Join us this #BlogTuesday as WorldTeach China  volunteer, Lynsey Zettler, shared the first trip she took during her WorldTeach experience. From trying new foods to exploring rural China, Lynsey’s account of her travel experiences is entertaining to follow! Plus, you gotta love how cheap AND delicious food can be. What food do you remember falling in love with while traveling for the first time?

Considering applying to our China Year Program? Click here to learn more. Make sure to mark your calendars as applications are due on May 1st, 2016. —

Well it has most certainly been a whirlwind of a month! I have been teaching at Changjun Bilingual Middle School for 6 weeks already! I have even had the opportunity to do a little traveling throughout the Hunan Province as well. Three weeks ago I took my very first trip on an express train to visit my friend Brittany, also a fellow teacher, living in a small mountain town called Nanyue. Not only was this my first time ever riding in a train (other than the Monorail at Disney of course, and a few of the subway systems throughout the USA), but my first ride on an express train to boot!

Nanyue is a small town, population approximately 800,00 people. I know what you are thinking…800,000 is soooo small!!!!! LOL The town is nestled at the bottom of one of China’s five Holy Mountains, called Hengshan Mountain. I first glance I thought that 90% of the shops were selling fireworks…I got schooled though! They are actually selling incense for tourists to burn when they hike the mountain. Nanyue is absolutely stunning. The mountain views are breathtaking. It literally took my breath away after having been in the city for a while now…I wasn’t used to breathing in smog free air! hahaha

This picture is of the road that leads to the base of the mountain. There were many tourists in town hiking throughout the duration of my stay in Nanyue. The hike takes about eight hours to complete.

There are only a couple large streets in the entire town. As you walk around you are definitely able to take in the majestic mountain backdrop as well as the quaint rural streets filled with shops and delicious restaurants. No western food here folks! One of my fellow teacher’s favorite restaurants is a little noodle shop. They have a case full of veggies, dumplings and various meats. You grab a pair of tongs and pick out whatever you like to be added to your noodles. Then the owners total up your pickings and toss it in a delicious broth to be cooked as you watch! The food is incredible and you can get a huge meal for an average of 12 yuan, equal to $2.00.

While walking around Nanyue, you also get a glimpse at rural Chinese life. The locals set up shop along the main streets to sell their goods, ranging from jewelry to herbal Chinese medicines! One of the highlights of my trip was browsing along with my friends and checking out all of the local workmanship! We even came across a man selling honey from a freshly cut down bee hive! SO cool!

I even had the opportunity to tour a Buddhist Temple! It was quite beautiful! The grounds were so peaceful and the architecture was gorgeous as well! Visitors were able to light incense here too. We even saw a matchbook with President Obama shooting hoops on the front of it! My favorite part aside from seeing the monks, was all of the butterflies flying around the temple pollinating the flowers. Such a serene place!

To top off this post, take a look at these last couple of pictures. This is the view from Teacher Bittany’s apartment as well as the lily pond at the entrance to her campus! Nanyue is just stunning!

Stay tuned as my adventures in China continue! Full speed ahead!!

Considering applying to our China Year Program? Click here to learn more. Make sure to mark your calendars as applications are due on May 1st, 2016. —