China – Here We Are Once Again!

It’s not the first time we came to conquer China, and it seems it’s not going to be our last visit. After more than 6 months on the run in South-East Asia and Europe we started to miss the Land of Contrasts – People’s Republic of China. We have managed to live all this time working nearly solely on eTramping and bloginstallations, with an exception of Agness teaching in Cambodia. Since we have not had a lot of savings with us when we left China, it’s now time to heal our broken accounts and fill up on amazing Chinese food.

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 Temple of Heaven in Beijing
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 Our favourite Chinese food – Baozi (Chinese steamed dumplings filled with meat and vegetables)
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 That’s us being absolutely crazy on the Great Wall of China last year!

Welcome committee in Shenzhen

Every time we cross the border from Hong Kong to China in Shenzhen we are greeted by Dave. This funny Chinese guy speaks a good English and miraculously appears to be walking by when we queue for train tickets. As always he offers his help with translations and finding cheap hotel rooms. It didn’t take us long to work out that he is working for a commission, but unlike most other people of this kind his help got us cheaper stays than we would be able to find ourselves. He also never asked us for any money and we never felt threaten to follow him to the hotel. Don’t be surprised if he walks past you and offers his help while talking on the phone (about some business in Shanghai).

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 Cez and Dave in a hotel

Chinese food, ohh, Chinese food!

South-East Asian cuisines are amazing (and we have even summed them up lately in an article). However, there’s something about Chinese food that keeps us coming back for more. There’s no other place n the world where Baozi and Jaozi taste this good, and there’s no other place where hot pot brings so many people together. We are sometimes bored with rice, but thankfully we are now living in a bigger city and have more options.

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 Me having a lunch :)
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 A typical Chinese dumpling inside, very oily

Settling down in Dongguan

We have moved to Dongguan after Cez found job in a kindergarten. I will start looking for job nearby soon, which is part of the plan, because it’s much easier for her to find good teaching position. Cez’s school has provided us with a free accommodation, which blew us away. This flat is exactly what we need, want and love. Small, clean and in a convenient location – it’s a nice change from what we got used to over the last few months. Here are some photos of our new apartment. What do you think? :-)

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 The view from our balcony

We are surrounded by beautiful palm trees and it feels like living in South- East Asia!

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Welcome to 0402 apartment!

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Our kitchen – small, but cozy

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Living room equipped with TV and the Internet 

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 There is a huge couch in the living room – maybe Couchsurfing :)?
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 We can now work and relax in a peaceful place :)

Our building outside (there are 15 floors in total, we live on the 4th)

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Bathroom 

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Getting to know the city

Due to lack of the Internet for the first few days, we were able to spend some time exploring the city. Our apartment is located in a perfect location. There is McDonald’s restaurant just in front of us, a huge park where we can have picnics every weekend, a massive supermarket, shops, a gallery, restaurants and more. Sometimes we feel like living in New York – it’s so busy and posh here!

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 First walk around the area
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 Flowers everywhere

Chinese New Year in Dongguan

We have arrived in our new home on the 8th of February, which this year fell one day before the Lunar New Year’s Eve. We got used to much smaller places in China, like Xiushan or Huayuan, where during the Chinese New Year everything (literally everything) is closed. So, we have stocked up on food and other essentials to survive few days without shop. It turned out that most of the shops were open as normal and we were really surprised. The only thing we couldn’t get during this time was getting online. I think it was the longest time in the past few years I couldn’t check my email. This is why we were unable t reply to anyone who got in touch with us and we didn’t update eTramping or our Facebook page.

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 Chinese Lanterns on trees

Spending Chinese New Year here was very boring to be honest. We didn’t know anyone, we didn’t know the area neither places where we could go. The city was dead apart from few fireworks at midnight. We watched some movies at home though.

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About Dongguan

Dōngguǎn city located in central Guangdong province (50 km away from Guangzhou, 90 km away from Shenzhen and 87 km away from Hong Kong). It has an estimated 8 million of inhabitants and humid subtropical climate. We will be posting more photos and info about this place later on. Stay tuned!

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Does anyone want to swap with us :)?

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About Agness

Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"


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40 Comments

  • The apartment looks very cozy. Will you be based there for a long time?

    Maybe you could do a post about working visas and how you found work in China?

    I’d love to spend Chinese New Year in China sometime, although I think I’d prefer to be somewhere lively like Shanghai or Beijing.

    I do remember being in Melbourne one time during Chinese New Year and they set off fireworks from the bridges over the river in the evening. It looked great and I had a fabulous view.

    • Thanks! We love the apartment and try our best to keep it clean and nice. We posted a note on Chinese visa and how to get a job last year, but it’s a great idea to update it. Our China Travel and Work guide is going to be published soon so there are gonna be more info there :-). Shanghai and Beijing are great places for Chinese New Year. Our friend to Beijing this year and she had a great time. :):) Oh great to hear you have already celebrated Chinese New Year :P I used to love setting off fireworks when I was a little girl, know the feeling and this fabulous view. Priceless!

      • Hi Agness! Great post! Thanks! Looking forward to the work guide for China! My friend (she is russian) wants to try to teach english abroad too, China is one of the option! Now we are trying to find as more information as possible regarding work visa, salaries, conditions, possibilities etc.

      • Awesome! The book’s gonna be published very soon. We are editing it right now. Hope it will help your friend. It’s a great travel and teaching experience!

    • Thanks Ardun, we love it too! :) Very comfortable and big enough for us two. Cez has signed the contract for 12 months, but we will be travelling on weekends and during all national holidays :-).

  • Looks like a pretty good set-up! It’s kind of nice to settle in one place, and really dig in the local culture after a few months on the road, isn’t it?

    • It is. Great to settle down for a while and get some rest. We will be still travelling every month :), but good to have a “home” to come back :)

  • Agness, It looks like we will be headed to Zhuhai, (out side of Macao/ Hong Kong) in a few weeks, hopefully we can meet you guys and buy you a beer. This post is getting me excited for our trip.
    Safe travels,
    Greg

    • Awesome! We are gonna be there for the next few months. Would be great to meet :), let us know where you get there! We can’t wait!!

  • I’m not sure what it is but there is something that really makes me afraid to visit/live in China particularly because a lot of people have mixed feelings about being there but I’d definitely like to get there at some point on my travels…as a country they are on a verge of a great deal of change which would be interesting to see!

    • We understand, but believe us China is nothing to be afraid of. It’s pretty challenging country to live in due to all Internet restrictions, language and culture, but at the end of the day you would find living here comfortable and interesting. China is awesome in terms of travelling – mountains, lakes, beaches – China has it all and it’s cheap.

    • This year our Chinese New Year was very boring as we moved to a new city, didn’t know anyone and tried to make ourselves comfortable. Yes, we are staying here for a while at least 6 months doing some travels on our days off of course :)!

  • Really glad you guys are back posting again, you know we all enjoy your post. I will be glad to see your update on living in China. My daughter and I will be heading out to Europe and then SE Asia in April; but China is very intimidating to her so your post will definately help. Great apartment and hope you guys have a super stay.

    • Thank you Hawk. Nice to hear you like our posts! We will be definitely writing more posts on our life and work in China so stay tuned :). Whereabout in Europe are planning to travel? I spent a few days in Amsterdam, Brussels, Poland, Berlin and Oslo last time so let me know if you need some help :), would be more than happy to answer all your questions. China is intimidating and challenging but it’s so worth it! I’m telling you! Stay safe! x

  • Great spot! Chinese New Year was pretty hectic for me as I’ve been traveling through Western China and the fireworks in Dali were relentless! I’m in Xi’an teaching English, and have been following along with your trip around China and Asia for a little while. Let me know if you make it this way!

    -Jeremy

    • Hey Jeremy. That’s awesome. Nice to hear that! I’ve already been to Xi’an but Cez hasn’t. Maybe it’s gonna be his next China travel destination, who knows. We will definitely keep you posted. Hoping to meet you very soon. If you make it this way (Guangzhou, Shenzhen or Dongguan area) let us know!! :)x

    • Thanks Sarah. Hope you can visit us one day here in Dongguan. Can’t wait to see you somewhere in China. We definitely gotta pick up a place and time to meet up before you leave x

    • Thanks guys! We are planning to stay here for at least 6 months doing some travels in between of course. Japan and the Philippines are our next destinations :-D! We worked and lived in China before and decided to come back as we know the language a bit, the salary is high and we love Chinese hospitality and food.

  • Glad to see you’re having a great time, wow that is really exciting. The apartment looks lovely!
    I have never been to China but I certainly love Chinese food :-)
    Good luck and enjoy your stay

    • Thanks a lot Freya. We are feeling like home here. Everything’s going so well and we love our new apartment. If you ever come to China, please let us know. We would be more than happy to show you around Dongguan, Guangzhou or even Hong Kong :).

  • Looks like you’ve settled in nicely. I love that there’s a McDonalds sign in the background… the ever-present golden arches.

  • That’s really a great apartment with continent location. And it’s free! I hope you enjoy Cantonese cuisine it’s not always greasy as Hunan cusine

  • Congratulations on the new job! :D You have a nice place there and the view from the balcony doesn’t scream ‘stress’ unlike in some places hehe :D If you’re on break and you plan to visit the Philippines, just let me know :)

    Due to lack of the Internet for the first few days, we were able to spend some time exploring the city. – my story too :))

    • Hey Micamyx! Thank you so much for the invitation. We are planning to go to the Philippines very soon, hopefully next month. We need to check our schedule first and then will get back to you!

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