan will be wonderful future citizens. This kindergarten has won many awards for not only Jinan but for the whole of Shandong province and it’s easy to see why. The centre is well staffed with 3 adults per room, 1 teacher, 1 assistant teacher and 1 assistant for 40-50 children. There are additional staff to clean and cook and administrative and directing staff on hand constantly. Children are signed in with a swipe card system and in each room there is a visual and light display showing each child represented as a number with the light on for being there, this was used as a numeracy tool in one of the rooms today. ... read more
Class attendance
Art displays in the hall
Children's art

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