8 Mammals You Didn’t Know Were Native to China

China is a such a large country filled with so many unique animals. This post is meant to highlight some of the most interesting (and cute!) animals found in China.

Pygmy slow lorises are a species of nocturnal strepsirrhine primates found in the Yunnan Province of China. It is nocturnal and arboreal, crawling along branches using slow movements in search of prey. The teeth in its lower jaw form a comb-like structure called a toothcomb that is used for scraping resin from tree bark.

Macaques are the most commonly found monkeys in China and can be found throughout the country. They have oversized cheeks to store food and live in large troops. Stump-tailed macaques have long, thick, dark brown fur covering their bodies, but their face and short tail, are hairless.

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Sables are a species of marten which inhabit forest environments found in the Manchuria Region in Northeast China and the Altai region of northern Xinjiang Province. They live in burrows, near riverbanks in the thickest parts of woods, commonly made more secure by being dug among tree roots. They are good climbers of cliffs and trees, which helps them hunt their prey.

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Dugongs are medium-sized marine mammals, related to manatees in the Western Hemisphere, found along the coast of the Guangxi Zhuang Region in China. They are the only strictly marine herbivorous mammal, as all species of manatee use fresh water to some degree, and generally live long lives, sometimes into their 70s.

Gibbons are the only apes native to China other than humans and can be found in the Yunnan Province of China. They are the fastest and most agile tree-dwellers, using their long arms to swing from branches. Gibbons can be recognized by their loud calls, with mating pairs often singing together as a duet.

Takins, the largest goat antelope and a relative of the musk ox, live in highlands from the eastern foothills of the Himalayas to the Qinling and shares habitat with the giant panda in Sichuan and Shaanxi. In the summer, herds of up to 300 individuals gather high on the mountain slopes and groups often appear to occur in largest numbers when favorable feeding sites, salt licks, or hot springs are located.

Siberian ibexes, the largest and heaviest goats, are found in the Tian Shan range of Xinjiang. Their habitat consists of a mixture of high altitude tundra, alpine meadows, and regions of semidesert. Siberian ibexes seek out lower slopes during the winter in search of food and have also been known to seek out tree lines on hot days.

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Bactrian camels, found in the dry deserts of Northern China, have two humps and can go a month or longer without drinking water. A thirsty Bactrian camel can drink 135 liters (30 gallons) in only 13 minutes! They can with withstand extremely hot and cold weather and have broad hooves that do not sink in desert.

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For more information about traveling and teaching in China, please visit our website or reach out to us at teach@goglobaljobs.com

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4 Places I want to Visit Next Time I’m in China

Before I arrived in China, I had heard about the big tourist destinations like Beijing and Xi’an. After I got here I found out there are so many amazing destinations in China that are not known as well. I’m nearing the end of my summer here, but I have compiled a list of the four I want to visit the most next time I’m here!
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1. Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sichuan province known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks. There are three valleys arranged in a Y shape with three rivers flowing north through them. The easiest way to get here is to take a plane to Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport and then drive two hours to get to Jiuzhaigou Valley. It may be a long journey, but the views are definitely worth it. For more information about Jiuzhaigou Valley, click here.

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2. Wulingyuan

Wulingyuan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for more than 3,000 quartzite sandstone pillars with many being over 650 feet. There are also 40 caves with calcite deposits, two natural bridges, ravines, streams, pools, and waterfalls. It is located in Hunan Province about 170 miles from Changsha. Wulingyuan is pretty difficult to get to. The best way is to take a flight to Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport and then you can either take a taxi for about 100 RMB or an hour bus ride for 12 RMB. If you take the bus, however, you either need to walk 15 minutes or take a public bus or taxi the rest of the way. For more information about Wulingyuan, click here.

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3. Baiyangdian Lake

Baiyangdian Lake is located in Hebei Province, two hours from Beijing by car. It is the largest freshwater lake in China and referred to as the Kidney of North China due to its major contribution to the groundwater supply in the surrounding area. The lake is home to over 50 varieties of fish and multiple varieties of wild geese, ducks, and birds. Tourists come mostly for the peaceful water scenes and vast lotus gardens. For more information about Baiyangdian, click here.

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4. Pingyao

Pingyao is a county in central Shanxi province, about four hours on the bullet train from Beijing. Pingyao is an ancient city that dates back over 2,700 years and is known for its well-preserved city walls. The old walled city is one square mile, inhabited, and restricted to cars, giving you a more authentic Chinese experience. Pingyao is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more information about Pingyao, click here.


For more information about traveling and teaching in China, please visit our website or reach out to us at teach@goglobaljobs.com

City Profile: Shijiazhuang

01300000317747123442318764143GoGlobal office is based in Shanghai, so readers of this blog constantly read about our adventures around town. However, there is more to China than just Shanghai! China is a big country, and a big part of moving across the world is knowing where you want to go.
With that in mind, we have started a new city profile series, where we give you an overview of the locales you could be able to teach in. Your next adventure starts here!
This week’s city profile is about Shijiazhuang, the capital of the Hebei Providence.

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Background:
Shijiazhuang is located 263 km (163 mi) southwest of Beijing and has a population of 3.4 million people, which makes it the 131st largest urban area in the world. Shijiazhuang is the capital of the Hebei Province, and it is acknowledged as an emerging industrial city with a bright future. Shijiazhuang is the largest pharmaceutical base in China and is as well an important center in the textile, IT, manufacturing and chemical industries.

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Weather:
Shijiazhuang experiences a wide variety of temperature and weather conditions throughout the year. Most of the year is dry in Shijiazhuang, but summer monsoon season brings rain and humidity. Overall the temperatures are on the cooler side, with the annual average temperature being about 13°C (56°F). Click here for more information about Shijiazhuang’s weather.

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Transportation:
The Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport has many domestic flights around China in addition to international flights around Asia. The Beijing-Guangzhou High Speed railway passes through Shijiazhuang, so it opens up travel to two of the largest cities in China. Jinan has 97 bus routes that help people travel around the city with ease. A metro system with 6 lines is currently under construction and is set to open in 2017.

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Mount Cangyan

Attractions:
• Mount Baodu is an ancient fortified hilltop settlement located on the west side of the city containing various walks and Buddhist statues.
• Mount Cangyan is a scenic area in Jingxing County, Hebei Province, China, famous for its combination of natural mountain scenery with historical man-made structures.
• The Longxing Temple is an ancient Buddhist monastery located just outside the city referred to as the “First Temple south of Beijing”.

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Shopping:
• If you’re craving Western food, the Wan Da Mall on Huai An Lu, has a Starbucks, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and KFC. It also has a movie theater with an IMAX screen, as well as many clothing stores which are reasonably priced.
• EGO, Tai He and Nan San Tiao, wholesale shopping centers are Near Dong Fang.

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Bars and Clubs:
• Some popular new clubs are Rex, Mazzo, Deep and Ant.
• The two most popular bars are Story Bar and Freely’s.

Other Useful Websites for Expats:
http://www.echinacities.com/Shijiazhuang
http://www.internations.org/shijiazhuang-expats/

How to Navigate a Fabric Market

IMG_1204When visiting China, going to a fabric market to order custom-made clothes is a lot of fun, but can be intimidating. Last weekend I went to get a traditional Qipao custom made, and this was my experience.

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  • I began by researching which market I wanted to go to. I decided on the Shanghai South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market, which is the largest and most popular fabric market in Shanghai. I took line 4 to the Nanpu Bridge stop, and then walked 10 minutes from the subway to the market.

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  • Once I got to the market I began shopping around. I walked through the entire market to see all of the stores that could make qipao. After walking by every store I settled on the first store I walked past, Shanghai Beach Essence Finery (1F, Rm 174), and worked with designer Jiang Qiu Ying to create my dress.

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  • After picking the store I talked to Jiang and the first thing she had me do was pick out the fabric. She had an enormous book of swatches of all of the fabric options to choose from, so it was exciting but difficult to choose which color I wanted. Eventually I decided on a dark teal with a pattern in black and silver. After choosing the fabric, I picked the dress design itself from samples she had in the store.

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  • I had expected to put on a large sample dress and Jiang would measure from that, but instead she measured every possible place that would affect the size of the dress, such as around my arm, across my back shoulders, etc. I was amazed by how meticulous she was, which made me feel confident that it will turn out well.

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  • I went this past weekend to pick up the dress and it turned out perfect. Going to the fabric market can be overwhelming and a lot to handle at one time, but it is a really rewarding and exciting experience that you shouldn’t miss out on when you are in China!

City Profile: Jinan

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GoGlobal office is based in Shanghai, so readers of this blog constantly read about our adventures around town. However, there is more to China than just Shanghai! China is a big country, and a big part of moving across the world is knowing where you want to go.

With that in mind, we have started a new city profile series, where we give you an overview of the locales you could be able to teach in. Your next adventure starts here!

This week’s city profile is about Jinan, the capital of and one of the largest cities in the Shandong Providence.

jinanBackground:
Jinan is located 400 km (250 mi) south of Beijing and there are currently 3.8 million people living in the urban area of Jinan, which makes it the 106th largest urban area in the world. Jinan is often referred to as the “Spring City” because of its 72 artesian springs within the city proper. It became an important transportation and trading hub in the early 1900s and eventually developed into an industrial center.

Weather:
Jinan experiences 4 distinct seasons with hot, humid summers and mild to cold winters with occasional snow. The annual average temperature is 14.7°C (58.5°F), and there is only a moderate amount of rain (mostly in the summer), so there is a fair share of clear, sunny days. Click here for more information about Jinan’s weather.

Transportation:
The Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport has many domestic flights around China in addition to international flights around Asia. The Shanghai-Beijing High Speed railway passes through Jinan, so it opens up travel from Jinan to the two largest cities in China. It is a 2 hour bullet train ride to Beijing and 4 hour ride to Shanghai. Jinan has 6 different kinds of bus systems that help people travel around the city with ease. Construction on a Metro began in 2013 and is set to open in 2018.

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Attractions:
• The “72 Famous Springs” are a major tourist destination with the Baotu Spring Park being the most popular of the bunch. They are concentrated in the downtown district and work their way north to converge in Daming Lake.
• There are many Buddhists sights in Jinan; the Four Gates Pagoda and Lingyan Temple are the most popular.
• The Shandong Provincial Museum is the largest museum in the province and houses a large collection of natural and historical treasures of the whole province.

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Shopping:
• Shanshi East Road has adjoining buildings with a lot of little stores where you can bargain to get clothes.
• Black Pottery, an ancient pottery type from 4000 years ago, can be found in various places around Jinan. The thin walls and distinctive polishing is characteristic of Black Pottery and although you can’t buy the antiques, new pottery is made for tourists to purchase.

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Bars and Clubs:

• Lang Kwui Fong is a bar popular with foreigners and locals (Wenhua Dong Lu).
• Cinderella is a club underneath a sports stadium (Jingshi Lu).

Other Useful Websites:
Echinacities.com– More info about Jinan.
WhatsonJinan.com– Tips for living in Jinan.
MyChinaStart.com- Help for expats moving to Jinan.

5 Strategies for Staying Sane in the Metro

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One of the most popular methods of getting around in a city in China can also be the most challenging if you don’t quite know what you’re doing. The metro really is the door to getting around the city with ease and can be a great tool when used properly.

IMG_10551) Getting your ticket- The first step in taking the metro is getting your pass or token depending on what city you are in. If you are living in China I highly recommend the card because you just carry it with you, it’s more convenient, and you can put extra money on it so you don’t have to reload it as often. The tokens for a single ride are more for people just visiting and some cities you have to get the card.

2) Going through security- After paying for your ride or loading up your card for future rides, you go through a security checkpoint, which is really just someone telling you to put your bag through the scanner. Most people in Shanghai ignore the security guards, however, and just walk through without putting their bag through the scanner because the guards don’t do anything if you ignore them. This is only in Shanghai, though. In other cities putting bags through the scanner is enforced. You then go to the turnstiles and either scan your card or insert your coin and then you’re done with those for now.

IMG_10623) Choosing your strategy- From there is when strategy comes in. You have to decide which set of stairs or escalator to take that will lead you to the best line for getting on the metro. Notice I said best instead of shortest. Once you get to the platform if you choose the shortest line during peak hours (8 am/6 pm, etc.), then you will most likely be stuck feeling cramped between a bunch of people. A strategy I like to use is find a line that is a little bit longer, but not so long that you won’t get on the next train. With a longer line you can get on just as the car is almost full so you’re between people and the door, so you have a little more space.

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4) Getting to the exit- Once you have ridden the metro to your stop you get off the car and either take the stairs or the escalator up. I recommend taking the stairs because the escalator usually has too many people trying to go up on it and not many people take the stairs, so it’s quicker. At that point you find the nearest exit turnstile, so don’t forget to have either your metro card or token ready because you need them to exit the metro.

5) Picking your exit- The last thing you need to do is find the exit nearest to where you are trying to go. Some stations have up to 20 exits, so it’s really important to know which one you need.

Using the Metro in China is pretty easy and incredibly helpful. It’s so important to have a plan on how to go about it to make it easier and less stressful. For more tips and info on moving to China visit goglobaljobs.com.

City Profile: Hefei

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GoGlobal office is based in Shanghai, so readers of this blog constantly read about our adventures around town. However, there is more to China than just Shanghai! China is a big country, and a big part of moving across the world is knowing where you want to go.

With that in mind, we have started a new city profile series, where we give you an overview of the locales you could be able to teach in. Your next adventure starts here!

This week’s city profile is about Hefei, the capital of and largest city in the Anhui Providence.

Background:

thHefei is located about a 3 hour drive northwest of Shanghai and there are currently 3.4 million people living in the city proper, which makes it the 76th largest city in the world. Between the 1930s and 1950s Hefei grew from a quiet market town to an industrial city, including the opening of a cotton mill and over time multiple universities.

Weather:2

Hefei experiences 4 distinct seasons with hot, humid summers and mild to cold winters similar to the south Atlantic states in the U.S.  The annual average temperature is 15.83°C (60.5°F) with heavier precipitation from May-August and annual precipitation averaging about 1,000mm (39 in). It does only rain about 1-2 weeks every month, however, so there is a fair share of clear, sunny days. Click here for more information about Hefei’s weather.

Transportation:

The Hefei Xinqiao International Airport (open in 2013) has flights not only around China, but also to different cities around Asia. Two subway lines are in the midst of construction, expected to be completed in 2016, and look to offer residents and visitors an easier way to get around the city. There are also two different bus lines that are serving that purpose now.

Attractions:3

  • Hefei is home to its own football (soccer) team called the Anhui Jiufang that play in the second highest tier of China Football.
  • The temple of Lord Bao is also a popular tourist destination. It was built in 1066 near the tomb of Lord Bao and is still visited today, almost 1,000 years later.
  • Hefei Swan Lake is a lake with a manmade beach that is perfect for those warm summer days.
  • Lastly, the Hefei Botanical Garden is a very peaceful and beautiful place to go if you feel like a stroll.

Shopping:

If you are looking for souvenirs, one of the most authentic to Chinese Tradition is the Four Treasures of the Huang-Xing-Road-Pedestrian-Street-2Study. This refers to the four stationeries in writing Chinese calligraphy, including brush, ink-stick, paper and ink-stone, some of which certain Hefei counties are known for. A good shop to buy these is Zuimei Stationery爱美文具 Aimei Wenju and the address is 327-2 Changjiang Zhong Road, Lushan District 庐山区长江中路327-2号.

For women looking to get their shopping fix a great place to go is the women’s street at Huaihe Road Pedestrian Street. It’s located in Shanxiaokou on Changjiang Road.

If you find yourself looking for some english language literature, you can go to Hefei’s largest bookstore, Anhui Book City to find a wide range of books.

Some bars that expats frequent are Lento, Stone & Wood (you can write on the graffiti covered walls), and Mr. T Pub (known for their burgers and Soccer Saturday).

 

Other Useful Websites:

eChinacities.com– This website provides more information about Hefei

Travelchinaguide.com– This website offers some tips for living in Hefei

Hefeiexpat.com– This website is for expats living in Hefei

Culture Shock in China

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My name is Shelby Carlson and I am from Sacramento, California. I go to school at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona and just finished up my second year majoring in Business Administration, Management. I will be doing a Human Resources and Marketing internship at GoGlobal in Shanghai for the next two months, and will be sharing some of my experiences in China on this blog.

IMG_0814I have only ever been out of the country to Canada before, so I knew I would be in for some serious culture shock when I arrived in Shanghai. It was really important to me to read up on Chinese customs before I came because I knew that things are offensive in the United States that aren’t offensive here and vice versa. For example burping in public or pushing someone to get on the metro are completely acceptable in China- burping is even encouraged to show you enjoyed the food you ate.

I have also been surprised by experiences in China that I hadn’t read about before my arrival. For example, when entering the metro station there is a security checkpoint with guards that indicate if you need to put your bag through the scanning machine or not. Most people completely ignore the guards and just go through without getting their back screened, which would never happen in the U.S.IMG_0889

There are a lot of people that speak English, but they are not always the people you hope would speak English. Most Chinese restaurants don’t have workers that speak English (or they speak limited English), so unless the menu has a lot of pictures it can be difficult to order. Most Chinese people are for the most part friendly and patient, and they will take the time to try to understand you. When I feel I’ve reached a dead end, I just start laughing. If you can’t communicate with someone, laughing it makes them feel more comfortable about not being able to understand you.

So far I really love China and can’t wait to see what else I get to experience here!

China is Saving Endangered Yangtze Turtles

There are only four Yangtze giant softshell turtles left living in the entire world. Two males live in Vietnam, and the other two (one male and one female) live in China at the Suzhou Zoo. These two Chinese turtles are over one-hundred years old. When they arrived at the Suzhou Zoo in 2008, they began a captive breeding program, but the past eight years have not been as reproductively fruitful as scientists have thought. Now, it’s a race against time to figure out a way for the turtles to reproduce so the species can live on.

The male turtle is unable to fertilize the female’s eggs himself, so the team of scientists in charge of the project have determined reproduction is only possible through artificial insemination. This is the first time this process has been used with any softshell turtle, and although previous attempts with other turtles have been unsuccessful, they hope this will keep the population of turtles alive. Scientists will know in about a month if the eggs are fertilized and they hope the female will have children with her when she is moved back to the Changsha Zoo this autumn.