Today was really good! firstly, we woke up and I had a shower. Then we got ready for the day and half packed for Suzhou tomorrow. Next we hopped on the train and when to the Science and Tech Market. I decided to buy some more gifts, I have nearly bought all the gifts. Once we were done shopping we came back to the hotel for half an hour, we had hot potato chips, wontons and noodles, it was great to just eat some chips again! Once we ate our lunch we got on the train and we went to the Planning Museum, it was very interesting, there was models of old Shanghai and a MASSIVE model of modern Shanghai! Next was the Ji Juan temple, it was beautiful! There was a lot of detail in the wood carvings, and there was lots of statues of Buddha monk and other beautiful statues. Once we left there we came back to the hotel and we packed the rest of our suitcase. We are going out to dinner, we might even eat bull frog!
Day 3 in Shanghai was again another awesome day. After a big brekkie we assembled at around 9.30 and heading to the Metro to catch the train to our first activity for the day, the Yu Gardens. Catching the train seamed difficult at first but now we are all experts. After a few stops and a short walk we arrived at the gardens. The gardens are really beautiful and very relaxing.
After leaving the gardens we stopped for an ice cream and continued through the crowds on the way to the markets outside. Everyone enjoyed practicing the bartering and shopping skills, lots of little Chinese gifts were bought by the students.
Next we jumped on a Sightseeing bus and had a tour around the city. Everyone loved having a sit down as we are doing lots of walking, around 20km per day. The bus took us back to the markets and we then made our way to the Subway to catch our train back to our hotel.We had a late lunch of dumplings. They are amazing and very cheap, only $3 for a great feed.
After lunch we had a few hours of relaxing at the hotel. Everyone enjoyed a little break from all the walking and the heat. We then went to a restaurant for dinner. We had fried rice and Louise tried her first Chicken foot. She was brave and had a bite. It was very funny.I had one too but didn’t enjoy it very much.
Then we all got together as a big group and walked to the train station to head to our river cruise. We caught the train to a station, hopped off before a huge walk to the ferry for our cruise. It was amazing. All the buildings have amazing neon lights, pictures and advertisements that create an awesome light display. Photos just don’t do it justice! One of my favourites. The cruise went for about 40 minutes. We then walked a short distance and got to a new train station and eventually made it back by around 10pm. We were all exhausted and went straight to bed!
I wonder what adventures tomorrow will bring?
Today was so tiring! SO MUCH WALKING!! Here’s how it went – After finally figuring out how to use the showers (you turn the taps the other way). My roommate and I got ready so we watched some TV, basically all of the channels are Chinese, we ended up watching the American news. We finally went down for some breakfast, there was all kinds of things, there was toast, eggs, bacon, little eclair things and even sushi! There was lots more but they were the tastiest! We walked to the Peoples Square Train Station and we hopped on the train and headed to the well known Pearl Tower, it was so tall! There was even pink tiles on it! once we made it to the elevator, we went up and up and up! We reached the top and we looked out the windows, the view was incredible! You could see so far! There was skyscrapers for 100’s of kilometres! Then, we headed down one floor and found the glass floor in the Pearl Tower, I walked on there, it was scary at first but I started to get less scared, so I jumped, only a couple of times though. Sadly, we left that floor and went to the VR (virtual reality) roller coaster! It was so fun! The VR goggles made it look like we were going around the pearl tower and over Shanghai, but we were only going around a small indoor track. Then we headed to the Science and Tech markets, I bought a fidget spinner (I couldn’t help myself), a fidget spinner for my brother, and some chopsticks for my grade. We finally came back from the hotel, my legs were nearly dead! I was so sore! We sat down for a while, I called my mum. Then we out for dinner, before we got to the restaurant we danced with a group dancing to Chinese songs, it was so funny! The spring rolls that we had for dinner were delicious (there was no shortage of them), then we headed back to the hotel and we washed our clothes and went to bed.
After waking up to a cold Bendigo morning, we arrived at the QEO at 5.30am to get on the bus and depart for the Melbourne Airport by 6am. We waved goodbye to all parents and eagerly set off excited for our trip. We arrived at the airport and quickly checked in with plenty of time to look around the airport before our flight. On entering the plane Louise and I were excited to see how many movies we could watch to keep ourselves entertained on our 10 hour flight. We got fed, watched movies, tried to sleep (unsuccessfully) and did anything else to keep ourselves entertained. We touched down to Shanghai at around 7.30pm local time, got off the plane and were quickly whisked away to a waiting bus to take the 1hr bus ride to our hotel. Our hotel is very nice and on a main tourist street called West Nanjing Rd. All were given there keys to their rooms and off to sleep.
Today we are off to visit the Pearl Tower, Yu Yuan Gardens and to see some other sights in Shanghai.
Well we are now in Suzhou. Today we are under the guidance of a tour guide that will be with us for the duration of our time in Suzhou. Hey were very informative on the trip.. We all learnt something new..
Did you know that not all people in China eat an abundance of rice on a daily basis??
The residents in the south of China eat rice frequently, as it is the perfect climate to grow the grain. The climate is hot and humid, with a lot of rainfall.
In the north of China it is too dry to grow rice. They grow wheat instead. The wheat is then used for noodles (similar to ourl spaghetti pasta and hokkien noodles) and steamed bread (most of their bread is quite sweet, unlike our savoury bread).
Rice is very expensive to purchase in northern China.
The population of Suzhou is 12 million, but land is much bigger than Shanghai, with it being over 8000 square kilometres
Shanghai is one of the oldest cities in China being built in 514bc. It is the only city not to change its original site.
After a 1.5 hour bus trip we arrived at our motel. We had one hour to rest before we had Burger King for lunch..
After indulging in burgers and fries we a boarded a bus to the sacred sight of ‘Tiger Hill’. It was absolutely amazing.
We spent time walking with our tour guide who was able to stop and tell us interesting information along the way. The tiger hill got its name as there is a tomb that buried the king 2500 years ago. To ensure no one went to find this grave site, his son, who was the king at the time, would tell everyone there was a tiger at the top of the hill and that if you went there, he would kill you. The tomb was found just over 30 years ago and under the direction of the government, it has still never been opened as they are worried it will ruin the foundations.
Very informative afternoon.
The humidity was stifling today.. We were all hot and sweaty by the end.
Well dinner tonight was definitely traditional Chinese cuisine. We were all out on tables with a lazy Susan in the middle and they brought the food out to us. We didn’t even have to order. It started very well with steamed rice, a couple of vegetables dishes androgen there were all the meat dishes. There was beef and vegetables, sweet and sour pork, a really yummy prawn dish and then there was a chicken soup type dish. It looked really nice, until we spotted the portions of chicken that were included. There were chicken feel and a whole chicken head. Yuk!! There was one adventurous sole amongst our group and that was the one and only James ‘iron gut’ Toomey.. See photo on blog.
Overall it was a delicious meal and we were all full at the end.
Our first early night tonight as we are getting picked up at 8 to attend our sister school tomorrow.
Day 7 – revisit to school, boat cruise of the Grand Canal, sight seeing of the Old Suzhou Streets and farmers market.
We got picked up at 8:30 again by our lovely host Jane. She teaches English at our sister school.
Our first class today was music. We played a string instrument that they called a ‘plucking instrument’. We tried really hard for the 40 minute lesson and were able to play a short tune by the end. There were only 12 students in the lesson as it is called an elective club.
Next lesson was art, where we tried our hand at tie die. We created some beautiful masterpieces. Of course Miss Gallagher was the only one capable of getting a couple of splatters of blue die on her clean white top..
Our next lesson was cooking where we made pork dumplings for our lunch.. They were sensational!!!
Once we were back with our team china peers, we hopped on a bus a travelled towards water.. We then boarded a smallish boat and jetted along the Grand Canal. The sights were spectacular..
After our cruise we walked along the old streets of Suzhou and went I tot eh farmers market. The market had a very distinctive smell that we were happy to leave behind. We spent an hour walking through the streets at the many beautiful sights and were even able to but some small gifts and an ice cream.
Dinner was at another nice Chinese restaurant. The pork appeared to be a hit and Miss Gallagher loved the fish.
Another day done and dusted and we are closer to coming home..