Golden Travel Week旅游黄金周
October Destinations 十月胜地
Some suggestions for the October break.
Enjoy the crimson autumn scenery of Korea’s many national parks and mountains. ①Top it off with a shopping spree in Seoul. Best of all, it’s only a short flight from Beijing.
All the romance of an ancient city with the pulse of a modern metropolis, Rome is not just a museum of outstanding architecture; it is a lively, bustling, lived-in city. October is a perfect time to visit, weather wise, and no matter what time of year you go, you’ll end up as fat as a fool from Italy’s world famous cuisine.
If you hanker for the great outdoors, it would be hard to beat Switzerland. The autumn temperatures are quite comfortable. For the more energetic, there are wonderful opportunities for skiing, snowboarding and hiking. Nonetheless, Switzerland can be an expensive destination.
For a relatively small country New Zealand has a very diverse range of scenery, culture and activities. In October there are three major food and wine festivals. New Zealand has mild weather all year, although it can be quite changeable.
London is one of the most famous capitals in the world. Cosmopolitan and dynamic, it can still satisfy those ②thirsting for tradition. Although autumn is the off-season for tourism, London is still a very expensive city to visit. If you go in October you had better bring an umbrella!
Sri Lanka 斯里兰卡
Now that its civil war is behind it, many tourists are rediscovering Sri Lanka. ‘The Pearl of the Orient’ can boast tropical scenery, exotic wildlife, exciting festivals, friendly people and low costs. The peak season in Sri Lanka is from December to March. October will be less crowded and cheaper. However, it is important to be aware that some regions are still dangerous.
Bilingual Time talked to Wang Lei and Mike Dundas about their travel experiences. Wang Lei is from Beijing and recently travelled in Britain. Mike is from the U.S.A. and works as an English teacher in China. The following is an interview based on their conversation. The full audio version of this interview can be found on this issue’s CD.
Rudi: Recently, you just came back from a holiday in Britain. Would you like to describe that for our readers?
WL: I was in England for three weeks. It was the summer, so it was really nice. It was really sunny, and it didn’t rain a lot. It was quite nice.
Rudi: Where did you go in England?
WL: I went to London, and I went to Yorkshire, Liverpool and the New Forest.
Rudi: Which place impressed you the most?
WL: I think, Yorkshire and the New Forest.
WL: Yorkshire was really hilly. We were driving there and it was quite impressive. And the New Forest because compared with Beijing it was so clean, the air you know. It was so green everywhere and quite relaxing.
Rudi: What about London? Did you like that?
WL: I think maybe because I went to London during the summer holidays, so it was really crowded. There were so many tourists. London is a big modern city and there are a lot of nice things to see. I went to Russell Square, London Bridge, and I saw the London Eye and the National Museum. It was really nice.
Rudi: Do you think that the average Chinese tourist would enjoy travelling in Britain?
WL: I think so, yeah. There were many Chinese tourists there.
Rudi: What do you think would be the main attractions for Chinese tourists in the U.K.?
WL: I think many people, maybe ninety percent, they’re going to go to London, because it’s the capital and has Buckingham Palace and London Bridge, you know, famous places. But I think the countryside is quite nice too. If you can rent a car it’s really nice to drive there, to relax and see the views.
Rudi:If you had some friends who are going to travel to Britain, what advice would you give them before they went?
WL: I think the first thing is don’t go there when it’s a really busy time. Go there, maybe Christmas and in June or May, a really nice season and not very crowded. And I think it’s really nice if you can rent a car and drive. Britain is not very big, so you can drive along the road and stop wherever you want and see some nice places.
Rudi:What are your plans for the October holiday this year?
WL: I haven’t decided yet. I want to go somewhere quiet and relaxing. In October, Chinese people have a week holiday. The thing is, many places of interest have so many people. It’s not very good for a holiday. Everywhere there are people, it’s crowded and it’s not good. I want to go to someplace near Beijing, somewhere really small.
Rudi:Thank you very much.
WL: Thank you, you’re welcome.
Rudi:Mike, you’ve been in China a few years now. You must have been travelling at some time. What places have you been to?
Mike: I’ve done extensive travelling. I’ve been to many places in the northeast and the southwest, and also to Xinjiang in the northwest. The best place I’ve ever been in China, so far, was Yading Nature Preserve (Mike points to a map of China on his wall) here in southwest Sichuan. Right there, in this place called Daocheng. It was beautiful, but it was very difficult to get to. It was ③out of the way in the mountains.
Rudi:What was it that impressed you about this place?
Mike:Just the natural beauty of it, to tell you the truth. It had sweeping grasslands and alpine mountains, like snow covered, serious Himalayan style alpine mountains. And it’s virtually untouched. No tourists go there because it’s so hard to get to. There’s no way to get there other than to ride a bus for sixteen hours a day for two days straight and then get a jeep for another day and ride horseback for five or six hours to get to this monastery. So it was a long ride.
Rudi:What time of year did you go there?
Rudi:What is your plan for the National Day holiday this year?
Mike:The plan is to stay home for this October holiday. Because the holidays offer me a chance to work more, while everybody else is taking a vacation. And also the academic schedule gives me a few days here, a few days there, to travel, apart from the normal national holidays. So, it is better for me to stay home during the national holidays and to travel at different times when there’s fewer people out there.
Rudi:Have you travelled with Chinese friends?
Mike:Yes. I have travelled a lot with Chinese friends. In fact, almost all my travelling was done with Chinese friends; it made it so much easier.
Rudi:Do you think the style of travelling is different?
Mike:The style of travelling around China is definitely different than travelling in the U.S. The travelling I’ve done around the U.S. was much more organized and planned in advance. It’s easier in China
to sort of make your plan up as you go along, to have a general idea about what region you want to be in, but not to book any hotel reservations in advance, not to book any train tickets too far in advance, because there’s so much out there to do that you never know when you might change your mind along the way. It’s better to have a much loser travel strategy in China than it would be, I think, in the United States, where you could plan with a lot more certainty.