During the recent Chinese New Year holiday, many of our expat teachers enjoyed the sights of their local area. At BASIS International School Guangzhou, the school decided to launch several programs to enhance the teachers’, and their families’, experiences over the holiday. In addition to giving away Goodie Boxes, there was a temple fair on campus that highlighted the Chinese New Year folk culture, and teachers also had the opportunity to participate in other activities organized by the school, such as trips to Chimelong Safari Park, Chimelong Paradise, and Conghua Bishuiwan Hot Spring Resort.

Several teachers shared their holiday stories of relaxation and family fun in China with us. Let’s take a look!

John Ely, World History Teacher

Guangzhou was the perfect place to spend our daughters’ first Lunar New Year. The clear blue skies, perfect weather, and blossoming flowers mixed with the energy, fireworks, and decorations really brought an excitement to Huangpu District that could be felt by all. We spent a lot of time hiking mountains, exploring different parks, wandering through museums, and spending time with friends.

Chinese New Year break Family Fun

We spent a lot of time in the clouds; hiking Dafushan, Bull Head Mountain, and looking out of Guangzhou from the top of the Canton Tower. The Lanterns and flowers of Yiuxiu Park, the wildlife at Chimelong Safari Park, and the fossils of the Natural History Museum in Grandview Mall. We even took a pottery class where the girls threw flower vases on a wheel!

It was a busy break, but very peaceful and fun packed. Of course we ate a lot of Jiaozi, failed at opening virtual hongbaos on WeChat (“Better Luck Next Time”) and just enjoyed relaxing. Now we are all ready to finish this year strong, like a family of Oxen!

Oshanthen Naidoo, PE Teacher

The holiday season is special and invokes the feelings of love and togetherness. It brings family and friends together. It helps us to appreciate the little things that we take for granted and that get lost in the milieu of life. It keeps us rooted and helps us realize that we have a special place to return to in our times of need. With the emergence of COVID-19, our lives have been turned upside down and left many feeling despondent since we were unable to return to the love and togetherness of our families. We wanted to create the spirit of the holidays for our beautiful kids. So we embarked on the following…

Engaging with nature: we wanted the kids to adopt the attitude that there is no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this. With this in mind, we took the kids on long hikes and bicycle rides.

Family Fun in China over Chinese New Year break

Getting back to the business of simply being kids: we accomplished this by taking them to the Chimelong Amusement Park. They explored the many rides and had an awesome time, and this allowed our family bond to grow in strength by spending this quality time together.

This holiday, albeit not the way we intended, was still exciting, enjoyable, fulfilled, and relaxing. We look forward to returning to our lives post COVID-19 and getting back to normalcy. However, the lessons learnt will forever be etched in our hearts, that each and every day is a blessing.

Tim Glare, Boarding Director

Together with my wife Tatiana Glare and our Grade 5 daughter Polina, I decided to take full advantage of the splendor of Guangdong for the Lunar New Year break. As a family, we have always enjoyed the bright colors of Guangzhou, but the sea is very important to us too. Shenzhen seemed the best place to combine a stay in a nice hotel while enjoying the beauty of the seas without having to travel too far. We particularly enjoyed walking along the seafront all afternoon and working up an appetite for an excellent dinner each evening! Back in Guangzhou, we felt our vacation could not be completed without another favorite past time–picking strawberries!

Matthew Ryan, English/Humanities Subject Coordinator

Over the holidays my family and I decided to stay in Guangzhou. There seemed like a lot to do, and we weren’t disappointed. We spent many wonderful days wandering around Fuchun, enjoying blue skies and perfect air quality. We also went to both the Guangzhou Zoo and Chimelong Safari Park. I spent quite a lot of time playing computer games and reading books, which I love to do. All in all, my family and I had a relaxing and amazing Chinese New Year

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