Chantal French (left)

Chantal French (left)

Lakecity students tour China over spring break

Students from Williams Lake and Columneetza senior secondary schools spent their spring break touring through three cities in China.

Students from Williams Lake and Columneetza senior secondary schools spent their spring break touring through three cities in China.

The trip was through Education First Tours, the largest student tour company in the world, where students learn as they explore new cultures.

We landed in Beijing after a very long 12-hour plane ride — the first plane ride for many of the students.

The students learned some basic Chinese from our tour director, Cathy, who was with us 24/7 for the entire tour. Cathy made sure all our needs were met during our tour and taught us about China every day.

The students were overwhelmed as we got on our bus from the airport and drove to our hotel.

The city is huge and the traffic is intense. After a great authentic Chinese dinner we enjoyed a good night’s rest in our beautiful hotel.

The next day we were up bright and early to explore the Summer Palace. The Dragon Lady had created this magnificent place which included a man-made lake and beautiful gardens.

We learned Taiji from an expert and took many pictures of this beautiful, serene place. We went to the Temple of Heaven and walked through the amazing park watching people exercising, dancing, and enjoying the green space.

We feasted on Peking Duck that evening — a specialty of this region. Then we watched an amazing acrobatic/Kung Fu show that taught us about the ancient Chinese principles.

The following day we walked through Tiananmen Square and saw the huge portrait of the late Chairman Mao, their beloved leader. We continued on to the Forbidden City where the last emperor spent his life in this walled city.

We went to a pearl factory and saw how they create cultured pearls — one of China’s specialties.

The next morning we were off to the Great Wall of China, north of Beijing. This was an amazing sight for all of us and we were very tired after climbing the many stairs.  Most of the students had lunch at KFC or Subway — a reminder of home.

That evening we ate dinner with a Chinese family who cooked delicious foods for us. We were all stuffed.

The family spoke to us and answered our questions about life in China.

Another highlight for the students was a rickshaw ride that turned into a rickshaw race with the students encouraging the drivers to go faster and faster.

Much laughter and cheering echoed through the neighborhood.

The fourth day it was off to the city of Xi’an which was the capital city for 11 dynasties.

This was part of the Silk Road where Marco Polo traveled.

We saw the famous Terracotta Warriors, more than 6,000 life-sized models which are all unique.

They were created to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi.

The students got to ride a bike along the ancient city wall of Xi’an.

We also visited a private high school where most of the students are preparing to go to University in North America.

In the evening some of the students went to the Tang Dynasty dinner and show which was fantastic while the rest of us enjoyed cooking our dinner on a hot pot. Where did those noodles disappear to?

Our final stop was the financial capital of China, Shanghai.

We took the bullet train from the airport into the city and reached speeds of more than 430 miles per hour.

The train is very smooth and quiet as it travels above the rail on a magnetic field.

We went up to the top of the highest observation tower in the world and looked down at this massive city sprawling out below us.

We then left the modern city and went to the Jade Buddha Temple to see the massive Buddhas that were brought from Burma by a Chinese monk in the last century.

Then it was off Yu Gardens to see the goldfish ponds and the classical Chinese landscaping.

We also went to a demonstration of silk making and learned about the strength of the thin silk fibers and why silk is so valued.

Many of us parted with some Chinese money as we bought silk dresses, robes, etc. Student Teagan Lauriette thought this was “an amazing cultural experience unlike anything we know at home.”  She would love to go back to China some day.

Brittany Denny loved the Great Wall of China and having dinner with the Chinese family — and the crazy rickshaw ride.

Patrick Newsome agreed with Brittany.

The students from both schools had a great time and were very respectful and polite.

They were open to trying new things and meeting new people and I know that they will continue to travel in the future.

Spring  break of 2013 we will be taking students on a fabulous trip to Italy and Greece with a three-day cruise through the Greek Islands including a stop in Turkey.

People interested in making the trip with the students can pick up brochures from Sharon Smith at Columneetza or Susan Kurkiniemi at Williams Lake secondary.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
High-visibility arrest in Williams Lake nets BB gun, mistaken for assault rifle

RCMP thought the man was carrying an M16 assault-style rifle

LETTER: Improvements needed at Scout Island

The City can do better managing their responsibilities

More than 14,800 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered at clinics in Williams Lake, Alexis Creek, Big Lake, Horsefly, West Chilcotin, 100 Mile House and Clinton as of Friday, May 7. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
6,000-plus people vaccinated for COVID-19 in Williams Lake, and in 100 Mile House

Interior Health Authority provide the numbers up to May 7, 2021

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Reasonable decision making can go a long way

We’re all at fault, but today I’ll pick on politicians

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Be thankful for volunteers

It amazes me just how much people do to make the Cariboo Chilcotin region a better place for all

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike grounds Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read