Unless you’re working for a Chinese public school or a kindergarten, Language Centre ESL teachers in China do not have the weekend off. Instead, you have two split days during the week – I have Monday and Thursdays off. When we have a holiday or two consecutive days off, I take full advantage of this! At the beginning of April, China celebrated Qing Ming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Festival). This is the time when people remember the dead. To be honest, I have not seen a cemetery in Harbin. Strange, right?
So, the point is…I decided to spend one night in Shenyang.
I hopped on to the G train at 07:00 in the morning and there I was, on a mini break. I spent about 2 and a half hours on the train – I slept most of the way. I walked to the first taxi I saw and insisted on him using the meter. I thought I was a pain in the arse for this but oh well… Found the hostel with ease as I gave the driver directions verbally.
Firstly, it was way warmer than Harbin so I was a little too layered. I decided to head over to the Qing Dynasty (Fuling) tombs. According to my GPS, it would take just under an hour to get there. So, water and a map! Due to the public holiday, the traffic was insane. So, it took a little longer than expected.
The Fuling tombs are well-looked after and a great space to clear your mind! It is a large site so you need at least half a day to explore. There are some closed off areas that I under reconstruction or restoration. I needed to use the bathroom as I was leaving but I couldn’t find one. (There is an embarrassing story here but I will keep it hush hush).
Well, what else is there to do in Shenyang? Having a look at Tripadvisor would be a great start.
When you’re finally exhausted of the historical sites, you could take a wander around the Unit 11 Art complex.
There are numerous cafes around Shenyang. Make sure you have a beverage at Lenore’s! There are a few around town. They make a good, frothy cuppa!
Where to stay: I use Agoda to book hostels around China. I stayed at The Lazy Bee Youth Hostel.
Transportation: The buses are cheap and reliable. It’ll cost just about CNY 2 for a one way trip. Ask your hostel about which bus line to take. If you have an iPhone, you can just type in the address on Maps and it’ll show you which bus to take!
Entrance to the Fuling Mausoleum: CNY 50.
Tip: Try not to visit on a public holiday, it’ll be packed!