Day 8

We left our luxurious hotel this morning and headed to Tongli, an ancient town. Here we saw a traditional house and the White Hills kids all bought a giant oyster to get the pearls inside. Cody’s pearls were huge and he had them made into a bracelet. The oysters cost 50 yuan each($10) and it cost him another 50 to have it made into the bracelet. We went on a gondola ride and viewed working cormorants catching fish, fascinating stuff. We purchased a few more ‘bargains’ in the shops in Tongali before heading back to Shanghai where we will see the ERA Circus
We then enjoyed a yummy lunch again!

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Day 7

Today we visited our sister school again and met up with Cameron, Jayda and Jakob after the enjoyed overnight stays with Elaine, Suri and Matthew. They all thoroughly enjoyed their family time and there was some tears shed this afternoon when we left for the last time.
Today at school we enjoyed viewing and learning about their art show. It wasn’t quite as good as WHPS but pretty good. I had to do a TV interview about my feeling on the show. This was more difficult than I thought! No one in TV is in danger of losing their jobs to me that’s for sure!
We then did a calligraphy lesson with really cute Grade 2 students who certainly put us to shame with their delicate pen strokes.
We also joined a Grade 5 English class. I was as sounded by the level of English from the students.
After a canteen lunch we exchanged gifts and speeches and said goodbye. Cody did a great job on our behalf.
Jinji Lake PS were certainly very hospitable and we thoroughly enjoyed learning and seeing the similarities and differences between the schools.

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Shanghai river cruise -Cameron

Late at night all of team china went on the shanghai river cruise around the huang pu river. We took many amazing photos while on the deck and selfies inside. There were multiple lit up massive towers including the pearl tower, aurora and the peace hotel. Among the buildings that we saw one of the best was the shanghai tower which is the second tallest building in the world.

Day 6

Yesterday we visited our sister school and Cody will do a post about this experience. It was a lot of fun and we are looking forward to our visit again this morning.
After our visit Jayda, Cameron, Jakob and Cody headed off with our Chinese families. Cody went with Jakob to Matthew’s house and had a lot of fun.
31 of us including Siobhan, headed off to Tiger Hill and Old Shantang Street. We enjoyed its history and made a few purchases. Obviously the photos will only include Siobhan!

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Grandmetro Park Hotel & Dinner Day 5

Following the visit to the silk museum we checked in at the Grandmetro. Wow, it is an amazing hotel and rooms are luxurious! The kids are pretty excited to be in such a nice abode. We headed out for a delicious banquet last night before settling in for an early night.
I took some photos of our banquet and the kids enjoying the multitude of breakfast choices including ice creams, sorry parents it is hot here! I also included a few shots of the hotel, 5 star luxury!!! We may never want to come home!
Today we visit our sister school, Jinjihu PS before visiting Tiger Hill and Shantang Old Street, a very old, traditional area in old Suzhou.
We have Cam, Jayda and Jakob all participating in overnight stays with their Chinese friends tonight, which will no doubt be a highlight for them.

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Afternoon in Suzhou

Today it is very wet. We have had 3 great days in Shanghai and the rain has come. We travelled to Suzhou in the rain and had a yummy lunch in a local restaurant. We were planned to go to Tiger Hill but we changed plans due to the weather and headed to the silk museum.
Fascinating to see the process of collecting, stretching and making silk items.

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Day 5

We went to our favourite spot in People’s Square Park again and his morning to mix with the locals are partake in some exercise before another buffet breakfast, it’s hard to front up but someone has to do it!!
The man massaging mrs Walkden from Maiden Gully is 85 years old. I had a massage the other day too and he is very strong!
I included some photos of the Park Hotel lobby, it is very beautiful. I was one of the tallest buildings in China in the 1930s hard to believe when you see how small it looks now.
We went for a short walk and discovered a local shop the kids liked called Mini So. I have bought Mr Ross a present and attached a photo. This is for his desk.
We are off to Suzhou where we head to old Shantang town, which is a very old part of original Suzhou. More updates soon.

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Day 4

Today was a little bit more relaxed as everyone is tired. We went back over to the park where some joined tai Chi and we also saw some sword dancers. We went back to the outdoor gym and joined the locals again for a work out.
After another yummy breakfast we headed to the Urban Exhibition Centre where we saw a scale model of Shanghai and found that the population of Shanghai is just over 24 million.
After this we headed back to the fake markets again to haggle for some more ‘bargains’. Cody bought a skateboard we hope fits in his bag while a few of the girls in our group have purchased apple watches. I hope they work in Aus!
We had a yummy lunch in a restaurant in the market and then caught the tourist bus for a look at central Shanghai. This gave the kids a chance to sit and relax for 1 1/2 hours and take in the sights. We got off at the Bund, which is the viewing area along the river where the kids became the attraction not the views of the city!
We then walked up East Nanjing Road to look at the famous Peace Hotel and then to a new Department store and rode the glass elevator.
We found a traditional Chinese restaurant where the kids tried so local delicacies such and salt and pepper bullfrog! The plate was empty so they must have enjoyed it.
We are off to Suzhou tomorrow where we will have a days sightseeing before visiting our sister schools on Tuesday.

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