Five Things to Do With Kids in Zhuhai {Around the World in 30 Days}

zhuhai things to doSince I live in China, I take every opportunity to share things about our life here. This month I am participating in a series called Around the World in 30 Days hosted by Cutting Tiny Bites – a series intended for younger children (but suitable for kindy children!)
I have previously wrote about living in Zhuhai – a city in Guangdong province that is in the South of China. Today I’d like to share with you Five Things you can do with your children in our city!
1. Visit all the marvelous parks and enjoy running around, getting on the rides and having a picnic in the shade of the trees. Most popular parks are Haibin Gongyuan (Waterfront park), Bailiangdong Gongyuan (White Lotus park) and Yuan Ming Xin Yuan (New Yuan Ming Palace). There are many more out there but these 3 are the most central and familiar. In Yuan Ming Xin Yuan there is also a swimming pool with various water rides. And in Bailiangdong Gongyuan one can take a hike up the mountain till a small Buddhist temple and ring a bell for luck there.
2. Take a stroll on Lover’s Road, all the way to the Yeli Dao (Fox Island) and take a ride on the family bikes. Lover’s Road stretches for hundreds of kilometers along the seaside and every now and then you can hire these bikes.

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3. Visit various indoor playgrounds. The ones we and our friends frequent are in Jida malls, in a shop called Baby Love Island; one in Jusco (known as Yang Ming Guang Cheng or Aeon); Yuyuto in Huafa Shandu (Huafa Mall); Lego Land in Huafa Century City; Tong Yi playground in Huafa Century city. There are MANY more. And they are not free! However, you can opt to buy a membership card – there are many schemes that give you offers with reduced price.
4. Visit Chimelong Ocean Kingdom (Chang Long). It is a big amusement park that has dozens of sea creatures living in a huge aquarium. There are also various rides, restaurants and shows that you can attend at certain hours. It is quite far away and it is a whole day trip, but really worth seeing especially if you don’t have an easy access to such places.

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5. In hot season – hit the pools! A lot of compounds offer free pools to those who live there. Plus, there are various pools all over the city with various charges per person per time. 
In colder season  – try various outdoor playgrounds. There is a big one at the Haibin Yong Cheng (Haibin beach) and there is a coffee shop right next to it. Another one is located close to a community called Jida Hao Yuan – it is a playground with exercise machines intended for senior citizens.
And in the evenings – go out around 8 pm and follow people to a big open area near where you are staying – you can see them dancing in lines and in pairs. So much fun!
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Join us and follow the series in June 2015 – travel to a new country every day and learn about it, make a craft, a dish or simply see what fun things you can do there!
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China 101: Tips And Experience Sharing {Intro}

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I have been getting an increasing number of inquiries from expat families  planning to move to China, in particular to Zhuhai,  where we currently reside. I have also been told I should write a bit more about our hands – on experiences here with schooling,  birth, medical care and whatever else would be beneficial to families and/or single expats planning to come here.
So I have decided to start China 101 series in order to share this useful information.
Meanwhile if you have questions about life in China and Zhuhai in particular – welcome to contact me and I will do my best to share the necessary information!

Our Neighbourhood in Zhuhai {Show Me Your Neighbourhood Around The World}

I haven’t been recently posting for some personal reasons and I am behind on a couple of projects!

Today I will be sharing with you some more on our beautiful city of Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, where as a family we have resided as a family for over 5 years now (which is nearly half of my life in China in general).

I have previously posted some pictures of Zhuhai during our Backyard Barbecue Hop and when I wrote a guest post for Mama Smiles on Exploring Geography Series so you are welcome to revisit!

We live in an older garden, called Bay Garden (Hai Wan Garden). We are quite lucky as right outside our gate there is a German-Japanese bakery, probably the best in town, where we can get fresh bread and pastries and have meals at a reasonable price.

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Entrance to our garden and some of the buildings
 

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Entrance of the Bakery (Backerei – owned by a Japanese gentleman
who mastered baking in Germany)
 

Inside and outside the garden, and practically almost all over the city and in the suburbs, there are many trees, flowers and grass. Zhuhai doesn’t have many sights but it is known for its mountains, parks and greenery.

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Famous Lover’s Road – one of the longest roads in China
 

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Inside and outside our garden
 

If you visit local parks, plan for a Barbecue – quite a few of them have specially dedicated areas where you can make your own barbecue (bring your own food, but have to buy the coal right there).

Macau Zhuhai Photos October 2010

Barbecue place at Bailiangdong Park (3 bus stops away from our garden)
 

In China it is very common to reside near the places where your child attends kindergarten and schools. Kindergarten starts here from 2-2.5 years old. It is full time – 8.30am to 4.30pm. And there are 3 types of schools: primary (1-6 grades), middle (7-10 grades) and high (11-12 or 11-13 grades). Children usually graduate from high school at around 17-19 years of age. Some graduate after middle school and join special skills colleges, after which they either start working or continue to Universities.

Experimental Middle School outside of our garden (photo credit – Panoramio)
 

You will find that Chinese likes mosaics and  mosaic tiles. On the other side of our garden there is a whole long wall decorated with mosaic tiles.

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Zhuhai is a coastal city. There are many small islands around it, some are fairly close hence made as attraction places for tourists and local crowds. Zhuhai also shares land border with Macau and in some places near the seaside you can see Macau’s casinos and building, which are especially visible during evening and night hours.

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Seaside and riverside 
 

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Nigh view of the Fox Island and Macau

Inside every garden, in all of the residential areas and parks, there are small and big playgrounds for chidlren. Some are free, some have paid entrance (like, in parks, it costs 80 US cents to 1 US dollar to enter).

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Playground at Hai Bin Park
 

Outside of our garden there is a lovely Holiday Resort and Hotel, called Zhuhai Holiday Resort. In Spring, Summer and half of Autumn, we go there to swim at the outdoor swimming pool (which is one of the cleanest and best maintained swimming pools in Zhuhai). And we also go to have picnics at the large grassy area there near by the small lake. This Holiday Resort is also known for its Dim Sum (Morning Tea) and we like to eat there from time to time.

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Entrance to Zhuhai Holiday Resort

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This Dim Sum picture was not taken there, however the place
doesn’t exist anymore and I don’t have any pictures from our ZHR Dim Sum!
 

I hope you enjoyed this small tour to Zhuhai! What is your neighbourhood like?

Backyard Barbecue Blog Hop: Mountain Climbing

 

Announcing the first annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop!

First Annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop

 

 We are so excited to kick off the season with a bloghop to celebrate all of the wonderful recipes, activities, and crafts that summertime brings!

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When I first thought of a topic to write for this blog \hop, I wanted to introduce the way the BBQ is done in our city, Zhuhai. However, I was so devastated to find out that all the pictures from every BBQ we went here to are missing!

So instead, I am introducing to you another very popular activity around here: mountain climbing.

Zhuhai is located in a mountainous area. From one side we have the sea, from another one – multiple mountains (not very high). This kind of landscape sort of traps the humidity and heat within the city and lots of people look for various escapes during summer. Mountain climbing is one of them, though it is an all-time favorite activity throughout the year.

One of the most popular mountains around here is Banzhanshan – Ban Zhan Mountain. The mountain is considered very special since there is a tunnel through it that connects 2 districts of Zhuhai  – Ningxi and Gongbei. Without this tunnel it would really be hard to go from one district to another and would take up much time to travel!

Since the mountain is located in the city, people like climbing it, exploring long pathways leading all the way to the top and opening a gorgeous view all year long.

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People often bring snacks and drinks with them and they can sit down at specially designated areas (you’d be surprised how many benches and places for that are there at different levels!), rest, chat, play games and enjoy their snacks.

Kids also love climbing the moutain as there are no cars, few bikes and they can run about free!

My daughter loves picking flowers so she thoroughly enjoys such outings as she can find fallen leaves and flowers and collect as many as she likes.

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Being outside is one of the best things the summer can offer! Even though it gets pretty hot in our city, we find place and time to be out without getting too hot or too burnt!

How do you spend your summers?

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Please link up below all of your family-friendly summertime ideas below. The linky will be open through July 13, so be sure to come back later in the summer to share more of your great summertime posts!

The Backyard Barbecue Bloghop is brought to you by:

All Done Monkey

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Mud Hut Mama

With our wonderful co-hosts:

The Squishable Baby

Creative World of Varya

Kid World Citizen

Something 2 Offer

Local Fun for Kids

Rainy Day Mum


Few words about Zhuhai – the city where we live

My friends often ask to pinpoint the exact location of the place we live in. Many people have heard of Macau and Hong Kong. But even though Zhuhai shares the land border with Macau, very few people heard about it.

I was recently a guest blogger on Mama Smiles Blog where I posted about Zhuhai. If you follow the link, you’ll read some brief facts about the city and China in general.

Zhuhai is indeed very green and very family friendly. In this post I want to share with you some pictures of different areas in this city. Hope you enjoy looking at them and whenever you are in the area – consider coming by. We don’t have that many great places to see but the city itself is worth exploring as it has that Chinese character everyone keeps talking about even though it is a modern city.

Winter Traditions: Christmas Gawking

Yes, we are a bunch of gawkers! We like going around the malls and looking at Christmas decorations. We don’t celebrate Christmas and New Year in our family – it is a choice we gladly made, emphasising our Baha’i holidays (Ayyam-i-Ha and Nawruz). We do participate in the festivities if our friends invite us or when it is celebrate at our work place.

Both my husband and I grew up without any emphasis made on Christmas (especially what is called “Catholic” Christmas which is celebrated in December). For me, New Year was more important when I was growing up and it was and probably is the biggest event in Russia.

As our daughters are growing up, we teach them about various Winter holidays, including Christmas, Gregorian New Year and Chinese (Lunar) New Year. But the biggest emphasis is made on Ayyam-i-Ha which is celebrated for 4 days (5 days during leap years) and it is a great time for gift giving/receiving, cooking, hosting and visiting friends.

But back to us being gawkers. Christmas time in China is magical. Even though it is not an official holiday but it is a great commercial event and everything gets decorated. So we go around, look at all the beautiful decorations and various Christmas trees.

Here are a few pictures I want to share with you from both Zhuhai and Macao!