Forty-one HBS students took China by storm in May 2009. Over an eleven day trek, they visited four cities/regions.
The first leg of our China Trek brought us to Beijing, and for most of us breitling superocean replica, this was the first time that we had set foot in China. As it turns out, Beijing offered us a great introduction to the full breadth of Chinese history: from the 2,000-year-old Great Wall to the recently constructed Olympic stadia.
Day one began with a visit to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Standing in the square and looking at the gates of the Forbidden City, one cannot help but notice the two opposing pictures of dynastical China in the Emperor’s palace, and the large portrait of Chairman Mao overlooking the square. Our group stopped to take pictures in front of the many monuments and with local Chinese people who seemed excited to see westerners. Inside the Forbidden City, it was amazing to see the living quarters of the last Emperor and especially the beautiful gardens on the North side.
The next day, we made our way to the outskirts of Beijing to visit part of the Great Wall. The hike up to the wall was long and quite a bit steep at times, but the views at the top were well worth the effort. The setting was mountainous and very green; I was impressed at how difficult it must have been to construct the wall high atop the mountains in a time when earth-moving equipment had not been dreamed of. On the way down, some of us opted to take a ride down a hemispherical metal track on sleds. It was fast, fun, and a lot easier on the legs than the hike up!
Our last day in Beijing was one of the highlights of the trip for me. We took a bike ride through one of the last remaining Hutong neighborhoods in Beijing. Before the tall skyscrapers of modern-day Beijing, the people lived in houses called Hutongs, single-story dwellings consisting of five or six rooms arranged in a circle with a courtyard in the center. Multiple generations of a family lived in a Hutong at any single point in time tag heuer replica for sale , reflecting the importance of family in Chinese culture. One family graciously allowed us to come in and visit their home, which their family had lived in for over a century. We sat and had tea in the courtyard while our host, a 16-year-old girl who spoke perfect English, told us about how families in Beijing used to live.
Our last stop before the airport was the Olympic park, where we bought tickets to enter the Bird’s Nest. Inside, even without the huge crowd of people in the stands, one could still feel the excitement that must have permeated this facility one year prior.
As we got on the plane to make our way South to Xi’an, I was sad to be leaving Beijing, but definitely excited to see more of China!
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John Knapp was born in Norfolk, VA. He is interested in industrial goods and manufacturing. This was his first time visiting China, but he ultimately would like to work for a short period of time in Shanghai.