I must say that one of the best things about studying abroad for me is the fact that I got the opportunity to travel all over China and see places that most people would never get the chance to see. One of my goals when I arrived in China was to explore this beautiful country and see another side of China that most people don’t really know about. As a CEA program participant, I felt very fortunate because this program planned several excursions for us in which we were able to both travel and learn Chinese history and culture. The first trip we took was to Whuzhen and Hanzhou, two beautiful cities about three hours away from Shanghai. The best thing about Hanzhou is the West Lake, which is located right in the middle of the city. It is surrounded by beautiful greenery and gardens. My CEA friends and I at West Lake in Hanzhou From Hanzhou, we departed to Whuzen, a town that you could only imagine in fairy tales. Surrounded by traditional Chinese architecture and water canals, this town was picturesque and very special. Whuzen The other excursion we took was to Xi’an, one of the oldest cities in China. Here we got the opportunity to visit the Terracotta Warriors, which are now considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. We also tasted very delicious food, as Xi’an is known for its specialty noodles and Muslim food. Me in Xi’an at night Another exciting activity during our trip to Xi’an was riding bikes along the city wall, an ancient fort that surrounds the city that was used as protection from enemies. During this trip we also took a day to climb Huashan mountain, which is one of the most difficult climbs in China. After eight hours of hard work and sweat, we managed to reach the top! I made it to the top of Huashan Mountain – yeah! The last CEA trip we took was to amazing Hong Kong. We were all so excited to see what this vibrant city had to offer and needless to say we were not disappointed. Hong Kong offered us delicious Cantonese food, beautiful skylines, perfect sunny weather and vibrant nightlife filled with night markets and bars and clubs. This city left us wanting to spend more time here. Hong Kong Hong Kong Overall during my short time here in China, I was grateful that I got the opportunity to travel with my program and see all these beautiful places. It made my study abroad experience that much more interesting and left me full of memories and stories to tell. Katherine Guevara is the Fall 2013 CEA MOJO in Shanghai, China. She is currently a senior at the University of Houston.
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