ICS 2016: I’m going to Hangzhou!

I have just been told that next year I’ll be going to study in the beautiful lakeside city of Hangzhou, on the eastern seaboard side of China!

West Lake

To convince you all that you should come and visit me in sunny China, I thought I’d post some fun things about the “small city” of 2.5 million people that is Hangzhou. Also, you can get Facebook in China. So no excuses.

1. It rarely gets below 4 degrees in Hangzhou

Hangzhou has a very mild climate by Chinese standards. Forget Beijing, Hangzhou has balmy summers and barely cold winters. Plus, it’s super close to the beach! Summer is around 30 degrees and it rarely snows in winter.

Current weather in Hangzhou. To prove it to you all.
Current weather in Hangzhou. To prove it to you all.

2. Scenery

The beautiful West Lake is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. It not only has it’s own cultural square, it has inspired hundreds of paintings. Hangzhou also has the Jade Springs and the world’s largest tidal bore races up the Qiantang river. And, as a final scenic drawcard, the housing development of Tianducheng has a subscale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Who needs to go to France anyway?

Jade Springs
Jade Springs
World's largest tidal bore. Handy hint; don't Google this. The results are terrifying.
World’s largest tidal bore. Handy hint; don’t Google this. The results are terrifying.
Tianducheng: it really does look like Paris.
Tianducheng: it really does look like Paris.
National Silk Museum
National Silk Museum

3. Culture things

Interestingly, Hangzhou houses two national museums: the National Silk Museum and the National Tea Museum. There’s also a Zhejiang Provincial Museum. But personally I’m keen for the tea museum – bring on the oolong! Hangzhou also houses the Yue Opera, the second-largest opera company in China.

4. Food!

Hangzhou is the foundation of the Zhejian cuisine, one of China’s eight fundamental cuisines. Who can go past dishes like “West Lake Vinegar Fish”, “Beggar’s Chicken” and “Sister Song’s Fish Soup”? According to Wikipedia, locals describe the cuisine as “fresh, tender, soft and smooth, with a mellow fragrance”.

National Tea Museum
National Tea Museum

5. It specialises in making tea!

Tea is the most important part of Hangzhou’s economy and culture! Hangzhou makes Longjing tea, and the best type is Xi Hu which is grown in (you guessed it!) Xi Hu, Hangzhou. They also specialise in making Chinese hand-held folding fans. Because no visit to China is complete without one of these souvenirs.

So basically I now expect lots of visitors next year, because this is just five small reasons why you should come visit Hangzhou. Also, expect lots of post spam next year.


17,000 steps in one day (or a standard day at uni)

For some reason, people have this perception that UTS is all in one building (the huge ugly eyesore that is on Broadway). Here to tell you right now, that is totally untrue. To prove it, I wore a Fitbit on Monday this week to uni to measure exactly how many steps I took in a standard day.

To begin, here’s a map of the UTS campus:

That's right, there's 11 buildings.
That’s right, there’s 11 buildings.

On a standard Monday, I meet friends for coffee in the DAB cafe in Building 6. That’s the one on the right of Harris St. Then I have a 2hr break, during which I usually head to the tower (CB01 for the uninitiated) to study in Jumbunna, a glorious study area with beanbags and microwaves galore. Not really, there’s only one microwave, but it’s still quieter than your standard study space on campus.

Next up at 11am, lecture in Building 7. Closely followed by a tutorial in Building 2, broken up with a stop at the Concourse in Building 1 for whatever free goodies they’re giving away this week (NB – for all those wondering why we had eight tins of Pringles in Org. Comms on Monday, now you know our secret!).

After two hours of discussing diversity in organisations or conducting this week’s scavenger hunt (what even is communications…), a half hour break for lunch and then another coffee lecture, this time in Building 4. After some solid Facebook time note-taking, the long trek down to Building 5C for our kill-me-now fascinating and engaging CCIP tutorial. This week we learnt how to sign a Group Charter for a group assignment!

Finally, after 2 hours of sleep constructively learning about how turning off our computers will save the planet, only a short walk down to Building 5D for Chinese class. Then at 8pm, back up to Central Station for the enjoyable (and thankfully relatively short) train trip home.

Here’s a fun diagram of my daily walk on a Monday:

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 8.12.37 pm

So to all the USyd and Macquarie students haters who try to tell us we have it so easy, add in to this the ten minute walk to and from Central Station and the real truth emerges! Peace out.