Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nanning and Lost Posts for Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai

(Scroll down for pictures!)


If you are reading this blog then you are probably wondering what happened to all the promised posts about my trip?

After anticipating that I was going to have an easier time blogging in Vietnam, I broke my laptop on the second day in Hanoi. After trying to retrieve my lost posts on Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai for the past two months I have finally decided to just go ahead and post what I do have. I regret not doing this sooner but I had not expected my blog to have went public already. I apologize to those of you who really wanted to know what happened on my study abroad trip if you have come back again!

Here goes Nanning:

In Nanning, Guangxi we had one free day and I chose to go the Qingxiu Mountain Park. If you ever have a chance to go to Nanning, I highly recommend you to go!

There I discovered the importance of nature's beauty to the Chinese people. As one of the ladies I met said, I need three days at least to explore the whole park. Unfortunately, we only had about four hours to enjoy the beauty of nature displayed there. I do not know how to describe how beautiful it is except by saying that most landscapes look better in photo than in person, but the park was much more beautiful than the photos I took of it. The amount of work needed to keep the park looking beautiful and clean must be tremendous. The costs must be too. Considering the extremely low ticket prices, the local government must see maintaining the park as a priority if it chooses to shoulder most of the costs.

Nanning is a considerably small city compared to the other cities we visited in China but it has its own unique beauty. It is known as a good place for retirement as the living costs are low and is also known as a 'green city.' However, it does not provide many opportunities for young people as jobs are more scarce and pay lower salaries. Nanning is home to many different Chinese ethnic minorities, including the largest, the Zhuang people. They have their own language and writing which bear similarities to Vietnamese.

Something else that is special about Nanning is that it is very close to Vietnam. There are Jing peoples, which is the Vietnamese ethnic group in China, living there. The food is also very different from the rest of China and has a Vietnamese influence. I also noticed that the food had a strong distinct smell.

Nanning turned out to be a great ending to our time in China. It has beautiful scenery, the people are nice and friendly, and the costs to travel there are low compared to the rest of China. In all aspects, Nanning is a great place to visit. The only downside is if you do not speak Chinese you will have a hard time there. I saw a few other foreign tourists there though so if they can do it you can too!

We took a short break from the 'studying' part of study abroad in Nanning so I do not have anything to tell in that area.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Study abroad with me!

To start off, here is a brief introduction about the UH Bauer’s Study Abroad trip to Southeast Asia.

The countries we visit are China and Vietnam. The cities in the order that we visit them are Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Nanning, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Da Lat, and Saigon. The trip lasts from May 27th to June 23rd with the time spent in each city averaging about 3-4 days. Are any cities in this list where you’ve dreamed to go to for a long time? If so, then keep reading!

Our group of 24 students and 2 professors is made mostly of upperclassmen and graduating students in University of Houston’s C. T. Bauer College of Business. We represent a good mix of different cultures and backgrounds. Spanish and Vietnamese are spoken the most within our group besides English. If that’s not surprising to you, it is to me. Spending time with our own group is a cultural experience in itself!

The main goal of the trip is to experience the local and business cultures first hand and global competencies that we can bring back. In this blog I will record these experiences and reflect on the global competencies that I have gained.

Although I prefer to blog about events as they happen, it was impossible in China because was blocked. I don’t know if this is common knowledge, but according to Wikipedia, “more than 2600 websites are or were blocked in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau).” Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are some of the ones that our group missed the most. Accessing internet at all or at least fast enough to read and send emails was also difficult. It’s so bad that sometimes I’d rather not have internet at all. That way I won’t be wasting so much time trying to get work done and waiting for websites to load…

I can post anything I want now though because I’m in Vietnam. The internet still isn’t any better but I’ll try to work with it.