Tour-Tastic!| 3 min read

Beijing Tour Photo

With KTV still ringing in their ears we got the interns up bright and early for their first tour day on Saturday morning and we had somewhat of an epic itinerary to follow. We were heading for the Great Wall of China or as the locals call it “wǎn lǐ cháng chéng” and a trip around the hutongs of Houhai lake followed by a unique open air film festival beside another section of the Great Wall! Lets hope that they packed their comfy shoes!

Rising early to catch the bus at 8am the interns were blurry eyed following the previous nights outing to KTV, but despite their fatigue they were highly enthusiastic to see one of the wonders of the world. We departed the university and headed for the serene setting of Houhai Lake. Set in the North-West of the city centre Houhai lake is home to some of the last remaining hutongs which give Beijing it’s individual “old-China” appeal. After a brief stroll around the lake we then treated the interns to a rickshaw ride through the winding (and narrow!!) hutongs that encompass the lake. It was time to hold onto your hats as those Rickshaw drivers really know how to pedal especially downhill!

After lunch no time was spared as we were back on the bus and heading for the legendary Great Wall of China. Our tour guide Lucy gave an interesting talk about the different parts and functions of the wall and a concise history of the many dynasties that have contributed to building one of the greatest man-made structures in human history. Lucy told us that you are not a hero until you have climbed the Great Wall of China, so it was up to us to prove ourselves heroes (And of course, heroins!) by undergoing the task ahead!

Upon arrival to the Great Wall the interns were in awe, wasting no time they soon started climbing (with some of the more energetic amongst us, actually running) and posing for obligatory “I was there photos”. The interns soon found that ascending the wall in the summer heat was a real challenge they pressed on were rewarded with beautiful views of the wall stretching out far over the undulating landscape. One by one they began to descend (looking very red-faced!) and we boarded the bus for our next surprise destination…. An open air film festival at the Badaling section of the great wall!

When we arrived at the location for the festival our interns soon became local celebrities as Chinese people stood mouthed open at our entourage, before whipping out cameras and snapping happily away. Our interns, of course got into the spirit of things and began posing with the renowned “China Pose!” and jumping up to have their pictures taken!

After the local paparazzi had settled, the interns soon made themselves comfy on blankets and yours truly prepared his speech to say thank you for inviting ImmerQi and the Teach and Travel interns to the festival. I said my piece and the film was soon underway, no-one was expecting the Chinese musical that we watched! After the film was over we again thanked out hosts and said goodbye.

Afterwards, our grumbling stomachs led us to dinner back in the city centre and after our hectic but fun day we were all ready for some traditional Chinese food, which came out by the plate loads. Some Sweet and sour chicken and spicy kung Pao Chicken, we were fit to burst so we made our way back to the campus with some very tired but content interns.

Rachel Yoon

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