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Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters) Visit

Summer Palace, Olympic Venues and Acrobatic Show

Hi this is Lei posting the journal for our last visiting day in Beijing. A shower had washed the whole city before we left the hotel to the Summer Palace. It’s foggy and humid, which seems not nice for our visit to the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace was started from the beginning of Qing dynasty, copying the style of gardens in the southern China. The Summer Palace is China’s largest existing and best preserved imperial garden.
It is very different from the Forbidden City we visited yesterday. Unlike the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace is covered with greenery and water. It’s like the summer house for the royal family so it’s more living friendly and peaceful. There is a huge man-made lake, occupying seventy percent of the whole garden. According to our tour guide, Jane, it took 14 years to complete the lake. Along the lake, it has a 728 meter long corridor. On each cross threshold, there are many colorful pictures, painted a wide range, with figures, flowers, landscapes, thousands of picture and no two are the same. This is known as the “world’s first Gallery. ” We also got to climb the Longevity hill up to the Buddhist temple and oversee the whole garden. On our way, we met a group of old people who have retired. They were singing and dancing there at a pavilion. They were all very passionate and enjoyed themselves, even though it was really hot. We were all invited to dance with them, and we had a lot of fun dancing with them.
We left the Summer Palace around noon and headed to lunch in a very famous restaurant chain in Beijing, Jing Ding Xuan. We had French fries and chicken nuggets there, which made us miss the U.S. a little bit.  Our next stop was the Olympic Venues, where we visited the Water Cube and Birds Nest. After the 2008 Olympic Games, the Water Cube has partly become a water park, which is packed with a huge crowd of people. Also, it was a shock to experience the Birds Nest, that we could never imagine the massive steel frames unless you’ve seen it in person. We were caught in a thunder shower just as we were leaving. From the Birds Nest we then went to an acrobatic show. It was an amazing show to watch, even though we’ve seen some in the U.S. it was still an eye-opening experience for us. My favorite part of the performance was the motorcycle act. This was a very long an tiring day for us since we did so much, but we are very excited to go on our shopping trip tomorrow!

The Forbidden City, Peking Duck, and Tiananmen

The Forbidden City was Immense, the quality and architecture of the palace incredible. The place itself was much more like a walled town than a Palace, being comply self sustainable, as well as a very decorative and elegant place for China’s past emperors. The Crowds themselves were also pretty impressive, I can only just imagining what they would be like during a national holiday.

We then visited the Drum and Bell Towers which are essentially ancient China’s version of Big Ben. They had small exhibits that demonstrate how the ancient Chinese told time. We also saw a booming drum performance.

City infrastructure and city planning don’t sound very exciting or interesting despite their importance. That being said the Beijing Urban Planning Exhibition was fun. We learned about Beijing’s past, present, and future. My favorite part of the exhibition was the Beijing City Model which spread out across the entire floor of the room in was in. Also buying a miniature model of Beijing was awesome.

Walking through Tienanmen Square was incredible interesting. The significance of the place is immense both from a historical perspective and a modern one. If I ever come back (which I will) I will defiantly visit the national museum which I have read about back home.

*Also Peking Duck exceeded everyone of my expectations which were already high, IT WAS INCREDIBLE*

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Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!
-Christina

Beijing: Summer Palace, Olympic Park (Water Cube and Bird’s Nest)!

-Christina

Pictures from today!
Rachel Moore Pictures from today!
Rachel Moore Pictures from today!
Rachel Moore

Pictures from today!

Rachel Moore

Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina Back to Beijing!
Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square
-Christina

Back to Beijing!

Forbidden City, Drum Tower, Beijing Duck, Planning Museum, and Tian’anmen Square

-Christina

Hi everyone! This is Olivia Tagliaferri! August 9th was our last day of the cruise down the Yangtze. Overall, it was a pretty relaxing day. We had a very early wake up call at 5:30am for breakfast. After we had breakfast we were able to ride smaller boats shaped like dragons out to mountains. There we went on a 30 minute hike through the mountain. I thought the hike was pretty fun but because we got to see some nice scenery and since it was pretty early it wasn’t too hot out. After we finished hiking we were able to see a performance that included dancing and acting. I thought it was a nice show, but because it was all it Chinese it was a little hard to follow. Once the show ended we took the dragon shaped boats back to the ship and stayed there until the cruise ended. When we got back to Yichang we went out to lunch at a nice restaurant which I liked and then returned to our hotel. In between lunch and dinner most of us got hungry again and had Qin Lei take us to Pizza Hut at the mall. The Pizza was really good and when we went one of our friends we met earlier in the trip was also there so we invited her to have lunch with us. At night we went out for dinner then walked to an outside mall. It was a fun experience to go to the outside mall because it is not a common thing to see in America but it seemed like a fun way to shop. We had a 30 minute walk back to the hotel from the mall but it was a fun walk because we were able to go through a park. At this park there was a roller coaster and other amusement park type games there, which I thought it was really cool because I have never seen these things in a normal park in Rhode Island. So far I am really loving this trip to China. I have met and became friends with so many new people, learned a lot about Chinese language and culture, and tried many different things. I don’t want it to end!

Goodbye Yichang, Hello Beijing!
On behalf of the entire K-12 Bryant China Study Trip we send our sincere appreciation for Samuel’s guidance, insight, and generosity. China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), the Three Gorges Dam High School visit, Three Gorges Dam, Tribe of the Three Gorges Dam, and Yangtze River Cruise were all amazing.
-Christina Goodbye Yichang, Hello Beijing!
On behalf of the entire K-12 Bryant China Study Trip we send our sincere appreciation for Samuel’s guidance, insight, and generosity. China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), the Three Gorges Dam High School visit, Three Gorges Dam, Tribe of the Three Gorges Dam, and Yangtze River Cruise were all amazing.
-Christina Goodbye Yichang, Hello Beijing!
On behalf of the entire K-12 Bryant China Study Trip we send our sincere appreciation for Samuel’s guidance, insight, and generosity. China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), the Three Gorges Dam High School visit, Three Gorges Dam, Tribe of the Three Gorges Dam, and Yangtze River Cruise were all amazing.
-Christina

Goodbye Yichang, Hello Beijing!

On behalf of the entire K-12 Bryant China Study Trip we send our sincere appreciation for Samuel’s guidance, insight, and generosity. China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), the Three Gorges Dam High School visit, Three Gorges Dam, Tribe of the Three Gorges Dam, and Yangtze River Cruise were all amazing.

-Christina

Hello!

This is Rachel Moore speaking! I am writing the blog for Tuesday August 6th. We got up around 8 o’clock and then went to the city of Yichang for some breakfast.  We got some street food which was pretty good. I had fried potatoes while some other people had fried dumplings. After eating we got on the bus for a one hour ride to a small mountain town near the Three Gorge Dam. The bus ride was a little scary because we were driving up the side of a mountain and were really high. When we got there, it was very pretty and surrounded by mountains. We went on a short hike through the mountains and then took a cable car up one of the mountains. The cable car only held two people and went all the way up the mountain. At the top of the mountain we went on a hike down it. We hiked right along the Yangtze river and the mountains. We also saw the cultural traditions of the people that live in the mountains. We saw a performance that showed a traditional wedding. Then, we went on another hike along this stream in the mountains. It was very nice because there weren’t any stairs and we were able to dip our feet in the cool stream. After that we had lunch, which was really good I had rice, eggs, lotus root, and tofu. We then ledt the hiking area and took a bus to yichang. There, we boarded another bus for our cruise. On the way to the cruise, we stopped an saw a performance all about the Three Gorge Dam. It was very good and had dancers, singers, and acrobatics. That night we slept on the cruise. I hope everyone is doing well in America! See you soon!

Rachel Moore

 

Day 8 - Cruising along the Yangtze River

We got on board the cruise ship very late last night. It was around 10pm or so, after watching the spectacular performance that captured the history and the story behind the Three Gorges Dam in Yichang. image

We all stayed with our tour guide, Peter, who followed another main tour guide. We have first class tickets, which sleeps two in one bedroom including a private bathroom. We have air conditioning in our rooms so that is very nice in the summertime. We all went to bed and awoke the next morning at 6am to loud, yet soothing Chinese music playing through our ceiling speakers. I found there was a knob I could turn to lower the volume, so I wearily did. After, I realized it was playing throughout the entire ship, not only my individual room. I began to get ready, after laying down for a bit and fiddling with my small dinky Chinese cellular device…I had set two emergency alarms close to 6am knowing we would have breakfast at 6:30am…of course I did not know we would all get wake-up calls.

A short while later an announcement was made that breakfast was being served in the 3rd floor dining room. Yes, thankfully, it was a short stroll down the hallway to get to our assigned table, #10. We are the only foreigners (so it seems) on this ship. Therefore, we are traveling with the ordinary Chinese people on this cruise ship, as we are taking the 3 day, 2 night trip.

Breakfast consisted of mantou (white, semi-sweet wheat buns), hard-boiled eggs (limited to one per person), a mung bean congee (very bland), some preserved vegetables, and preserved mustard greens. Each one of us grabbed some mantou, and Peter told us to fill up because we were going to need the energy.

After breakfast, we went back to our rooms to get ready to depart the ship for our destination. Around 7am, we went up to the upper deck of the ship where it is a very open area. It was so beautiful when we got up there!

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The students and Lei played some games with Johnny, our new Chinese friend from the cruise.

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Along the ride we passed some mountains that were similar to the mountains on the back of the 10 Yuan (RMB) in Chinese currency.

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We then docked at Fengjie, a part of the municipality of Chongqing, China.  First, we boarded a bus which took us to a historical site. image

There, we saw a historical site and climbed 300 steps to get to it.

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It was extremely hot and humid as soon as we got off the boat, and throughout the tour anytime we had an opportunity to find shade, we did. It was a gorgeous and we saw many warriors and emperors from the Three Kingdoms. image

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We then boarded the bus at 10am and all headed back to the boat. We got there around 10:30am or 10:45am. We had an opportunity to take a rest before lunch was served. Lunch consisted of eight different dishes. We had fried fish, pork with preserved vegetables, chicken with peppers, bok choy, green beans, soy bean sprouts, rice, a soup, and a few other Chinese dishes. We all ate our meals super fast because we were very hungry after our morning adventure.

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Our Cruise ship!

Yay, time for an afternoon nap until 3pm, where I felt quite productive, editing some pictures I had taken from days prior to painting my nails with some polish I had purchased from a mall in Yichang.

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At 3pm our ship stopped and we all boarded another smaller boat, which took us to a stream with jade water. The part of the Yangtze River our ship has been taking us is quite different from the place the smaller boat took us to.

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It took about an hour to get to our destination. Shannong River was where the boat dropped us off. We all split up into groups of 17 people on the traditional old wooden flat boat. In years past, the traditional draggers of the boat were naked, but since tourists started coming to the area, it was more appealing for them to put on some clothes to lug then row the wooden boats with tourists.

image Fisherman and farmers still use those boats to transport food and produce from one place to another as we saw when we were on the boats. I enjoyed this wooden boat ride a lot. It was required for us to put on orange life vests in case of an emergency. We had some old men row our boats.

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Other men grabbed some rope and started towing us along the river from the earth. Then, they hopped onto our boat and there were about five men, two in the back and three in the front, steering and rowing us along the river. There must have been about eight boats filled with mostly Chinese tourists wearing orange life vests. It was an interesting site to see. 
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Our tour guide on the smaller row boats was fun and pointed out different sites to see along the ride, such as old wooden coffins high up in the mountains as well as a beautiful and serene waterfall along the way. She also sang a few Chinese songs to us while we were aboard the row boat through her microphone. I learned that “huojie” is a way of saying hello in that part of the region of China.

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Our ride back to the boat was quite long. But it only took us 20 minutes for us to get to another spot, where we all stopped to watch a minority folk performance. We climbed up many flights of stairs to get to the top.

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Thankfully there was air conditioning when we got into the stage area. It was already around 5:15pm when the performance started.

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The show represented the men who pulled the boats, their passion, and their spirit. There was a lion dance performance, a few dances, a song, and an instrumental. It lasted for only about half an hour, and we all returned to our smaller boat to get back to our cruise ship. It was already about 6pm. image

And when we got back to the ship it was close to 7pm. An announcement was made that dinner was being served, and people all rushed to the dining room to find some nice dishes, rice, and a soup. There was tofu, rice noodle, steamed fish, potato with pork, steamed pumpkin, sautéed cabbage, and some other Chinese dishes. Dinner was great! Now it is about a quarter to 9pm here on the ship. Tomorrow morning there will be a wake-up call at 5:30am, and breakfast at 6am. We will be visiting a site after breakfast, and then packing our belongings to depart for Yichang around 9:30am.

Today was a magnificent day with so many different experiences for me. This was my first time to Chongqing, even though it was the outskirts of the city. It was absolutely gorgeous to see everything. It is so open in this area. I really enjoy seeing the fisherman and the people who row the boats along the river.  What a great day…image

Time to repack my stuff, woo…

Thanks for reading this rather long and detailed entry.

-Christina Ho