Day 9

We are reaching the end of an extraordinary adventure and today involved many new experiences for travellers. We had the opportunity to split up into smaller groups and explore the streets of Shanghai.

Some early rising groups were able to experience the Maglev (fast train) they reached some serious speed, getting up to 431km/h!

Other groups after a well deserved sleep in, ventured to the Shanghai Zoo which featured amazing animals such as Ant eaters, Antarctic wolves, Bears, Hedgehogs, cheeky Monkeys and of course Pandas. It was amazing to see such a large variety of animals that you may not necessarily see in Australia. The obvious favourite at the Zoo was the Panda who sat lazily in his hammock eating some delicious bamboo.

After this, it was back to the Science and Technology market to splash the rest of our cash, as we didnt have much left it was imperative for travellers to try and get the most for the least amount of money.
Unfortunately for some teachers this involved buying an extra suitcase because they bought waaay too many handbags and shoes (for presents of course).

As the sun setted it was off to the Bund for our scenic river tour of Shanghai. From the river we were able to see beautifully lit buildings such as the Bottle Opener, Shanghai Tower and Pearl Tower. A lot of the buildings looked like giant televisions while others were covered in vibrant rainbow colours. We felt tiny traveling along the Bund with the buildings towering over us.

Late night tonight, most likely no phone calls as teachers will be trying to fill students suitcases with their extra purchases(kidding) as well as preparing themselves for the long travel home.

Day 7 Blog

Day 7 Blog Info

Today Bendigo Violet St students joined the Xinghai PS students for Art class.
They were sketching rocks from the Administrators Garden. They worked with oil pastels and paper and used lots of detail.

Olive, Sophie and Chloe met with their sister school Principal, Mr Hong.
They exchanged gifts and then explored the school garden. The school grounds take one hour to walk around!
They watched their basketball team train too.

The class hosted a party for Olive, Sophie and Chloe. They played a game with marbles and chopsticks. They played instruments and showed them a dance and they taught them the Nutbush!
They tried some seasonal foods like lychees and locquts and they tried our vegemite.

The girls from BVPS had some Kung Fu lessons with the Master but he said their push ups weren’t very good!


Lastly all the Team China students went to the Tiger Hill and saw a Pagoda which was over 2,500 years old. It is also known as the leaning tower of Suzhou.

We have loved every minute of Suzhou and hope that we can come back again one day. We will miss our new friends but hope that they will visit us in Australia.  Next stop Shanghai !

The Stratfieldsaye girls have also had an absolutely wonderful time, especially at their homestay and at their Sister School, Xingyang School

The girls were also excited to share a beautiful dinner with our 2018 Homestay students, Qiu and Aiden  their teacher Leo and their families.

Day 5!

Poncho parade !

Shanghai Sunday delivered miserable wet weather. Ponchos saved the day and we headed off in fashionable stylish colours to check out Shanghais famous Pearl tower at height of 468 metres…. eeekkk!

The view from the sphere of The Bund,  Pudong district, and Huangpu were sensational. But what was even more spectacular was when we stepped out onto the glass observatory deck on the lower sphere (glass level). Though daunting at first, we quickly overcame this and ended up with such unforgettable pictures.

We had no idea that the Pearl Tower was full of surprises. Revolving restaurant, 5D cinema, gift shops, games room but what we thought was the best was it had a VR Rollercoaster. Students and teachers were very vocal during this adrenaline rushing ride. The teachers still shaking after that experience 😉


We all now believe we are now exceptional at bartering after all our practice at the Science and Tech Market today. Most popular purchases seemed to be converse shoes, pandas, fans, bags, sunnies, hats and many more goodies. We have learnt new skills in how to get the best final price.

After a eventful two hour bus ride of singing and popping to music we arrived at Suzhou for dinner. Checking into our Grand Metro Plaza hotel and it sure is Grand!!!! Washed our shirts and have hit the hay for today.

Day 4

Our Morning of Travel

We awoke early for our buffet breakfast before checking out of our ‘Kuntai Royal Hotel’ accommodation.

After plenty of security checks, explosives tests, pats downs and coffees (for the teachers) we boarded our plane to leave Beijing, bound for new adventures in Shanghai. After sitting in the plane’s pressurised cabin, sucking in the recycled air, we emerged into the Shanghai airport with newly-found vigor and sense of adventure.

Shanghai arrival!

Once on our Shanghai bus, we met our new guide, Sarah. Her microphone is magnificent.

Hi Sarah!

We managed to catch our first glimpse of the Pearl Tower in the bus ride from the airport to our new hotel. Now THAT is a tall tower. Shanghai seems to be full of high skyscrapers!


Once we had briefly settled into our new hotel, we headed down the street to grab some lunch. There began the Great Dumpling Debacle. We waited far too long for us all to get served, so in the end, we all split up. Some of us went back to the hotel to eat, others hung around the shop. Ahh well, we all got a feed in the end. Delicious dumplings too!


Once our bellies were filled, it was time to brave the Shanghai Metro! What a great experience. Lots of bustling, busy bodies! It seemed like we spent more time walking between trains, than actually on them!!

One of many Metro escalators

But, you know, plenty of photo opportunities…


Yu Gardens

Once we emerged from underground, we weaved our way through the busy streets, dodging motorcycles and slight, spitting rain, to arrive at Yu Gardens. Before we entered, we gave a wave and a smile to the gathering paparazzi, posing for the flashbulbs, of course.

The joys of being famous

We were amazed by the vast array of colours and beauty present within Yu Gardens. It was a mixture of rock, water, plant life and ancient, man-made construction.

The Yu with the view

Self proposed ‘pic of the day (year)’

The People’s Park

On the walk back, we stopped at the The People’s Park and listened to a woman sing some karaoke for us. Before long, we had drawn a crowd, sung a song, slow danced and featured in about a gazillion photos.

Karaoke Queen


Unfortunately, due to a forecast storm, our boat cruise had to be postponed. Fortunately, this gave us the chance to explore Shanghai in our school groups. It was so cool to wander around and check out our small area of Shanghai!

We popped into M&M World, due to popular request
The view from the very top of the shopping mall!
There is plenty of artwork
Big city lights
The local butcher
Oh yeah, we found this dude-a-roo too

Once we had finished exploring, we went back to bed for some late-night calls home, to shirts wash our stinky shirts and a well deserved nights’ sleep.