Monday 5th December
The final exam had been looming over us the whole week. To pass it we had to score at least 70%. In the end the final exam wasn’t too bad, although there was one essay question which all of us found super tricky.

After the exam was over, and we had said our goodbyes to everyone, Aimee and I relocated to a hostel in the centre of Beijing. It was the first Chinese hostel I had ever stayed in and it was top notch. The staff and the facilities were great, and we met really friendly guests who inspired me to want to go backpacking again!

Tuesday 6th December
This was the only day Aimee and I had off. We were able to do whatever we wanted so we made it an epic tourist day. We started with visiting the Temple of Heaven at 8.30am. It’s a beautiful park filled with beautiful temples and hundreds of OAPs doing exercise. The OAPs sure know how to have fun and keep fit. They were dancing, playing cards, playing badminton, using outdoor exercise equipment, and doing Tai chi.

 

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The Temple of Heaven

 

 

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The Temple of Heaven is big!

 

After a pit stop at a bakery, which had incredible free samples, we returned to Tiananman Square to visited the Forbidden City. Whoa! I have never been to a place like it before. It’s a humongous historical and cultural site. You need a full day, maybe even two days, to see it fully.

 

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Tiananman Square

 

 

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The Forbidden City

 

 

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The Forbidden City is huge!

 

With what little energy we had left we pushed ourselves to the top of a hill in Jingshan Park. The hill provided a nice aerial view of the Forbidden City.

 

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Jingshan Park with the Forbidden City in the background

 

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Three ladies ribbon dancing in Jingshan Park.

Wednesday 7th December
Today we had to fly back to our city, Duyun. Our journey back was not as smooth as our journey to Beijing but it still went well. The only difference was when we landed in the capital of our province, Guizhou, instead of getting a coach to Duyun we had to find the train station. It took us 2 hours, six phone calls, one bus and one taxi to find the train station.

Thursday 8th December
Today I went straight back into teaching. It was nice to see my students again and they loved seeing my picture from the Temple of Heaven. Also, A Chinese teacher observed my class and it was nice to receive her feedback.

 

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Dressing up at the Temple of Heaven.

 

Friday 9th December
I had one class today and it was lovely to see them. Again they enjoyed the photo saying things like “it is so funny”. After my lesson I have lunch with a friend and colleague named Li. Li showed me another restaurant on campus which I’d never been to before. I noticed it has an ice cream machine so I can’t wait for the summer!!!

Saturday 10th December
Today I participated in two of my favourite activities – karaoke and eating pizza! Thanks to three Sophomore students Aimee and I were singing, drinking bubble tea, and eating pizza for 7 hours. Not bad! We also took lots of funny pictures uing different camera filters.

 

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The rabbit-eating -moon-cake filter

 

Thoughts on Beijing
I like Beijing a lot. It has lots of great tourist attractions and the underground system is efficient and easy to use. The only downside is the air pollution, a lot of people wear masks, and food is more expensive.

An advertisement from an underground station showing a mask you can use for running.
An advertisement showing a mask you can buy for running.
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