Educational / Cultural
USD$1,840 AED6,760 AUD$2,460
Land trip cost based on 20 Students and 2 complimentary teacher positions.
Contact us for a competitive flight quote for your group.
This 10-day trip of China is designed to acquaint travelling students with the Chinese people as well as the country’s most important sights and attractions. The itinerary is further intended to acquaint students with the country’s ancient culture as well as highlighting the country’s social and economic significance.
Beginning in the megacity of city of Shanghai, we will explore the famous Pudong District before flying west to the delightful central city of Chengdu to visit a panda bear breeding facility. We will travel north from here to the city of Xian; terminus of the legendary silk road where we will visit one of China’s most significant attractions, the Terracotta Warriors. Our final stop will be China’s capital city Beijing. Here we will take in the Forbidden City, the beautiful Summer Palace and enjoy an awe inspiring journey to the Great Wall of China.
Whilst essentially an educational itinerary, the trip is also designed to be highly enjoyable and features several activities and inclusions designed to provide students with a very memorable and fulfilling introduction to this intriguing and beautiful country.
Private bus, aircraft, boat
The best connections to China are generally with China Eastern Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific. Please contact us for a competitive airfare quote for your school group from your home country.
On arrival you will be greeted at Shanghai International Airport by your tour leader and escorted to the hotel. There will be some time to freshen up and relax before your tour leader runs through the itinerary and explains the intricacies of travelling through China.
FLIGHT TO CHINA
This morning we will visit Wai Tan district (Shanghai Bund) renowned for its landmark buildings and spectacular architecture. This area is regarded as one of the must-see places in Shanghai and gives a great sense of the pulse and frenetic buzz of the city. It is from here that we will see endless neon lights, huge sky rises and the impressive Oriental Pearl TV Tower across the Huang Pu River.
This afternoon we visit the French Concession Region. Situated in the Luwan and Xuhui districts, the French Concession in Shanghai is the largest, earliest and the most prosperous of the four French Concessions in modern China. Shanghai was opened to foreign trade after the first Opium War in 1842, and soon became the home of many foreigners. In 1849, the French colonial officials created a district for only French, which was expanded in 1900 and 1914, and became the city’s best and most affluent residential area until the Japanese invasion of China during the Second World War.
An early morning flight takes us to Chengdu, one of the country’s largest inland cities. On arrival we will out to visit the world-renowned Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base, situated in Futou Mountain. The Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base serves as one of the world most important centres for the protection and breeding of Giant Pandas. The centre boasts rooms for the animals, feeding rooms, clinics, a Giant Panda Museum and research building, as well as huge bamboo plants and bushes for the Giant Pandas. All of this is designed to simulate a natural habitat for the animals at the base. The center does not only cater to the Giant Panda, but also to many other rare and endangered animals, such as black-necked cranes, white storks as well as a variety of other species of rare Asian animals. The Giant Panda Museum aims to spread scientific education and raise public awareness with regard to the protection of wild animals and their environment.
This afternoon we visit the Wu Hou Memorial Temple. This place is a shrine integrated with tombs of Liu Bei, the King of Shu during the Three Kingdom period in Chinese history, and Zhuge Liang – the greatly reputed prime minister of the Shu Dynasty.
FLIGHT: SHANGHAI – CHENGDU
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we visit the Du Fu Cottage – former residence of a great Tang Dynasty poet called Dufu who lived in the 8th Century. In an attempt to escape internal conflict in China at the time, Dufu moved to Chengdu with his whole family, where he built a cottage as his house. Dufu stayed in the cottage for four years, writing several famous poems in that time. The cottage is today regarded as a sacred site in Chinese Literary history. In recent years the cottage has been restored and is now a memorial museum complete with a traditional Chinese garden.
This afternoon we will visit Jinli Old Street (Large Lane & Little Lane). Jinli Old Street is one of the oldest streets in Sichuan Province, whose history goes back to the Three Kingdoms Period in the second century AD and showcases beautiful architecture from western Sichuan Province. This quintessential Chinese Street is a slice of the old and the new and features traditional residential dwellings as well as teahouses, wine bars and specialty foods shops. This is also a setting in which we may rub shoulders with the country’s aspiring class (to use a local expression!) who congregate in this district at the end of their working day.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we will take a short flight to Xian. This ancient city was one of the of the terminus points of the ancient Silk Road and the capital city of China for 13 dynasties over a period of more than 1,100 years. After lunch we visit the Bell Tower and Hui Muslim Street. This street retains the flavour and atmosphere of the old Silk Road days where Muslim and occidental traders plied their wares. The surrounding streets are famous and the place to enjoy traditional Muslim snacks and confectionery, or for buying the various spices and dishes being cooked using age old methods.
Later today we will also visit the City Wall that was built by order of Zhu Yuanzhang, forefather of Ming Dynasty. With the primitive weapons of ancient times, the only way for an invading force to gain access to the city was to forcefully enter the city through the main gates, hence the importance of city walls and walls throughout China, to early Chinese dynasties. We will walk along the top of the wall today to learn about the city’s history while looking out across the skyline.
FLIGHT: CHENGDU – XIAN
This morning we will bus an hour out of the city to the site of the Terracotta Warriors (and Horses). The Terracotta Army is located in the satellite tombs to the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang. The site was discovered in March 1974 when farmers found many broken pottery figures while sinking a well in Xianyang village. Archaeological excavation and historical research revealed it was an oblong pit in which the Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty was buried. In 1976, another two pits were discovered to the north of the original. On arrival at the village we will firstly watch an introductory film then visit the main pits around the site. The main pit containing columns of warriors with horse-drawn chariots representing the main body of the formation which also served as the emperor’s principal fighting force. We will also visit other pits at the site to view the varied military style statues. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 pottery figures and 500 horse-drawn chariots and saddled horses. Mid afternoon we return to the city centre and have some time for shopping.
We take a morning flight to Beijing – capital city of China and home to huge high rise apartment blocks, ancient temples, orderly queues and photos of Chairman Mao on many street corners.
This afternoon we visit one of the most popular attractions in Beijing, the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, located in the centre of Beijing. It served as the residence of 24 emperors, and was the political and ceremonial centre of Chinese government. Rectangular in shape, construction of the Forbidden City was begun in 1406, and finished in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern part, or the Outer Court, was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. It consists of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Middle Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony. The Hall of Supreme Harmony was where the emperor held ceremonies. The northern part, or the Inner Court, was where the emperor lived with his family. The Forbidden City is regarded as the largest and best-preserved palace complex in the world. We will, of course visit, Tiananmen Square directly opposite.
You will need to wear very comfortable walking shoes today for the Forbidden City visit (3 hours).
FLIGHT: XIAN – BEIJING
After breakfast we travel across the city to the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace is a large natural garden that was built on the foundations of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble. Built in 1750 and called Qingyi Garden during Qing Dynasty, the Summer Palace served as the imperial garden, providing Emperors and their families with rest and entertainment. The palace suffered several attacks, suffered the rampages of the Anglo-French allied invasion in 1860, was destroyed by fire in 1888, and was ransacked again by the Eight-power Allied Force in 1900. In 1888, it was given the current name, Summer Palace.
This afternoon we will also visit the iconic 2008 Olympic National Stadium (the Bird’s Nest) and the Aquatic Centre (the Water Cube) from the outside. There will be some time to relax later this afternoon before we enjoy a performance of Beijing’s famous Peking Opera. With its talented performers accompanied by its world renowned musicians & singers, the Peking Opera is an important culture event for any visitor to Beijing. Peking Opera is key to visitors wishing to gain an appreciation of the country’s rich artistic legacy, enjoyed by way of the opera’s unfolding stories, exquisite costumes, graceful gestures and martial arts.
This morning we will journey from the city to see the Great Wall of China, one of the greatest structures in the world. The section of the wall we will visit was constructed in 1502 and was once considered an important military fortification protecting the city. We will have the chance to walk along sections of the wall, learn about the fortifications, military strategy and see where guarding soldiers slept in lookout towers.
On returning to the city in the afternoon we will visit the Temple of Heaven. Covering a vast area, the Temple of Heaven is where the Emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties offered sacrifices to Heaven to pray for good harvests. Surprisingly, it is much larger than the Forbidden City. Since the Chinese Emperors considered themselves as “The sons of Heaven”, they could not build their residence bigger than the dwelling of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven was listed as a World Heritage site in 1998 by UNESCO and is divided into the inner part and outer part by two enclosed walls. The main architectural features are the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar.
There will be ample time today for shopping in the district close to our hotel. Following this we will check out and make our way to Beijing International Airport where our tour leader will take care of all our onward travel arrangements and wave us farewell.
Educational / Cultural
USD$2,340 SGD$2,870 AUD$2,870
Land trip cost based on 20 Students and 2 complimentary teacher positions.
Contact us for a competitive flight quote for your group.
BEIJING – SHANGHAI – NANJING – LONGSHENG – GUILIN – YANGSHUO
This 14-day trip of China i includes visits to the country’s most iconic places of interest and is specifically designed to acquaint students with China’s ancient and contemporary history & geography and the social and environmental challenges it faces as China continues to develop and become the most significant economic entity on our planet.
Beginning in Beijing, we will learn of the unbridled changes this city has endured and its transition from a feudal to socialist to capitalist society. An excursion to The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and several other places of historical significance will facilitate this understanding.
From Beijing we will travel to Shanghai by fast train to enjoy a thorough exploration of this city of superlatives before travelling to Nanjing. Here we will learn more of China’s rich and tumultuous history and the environmental challenges it faces.
Other activities on this student centric trip will include a visit to see China’s native Panda bears as well as time spent in the remote and pictures provinces of Guilin and Longsheng. We will also visit the less frequented Yangshuo County, a beautifully preserved region nestled on the banks of the Lijiang River renowned for its ancient customs, stunning scenery and ethnic diversity.
Whilst essentially an educational itinerary, the trip is also designed to be highly enjoyable and will be of particular appeal to students who it is expected will gain an insight into Chinese daily life and the major issues China is facing; notably topics of urban pollution, environmental degradation and pressing population issues. A component of this itinerary is designed to give students an insight into the political revolutions and the grand narratives that have shaped China and the Asian region, its social geography and development as a traveller’s destination.
Most importantly, this trip is designed to foster students’ Asia literacy and awareness as well as provide a very memorable introduction to a country that will no doubt influence and affect all others in the decades to come.
Private bus, aircraft, boat
The best connections to China from Australia are generally with China Eastern Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific.
On arrival in China we will be met by our tour leader who will be with us throughout the trip. As we will most likely be landing around midday or in the afternoon we will enjoy an excursion en route to our hotel (site to be advised depending on arrival time).
After freshening up we will have a group meeting to run through the itinerary over the coming days. Following this we will enjoy a walking tour of our local neighborhood to get a feel for this amazing city of temples, orderly cues and photos of Chairman Mao on many street corners.
This evening we will enjoy our first taste of the cuisine China is famous for at a popular local eatery. (Arrival time in China to be advised)
waking to the sounds of millions of people going about their daily routines, we will set out after breakfast to visit the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace is a large natural garden that was built on the foundations of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble. Despite suffering several attacks over the centuries, the Palace has managed to survive the country’s Cultural Revolution and was open to the public in recent times.
This afternoon we will visit the Temple of Heaven where the Emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties offered sacrifices to Heaven to pray for good harvests. Listed as a World Heritage site, the Temple of Heaven is a sample of quintessential Chinese architecture on which buildings across Asia are modeled. Time permitting we head to Wangfujiang Arts and shopping street to see fine arts and crafts on display.
Late afternoon we visit one of the Hutong backstreet where we explore one of the few remaining hutong ‘backstreet’ districts to give us an insight into what urban life must have been like over a 100 years ago. The’ ‘hutong’ streets are a made up of street stalls selling cheap snacks, laundry shops, communal toilet blocks, antique shops, traditional style wooden houses and hand pulled transport of all shapes and sizes. There is plenty of time for bargaining and interacting with the locals to be had
This morning we will journey out of the city to see the Great Wall of China (Mutianyu section) reputably the only man-made structure to be visible from space, this enigmatic wall was constructed in 1502 and was once considered an important military fortification protecting the city. We will have the chance to take a cable car up to the wall and then walk along sections of the wall, learn about the fortifications, military strategy and see where guarding soldiers slept in lookout towers. While returning to the city we stop at the Tombs of the Ming Dynasty. They are a collection of mausoleums located on Tianshou Mountain and are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Whilst many countries struggle with environmental policy, China’s environmental issues are particularly acute as its population, particular in Beijing endures poor air quality and pollution issue, something our guide will discuss with us today. Land depredation is also an issue in China however the government is making significant efforts to stem this problem and has embarked on a massive green initiative also known as the Three-North Shelterbelt Program or the Green Great Wall, is a series of human-planted wind breaking forest strips (in China, designed to hold back the expansion of the expansion of the Gobi Desert. (Inner Mongolia) which we will learn more about whilst in Beijing.
Travelling through Beijing we will have the chance to view the Olympic Green Village designed as the main stadium of the Beijing Olympic Games and visit the National Stadium – more commonly referred to as the “Bird’s Nest”. Tonight we enjoy a tasty Peking Duck dinner.
We begin by taking in the Chinese Military History Museum to learn about a wide range of military and political events. Various halls cover Ancient Wars, Resistance of Japanese Aggression, the Liberation for China by the The Peoples Liberation Army and also Resistance to US Aggression. The museum is full of ancient and modern weapons including weapons donated by the Soviet Union as well as a section that looks at China’s space equipment including an orbital capsule.
We delve into another Hutong to explore little laneways on foot and also by way of a rickshaw ride. There is plenty of time for bargaining and interacting with the locals to be had before we to learn how to make dumplings with a local family for lunch. This afternoon we visit Lui Li Chang, the famous art and antique street. This evening we take in a performance of Beijing’s famous Peking Opera. With its fascinating and artistic accompanying music, singing and costumes, the Peking Opera is China’s national opera full of cultural facts, the opera presents you with an encyclopedia of Chinese culture, as well as unfolding stories, beautiful paintings, exquisite costumes, graceful gestures and martial arts. NB: There is the option to enjoy a Chinese Acrobatic Show instead of the Peking Opera.
This morning we visit one of the most popular attractions in Beijing, The Forbidden City. This most important of Chinese sites was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, located in the centre of Beijing. It served as the residence of twenty-four emperors over several dynasties and was the political and ceremonial center of Chinese government. The Forbidden City consists of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Middle Harmony and the Hall of Preserving Harmony and is regarded as the largest and best-preserved palace complex in the world.
This afternoon we will visit Tiananmen Square. This vast public space was the scene of a highly publicised crackdown as Chinese troops violently retook the square in Beijing where pro-democracy protesters had set up camp for weeks. Later this afternoon we head to the train station and board a fast train bound for Shanghai and transfer to our hotel. NB: Please wear comfortable walking shoes for the Forbidden City visit (approx. 3 hours). Train: G17 BEIJING – SHANGHAI 15:00pm – 19:28pm
Shanghai is China’s showpiece city – the industrial hub of the country famed for being the most modern city on the mainland. We will see a sharp contract in the frenetic pace and bright neon lights of this city. We head out to explore the French Concession Region. Situated in the Luwan and Xuhui districts, the French Concession in Shanghai is the largest, earliest and the most prosperous of the four French Concessions in modern China. Shanghai was opened to foreign trade after the first Opium War in 1842, and in 1849 the French colonial officials created a district for only French, which was expanded in and became the city’s best and most affluent residential quarter until the Japanese invasion of China during the Second World War. We will spend time at the former residence of Sun Yat Sen who was a Nationalist and early revolutionary where we learn about China’s recently political history and the struggle between the democratic movement and communism.
Mid-afternoon we will visit Shanghai’s famous Nanjing Road, renowned for being the world’s longest shopping precinct. This precinct of Shanghai made famous in movies and literature was once home to several casinos and gambling dens which have given way to the massive shopping complexes and pedestrian malls that exist today. A short walk takes us to the Shanghai Museum displaying exquisite ancient bronzes, jade, ethnic minority costumes and jewellery.
Few cities in the world evoke so much history, glamour and mystique in name alone as does this amazing Chinese metropolis. Today we will set out for a thorough exploration of Shanghai beginning in the Wai Tan district (Shanghai Bund) renowned for its landmark buildings and spectacular architecture. This area is regarded as one of the must-see places in Shanghai and gives a great sense of the pulse and frenetic buzz of the city. It is from here that we will see huge sky rises and the impressive Oriental Pearl TV Tower across the Huang Pu River. We will visit the Yu Garden and the Yuyuan Bazaar. Later in the afternoon we take in the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre to learn about urban development in China and the infrastructure projects continue to be developed to cater to this city with by 2025 will host a larger population than Australia or Canada.
Whilst the Chinese government has gone to great efforts to control runaway urbanisation and migration in the past two decades, like in cities all over China, many communities in the city have been impacted and marginalised by its frenetic growth and rising economic disparity. Our tour leader will talk about these issues and how the Chinese government is making efforts to manage urban growth, pollution as it attempts to appease a growing and well document discontent.
Tonight we take a boat cruise on the Huang Pu River to see the city from another perspective and witness the river trading route that is so integral to the city.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we head to Shanghai train station for the fast train bound for Nanjing. Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu province. The city was at one time the national capital during the Ming Dynasty. There are numerous monuments and landmarks remaining including Zhonghua Gate and a preserved 14th century section of a large wall that once contained one of the city’s entrances. Over the coming days we will explore many of the sites and must-see attractions including Hongshan Forest Zoo where we will see elephants, white tigers, orangutans, gibbons and of course giant pandas. The zoo has thousands of animals divided into sectors for herbivores, primates, reptiles and birds. We will also learn about conservation and breeding programs explained by the staff at the zoo.
Time is set aside to explore the ancient city wall a real masterpiece of Chinese architecture. This wall being one of the most well preserved ancient walls in China. At one time the outer wall was 180 kilometres in length and in parts holds revealing brick inscriptions from scholars, officials and artisans reading like a historical record. Inside the wall we will visit the Presidential Palace a former royal residence. We have the chance to explore the chambers of the palace, the auditorium, reception rooms and the Zichao Tower. It was here that Sun Yat Sen’s inauguration took place in 1912. We also take in the Memorial Hall to the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre to learn about this tragic event during late 1930s at the hands of the Japanese. Whilst in Nanjing we will focus on the development and impact of tourism on the city’s vestige sites. It will be interesting to understand the Chinese meaning of preservation, a somewhat different meaning from that of the West. Train: G7006 SHANGHAI – NANJING 09:00 – 10:39
We take a direct flight from Nanjing to picturesque Guilin in the south. Exiting the airport we head directly to the Longsheng mountains. This area is recognizable to anyone familiar with Chinese cinema as the mountains here are a celebrated region of this vast country. We will begin a short walk up to Ping An village, the highest village nestled on the mountain side where we will see terrific views of the Longsheng (Longji) terraced rice fields, one of the two most beautiful terraced rice fields in all of China. According to the historical records, the fields were first constructed in the Yuan Dynasty by the Zhuang and Yao minority tribes, whose lifestyles have changed little over the centuries. Amongst the numerous villages we will see old wells, covered bridges and handmade irrigation systems.
Today we will learn more of China’s immense tourist industry which, if one is to include Hong Kong and Macau, receiving 56 million visitors a year. This figure indeed has massive implication both environmentally and socially which our tour leader will talk to us about during our travels. Flight: SC4727 NANJING – GUILIN 09:35 – 12:00
We have an opportunity to explore traditional villages and terraced fields to gain an appreciation of the rich culture of the ethnic inhabitants during a trek where we also visit a unique cobblestone village. The Longji rice fields received their name because the rice terraces resemble a dragon’s scales, while the summit of the mountain range looks more like the backbone of a dragon. There is the option to spend another day in Longsheng to assist a local school or village community in some capacity as part of a social justice component to the trip.
We will try some of the local delicacies unique to this region for lunch then depart Longsheng for our journey back to Guilin in time to visit Elephant Trunk Hill. The hill is the symbol of Guilin and the stony features look like an elephant drinking water. This will be followed by dinner and a look at Pedestrian Street.
Just a short distance from our hotel we will board a public river boat for a morning boat cruise on the Li River. The Li River and surroundings is famous for its beautiful karsts landscape backdrop and is depicted in many famous images and art of China including its some of the Chinese currency. Our boat journey will allow us to view a variety of the region’s most scenic areas including the Ox Gorge, jagged mountains and the famous sites of the Elephant Trunk Hill and Pagoda Hill. Arriving in Yangshuo we visit an ancient village of Fuli and have the opportunity to learn of the famed Chinese art of fan making and calligraphy.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we visit the Silver Cave, one of the largest and most impressive caves in the area famed for the odd-shaped karst formations before taking part in a market tour and hands-on cooking lesson hosted by one of the town’s local chefs to learn the secrets of Chinese cooking to impress our families back home. We will cook our own lunch. The afternoon’s activities include a scenic bamboo rafting trip along the Yulong River whilst enjoying spectacular mountain backdrops and pastoral scenes. Tonight we stroll down Yangshuo’s own Pedestrian Street.
There will be a short time this morning to pick up any last minute souvenirs before we check out before lunch and transfer to the airport for our flight home. Your leader and local guide will escort you to Guilin International Airport and wave you farewell. (Departure flight time to be advised)
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