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Friday 19th July - Day 4 - The Confucius Institute/ Hanban and shopping at The Pearl Market.

Friday 19th July 2019 - Day 4 - The Confucius Institute/ Hanban and shopping at The Pearl Market.

tash 10.PNGFriday (our last day in Beijing and Lilyʼs birthday) was bittersweet: sorrowful because we wonʼt be doing any more sightseeing here but overjoyed because we made some special memories and bought some incredible souvenirs and gifts!! 
After breakfast, (multicoloured Bao buns this morning- purple and orange), we visited The tash 11.PNGConfucius Institute and Headquarters for Hanban through which this trip was organised. Students unified together in front of the flags to symbolise the international links and partnership between China and other nationalities worldwide.  
The opening of the centre had a fabulous philosophical quote from Confucius about Education and a notion that we are thankful for in the UK ourselves... 
tash 12.PNGThen, following this, were lots of examples of Chinese arts, crafts and cultural activities to help educate students further about the historical and cultural way of life.  The students were so hugely invested in learning about this, they even adorned the dress, learnt about the Chinese Zodiac and then practised playing traditional Chinese instruments. 
Libby and Mr Cooper acted in the spirit of the culture by adopting the positions and actions of the Buddha tash 13.PNGand even that of an eagle. 
SPH even roped in some of the other Manchester students into appreciating the art and culture in a picture together... 
Then, before we knew it, it was lunch and todayʼs lunch was something special with an array of different types of dumplings, amongst the tried and tested beef and chicken dishes.  In this meal, there was also a dish with white fish which all tried but some were less keen on, drawing similarities to slime and other 
less appealing elements... 
tash 14.PNGFollowing lunch was the eagerly anticipated shopping trip to The Pearl Market.  With 3.5 hours to barter for some bargains, we certainly came back with some treats for ourselves and many presents for our family and friends.  We bought air pods, cameras and plenty of ‘designerʼ shoes and clothing- Balenciaga trainers being the fashion item of choice. 
After a tiring but fulfilling shopping trip, we had our final evening meal in Beijing and started our tash 15.PNGjourney back to the hotel in typical Beijing traffic.  
When we arrived back at the hotel, we gave Lily her birthday present and Beijing post card/ birthday card as a keepsake in memory of her 15th birthday- hopefully, a truly memorable one! (She kept these close to hand at all points for entertainment afterwards). 
tash 16.PNGThen, we packed our cases and had one last visit to the corner shop for some final 
bits... fortunately, we managed to avoid the chicken feet and preserved beef slice.  
Before we knew it, it was bed-time in preparation for our 4.45 start to Shenyang.