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A Graduation Tour to Zhangjiajie by Hundred Odd Overseas Students: A Journey to Explore the Beautiful China

From CSU News Center

Updated: 2017-06-05 10:47:57.0

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 “How special these stilted buildings of the Tujia Ethnic Minority! How hospitable the youngsters there……”said Chen Dabian, a Laotian student holding a camera to record it while enjoying himself; “It is just a natural stone museum”, another student from Thailand exclaimed; “So beautiful! Nature does have a magic power!” Deng Xuejie, a Slovakian shouted with thrill.

From June 2 to June 4, over 100 students from regions other than mainland China, differentiated in homeland, skin color, culture and language enjoyed a three-day graduation tour at Zhangjiajie, in Hunan Province. They explored local customs with a distinctive feature and got to gain a sense of the beautiful China through visiting such places as the Custom Park of Tujia Ethnic Group, Wulingyuan Scenic spot, Tianzishan Moungtain, Ten-li Corridor and Jinbian Brook, drawing a successful conclusion to their study in CSU.

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During the drive to Zhangjiajie, overseas students happily sang songs of their home countries. The guide detailed culture, history, and folk customs in western Hunan Province, arousing students’ interest in and yearn for their upcoming tour. With merriment, the five-hour drive seemed to be greatly shortened.

On the first day, they visited the Custom Park of Tujia Ethnic Group in the downtown area of Zhangjiajie. It is a Tujia village that combines cultural landscape with natural scenery, boasting specialties of intoxicant Lanmen liquor, mysterious ancestor worship ceremony, display of historical relics, demonstration of local folklore as well as two Guinness records of Jiuchongtian stilted building and the Maogusi dance with a thousand dancers. Deng Xuejie, a Slovakian, said that this was her second time to Zhangjiajie as she went sightseeing here years before. However the experience in the Custom Park was totally new for her since she didn’t have a chance to feel the custom here the last time. As for Chen Da from Laos, the Jiuchongtian stilted building excited him a lot. while ascending the building, he kept recording with his camera and took a close look at exhibition booths at every floor for fear that he might leave out any details. He also exclaimed that, “This was a credit to its topping other Chinese stilted buildings in size, height and wooden structure. How spectacular it is!”

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Just as the Custom Park made up for the absence of ethnic customs in Deng’s last tour to Zhangjiajie, the visit to core sites in Zhangjiajie in the following two days made up for the absence of the world natural wonder in most overseas students’ trip to Hunan Province. Zhangjiajie National Forrest Park was listed as a World Natural Heritage Site for its unique quartz sandstone peak forest, which is perceived as one of the most valued natural heritage sites in western Hunan Province and even in the world at large. The special landform that couldn’t be found in the rest of the world impressed the tour group with marvelous mountains and graceful waters. “I were an Avatar”, said Margie, a girl from Nepal having a picture taken before the “Hallelujah Mountain”. “I see! It’s just like a fairy maiden with a handful of flowers” said Lin Wenxian, calling her partners to appreciate the site of Flower-strewing Fairy Maiden. Lin Wenxian majored in Chinese Language Education and thus is enriched with Chinese culture. During the trip, she observed that, “Long before had I heard about Zhangjiajie’s reputation as the source of marvelous mountains and graceful waters, it is still beyond my expectation to see such grand beauty here. According to the introduction by our tour guide, I was surprised to know that historical anecdotes and enchanting legends have been attached to these scenic spots based on rock shapes. So, this graduation tour really offers me a baptism of culture.”

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After visits to Helong Park of Tianzishan Mountain, Yubi Peak, Flower-strewing Fairy Maiden site, the group walked down the mountain to further appreciate the scenery of Zhangjiajie, along which they offered encouragement and help to each other and finally made it to the Ten-li Corridor at the foot of the mountain. Here a close view of marvelous mountains, secluded valleys and graceful forests unfolded before their eyes. At the end, An Nan put it that, “The unique view of mountains and rock formations worth all the tiredness and sore legs. It’s so marvelous here.” On the last day, the tour group went to stride alongside the Jinbian Brook, which is crowned to top all the valleys in the world. Indulged in the view of high-rising peaks, drifting clouds, chirping birds and fragrant flowers, the students were reluctant to end the intimacy with nature in the oxygen bar.

The passage of time was quickened by joy. The short tour to Zhangjiajie impressed students with the charm of Western Hunan Province, giving them a sense of the beautiful China. At the same time, it was believed to add an unforgettable experience to their study in China. Afterwards, many overseas students expressed their will to come back to explore the fascinating landscape and splendid culture here.