Restaurants in China come in all shapes and sizes. From a luxurious banquet to a local back street barbecue, all budgets are catered for. What makes China really special, however, is the variety, from local specialties to western comforts, you’ll never be short of choice.
From playing mah-jong to singing at KTV, classical concerts to dive bars; China’s nightlife is varied. The best ways to find out what’s going on though are to talk to the other teachers at the school and see what they’re up to or look up local ex-pat magazine for regular listings of events happening around the city you live.
Not that you need a gym to exercise, but chances are you can totally afford one now. Over the last few months, I’ve taken on kickboxing and aerial yoga. I have a well-trained private teacher that shows me how to kick some serious butt, while also doubling as a Chinese teacher. For yoga, I’m wrapped up in silk and bending in ways I didn’t know I was capable of. In the US, while I made free time to be active, most private classes were way out of my price range.
Tourism in China is growing increasingly popular with foreigners as well as Chinese people. ESL teachers are no exception making full use of their vacations to go on special package tours in order to explore their temporary home. With beaches, forests, and beautiful mountain ranges China has something to offer for everyone. The perception of China as just being polluted and industrial is a bit sensationalized and while it may hold truth in some of the larger cities, China has some of the most beautiful destinations on the planet.
When travelling for the first time in China, it is advised to join a tour of some sort, or go with friends who are experienced in China and getting around. Being stranded in China without the language and as a newcomer can be a nightmare. It is also advisable to invest in a Lonely Planet guide to China.
Being a volunteer
You’re already doing something good by teaching a language, and that’s great. Why not step it up and work with kids who can’t afford to study with a foreigner? There are loads of opportunities to get involved with a non-profit you’re passionate about. Dedicate a couple of days a month to working with the less fortunate.