Trip Interview with Deborah Austin- Zheng Dao Lo Martial Arts UK
|Name: Deborah Austin
Purpose of Trip: Holiday/have fun/learn something new
Visited Places: Beijing, Wudang Mountain, Xian
On the Golden Summit of Wudang Mt
Thanks for coming to China with SCIC Beijing!
1: Was this your first time in China?
No. I have previously done the trip that included Li Jang and Tibet
2: Which trip were you participating there?
3: How long was your trip for?
Rougly 2 weeks
4. What did you think of China?
Generally I think its great and am hoping to visit again. Beijing was very busy but seemed fairly relaxed at the same time. When we were having a go at tai chi tennis in the park several strangers came over to help show us how to do it which was great.
5. How were your local guides and SCIC Staff?
Helpful and knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions I asked. Henry (in Xian) was very proactive and went out of his way to make it interesting/gave us lots of information we might be interested in - he gave us timelines of the various Dynasties and showed what was happening at the same time in Europe to show how the creation of the terracotta warriors fit in with history timeline in Europe, and taught us Chinese rap among other things. All were attentive and tried to make sure we had everything we wanted and had food that we liked to eat (and plenty of it).
6. Any tips on getting the most from the Trip?
I think if you know some Chinese phrases it would help - especially on your 'own days' where you explore yourself. A card was provided with this but it would be easier if you learnt it beforehand.
7. What did you learn on the cultural workshops? Did you enjoy them?
I did Chinese calligraphy and painting plus music workshop. I did enjoy them and if I could get classes in England would probably even take up the Erhu!
8. What did you think of Chinese food there?
Very good. I liked the home cooked meal in the Hutong best. The food on the first night in Xian was merely ok, the others places we went to were better but generally speaking it was very good
9. What were the meals like on the trip? And what was your favourite Chinese dish?
The meals were generally very good. I liked the pickled cucumber (which I am trying to recreate at home – found a similar recipe on internet but not quite the same) and lotus root. We had steamed dumplings which were also very nice and we had some great chilli chicken and beef dishes – its difficult to choose a favourite.
10. What was your accommodation like?
The hotel room on the middle of the mountain Wudang was very dusty (and the other guests noisy) but other than that generally good. The hotel in Xian was very good.
11. Have you made any friends on the trip?
Yes I think so
12. What is your favourite thing about the trip?
It occasionally felt a bit rushed, although we did have a lot to see in a relatively short space of time. It meant I didn't do as much shopping as I had originally intended to do (considering the weight of my suitcase on the way home this is probably for the best!). Wudang was my favourite part of the trip, and tai chi tennis in the park plus shopping in the bazaar in Xian and in Beijing was also a highlight.
13. Why did you choose SCIC Beijing's martial arts Program ?
It is good value and there is lots to do, having a tour guide to show you around and interpret where necessary makes it less stressful as everything is already organised and if you need help its on hand.
14. What benefits have you gotten from the Trip?
Learnt some qigong and lots of ideas for food to serve to my vegetarian friends (if I can remember what I had and get recipes off the net anyway) I think I might also be fitter from climbing the mountain and Great Wall!
15. Any tips for other visitors coming to China for study trips or holiday?
When we arrive we are provided with a card with some useful words and phrases, but it would probably help to learn this before you arrived in China.
16. What other places or cities you would like to visit next time?
I would like to go back to Wudang again perhaps for longer to do more training. I would like to have a cooking class somewhere (doesn't matter where). Other than that I have no specific place in mind. TCM and traditional dance would also be interesting if there were time/it were practical to do so.
17. Will you come to China with SCIC Beijing again?