MS China – Day 11

Shanghai •  Afternoon • By Francie

Even though today was shortened by the plane ride, we had a very adventurous and fun end to our trip. After we landed in Shanghai, we headed to Shanghai Tower. When we arrived, everyone looked up in awe at the 632 meter high building. We walked inside and were told to find 2 facts about the Tower to share with the group. They were on either the history or any interesting fact, such as it’s the 2nd tallest building in the world. After, we headed up 128 stories to the top of Shanghai Tower. On the way up, everyone ears were popping because it had the fastest elevators in the world, getting up to 46 mph. On the top, there was a 360 degree view of the entire city of Shanghai. Most people thought the buildings around us to be slanted because the building we were in is twisted. Once everyone had had a chance to walk around, we headed back downstairs to the souvenir shop where people bought magnets and such. We headed outside and took one last look at the tower and hopped on the bus for dinner.


Shanghai • Evening • By Harper

After the skyscraper we went to dinner with hungry stomachs. We went to a nice restaurant for our final dinner in China. At the table we were all beginning to talk about how we were going to miss using our chopsticks and having Lazy Suzans at the table but then the food came out and it became a war zone that consisted of trying to grab as much food as possible with our chopsticks.

After dinner we headed to our final activity in China which was the boat tour. We represented America well by dancing our hearts out on the boat deck and even a little girl came up and joined us on the dance floor. In all it was not just a perfect night but a perfect trip.


After a good night’s rest we woke up to the beach. It is so lovely to wake up and see it!

We then headed out to bike through rubber and pineapple plantations. We first had to get use to riding on the left side of the road. It was quite an adventurous ride as we made our way through a forest and to a waterfall. Right next to the waterfall was a Gibbion rehabilitation center. Though many of us thought our ride stopped there we were pleasantly surprised to learn we had another 8k to go. We ended our Tour de France cycle at a gorgeous pier where we got to look into a crystal clear ocean as we driped with sweat. 
Once we got back to the hotel it was relaxation time. Some laid out at the pool and others played football in the ocean but either way everyone had a great time in the Phuket sun (trying not to get too burnt). At 5:30 we all met up at the beach to watch the beautiful sunset. A great way to end the day all together watching the sun going down. Around 7 we left the beach and went to dinner then to bed excited for the early morning and ocean filled day that we have ahead of us. 

MS China – Day 9

Muka Village • Morning • By Cameron

In the morning, we went to Muka village. This village was very unique for two reasons. One reason was that the village was half old and half new. This is because in the 2008 earthquake some of the village got destroyed and rebuilt. Some of the other parts of the village survived the earthquake. Another reason why this village is so unique is because it is right below a huge mountain. This is odd, because it makes this village very vulnerable to earthquakes. At the village in the morning, we helped out with the garden.

In the garden, we planted some pumpkin seeds at the farm. The first step was to dig some holes. This is so we can plant the seeds. Next, we placed the seeds into the lowest points of the hole. Finally, we placed the soil back on and covered the holes.

Muka Village/Chengdu • Afternoon • By Alex M.

After we had a great lunch in the Wenchwan village, we went to visit an old abandoned village higher up in the mountains. The village was built entirely of stone. The village has been there for thousands of years. It also survived an 8.1 earthquake 10 years ago. They moved all of the residents down the mountain for safety reasons after the earthquake when the Chinese government were rebuilding.

After that we drove back to our hotel in Chengdu. The teachers delighted us with a foot massage at the end of the day as a treat for our good behavior. It was a good experience for most of us. Overall it was a good day.

Part 2- Goodbye Chiang Mai

        After a quick one hour turn around at the hotel in which we had to quickly shower and pack, we checked out of the hotel and set out to explore Chiang Mai in the few hours we had left. We (surprisingly) went to another market, but instead of visiting the typical haggling street vendors trying to sell us the same pair of elephant pants we’ve seen a million (literally) times already, this was an upscale market. It consisted of many boutique-like shops and trendy cafes, including one gelato shop in which Lily got the “choco cup”- it was just as extravagant (and most importantly messy) as it sounds. 

         After the market we parted ways with our fearless build leader Parn as we headed to the airport to fly to Phuket. We boarded the red eye flight at around 9:30 and landed at about 12:30- rather uneventful since a good number of us were passed out asleep. 

        We loaded up into vans and drove the one hour drive down to the hotel, which included wishing Colm a happy St. Patrick’s Day and other typical amusing van “banter.” By two thirty we had all piled into the hotel and were heading to our rooms, where we quickly (and quite easily) fell asleep.