Standing on the frozen Songhua river in Harbin

Big city, big company, big dreams. Living and working at EF Chengdu.

I found myself in a situation where a lot of people find themselves. In the early summer of 2017 and I had just graduated. I was feeling very proud of myself, let out a sigh of relief then asked myself, “So now what?”.  Whilst looking for jobs I saw a job ad for teaching English in China and I thought I’d at least apply. Within a week of applying I had completed the interview process and received my job offer from English First (EF). I was going to live in China. Prior to starting my job, I had absolutely no…

Read More »

My students in Chengdu China. I was their TEFL teacher

My experience teaching English at Huayang number one middle school, Chengdu, Southwest China

My name’s Alasdair, I’m from Scotland and I taught English in Chengdu, a large city in South West China.  This is my TEFL experience. My school My School was Huayang number one middle school. I taught 2 grades of middle school children, each grade had 8 classes who I would teach 40 minutes a week. So I taught 16 classes a week, plus an English club per grade once a week. My classes were split up by ability. The most challenging times being in China were without a doubt when teaching some of my lower level classes. Before I’d arrived in…

Read More »


Travel cost; 800-3000RMB return flight/ 370-800RMB sleeper train (If available)

Accommodation; 50-70RMB/night (hostel)

Chengdu is one of Chinas great cities and is the provincial capital of Sichuan province, famous for its delicious spicy food, beautiful women and of course its Panda population. The Chengdu national panda breeding research station is the best place in the world to see the Giant Panda. We went to Chengdu for a weekend break with the aim of clubbing and panda watching.

The city

Chengdu city is large but easy to get around. The train station is directly connected to the city metro system and there are regular busses to the main tourist destinations such as the Panda research station and Emei Mountain. The city centre has the usual shopping centres and department stores and the people’s park is an excellent place to sample Chinese green tea in one of a number of tradition tea houses.


We stopped in the flip flop hostel, a great hostel close to the city centre. (Not that I made it to my bed thanks to my 2 drunk roommates passing out after locking me out) but the common room floor was nice.


The place to see pandas is the Chengdu national Panda breeding research station. We went mid 2013 the price was very reasonable at 50RMB per person.

Getting there

To get there from the train station, take the number 9 bus to the ‘zoo (动物园)’ bus stop then transfer to either the number 87 or 198 bus and get off at the ‘panda base’ bus stop. It should take about an hour from the station. More directions are available on the Panda base’s own website

Emei Shan

Emei Shan is one of the great holy mountains of China, outside of Tibet, it is also one of Chinas highest mountains and the highest one of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. The mountain itself is not a single mountain but a series of interconnected mountains which forms a serious 45km hike from base to summit. For more on Emei check out Emei Shan


There are a number of decent clubs in Chengdu but they are all spread out across the city making them difficult to go between. We went to… club by taxi. It was ok, a typical club like back in Guiyang. We drank whiskey ice tea for the undiscounted price of 600RMB and danced to typical robotic Chinese music.

Interested in a Chengdu adventure? Check out our teach English in Chengdu and our teach English in Sichuan guides at