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Post written by Mia Flowers '19:

The trip so far has been spectacular, however I am still learning to get used to everything. Today is unfortunately our last day in Beijing and to end our stay we started our day at the 798 Art Zone. It is important to note that before the extravagance of the Art Zone is explained, it must be mentioned that some of the artists who live in 798 are under house-arrest. Many of the styles of art seen here are very modern, however within the modern style small images of Steampunk will emerge. I find it kind of odd that Frank, our tour guide, called the art modern because a large amount of the materials and shops are genuinely from European countries; despite this, their items were still labeled with Chinese titles. Although the Art Zone is incredibly under the radar for Chinese locals, I found it to be one of the best experiences I have had in China so far. The art was a representation of the creativity in the heart of censorship, which to me tells the story of centuries of history.

After going to the 798 Art Zone, we ate lunch at the China Green restaurant and proceeded to Silk Street. Contrary to initial thought, Silk Street is not the Silk Road. It is a giant mall where vendors compete with one another for customers. The Silk Street is known for attracting tourists, as a result every price is unrealistically high. For this reason we had to bargain for a price that we found reasonable in relation to the quality of this item. It was an interesting experience and we all had fun in the process. However, in China the USD is about 6.7 Yuan, meaning that while bargaining, you can get something for much less expensive.

After our long and exciting day, we're taking a 12 hour sleeper train from Beijing to Xi'an. Xi'an, here we come!