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China Trip 2019

Pupils from the Middle and Upper Years set off from Heathrow at 5am for ‘a trip of a lifetime’ to China. Their itinerary was to spend 10 days exploring different cities, cultures and sites of historical importance, the activities and interactions along the way enabled the pupils to put their Mandarin studies to good use and understand more about Chinese culture.
On the first day in Beijing the students visited the famous Tienemen Square before traveling to The Forbidden City, one of the former Imperial palaces from the Ming Dynasty as well as the UNESCO Temple of Heaven where emperors would pray to become the Jade Emperor.
Students had the incredible opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China where they took a cable car trip before beginning their climb along the wall itself. Parts of the wall were incredibly steep but it did not deter our students, some of whom encountered couples having wedding photos taken along the route.

Our group then boarded the high-speed train (which reached speeds of 296 km/ph) and arrived at the ancient city of Xi’an, the start of the Silk Road in China. The group travelled to visit the site of the terracotta army, the ancient warrior statues which had been discovered in the 1970’s by local farmers, it was here that they learned about the history of the terracotta army, who made them and what their significance is for the burial of emperors.
By day 6 the students and teachers were back on the high-speed train and travelling to Chengdu. The group were privileged to observe a traditional tea ceremony and the meditations of Zen Bhuddists. The pupils took part in a Chinese painting lesson using traditional Chinese water colours before walking to a local park where they observed local residents dancing and singing opera. The students also joined the locals in painting Chinese caligraphy characters on the pavement with sponges and water.

The highlight of the trip for many of the pupils was visiting the panda sanctuary. Students discussed the protection of pandas in China and learned more about conservation efforts run by sanctuaries.

On the last day of the visit the group had a chance to relax and visit replicas of China 200 years ago. They watched a local opera performance and had the opportunity to play traditional Chinese musical instruments, some of the instruments were made of clay which was over 2500 years old. Throughout the visit the pupils enjoyed the opportunity to eat traditional Chinese food and explore new tastes and experiences with flavours . Some pupils were brave enough to try exceptionally hot chilli sauces, while others purchased delicate sugar sculptures and ornamental cotton candy sticks.
We were delighted to welcome all our pupils and teachers back from this incredible trip and of course we are very thankful to Coco, Jose, Ben and Abi, our HCH teachers, who kept the children safe and looked after them throughout the ten day trip.