Month: September 2020

Summer Vacation 2020: Hello again Sanya

Summer Vacation 2020: Hello again Sanya

Like most people’s summer vacation stories this year, ours also starts with “Well, I wanted to do X, but Covid …”

In my case, I wanted to fly to Germany and spend 2 weeks visiting family and friends but Covid didn’t let me. China still has a 2 week mandatory quarantine for anyone coming back plus (until the end of the month) all visas becomes invalid when leaving China. Therefore, we had to stay put and decided to go to Sanya again. While I would have loved to go home, relaxing by the pool and beach for a week is not a bad option πŸ™‚

Dadonghai Bay

The first part of our trip was spent at Dadonghai Bay. We loved our hotel, private little patio and having happy hour and breakfast with an ocean view. The pools were amazing as well, one had sand on the bottom and there was always shade thanks to lots of palm trees. It was pure bliss.

Haitang Bay

For the second part part of our vacation, we went back to Haitang Bay. Our room had an amazing view and walking along the beach in the morning and evening was just as nice as it was in May. We also had fun playing at the arcade in our hotel. Not pictures: me losing at whack-a-mole against a maybe 5 year old adorable Chinese girl. We had a bit of rain some afternoons, but overall we still got lots of nice pool and beach time – I think I read 4 books during our trip.

A Moganshan Wedding

A Moganshan Wedding

on 8/8, a lucky date in China, our friends Kwaki and Jason got married in Moganshan. Due to the current situation, their family and friends from abroad couldn’t come to China, so they turned it into a full weekend with the Shanghai crew.

But first things first, of course before a wedding there needs to be a Bachelorette party – so that’s what we did the weekend before in Shanghai.

The Bachelorette Party

Brunch

Kwakis bachelorette Party was an all day affair. We started early with decorations because who doesn’t want a gigantic diamond helium balloon at their party? Also, a champagne brunch, matching shirts and photo props are clearly a must.

Korean Spa

Up next: relaxing and getting pretty! We headed to Koreatown to go to New Star, a Korean Spa. Sauna, soaking in different temperature pools, a scrub that took off at least 2 layers of skin, followed by face masks and chilling made for a great afternoon.

Dinner in Koreatown & Dancing

When in Koreatown, do as Koreans do – to fuel up after an exhausting afternoon of doing mostly nothing, we ate lots of Korean Food and drank soju πŸ™‚ We had a nice seafood dinner, followed by a stroll through a night market. The night ended back downtown with more drinks and dancing – a really fun day!

The Wedding

All dressed up with somewhere to go

A week later, we headed to Moganshan for the big day! The color code of the wedding was beige and sage, which meant a trip to the fabric market for Thorben and some intense taobao shopping for me. The effort was worth it I think, the group pictures turned out really cool.

The first 4 pictures are from Thorben’s camera, all other group, couple and party pictures are from the very talented https://nicolasderouge.com/.

Ceremony and Party

Our friend Ben did the ceremony (he got ordained on the bus ride over), there were some games, videos from the bride and groom’s families and of course food and dancing. Our first wedding in China was definitely one to remember.

The rest of the weekend

Having traveled all the way to Moganshan, almost everyone turned the trip into a long weekend. We stayed from Friday to Monday and had a great time. The weather was mostly very nice so we had 2 barbecues, lots of pool time, played games and I got eaten by mosquitoes – an almost perfect weekend getaway πŸ™‚

12 weeks in Suzhou

12 weeks in Suzhou

It looks like summer is officially over in Shanghai. This week, temperatures dropped below 30 degrees, even below 20 yesterday, so it’s time to catch up on all of the things that happened in summer over here. Soon, it will be Golden Week / October Holiday here so I’ll try to finish before then.

A lot of my summer was spent in Suzhou. I had a project there from late May to mid August, which meant that I was away every week Monday – Thursday. Suzhou is about 100 km west of Shanghai and easily reachable by high speed train. It is famous for its canals, watertowns, gardens and silk. People from Shanghai like to call it small given that it only has a population of 11 million πŸ˜‰

Somehow, we never managed to find a weekend to stay in Suzhou and properly visit all the tourist things. Between birthdays, cooking classes, dinners, GGI events, a bachelorette party and a wedding, Shanghai just kept us too busy and entertained all summer. That means I have yet to see the gardens and watertowns, but I at least managed some walks on the shore of Jinji lake and along some canals.

During my last week, we had a nice team building event and dinner together. This is my attempt at making a bowl – turns out, I am not very talented at pottery. Eating is still more my thing and the local Suzhou fish, noodles and other food is really tasty.

Overall, Suzhou looks like quite a nice place to live with all the comforts and services we have in Shanghai. Also, it’s cheaper and people seem much nicer. Still, my heart belongs to Shanghai and I was always excited to get on the train back home on Thursdays πŸ™‚

Now, I have started my next project, which is in Wuxi. Hopefully, I will manage to see more there in the coming 3 months.