‘Explore China – The South East Tour 2013’ left Auckland on 5 April returning on 27 April after three action-packed weeks. Sally Russell, Tour Leader, and Miss Wang Fang, Chinese Tour Guide, worked very well together with 16 Society members and newcomers, some of whom had never been to China before.
This Tour began in Guangzhou then explored the culture, food, and history of rural villages and cities in Fujian and Jiangxi Provinces, finishing in Shanghai. Highlights included in-depth experiences of tea culture, porcelain, and the Maritime Silk Road and a stay in a Hakka village tulou (roundhouse). The group walked tracks used by tea pickers, rafted down a river in Wuyishan and visited historic sites on Lushan Mountain, among many new experiences.
History came alive with visits to the Lin Zexu Memorial telling of his part in the first Opium War and to the Tang Dynasty Tengwang Pavilion and Ba Yi Monument in Nanchang. In Xiamen the group met Anna du Toit, an impressive young Wellington Branch member studying Chinese language. In Nanchang, we enjoyed an evening with David Burt from Rotorua Branch and his large group of young Chinese English speakers, and also met two of our He Ming Qing scholars.
Comments from tour members include:
‘Highlights were diversity of experiences in particular the roundhouses at Yongding.’
‘After the first week I couldn’t believe the amount of things I had seen and experienced, and had another two weeks.’
‘Good planning by NZCFS meant we had timely access to places not normally visited by tourists.’