How Not to Visit Jilin City

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Jilin is a small city in the province of Jilin. When I say small, I’m using a Chinese perspective of course. This ‘small’ city of 1 million people has about as many people as New Zealand’s largest city.

Sometimes I think I will never fully comprehend the sheer enormity that is the Chinese population, let alone that of the world.

The best time to visit Jilin is in the coldest part of winter – January and February. It is far enough south that the Songhua river does not freeze, but far enough north for -20 degree Celsius temperatures.

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Don’t Overlook These Places in Paris!

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Paris

I love Paris – it has to be one of my favourite cities. I love everything about it; the Eiffel Tower (don’t snub it and not go right to the top), the Seine, the Artists throughout Montmartre, the architecture, the Museums, the beautiful churches, the atmosphere, the food….don’t get me started on French food. I won’t stop.

There are so many amazing things to see in Paris, and these places often see millions of visitors a year.

The Eiffel Tower, The Arc d’Triumph, the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the Sacre Coeur, Euro Disney, the Notre Dame, Versailles, the Catacombs, the Père Lachaise Cemetery, and on and on I could go.

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Zhalong Nature Reserve in Qiqihar – bird watching heaven in Heilongjiang

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Qiqihar seems to get the ‘short end of the stick’ in Harbin. When I teach at one of the universities in Harbin I ask the students to stand up and introduce themselves: Name, Place of Origin, study program etc

Whenever one of them says, “I’m from Qiqihar,” the rest laugh.

When I ask why, I’m generally told that it is a hole.

I have to admit that I can relate to this attitude on some level; while I studied at university in Dunedin the running joke was that the next town over – Mosgiel – was a hole (sorry Mosgiel).

I think it is particularly unfair for Qiqihar. While it is not rich with oil like Daqing, it is a nice place and has a brilliant bird reserve.

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2 Most Important Things to Stay Safe as a Solo Female Traveller

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One of the biggest reasons people, and women especially, don’t travel solo, or in many cases don’t travel at all is that they are worried about how to stay safe.

When I was planning to travel after university one of my friends kept on trying to be positive and talk about all the good things she’d heard about Beijing.

Then the fear would get the better of her and she’d go back to saying “please please be careful Zoe.”

It is a huge mental block for many people.

I think the main drivers behind this are our universal fear of the unknown and media bias.

It is such a common category 1 excuse not to travel.

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Essential Preparation for Your Trip

Trip preparation

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Essential Preparation for Your Trip

How should you prepare for your trip? That is almost an impossible question to answer because every trip is different. Long term travelling or short-term trip? Harbin in winter or India in summer? France in the high season or Liberia which I don’t think has a season. Every trip requires something different.

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