Photos by Chloe Chang (George Washington University) Student Correspondent CET Shanghai, Fall 2017
One weekend, I went to my roommate’s hometown, Xuzhou. Xuzhou is an ancient city and a rapidly growing modern city as well. We took a cable car to the top of Yulong Mountain, their tallest mountain in Xuzhou, but a very short mountain by any standards.
On the top of Yulong Mountain is this small Buddhist structure with ornate paintings and images all across the side. On the ceiling of the gazebo is a phoenix and dragon, two lucky legendary animals in Chinese culture.
My roommate’s favorite dish is a spicy lamb noodle soup. I personally do not like lamb, but when I ordered the giant bowl of noodles, I ended up eating all of it and my roommate’s leftovers. All the noodles are hand pulled and quickly made in 5 minutes. The best part of it was how it only cost 8 yuan, or about $1.25.
I finally visited Yu Garden, a famous tourist attraction in Shanghai. While there were thousands of tourists in the shopping areas around Yuyuan, the actual garden itself was surprisingly peaceful on that Monday. I found a few young Buddhist monks on a field trip looking down at the koi in the pond.
A few of us went to Longhua temple, the largest, most authentic and complete ancient temple complex in Shanghai with our Residence Director, Nova. There, we learned about the Buddhist religion and a few students burned some incenses and paid their respects.
We went to a Chinese medicine doctor where we learned about Chinese medicine and also performed some cupping on one another. Cupping’s suction and negative pressure is supposed to relieve muscle pain, encourage blood flow, and improve anxiety and fatigue.
On our last weekend trip, we all went to Moganshan in Zhejiang province. We came at the perfect time where the crisp air paired the radiant fall foliage.
Moganshan is also famed for its rich past as a community for foreigners, specifically Western missionaries and even gangsters. All the western style houses were built in the 1920s and 30s and still stand today. Many have been abandoned or left behind for locals to manage.
This picture shows of the slowly decaying outside of these houses, but the interior is usually renovated. There are hundreds of these Western style houses scattered across the mountain. We even saw some old pools and tennis courts that have now been destroyed and covered by dirt and trees.
While exploring, we found a restaurant called Goldfish Mom, 金鱼妈妈, where we had lunch in clouds. We sat outside in a gazebo on the edge of the cliff, overlooking into the mountain range.