China is one of the fastest developing countries on the planet. With its cities rapidly expanding and their ever-changing skylines soaring for the sky, it’s hard to imagine the China before this urbanisation boom. But outside of its buzzing metropolises, China is still home to a wealth of traditional and untouched villages. Here, rural life and traditional cultures are maintained and you can experience a completely different side of the country.
On both our Mandarin Sunrise and Backroads to Beijing group tours, we give our travellers the chance to visit a kindergarten in the rural village of Bu Yang. Just a short drive from the city of Qufu, Bu Yang is very much like the China of old. The principles of Communism, communal work and land ownership are somewhat still in place here.
A key part of sustainable travel is ensuring that you have a positive impact on the people and places you pass through. Here we take a look at what our travellers experience in Bu Yang.
On arrival, you can enjoy a light lunch of regional dishes and beer at a local official’s home. Then it’s only a short stroll through Bu Yang to the village kindergarten. As you step into a classroom, you’ll soon be swarmed by adorable 5-year-olds all vying for your attention.
You’ll then get to visit the different classes and spend some time with the children. Excited to see foreigners, these kids are always eager to present singing and dancing performances, as well as chatter away. Other popular activities to join in with include musical chairs and, if you’re lucky, you may even learn a word of Chinese or two from these youngsters.
This year several of our travellers were fortunate enough to visit Bu Yang just before International Children’s Day on June 1st. Although observed in a few countries around the world, this is a special holiday in China and it celebrates children as the future custodians of the nation.
The importance of a good family, social and educational environment for children is also recognized on this day. Many choose to donate money, toys and teaching materials to improve local schools’ facilities. Schools across China also organise activities to celebrate and children receive gifts from their parents.
Visiting the Bu Yang kindergarten at this time proved a wonderful experience for those on our tours. It provided an insight into real rural life in China and the fascinating culture of this country’s next generation.
If you’ve been thinking of travelling to China, why not join us on one of our group tours? Alongside Bu Yang, we visit some of the country’s most famous attractions.