AsiaChinaMiyun

Miyun School Trip

Miyun Travel Blog

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The entrance to the park

We had to be at the school at 7am - an absolute killer!!  I was so tired and really not looking forward to having to smile sweetly all day at the teachers...Fortunately the day was a pleasant surprise....

On the trip were Claire and Wendy (with daughter, Sella) from grade 1 and a small group of teachers from grade 3, plus Mr Guo and the headmaster.

We were taken to a national park in Miyun County and went on a long (8km) walk through the area known as Peach Blossom Valley.  It was really spectacular....There were magnificent views of the Great Wall and beautiful natural water pools, rock formations and waterfalls.

Sella and the donkey

We arrived there so early that the place was deserted.  Having the place to ourselves was a real treat because it’s usually not possible in China given the sheer volume of the population.  At the end of our leisurely walk Mr Guo hired a couple of pedalos so we could go ‘boating’ on one of the water pools.  It was quite a surreal experience as I ended up on a pedalo with Mr Guo and the headmaster.  I was instructed that I should make conversation with the headmaster to show my respect and should ask him questions. The formal nature of the relationship I was clearly meant to have with him completely contradicted the situation we were in as he huffed and puffed whilst pedalling me around!

After the pedalo experience, we were taken to a restaurant in the middle of nowhere for lunch.

View across the lake
  We had a massive meal, which was great, although the chicken dish came complete with head and feet, which made Inga nearly throw up at the table.  That sort of thing doesn’t really bother me, not a surprise coming from the girl who tucked into scorpion, but Inga really can’t get used to it and never attempts to hide her feelings, which always makes me chuckle.

The usual requests to ‘gambei’ rice wine kept on coming which managed to get both Inga and I tipsy....We were then asked to sing.  Given we’d turned down the request at the Teacher’s Day ceremony, we felt we had to obliged this time and promptly burst into our rather rubbish version of Can You Feel The Love Tonight from the Lion King.  Luckily the alcohol had taken the edge of the embarrassment, but I was still compus mentus enough to know that actually this wasn’t really normal behaviour for me at this stage of sobriety.

Another snap of the view

Our performance seemed to get everyone in the singing mood because the suggestion was then made to head to KTV.  I was now officially in heaven and the other teachers had a hard job getting me off the mic once I’d worked out how to find the English songs on the karaoke system.

The headmaster and Mr Guo did a couple of ear piercing Beijing opera performances, Inga managed to get molested in the bathroom by some dirty drunken Chinese guy, the teachers performed as a group for us, and Lydia (teacher from Grade 3) invited us both to have dinner with her that evening.  So, all in all, it was a pretty eventful session at KTV.

We can’t have been at the KTV that long as we got dropped off at our apartment at around 4.30pm, but I just remember finding it amusing when we left the venue to find it still light outside.

  I’d lost all sense of time in the dark smoky karaoke room and felt sure it must be dinner time already.

Tired and still a little tipsy, Inga and I head to Lydia’s for dinner at 6pm.... We had a lovely evening eating Chinese hot pot, which is basically a boiling broth in the centre of the table that you chuck mutton and various vegetables in to cook.  You then tuck into the pot with your chopsticks and dip what you can grab in a number of different tasty sauces.  It’s a staple Chinese dish commonly eaten in Northern China in winter.

After dinner we watched Lydia’s wedding video, which was pretty interesting.  Chinese weddings are nothing like Western ones.  There is definitely no pomp to the ceremony and the guests don’t appear to make the same attire efforts that we do.

Views of the Great Wall
  In Lydia’s video, her mother was wearing an everyday red sweater and her coat!  The other big difference is the lack of partying at a Chinese wedding.  Once the meal is over, everyone gets up very promptly and leaves, so if you ever get an invite to a Chinese wedding, don’t count on it going on all day.  You’ll be in and out within a couple of hours.

The evening ended quite bizarrely with Lydia requesting we do some karaoke for her husband.  He didn’t seem that impressed, which prompted her to tell us that we’d clearly strained our voices that afternoon and therefore should perhaps call it a night. Inga and I found her directness very amusing particular given it was her suggestion we perform.  However, we were actually just relieved at this point that we could get home to bed after such a long day.

Lydia kindly walked us home via a pharmacy to get some ‘Golden Throat’ lozenges to ease the damaged vocal chords.

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The entrance to the park
The entrance to the park
Sella and the donkey
Sella and the donkey
View across the lake
View across the lake
Another snap of the view
Another snap of the view
Views of the Great Wall
Views of the Great Wall
And another....
And another....
A nut stall
A nut stall
The teachers and us by the waterfa…
The teachers and us by the waterf…
The waterfall
The waterfall
View from the top of the waterfall
View from the top of the waterfall
The waterfall
The waterfall
The teachers take a rest
The teachers 'take a rest'
A really disgusting yellow and bla…
A really disgusting yellow and bl…
Inga and I pose with the headmaster
Inga and I pose with the headmaster
The first pool
The first pool
Walking across one of the pools
Walking across one of the pools
Taking another rest
Taking another rest
Picking dates
Picking dates
A giant floating ball you can go i…
A giant floating ball you can go …
Enjoying the pedalo
Enjoying the pedalo
More pedalo fun
More pedalo fun
Wendy takes the mic
Wendy takes the mic
The headmaster sings (?) Beijing o…
The headmaster sings (?) Beijing …
Inga aka Mariah
Inga aka Mariah
The teachers all sing together
The teachers all sing together
Trying on the Chinese dress at Lyd…
Trying on the Chinese dress at Ly…
Miyun
photo by: lizharvey79