Hi Champs! What was your favourite part of your time in China?
I was really surprised about how awesome Yangshuo was. I didn't know anything about it beforehand, but it was absolutely incredible! We spent four days cycling, hiking, trekking and rafting... and we all had the best time. I also took part in a cookery course (which is one of the cool optional extras on the trip) and learnt how to rustle up some amazing Chinese food.
Try anything unusual on your travels?
You know what, I actually enjoyed the scorpion I tried in Dong Hua Men market! It tasted like a salt and peppery oily crisp...
Did China chuck any unexpected surprises your way?
There were blue skies in Beijing! I'd heard that China was really smoggy but when I was there (August) it felt really summery. I expected China to be really, really busy but during August it wasn't bad at all - the London Underground was actually busier than my experiences on the Chinese Metro!
Everybody was really helpful too. I was told beforehand that if you didn't know any Chinese you'd find life difficult, but I didn't at all. I carried around a print out of a few phrases and that's all I needed, so the language barrier wasn't an issue for me in the slightest.
Why should people take part in the China Experience?
I had the BEST time. I've backpacked around South East Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia) and hadn't had the chance to experience China before, so to see it with a group was fantastic. There are so many activities you can join in on... you can do as much or as little as you want. There were 14 of us in my group which was a great sized group; we all got on so well!
Try everything you can! There's so much diversity in China, and on the China Experience you get to see a massive range of the country. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have been able to do it all if I went on my own (I didn't even know Yang Shuo existed!). The food was so, so good - I managed to get a basket of dumplings for 30p in a village near Yang Shuo, and the Sichuan hot pot we had... incredible!
Want to know more about the China Experience? Check out the full 27-day itinerary HERE!