Read our blog as Archie students spend a week in Beijing, looking at and experiencing Chinese language and culture in conjunction with our link school, Dacheng!
Plane ride from hell, lots of turbulence which made my coffee go into my cheese (I love cheese aswell). Mr Horta and Ms Holland didn’t tell me we were landing and I thought the plane was going to crash, as we touched down on the runway (I even went into the brace position and screamed), and then… to top it all off… my suitcase is somewhere between Paris and Beijing and I am not!!! I am however still in yesterday’s clothes, with the exception of a t-shirt kindly lent to me by Mr Horta!
On a better note, the students were fantastic on the flight. Excellent manners and the flight attendants were really impressed with them. The hotel is amazing! I have just had a 4 course breakfast! Last night we had a pizza night followed by Chinese pizza and Chinese kebabs! I was extremely impressed with a Juan Horta’s resilience during the extreme meat feast, that was a whole 9 kebabs! See photo of kebab sticks below for evidence!
Looking forward to today- Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, National Museum and then the Summer Palace!
First morning in China; the food is great, still tired though! Got off to a bad start yesterday, with Mr Knowles losing his suitcase, but it’s been good so far! Sean
First full day in China! Flight was an experience in itself- lots of turbulence and long! The hotel’s great and I slept well but the time difference is a killer! It was a bad start when Mr Knowles lost his suitcase, which had our recycled paper for the school project in and now he is ‘Billy no clothes’ haha. . . I really hope we get it back though, before we go to the school! Danny
Lewis: Today was great! We have been to the Forbidden City and to a Chinese restaurant, we tried some nice, yet strange, Chinese food. Can’t wait for tomorrow although it’s a half 6 start :@
Louis: The first day we were in China, I didn’t feel like I was there because we didn’t see any sights to make us feel like we were in town! Although I wasn’t too sure of the authenticity of our trip, I definatly liked it more because of the places we went today:
– Firstly we headed out about seven miles from Jing Guo Hotel to Tiananmen Square to find massive crowds of people and brilliant buildings that were just asking for their picture to be taken!
-Next we traveled to the National Museum of China where we had an excellent time, staring in awe at Jade jewellery and artwork. And then we went to KFC to get some shelter from the un-merciful sun – at least 30 degrees today! VERY HOT! Especially for Connor who went out in a sweatshirt.
-And finally our group walked to the HUGE Forbidden City which was a truly breathtaking experience for everybody! Big, tiring, the buildings were old, if they could talk they would have a lot to say. If all the tourists disappeared, the place could be as it was a 1000 years ago. I have enjoyed today very much!
Jordan: Today was really good, I enjoyed it a lot. The best part of the day was when we went to the Silk Market. I bought some really good things, I did most of the haggling in Chinese too! It was also good for Mr Knowles who still hasn’t got a suitcase but at least he has clean clothes now. It was really good seeing the Forbidden City, it was really large and took a lot if trekking. All in all today was great!
Lewis: Today was awesome. We visited Beijing Dacheng school and the Marco Polo bridge. There are many things that I have learned and I really enjoyed our dinner; I managed to try nearly everything!
Jordan: Today was very educational and beneficial for everyone, the day consisted of visiting our Chinese link school Da Cheng. The day generally revolved around the learning of the Chinese culture and the differences between their culture and ours. There were many differences, some not so substantial. One of the most significant differences was the interest shown by the link school’s children. They were all willing to learn and paid much more interest and respect to their teachers. There was a History lesson that had a lot of facts, kindly translated by Isabella and her other companions. The lesson was based on a man who thought that no matter what family background you are from (financially), you could still have a spectacular education. He also taught the lessons of life. Making everyone no matter what nationality, age, background or walk of life: equal! The man was Confucius. The food at the end of the night was divine, with amazing service provided by all of the staff. It was by far the most amount of food that was eaten by the whole group. Amazing day!
Megan: Today was a good experience and was very educational. We learned about a famous Chinese man called Confucius, and about some Chinese culture. The things I liked about the visit were that we learned about a big part of Chinese culture and also experienced a Chinese P.E lesson and everyone was involved.
Beth: Today was rather educational as we saw how other students learned and the teachers seemed quite happy, which is different to the majority in England, the activities we did had everyone involved.
Ellie: I really enjoyed today as it was a very educational and different experience for me. The food was really nice. The presentation was great and we learnt a lot. Meeting the children at our link school was phenomenal.
Louis: Today we visited our link school, Da Cheng which was brilliant because of the hospitality of the Chinese teachers and children. I had to create a piece of writing to say things about myself. This was for a speech delivered to Da Cheng staff and students and also many distinguished guests from the dept of education. I think I did quite well though, because teachers from Hull and Beijing clapping me! I ate all of the food from the restaurant earlier tonight, I feel very happy with myself! Today was a truly brilliant day for me and everybody else visiting in China!
Danny: Today was a brilliant day, very educational and fun with our 3 lessons art, history and P.E. They were all really good and I learned a lot about their way of living. The food in the restaurant was nice too. Most I’ve eaten so far.
Charley: Today we went to the school and we sang in the opening ceremony at the school. The lessons were great and very good. The food on the night was fantastic.
Connor: A lot of the food I had today was nicer than the other days. I was shocked at how good little Louis was at speaking Chinese. The design of the hotel we ate in was luxurious, and was like the Titanic in it’s grand design.
Sean: I still didn’t eat much today, all I had was potato, hence why everyone called me the Potatoe-Man. The school we visited was really different to ours back home, but was still very interesting and good.
Lewis: Today was amazing! We have been to the Beijing school, we had four lessons, we had a lesson of music were we sang a Chinese song together, with the Chinese students and also we sang on our own, which was embarrassing but in a good way. Then we had Chinese were we performed a Chinese play about the Emperor liking the wind pipe instrument called the Yu. Then we had a science lesson which was good and shows the differences between Beijing’s recycling system and Hull’s recycling system, overall today was good.
Connor: Today was one of the best days for me because all of the lessons were really fun and I actually sang a song in Chinese but I couldn’t get as high as some of the Chinese students. After we had finished at the school, we went to the Silk Market were I managed to get everything I wanted – all under five pounds. I found out that Mr Knowles is really Santa Clause, and he likes a good bargain. Today was brilliant!
Charley: Today was a very good day because we had very good lessons and we connected with the Chinese students really well, like when we were singing, all of us got involved! After we had finished at the school, we when to the Silk Market and I used half of my money in about an hour and I got all of the stuff I went in to get. I got them all really cheaply and then we went to a pizza place for something to eat and drink. Today was one of the best days!
Louis: I enjoyed today extremely because of Dacheng school, this was our last day there by the way. I’m shocked at how quickly this week has gone. It seems to have flown by (because we are having such a good time.) The lessons at school today were awesome, because of the way the teachers and the Chinese students involved us.
We had music first; unfortunately because I am the youngest and the most gullible I ended up singing a solo on my own at the front… In Chinese! Everyone else was supposed to join in,they didn’t. Not really. I felt a little bit silly to say the least! Secondly we had a Chinese lesson, they told us a story about the musical instrument the Yu. We acted in short plays, in groups with the Chinese students and spoke using ancient Chinese. Finally we had a lesson by Mr Knowles and Adam, it was all about recycling! Mr Knowles was awesome, we all really enjoyed it. He even spoke slowly and almost in Standard English for the Chinese kids.
Finally we visited the Silk Market once more (probably for the last time). I have Perfected (nearly!!) my haggling technique! I am almost the Master! Like Mr Knowles (not Mr Horta who is too scared). But I will never be as good as Ms Holland who is ruthless and gets some right bargains! Spaghetti bol to finish (not very Chinese but very well deserved!) great day!
Beth, Megan, Ellie: Today was amazing and the weather was even hotter than yesterday; the sun was out all day and we even had to wear suncream. We visited the Great Wall of China after 4/5hours of driving around to find the part we were going to walk across. The views were brilliant! You could see the wall and it’s surroundings for miles. We rode up to the wall in cable cars, which were hundreds of feet above the ground and the view was outstanding, as were the views from the wall and the actual wall itself.
Tonight we’re going to a street by using the ‘tube’ and are all going to eat deep fried scorpions. So far the holiday’s been amazing and we’ve all had the experience of a one in a lifetime opportunity!
Sean: Today we went to the Great wall of China, the coach ride took the mick we were on there for ages but it wasn’t too bad because it had it’s funny moments. I fell asleep and during that time two people took a picture of me “OH NO”. When we got there though it was great, glad I went. Amazing!
Danny: Today we went to The Great Wall Of China. It took along time to get there but looking through the photos of the previous days passed the time, when we finally got there it was great! Really scary to think how high you actually are! We took lots of photos and I really enjoyed it- the best thing we’ve done all week!
Lewis: yesterday was the very best day of the trip! We had a good morning because we drove on the mini bus to a part of the great wall which tourists can visit, but when we arrived it turns out it had been closed since 2010. This made the journey a little longer but it was worth it as we were accompanied by our Chinese friends.
When we finally arrived at the wall we discovered that we had to take a cable car to the top, we could fit two people in one cart and since there was 13 of us English students and about 12 Chinese students and teachers, we had to separate into pairs to get in. The 10 min journey in the cable car was amazing! The views were spectacular. I was in a pair with Connor who was a little reluctant to get into the cable car because he felt it might not be safe. In the end Connor really enjoyed it. When we got to the top the views continue to wow us. Unlike the last time in China there isnt really an ‘end’ to the wall so really it was a case of getting as far as we could, rather than to the end. After we had reached a certain point, we set off back to the meeting point and then we got on the mini bus and went to Wang Fu Jing which is a quaint little market street where you can eat many odd things. Watching Danny eat them and finally throwing them up was the best part! We tried to take the subway out to the hotel but when we got to the station it was closed, so we had to walk (about 25 minutes) which caused my tight shoes to make my ankles bleed. However this did not stop me from piggy backing people home!
We also went to the silk Market which was busy (as usual) then I finished all my shopping. We returned to the hotel and packed for departure the next day (today). Over all to day was the best day of the trip.
Ellie: Last night we went to Wangfujing to try some of the rather unusual specimens. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I got there, however after seeing Mr Knowles and Danny trying different things, I thought I would have a go myself. I started with scorpion, which almost everyone tried and it didn’t really taste of anything. After that Mr Knowles and Danny ate the starfish and I had a taste; it tasted like chewy, gone off fish-flavoured sand, I was sick in Beth’s hair. After I recovered, I decided to try some more food with them. First we ate a chicken’s heart,then locusts, then finally whole baby birds on a skewer!
Danny: Last night we all went to a traditional Chinese market at Wangfujing. Me and Mr Knowles went knowing we were going to eat the strangest things. The full group stopped at this market stall selling live scorpions and other small creatures. We all had a scorpion but me and Mr Knowles wanted to take it to another level by eating seahorse, beetles and a dreadful starfish that tasted like a mouldy fish mixed in with sand and sea water covered in cement! Elle then took a bite of the last piece of the starfish. The three of us and our posse moved on to the next stall down the road where we ate heart, which just exploded blood everywhere in your mouth after one bite, then the locusts and finally baby birds on a skewer, which wasn’t that bad just you ate the full body and the bones at once! Ellie was sick but Lewis started to say it’s moving, it really creeped me out and I panicked after I swallowed the last piece! I was sick behind the stall and surprisingly the owner and workers were actually happy about it.
Sean: The Lama Temple was great; there were loads of cool statues. The Buddhas just kept getting bigger and bigger and the last one was massive! There was some competition with Lewis for height there lol! The summer palace was also amazing some of us climbed up to the highest point, we could see from there the view, which was beautiful and inside there was a statue of a woman – she had 24 arms! From there we went on a dragon boat and that was good also.
Jordan: On the last day we went to the Lama Temple, it was really good and brought a new dimension to the trip with this visit being about religion. Something that I really didn’t think was related with China, as such. There were three Buddhas, each one progressing in size until the last one that was really large, and stretched all the way to the top of this authentic red building, that had a yellow roof. Soon after, we visited The Summer Palace, it once belonged to the Emperor’s daughter but was far too grand and large to be just for her. Some of the students (me included) climbed to the top of the palace and got great landscape shots, over-looking the lake filled with a myriad of boats. Great day for photography!
Mr.Horta: After a really brilliant and tiring week, our last day in Beijing started at the Lama Temple, where most of the students experienced a different view of China, the religious point of view (quite extended among young people, in my opinion). The architecture in that place is outstanding and blows your mind away (even for someone who has been there three times). The respect from our students towards the prayers that were taking place in the temple was incredible. An hour and a half later, we headed to the Summer Palace. The temperature was quite nice (pretty hot for the rest of the crew), as it was on the previews days. We walked around and some students went up to the palace itself. Then we had a ride on a dragon boat around the lake. Finally, we went for a bit of shopping and our last Chinese meal (amazing as always) before heading for the airport. In general, another successful educational trip!
THE BEST BITS:
1. The Great Wall at Jing Shan Ling in the He Bei Province. I’ve never visited that part before and the views were spectacular! I also love the fact I have a photo of me at the top with my Hull City Tigers hat on!
2. The students communicating and mixing with the Chinese students and staff, especially those trying hard to do it in Chinese! I was really amazed at their ability to recognise Chinese characters from walls and signs.
3. I love the Lama Temple! Five times I have been there now but I just love the total senses overload you get from the people, the incense, the praying, the vibrant colours…the whole atmosphere.
4. Seeing old friends…and making new ones.
5. Potato boy, shopping centre toilets, mistaken handshakes, photos while sleeping, the 11th child, silly questions, students falling asleep on other (unknown) passengers, being ‘appropriate’, skipping, students getting stuck in and trying new things with confidence and enthusiasm….Archie students singing a song, in Chinese, alone, TO AN ENTIRE CLASS OF DACHENG STUDENTS! Haha
6. Haggling; students were great at it, Mr Knowles was developing at it, Mr Horta was scared of it, I was loving it!
6. Dark Juan, Darth Vader, Rule Breakers and ‘Kevin, I am your father!’ this had us in hysterics all week but unfortunately we are sworn to secrecy!
1. The effort that the students learning Chinese at the Academy have put on this trip. Incredible, looking at them communicating with other students, staff and random people on the street was really rewarding. To be honest, it’s thanks to the Chinese speaking Archies that we were able to find a supermarket.
2. It was lovely to see again real friends from Dacheng School and Yungang Middle School. Seeing them using our methods in their lessons was great. Well done Liu Ying, Li Lun and Yang Huan Sheng!!!
3. Finally, FOOD, FOOD and FOOD. I would have put it the first but it would have not looked professional.
1. At the risk of opening my ‘best bits’ by sounding completely unoriginal, I too would like to say how utterly proud, impressed and sometimes astounded I was by the students who took part in this trip. I can honestly say that while I expected them to do a decent job, I had no idea how enthusiastic they would be with everything we took part in. Watching them work together with staff and students at the school, converse with members of the public, and show impeccable manners and behaviour (yes I did just type that!) made me extremely pround to be involved with them and the whole trip. In particular Louis speaking at the conference, in Chinese, was just so impressive.
2. Moving on, I’ve been so lucky to have taken part in so many amazing experiences this week with such a fantastic group of people. I’ve literally laughed and enjoyed myself from start to finish. Being engrossed in a book, and blissfully unaware that the plane was about to land until about Stacey shouted ‘NOW’ a split second before it did, then automatically assuming the brace position was the first of many laughs we had. As Stacey mentioned, ‘Dark Juan’, was hilarious. Eating some foods which were unconventional at best with my eating partners Dan and Ellie was really really great fun. There’s totally too many great moments to mention even a fraction of them, given the time constrictions I have at this moment in time. Yes, Miss Holland’s moaning about it, what a surprise!
1. The visit to the Great Wall of China was one of my favourite days because it was something most of us wouldn’t ever get the chance to do again:))
2. The trip to the Chinese school was great, speaking to the students and getting to know them was a great experience:)
3. The funniest moment from the holiday was down the street where we ate all the food and Beth spat out her coke everywhere, a second before I was sick in her hair from the starfish! Everyday was so funny and I’ve had such a good holiday:)
1. One of my most favourite days in China was the day we visited the Wall of China, you could see it for miles and it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
2. One thing I’ve learnt while I’ve been in China about people’s culture is that the Chinese people really respect their religion and worship their Gods in adventurous ways.
3. My funniest moment on the trip was just the all round experience of eating Chinese food and people’s reactions to the taste, all around I’ve had an amazing time:)
Beth: My favourite day was when we visited the street with all the abnormal edible food and watching everyone’s (especially Danny’s) reactions, it was hilarious.
One thing I have learnt during my time in China is they really respect their religion incredibly.
The funniest moment would have to be Louis’ face after eating a chili, overall the holiday has been worth while and a great experience:p
Louis: I’ve had a great time away this week and the best place we visited was the Great Wall of China because the sights were breathtaking! My favourite and funniest moment of the educational work visit (holiday for short) has to be when Beth spat Coke all over Ellie! Haha, this week has been brilliant and thank you wo de loushr 😉
Lewis: I have had such and amazing time in Beijing with my friends! The best moment of the trip was when we went to the top of theGreat Wall using the cable cars, it was good because the views were amazing. The funniest moment of the trip was when Danny was sick, after facing some of the most revolting food I have ever seen.The best cultural experience of the trip was when we went to the Summer Palace and had a view of the whole palace from the top tower. 我爱中国。
Connor: Going to Beijing has being one of the best experiences I have ever had. The best moment in China was going on the cable cars up to the Great Wall, it was absolutely amazing going up the Great Wall. The funniest moment on the trip was when we all tried a chilli and it burned Louis’ mouth that much, he started sweating and crying. The best cultural experience was when we went to the Lama Temple and they all were praying. China is class!
Charley: China has been amazing and one of the best experiences I’ve had. One of the funniest moments was when Mr Knowles slipped during his lesson and one of the best places we went to was the Great Wall of China. The best cultural place was when we went to the Summer Palace. China was amazing.
Jordan: China has by far being the most exhilarating life experience I’ve had, it was amazing especially when we went to the Great Wall and had to go on a cable car. It was funny when we went to the Lama Temple and every photo you took had to be discretely without someone noticing otherwise they would wave at the lens and tell you ‘NO PHOTO”.
Sean: China has been a great experience for me. Going to the Great Wall was amazing, the view from there was so awesome. It was funny when Jordan laughed because he sounded like a seal. It was good at the school because I got to see what school was like for those students in Dacheng. China was awesome and I hope I can go next year!!!
1. The Great Wall was amazing; it was so different from anything I have ever seen. It was also totally different from Beijing. The air was really clear and crisp, even though it was really, really hot!
2. There were loads of really funny moments but it is not appropriate to talk about them so I’m not allowed to write about them in here. One really funny moment was when Louis fell up the stairs on the bus and his head ended up in the bin!
3. I really liked talking with the Chinese students and finding out about their lives are and how they live. Communicating with them made me understand a lot about their culture and the visit gave me the opportunity to live how they do.
BIG THANKS TO ASA AND DACHENG FOR ANOTHER GREAT AND SUCCESSFUL VISIT MAKING OUR LINK SCHOOL RELATIONSHIP EVEN STRONGER!!!
WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING MARIA AND HER STUDENTS IN JULY!