2020 Miami Valley China Cultural Journey

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2020 Miami Valley China Cultural Journey! We have created two webpages dedicated to this exciting program so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights and pertinent info that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page, is meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and we can't wait to start our enriching adventure!
Travel Dates: January 11, 2020 - January 27, 2020
Dates are tentative
Group Organizer(s):
WTT/SSA Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,979 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $1,050
Deadline(s): Deadline is forthcoming

Tuition Calculator

There are two options for payment, including an easy installment plan.  Follow the option which works best for your family.

Program Tuition: $3,979

Pay in Full

$3,979.00

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All prices in United States Dollars.

China Cultural Journey

As the 21st century unfolds, it is clear that China will continue to take a leading role in shaping the way our shared world develops. The world’s most populous nation – and dynamic economy – has as its backdrop 5,000 years of history and is home to a wide variety of rich cultural traditions and exotic cuisines. Furthermore, China is the world’s fourth largest country in area, with wide geographic diversity and stunning natural beauty.

Your time in China can include visits to the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and exotic markets. You may choose to study Mandarin, Kung Fu, Chinese cuisine, Tai Chi, or calligraphy. Visit isolated villages and staggering Himalayan peaks on the Tibetan plateau, or learn from business leaders and government officials at thought-provoking seminars. You will bike through rice paddies and traditional farming villages, immersing yourself in the local community and landscape. We are excited to bring you to this wondrous land for an adventure you will never forget.

Cultural Journeys

Cultural Journeys

Cultural Journeys provide deep insight into the history, culture, and natural heritage of our host countries through authentic immersive experiences. Students will explore ancient ruins, sample new foods, and develop valuable leadership skills.

Program Highlights


Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!

Wander the Hutongs and marvel at the wonders of imperial Beijing

Explore Tang dynasty Buddhist caves

Visit the Terracotta Army at Xi'an

Visit the unrestored portion of the Great Wall of China

Explore the Forbidden City in Beijing

Discover the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

The Itinerary


We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
1USA - BeijingToday we'll depart the US and fly to BeijingIn flight
2BeijingAfter 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 and rest up for our upcoming adventure!Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn
3BeijingWe'll begin our morning bright and early with a hutong scavenger hunt, exploring our neighborhood and soaking up Beijing's unique culture. We'll make our way to the Drum and Bell Tower Square for a demonstration of how time was kept in ancient times by beating drums. We'll then hop on the subway heading towards Qianmen, the old front gate of the city wall. We'll walk through Tiananmen Square, and reflect on the significance of the events that took place here. Then 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 to enjoy the sweeping views of the Forbidden City from above. Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn
4BeijingToday we'll take a private bus to visit the art districts in the northeast corner of the city. We'll learn about contemporary art, the role of artists in society, and make studio visits to see where many of China's premiere practicing artists live and work. We'll engage in our own art education activity at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre. We'll also experience life in Caochangdi, a thriving urban village that is home to many world-renowned artists and galleries. On the way back into the city, we'll drive by the nearby Olympic Park, constructed for the 2008 Olympic games, to see the unique architecture of the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube lit up at night. In the evening, we'll take a cooking class and try our hand at crafting the Chinese cuisine we've been enjoying (option of making dumplings or handmade noodles)Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn
5XiangshuihuToday we'll 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 as part of our homestay programing.Hu Family Homestay
6BeijingToday we'll start the day bright and early by testing our bargaining skills at the famed Pan Jia Yuan flea market. Later, we'll visit Beijing's university district and further explore imperial culture at the Summer Palace. We'll wrap up our last full day in Beijing with the quintessential Peking duck dinner.Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn
7Beijing - TransitWe'll say farewell to Beijing with a morning visit to the Yonghegong Lama Temple, Beijing's largest and most active buddhist temple. Later in the day, we'll board our overnight sleeper train to our next destination, Xi'an. We'll enjoy the ride and pass the time by napping, journaling, playing cards, snacking, or practicing Chinese with our fellow passengers. Train
8Xi'anUpon arrival in Xi'an, we'll discover the Terracotta Army of Qin Shihuang , the first emperor of China. Dating from 209 BCE, the full army and surrounding mausoleum are a must see! Later we'll visit another UNESCO world heritage site, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda dating to the Tang Dynasty. We'll also explore Xi'an's distinctive gastronomical culture, sampling their world famous hand-pulled noodles and roujiamo (often dubbed the Chinese equivalent of a hamburger).Xi'an Hotel
9Xi'anToday we'll further delve into Xi'an's history by walking the Ancient City Wall, visiting the Shaanxi History Museum, and experiencing the Great Mosque. We'll sample the delicious street snacks of China's Hui Muslim ethnic minority group.Xi'an Hotel
10ShanghaiAfter enjoying a final morning in Xi'an, we'll make our way to the airport for our flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, we'll get settled into our accommodations and begin exploring our neighborhood and sampling Shanghai's cuisine. We'll walk the Huangpu River on the Bund, appreciating the 20th century architecture of the former International Settlement in contrast to the hyper-futuristic skyline of Pudong just across the water. Train
11ShanghaiWe'll stroll, shop, and people-watch while taking a walking tour of the French Concession. Later, we'll visit the Yuyuan Gardens and Market to hone our bargaining skills. We'll be sure to sample Shanghai's famous xiaolongbao or soup dumplings!Shanghai Hotel
12ShanghaiToday we'll explore the pedestrian eating and entertainment district of Xintiandi and the Shikumen museum to learn about the Shanghai equivalent of Beijing's hutong. Next, we'll enjoy Shanghai's take on the arts by exploring Moganshan Lu district. Shanghai Hotel
13Shanghai - SuzhouWe'll get an early start this morning and catch one of the first bullet trains to nearby Suzhou. Known as the "Venice of the East", this picturesque ancient city has a network of canals and rivers that run through the city. It is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in all of China. We'll take a trip back in time as we explore the gardens and learn about the aspects of traditional scholar-official society, which led to their creation and cultivation. Shanghai Hotel
14ShanghaiToday we'll get a broader view of China's breakneck development at the Urban Planning Museum. We'll also visit the nearby Shanghai Museum, considered to be one of the country's best and check out the People's Park along the way. We'll wander through the Tianzifang shopping area before saying farewell to China with a karaoke party! Shanghai Hotel
15Shanghai - USAToday we'll travel at over 250mph on the Maglev train to Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Fly home!Airplane and your bed eventually!

Accommodations


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled. 

For rooming, travelers are grouped by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their group.  Non-binary travelers are accommodated. Group Organizers and Program Leaders, along with any other traveling adult, are roomed separately from students.
Below are the hotels we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Hu Family Guesthouse

Students are all lodged together in a large, rural “courtyard-style” home owned and managed by the Hu Family. Students eat meals together in a common dining room, cooked and provided by the Hu Family.

 

Drum Tower Hostel

The convenient location of Drum Tower Hostel reduces commute times and eases busy travel days.  However, we have chosen to partner with this particular accommodation for its safety standards, comfortable and cheerful atmosphere, and commitment to good service. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

 

Sleepy Inn

The cosmopolitan and vibrant atmosphere make this hotel a wonderful experience for our student groups. Selected for the great service, clean rooms, and great prices, Sleepy Inn is an excellent place to relax between adventures around Beijing. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Safety and Support


 EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING

This was our daughter’s 2nd trip with Walking Tree. In 2016, she took her school’s first trip with Walking Tree to Ecuador, and absolutely loved it. Once again, the Walking Tree representative was excellent. My daughter said Ben really made the trip, and worked hard to keep the group happy. Other positives: communication before the trip, website outline, daily blogs and trip photos. Very professional organization. We feel very secure sending our student out into the world with Walking Tree.

Andrea
Parent of Olivia, traveler on California Cultural Journey

Your Adventure Includes

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. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.

 

Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.

Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!

START FUNDRAISING  

WTT coffee
Resource center

Resource Center

Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.

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