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Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) International Students “Love China ~ Beijing Cultural Tour” 2014

Wednesday 4.00pm - In the North District (Bei Qu) of Southwest Jiaotong University, a group of excited international students huddled together waiting for the coach to arrive - the “Love China ~ Beijing Cultural Tour 2014” was about to commence! This tour was organized by the university in order to celebrate the international students’ great achievements at SWJTU. It was with great privilege that I got to be a member of this tour.       

Fast forward a few hours later, and we finally land in China’s capital city – Beijing. Taking our first steps off the plane, we could all feel a growing sense of excitement at what lay ahead.

The next few days exceeded our expectations! We were taken on a world-wind adventure, from exploring the heart of the city - Tiananmen Square and saying cheese in front of the Olympic Bird’s Nest Stadium, to admiring the great architecture grandeurs of the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven, all relics of the ancient China.

Probably one of the highlights of the tour was visiting the Great Wall of China. It was certainly a breathtaking experience to climb one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Everyone could not help but gasp in awe at its remarkable beauty and magnificence.

From the centre of Beijing, we then made our way to Chengde to visit the summer mountain resort, like the Qing Dynasty Emperors once did back in the days. This place hosted many beauties such as the Putuo Zongsheng Temple and it was very interesting to learn about its history.

And to top it all off, we managed to dig up some of our own history. Before heading back, one final stop was made at Qing Huang Dao- Hebei, where we paid tribute to SWJTU’s founder Kinder Claude William by visiting his statue. Qing Huang Dao was the home of the first Southwest Jiaotong University, known back then as the School of Shanhaiguan Railway Officials. It was here that Kinder Claude William once wrote a letter to the emperor asking for permission to build the school.

The coach journeys were always filled with entertainment, with the international students singing songs from their home country and telling jokes and little anecdotes about their times in China. The food was also excellent, and we got a taste of the all the local flavors.

All in all, the tour was fantastic, packed full of some amazing historical and cultural experiences. I was really sad to leave, and am sure that everyone agrees that this trip will forever live on in our memories.