After four weeks of adjusting to campus life, settling into class schedules and tackling the steady inflow of assignments, the Golden Week National holiday provide the perfect opportunity to be able to go exploring around nearby provinces and soak up some more of the Chinese culture.
The Golden Week National Holiday was from 1 October to 7 October and is arranged so that workers in Chinese companies always have seven continuous days of holiday and enable them the opportunity to travel and help expand the domestic tourism market, improve the national standard of living and allow people to make long-distance family visits. With this in mind, my Polish friend Gosia and I decided that we would make our contribution to the domestic tourism market and travel to the city of Wuhan situated in neighbouring Hubei province.
We decided that we wanted to experience as much Chinese culture as possible during the week which started with catching a local train from Nanchang to Wuhan. The train ride was a 10 hour round trip and, being the only foreigners on the train, provided the perfect opportunity to meet some new friends and practice by very basic Chinese I learned in class.
Once we had arrived in Wuhan, our cultural experience continued as we checked into our hostel where we shared a room with four other Chinese girls. All of the girls were extremely nice and very excited to be sharing a room with two foreigners! After initial introductions and getting to know our roommates, we all went to dinner together and we were able to help each other with our Chinese skills and our new friends with their English.
The next morning we set out to explore the sites of Wuhan. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province and is it most populous city in central China. It is a city rich in history and is where Mao Tse-tung formed and developed the Chinese Communist party, therefore the first place on our list to visit was the Hubei Provincial Museum which contained many historical artefacts and details about Chairman Mao’s contribution to the communist revolution as well as artefacts from the tomb of Marquis Yi (Zenghouyi), who lived in the 5th century B.C.
Over the next few days we also visited Wuhan University which is one of the largest and most picturesque campuses in China, Yellow Crane tower, Boatong temple and strolled along the banks of the Yangtze River.