The Maglev

This year the students will be flying out of Shanghai from Shanghai Hongqiao airport to Beijing before flying to Melbourne. In the past we have used the Maglev to get to Pudong airport. So instead of missing out on riding the Maglev at 431Khph we have made it an excursion on its own. And it’s worth it.

Pearl Tower and home

The sun shone and we were greeted to blue skies for our last day in Shanghai.

Would you be game enough?

Our vantage point, for amazing views of the city, was the Pearl Tower. Most were game enough to walk onto the glass. However for one unlucky Chinese guy his friends assisted him in overcoming his fear of heights by grabbing and dragging him onto the glass floor.

After a brief stop at the market we were back on the underground rail to ride the Maglev. 431 km / hr was the top speed as we approached the airport for our return to Aus.

What an amazing experience we’ve all had over the past 20 days. It will be an adventure remembered for the rest of our lives. Thank you to the GSPS students who displayed our school values on a daily basis.

I wonder where your next flight will take you?

Farewell Xincheng Gardens PS and Souzhou

What an entrance to our motel!

Today we said seeya to Xincheng Gardens PS. GSPS were invited to exchange gifts with a grade 2 class and also sang ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’.

GSPS students participated in a music lesson where they were able to contribute by reading a poem and the Chinese students were asked to guess the name of the poem. At the conclusion, we listened to some talented pianist’s. Of course my contribution received the most applause with my own interpretation of Bach, symphony no.6 in D minor.

Correct answer Grace.

We were part of the schools 20 year celebration by signing a board at the entrance, especially reserved for special guests. It was then onto the oval to observe rehearsals for their upcoming performance on World Children’s Day.

Best wishes from GSPS

It was great to see GSPS students mingling with Chinese students and even exchanging contact details.

With the homestay finished we packed again and headed off to Shanghai. The main activity for the evening … a river boat cruise. I’ll let the pictures do the talking …


Last night students stayed with their homestay families. All students experienced what it’s like to live in Souzhou. From bowling, meeting family members, ice skating and trying chicken feet, GSPS students certainly had a night they’d never forget.

Today we observed sport at Xincheng Gardens PS … rollerblading! GSPS students also participated in skipping and a paper cut art lesson.

Rollerblading at Xincheng Gardens PS

Art class

We were soon back on the bus and on our way to Tiger Hill. With over 2500 years of history, there were many wonderful stories to hear. If there was ever a place where you could sit back and look at the scenery around you, then this was it.

GSPS students spend their 2nd night with their homestay families. Have fun.


So today we landed at China and the airport was ginormous so we had to chach a train to get to the other side in four minutes. Yeah it’s fast! After I got through customs (last one lol) we got on a bus and went to the hotel and had food. After food, we got back on the bus. after the hotel check in we then settled in for an hour of relaxing and then we were off to the silk market which was about a minute walk away. So much to type and share with everyone, but not enough time in the day! Sorry for late update no good  Internet so sorry 😐.

Day 6

We were formally welcomed at Xincheng Gardens PS by the principal. Gifts were exchanged and we completed a tour of the school. 1800 students that start at 8 am and finish at 3:30. Numerous activities including rollerblading as part of the curriculum. They even have a special room for Skating. Oh I forgot to mention that the Primary school has their own museum and remote control car racing room.


After our school trip we walked around the Administrative Gardens.


Xincheng Gardens PS

Art work by Xincheng students

Kung Fu skills

Administrative Gardens

Continuing friendships with our sister school


Day 5

Tong Li boat ride

Today we visited the Tong Li water town. Our Chinese guide, Michael, called it the little Venice of China. Wow, what a relaxing experience it was. It was almost like we were in a movie set as we gracefully floated along the canal looking up at all the ancient buildings and overhanging trees. Our boat driver managed to paddle and text at the same time. How he didn’t drop his phone into the canal I’ll never know.

3/4 W students will be disappointed that I was unable to catch one of the 100 or so goldfish in the garden pond for our class fish tank… sorry.

After our small boat ride along the canal we explored the elaborate gardens and then the market.

Oysters could be opened, pearls extracted, and then earrings, bracelets or necklaces made.

As we traveled the streets we stumbled across a small store run by an old Chinese man and his wife. For 20 Yuan you had 10 shots to win a prize. All GSPS students threw with precision and scored various trinkets and toys.