2016 China Field School: Beijing, Hebei & Home!

Another day, another early wake up for the China Field School. Waking up for around 5:30 to 6:00am was tough, but shortly we got onto a bus and were able to take a bit of a snooze again before getting to our next destination city of Hebei. Once arriving in the city, we got some food right away as many were starving. The lunch was quite good, and not too long later we were on our way to see one of the greatest sites and wonders of the world, The Great Wall! We first stopped at one of the city spots of the wall. This portion has stood the test of time and is massive in size. It’s hard to believe such a thing could have been built so many years ago. Ken enjoyed the structure. We walked along and explored before heading off to another portion of the wall. The next part was the oldest part of the wall, dating back over a couple thousand years. It is said to be the nose of the dragon, or the beginning of the wall. It goes right up to the ocean and still remains as strong as ever. After taking lots of photos and exploring around the area, we headed back onto the bus and headed to the university in Hebei, HIIBE. We first enjoyed a nice dinner at the canteen on campus. Rob really liked the food choices. We then headed to a presentation room where the university talked to us about China and the university’s history. Our two teachers Andrea and Michael also gave presentations to talk about Canada and other things related. After the presentations, we adjourned to some snack food and got to meet and talk to local students. This was a great experience! Turki really bonded with the local students. After the presentations were over, we went to figure out our rooms and settled in for the night. Some of the group and myself decided to have some fun with the local students going into the night with games and laughter. Good times (thumbs up).

Yet, another early wake up. We boarded back on the bus and left the university dorms quite early as we headed back to Beijing. On the way back, we stopped by a grocery/convenient store to grab some snacks on the way. One thing that puzzled me was that almost all of the food offered at this place was expired. One bag of chips was apparently from early 2015? Made me choose wisely when selecting what I wanted to snack on. After that we planned to go see a skywalk that was over a big canyon. Unfortunately due to the weather at the time, it was closed. We decided to head straight back to Beijing and not too long after we arrived back. We all split to do our own things, but before any of that we checked into our new hotel. My group and I after doing so went to go see the Pearl Market with many others. The Pearl Market was very similar to the Silk Market that we saw before, but at this place you could bargain a lot easier and get lots of good deals on some cool items. Kashif got a killer deal on a nice watch. Some people in the group got more than they could carry for not too much at all! Andrea enjoyed the visit here. After spending some time and money there, we headed back to the hotel to regroup. From the hotel we headed out on the metro to go see the Olympic Birds Nest Stadium. It was quite the site! Across from it stood the Olympic Aquatic Centre. Both were lit up with stunning l.e.d. lights. I’m looking forward to seeing the games played here again in 6 years’ time. After viewing the Olympic sites, we headed from there by cab to a KTV/Karaoke place to sing and dance the night away! Sultan had a blast! Frank, our tour guide for all of Hebei came and got us all pizza, was a great host for us here in China. He also could sing very well! After, some of the group headed out to explore a bit of the Beijing nightlife, while others headed back to the hotel. Beijing like many other places in China is a city that doesn’t sleep.

At last, we could slightly sleep in after many early mornings. We left the hotel after grabbing some breakfast and headed towards the famous sites of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden Palace. Once getting there it was incredible to see the sheer size of the square. It was massive! There were lots of security everywhere you looked as this place is highly watched due to the amount of people that come here to see the sites each and every day.  Arely was shocked by how big it was. As we headed towards the Forbidden City, many of us took pictures of the pivotal Chairman Mao Zedong portrait. We originally thought the square was huge, once entering the gates of the Forbidden City we were very wrong! The city goes on and on forever! We definitely got our walking in this day. It was cool to see all the historic sites and learn about what the emperors of China’s past had done and how they lived many years ago. Jas had a good time here. After a couple hours, we exited the city and headed back to the hotel by transit bus. We then had free time to go do what we wanted. Most of the group went back to the Pearl Market for some more shopping. I decided to go to the Beijing Zoo to see some Pandas! I was not disappointed J. We all later regrouped back at the hotel and took the metro to get to our last dinner in China. It was an authentic Peking Duck dinner. The tables filled very fast and we had more food than we could choose from! Navid could not believe his eyes! The duck was very good and the meal definitely capped off our trip very well! Andrea, Michael and Stanley gave us our graduating chopsticks for making it through these 3 weeks of adventure and then we headed back to the hotel to pack and rest before heading home the next day. Some of us decided to catch up on some missed Game of Thrones episodes before calling it a night.

The day has come. Our final morning in China. All of us awoke early to get some breakfast before having a little bit of free time before heading out to the airport. We stopped by the Pearl Market one more time to get some last second items before leaving. After making some purchases we quickly rushed back to the hotel to pack and head out to the airport. We took the metro to get there and it was a smooth journey. Once getting there we checked in our bags and got some lunch at the airport. Shortly after we headed to our gate and then boarded our plane home! The flight was smooth yet a bit noisy due to all us coughing in rhythm. China definitely took a lot out of us, but we all arrived safe and sound after a very quick night in the clouds. When we arrived back in Vancouver, it was like going back in time since we got back before we left China on the same day. Makes up a little bit for losing lots of hours when we left for China before. At last, we say our goodbyes. This China Field School was a great trip and experience for everyone who took part. Many of us I believe have made some good friendships and bonds both with fellow students and overseas ones. I look forward to possibly returning one day in the future! That’s all folks J

This group of CapU students and faculty participated in the 2016 China Field School offered through the Wong and Trainor Centre for International Experience and the School of Business at Capilano University.


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