So yesterday my husband and I decided we would opt this week for a staycation: there’s just too many tasks on the table (research-wise, job-hunting, life in general) to allow us to get out of town not only in body but in spirit.
But that doesn’t mean, with the prospect of leaving China on the nearish horizon, that I haven’t started to make mental notes on places I’d like to go and things I’d like to do. So here they are, and perhaps with a few days off this next week, and some lovely weather, we’ll even make some progress on these rather quickly!
1. Go North: We’d like to make it to somewhere like Harbin in Heilongjiang or Dalian in Liaoning; Beijing is the furthest north we’ve ever been in China, and since all of our favorite foods seem to come from Northern cuisine, we imagine the trip would be pretty tasty. Of course, we don’t know much about any of these places—any thoughts?
2. Go South: Even though the Hainan trip is on the back-burner for the moment, we’re still hoping to soak in some sun on one of these long weekends. It would be a bit of a luxury vacay, but popping in for a few days seems do-able.
3. Head out to Qingxiu Shan in Nanning: We’ve become true locals in the sense that we’ve hardly been to any of the Nanning touristy sites. But everyone says Green Mountain is beautiful, so we must make it before we leave.
4. Hit up the hot springs: There are hot springs just a few kilometers outside Nanning, and our friends have given rave reviews. We should go before it gets too hot!
5. Run around Nanhu: I make half-circles when I go on my daily runs, but I’ve always wanted to run around the whole lake for fun. Some friends who are coming in May promise to take on the challenge with me- shouldn’t take long, about an hour, but I may give it a try on my own this afternoon! 6. Dragon’s Back Rice Terraces, Longsheng: My family bought their tickets to China a few days ago, and we’re excited to take them to Guilin and hike up the rice terraces–we hear the view is spectacular, a real taste of beautiful Guangxi!
7. Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan: I’ve driven up around Tiger Leaping Gorge, but never hiked it, and we have friends in Kunming who are game to do it, and who we definitely want to see before we leave China.
8. Drink More Tea! I’m just not a tea aficionado–those of you who know me or read this blog know that coffee is my jones, but I have loved frequenting tea houses and learning about tea drinking culture here in China. I just figure I should really seize the opportunity to drink tea and make merry here while I have it!
9. Yangmei, Old Town: Again, just a few kilometers outside of Nanning, this old-timey preserved village is supposed to be a nice, quiet retreat from Naninng’s bustle and sky-scraped scenery.
10. Um, food, duh. I was lamenting last night about how I will just die if I can’t find a great Asian grocery store when I get back to the states. Even if we do, the food won’t be the same, for sure!