Week 6 – Dalian
Our last week in China seemed to be the longest week of them all- this is likely because we were anxious to fly home. It’s crazy to see how fast a month and a half flies by, and what aspects of Canadian culture you come to miss. For both of us, we missed the air quality, water activities (such as paddle boarding and kayaking) and our significant others. Additionally, eating out for 6 weeks straight was starting to repetitive and less satisfying. Who knew we would miss cooking for ourselves! As mentioned in our previous post, we visited DHITC a few times, toured their campus and met with a few students one on one to answer questions about studying at Georgian College.
Many students came with their family or teachers. One of the days, Principal Wong took us out exploring with his beautiful family! He was incredibly kind to take us to Baiyushan Scenic Spot and out for lunch. We also stopped at Xinghai Square. Dalian is a coastal city, so the views were incredible! There were lots of submarines and military ships in the water, and of course lots of birds.
During our free time, we explored the local area around our hotel, did some shopping and went to the fresh food market as much as possible! We went hiking on one of our days off as well to the Big Montenegro closed scenic mountain village. There weren’t a lot of visitors, it was nice and quiet, clean and peaceful. A wonderful woman we met along the way who volunteers at one of the temples was kind enough to show us one of the closed temples, where we were able to make wishes.
We also went to KTV and sang our hearts out for 3 hours! This was a cool experience- private room with snacks and drinks with a variety of songs to choose from both the western and Chinese culture. We were only able to stay in Hong Kong for less than one day, but we managed to make the most of the limited time we had there. AND believe it or not, we found a vegan restaurant not too far from our hotel that wasn’t overly expensive!
Our hotel was conveniently attached to the airport, so we didn’t need to worry about taking taxi’s before flying home. We were able to grab dinner and do some late shopping before our bed time. One cultural difference we noticed was in restaurants, you can be sat with people at a table you may not know in order to optimize more space. At first it was strange sitting across from complete strangers, but it didn’t seem strange after a while, we even managed to strike up a conversation with them and ask them for directions to the major shopping streets.
Heading on our 15 hour journey home definitely felt longer than the plane ride there. After 6 weeks of intense travel and busy scheduling, we were ready to head back to Canada to our family and friends. This has been the experience of a lifetime- we’ve made so many friends along the way, made great business relationships and we hope it’s not the last time we visit this beautiful country!