Qiao Island
  Our Favourite Qi’ao Places We have called Qi’ao Island home since 2007 and want to share some of our favourite places with you.? Renowned for its natural beauty and just a short drive from the city, it is also the home to many of our ZIS staff – and so it holds a place near to our hearts. Though we have explored the island over many years, every new excursion offers opportunity for discovery and adventure.? We hope this inspires you to explore our island!
  1. Island Beaches
With one beach just a two minute walk from campus, the shoreline provides a ready location for all types of learning experiences.? It is a great spot for team building, field studies, and environmental action for our students.? Further down the coast the next beach stretches along the route of our annual Family Fun Run, a perfect vista to help us stay active.
  1. Mangrove Wetland Ecological Park
  Mudskippers, red crabs, egrets, and an array of butterflies and insect life – there is so much to discover residing in the mangrove forest on the north side of the island.? Advanced booking is required for this location and we would be happy to recommend guides who are ready to help you explore the wonders of this unique ecosystem.
  1. Qia’o Community and Sports
  Sports bring members of communities together and we love the sporting spirit found on the island.? The ZIS Staff Football team have enjoyed community tournaments on the artificial turf field in Qi’ao Village.? Whenever possible our students test their skills against island teams as well.  
  1. White Dolphin National Nature Reserve
  Qi’ao Island sits in the Pear River Estuary which is home to the endangered white dolphin.? And up the street from campus we find our neighbors at the National Nature Reserve, the center of the nation’s efforts to advance the conservation efforts of these magnificent creatures.? The ecologists and marine biologists are always willing to share their expertise and inspire us to champion these dolphins and advocate for the preservation of biodiversity.  
  1. Beekeeping on Qi’ao
  Hidden just from sight from the road, the work of honeybees might easily go unnoticed.? Each time we visit the beekeeper and his hardworking insects we are always amazed by the story of how honey is produced.? It is also a great opportunity to appreciate the role of bees in pollinating the island’s flowers.  
  1. Local History and Markets
  The main community square of Qi’ao Village is a great place to begin any exploration of the village’s alleyways.? The square itself has hosted many a school excursion, often for our students to practice their language skills, learn more about the local economy, and to deepen their connections to their neighbors.? The local history of the island is rich and allows us to study locally and to think globally.  
  1. Fish Farming
  Fishing and culture are closely intertwined on Qi’ao, and so appreciating the main industry of the island is a must.? Some locations are easier to access than others, so if you find a way to visit the west side of the island you are in for a special treat.  
  1. Boutiques, Artisans, and Treats
  Qi’ao Village is home to a number of special spots where you can take a break from your island explorations.? Want to have a custom-made qipao tailored for a special event?? Looking to get your hands on some clay to create pottery treasure?? Thirsty for a tea or coffee break at a quiet café?? Take some time to wander the village or ask us for our recommendations!