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China Today: Hidden Villages, Contemporary Cities and Yangtze River

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Road Scholar
Program #16602RJ
22 Days | 21 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Russell Green Jan 17, 2015 at 12:58 PM

I am going on the April 11th program. Eager to see China and picked this program because it has a large scope and seems to go to many places. I am wondering if I can take pictures with my iPhone or Samsung tablet and send them to the cloud when I am connected to WiFi?
David Lewis Jan 17, 2015 at 01:44 PM

Because of the Great Wall of the Internet, I was NOT able to access Facebook in China but was able to access flickr. So you never know. If I were taking that trip now (and I'm headed to Egypt in March), I might pay for the phone or data package of ATT or your phone company and use that. This worked for me in Europe in October. This is an outstanding tour! Generally the Wifi was quite good.
Russell Green Jan 17, 2015 at 02:05 PM

I was hoping that if I could connect my table and iPhone to WiFi then I would be bypassing the need for a data package there. Just a thought.
David Lewis Jan 17, 2015 at 02:12 PM

It may work. I often use Facebook to post to my friends, but could not do so in China. Will you upload to Dropbox? What media will you be using?
Russell Green Jan 17, 2015 at 10:49 PM

I have android with the Samsung Note 8 and the Apple with the iPhone. They use different cloud places but they are very similar.

Denise Babb Sep 23, 2014 at 07:08 PM

Denise L., this has been my mantra to attempt the memorization of the dynasties.
"The Dynasties Song"

This "dynasties song," sung to the tune of "Frère Jacques,"
can help students remember the major Chinese dynasties in chronological order.

Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han
Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han

Sui, Tang, Song
Sui, Tang, Song

Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic
Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong

— Courtesy of the teachers on the College Board AP-World History Listserv

| back to top |
Laura Nelson Sep 23, 2014 at 08:04 PM

Denise, I can't say that I really understand how the discussion board works either. You posted to the board and we commented under your post as a reply. I guess they then sent that to you as an email. Looking forward to meeting you soon -- Dan

Denise Babb Sep 23, 2014 at 07:00 PM

Denise L., this has been my mantra to attempt the memorization of the dynasties.
"The Dynasties Song"

This "dynasties song," sung to the tune of "Frère Jacques,"
can help students remember the major Chinese dynasties in chronological order.

Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han
Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han

Sui, Tang, Song
Sui, Tang, Song

Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic
Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong

— Courtesy of the teachers on the College Board AP-World History Listserv

| back to top |
Laura Nelson Sep 23, 2014 at 07:00 PM

Apparently, RS thinks I am Laura, but this is actually her partner Dan posting ;)

Denise Babb Sep 23, 2014 at 06:14 PM

Just returned from a summer of traveling, gardening and visiting, and now it's count down for China! This will be my friend Jenny Barns' and my first adventure with Road Scholar. Thanks to those , who after their April visit, have posted suggestions and reactions. How many are we in our group? Any other Canadians leaving like us from Montréal and Vancouver? As gifts I have Maple sugar from my region and chocolates brought back from Switzerland. I will also follow up on a suggestion to bring pictures of my home ...in the different seasons ... and of my family. This may help as conversation starters and as a gift. My immediate problem, is whittling my packing to a comfortable and acceptable lifting weight. Ann, Mary and Denise, how exciting that in less than 3 weeks , we will all be meeting in Beijing! From Denise# 2
Laura Nelson Sep 23, 2014 at 06:59 PM

Hi Denise -- Laura and I are going and are also curious as to how many of us will be on the trip. Hope it is not too many. See you soon (ish) -- Dan
Ann Antkiw Sep 24, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Yes, I would also like to know how many of us are going, I don't like crowds!!
Laura Nelson Sep 24, 2014 at 01:42 PM

We called today and they told us there were 20 people. Not so great. We have been on 4 RS trips and definitely find it works best when there are fewer people, but while 20 is not ideal, we are still hoping for a good time
Ann Antkiw Sep 24, 2014 at 09:34 PM

20 that's a lot Peking Duck and dumplings! As you say not ideal. but hopefully we will all get along and a good time will be had by all..

Ann Antkiw Sep 15, 2014 at 02:28 PM

My friend Mary White and I are getting very excited about our trip to China. This is my second RS trip and her first.
We would like to know what to bring for gifts. We live in Costa Rica and I thought for the family we have dinner with I would bring our famous coffee and some local chocolates, or dried tropical fruits such as mango and paupau. Do we need to also bring gifts for the Hutong and Xijiang Miao families who host us for lunch. Regarding the visits to the schools if we wanted to bring little gifts for the kids what would you suggest. I look forward to your help regarding this matter and meeting our fellow travelers.
Ann Antkiw.
Karen Petras Sep 15, 2014 at 04:07 PM

Your gifts for the host family sounds perfectly fine! It is not necessary for you to each bring a gift. For the lunch you will have in the Hutong and the lunch with the Miao family a gift is not expected or necessary. When we went to the school we were unable to meet with any children, in spite of the fact that was the plan. II can't really advise you as we never got into a classroon
Karen Petras Sep 15, 2014 at 04:08 PM

sorry, hit the wrong key. It should say classroom.
Liane C Sep 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM

I brought lots of real photo postcards of wildlife and places in my home state of Wyoming. The students were fascinated with photos of elk, grizzlies, and wolves.
Ann Antkiw Sep 16, 2014 at 02:14 PM

Karen & Liane: Thank you both for your helpful responses. I will certainly take a lot of postcards of the beautiful birds we have in Costa Rica and the animals, in particular one of my favorites the lazy sloth.

Denise Liebawitz Sep 10, 2014 at 08:31 AM

So happy to have found this discussion group! This is our first RS trip and first time to China, so definitely feel like a newbie. Alex and I live in Washington, DC where it is still definitely summer. We too have been trying to keep our dynasties straight (challenging) and doing a bit of the reading. Just finished one of the recommendations, Factory Girls, which was riveting. Also thinking about the need (or not) of digital stuff. I doubt I will really need to make phone calls, but we would like to check email occasionally and wonder if we could access our NY Times online subscription. So nice to see that post from our group leader, Hui, and the explanation of Chinese names. For a host gift, I was thinking of a White House Christmas tree ornament, that is sold by the White House Historical Assoc. here. A little odd maybe, but it might be of interest.... what do others think.
Looking forward to meeting everyone, Denise Liebowitz

Karen Petras Mar 31, 2014 at 02:19 PM

Denise…I live in Rochester, NY, but your weather reminds me of our winter. I was just curious.

Denise Babb Mar 31, 2014 at 09:01 AM

Allo Karen, I'm in Montreal Quebec.... And you?
Melvyn Gelb Mar 31, 2014 at 01:41 PM

Ah, the snows of the Northeast, how I miss them…….Hmmmm….ok, reality check. I live in Silver City New Mexico, at 6,000 feet altitude. We do get winter, but snow only about 3-4 times and around 1-2 inches. This year has been toooooo warm; presently in the 60's, was in the 50's-60's during February. Therefor, NO MOISTURE, probably little snow melt from up higher this Spring and a fearful fire season to look forward to for the surrounding areas.
Karen Petras Apr 05, 2014 at 12:47 PM

I just saw your post of 3/31. Apparently, RS does not notify me of all posts? Don't quite understand? I have been getting travel things out of storage this AM. There will be clutter everywhere by evening! Hope all is smooth in your preparations and I'll see you and Ralph in Beijing! (Weather here still miserable…snow this morning accompanied by driving wind.)
Melvyn Gelb Apr 05, 2014 at 02:58 PM

If you are having miserable weather, then you will love this trip. It has been in the 70's to 80's throughout the areas we are traveling to. Only thing is, problems breathing! At least according to one friend who is presently visiting soeone in China (although the last couple of days has seen a drop in pollution in Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai..probably just for us :) On another note. I sent an email asking how to properly address out group leader and other people we will interact with. Our group leader Xianghui was kind enough to reply to me. See my email answer below from her.
Melvyn Gelb Apr 05, 2014 at 02:58 PM

Dear Melvyn: Thanks for your email. This is Xianghui Liu, your Group Leader for your Road Scholar program in China, and I am happy to respond to your questions. 1) Liu is actually my last name and Xianghui is my given name. You can just call me Hui. And for Professor Xie Guihua and Yang Hongying, you can follow the way of “Surname + Title” to address them: Professor Xie: Xie Jiao Shou (Pinyin) Professor Yang: Yang Jiao Shou (Pinyin) While you are in China, you will mostly expect people to present themselves in the original order of their names which is Family name + Given name. As the same in the West, you can address someone respectfully by placing “Mr.” or “Ms.’ after the person’s family name (if you’re not sure about the person’s title). Similarly, as in the West, if we address another person by the person’s given name, this indicates familiarity and friendliness. Therefore you can also call me Xianghui as my colleagues and friends do. However I always ask our program participants to call me Hui as this is easier to pronounce and many of my office mates call me by that name. e.g. “Mr. Wang” in Chinese is “Wang Mr.” and pronounced as “Wang Xian Sheng (Pinyin)" “Ms. Li” is “Li Ms.” and pronounced as “Li Nu Shi (Pinyin)" Some popular family names in China: Wang, Li, Zhang, Liu, Ma, Yang, Zhao. 2) In reality, we use uncle/aunt to address friends of our father and mother and use grandfather/grandmother for whom our father/mother call uncle/aunt. You can simply follow the way of “Surname + Mr/Ms” and it will not go wrong. There’s still a way for Chinese to use someone’s family name and still show informality - to place the Chinese words “Lao” (lao) or “Xiao” (xiao). Lao means old and Xiao means little, and the choice depends on the relative age difference between the two persons involved in the communication. e.g. Lao Wang (lao wang). I hope you find this helpful. And no worries, I will always be around if you have any questions or concerns. Looking forward to seeing you in Beijing! Xianghui Liu
Karen Petras Apr 05, 2014 at 03:51 PM

That was very helpful! Thanks for the inquiry. Now if I can just remember (without referring to my notes)!

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
20 nights of accommodations
58 meals: 20 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 20 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
24 Field trips
26 Hands-on experiences
7 Performances
4 Flights during the program


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