Monday, December 1, 2014

Xian and Beijing

Pronounced, "See-on" and "Bay-jing." Let's get that straight first. I've come to realize that before I was otherwise informed, I pronounced almost entirely all of the Chinese cities wrong. For example, "Shanghai" is really pronounced "Shong-hi." Anyway! Let's get to the post. For our last vacation we went to Xian and Beijing. We traveled to Northern China in November and it was cold, but it definitely was manageable. Such a nice break from tropic Zhongshan.

We flew to Xian first, and spent a day seeing the Terracotta Warriors, and biking on the ancient city wall. I loved going to the warriors. It was amazing! Then we took an 11 hour overnight train ride to Beijing. Our first day in Beijing consisted of going to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. We also went to an antique street market, and a souvenir market. The next day we booked a tour. The first part of the tour took us to a jade factory (jade is really popular here), we had a nice lunch. Then we drove for a bit to the "Badaling" section of the Great Wall of China. We rode up in cable cars and were dropped off right at the wall. It was so cool. I was thinking, "Wow, I'm really here. I've made it to the wall." 

The wall is definitely beautiful to look at it, but don't be deceived. It will kick your butt. It is so steep! But because of that, it is a really fun thing to slide down on the railing. Quite amusing. :-) After the wall, our tour took us to the Ming Tombs. It was a quiet place, and it's crazy how far China's history goes. That night we went to a night market, where I ate fried Scorpion and Starfish. But those weren't the worst things available, trust me. The next day we went to the National Museum of China. It was free to get in, which was a pleasant surprise. They had artifacts dating back 200+ years BC! We spent as much time there as we could, but there was so much to see that we barely made a dent. And that concluded our vacation. We hopped back on a plane and flew home. 

Since then we've gotten back to teaching. Things are going well. Our schedule can be a stress sometimes. There's a lot of classes, and other foreign teachers at our school, that all need to fit and flow, so the schedule changes ever so often. Lately I've been working on organizing our supply cabinets at school, I'm sort of a neat freak sometimes. But that's okay, because when everything is put away in the right spot, it can make lesson planning go smoother for the girls!

We can't believe that our time in China is almost up. I'm coming home in two weeks! For a while I was feeling really sad about leaving China, but now I'm feeling more ready. But that doesn't mean we aren't making the most of the time we have left! Recently, I went to a park called the "Zimaling" park. It is a huge park with lots to do. Us girls messed around, had fun, explored a pagoda, and called it a day. Another time, I hopped onto a bus in the city and enjoyed hot chocolate at Starbucks (very cultural, I know.) A few days ago we were taken out to dinner by our Chinese friend, Allen. We ate traditional vegetarian Chinese food, and toured a Buddhist temple. 

Below are some pictures from our vacation to Xian and Beijing!  
Talk to you soon,


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