Make The Most From Time Off as an ESL Teacher

Kendall Lockey
Career China Digital Marketing Manager
Sep 15, 2018

Hello. My name is Kendall. My fiancé, Michael and I arrived in China just over a year ago to accept an amazing opportunity to become English teachers for a company called First Leap. We moved from South Africa and settled in a small town called Anshan in Northeastern China, which we now call our home.


Moving to China was not an easy decision but it’s definitely one that we don’t regret! Being here has given us so many chances to travel, to grow as individuals and it has opened so many new doors for us.  

Time Off as an ESL Teacher in China


One of the main reasons that we wanted to move to China was so that we could have the opportunity to travel and we certainly have made the most of that opportunity. As an English teacher we have plenty of time off for traveling and exploring.


In my first year teaching and living in China, I have travelled to Beijing, Panjin, Dandong, Dalian, Liaoyang and Shenyang. In Beijing I finally ticked the Great Wall off my bucket list.

Whilst in Panjin I visited the famous Red Beach which can only be experienced annually in autumn. Dandong made it possible for me to get a little peak at North Korea, whilst riding in a speedboat along Yalu River. I was also able to climb the famous Phoenix Mountain to see its glass bridge.

In Dalian I got to do indoor sky diving as well as visit one of the best amusement parks in China. Liaoyang gave me a chance to go skiing for the first time. Lastly, in Shenyang I got to do an abundance of shopping at the international clothing stores.


We have two big festivals every year in China. We get up to two weeks off and quite a few long weekends to take advantage of. Many teachers also make use of Summer Vacation by using their annual leave to go on a trip. At the end of each contract, you are entitled to a one month contract break where you can go home to visit family or go on a new adventure.


Another Benefit to Living in China as an English Teacher - LOCATION!!!


One great thing about living in China is that you’re able to see other countries in Asia easily as well since they are so accessible from China, also the fact that flights are relatively cheap. Recently during our summer break we were able to travel to three new countries being South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. 

Whilst in South Korea we were able to climb Namsan Mountain and travel to Jeju Island, one of the Seven Wonders of Nature. In Thailand we got to enjoy some sun, snorkeling and island hopping with family members who joined us on our holiday. When in Indonesia we went to Bali and got to explore the charming island by scooter and learned about its rich history. It was a once in a lifetime trip that I will never forget. 


What to Consider When Booking Your Travels Around China


When booking my travels I always consider destinations which are closest and inexpensive. Booking holidays are super easy. Whether booking a trip in China or internationally, I always use C-trip. You can book everything including trains, flights and accommodation using this APP. All you have to do put in your passport number and link C-trip with your bank card or WeChat Pay and you’re sorted. 


The next destinations within China that I am planning to visit are Yangshuo and Harbin. Yangshuo is definitely number one on my China bucket list as it’s easily one of the most beautiful places in China and possibly in the world. It is home to the famous Li River and is well known for its stunning landscapes. Harbin is second on my list as they have an annual ice festival where they build castles and other sculptures from ice. So many places to see.

For more information about living and traveling in China, check out The Ultimate Guide for Moving to China

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