The Asian Experience Tour Group arrived home safely to Tullamarine airport last Friday morning. After clearing customs [which was hassle free!] the group was warmly greeted by smiling parents and brothers & sisters. The [10] students from Grades 5&6 were led by tour organizer, Mr Cretney and accompanied by the Principal and travel agent, Mrs Sharyn Bojczenko, our former school council president. The tour had many highlights and memorable experiences! After arriving in Beijing, the tour group visited the Forbidden City, Tienamin Square and climbed the Great Wall of China! The first attempt to climb the Great Wall was aborted as it was engulfed in fog and rain – in fact it was pitch black at 10:30am! The afternoon attempt proved successful, with Lauren T being first student to the top! From Beijing the tourists travelled to Shanghai by way of the “bullet train” reaching speeds of over 300kph! It was an amazing ride – so smooth and the speed hardly noticeable apart from the poles beside the track flashing by! The students found Shanghai to be an amazing city with its monstrous buildings – all different shapes, colours, designs and spectacular when lit up at night. They included the second tallest building on earth!

From Shanghai the touring party travelled to Hoi An in Vietnam where they were immersed in Ecotourism studying rice cultivation, shrimp farming and fishing. They rode out to the paddy fields on bicycles and even stopped to have a ride on the water buffalo, an interesting experience particularly when it decided to semi-submerge! All these wonderful highlights were captured on film by Mr Cretney , who e-mailed photos of the trip to the parents on a daily basis – “It felt like we were there!”, one parent later commented. Special thanks are extended to tour organizer Mr Cretney for his tireless work, Sharyn Bojczenko for her care and guidance and to the students for being such a wonderful group to tour with and representing TVPS!