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The Best of China: Imperial Capitals, Tibet and the Yangtze River

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Road Scholar
Program #19406RJ

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21 Days | 20 Nights
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. 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.
Ronalee from Cape Coral, FL Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 09/01/15 - 09/21/15
Absolutely a must do. I travel alone and the guide, Bin, was outstanding. A young Chinese man educated in the US added so much to an outstanding program. The program kept us on the go constantly. Highly recommend.

Jean from Flemington, NJ Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 08/27/15 - 09/16/15
A “bucket list” trip if there ever was one! Besides walking on the Great Wall (in a non congested area), seeing the Terracotta Warriors, visiting heavenly Buddhist temples and monasteries, perhaps some of the most memorable parts for me were interacting with the Chinese people. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the homes of families in a Beijing hutong, a Tibetan village and a relocated grandfather from the Yangtze 3 Gorges Dam Project among others. Plus our guides were superb! Wentao, our national guide was knowledgeable, caring and very funny. He was there for all of us be it a surprising, but fortunately benign, medical emergency for one of my fellow travelers to something frivolous like helping me find a lovely Chinese parasol as a gift for my daughter. Thanks, Wentao! You’re the best!

Jacqueline from Elkhorn, WI Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 09/01/15 - 09/21/15
Three cheers for Road Scholar. Three cheers for group leader, Bin. This was an amazing trip that I recommend to everyone. My mind is still swimming with memories of all that we saw, did, and learned.

Joseph from Cedar Rapids, IA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 08/27/15 - 09/16/15
This was one great trip. The amount time was just right. Got to visit all the sites you hear about and they are as wonderful as described. You are busy every day with great information provided. The national and local guides were very informative and fun to be with.

Cynthia from Ft Worth, TX Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 05/14/15 - 06/03/15
I loved this trip. I feel that I really experienced China and Tibet. Our guide, Liu, was just wonderful. He was always so informative and helpful. He is really special. I felt I learned a lot about the culture from his comments. I would recommend this trip to anyone with the understanding there are many steep steps but worth it.

Suellen from Andover, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/14/15 - 06/03/15
The trip covering Imperial China and Tibet was one of the best I have ever taken. The variety of sites visited, the number of people with whom we interacted, the adventures we had, all contributed to a better understanding of what China was then and what it has become now. Our guide Liu Hao was the best. He made the difference between good and spectacular.

Jan from Fort Thomas, KY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/14/15 - 06/03/15
If you have the time and money, TAKE THIS TRIP. It offered a wide variety of activities, educational and cultural experience3s, performances, and field trips that gave me a real insight into a lot of the Chinese culture. It was wonderful, perfectly paced and an incredible experience. Liu, our guide was perfect.

Linda from Temple, TX Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 10/07/14 - 10/27/14
The 22 day trip to China that we recently completed was an outstanding value. We saw and did much more than any other guided programs advertised

George from Galena, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/07/14 - 10/27/14
An excellent way to make a first (and maybe only) visit to China! We experienced many new things, learning about and being exposed to the Chinese culture.

Jaap from Easthampton, MA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 09/11/14 - 10/01/14
This was a superb journey led by a very competent tour guide. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I learned a a lot not only about imperial China, but thanks to home visits also a lot about contemporary life in China.

Margaret from Orrville, OH Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 09/11/14 - 10/01/14
A wide variety of sites conducted by superb guides. Travel arrangements, food, hotels and seeing the sites were wonderful! A nice variety of home visits, visits to schools, plus all the highlights (Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors, etc.) I can't even find anything to complain about!! Our fellow travelers were also a delight to be with. You can't go wrong with this trip. If you are not comfortable with stairs or walking, it might not be the trip for you, however.

Sandra from Lafayette Hill, PA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/15/14 - 06/04/14
This trip was an emersion course in China with visits ranging from huge cities to small streets of ordinary people in their market place. With overnights in five cities, variety of transportation modes, and visits to two others and a river cruise all packed into 20 days, it has taken us awhile to process all of the extraordinary sights, sounds, and experiences we had. Mr. Liu, our main guide, was excellent in his knowledge, attention to details and sincere concern for our group, all punctuated with what he called “Chinese humor” (read “deadpan”). He made sure to accommodate all of our needs even buying cough medicine and helping in anyway needed. He was assisted by excellent guides in each of the cities and the program enriched by lectures by University teachers and school and home visits. Our 18 co-travelers (perfect small group size) were a great and congenial group of people whom we enjoyed getting to know. This is our second Road Scholar trip and the program once again proved to be well designed, interesting, and presented us with unusual opportunities to experience both the culture and sights of China.

Carole from Santa Barbara, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 05/15/14 - 06/04/14
This program to China and Tibet was outstanding made even better by the very experienced, thoughtful, knowledgable, fun guidance of Hao Liu. There was much travel to coordinate for 20 travelers...4 in country flights, the train, buses and the boat .....but it was done perfectly. This trip gave me a new perspective and greater insight into the life, the traditions, and the Chinese people. From the masses of people and forests of tall condominiums in Beijing to the picnic in a meadow in the Himalayas..... It was a truly a wonderful trip of a life time.

Frances from Bogota, NA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/15/14 - 06/04/14
A very comprehensive program considering this extensive country and its diverse culture. Mr. Hao Liu was a very professional guide who made it possible not only to enjoy the program but to get inside some of the main cultural differences between Chinese culture and our culture. The daily activities keep your attention and interest always at its peak. We recommend this program for people interested in understanding China's role in the present globalisation and changes taking place in society both in China and the world.

Meg from Clarksboro, NJ Number of programs attended: 23
Date attended: 04/03/14 - 04/23/14
This program was so comprehensive in activities and educational focus that I would give it a perfect score of 5 stars! Each day was jam-packed with new experiences to enjoy and sights to see. Our guide, Mei Mei, was a true delight! One of the best trips I have taken with Road Scholar.

Sandra from Austin, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/15/14 - 06/04/14
This is a great program. Hao Lui is a great leader. I usually travel independently with my family and husband. I do not believe that we could have done this great of a trip by ourselves. We had the opportunity to meet the people, visit schools and homes,as well as getting to see and be guided through all the great sights.Road Scholar lined up great experiences,speakers,activities and so on. I didn't know any of the people we would be traveling with,but they were all great and as excited about learning and experiencing China as I was. Again, we had a fabulous group leader who by the way was a "foodie" and I think he must have done cooking classes or Taste of China or something because I loved all the places he took us to eat and tried all kinds of new food. I never once had to break into my breakfast bars or peanut butter that I brought along.Thankyou for that Mr. Lui! The time flew and our trip was over too soon! I loved this trip and it was more than I expected.

Jose from Austin, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/15/14 - 06/04/14
Excellent trip. Get to know the people and visit some fabulous places. The food is excellent. We got to visit homes and schools. Met many friendly people in the parks. My wife likes to do TaiChi, she met many willing teachers.

Mary from University Heights, OH Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 05/15/14 - 06/04/14
See the real China/Tibet! Visit a Nomad village, converse with Chinese school children, lunch with a farming family. Enjoy the major sites, such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

Penelope from Fair Lawn, NJ Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 04/24/14 - 05/14/14
A wonderful visit and opportunity to learn about contemporary China and its history.

Adrienne from Arvada, CO Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/10/13 - 10/30/13
It was a great trip..a small taste of China from many areas. We had a great group with many laughs. Our guide Wentao was wonderful, he handled many problems with grace and humor. If we wanted to do something that was not on our schedule, he would help with directions and information. It was an amazing trip and worth every packing and unpacking.

Penny from Conroe, TX Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/15/13 - 11/04/13
What an outstanding program, even more enjoyable and informative than we ever imagined. Our guide, Liu Hao, is a very special person, so communicative, competent, funny. Our fellow travelers felt like family by the time we parted. We were so pleased to learn about and meet people from all walks of Chinese life and so many geographical areas. This was our 3rd Road Scholar trip and the most memorable. Penny from Conroe, Texas

Anne from Wilmington, NC Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/10/13 - 10/30/13
This is a great tour. It is an active one and informational. I think it gives a great overview of China and the Imperial History. Certainly will travel with Road Scholar again. The guide was superb.

Jane from Palo Alto, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/10/13 - 09/30/13
The cultural experience afforded by this trip has provided the basis for a new understanding of the Chinese and their needs. The opportunities to visit and interact with local people afforded by this program make it truly unique and an experience not available in other tours of China.

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"My new Tibetan nun friend. :)" Uploaded By: Jean
"My new Tibetan nun friend. :)" Uploaded By: Jean

"Arrival at Lhasa Hotel" Uploaded By: Roberto

"Tooling along in the Hutong in Beijing" Uploaded By: Sandra

"Picnicking in the Himalayans May 2014" Uploaded By: Sandra

"At the foothill of the Himalayas - Breathtaking" Uploaded By: Roberto

"The Nomad kid - The beautiful look" Uploaded By: Roberto

"At the nomad community - The gate keeper." Uploaded By: Roberto

"At a nomad community - Tibet" Uploaded By: Roberto

"Potala at night - View from the hotel" Uploaded By: Roberto

"The Potala Monks - Tibet" Uploaded By: Roberto

"Visit to Nomad village, Tibet" Uploaded By: Carole

"More fan Taichi fun, 2014." Uploaded By: Jose

"This is hard, but fun." Uploaded By: Jose

"My new TaiChi friend." Uploaded By: Jose

"The Great Wall was remote and breathtaking" Uploaded By: Judith

"Morning in Luoyang" Uploaded By: Penny

"Incredible Opera in Xi'an after a HUGH dumpling dinner !!! You will never go hungry on this trip !!!" Uploaded By: Jeanine

"Trip to the local artist area in Beijing - thanks Liu for a really special day" Uploaded By: Jeanine

"Some 'local color' while visiting an agriculture family in the Beijing area" Uploaded By: Jeanine

"The Great Wall at Jinshaning...not so crowded - wonderful" Uploaded By: Jeanine

"Visit to family in Grasslands out of Lhasa, Tibet - such an experience" Uploaded By: Jeanine

"Group Photo at Nomad's Home in Tibet" Uploaded By: Robert

"Longmen Grottoes on Yi River, Luoyang" Uploaded By: Teresa

"Pilgrim Family/ Lhasa, Tibet" Uploaded By: Teresa

"Courtyard of Elementary School/Tibet" Uploaded By: Teresa

"Teacher and Students at Tibetan Elementary School" Uploaded By: Teresa

"Cliff Carving at Longmen Grottoes" Uploaded By: Teresa
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"China & Tibet - October 2012" Uploaded By: Janice

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
19 nights of accommodations
52 meals: 19 breakfasts, 17 lunches, 16 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
24 Field trips
22 Hands-on experiences
6 Performances
4 Flights during the program


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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