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​​Capital Steel Company
Beijing Sculpture Park
Forbidden City​​
Tian'anmen Square
Qian'men Shopping Area
The Great Wall
Xi'an City Wall
Pangl​​​iu Village
Nan Luo Gu Xiang
Drum Tower Show
Summer Palace
Lama Temple

Capital Steel Company

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We joined the 7th graders on their field trip to the Capital Steel Company, where we got to wear fashionable yellow hard hats.



​​Beijing Sculpture Park​

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Clarissa and Julia at the Beijing Sculpture Garden


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A beautiful day at the Beijing Sculpture Garden with host siblings.​


Forbidden City

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A bronze statue of a lion in the Forbidden City. This lion is male, while the its pair (in the far left of the image) is female. The pearl under the lion's paw symbolizes wisdom; the female lion opposite it holds a baby instead of a pearl.


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We left the City just as it was closing, and walked from the northern Inner Court all the way back to the southern Outer Court to go out a side exit. The walk back was a little eerie without the huge crowds that had been there earlier.


Tian'anmen Square​

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The huge open space of Tian'anmen Square, with Chairman Mao's Mausoleum and the Monument to the People's Heroes in the background (left to right, respectively).

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We stopped a few times for brief photo shoots in Tian'anmen Square. In the background stands the imposing Tian'anmen ("Gate to Heavenly Peace"), which leads to the Forbidden City.


Qianmen Shopping Area

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​A small, enclosed path lined with stalls that Julia, Clarissa, and Mr. Crozier found in the Qianmen Shopping Area.


The Great Wall

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​Although the climb up was difficult, the view from the top of the Great Wall was worth the uneven steps and steep ramps.

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The Great Wall winds off into the distance through the hills around Badaling, China. The "Long Wall" (长城), as it's called in Chinese, is over 20,000 kilometers long.

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​Besides our group, countless other tourists and sightseers walked the Great Wall that day.​


Xi'an City Wall

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During our first day in Xi'an, we biked 14 kilometers around the Xi'an City Wall.


Pangl​​​iu Village

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We visited a school in Pangliu Village, which happened to be the school our tour guide, Charlie, had gone to as a kid. At the school, we introduced ourselves to a third grade English class and read a short dialogue.

 

Clarissa and Julia spoke English for the class so the students could hear native speakers.

Nan Luo Gu Xiang

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The entrance to Nan Luo Gu Xiang was marked by an ornate gate, which displayed aspects of traditional Chinese architecture including bright colors and overhanging eaves.

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Edmond carries a cup of passion fruit juice as he and Nathan shop in an anime figurine shop at Nan Luo Gu Xiang.


Drum Tower Show

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After shopping in Nan Luo Gu Xiang, we walked over to the Drum Tower to watch a drum performance. Five musicians used wooden sticks to pound out earthshaking rythms on the old drums.


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To get to the top of the Drum Tower, we had to scale this extremely steep stretch of stairs, reminding us of our trek on the Great Wall.


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 From the top of the Drum Tower we had a beautiful view of the Nan Luo Gu Xiang area of Beijing.


Summer Palace

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All of the American exchange students posed for a group photo in front of the lake at the Summer Palace.


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We walked under many gates like this one at the Summer Palace, all displaying traditional styles of architecture.


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A tour guide showed our group around the Palace, giving us interesting information on the area's former residents.


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After lunch, some students took the opportunity to rent paddle-boats and sail around the lake.


Lama Temple

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​​The ornate gate of the Lama Temple has three main arches, and is roofed with yellow tiles similar to the ones in the Forbidden City.

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​​The largest building in the temple complex, towering three stories above the ground, is the only one big enough to house this 18-meter statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha. Supported by an 8-meter deep foundation, the main part of the statue was carved out of a single piece of white sandalwood.