Today started with a wake up call at 5:30 am and an excursion at 6 am to see the sunrise. Jackie, our youthful tour guide, took us all up to a local mountain to a viewing platform overlooking hundreds of clear rice terraces. The rice growing season has yet to start, so it is an optimal time to view these spectacular creations. While walking through the entrance, we as a group were surprised to see that this viewing of a natural phenomenon cost money whereas that wouldn’t necessarily happen in the States. I must say, however, the view from this platform was rather spectacular in my opinion. This platform zigzagged down the side of the mountain and was packed with people, many who arrived well before our later arrival of 6:30 for a 7:30 sunrise. The beauty of the sun peaking over the misty mountains did not disappoint and after we all took many Instagram-worthy pictures of this lovely sight, we returned to the hotel to freshen up, aka nap until lunch.
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2015 EXCHANGE GROUP UPDATE » This year's group left Boston on Tuesday, February 17. Check back here daily during their 8-week travels and studies for their latest blog posts!
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Friday, February 27, 2015
Sent at (China time): 8:05 PM
Sent at (China time): 4:08 PM
On our last day in Yangshuo, we woke up early and went to go see the Reed Flute Cave. The enormous cave is spectacularly lit up to showcase different formations. Our tour guide, Summer, explained what the different stalagmites and stalactites represented. For example, one part of the cave looked like a sun rising up over a lion. We were all in awe of the caves vastness and natural beauty. After visiting the cave, we went to Fubo Hill, named for General Fubo. As we walked through, we saw hundreds of Buddhas engraved in the side of the hill. There were many different renditions which depicted how the image of the Buddha changed over time. Then, we climbed up to the top of the hill to get a nice view of the whole city.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Sent at (China time): 10:56 PM
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Sent at (China time): 7:00 PM
Ola, Nik, Mr. and Mrs. Li and I arrived to Mainland China in the rural city of Guilin. Getting off the plane, I noticed all the beautiful mountains China’s landscape is typically associated with. We learned later from our tour guide, Summer, that these mountains are made of limestone, which thousands of years of rain have melted away, giving them their characteristically steep and rounded shape. The city also didn’t have any very tall buildings and was very dark at night.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Sent at (China time): 10:30 AM
Ni hao from Hong Kong! Our China adventure started with a 6:00 AM flight to San Francisco, where we had a three hour layover before a 14 hour flight, during which I developed a cold. When we finally arrived, we were astonished by the majestical HK skyline. Needless to say, we’ve been quite tired and jet-lagged yet have been trying to make the most of our few days here.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Sent at (China time): 5:30 AM
Narrowly avoiding flight cancellation due to Boston's seemingly never-ending snow, the 2015 China Exchange Group departed Logan Airport on time, very early on February 17. This year's group (pictured below, L to R) consists of D-S High School teacher Lindsay Li and seniors Nik Dombrowski, Ola Szymanska and Abby O'Reilly. Ms. Li's husband Arlen will accompany the group until it arrives at Hangzhou High School.
Friday, March 28, 2014
Sent at (China time): 12:00 PM
Wow, time has flown by. At the risk of sounding repetitive (per the other blog posts, and the final blog posts of previous groups), I can’t believe we leave for home today…where did the last two months go? While I am of course thrilled to see my family, friends, and loved ones, I am also going to deeply miss some of the people I’ve met here, and miss seeing such amazing things each and every day, whether in Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Huangshan, Xi’an, Lijiang, Dali, Shaxi, Kunming, Guilin, Yangshuo, or Hong Kong. I think that’s a complete list, yes? Wait! I forgot the side trips! Wuzhen, Xiaoxing…
Sent at (China time): 11:39 AM
I’m going to start off with how absolutely bizarre it is that this is my very last blog post in China. Two months is a long time, and it’s been fantastic. All right, on to Beijing.
We arrived on our train at around seven-thirty AM, where our new tour guide, Hans, met us. He told us that he got his English name directly from his family name, Han, so his business card actually reads “Hans Han”. We went straight to our hotel for check-in, and a quick shower and change of clothes. I’m beyond glad we stopped first, because after that we hit the ground running.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Sent at (China time): 11:23 AM
As our last weekend in Hangzhou set in on Friday night, we sat down at a café with DiDi, Kay, and Cindy for a few drinks and some war stories. It almost felt like nothing was wrong and it was just another weekend on the streets of Hangzhou. Only now do I realize that this was the last gathering that the eight of us would have. DiDi, Kay, and Cindy were the students who came to our school last year and they have been immensely helpful in translating and planning our day to day activities and visits. A big thank you to them.
Sent at (China time): 10:53 AM
Finally, a break to all the traveling and the routine of school! Today, Sunday, was one of the most relaxing days of the trip. I actually got to sleep in for once, which was nice. (In China, my usual wake up time of noon has changed to about nine o’clock on weekends). After waking up, my host dad, David, and I went to Zhejiang University to walk around. Zhejiang has multiple campuses just like some colleges in America; the difference between this location and the campus my previous host family took me to was drastic.