Today we had an amazing day after a brief night of sleep. Our day began with a full breakfast buffet, followed by an introduction to our Beijing guide, Kai. Kai and Jacky took us to some magical places, beginning with a vocational school for student studying English and learning the trade of tourism. There was some song and dance and they got all of us up. Then then asked the TPS students to perform and so our crew sang a tune from GREASE!
After a tug of war and exchange of small gifts, we were off to the summer palace. The summer palace and a dragon boat ride were big hits with all of us. There was a Tai Chi lesson in one of the gradens and our 9th graders really took to it! We learned some basic Chinese phrases and started to move towards the Forbidden city. BUT, before that, we went to learn about freshwater pearls and visit a factory where they are harvested and sold. Some of us shopped!
Then off to lunch at a Muslim Chinese restaurant which was a great experience and where we had delicious food and lots of it. Then we were off to Tiannemin Square followed by The Forbidden City. We walked and walked and walked and heard about the history of China, the residences and offices of the various Emporers and took in all the sights and sounds.
In order to get to dinner in a private home in the Hutang district, we all took rickshaws. Some of our drivers raced with each other. We had a delicious meal cooked by a local family. It was an amazing day, filled with fun and adventures.
More tomorrow, but we are turning in at 7:30 pm to try and rest up for tomorrow’s visit to the Great Wall.
That’s all for now.