2021 Saratoga Springs High School Western 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 easy installment plan. Follow the option which 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!
Practice Mandarin in the cradle of Chinese civilization
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 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.
|1||USA - Chengdu||Today we'll depart the USA and fly across the Pacific to the metropolis of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China.||In flight|
|2||Chengdu, Sichuan||After crossing the international dateline, we'll arrive in Chengdu in the evening. We'll settle in to the hotel, have our first dinner together and rest up for our upcoming adventure!||Chengdu Dreams Hostel|
|3||Chengdu, Sichuan||After a good night's rest we'll have our orientation and explore Chengdu, checking out the famous Wuhou Temple and eating our fair share of Chengdu's specialty street snacks on Jinli street. We'll also stroll over to the People's Park to hang with the locals while they get fit and socialize through ballroom dance, kite flying, taichi, and more! For dinner, we'll try our hand at expert level DIY Sichuan cuisine, hotpot!||Chengdu Dreams Hostel|
|4||Anlong - Chengdu, Sichuan||Today we will visit and tour Anlong Village to learn about the work of Chengdu Urban Rivers Association and pitch in to help with some of their sustainable agricultural education programing. We'll enjoy tea and mahjong on the shores of the surging river while we experience the relaxed pace of life in rural Sichuan. We'll also have the unique opportunity to enjoy family style meals in local farmer's homes. After heading back into the city in the evening, we'll enjoy an entertaining Sichuan opera performance featuring traditional “Face Changing” acrobatics, and more.||Chengdu Dreams Hostel|
|5||Transit||After a final morning in Sichuan, we'll hop on the long-distance sleeper train to Beijing. As we zip through the countryside, we'll rest and recharge our batteries, play cards, journal, and snack and/or practice our Chinese language skills with our neighbors.||Train|
|6||Beijing||We'll arrive in Beijing and get settled in at our accommodations in the historic Ming Dynasty Hutong alleyways of the old city center. This afternoon we'll check out the Lama Temple, Beijing's largest active Buddhist temple. In the evening, we'll take a cooking class at The Hutong and try our hand at crafting the Chinese cuisine we've been enjoying (option of making dumplings or handmade noodles)||Drum Tower Hostel|
|7||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 Squa e 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 and enjoy the sweeping views of the Forbidden City from above.||Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn|
|8||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|
|9||Beijing||For our final full day in China, we'll either engage in a cultural exchange activity with local students, or further explore Beijing's rich culture. Options include experiencing stunning imperial ritual architecture during a visit to the Temple of Heaven, or testing our haggling skills while picking up last minute gifts/souvenirs at the famed Pan Jia Yuan Flea Market. We'll go out for our farewell dinner and enjoy a Beijing specialty: Peking duck. We'll close out the celebration of our time together with a Karaoke party after dinner.||Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn|
|10||Beijing - USA||Check out, head to the airport 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. 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!
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.