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China 

As the 21st century unfolds, it is clear China will play a leading role in shaping the way our world develops. The planet's most populous nation has as its backdrop 4,000 years of history and today is home to a fascinating confluence of the past and present, where rich cultural traditions confront rapid growth and expanding technology. China is also really big - it's the world’s fourth largest country in area, with broad geographic diversity and breathtaking natural beauty.  It's not surprising then that Chinese Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world with over 1 billion speakers. Our programs dive deep into the fascinating tapestry of Chinese culture, exposing travelers to a host of different cuisines, landscapes and ways of life.

Learn more about our collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, allowing us to offer a new collection of unrivaled and dynamic programs designed uniquely for high school students.

Walking Tree organizes programs for teachers and their students.
Don’t see your area of interest highlighted in the itinerary below? Plan your own customized trip today!

Sample Itinerary

Walking Tree Travel specializes in customized group travel. The itinerary below is from a recent program and is provided here as an example of just one of many experiences that are possible in this destination.

Today we'll depart the US and fly to Beijing.

 

After crossing the international dateline, we'll arrive at Beijing International Airport in the evening. We'll settle into our accommodations in one of Beijing's oldest hutong alleyway neighborhoods dating back to the Ming dynasty. We'll have our first dinner together, hold an intro orientation meeting, and rest up for our upcoming adventure!

 

We'll begin our morning bright and early with a hutong photo scavenger hunt, exploring our neighborhood and soaking up Beijing's unique culture. We'll make our way to the Drum & Bell Tower Square for a demonstration of how time was kept by beating drums ancient times. We'll then hope on the subway heading towards Qianmen, the old front gate of the city wall. We'll then walk through tour Tiananmen Square, and reflect on the past and current significance of the events that took place there. Eventually, we'll make our way to the Forbidden City, the Chinese Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Time allowing, we'll check out the emperor's impressive collection of elaborate mechanized clocks from all over the world at the Hall of Clocks. After a busy day, we'll spend the late afternoon in Jingshan park for sweeping views of the Forbidden City from above. After a dumpling feast for dinner, we'll pack up and prepare for departure to Zhengzhou tomorrow.

 

Today we'll have breakfast in Beijing and then hop on the highspeed train to Zhengzhou, Henan. Upon arrival in Zhengzhou, we'll settle into our accommodations, take a peek at nearby People's Park, and potentially have an orientation meeting at UUFL.

 

Global Citizenship Collaborative Project with students UUFL (Day 1 of 3), additional/supplemental activities include: Henan Provincial Museum, Exploring Night Market at Erqi, Structured Solo Time in People's Park.

 

Global Citizenship Collaborative Project with students UUFL (Day 2 of 3), additional/supplemental activities include: Henan Provincial Museum, Exploring Night Market at Erqi, Structured Solo Time in People's Park.

 

Global Citizenship Collaborative Project with students UUFL (Day 3 of 3), additional/supplemental activities include: Henan Provincial Museum, Exploring Night Market at Erqi, Structured Solo Time in People's Park.

 

Kungfu training session and/or Mandarin classes. Sample Academy Summer Schedule: 6-7AM Morning exercise, 7:30-8AM Breakfast, 8:30-10:30AM Morning training, 11:30-12PM Lunch, 3:30-5:30PM Afternoon training, 6-7PM Dinner, 8-10PM Night exercise. Additional activities during freetime include visiting the historic Shaolin Temple & hiking Mount Song.

 

Kungfu training session and/or Mandarin classes. Sample Academy Summer Schedule: 6-7AM Morning exercise, 7:30-8AM Breakfast, 8:30-10:30AM Morning training, 11:30-12PM Lunch, 3:30-5:30PM Afternoon training, 6-7PM Dinner, 8-10PM Night exercise. Additional activities during freetime include visiting the historic Shaolin Temple & hiking Mount Song.

 

We'll drive to Kaifeng today, travelling back in time to life during the Northern Song dynasty by visiting the Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden. We'll also visit the Daxiangguo Temple and Iron Pagoda. Finally, we'll check out the ancient city wall.

 

Today we'll make our way to Luoyang, the former capital of the ancient Han dynasty and start of the Silk Route. We'll visit the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China, founded in AD 68. Then we'll head to the Longmen Grottes, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to take in the stunning views of over 100,000 buddha sculptures carved into the face of the caves dating from 493 AD to 1127 AD. After taking in all the sites, this evening, we'll take the long-distance overnight train from Luoyang to Beijiing. As we fly through the countryside, we'll rest and recharge our batteries, play cards, journal, snack and/or practice our Chinese language skills with our neighbors.

 

Upon arrival in Beijing in the morning, we'll hop on the bus and make our way out to a rural village at the foot of the Great Wall of China. We'll hike through chestnut orchards, walk past the Wild Wall (unrestored section) and enjoy exploring this quiet, peaceful community. We'll be staying with the Hu family and have the opportunity to practice our Chinese with them and enjoy home-cooked meals.

 

On our final full day in Beijing, we'll start the day bright and early by testing our bargaining skills at the famed Pan Jia Yuan flea market. In the afternoon, we'll either do more shopping in Nanluoguxiang area or the Pearl Market or hit up another cultural site like the Yonghegong Lama Temple or the Temple of Heaven. In the evening, we'll head to The Hutong culture school for traditional Chinese cooking class where we'll make and eat our own dinner. After dinner, we'll have a karaoke party and celebrate the end of a great trip!

 

Say goodbye to China as we hop on the plane and make our way home!

 

Teacher Spotlight

Andy
Chinese Teacher, Tennessee

"The mural activity during the language exchange in Zhengzhou was a wonderful and enlightening activity. It really allowed us to see the challenges of cross-cultural collaboration and forced us to work together to pull off a product together."

All-Inclusive Program Tuition

$2,990 + Plane and world iconInternational Flight

Program Types in this Destination

Service AdventuresConservation ExpeditionsCultural Journeys

Don’t see your area of interest highlighted in the itinerary above?
Plan your own customized trip today!

Program Tuition Includes

All accommodations

Three meals per day

Ground transportation

Drinking water

Full time leadership team

Group activity and entry fees

Taxes and tips

Estimated airfare*

Not included: Baggage fees, Airline minor fees, Passport/visa fees, Laundry, Souvenirs, Activities not listed on the itinerary.

*Estimated airfare: In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. Families will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the best airfare for the group.

Global Leadership Activities

Walking Tree Travel has developed tools that will help our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame the group’s experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively on our programs now and on their own into the future. Our activities also encourage students to take initiative as leaders in their local communities to make a difference at an immediate level, helping them to understand the impact they can have when they combine cultural understanding with personal and social responsibility.

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