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The real question is; why shouldn’t you learn Chinese? by Damian

Dearest Readers, Today’s article will be something different, though peculiar nonetheless! JDS invited me – a guy called Damian – to write about the process of learning Chinese. Similar to JDS, I have had the privilege to be selected for the Netherlands – Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS), meaning I spent my summer in the mesmerizing China. Since I was a small kid, I dreamt of going to China, due to its rich culture, diverse landscapes, interesting food and challenging language. #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 50%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */   Just two snapshots showing one of the many beautiful views and interesting sights which you can find in China All participants...

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안녕하세요 Annyeong haseyo! by Wahwah

안녕하세요 Annyeong haseyo!  As a guest blogger I am excited to share one of my beautiful experiences during my stay in Asia. So here we go… LET’S GO TO SEOUL! Many friends said I was crazy to choose to go to Korea over all those warm places in Asia during the winter. They said “It’s freezing”, “all the attractions are outside”, “it’s not beautiful in the winter”, “and it isn’t that exciting”.  It was true, it was ice cold! However, don’t underestimate how much warmth the city Seoul can bring you in a cold winter. I stayed with seven other friends in Hongdae area, which is a perfect place to stay. Streets in the evening were filled with people and lightning, which...

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The seized opportunity at Netherlands — Asia Honours Summer School

Reasons | Aspirations | Diversity Everyone probably aspires for something, and so did I when I applied for the Netherlands — Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS). I was born and raised in the West and due to various personal and legal cases, I was unable to explore the culture and beauty of my parents’ motherland. My parents are from China which is fortunately also the main destination of NAHSS — as two of its destinations were in China with the other two in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Its programme offered an opportunity for me to gain knowledge about the Chinese culture and practices through actual experience, so I thought it was an opportunity I had to seize. I was fortunate to...

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The spiciest and cutest city of China (1/2) by Liyen

Hi everyone! My name is Liyen — a Dutch foodie with Asian roots, and just like the peeps of OnlyGoodThings I love to eat, explore, photograph and especially to write. So when I was offered the opportunity for a guest post, I didn’t think twice for the answer “yes”. This post will feature Chengdu — the spiciest and cutest city of China. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan’s province as well as one of the largest cities situated in Southwest China, and if you ever burned your throat in China, then you probably had a delicious Sichuan dish. At the other end of hot and spicy is soft and cuteness, and this is represented by Chengdu’s Giant Panda Base. When...

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“The world is a book — if you don’t travel, you only read one page” by Sebastian

Hello! My name is Sebastian and as a friend of JDS, I’ll be writing one daring post about the Avatar Mountains! They are nicknamed after the most expensive movie ever, Avatar, which was shot here in 2009. You know, the 3-hour movie with the blue people and stuff. I have never seen something comparable to these mountains, and even though I haven’t seen every corner of the globe yet, I can assure anyone that this landscape is a one-of-a-kind. Let me start with how we got to this otherworldly must-see. After a few times practicing, we could finally pronounce the location of the famous Avatar Mountains: Zhangjiajie [dzjang-dja-dje]. We just emerged from the beautiful rice fields of Guilin, and took the...

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Guilin’s hidden beauty (1/3)

It did not matter who we asked or how many, there were always two destinations that were continuously recommended by friends, family, and even strangers. One of them is Guilin, while the other one is Zhangjiajie also known as the Avatar Mountains, and stay tuned for this one, cause it will be featured by one daring guest writer. #gallery-1 {margin: auto;}#gallery-1 .gallery-item {float: left;margin-top: 10px;text-align: center;width: 33%;}#gallery-1 img {border: 2px solid #cfcfcf;}#gallery-1 .gallery-caption {margin-left: 0;}/* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */   On the day of departure, we woke up early in the morning, and realised that taking the metro would implicate missing the train from Guangzhou to Guilin. So the only option left was taking a taxi, but it was...

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A spontaneous trip to Fragrant Hills – Xiangshan Park

(see cover for gate) In Beijing I tended to let fate decide my adventures, leading to a stance with minimal planning while  looking forward to the unexpected. And one day I got an invite from my roommate Jens to join his Honours team on a trip to the Fragrant Hills of Beijing — I didn’t know the team nor the destination but I thought: “why not, and why not say more yes in life than no?” In contrast to my roommate who was ready to rumble, I had 10 minutes to brush my teeth, wash my face, and put some decent clothes to embark on this adventure. After rushing everything and meeting the team, it became clear that one of their teammates...

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Peking University the Harvard of China

Peking University is considered by the Chinese as the Harvard of China, and together with Tsinghua University the two form the most influential academic institutions in China. On the campus one will witness numerous children as young as 6 years and as old as teenages of 16, who are accompanied by elementary teachers, parents or even grandparents. This phenomenon would be mind-boggling in the Netherlands, as I have never experienced or seen an elementary school-trip to Dutch universities. In contrast to my Western perspective, this practice is actually amazing as the Chinese wish to instil the aspiration of aiming for the top as early as possibly in their children. They believe that education is the key to a prosperous future,...

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Is it the beginning or is it the ending?

On the day of departure to Beijing, I struggled out of my bed to the university to do my last exam early in the morning. Can you believe it? It is not even July yet and I am about to board the plane that would take me from the West to the East. As time continued to tick, I was reminiscing of all the good as well as the bad things in the past two years. Before my friends and I knew it, we were already entering the last stage of our bachelor, as well as our last year of being together in the same class. It struck me more and more that I am leaving the past behind, and starting...

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