Days here in Wuhan are going by so quickly, I can’t believe we’re almost in the middle of December already! I’m guessing all of you back in Portsmouth are finishing off your essays for the year and preparing to go back home for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Meanwhile, I will have Chinese class on Christmas Day and be preparing for my exams in January. Might sound awful to have classes during Christmas time, but to be honest they don’t really celebrate Christmas here and there is nothing here reminding me of Norwegian Christmas so my Christmas spirit is non-existing. We do, however, have five days off for New Year’s! And yesterday three of my friends and I booked a trip to Hong Kong (and Macau)! New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong, I’m buzzzzzing! And just a month later I’ll start my one month holiday and go back to Portsmouth for two weeks. Exciting times ahead!
Even though we have a lot of homework and are busy studying, we do have some free time to explore the city and do some activities. Wuhan is home to 8 million people, so it’s quite big here with lots of things to see and do:
Wuhan has a lot of shopping areas, so there are plenty of shops to pick from. I really like Hanjie shopping street and Optics Valley. Hanjie even has a Madame Tussaud!
Madame Tussaud, Hanjie
Wuhan Provincial Museum:
The university organised a class field trip to Wuhan Provincial Museum, home to the local and Chinese history. Even the outside is worth a visit, the museum was so pretty with the garden in front of it.
Wuhan Provinical Museum
Music performance at Wuhan Provinical Museum
View from Wuhan Provinical Museum
The garden of Wuhan Provinical Museum
We’ve done a few celebrations here already. Halloween, Thanksgiving, my birthday and some of my friends’ birthdays. For Halloween we all dressed up and went to a karaoke party with my friend’s (who is a teacher) students, who are all Chinese. They got to practice English and we practiced our Chinese. A lot of fun!
I celebrated Thanksgiving this year with my American friends. We had no turkey or Indians, but still managed to have a good time.
My birthday we went out for dinner and out to a bar. A lot of fun, too.
Everywhere you go in China you will find temples of different sizes and characteristics, also in Wuhan. The most famous temple in Wuhan is called Guiyuan Temple, however my favourite temple so far is Baotong Temple, just one metro stop away from the CCNU campus. Baotong Temple is very colourful, it’s built upwards on a hill and at the top is a tall, narrow pagoda which you can climb from the inside.
Inside the Baotong pagoda
Rollercoasters in Zhongshan Park:
Zhongshan Park is one of the major parks in Wuhan, and it has a small theme park inside where you can ride roller coasters all day long. I’ve been there twice now and it’s a lot of fun! Just maybe avoid going there in the weekends and holidays, it gets very busy.
Chinese Opera Mask Painting:
Our university has a kind of society which organises events for international students, and one of them was to paint our own masks Chinese Opera style. Chinese Opera is nothing like Western Opera. It’s actually more like a theatrical play or show than an opera. It has different characters, a lot of costumes, mask-changing, and a special kind of singing. There are also different kinds of opera depending on where you are in the country. My favourites will have to be Beijing Opera and Sichuan Opera and I would love to go see it sometime.
Here is a short video about Beijing Opera:
Exploring the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge Area:
In the heart of Wuhan lies the Yangtze river, and the view and scenery around here is breathtaking. The Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge is the oldest bridge crossing the Yangtze, and they say if you walk across it with your boyfriend or girlfriend you will be in love forever. My friends and I decided to walk across, have a look around in one of the parks and a temple by the riverbank, before crossing the river back by ferry. It was such a great day, Wuhan is so pretty in the nice weather if you go to the right places.
Yangtze River Bridge
Yangtze River Bridge
Yangtze River Bridge – View of the Yellow Crane Tower
On the ferry
Dayu Myth Park
Temple by Yangtze River Bridge
Yangtze River Bridge
I think at the end of the year I will write a proper student guide to the best places in Wuhan. I hope you will all enjoy your Christmas and eat some roast on my behalf.