Day 1 :
Departure from your airport
Day 2 :
Arrive in Beijing
Founded in the 13th century, and home to Ming and Qing dynasty emperors, the capital city of Beijing is one of China's true ancient citadels. After a period of isolation, the modern city is undergoing significant reform and change, embodying all the fascinating contradictions of modern China. Old Beijing continues to survive in its temples, palaces, and old alleyways, often set among sprawling avenues, towering skyscrapers, and shopping malls.
Our home for the next seven evenings will be with our homestay families in Beijing.
Day 3 :
Great Wall of China
- Great Wall of China:
Visit the Great Wall of China, one of the world’s most awesome and impressive sights. The series of stone and earthen fortifications snakes its way east to west for nearly 4,000 miles,
and was built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century AD to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire.
- Mutianyu Section:
Explore a portion of the mind-boggling length of the wall, and ride down on a toboggan slide.
- Service Activity:
This afternoon we will Volunteer at the Great Wall of China as part of either a reforestation tree-planting campaign or an anti-litter campaign. We will be assisting in the preservation of this historical monument
Day 4 :
- Beijing Hutong Tour:
A hutong is a unique form of traditional Beijing living quarters with a small street or a lane between two courtyards. There are thousands of hutongs in Beijing, most of which were built in the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. We will visit the Bell and Drum Towers in this district.
- Calligraphy Workshop:
Take part in a traditional workshop at an old Beijinger's house and learn the art of Calligraphy. Calligraphy is the visual art of writing that is executed with a broad tip brush in one stroke and has flourished as an art for centuries. We will also learn and practice the ancient tradition of brush painting that mixes the use of inkstone, inkstick, and Xuan paper.
- Authentic Dumpling Lunch:
Learn about how to prepare the dumplings (Jiaozi), as well as about life in the Hutong, the traditional alleyway homes of Beijing. In imperial days, these low-rise courtyard style houses were often home to an extended family.
- Tiananmen Square:
Explore the world's largest public square and equivalent to the size of 90 American football fields. In the center of the square stands the Monument to the People's Heroes (Renmin Yingxiong Jinian Bei), a 38m granite obelisk erected in 1958 and engraved with scenes from famous popular Chinese uprisings.
- Forbidden City:
Discover the Forbidden City, a massive complex of red-walled buildings and pavilions topped by a sea of glazed vermilion tile. Visit the Inner Court, where only the emperor, his family, his
concubines, and the palace eunuchs were allowed; the Hall of Mental Cultivation, where emperors lived after Yongzheng moved out of the Qianqing Gong and the Nine Dragon Screen, an 11½ft high wall covered in glazed tile dragons frolicking above a frothing sea, built to protect the Qianlong emperor from prying eyes and malevolent spirits.
Day 5 :
- Temple of Heaven:
Visit the enormous park and altar directly to the south of the Forbidden City. Each winter solstice, the Ming and Qing emperors would lead a procession here to perform rites and make sacrifices designed to promote the next year’s crops and curry favor with Heaven for the general health of the empire.
- Learn Tai Ji:
Discover the history of the Chinese martial art, Tai Ji. Learn the moves from an experienced instructor, then practice what you’ve been taught.
- Summer Palace:
Explore the fantastic expanse of elaborate Qing-style pavilions, bridges, walkways, and gardens scattered along the shores of immense Kunming Lake. We will enjoy a tour of the park, which covers roughly 716 acres, with Kunming Lake to the south and Longevity Hill to the north.
- Evening Performance:
Tonight we will attend either a Martial Arts Demonstration Show or an Acrobatic Show.
Day 6 :
- National Museum of China:
Visit the National Museum of China which covers Chinese history from the Yuanmou Man of 1.7 million years ago to the end of the Qing Dynasty (the last imperial dynasty in Chinese history), and has a permanent collection of 1,050,000 items, with many precious and rare artifacts not to be found in museums anywhere else in China or the rest of the world.
- Yonghe Gong (Lama Temple):
Explore this complex of progressively larger buildings topped with ornate yellow-tiled roofs. Today the Falun Dian (Hall of the Wheel of Law) houses a 20 ft bronze statue of Tsongkapa, the founder of the reformist Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) school of
Tibetan Buddhism. The last of the five central halls, the Wanfu Ge houses the temple’s prize possession -- an ominous Tibetan-style statue of Maitreya (the Future Buddha), which is 60 ft tall and carved from a single piece of white sandalwood.
- Confucius Temple:
Visit the largest temple dedicated to Confucius other than the one in his hometown. The temple records the names of the graduates who completed the Imperial Examination. The temple also includes numerous dedications to Confucius and his teachings.
Day 7 :
- Huiling Community Center:
The Center provides
services for People with Intellectual Disabilities, and seeks to improve the lives of the mentally disabled. Through community-based activities, BJHL facilitates trainees' independence and teaches life skills.
- Local Wet Market:
A market bargaining challenge awaits!
- Independent Exploration:
Later this afternoon, we will have some free time for shopping and exploration along either Nanluoguxiang or Yandaixie Street.
Day 8 :
- Time with Host Families:
Today will be at the group's leisure to spend time with our host families.
Day 9 :
Departure from China