I might totally be in the honeymoon phase of moving to a new place, but I have to say I absolutely love living in Shanghai! I feel so at home here. That makes me think about the fact that Robert and I won’t stay here forever (for now the plan is about 3 years), which in turn reminds me to make my time here count and to try to experience and see as much as I can of the unique things available in this part of the world.
But what do I want to see? What’s on my China Bucket List? Travel is obviously a big passion and I could make an endless list just about that, but I’ve narrowed it down to a few major places and things that I really,really want to do, learn and experience during my time here:
- Travel more in China, especially to:
- Yangshuo, Guilin in Guangxi Province
- Inner Mongolia
- Harbin Ice Festival
- Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors – Check!
- Zhangjiajie National Park in Hunan Province
(Google these places for excellent travel inspiration!)
- Travel to other Asian destinations that I haven’t visited before:
- Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- Vietnam – happening in October, yay!
- The Philippines
- Korean Demilitarized Zone – most likely happening in a few weeks!
- Become really awesome at Chinese
This is my absolute biggest China goal. I haven’t settled on what HSK-level (the standardized Chinese proficiency test) to aim for or in what specific way I should measure my success, so the qualifications for checking this off the list remains to be seen. More about my Mandarin goals and studies here.
- Learn how to make Xiaolongbao
You might have noticed that I’m quite fond of these little drops of heaven. Well, what would be better than learning to make them myself and being able to eat them wherever I am in the world! I’ve heard that making them is quite a long and complicated process, but I’d love to give it a try anyway. What is Xiaolongbao? Read all about it here.
- Learn how to make Hot Pot
Mmm Hot Pot, more amazing Chinese food. For those who are not familiar, hot pot is kind of like fondue but so much better. You simply boil the ingredients of your choice (meat, seafood, veggies, tofu etc) in a delicious broth that varies in the degree of spiciness. Hot pot should be simple enough to make, just need to find a good recipe for the broth and the right kind of cooking equipment.
- Mastering WeChat
I mentioned in an earlier post that everything here happens on the social media platform WeChat. WeChat works perfectly well in English, but most active users, features, functions and businesses are of course catering to the local market, which means that you are missing out big time if only using it in English. I just have to keep studying Mandarin in order to check this one off the list.
- Mastering online shopping at Taobao and TMall
Do I want to shop at one of the world’s largest online retailers? Umm, absolutely! Buy anything, anytime, and usually get your stuff within 24 hours. Brilliant! But again, these platforms are catering mainly for the Chinese market, so I need to get better at reading Chinese characters before throwing money around the internet. 400 characters down, 2600 more to go for a “normal”, everyday vocabulary. Almost there! :)
- Attend a Chinese wedding
I’m a sucker for weddings and pretty much all things romantic, and additionally I think attending the wedding of someone from another culture is so fascinating! Come on Chinese friends, who will be getting married soon?
- Own a cool vespa for daily transportation
The amount of vespas and scooters in this town, I tell you! You don’t even see that many regular bicycles anymore, it’s all electric. And it’s not just the locals, all expats have them too. So naturally I want one! :) You can get one for CNY 2000-3000. I have my eye on a retro design like the one below.
That’s my China Bucket List for now. I’m sure I’ll be adding things as we go, but this feels like a good start.
What about you, what’s on your China Bucket List? Do share in the comments! :)