This year the Senior High School students ventured even further afield than in previous years visiting Xi’an in China. The field trip from March 31 to April 6 was adventurous and action-packed. Students learned about an ancient culture very different from their own, experienced a different way of life, and gained in self-confidence and independence.
Click below for the tour….
We went to Xi’an by Air Asia. Our flight time was at 4:35 p.m. We sat close to each other on the plane, and we arrived in Xi’an at about 9:35 p.m. Our guide, Grace, was at the airport to pick us up. It took about an hour to get to our hotel. We reached our hotel at about 11 p.m. It took us some time to check into the hotel because there were so many of us. We were glad to have our rooms assigned because we were quite tired from our flight.
City Wall, towers
On the first day, we went to the Xi’an city wall where, in the past, it was used by soldiers to see when the enemy was invading. Today, it is a tourist attraction. We got on the golf cart to take a tour around the city wall which took about one hour. Riding on the golf cart was more awesome than ever because it was cold, wet, windy, and raining so we all had to wear a raincoat. After that we went to the Muslim street to do some shopping, but it wasn’t that much fun because it was crowded and raining. Also, we had to watch our shoes to see if the water would get in or not. In the evening we went to have dinner at Pizza Hut and then back to the hotel.
The second day we went to see the Terracotta Warriors – one of the Wonders of the World. We got to see only about 2000 soldier figures because the rest are under the ground and there is no future plan to dig them out because their color fades as soon as they are exposed to air. There are about 7000 terracotta soldiers in the army. We got to see some that were preserved in glass cases so you could see them very closely. Then we went to have local Chinese food for lunch. The food was served on a round table that could spin so everyone got to try it. In the evening, we went to see the Tang Dynasty Show where we sampled different dumplings but as lunch and dinner were so close, we only ate a little bit because we were full. After the dumpling dinner, we watched the Tang Dynasty Show where we sat at a round table so we had to turn the chair towards the stage. The dance and music performances were very beautiful and colorful.
On the third day we went to Huashan Mountains where we had to take a cable car to go up to the North peak where the view was very beautiful and looked like a painting, but some of us did not go all the way to the very top as the stone steps were quite steep and there was only a metal bar to hold on to and a rusty old chain. The flowers up on Huashan Mountains were blooming, and it was breathtakingly beautiful. As it took an hour to go up and down from the mountain we ate our own snacks that we had brought with us for lunch. Then we went back to the hotel which took us about four hours because of the heavy rain and traffic.
On the fourth day, we visited a Karst cave which is outside of the city. The cave was very beautiful inside with a lot of limestone, but we also had to watch our step as it was dark and wet in some places. For lunch we ate at a local Chinese restaurant which was different from the city food because it was in the countryside. From there, we headed to Banpo Village. It is a museum that shows the Neolithic period. It reminded us of the Siam Museum that we went to for a school trip. One of the displays was very interesting – it was a skeleton of a woman with the skeleton of her three husbands buried beside with her in the same pit. After that we went back to the hotel.
On the last day we went to the Tang Art Gallery which was interesting and showed a lot of paintings mostly done by farmers. We had a Chinese calligraphy lesson which was so hard for us but we all managed to write a few Chinese words. There were also a lot of beautiful paintings done by the students, and these were for sale so we bought some. Following this visit, we went to the Wild Goose Pagoda which is huge and it took us one hour and thirty minutes to walk around. The Wild Goose Pagoda was built by a Chinese monk who traveled to India and translated the Indian writing into Chinese. After that the tour guide took us to the airport for our return trip home. As they were not many restaurants at the airport, we ate at Subway. We waited in the waiting area, and as there were no announcements we were nearly the last group to get on the plane. The next day we arrived at Don Muaung Airport at 1:30 a.m. on April 6 which was a holiday. We were glad that we had a day to rest after this wonderful and exhausting field trip.
Nattanicha Wisupakarn and Thanchanok Pataraprasit
On April 3, we visited Huashan Mountain. I woke up 6:30 in the morning and looked out the window before I hit the shower. The sun was out, and it was a perfect day to go up the mountain. It had rained nonstop since we arrived there. My roommates finished showering, and we all went down for breakfast on the 2nd floor. After breakfast, we departed from the hotel for Huashan Mountain. It was a three-hour bus ride. We stopped about halfway to go to the restroom. We got off our bus and walked up the road to buy our tickets and then took a shuttle bus up the mountain. The mountains were very high. The hiking path looked dangerous and was a five hour hike to the top. I don’t think we had the energy or the time to take that route. We took the cable car instead. Most of us went up to the North peak to take a look at all the other mountain peaks. A few decided to sit down and rest. The view was amazing as we reached the top of the north peak. I enjoyed the view and took a lot of photos. Eventually we had to come down and get back to our bus. It took us five hours to get back to our hotel. It was a very long drive because of the heavy traffic due to rain and a Chinese festival in town. We had fun on the bus playing Teacher Bobby’s game. We all decided to go to Pizza Hut for dinner as we didn’t want to go anywhere far. We got to Pizza Hut, and we all ordered our own thing to eat. After dinner we went back to the hotel to get ready for the next day. I took a shower and then lay on the bed and kept thinking about Huashan Mountain and how I wanted to go back there again. If you ever visit Xi’an,definitely go to the Huashan Mountains.
On our second to last day, we only had a trip to the Karst Caves planned. I didn’t think it would take us as long to arrive there as it did. We visited the cave, ate lunch at a local restaurant, and drove back. It was cloudy all day and rained a little bit during the morning. It was a three-hour drive to the cave over some very bumpy roads. When we got to the cave, we had to go up 50 meters in an elevator. When we got in the cave, there were neon lights in many places which made it very colorful, and there were a lot of different rock formations. The cave had a room that had rock carvings of different animals on ledges that were above us. We returned to our hotel around 4:30 p.m., rested a little, and then went for dinner at our next door restaurant, KFC.
Wild Goose Pagoda & Museum
Our last day at Xi’an was quite busy, eventful while also exciting and fun. After checking out of our hotel, Fortune Suites, we went to visit the Wild Goose Pagoda. The pagoda was quite a simple-looking structure, yet it was grand and impressive at the same time. Around the site, we also saw the vibrant Musical Fountain and the serene gardens. We then had a delicious meal of Yangruo Paomo, shredded pancake in beef soup together with rice noodles, for lunch. I personally enjoyed this dish very much – every element of the dish complimented each other really well, and I must say, the beef in the soup was one of the best I have tasted. We then proceeded to the Tang Dynasty Art Museum where we saw Chinese art through the ages – from clay sculpture and paper cuttings to bamboo art and classic Chinese ink paintings. There, we also had a calligraphy lesson in which we learned to “write” the eight basic strokes of Chinese calligraphy. Sadly, this was our last stop in Xi’an.
We then headed to Xi’an Xianyang International Airport. At the airport we had a quick dinner at Subway before boarding our flight at about 10:25 p.m. The flight was great, and I also struck up friendship with a few kind Chinese travelers who shared snacks and stories with me. The plane arrived in Thailand at around 1 a.m., and, after saying our goodbyes, we all went home with warm memories of our adventurous experiences.