2023 International School of Denver China Immersion Program: Yunnan

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2023 International School of Denver China Immersion Program!  To learn the basics about this once in a lifetime opportunity, you'll begin by using the Pre-Enrollment page, the purpose of which is to share exciting highlights and important info that participants will want to know before signing up. If you enroll, you'll move to the Post-Enrollment page which offers a greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for all that China has to offer!! 
Travel Dates: June 1, 2023 - June 15, 2023
Dates are tentative
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,790 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $1,500

Tuition Calculator

There are two options for payment, including an interest-free monthly installment plan.  Follow whichever option works best for your family. If we are within 90 days of travel, only the pay in full option is possible.

Program Tuition: $3,790

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Payment Plan

Pay a $500 deposit at the time of enrollment and establish an interest-free monthly payment plan. If you enroll today, your estimated* monthly payments would be:


per month

* This is an approximate price. Your exact total will be confirmed when your enrollment is processed.

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 allow travelers to gain insights into the heritage, history and modern realities of their destination by offering a broad diversity of experience. We rely on the expertise of our local staff to plan itineraries which not only explore the prominent sites but also make time for the lesser-known local gems and are intentional about regular interaction with local people.

Program Highlights

Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!

Ride overnight sleeper trains through the Chinese countryside

Visit minority communities along the Tibetan Plateau

Eat delicious, and we mean delicious Chinese food!

Improve your Mandarin through regular interaction with native speakers

Wander the Hutongs and marvel at the wonders of imperial Beijing

Hike unrestored portions of The Great Wall

The Itinerary

We do everything possible to abide by  itineraries as originally planned, but decades of experience teachers that we must flexible in our planning. Changes to a trip’s schedule are uncommon, but Walking Tree reserves the right to make adjustments to programming in the best interest of the group. 

1USA - BeijingToday we'll depart from the US and fly to Beijing.Airplane
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 & 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 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 full day, we'll enjoy a Beijing speciality: Peking Roast Duck!Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn
4BeijingToday 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 ride. We'll enjoy lunch in smaller, family-run restaurants to get a sense of rural home-style Chinese cooking. In the evening, we'll make our way to the Hutong, a neighborhood cultural space to enjoy a traditional Chinese cooking class.Drum Tower Hostel or Sleepy Inn
5Beijing - TransitAfter a busy first few days, we'll have a leisurely morning bopping around Beijing. We'll visit the Yonghegong Lama Temple, one of the largest and most active Buddhist temples in Beijing, or the 2008 Olympic Venues. In the afternoon, we'll board our train for Guilin and settle into our bunks for an overnight adventure & great opportunity to practice speaking Chinese with our neighboring passengers. All aboard!Sleeper Train
6Yangshuo, GuangxiWe'll arrive to Guilin late morning and grab a bite to eat before catching the bus to Yangshuo. Upon arrival in Yangshuo, we'll settle into the hotel and explore our home for the next few days, including an evening stroll along the Li river to see Yangshuo's famed karst peaks. When the weather conditions are right, it's like walking into a classical Chinese painting!Faulty Towers
7Yangshuo, GuangxiThis morning we'll have the opportunity to take fan painting lessons and then kayak along the Li River while learning about the ecology of the area and some of the environmental threats brought on by development. This night we attend a telling of traditional ghost stories before trying our hand at traditional cormorant fishing.Faulty Towers
8Longji, GuangxiToday we explore the sublimely beautiful Longji Rice Terraces. Aside from staggering natural beauty and incredibly ingenious irrigation dating back as far as 700 years, we'll learn about and witness the culture and customs of some of China's ethnic minority groups which live in this area. After getting dropped off at the base of Dazhai village, we'll make a 40 minute trek up, up, up the mountain to remote Tiantou village, where we'll be spending the night in a traditional wooden Yao house. Weather permitting, we'll be sure to catch the sunset over the idyllic rolling rice terraced hills surrounding the community. For dinner, we'll enjoy local specialties of rice and chicken baked inside bamboo tubes and fresh, organic veggies from the family plots nearby.Dragon's Den Hostel
9Longji - Guilin, GuangxiWe'll rise before the sun and hike to an amazing sunrise viewing point. Even if it's cloudy, watching the mist clear and the clouds roll over the terraced hills is not to be missed! After breakfast, we'll make our way back to Guilin in order to catch a flight to our next destination, Kunming, which will be the jumping off point for our adventures in Yunnan province.Kunming Upland International Hostel
10Kunming, YunnanToday we explore Kunming by bicycle. In the evening, we'll say goodbye to our new friends and prepare for our second overnight train adventure, arriving in Dali the following morning.Train
11Dali, YunnanLet's eat! Today we take a cooking class to learn about a few local delicacies and visit a local market to buy our own ingredients for Xizhou baba (pizza). This afternoon we'll have time to stroll through the streets of Dali and enjoy sipping tea before a dinner of dumplings!Dali Hotel
12Dali, YunnanToday we'll enjoy a boat ride across Erhai lake, enjoying beautiful views of Cangshan mountain. We'll also check out the Three Pagodas of Chongshen temple, with over 1800 years of history, this is an important site in terms of the spread of Buddhism in the area.Dali Hotel
13Dali, YunnanToday we'll check out a traveling market frequented by the Yi minority, who live up in the mountains and come down to attend the market and buy supplies. We'll also visit Buddhist temple hidden in the rice fields!Dali Hotel
14Dali - Kunming, YunnanWe'll leave early AM on the bus from Dali back to Kunming where we'll enjoy a farewell dinner & then pack-up for departure the next morning.Kunming Hotel
15TransitWe will travel to the airport and fly home! 再见中国!Your own bed, eventually!


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing group accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, locally operated, clean and safe.  We inspect each partner hotel to ensure they meet these standards.

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your program, subject to 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 advantageous location, Sleepy Inn is an excellent place to relax between adventures around Beijing.  Rooms and bathrooms will be exclusive to our travelers.

Kunming Upland International Hostel

Quaint and clean accommodations conveniently located in the center of Kunming. This hostel has been selected for its proximity to Green Lake and friendly staff. 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


Our daughter is planning a high school junior year as an exchange student abroad, and your program was partly a ‘test the waters” of her being abroad. It was a tremendous success, thank you!

Parent of Della, traveler on 2017 program to Thailand

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. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel. 

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


Need to Raise Money? We Have You Covered.

Walking Tree Travel is proud to team up with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that distributes organic coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, chocolate bars, and more.  There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so the sooner you can start, the better!

Learn more here.

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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