James Burgon rode over Spring Festival, with beautiful landscape

[InKunming--Interviews & Polls] When James Burgon, a British teacher who teaches AE study and IELTS speaking in a training institution in Kunming, found his students and colleagues were talking about holidays excitedly, as well as saw his neighbors all decorated their doors with Chinese character “Fu” and couplets, he knew that the Chinese Spring Festival is around the corner.

It is the first time that James has the chance to experience the famous Chinese Spring Festival in Yunnan. Before that, James barely knew anything about the most important festival of China, even though he did see these words on internet before.

Explorer’s Spring Festival: ride to the northeast of Yunnan

James is not only an English teacher, but also an outdoor teacher and an explorer. With rich teaching experience in countries such as Japan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, James always keens on experiencing something new and exploring the vast world.

Riding is one of the most favorite sports of James. Therefore, several months ahead of the Spring Festival, James already made up a plan for the 7-day-long vacation. According to his plan, he would spend 4 days to ride a round trip from Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan, to Huize, a small city located in northeast Yunnan.

It is not a short journey. In truth, it takes more than 6 hours to shuttle between these 2 cities by a car. Nevertheless, this is just a piece of cake for James. He once rode around Hainan Island in China, and also rode from Hong Kong to Singapore.

With a tent and a bicycle, James stated his journey by himself as soon as the vacation began. In order to enjoy the magnificent views of mountains and rivers, James did not ride along flat roads, but chose rugged mountain road to conquer. “Mountain roads make me fell challenging. Sights along the roads are better as well.”

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, James camped in a hillside of Dongchuan County. James could never forget that night, “When lying in my tent, I can see the beautiful sky with stars twinkling. Suddenly, I heard some noises, then I saw numerous fireworks setting off on the sky right above me.” James was so surprised by the view that the only word he can remember is “fascinating”.

What surprised James even more is that fireworks almost lasted for the whole night. James thought these fireworks were interesting and beautiful, but he also felt confused. Why do Chinese people set off fireworks wherever and whenever during Spring Festival?

James did not figure out the question until a colleague explained to him later. “Now I know that playing fireworks is a traditional custom of Spring Festival in China, which represents the hope of driving back luck away and ushering in the new year.”

Kunming impression: busy, sunny,developing

James came to Kunming on last August. Now, he is an AE study and IELTS speaking teacher of a training institution called Qide (启德学府) in Kunming. In James’ eyes, the 6-month-long living experience in the city was interesting.

At the very beginning, James was attracted by mountains around Kunming. After several months, James gradually fascinated by the mild climate and beautiful sunshine here. Therefore, James chose 3 word to introduce this city, busy, sunny and developing.

In his spare time, James likes to go to gyms, or cook by himself at home. Besides, riding bicycle remains his most favorite way to know the city. James once rode to the top of the Xishan Mountain, where he admired the full view of Dian Lake and Kunming.

“Kunming is developing. We can see that lots of rural population flood into the city and traditional culture are overtaken by modern things.” James said.

James is also willing to raise proposal to the city. He brought forward 3 opinions on improving the city’s environment and management, specifically are prohibiting smoking in public places, strengthening rubbish management and reducing public spitting.

James’ teaching contract will due on this August. Stay or leave? James has not make up his mind yet. Before that, James plans to have a ride from Kunming to Shangri-La on this April. “I definitely gonna miss Kunming if I leave this city. ”

Click here to view Chinese report.


(Editors: Tracy, Rachel)

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