This Program gives you a close look into the daily life of Chinese people, at the same time addresses some key aspects of the Chinese language allowing you to move freely in a Chinese environment. For the first week, you will complete 10 hours of studying Mandarin and Chinese Culture at Guilin Chinese Learning Institute. You will also be able to spend time with students in Huanjiang High School. During the second week you will get a glimpse of the very ancient and attractive Chinese history and the rich culture in Xi’an and Beijing.
Day 01: Guilin-Arrival
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your respective home-stay families. Participate in CLI’s comprehensive orientation program with the CLI Team.
Guilin Accomodation: Homestay families
Day 02: Guilin, Chinese Learning (B,L,D)
Enjoy your breakfast with your home-stay family. Walk to CLI to start the program. In the morning, you will join a 4-hour small group Chinese class about Chinese Language and Culture, presented by professor Zhan, our full-time CLI instructor. Lunch in the school's dining room. You could talk with other students during lunch break. Calligraphy and painting class with a classically trained local master. Welcome dinner at Shui Mofang Restaurant with CLI Team and local families.
Day 03: Guilin, Chinese Learning (B,L,D)
4 hours Small Group Chinese Class in the morning. Outdoor activities after lunch to explore a traditional Chinese medicine market. Followed by a visit to a local monastery. Talk with the monks and discuss Chinese Buddhist culture. Return to your home-stay family at the end of the day and enjoy a home cooked dinner.
Day 04: Guilin, Li River Hiking, Head to Huanjiang, (B,L,D)
This day requires physical involvement. Your personal tour guide and driver will pick you up from your home-stay family. During the 1.5 hour drive, you will pass some unusual limestone hills. The Li River was selected as one of the world's top 10 watery wonders by America's National Geographic magazine, who quoted on their official website: "China's Li River snakes through a fairy-tale landscape of conical limestone peaks, its smooth waters exquisitely mirroring the magical scenery." If you're lucky, you'll see a cormorant fisherman and water buffalo wade in the shallows. After 4 hours of hiking, you will arrive in Xingping, a thousand year old fishing village. A delicious lunch will be served in a local restaurant. For the rest of the day, your guide and driver will escort you to Huanjiang (4 hours driving). It is the homeland for Maonan Nationality. There will be a welcome dinner hosted by Huanjiang High School.
Huanjiang Accomodation: Huanjiang Hotel
Day 05: Huanjiang, Class Day (B,L,D)
A full day of English Programs with students in Huanjiang High School. In the evening, the students will teach you how to make Jiaozi (Chinese dumpling).
Day 06: Huanjiang, Highlights Tour (B,L)
In the morning, pay a visit to Huanjiang Maonan Museum and you will learn more about this minority tribe. Continue the day tour to Sancaitun Moon Hill, a typical landscape of Karst formation. Driving through the countryside will present the real China to you.
Day 07: Huanjiang to Longji (B,L)
After breakfast, your tour guide and driver will escort you from Huanjiang to Longji. It takes 5 hours but you will be never bored. Longji means Dragon's Backbone in English. Mountains with layers of terraced fields are the homeland for the local minority, Zhuang, Miao and Yao people. They've been living there for generations. Spending a night in the Ping'an Village is an easy but spectacular adventure.
Longsheng Accomodation: Ping'an Hotel
Day 08:Depart Longji for Xi’an (B,L)
Spend the full day exploring the villages, enjoy the landscape and talk with the locals. You could hike from one village to another along the zigzag path among terraced paddy fields; or just sit on the balcony of your hotel room and relax facing the terraces. In the late afternoon it's easily hike down to your bus and head to Guilin airport for evening flight to Xi'an.
Xian Accomodation: Grand New World Hotel***
Day 09:Xi’an, City Highlights (B,L)
Practice Taichi on the City Wall to start the day. Xi'an City Wall is the best preserved ancient city wall in China. It was built initially during Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and enlarged by Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Then head to Lintong, about 35 km from Xi'an to visit the world-wide famous Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses. On the way, make a stop at the factory where they make the clay replicas. A full process of how they make the terra cotta warriors will be presented. After arriving at the museum entrance, you will take an electric car to the main exhibition halls. You will watch a movie about the background, how it has been built and found. Pit 1 is the largest with more than 6,000 full-scale terra cotta warriors and horses. The facial expressions of the warriors can very clearly be seen even though they have been buried for more than 2,000 years and each is individual. Your personal tour guide will accompany you to visit the three Pits and all the show rooms. The tour brings every figure to life. Lunch will be served in the Friendship Restaurant. Authentic North Shaanxi flavoured food will be served and seeing how they stretch long noodles (La Mien) is just amazing. The Muslim Quarter back in the city is where locals enjoy their late-night supper, friends gather together and tourists shop for souvenirs.
Day 10:Xi’an to Beijing by Speed Train (B)
China's rail system has been developed with very high technology. High speed trains make people's life a lot easier as traveling long distance is no longer unaffordable. Today you will experience Chinese most advanced trains. It takes 4 hours to travel 1100 kilometres.
Beijing Accomodation: King Parkview Hotel***
Day 11:Beijing, Great Wall Hiking (B,L)
This is the most popular hiking route of the Great Wall. The whole trip from Simatai West to Jinshanlin is quiet, picturesque, and natural. The un-restored section is originally as it was. You will be picked up at your hotel at 8:30 am and drive to Simatai West. You will start the hiking around 11:00 am, and it takes about 3 hours to complete the hike. It can be extended for another half an hour if you are energetic. A lunch at a local farmer's restaurant will be organized after the hiking and before returning to your hotel. It is suggested to bring some snacks due to the late lunch. Our experienced hiking guides spend 200 days per year hiking on the Great Wall. They promise you a memorable experience that will last a life time.
Day 12:Beijing, City Highlights (B,L)
Today's tour starts from the world's largest urban city square, Tiananmen Square. It has witnessed many historical and celebratory events. From there, you will enter the best-preserved imperial palace, The Forbidden City. It was firstly built in Ming Dynasty and took 14 years to construct. It was the palace for twenty-four emperors through the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The bricks on the floor were made of sticky rice and pig's blood. The huge wooden pillars in the halls were transported from the far west. Your personal tour guide will show you from one end to the other, and explain the historical background and cultural relics to you. It is a tour that represents imperial life. Your lunch will be served in a local noodle restaurant and you will try the most popular food among northern Chinese, noodles with minced meat sauce. The afternoon is a leisurely trip to visit the Hutongs on a rickshaw. The rickshaw ride takes you to the Hutongs where older generations still live in the traditional houses. It is a pleasant escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Day 13: Beijing Departure (B)
Be packed and ready for home with lots of good memories to take back with you. Your personal guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby and take you to Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) 3 hours in advance. If your flight is at later in the afternoon or in the evening, you will have a chance to visit 798 Art District, which is the fairyland for modern artists.