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What a Chinese New Year- SHANGOUGOU Travel Blog 18-20 Feb.2015

By: OKDeal Travel



Chinese New Year is a time for city dwellers to escape and visit family along the countryside or simply relax for a week. For OK, Deal! Club we decided to flee the city as well and embark on a journey with new faces to Shangougou where Chinese traditions flourish and the constant ringing of taxi horns is a faint memory. Without our amazing group filled with different cultures and backgrounds our trip would be nothing. Mingling together and sharing memories made this group a big family in just three days. Let’s check out the crew and what made this Shangougou trip a true adventure!


THE (BEST) GROUP

This is our tour leader Mr. Kong, but he’s better known as King Kong.. As a bilingual speaker, Kong goes on many trips with OK Deal. He likes running, the outdoors, and gopros! If anything come to experience a few days with the amazing King Kong.


Mr. Xiao Zhangis a native Mandarin speaker and works with our trip planner, Ella. Mr. Zhang took care of all our restaurant and hotel needs, so a big thanks to Mr. Zhang for making sure our stomachs were satisfied and our heads had pillows each night!


Our Impressive Driver was the low key hero of the trip. Without him we would be nomads roaming the path, probably never making it to our destination. Thankfully his expertise got us to our destinations safely!


As for me, I’m Ashlie Bensonand Shangougou was my first trip with OK Deal after just 10 days in the country. Getting out of the city and meeting new people along the way are simple perks of interning with OK Deal Club! I live for exploring the unknown, and this trip infused me with more than just beauty and fun: it gave me a fresh look at the many sides of China and its culture.



Now that you know us, get to know our trip!


Day 1-Fleeing the City


Arriving just in time for lunch, we had traditional Chinese lunch and plenty of time to explore. The streets were filled with men playing cards, kids playing badminton and women chatting in the sunlight. Getting a feel for the town was just the appetizer for a fun and traditional Chinese New Year. I was able to feel artistic in the afternoon when the locals brought out the calligraphy and red banners and taught us how to write common Chinese characters that would later decorate the building and bring in good vibes for the year of the goat!




The night created the vibe of the trip and bonded us! Thankfully one of our trip members brought along his guitar- the trip would not be the same without our laughing spirits and the bonfire-flying musician. Fireworks, singing and dancing was the only way I would have wanted to spend my Chinese New Year!!!



DAY 2- Locality


An early start led to an action packed day full of local activities. We quickly made our way to Maotang, a nearby village where a local family opened their home to us, feeding us with snacks and warm tea for fuel! Wandering through the village afterward, our eyes were engulfed with a beautiful temple home to a grand golden Buddha and sprinkled with several other Gods and Goddesses. Some people sought out their fortunes here, but I let the future remain a wonderful mystery. Just to the right of the temple was a tea garden full of leaves as far as the eye could tell, so of course we went to seek out more!


An early start led to an action packed day full of local activities. We quickly made our way to Maotang, a nearby village where a local family opened their home to us, feeding us with snacks and warm tea for fuel! Wandering through the village afterward, our eyes were engulfed with a beautiful temple home to a grand golden Buddha and sprinkled with several other Gods and Goddesses. Some people sought out their fortunes here, but I let the future remain a wonderful mystery. Just to the right of the temple was a tea garden full of leaves as far as the eye could tell, so of course we went to seek out more!




Our afternoon was full of beauty as we visited another village full of history. We took a quick hike through the greenery and exited to a town built upon cobblestone and tradition. As we walked the roads we saw pieces of Chinese life with local businesses that created handmade shoes, local wine and rice cakes! Despite having a long day, our social party was in full swing for our last night. At one point we were all hand and hand singing and semi-dancing around the campfire with no worry in the world - only that moment full of bliss!





DAY 3- Don't Rain on My Parade

A little rain couldn’t stop this group from having a great last day! We stayed in Shangougou and went on a beautiful hike in the Tangkeng scenic spot, passing the longest bamboo dragon that was also used in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As we walked further and further, the fresh air filled our lungs as the beauty continued to twinkle in our eyes. This was a fantastic way to finish a good trip because it gave us more beauty to take in and at the end we stumbled upon a traditional instrument, the Ehru, and of course played its tunes.




The Best of the best- trip memories


"There are a lot of good memories of course, but if I must choose I would say the evenings around a fire. I remember it as the pinnacle of the day, warm in all senses." -Laurent, France


"When Chloe, Benson [Spiderman, actually] and I were sitting at the top of the rocky area looking out of the village and valley" -Arthur, England


"I would say the generosity and kindness of the local people. Everyone that invited us in to their homes and their places of worship; it was a cultural experience that I will not soon forget." -Will, Canada

(We will not soon forget you, Will!) "Walking around the village and seeing old buildings such as the old private school building and current businesses that make rice and wine. I felt as if this was the China people need to experience, and I’m happy I was able to!" -Ashlie (me hehe), USA




Now that you have heard a little about our trip, I hope you join others that OK Deal plans because I believe everyone should continue learning and growing through new experiences and adventures!


  • Posted On:March 2015

  • By:Ashlie Benson

  • http://www.okdealclub.com/forum/topics/2444123:Topic:311912



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