Click here to view the photo album from the trip.
Eighteen students and four staff members from NDA had the opportunity of a lifetime this June visiting Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai in China. Throughout the trip, they experienced traditional Chinese food, active and dormant temples, and rich cultural history.
As the political center of the country, Beijing provided the most modern experience. The group visited the Forbidden Palace and the Great Wall of China. They also drove past endless high-rise apartments and had a special experience at a small home of the Hutong District which housed the same family for six generations.
While in Beijing, the group enjoyed a tea appreciation ceremony, which boasted more than 3,000 types of tea. They then attended Mass, which was spoken in Mandarin and visited the Temple of Heaven Park.
Following a 13-hour night train ride, the group found itself in Xi'an, which is where one travels to experience "old" China. There they saw the Terracotta Warriors, sculptures of an army which were buried in the third century and was accidentally found by a farmer while he was digging a well.
Back in the city, they explored many spaces of prayer, including a Buddhist Temple at the base of the Flying Goose Pagoda, biked along the old city wall, and ate dumplings while watching a traditional dance by one of China's ancient dynasties.
Finally, the group visited Shanghai, the economic center of China. This city has greatly developed from farmland to skyscrapers since 1994. They visited the Jade Buddha Temple, which houses a two-meter tall Buddha carved from white jade and watched acrobats perform.
On the last day of the trip, the group learned the process of making silk from tiny larvae into the smooth material. The final view of the trip was from the Oriental Pearl Tower, where they viewed dazzling lights and the skyscrapers along the water.