Chemainus students experience Chinese culture during Spring Break

Ten students from Chemainus Secondary School recently visited four cities in China.

Students from Chemainus Secondary School and their chaperones visit the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

Students from Chemainus Secondary School and their chaperones visit the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

During Spring Break, 10 students from Chemainus Secondary School travelled to four cities in China.

Landing in Beijing, the group visited the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven and participated in a tai chi lesson. In the evening, the group experienced a reflexology session.

Touring Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City were highlights for several members of the group. Being able to spend time walking on the Great Wall of China was a humbling experience.

The students and their four adult chaperones then flew to Xi’an — home to the famous Terra Cotta Warriors. The thousands of life-sized warriors made of clay were very impressive to see up close.The students had a fun time riding bicycles on the city’s old wall.

Within one hour of arriving in Shanghai, the group rode on the fastest train in China — the Magalev. Its top speed was 431 kilometres per hour.

The group then journeyed to the tallest building in China — more than 105 storeys to the observation floor.

A highlight for everyone was visiting Nanking Road and its shopping district. Lots of bargains and bartering took place!

After arriving in Hong Kong, there were tours to the world’s largest Buddha, a Buddhist monastery, a shopping stop in the Stanley Market area and a boat ride around Kowloon Harbour.

A free afternoon was spent at Ocean Park — an amusement park similar to Disneyland — where two giant panda bears were on display!

It was a busy two weeks and was the culmination of two years of planning and fundraising.

Students and teachers participated in litter pick-ups, coffee sales for Serious Coffee and sales of Epicure products. Many of the students also had part-time jobs, which helped to cover the costs of the trip.

The trip was organized by Chemainus teachers Janet Ruest and Sue Baker. The tour company that made the arrangements was EF Tours (Education First). This is the same company that Ruest and Baker used when they took students to Costa Rica two years ago.

The next trip is in the planning stages for June 30-July 15, 2014. It will be a historical tour to Europe (Berlin, Paris and London) and the battlefields of the First World War and the Second World War. The trip is open to all students and adults. Contact Janet Ruest at Chemainus Secondary School at 250-246-4711 for more information.

— Submitted