Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of China on this life-changing 9-day China study tour!
Being one of the four oldest civilizations, there are a lot of cultural relics you can visit in China. We have included the must see sites like the Great wall, the Forbidden City and the Terra Cotta Army, and we also focus on the cultural side of China. You’ll visit a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pharmacy, learn Tai Chi and Chinese Calligraphy in Beijing, make your own Terra-cotta Figurines, and learn how to make Dumplings in Xi’an. To help you to understand Chinese manufacturing, we have included a tour to the Volkswagen Auto Factory in Shanghai.
On arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) or the newly built Daxing International Airport (PKX), our guide will pick you up from the arrival hall and take you to check in to your hotel in Beijing. Take a rest in the hotel then enjoy a welcoming dinner in a local restaurant.
Beijing City Road
Get up and have breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, our guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and take you to visit the 600 year old Royal Palace – the Forbidden City. As you’re strolling through the complex with your guide, make sure to pay close attention to what your guide says as he or she will be dropping clues regarding the stories, history, and legends of the city. You’ll need to gather these clues to complete the treasure hunt. Then we’ll visit Tiananmen Square – the largest city square in the world – where you can find landmarks like the Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and National museum of China around the square.
Students work together for the treasure hunt in the Forbidden City
After the tour of the square, we’ll have lunch at a local restaurant, then Chinese Calligraphy Learning in a school in a Hutong. You’ll learn a language which is totally different from English. It will help you to understand why Chinese characters have united the Chinese people as a nation for thousands of years.
Today’s last stop is Tong Ren Tang Chinese pharmaceutical company. It is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pharmacy. TCM formed a unique system to diagnose and cure illness during its 3000 years’ development. You’ll find all kinds of herbs that TCM doctors use to treat illness.
Write "one, two, three" in Chinese
We’ll arrange dinner in a local restaurant for you.
The Legend of Kungfu Show in Red Theatre: This is a must see show for Kungfu fans. During the show the skilled performers will demonstrate different Kungfu styles from the Shaolin Temple, which is considered to be the birthplace of martial arts in China.
Peking opera at Liyuan Theater: With a history of more than 200 years, Peking Opera is one of China's main traditional drama forms and on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. The art combines instrumental music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics.
After breakfast in your hotel, we’ll head for the Temple of Heaven where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912 CE) worshiped heaven and prayed for a good harvest. It is also a popular park for local people to do their morning exercise. We’ll arrange a Tai Chi master to teach you basic Tai Chi.
The steps to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest
We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant after the tour to the Temple of Heaven, then drive 1.5 hrs to the Mutianyu Great Wall. We have included a round trip cable car to and from the wall, so you have enough energy to have a walk on top of it.
One of Towers on Mutianyu Great Wall
Then return to your hotel and have dinner in a restaurant en route.
Today we’ll visit the royal retreat for Qing emperors – the Summer palace, and we have also included the Garden of Virtue and Harmony which was the private theatre for the Empress Dowager Cixi. Then we’ll go to Beijing Zoo, where there is a panda house for Giant Panda, and we’ll visit the panda house.
A Panda in the Panda House
We’ll have lunch at a nearby restaurant. Then visit a supermarket to buy drinks and snacks for dinner as we’ll be taking the overnight train to Xi’an.
We’ll get to the train station at 17:00 and check in by presenting your passports. The train departs Beijing at 18:50. We will book a soft sleeper for you. Soft sleepers are spacious, 4-berth compartments with two upper and two lower berths. All of the necessary bedding is provided. Hot water is available for making tea or coffee. You can get more information by clicking "What is a Chinese Overnight Train Like?"
The train will arrive in Xi’an around 7:40am, and our guide and driver will pick you up and take you to your hotel. We’ll leave our luggage in the hotel then start visiting. Our first stop is The Terracotta Warriors and Horses museum, where you’ll come face to face with the “soldiers and horses” that date back to 200 BCE.
We’ll visit one shop and learn to make terra-cotta figurines; you’ll get to keep whatever you have made as a souvenir.
Make Terra-cotta Figurines
We’ll arrange lunch in a restaurant near the museum then return to the city center. We’ll have a stroll in the Muslim Quarter and visit a Chinese style mosque there. Xi’an is the starting point for the Silk Road, the well-worn route for merchants and travelers from Persia, Arabic countries, and Central Asia who came here for business in ancient times, thus forming the Muslim communities here. You can find tons of great street food here.
Inside of the Great Mosque
We’ll arrange dinner in a restaurant near the quarter and send you back to your hotel after the dinner.
Music Fountain Show on North Square of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda: Just outside the famous Big Wild Goose Pagoda, this is a good place to have a walk in the evening .
Tang Dynasty Music & Dance Show: This is a show that features traditional Chinese music and dance. You can also have dinner here, they have delicious dumplings.
Today we’ll visit the 650-year-old city wall, which is the best preserved city wall in China. You can have a walk along the wall or rent a bike to ride on it. You’ll have a lovely view of the city.
Ride on a bike on the old city wall
Then we’ll head to Eighteen Duck King Restaurant to learn how to make dumplings (Jiao zi). Jiaozi (pronounced "jow-zee") is the most common type of Chinese dumpling. Crescent-shaped and formed with a wrapper made from wheat dough, jiaozi are usually filled with ground pork, cabbage, and scallions, and served with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil.
You’ll have Jiaozi as lunch in the restaurant, and then head to a supermarket to buy drinks and food for the overnight train ride to Shanghai.
We’ll take you to the train station at 15:00 and the train leaves around 16:30. We’ll overnight on the train tonight.
You’ll arrive in Shanghai at 8 am and we’ll pick you up from the train station and take you to your hotel. Shanghai is the financial center and the most modern city in China. It was also one of the earliest cities to open to the West. We’ll first visit the Former French Concession to notice its historic architecture; you’ll find a lot of European styled buildings here.
Then we’ll proceed to the Shanghai Museum, one of the best museums in China, and a showcase of Chinese arts and culture. You can easily spend 1.5 to 2 hrs here.
Shanghai Wukang Road
After the museum tour, we’ll visit the Yuyuan garden, which is a 400 year old garden built according to Feng Shui principles. Outside the garden is the famous Yuyuan Bazaar, where you can find a lot of souvenir shops and xiao long bao (dumpling) restaurants. Have some free time at the bazaar.
Shops in the Yuyuan Bazaar
We’ll arrange dinner at a restaurant near your hotel, then return you to your hotel.
Night Cruise on Huangpu River: The lights of the buildings on both sides of Huangpu River will be turned on. You can take lots of nice pictures.
Shanghai Circus World “ERA - Intersection of Time” Acrobatics Show: This is the most popular acrobatic show in Shanghai, showcasing traditional Chinese acrobatics with great music and lighting.
Today is a learning day, and we’ll drive 1 hour to Shanghai Volkswagen Auto Factory. Shanghai Volkswagen, a Chinese-German joint venture, is the largest auto manufacturing base in China, producing the largest number of vehicles in China. We’ll visit their factory and learn more about the car industry. We’ll watch the auto-making process in action – a must-see for car lovers.
After a tour of the factory, we’ll visit the Auto Museum nearby; they have a great collection of cars of different brands, all in good shape.
Take a shuttle bus touring Shanghai Volkswagen Auto Factory
We’ll arrange lunch in a restaurant on the way back to the city.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Bund; it is the heart of Shanghai. We’ll stroll down the Bund and explore the beautiful architecture and history behind the neo-classical buildings.
Neo-classical Buildings in The Bund
We’ll arrange a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
We’ll take you to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) for your flight home. You have the option to take the maglev train, which is the fastest way to Pudong airport. Its highest speed is 431 km/h, and it takes only 8 minutes for the 30 km journey from Longyang train station to Pudong airport.
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