Golden Week!

Trip Start Jul 28, 2009
Trip End Jul 27, 2010

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What I did

Flag of China  , Guangdong Sheng,
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I have finally finished my 10 day teaching spree. I am so happy and excited!

Now that i have finished, i can gladly have a sigh of relief. This week is called “golden week”, this is a very import holiday in the Chinese calendar because it is the celebration of 2 festivals. The first and probably the most important is the 60th anniversary of the socialist state (1949-2009). The other festival is called ‘Moon day’, which is an ancient festival that has gone on for many generations in China. From what i can make out it is the celebration of the annual full moon in China, which doesn't sound right as they must have full moons every month, right? Anyways, it is a festival for families to meet up and i was told that if someone is not with his family during moon day they will be very upset.

But, these things mean nothing to me. My nationality isn’t Chinese, and i hadn’t even heard of moon day until a few days ago, so i probably wont be celebrating the holiday in the same way that the Chinese will. The way i look at it is i have a free 8 day holiday during school time. Ideal.

So i have decided to take advantage of the time off and do something different. Go to Inner Mongolia (please note, not actually the country Mongolia, but the province that boarders Mongolia in China).

I will leave on the 1st of October and enjoy a 30 hour + train ride all the way from down south to the very north of China. Its going to take a while (and if I'm honest, I'm not overly pleased its going to take so long!) but it should be OK.
We arrive on the 3rd of October early in the morning sometime. Below i will give you the itinerary for the trip as it is quite exciting.

Itinerary for Inner Mongolia:

3rd October -

Arrive in Hohhot (Inner Mongolias capital city)
Transfer to Xilamuren Grasland (another 2 hours of travelling, great)
Welcome ceremony
Lunch - “Mongolian roast sheep” boiled meat which is eaten using a knife and your hand (great for vegetarians!)
Presented with a “hada”
(a piece of silk used as a greeting gift)
and a cup of local wine by Mongolian girls :)
Horseback riding
Enjoying hand-made dairy food (cant wait, very little dairy out here in China)
Visiting Mongolian Tents
Mongolian traditional performances
Horse racing, wrestling archery and other activities
Transfer back to Hohhot

4th October - 

Visit Yinken ring sand gulf:
Transfere to Yining ring sand gulf (3 hours bus)
Visit the Yellow river
The desert (sand dunes, probably no different to Braunton burrows)
Ordos wedding ceremony show
Camel riding
Transfer to Hohhot

5th October

Tibetan Buddhism temple-Jokhang temple
Visit Inner Mongolian Museum to see the biggest dinosaur fossil in China (Yes, i cannot wait for this. Cant be anywhere near as good as the Natural History Museum though)
Depart for Hohhot for Beijing after dinner.

As you may have guessed this is a package deal, but i think that it is quite a good one. It has been arranged with TTC (teach and travel china) the company that is responsible for me, so there are going to be many other people there that i have not seen in a while. Infact there is going to be 91 of us going in total, so its going to be a massive re-group. Hopefully see some of my old mates from Beijing again.

Going to have to make my lesson plan on the train on the way back, its going to be a dream!
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