2021 Saratoga Springs High School China Cultural Journey
|Travel Dates:||April 2, 2021 - April 11, 2021|
Airfare not included in program tuition
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow whichever works best for your family.
Program Tuition: $3,390
Pay in Full
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 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.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Have the adventure of a lifetime with your friends!
Eat delicious, and we mean delicious Chinese food!
Improve your Mandarin through regular interaction with native speakers
Walk the streets of Song dynasty China
Wander the Hutongs and marvel at the wonders of imperial Beijing
Explore Tang dynasty Buddhist caves
Practice martial arts at Shaolin Temple
Hike unrestored portions of The Great Wall
Visit Wuhou Temple in Chengdu
Trek to the world's largest Buddha
Visit the Terracotta Army at Xi'an
Admire the skyline of Pudong
Climb the Great Wall of China
Discover the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs 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.
|1||USA - Beijing||Today we'll depart the US and fly to Beijing||In Flight|
|2||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 and rest up for our upcoming adventure!||Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn|
|3||Beijing||We'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 by beating drums ancient times. 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 there. We'll then 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 and enjoy the sweeping views of the Forbidden City from above.||Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn|
|4||Beijing||Today 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 beautiful architecture of the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube lit up at night. In the evening, we'll take a cooking class to 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|
|5||Xiangshuihu - Beijing||Today we'll visit one of the most important cultural sites on the planet: the Great Wall of China! We'll start our climb on the Wild Wall in Lotus Pond Village (taking time to get a sense of life in a rural village outside the city) and eventually connect to the restored Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. After taking as many photos as we can stand, we'll have our choice of ways to descend, either via cable car or toboggan rides. We'll enjoy a meal at a small family-run restaurant to get a sense of rural home-style Chinese cooking.||Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn|
|6||Beijing - Transit||On our final full day in Beijing, we'll engage in an exchange activity with local students and/or test our bargaining skills at the famed Pan Jia Yuan flea market. We'll have the quintessential Beijing dinner of roast duck before heading to the train station to catch our overnight sleeper train to Xi'an.||Train|
|7||Xi'an||Upon 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 Xian’s distinctive gastronomical culture, sampling their world famous hand-pulled noodles and roujiamo (often dubbed the Chinese equivalent of a hamburger).||Xi'an Hotel|
|8||Xi'an||Today we'll further explore the sights and sounds of Xi'an by strolling (or biking) along the ancient city wall, one of the few remaining ancient walls intact in a major city in China. We'll also further hone our historical knowledge by checking out the famed Shaanxi Provincial Museum.||Xi'an Hotel|
|9||Xi'an||On our last full day in country, we'll explore the thriving culture of one of China's largest ethnic minority groups: the Hui. We'll visit the Great Mosque and eat our way along “Muslim Snack Street”. After enjoying all the cumin-spiced mutton kabobs and grilled bread we can handle, we'll head back to the hotel for our farewell meeting and pack for departure tomorrow.||Xi'an Hotel|
|10||Beijing or Shanghai - USA||We will travel back to Beijing or Shanghai and fly home! 再见中国！||Airplane|
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
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.
Parent of Olivia, traveler on California Cultural Journey
Your Adventure Includes
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. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel.
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!
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.