After a very long flight, we met our in-country group leaders, Zhao and Liu , who took us to our first meal. We then went to Taoranting Park and participated in our first scavenger hunt. We were invited to dance with a group of Chinese women and speak to some of the locals in the park.
On the second day, we went to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Due to the heat, we struggled to complete another scavenger hunt; however, in order to get the answers we asked some locals! We didn’t understand them completely, but we managed to finish the scavenger hunt!
On the third day, we went to the Temple of Heaven and Hutong area. The Temple of Heaven was beautiful! Then, we went to a tea ceremony in a Hutong bell tower. We all bought lots of tea! Afterwards, we explored the area and some of us visited our first Chinese McDonalds, which had very delicious ice cream.
On day four, we went to the Summer Palace and went on a boat ride. Right after, we got foot massages that helped prepare us for the 12 hour train ride to Inner Mongolia. Some of us like, Julia and Sumaiyah sat next to each other during the massage and giggled the entire time as their masseuses laughed back with them. On the train we talked to a group of students from Beijing who were traveling just like us, but there were 600 of them!
On the fifth day, we got off the train early in the morning and traveled to “desert world” where we rode camels, zip-lined, and sand surfed. Katelyn got a bit spooked when the came stood up from its crouched position, but other than that she loved it!