Five students from the Gunnery, a private school in Washington, recently returned from a 12-day trip to China.

The students traveled with the school's Mandarin exchange teacher, Jian Wu, during spring break.

Andrew Hamilton, Stephen Macary, Won Jun Lee, Robert Hooper and Raeburn Hathaway visited Beijing, Xi 'an, Shanghai, Anqing City and Yellow Mountain.

Their experiences included a home-cooked meal in Wu's apartment in Anqing, followed by a day's stay with a host family for each.

The students visited a boarding school hosted by the headmaster, Wu, who was part of a high-level Chinese educational delegation which had visited the Gunnery last year.

"Our boys had a great time mingling with their Chinese counterparts in class, on the track and field, and at different students clubs," Jian Wu said upon his return.

"I am so glad that they had the courage and determination to take this opportunity to embark on this 12-day intensive educational tour and immerse themselves in a different culture and way of life," he said.

In addition to the Wus' home-cooked meal, students tasted frog in a Beijing restaurant, Peking duck at another, took in an acrobatic show, explored Chinese markets and practiced their Mandarin.

In addition, they visited tourist sites such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the imperial summer palace in Beijing, taking in the vast buried terra cotta army in Xi 'an, and cruising on the Huang Pu River in Shanghai to see the city's tallest building, the World Financial Center, the huge port and business center.

"They especially enjoyed the overnight train from Shanghai to Anqing,' " Wu said.