[Disclaimer: this article is written entirely from my experience and perspective on my China Week. Other participants on the same China Week may have different viewpoints, experience and opinions.]
Today is the day we travel to Detian Transnational Waterfall （德天) ，the largest transnational waterfall in Asia and the most beautiful waterfall in China. It is located in China-Vietnam border.
We packed and left the hotel in the morning as usual. It was a four-hour long bus ride, but it was worth it. Along the way, there were enormous rocky mountains with areas of green trees on them. At lunchtime, we had fish, chicken, some vegetarian dishes and Vietnamese herbal tea. Then, we took a bamboo boat to the upper part of the waterfall.
When we have reached the waterfall, the scenery was very stunning. In my mind, I was quietly screaming out 'This is China!' - There was blue-green water flowing down the mountain. Above the surface of that water, immediately below the waterfall, a huge mist of water particles, emerging like trails of smoke. The waterfall consists of numerous parts, with many bents here and there along the flow of water. Also, it was always making a loud roaring sound as the water falling from the mountaintop reaches the bottom. The snake-like bents and the loud roaring sound; these features make me think whether the waterfall is a dragon in disguise.
Not only the waterfall but also the environment surrounding it is very pleasing. There were green vegetation, red blossoms, fresh moist air and tall bamboo around the waterfall. In the water not too far away from my feet, there were white foam, bubbles, and vortex here and there. In short, it was a dreamy place.
We took a lot of photos. Before leaving the waterfall, we bought souvenirs. As for me, I bought two Chinese fans; one for myself and the other was for Luka as a birthday present. I love the drawing of the Dragon and Phoenix on the fan very much. Then, we did some shopping and had coffee.
Afterwards, we went with our bus to a Zhuang ethnic minority village. We saw a 104 years old grandmother, who founded a medical team and saved lives during the China-Vietnam war. Also, the local people told us that silver is good for health. To prove this, we went to the silversmith and shop, and they demonstrated how silver can purify water by mixing ink and water in a silver bowl. Surprisingly, the ink color disappeared. However, I am still skeptical about this and I might do further Chemistry research on this when I arrive at the college.
There is also another funny thing I learned - some of the houses in the village were hoisting Chinese flags while some do not. The house with the Chinese flag means that the house has a Chinese wife and if there is no flag, then the wife is of other nationalities ( mostly Vietnamese). We continued walking and there was a small Chinese music performance Then, we went back to the bus.
Unfortunately, the bus driver informed us that the bus had broken down. So, we had to walk and push the bus - this is probably the most memorable moment of this entire trip. However, after three times of pushing, we were all exhausted but the bus did not work! It seemed that we would have to sleep on the side of the side of the road that night.
Nevertheless, life is fantastic - it is full of surprises and unexpected things. A kind-hearted tour bus driver agreed to us to take us to the hotel with his bus. It was very nice of him. On the way back, I quietly screamed 'This is China!' again. On the side of the road, there is the trail of the river flowing parallel to the road. Also, there were bamboo forests and numerous pointy distant mountains. Finally, there was this secret ingredient which makes the sunset painting complete - radiant sun rays behind the orange clouds at the back of the mountains.
Thanks to the kind tour bus driver, we safely arrived at the hotel, which is located at the bottom of the mountains. We went for dinner and enjoyed a cultural show at the hotel. Next, our entire group reflected on our experiences and it was bedtime after that.
The next day, we went for a bamboo rafting in the river. The scenery is enjoyable as usual. However, my favorite experience was seeing the ducks swimming in green water in front of our raft. We drank tea, ate groundnuts and oranges on the raft. Occasionally, there were performers on the river bank and on the boats, who plays the flute or sings.
After the rafting, we checked out at the hotel and went back by bus. The next day, we went back to the college by high-speed train and arrived just before dinner time.
Indeed, I have had a genuinely wonderful China Week experience and I have improved a lot on many aspects and skills - such as getting along with other people, helping others, organizing activities and having empathy for others. Last but not least, I am thrilled to know that everyone who involved cared about me.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my China Week experience. I will write more about my UWC experience later on. Keep in touch.