Culture and Cuisine in Beijing and Sichuan | Epsom College
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Culture and Cuisine in Beijing and Sichuan

During half term, eight students from the Sixth Form, accompanied by two teachers, took a visit to China, to discover more about Chinese culture and history, experience new activities and foods, and visit the many tourist attractions the vast country has to offer. 

Our trip to China was divided into three parts: Beijing for three days, a tour of Sichuan for five days, and Beijing again for the final three days. In the first three days, we visited numerous sites linked to China’s 4,000 years of rule under the 13 dynasties, such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City.

Food-wise, we immersed ourselves in traditional Beijing cuisine, through restaurant meals, such as with roast duck, and an engaging cooking class. We cooked dumplings, sweet and sour chicken, kung pao chicken and shitake mushrooms with a chef who has prepared food for Chinese government officials.

In the Sichuan province, we visited three cities, these being Chengdu, Dujiangyan and Leshan. The trip to Chengdu was rounded off by a day at one of Chengdu’s most famous tourist attractions, the Panda breeding centre. It’s safe to say this was everyone’s favourite part, as we were treated to seeing two young twin pandas, a rare opportunity. In our final city we indulged in a hotpot dinner and, via a cruise and hike, discovered the immense structures of the Giant Buddha. After a final Sichuan style lunch, we departed, enriched with new culture and experience, and excited for our remaining days in Beijing.  

After a late night arriving, we began the remainder of our days with a journey to the Temple of Heaven, a trip to the Pearl Market sharpened our bargaining skills and left us with plenty of souvenirs to gift to our friends and family, and remember this incredible trip by. We then watched an acrobatics show, where performers enacted almost inhuman feats, such as doing a headstand on a stack of fourteen chairs! We thought it would be impossible to top this, but our penultimate day consisted of hiking the Great Wall of China, which certainly lived up to its title of a World Wonder. 

We were awed by the architecture, history, and exquisite views that seemed to stretch on forever. After over three hours of walking, we were able to relax in the evening at a tea house, and watch another show with a wide range of acts. 

By Zhie Liu, Head of Mandarin