This past weekend was my team’s offsite to the city of Haining. Haining is about 2 hour drive southwest of Shanghai, and a 2 hour drive northeast of Hangzhou (another big city in this area). The big thing to see in this city is the Qiantang River Tidal Bore, the biggest tidal bore in the world
What is a tidal bore? Well, I had no idea until this trip, so I’ll tell you! A tidal bore is a phenomenon in which the current from a river or bay goes against the direction of the river or bay’s current. (correct me please)
So what does this look like? It looks like a huge wave that goes down the length of the river. At Haining, you can see the tidal bore that starts from the Pacific Ocean as it goes down the Qiantang River. It’s more apparent during certain moon cycles. The wave can reach up to 9m (30 ft) in heigh and can travel up to 40 KMH or 25 MPH.
I met some of my teammates at the local mall to get driven to Haining city. I completely passed out the entire drive to Haining, as this is world cup season. And I have been up till 4 am every night watching World Cup (8 pm game, 11 pm game, 2 am game during group stages. 10 pm and 2 am game during brackets). The only thing I had going for me was that I did fall asleep a bit at the bar during the 2 am game.
So instead of going to bed at 430 am for a 9 am meet time with the team, I went to bed somewhere around 2:15, was fully functioning at 3 am and biked home, showered and watched a little more of the game before completely passing out promptly at 3:45.
Man. World Cup is really hard on your body.
So back to my trip, we arrived at Haining City and immediately had lunch with the full team. My entire team (8 members) is Chinese besides my manager, who is Swedish. So much of my trip was conducted in Chinese, and a little english for my manager and me.
Good thing that I’m learning Chinese
Our first meal in Haining was a 10 course meal at the hotel’s restaurant. We had fish dishes, beef dishes, chicken dishes, and vegetable dishes. Looking back at this trip, most of it was centered around eating meals (which i have no problems with). Since I was with native Chinese people, they made sure we got the best dishes (can’t complain).
After lunch, we rushed to the Qiantang tide watching area.
At first, there was nothing happening. It was like ‘oh look…a really wide calm river”. You can tell that the current of the river is going from inland towards the ocean.
But then in a distance, you can hear a sound, and you see a weird black line growing a bit bigger on the river in the distance that spans the entire width of the river.
As the minutes pass, that sound and that line gets bigger and louder, and closer.
Around 2 pm, the tidal wave is right in front of you and going from the ocean towards inland China. The clash of the opposing tides results in a large wave (similar to what you would see at an ocean beach).
As the wave goes past you, you can visibly tell the current is confused which way to go. Only after some time and the wave has past, does the current change to go from the ocean to inland China.
Once the tide change, there wasn’t much to see at the river. So we walked into the old town, wandering through old buildings and old streets. We found some pretty baller carved wall art depicting people fighting: martial arts, sword fights, some straight up beheading. It was pretty cool, but not all of those photos will be added to this blog post due to the sensitive nature
Once we saw all of the old town, we went back to the hotel and checked in. We were staying at this hotel – Kaiyuan Hotel. Super nice hotel: clean, WELL AIR CONDITIONED (this is very crucial in the Chinese summer), comfortable bed, nice bathrooms. I shared the room with one of the girls on my team. I promptly passed out for an hour until it was dinner time.
Dinner was at a seafood restaurant, where again we had a 10 course meal filled with all the goods. This is also where i shared with my team my new drink pleasure: Soju in cheap beer. Soju is a Korean rice wine. On its own, its not great. Cheap beer on its own, not great.
A shot of soju in cheap beer: amazing. A shot of soju in gatorade: amazing. A shot of soju in soda: amazing. A shot of soju in coconut water: amazing.
Moral of the story is that you should mix soju. It was so good that my colleague named the drink “See you tomorrow”.
After our very elaborate dinner, we went back to our hotel and played some board games (mostly jenga as it did not involve lots of chinese to english translations for my colleagues and always ended in some hilarious attempts). We played until it was World Cup time. Yes, the world revolves around World Cup.
However, after being out till the wee hours, not sleeping in, and being out all day in 33C weather, i promptly passed out at 10:45 while at the hotel common room. So i went to my room, showered, and stayed in bed to watch the rest of the game.
The next day, i woke up late very late and missed the team breakfast. After, we went to the Buluowa BioEco Leisure Resort Park. We started our day with some canoeing in the park. We had some team kayak races, and my manager and i beat our team multiple times. We also rode ATVs (and some people rode directly into the tire walls), bow’d and arrowd some things, ate fresh tomatos, and saw a peacock do its peacock dance.
After all this and another 10 course meal, we headed home, back to Shanghai