The New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing

Shanghai - Day 6 - 14th Sep 2012

Shanghai - Day 6 Ni Hao New Zealand!

Well what a day! Day six on our tour was a big one. We woke to the news that Sarah Gluyas and Nicole Harding had taken ill overnight and would not be joining us on the tour. We started at The Temple of Heaven, formerly a place of sacrifice and prayer but now a park for the locals to enjoy their various hobbies. Some of the team tried their hand at Tai Chi with Jackie, our tour guide, stepping in to show them how its done. We snapped some photos in front of the temple before rehearsing two of our dances on temple grounds. We drew a good sized crowd who thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Some hoped we would be coming back tomorrow so they could watch it again.
After the Temple of Heaven it was back on the bus, next stop the pearl factory. We watched a demonstration on how freshwater pearls are harvested and were amazed by the number of pearls in each oyster (31 in the oyster we watched being shucked!). We were then shown to the shop floor where very few of the team left empty handed.
Our last stop of the morning was the Hutong district, the old city neighbourhood of Beijing. A pedicab tour through the narrow alleyways and courtyard gardens took us to our lunch destination which was a local family's house. The cook, Mr Yang, turned out to be the former chef of the fourth Chairman of China. The food was delicious and easily some of the best we've had so far. We hopped back on the pedicab to head to back to the bus. Sam was eager to have go at driving the pedicab but the driver would not allow it.
We returned for round two at the Pearl Street Silk Market with many of team feeling much more confident than the first time round. The kiwis bartered hard and emerged victorious over the fierce and pushy stall holders. With almost three hours of shopping under the belt and many great bargains negotiated the team returned to the bus exhausted but satisfied.
The evenings entertainment followed as we headed to the Red Theatre to see "The Legend of Kung Fu", a story of a young boys journey to become a Kung Fu master. It was good to see Sarah and Nicole were feeling well enough to join us for the show which was spectacular. Everyone in the team was impressed by the speed and strength of the performers as well as the quality of the production. Kate bought Nun-chucks as a souvenir, so no one in the team will be disagreeing with her for the rest of the trip.
Tomorrow morning we fly to Shanghai to begin preparing for the Tourism Festival, it be another huge day with wake call at 6am and rehearsals scheduled till midnight. Before then the team must figure out how to fit all their shopping in their luggage without going over the weight limit.

Zài jiàn,
Sam and Leighton

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