I am an architecture student from Germany and my love for traveling brought me recently for an exchange year to Chinas megacity Shanghai. Besides studying, traveling is the declared goal, to see as much as possible of this beautiful and incredibly huge country.
Actually this blog should also be kind of a diary for myself. I write it, to review my experiences and, from time to time, it might be more anecdotal and about the small things that happened, than about the big touristy highlights.
Although (or maybe because) China is in many respects kind of a antipode to Germany, I really enjoy my time over here. People are friendly and helpful, food is delicious and versatile and there is so much to explore...

Since english is not my mother tongue, I'm sure there will be many mistakes, please feel free to tell me...

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong January 27th 2013

Datong is a city located 300 kilometers west of Beijing with around 2 to 3 million inhabitants. At the moment there are big changes going on in Datong. In the course of a 6 billion euro project, the whole citycentre of Datong is demolished and completely rebuild, based on a Ming Dynasty Style. We didn't know about that before coming here and were amazed by the size of the construction site which is maybe comparable to the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Or even bigger??? However, the project will be finished within the next two to three years (a fractional amount compared to the Potsdamer Platz) and its target is to boost the tourist industry. Our first task, at 4.30am, was to find an accomodation because we haven't booked something in advance. After we fought our way ... read more
Yungang Grottoes
Hanging Monastery
Yungang Grottoes

Asia » China » Beijing January 25th 2013

Before coming to Beijing we were already warned by a friend who is living there, that the airpolution is almost unbearable. She was right. It blew up the chart of the measuring instruments. We really suffered just from going out and taking a walk. Maybe I was lucky to get sick after the first day, so during the next four days I spent most of my time alternating from bed to toilet. Actually it was the best place to get sick because I have allready been to Beijing two years ago and have seen most of the touristy highlights. It was a pitty to miss a never finished and now abandoned Disneyland that is located somewhere around Beijing. Also visiting the Summer Palace again would have been nice, but anyway, we had a really good hostel ... read more
preparing Beijing Roast Duck
Great Wall - Simatai

Asia » China » Liaoning » Dalian January 21st 2013

Another night in the train. We arrived in Dalian around 11am. Because of its nice seaside, good fish restaurants and a lot of green space in the city, Dalian is supposed to be the most liveable city in the whole of China. Finding the hostel was easy because the city is not too big. The start was a little disappointing because even though we changed the dates for our stay in the hostel 2 days in advance, the owner was not willing, to give as at least a little refund back. Nothing. Anyway, we started with some pretty good seafood and strolled around town afterwards. The weather was good and the city really felt different in comparison to all the other chinese cities I have been to so far. It was more relaxed and due to ... read more
closed during winter

Asia » China » Jilin » Changbai Shan January 20th 2013

The busride to Baihe was amazing. While the outside temperature was around -22°C, the busdriver liked it warm and put the heating on level "hell". Within one hour there were around 32°C inside and we had to face the truth: it was the most stupid idea to enter the bus, still wearing all the layers we had to wear in Changchun. In an acrobatic act we tried to get rid of at least 2 layers. The temperature was further boosted by a natural character trait that seems to be inherent to a lot of chinese guys: making business. Of course it is not really convenient to put only as much people in the bus as seats are available. So the bus stopped several times to pick up a lot more people. These people were really clever ... read more
four wheeler park
view of North Korea
so cold

Asia » China » Jilin » Changchun January 18th 2013

The main reason for going to Changchun was actually to visit the palace of Puyi - the last Emperor of China. So we took an overnight train from Harbin and arrived around noon in Changchun. - btw. taking overnight trains in China is not only a really comfortable and convenient way to travel (it saves time, offers a bed and is pretty cheap in relation to the distances) but also a great way to get in contact with some locals. And especially taking the hard-seat or hard-sleeper class causes a huge amazement combined with an even bigger curiosity amongst the guys in the same compartment. Some immediately try to start a conversation, which is a good way to practice a little chinese, or offer food and Baijiu (chinese white liquor), while others just keep on staring ... read more
mission to get a taxi
selling sweet potatoes and corn
vegetable market

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 16th 2013

After 36 hours in the train, we arrived in Harbin at 4.30 am. And it was cold. Really, really cold. -37 degrees plus wind. Thats nice. Maybe Thailand would have been the better option. Anyway, we are here and it is going to be awesome. Hopefully. The first task was, to find a taxidriver who is willing to use the taximeter. It took almost 20 minutes and gave us a first impression about what such a temperature really feels like. After we arrived at the hostel at around 6am (of course the room is not ready at this time), and a 1 hour nap on the couch, we are brave enough to go outside and find some breakfast. The cheapest way to go from A to B is apperently the bus, so we took it most ... read more
feeding time
chinese Rock'n'Rolla

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