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April 2019 -- Exchange with Zhixin High School, Guangzhou


Photo - Exchange with Zhixin High School, Guangzhou(1)

In early April, fifteen secondary four students travelled to Guangzhou, China to engage with students from Zhixin High School. There we went to some renowned tourist spots, like the Beijing Pedestrian Street. Needless to say, the trip has been fruitful as we gained more insight into the history, development and life in Guangzhou.

We were welcomed by the School Secretary and teachers of Zhixin High School and we tasted their delicious nine-course meal. We admired the picturesque scenery and marvelled at the quaint school buildings, which were inhabited by their cute, roaming school cats. While touring, we noticed the numerous fun-filled extra-curricular activities the school provided. Apart from participating in a pottery class to produce majestic and brave "Cloth Tigers", we joined a radio orienteering activity with our buddies, in which participants listen to different frequencies to locate radio channels.

We immersed ourselves into the lives of Zhixin students for three full days. We had to attend eight to nine lessons a day from seven forty-five to five. They were allowed a long lunch-and-nap period of one hour and forty-five minutes. The large canteen was divided to cater to lower and upper secondary students and their routine of recycling utensils is very admirable. We were happy to see the wide array of choices of meals the canteen offers, from Korean style sushi kimbap to Taiwanese beef noodles. So intense was their amount of exercise that they were constantly wearing their tracksuits. Our buddies explained that due to their Physical Education (P.E.) school assessment, their school had organized three P.E. lessons a week and three running sessions for breaktime on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Their strong emphasis on healthcare was astonishing as they taught us to do the seven-step eye exercise and performed taichi after their rounds of running.

Photo - Exchange with Zhixin High School, Guangzhou(2) Photo - Exchange with Zhixin High School, Guangzhou(3)

Since we were already familiar with the development of Guangzhou through the Greater Bay Area Project, visiting the Guangzhou Urban Planning Exhibition Centre on 11th April reinforced for us our understanding of the project. As early as the Qin Dynasty, Guangzhou has already been on the map of China and its natural characteristic as a river city explains its economic advantage in trading and logistics today. Apart from displaying ancient architecture, the Centre showcased models of settlements in Guangzhou in the Ming Dynasty. The modern and technological setting of the Centre really widened our view and it proved to us the significance of innovation in China in its Reform and Opening Up.

We went to the remarkable Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King. The tour guide said it housed the tomb of the second Nanyue King Zhao Mo and was one of the few tombs that was not robbed. She also told us that a total of fifteen courtiers were buried to serve Zhao in death. Many jade and bronze artifacts were showcased, which included the weapons, as well as the King and his concubines' seals. This not only portrayed the flourishing economic development two thousand years ago, but it also served as a reminder for the King not to walk too quickly.

We switched to a more relaxing itinerary as we walked along the Beijing Pedestrian Street in the afternoon and enjoyed the night harbour view. At night, we took a ferry to gaze at the night scenery. Even though it was raining, we managed to see the colourful Canton Tower from the blurry windows as the neon lights of the buildings were shining brightly.

Due to one heavy rainfall on 12th April, we changed our plan and went to a modern shopping arcade called K11, a name very familiar to Hong Kong people. As an artistic centre, the mall revolved around the theme of colours and greenery. We discovered a vertical greening project on the 4th floor and also an art exhibition on the 3rd floor. We were fascinated by the strong emphasis on sustainability and how it portrayed wonderful aesthetics similar to Hong Kong's K11 Shopping Centre.

This five-day journey to Guangzhou was undeniably a great success. On behalf of the group, I would like to express my gratitude to Mrs Lau for organising these memorable programmes and offering this opportunity for us to acquire more knowledge of China first-hand. Thanks must also be given to Mrs S.Y. To and Miss C. Wong, who accompanied us to the respective locations and took care of us. Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude to students and teachers of Zhixin High School. Despite being at first somewhat perplexed by their syllabus taught in Chinese, our buddies explained the related materials with patience. The teachers were very warm-hearted and they never failed to lighten up the class atmosphere with their humour. We hope that future participants of this exchange would likewise find this trip intriguing, joyful and unforgettable.



Reported by: Joyce Leung


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