Wednesday, 3 August 2011

UKAPCE China Root Seeking Trip

I'm finally back from my month long trip to China and Hong Kong. My two weeks in China were organised by UKAPCE. Just under 50 of us (from the UK and the US) were selected to 'discover our roots', taking us to Beijing, Shandong, Nanjing and Shanghai. It's impossible to write down everything I experienced, I don't have the words for it but here is a bit... will update more when it comes back to me...

In Beijing, we visited the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Birds Nest Stadium and Tsinghua University. Also watched a Kung Fu Show.

The Great Wall was such an intensive trek- really proves how unfit you are- but it was truly fulfilling to have reached the top of the segment I went on... though I wanted to go on those slides I heard about that you can go on to slide down? 

The food in Beijing wasn't that great, there was a lot of fried food and they even gave us fries. I mean, I'm here in China, I do not want fries, I want proper Chinese food (as oily and full of MSG it is)!! 

I was shocked to see how much food they'd given us... like 10+ dishes at each meal... and I love my rice so seeing that sometimes they didn't give us any; I was not a happy bunny. The lack of fruit and veg also was not impressive.

I really liked the Bird's nest stadium- the structures, the shapes and the materials- it worked so well, and I loved the details you can find throughout... I wish I had more time to explore and absorb everything there, being the good architecture student I will become.

As embarassing as it was, our little group at Tsinghua university had fun making 'Mad Cow' our motto and turning Mary Had a little lamb into Mary had a little mad cow.

In Shandong and Nanjing, we went to Mount Tai, Confucius temple, Confucius grave?, Nanjing Memorial and the cemetry was closed, went to a museum... and watched a Confucius 'musical'?

You can see how I don't actually know what we did in Shandong and Nanjing very much given our tour guide named Ford wasn't very personable and he didn't really get across what we were supposed to learn... all the buildings just looked the same, the gates, the temples... but it was good fun... what was most memorable were the "irregular massages" the hotels offered only for men... which we were warned about.
One of the girls wanted a foot massage and asked at reception, who told them it was for men only and she asked why and then they told her they used 'toys' lol... and in the Confucius city, we witnessed some domestic activity between a couple, which shows how dodgy that area really was, and in the hotel there, you could possibly get called up at night for a 'massage'...

In Shanghai, we went to the old city, took river cruise, went to the Pearl Tower, Budan University and spent three days at a middle school, also visited a local family.

Did some fun things at the school, like the Chinese knot, folding dumplings, colouring in the lines for the calligraphy plate lesson and also gettting exhausted doing those 4 kung fu movesets... there were 8 or 9 in total... he gave up on us after 4 seeing how exhausted and crappy we were- I can only remember one or two moves in each moveset = =...  

The Chinese family were really nice and made us dumplings which was impossible to finish given the 10 or so other dishes they made... their son was showing off their ipad and saved our addresses on Google Earth, hopefully he doesn't stalk us.  

The Pearl TV tower has a rollercoaster inside it- unfortunately had to pay and didn't get enough time, but it had great views and had a cool glass observation deck!

Shanghai also offered some great dessert places - went out for shaved ice and did some crazy antics in the shopping mall... how these few people make me go mad (you know who you are)! 

At Bellagio, one of the waitresses dropped a beer by our seats and caused another waitress to slip on it- so much drama... getting us a free Peanut Butter Smoothie thing.. :3 not complaining!

KTV was also amazing- surprised how I didn't lose my voice shouting along to Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift- was very impressed they had 'What the Hell' and 'Speak Now' in their song list.

By the end, we actually managed to finish a whole meal at a restaurant where they gave us like 17-18 dishes... so impressed with ourselves! Well done team!! 
Overall, this was such an amazing trip and met so many fun and interesting people! The amount of laughter I had was insane... won't ever forget this! Miss you all and wished the trip wouldn't end... though there was quite a lot of drama towards the end and it has only been two weeks... Hope to keep in touch with all of you!

Other pics~
Airport Terminal 2 Gang

Funny Ads


Fried Starfish, Scorpions, Snakes, Cockroaches...

the length's we'd go to play cards...


Noone could avoid being snapped when asleep...

Our love for Air Con...

Quite a few people had their birthday on the trip... Happy Birthday to you all!
The local delicacy that is McDonalds

How to eat a Polo from the inside out
Our last night of epic t shirt signing <3

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