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Jan Finster

Best place to study Chinese and enjoy the outdoors?

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Jan Finster

Where can you study and practice Chinese and enjoy outdoor activities (hiking, climbing, SCUBA diving, surfing, mountain biking, etc)?

Which places you would recommend?

 

 

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shortcutz-china

Can’t think of a place suitable for all your interests to be honest. If you like scuba diving probably Hainan or Guangdong, but not ideal. For hiking etc. maybe take a look at Yunnan. I personally think Beijing is ideal for learning Chinese, but definitively not a dream for outdoor lovers.  

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realmayo

Consider Yangshuo if you can live without Scuba diving and surfing. Perhaps somewhere in Taiwan otherwise.

 

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roddy

I think you'd need to narrow it down a bit - which activities are most important, and do you want a university course, a private school.... etc. And Taiwan might be worth a look, as realmayo says - made of mountains, surrounded by sea. 

 

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Jan Finster

Thank you for your replies. My list of hobbies are only examples. Of course you will not find a place that fits all.

 

So narrowing it down:

a) a place for learning Chinese and for hiking, climbing, mountain biking?

b) a place for learning Chinese and for SCUBA diving and/or surfing?

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roddy

The more I think about it, the more I think Taiwan. I Google searched to confirm my assumption: Hiking, mountain biking, surfing, divingChinese. Some climbing, but maybe not very much. And the place is small enough, and the transport good enough, that getting between all these activities shouldn't be that hard. 

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889

Of course Hong Kong fits beautifully, except the language on the street doesn't resemble Putonghua. Maybe Shenzhen, with visits across the border for recreation.

 

Or maybe Qingdao. But the winters aren't great.

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Jan Finster

Thanks everyone.

 

Roddy is probably right about Taiwan. It is great for hiking and cycling (if it does not rain). I am maybe too spoilt regarding SCUBA diving and surfing to consider Taiwan great for those kinds of activities.

 

@889: Thanks, I am curious about Shenzhen & Hongkong. I had never considered HK for that purpose. Where would you go for outdoors in HK?

 

5 hours ago, realmayo said:

Yangshuo

Thanks. I heard it is good for climbing :)

5 hours ago, shortcutz-china said:

Yunnan

Thanks. I was considered cycling around Lugu lake. I am not sure how the Chinese language learning options are around Lugu lake, but it surely looks beautiful. 

 

Are there regions in Malaysia with a Chinese speaking majority to make this beautiful country an option for my purpose? 

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889

It's impossible in a short reply to summarise the outdoor activities, hiking especially, that Hong Kong offers. Just put "Hong Kong Hiking" into Google Images for loads of enticing photos, then do a regular Google Search for loads of websites. The Government Country Parks website is dry, but complete (you'll see there are mountain bike trails, marine parks, camping sites, etc.).

 

https://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/country/cou_vis/cou_vis.html

 

Many activities are in the New Territories, very convenient for day trips from Shenzhen. (For reasons of geography, Shenzhen doesn't offer anything like the sort of outdoor activities Hong Kong offers.)

 

(Hiking in particular can be dangerous on some trails if you're not prepared. Note the "High risk locations" on that website.)

 

 

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Xiao Kui

California or Hawaii. 😜

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zhouhaochen

I work for LTL, so my recommendations are limited to the cities we have schools in, though thats quite a few by now.

 

Hiking, climbing, mountain biking:

First Choice: Definitely Chengde. Its in the mountains with great hiking around. The next mountain is usually a less than 10 minute walk from your homestay. Mountain biking is not very developed in China, but the mountains around there actually offer a lot of good options for it. Make sure you bring your bike. For climbing, unfortunately I dont know a proper climbing area there. There are loads of places where you can free climb, but you would need be quite advanced for that

Second Choice: Taipei. The city is also surrounded by mountains, though a bit smaller ones. I am going on a two hour hike tomorrow just out of town. There are a lot of biking options too. I havent tried climbing here yet, but I am sure there are options.

Third choice: Beijing. There is a lot of boldering in Beijing city and the mountains around the Great Wall are only 1-2 hours drive North of the city. There are a lot of mountain biking options (bloody tiring though....I went once with a mountain biking club on a Sunday, was a lot of fun and very well organized, but I couldnt walk for a week afterwards). Hiking along the Great Wall is amazing and there are loads of mountains around, so you are definitely not going to run out of options.

 

Scuba Diving:

First Choice: Beihai. Its right at the beach and there is a scuba diving club there. I am not sure about how good the surf it there though.

Second Choice: Taipei. The beach is less than two hours away and Taipei is quite advanced with entertainment options. On the east coast there are quite a few surfing options, I wouldnt go there to study Chinese but for a weekend trip from Taipei its very doable.

Third Choice: Strangely enough Beijing. I have a friend of mine who organizes Scuba Diving trips around Beijing. It takes some time to organize but you can scuba dive on the sunken great wall and other lakes around Beijing.

 

Beijing, Taipei, Beihai and Chengde are all good for outdoors within about an hour drive of the city. The one place that I would avoid if you want to do outdoors stuff is Shanghai. Its surrounded by industrial areas and takes quite a while to get out into the green from there.

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zhouhaochen

Decided to try it out and just spent the weekend hiking around Taipei and I would move Taipei up to first spot for hiking in a good city to learn Chinese now. Yesterday I up 象山 which is only 15 minutes from our school downtown and quite busy on a weekend. It's a beautiful hike and there are loads of different trails for shorter or longer trips. The amazing part is that it's just a short walk from Taipei 101 though so incredibly easy to get to. There are very few cities who have such good hiking right in the middle of town. Had beautiful weather and an amazing view of Taipei too.

Today we went up 七星山 which is a still active volcano. Proper rain and wind up there so no view at all (I am told it's beautiful though usually - we had only five meters visibility so I would t be able to tell) but it was a very nice hike (2h) and there are a lot of trails around there too for longer hikes. It's a 45 minute drive from downtown Taipei. 

If you want to live in a city and enjoy good hiking close by, Taipei is a great place.

 

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Jan Finster
7 minutes ago, zhouhaochen said:

Decided to try it out and just spent the weekend hiking around Taipei and I would move Taipei up to first spot for hiking in a good city to learn Chinese now.

 

You are awesome. Great effort. 😃

Your hiking picture in the fog reminded me of the movie "The Ritual", which I watched yesterday on Netflix (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5638642/😲 😆

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zhouhaochen

No worries, it was quite fun actually and I had mean to do some hiking around Taipei for a while. It was freezing up that mountain yesterday (3C, rain and plenty of wind) but actually quite cool. The tea afterwards certainly felt well deserved.

Never seen the ritual, but I hope it ends well.

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oceancalligraphy

Did a quick search because I thought Taiwan would have some great climbing spots due to cliffs on the coasts and this page has some background. Looks like 龍洞 Long Dong in northern Taiwan (Gongliao District of New Taipei City) is a popular destination. 

 

Also did a search on diving, because I know people taking classes in Taipei. This page looks like it has good breakdown of diving spots. 

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