What happened 2015? What will 2016 be like?

Gradually not only our first semester but 2015 is also coming to an end. Between my preparations for my final exams I would like to write a post which will be looking back on our trips in 2015, but also taking a look into the future and telling you what we have planned for 2016.

As a matter of fact, for most people this will be more a glimpse into what is going to be posted here in future as this blog was only recently created and we are still busy writing posts about our year.

My 2015!

I want to start at the beginning of 2015, new years eve in Hamburg when I was visiting my brother who studies in Hamburg. Most locals like to go to the harbour in the city, to the ‘Landungsbrücken’, to be precise. At midnight, the harbour will be filled with many ships that contribute to the celebration. Between the fireworks that are all set off over the city, all the ships will blow their horns at 00:00 to celebrate the new year.

After my stay in Hamburg, there is actually not a lot to tell about my first half of 2015. I was graduating from high school so I was learning a lot and used my free time to travel to the ‘Steinhuder Meer’ where I went sailing with my team mate. Most of our stays were financed by our sailing club, we were really grateful for this because we had a lot of fun there and it was a great way to celebrate the last few days on our boat before we went separate ways – I went to China, he went to Berlin.

We had a lot of fun on a 420!
We had a lot of fun on a 420!

Finally, in July, I could see my girlfriend again and the biggest trip of our year started. We went to many different places in Germany, including big cities such as Hamburg and Berlin but also small sights around my hometown and those of relatives and friends.

We actually have a lot of photos and a lot of stories to tell about these trips so stay tuned if you want to know what is there to see back in Germany!

A view over the nature near my hometown
A view over the nature near my hometown

Shortly after Yong took her flight back to China, it was also my turn to finally go to China as well!

I arrived here on September 4th and shortly afterwards my new room mate Ellis arrived as well.

We prepared ourselves for the coming semester and took some nice trips around Hangzhou. Of course we will tell you about the major tourist attractions such as the famous West Lake or the Lingyin Temple but we also want to show you the not so well-known places around here.


Apart from our stay here, Ellis also did one trip to Shanghai and one trip to Hong Kong that he will tell about in the future.

While Ellis is currently in Austria skiing, I am busy preparing myself not only for the final exam but also for the next trips in 2016.

You might also ask what are we going to do on new years eve? I personally didn’t have any idea what to do so far, so I asked Yong whether there is any Chinese thing to do. Well, you might know that the Chinese have their own calendar and traditionally don’t celebrate the Western new years eve so we have to find something else to do tomorrow. Of course, there is the upcoming trend of the Chinese celebrating our new year the same way a lot of us do as well: go to a restaurant, a bar or a party and enjoy the last evening of the year together.

To answer the question what WE are going to do, very well: I will finish my last exam tomorrow at 8 o’clock, so there’s not much time to prepare a fancy party or any other kind of celebration. As I don’t know what options we have, we will probably just go to the city, to the West Lake and enjoy the last moments of the year there.

What do we plan for 2016?

Generally, the idea of our blog is to provide you with information about life here in China. We will always try to inform you about interesting things that happen around us and also use our “How to Hangzhou” to give you more basic information about how to survive here. Apart from that we will also have different trips to cities inside China, such as Xi’an, Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou that we will tell you about.

But what are the really big trips?

So far, there are 2 big trips we have planned, the first of which is almost here!

At the end of January, we will go to the Philippines. I am personally very excited for this trip, I have already prepared diving equipment (we could also get a GoPro from a friend so you can join us to see what we can find underwater!) and we have already made a plan of what we want to do while we are there.

The second trip for Yong and I will be to Germany again. As before, we want to visit my family and my friends but that’s not all. We will visit more places in Hamburg and some other places and will also have a vacation with my family. We will have a road trip from my home town to Croatia! We will stay near Novigrad in Istria, my favourite place in Croatia. We would also like to take a look into the culture of Croatia while we enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

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