Road Scholar : Home
China Today: Hidden Villages, Contemporary Cities and Yangtze River

Program Number: 16602RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/11/2015 - 5/2/2015; 4/16/2016 - 5/7/2016; 8/27/2016 - 9/17/2016;
Duration: 21 nights
Location: China
Price starting at: $4,689.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 55; 20 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 18 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian    

Gain a fresh perspective on China’s greatest monuments and contrast the lives of modern, middle-class Chinese in cosmopolitan Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai against the timeless traditions of rural peoples in the remote and beautiful Guizhou Province. Journey along country roads and walk village pathways to gain access to places not often visited by outsiders and learn about the age-old traditions of the local peoples.


• Journey by vans through remote Guizhou Province’s rural villages to meet residents and village chiefs.
• Meet China’s new middle class at an individual dinner in homes of English-speaking faculty and share a home-hosted lunch with a Miao family in the countryside.
• On a three-night voyage on the Yangtze River, learn about the river’s role in Chinese history.

Activity Particulars

Van transportation over bumpy roads for extended periods. Walking up and downhill on dirt paths, stairs without railings.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Beijing, 3 nights; flight to Xi’an, 3 nights; flight & van to Kaili, 2 nights; van to Leishan, 1 night; van to Rongjiang, 1 night; van to Zhaoxing, 2 nights; Van to Guiyang, 2 nights; flight to Chongqing; Yangtze River study cruise, 3 nights; flight to Shanghai, 3 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Beijing
3 nights

Discover the Forbidden City and explore Tian'anmen Square before enjoying a dinner of traditional Peking Duck. Journey to the Great Wall at Jin Shan Ling, sometimes referred to as 'the Wild Great Wall', and explore the alleys and lanes of "old Beijing."

Flight to Xi’an
3 nights

Learn about Daosim, Buddhism and Confucianism at Xi'an International Studies University and experience traditional Chinese music at the Xi’an Music Institute. Marvel at the Terracotta Army in the tomb of China’s first emperor. Enjoy dinner with a family of English-speaking faculty.

Flight to Guiyang, van to Kaili
2 nights
Van to Leishan
1 night

Experience the bustle of the Miao Sunday market before journeying through the countryside to Shiqiao village. Meet the Shiqiao chief and gain insight into the village’s cottage paper making. In Xijiang Miao village, learn about the region’s way of life as you meet it’s chief, local students and teachers.

Van to Rongjiang
1 night
Van to Zhaoxing
2 nights
Van to Guiyang
2 nights

Stop at Datang Miao village to enjoy local welcome performance and examine Datang's unique “barns on the water.”

Flight to Chongqing for embarkation on Yangtze vessel
3 nights

Explore an "old Han" village and enjoy a sample of their local opera. Visit the giant pandas in the Zoological Garden before boarding your Yangtze vessel to visit locals at a new village for relocated families. Pass through the magnificent Yangtze Gorges and explore a pristine tributary where you may catch glimpses of red monkeys, cliff-dwelling goats, and the “hanging coffins” of the Ba people.

Three Gorges Dam
Disembark Yangtze River study cruise
Flight to Shanghai
3 nights

From an observation deck at the Three Gorge’s Dam, get a bird’s-eye view of the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. Explore China’s unparalleled art collection at the Shanghai Museum, and savor a delicious vegetarian meal supervised by monks at the active Longhua Temple. Discover Shanghai’s intriguing cityscape from the neoclassical to the ultramodern.


From the opening of the Silk Road in the 1st Century BC, marking the beginning of trade between Central Asia and the burgeoning empires in the West, China has inspired global evolution. Six millennia of calligraphy, music, and dance emerged from the behemoth land during a dozen dynasties marked by conflicts of religion, power, and territory. Ruling emperors gave way to Communism and to Modern China, home to a fifth of the world’s population.

Beijing: Four-star hotel steps from historic sites. Xi'an: Hotel in heart of downtown. Kaili: Comfortable hotel. Leishan: Quality hotel near nature reserve. Rongjiang: Comfortable hotel. Zhaoxing: Hotel with balconies overlooking stream in mountain ambience. Guiyang: Four-star hotel near bustling street market. Yangtze River Vessel: First-class vessel with outside cabins. Shanghai: Gracious hotel near important sites.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Yang Hongying

Professor Yang Hongying is an expert in the study of foreign language and linguistics at Xi'an International Studies University, where she leads courses in Chinese culture and international studies. She has received numerous teaching awards, and also has received advanced degrees in cultural heritage studies from the Institute of European Studies in Macau, and in education from the University of New South Wales in Australia. Yang has published numerous papers on museum text translations and international culture studies, and has given lectures on Chinese culture and heritage in China, Macau, and Singapore. She has worked with and taught Road Scholar groups for more than 10 years.
Meals and Lodgings
   Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
  Beijing, China 3 nights
   Grand Noble Hotel
  Xi'an, China 3 nights
   Jiaruihe Weijing International Holiday Hotel
  Kaili, China 2 nights
   Leigongshan International Hotel
  Leishan, China 1 night
   Dongxiangmi Grand Hotel
  Rongjiang, China 1 night
   Zhaoxing Hotel
  Zhaoxing, China 2 nights
   Ramada Plaza Hotel Guiyang
  Guiyang, China 2 nights
   Victoria Cruise Lines
  Yangtze River Vessel, China 3 nights
   Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
  Shanghai, China 3 nights
 Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Originally built in the 1950s, this modernized hotel is located in a traditional district south of Beijing's famous Chan An Avenue and short distance from many of Beijing's historic and monumental sites, including Tian'anmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, and the Forbidden City. It also maintains a well-known theater devoted to nightly performances of Beijing Opera.
  Ship Information: na
  Contact info: 175 Yonggan Road
Xuanwu District
Beijing, NA 100050 China
phone: +86 -10-6301-6688
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, satellite television, free room non-wifi internet access, international direct-dial telephone, safe-deposit box, mini-bar, laundry service, coffee- and tea-making facilities. All rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Four restaurants with Western and Chinese cuisine, rooftop bar, business center, fitness center, beauty salon, Liyuan Peking Opera theater.Wi-Fi is available in the hotel lobby with free cost.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Program Provider (CAEE) Additional nights pre-program can be arranged by your Program Provider.

 Grand Noble Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located inside the city walls in the heart of 'downtown' Xi'an, the Grand Noble (formerly known as the Royal Garden Hotel) is close to the city's main attractions, including the Bell Tower and Muslim Section.
  Ship Information: .
  Contact info: 334 DongDaJie (East) Street
Xi'an, NA 710001 China
phone: +86 29 87690000
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, television, free in-room internet (no wifi) access, mini-bar, hair dryer, room service. All rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Free wifi in hotel lobby, laundry service, business center, coffee bar ,Wi-Fi is available in the hotel lobby with free cost.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Jiaruihe Weijing International Holiday Hotel
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: This recently-built five star hotel is located in the center of a peaceful and quiet area.
  Contact info: No.13 Yingbin Middle Road
Kaili ,Guizhou Province,   China
phone: +86 855 8688 888
  Room amenities: air conditioning, TV, in-room internet and wifi, hair dryer, mini bar.
  Facility amenities: business center, restaurants, bar, beauty salon, fitness center, laundry service
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Leigongshan International Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This newly built hotel is situated outside the town of Leishan, near the Leishan Nature Reserve, a popular resort destination for Chinese tourists. The hotel grounds are adjacent to fields cultivated by the local Miao people.
  Contact info: Xinxing Road
Leishan, Guizhou Province,  557100 China
phone: +86 855 333 6666
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, television, mini-bar and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, business center, gift shop, laundry service, fitness center and swimming pool.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Dongxiangmi Grand Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Dongxiangmi Grand Hotel is a very basic hotel that is the best available facility in this undeveloped, rural region.
  Contact info: 33 Xihuan Road
Rongjiang County, Guizhou Province ,, NA 557200 China
phone: +86 855 662 4666
  Room amenities: All rooms are very simple but clean with hot running water and private bathrooms.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant: Wi-Fi is not available.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Zhaoxing Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This newly built VIP building of the Zhaoxing Hotel is in a quiet section of town overlooking a stream, rice fields and local houses. Built in traditional Dong style, the hotel features outdoor balconies and a pleasant mountain ambience.
  Contact info: Main Street
Zhaoxing, Liping County , Guizhou,   China
phone: +86 855 613 0877
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning and television.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, business center, fitness center, gift shop and laundry service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Ramada Plaza Hotel Guiyang
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This four-star hotel is located in the heart of Guiyang and considered among the city's best. Short walk to Guiyang's bustling night street market.
  Contact info: 1 Beijing Road
Guiyang,  550004 China
phone: +86 -851-677-1888
  Room amenities: air conditioning, TV, hairdryer, internet access, coffee maker, iron, mini bar
  Facility amenities: business center, bar, restaurant, gift shop, currency exchange, beauty salon, laundry service, fitness center, indoor swimming pool
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Victoria Cruise Lines
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: All cabins are exterior-facing Superior Cabins with private balcony, bathtub, and shower.
  Ship Information: First class Yangtze River Cruise ship. All boats in Victoria Cruise Lines have steel, double-bottom hulls and have been built or completely refurbished between 2009-2013. Total capacity of 198-378. See for additional information.
  Contact info: 57-08 39th Ave
Woodside, NY 11377 USA
phone: 212-818-1680
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, TV, exterior cabins, floor to ceiling glass doors leading to private balcony, private bathrooms with showers. Lower berth single beds. All cabins are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Fitness center, laundry service, currency exchange, business center, beauty salon, reading room, shopping
  Smoking allowed: No

 Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: This five star hotel is in the city center, close to many of Shanghai's highlights and within walking distance of one of Shanghai’s most popular parks where locals gather for traditional exercises and exchange of local news.
  Contact info: No.1928 Gonghexin Road, Zhabei District
Shanghai,  200070 China
phone: +86 21 2602 2222
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning, television, mini-bar, hair dryer, room service, rooms will be no smoking but hotel has smoking areas.
  Facility amenities: AC, daily laundry, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, cafe, bar, restaurants, business center, currency exchange, free wi-fi in hotel lobby
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Contact your Program Provider. contact your Program Provider;

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Meet your Group Leader in the hotel lobby at 6:00 pm on the arrival day and join a welcome meeting. Check-in time for your hotel is 2:00 pm on Day 2. You will be staying at Qianmen Jianguo Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Your program ends at 11:30 am. Check-out time from your hotel is 12:00 pm/noon. You will be staying at Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. APPLYING FOR YOUR CHINA VISA: U.S. RESIDENTS: Due to the complexities of obtaining a China visa we strongly urge you to use Road Scholar's designated visa service. Whether or not you use GenVisa, you must submit the following for your application: 1. Your completed visa application form with official photo as described. Tip: if you choose Journalist or Religious Worker as your occupation, your visa could be denied. 2. An official Abbreviated Itinerary with Accommodations information on Road Scholar letterhead and which has your name included. That document will be mailed or emailed to you separately. 3. If you have NOT purchased your international air tickets from Road Scholar and/or if you are NOT using GenVisa, you must also submit a copy of your confirmed international flight information. (If you have purchased your international air from Road Scholar and are using GenVisa, your flight information will be submitted to GenVisa for you.) NON US RESIDENTS: If you are not using GenVisa, some of the requirements may differ. You should check with your Chinese Consulate or with a visa agency you have chosen. If an official letter of invitation from China is required, the Chinese American Educational Exchange (CAEE) can email or mail you one. To request such a letter contact CAEE: email: phone: 212 334 1971. .
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: n/a
To Start of Program
  Location:  Beijing
  Transportation to site: If independent flights do not coincide with the designated group transfer or if arrivals are a day or more earlier than the program start date, it is the responsibility of participant(s) to make arrangements to get to the program site. Taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel is very easy. Your Information Packet includes a sheet with taxi information and your hotel location in English and in Chinese characters. Just show it to a taxi driver and he will know exactly where to go. Many participants have used this sheet and no one has ever had a problem. Taxi cost between Beijing airport and your hotel is about $30 US (170 Chinese yuan) per car. Taxi cost from Shanghai airport to your hotel is about $40 US (240 yuan). Tip is not expected. (You will need to buy Chinese currency at the airport upon arrival. ATM's and Foreign Currency Exchange desks are easy to locate. All signs include English.) Take taxis at designated taxi stands and make sure the driver turns on the meter. Time to the hotel by car takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour (depending on traffic).
  From End of Program
  Location:  Shanghai
  Transportation from site: Program Only Participants (POP) can take the scheduled airport transfer free of charge if there is room in the transfer vehicle. Alternately, your Group Leader can help you arrange a taxi. Cost is about $40 US (240 Chinese yuan) per car. Tip is not expected.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures
(Saturday, April 11)
 In Transit: International flight Departures

Day 2: Arrive China’s Capital Beijing/Welcome Meeting
(Sunday, April 12)
 Afternoon: Arrive at Beijing International Airport where your Group Leader (National Guide) will be waiting for you. After check-in and a short rest, get together for a Welcome Meeting at your hotel. Note: CAEE National Guides are qualified National Guides who are full-time permanent members of our offices. All are university graduates, fluent in English, well-educated in safety and protocol and are supported by offices nation-wide.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at your hotel.
 Evening: at your leisure
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Daily Life in Beijing: Temple of Heaven; Hutongs and Tiananmen Square
(Monday, April 13)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am.
 Morning: Explore the Temple of Heaven, an architectural masterpiece begun in the 15th century that symbolizes the relationship between heaven and earth. Choose to walk the extensive grounds or watch the activities of local people as they practice calligraphy and tai chi, play musical instruments, dance or fly silk kites.
 Lunch: Enjoy a local lunch hosted by Hutong families.
 Afternoon: After lunch, explore old Beijing with your Program Leader through Hutongs, (small lanes and alleys lined with homes, small shops and street vendors). The activity and color of these traditional neighborhoods are rapidly disappearing as the city modernizes. Speak with a local Neighborhood Committee to learn how it governs the surrounding community. On the way back to your hotel, visit ‘the heart’ of Beijing -- Tian’anmen Square.
 Dinner: This evening at a Welcome Dinner, celebrate with a Beijing specialty: Peking Duck Dinner. Peking Duck was first created in Beijing for emperors six hundred years ago during the Ming Dynasty. Thinly sliced, with crisp skin, the duck is wrapped in light pancakes with julienned cucumbers and a variety of sauces.
 Evening: After dinner, the rest of the evening is at your leisure.
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Defining China: The Wild Great Wall
(Tuesday, April 14)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am.
 Morning: Drive out of the city to the Great Wall at Jin Shan Ling, a section sometimes referred to as the “Wild Great Wall,” as it is not overly restored and receives few visitors. Take a gondola to the upper part of the wall, then walk along its battlements and through watchtowers to experience magnificent views of the wall as it climbs and descends over the distant mountains.
 Lunch: A simple box lunch is provided to eat at a spot of your choosing on the wall.
 Afternoon: Return to your hotel in Beijing (about 3 hours).
 Dinner: Your chance to choose local fare.
 Evening: Get together with your group leader to practice Chinese.
Accommodations: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Beijing’s Imperial Legacy: the Forbidden City; flight to Xi'an/ Classical Chinese Music
(Wednesday, April 15)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy your hotel's buffet breakfast. Hotel buffet is offered between 6:30 am and 9:30 am.
 Morning: Explore the Forbidden City. This 250-acre imperial compound once was the residence and seat of the Qing Emperors and forbidden to all others.
 Lunch: en route to the airport
 Afternoon: Fly to Xi'an where, this afternoon you enjoy an introduction to Chinese music and a private performance at Xi'an Music Institute.
 Dinner: Dinner is at the music institute.
 Evening: Evening is at your leisure.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: China’s Cultural History/Shaanxi Museum of History
(Thursday, April 16)
 Breakfast: In the hotel. Tai ji is offered before breakfast.
 Morning: A presentation at Xi'an International Studies University analyzes the impact of Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism on the development of the Chinese character
 Lunch: Lunch is at Xi’an International Studies University dining hall. After lunch, join English-speaking students for informal conversation while on a personalized visit through their campus.
 Afternoon: At the Shaanxi Museum of History, examine its magnificent collection which illustrates the development of dynastic China.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Get together with your National Guide for an informal discussion of China's one child/one family policy.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Terra Cotta Warriors/ Family Dinner
(Friday, April 17)
 Breakfast: Enjoy early morning tai ji movements at 7:15 am and then enjoy your hotel's buffet breakfast.
 Morning: Experience one of the great 20th century discoveries -- the life-size terra cotta army buried with a Qing Emperor 2,200 years ago and only uncovered by farmers in 1974.
 Lunch: At restaurant nearby.
 Afternoon: At Xi'an International Studies University, meet your English-speaking host families for an exclusive home visit and dinner. Chinese families joining this unique opportunity are English-speaking members of the faculty and staff of Xi'an International Studies University. The families look forward to hosting you in their on-campus apartments, all of which have modern facilities and amenities. Your host families are warm and welcoming and delighted to share the details of their lives with you and to know about you. Some of the family members have spent time abroad in the U.S., the U.K., and other countries. This is not a group visit; singles will join their own family and doubles will join one family together.
 Dinner: In the home of your host family.
 Evening: A member of your host family will accompany you back to your hotel.
Accommodations: Grand Noble Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Flight to Guizhou Province
(Saturday, April 18)
 Breakfast: tai ji is offered before breakfast at your hotel.
 Morning: Depart for Xi'an airport for flight to Guizhou Province.
 Lunch: in flight.
 Afternoon: Coach from Guizhou's capital city airport to the Miao town of Kaili, arriving in the late afternoon.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Join your National Guide to practice basic conversational Chinese.
Accommodations: Jiaruihe Weijing International Holiday Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Daily Life and Traditions in Rural China
(Sunday, April 19)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: A professor from Kaili Normal College discusses the lives and customs of the Miao and Dong ethnic minority peoples. Afterward, walk to the nearby Miao Sunday market where local people come to exchange goods such as baskets, cooking utensils, silver necklaces and hand embroidery, and where itinerant dentists and barbers ply their skills.
 Lunch: In the hotel.
 Afternoon: Travel through the magnificent countryside to Shiqiao (Stone Bridge) Village, where paper has been made from mulberry tree bark for 600 years. Meet the village chief for a discussion of how the village has remained timeless yet entered the global market with exportation of their handcrafted product. Walk through the village for a glimpse at daily life. Returning to Kaili, stop at a small, local museum whose displays include the hand-embroidered costume of local ethnic groups and hand-crafted silverwork.
 Dinner: In the hotel
 Evening: Practice conversational Chinese with your group leader.
Accommodations: Jiaruihe Weijing International Holiday Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Ethnic Minority Villages in Rural China
(Monday, April 20)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel
 Morning: Drive through the scenic countryside to Xijiang Miao village, stopping en route to visit a family-owned Taoyao pottery kiln. Climb to the perched village’s higher reaches where its chief meets you to discuss its way of life and current challenges, such as emigration of youth to the cities. Visit the local middle school and meet the teachers. Note: Today’s walking is strenuous. You must be in good physical condition, able to walk uphill to reach the top of the village.
 Lunch: In the homes of local families.
 Afternoon: Continue through the rural landscape to Leishan. For this night and the following one, you will need an 'overnight bag' as your major luggage will be transported directly to the town of Zhaoxing.
 Dinner: In the hotel
 Evening: Your Program Leader discusses Chinese government and structure.
Accommodations: Leigongshan International Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: A Landscape of Mountains and Terraces
(Tuesday, April 21)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji, enjoy a buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Drive through the countryside, passing villages and terraced mountains that have been maintained and cultivated for hundreds of years. Gain insights from your local guide on the development, maintenance, irrigation and ownership of rice terraces. Learn how government policy and the system of communal ownership impacts farmers. Stop at Datang Miao village to enjoy local welcome performance and examine Datang's unique 'barns on the water' -- storage units built above water to protect them from fire and pests.
 Lunch: A simple box lunch is provided to eat en route.
 Afternoon: Continue through the countryside to Rongjiang.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Practice conversational Chinese with your Program Leader or explore the town at leisure.
Accommodations: Dongxiangmi Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Rural Villages of the Dong People
(Wednesday, April 22)
 Breakfast: After tai ji practice, enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Continue to travel through the rural landscapes of this remote province.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Stop at Chejiang Dong Village in the mountains. In the late afternoon, arrive in Zhaoxing, China’s largest Dong people’s village.
 Dinner: At your hotel.
 Evening: Practice conversational Chinese with your Program Leader.
Accommodations: Zhaoxing Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: The Preservation of Traditional Life
(Thursday, April 23)
 Breakfast: In the hotel. Tai chi is offered before breakfast.
 Morning: Drive to Tang’an Dong village. Learn about this unique joint venture, China's first “ecological museum,” founded in 1995 by China and Norway to preserve 12 ethnic minority villages that encompass more than 40 square miles. Hike back to Zhaoxing via a mountain path (transport available for those not hiking.)
 Lunch: at your hotel.
 Afternoon: Visit Zhaoxing primary school, one of the largest for ethnic students. Speak with teachers and students about educational goals and the question of whether education leads to exodus.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
 Evening: The Dong people are renowned for their unique a capella harmonies. Enjoy a performance of the Dong People’s Chorus at one of Zhaoxing’s beautiful drum towers.
Accommodations: Zhaoxing Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Free Morning/ Coach to Guiyang Capital City
(Friday, April 24)
 Breakfast: In the hotel. Tai chi is offered before breakfast.
 Morning: Free time to explore on your own.
 Lunch: your choice to explore local fare in Zhaoxing.
 Afternoon: Depart for Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province. The trip on a new highway takes about 5 hours, including rest stops on the way.
 Dinner: in your hotel
 Evening: Join your Program Leader for Chinese Conversation.
Accommodations: Ramada Plaza Hotel Guiyang
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15: Earth Opera/ Children's Palace
(Saturday, April 25)
 Breakfast: In the hotel. Tai chi is offered before breakfast.
 Morning: Explore Ji Chang village whose residents are descendants of Han military units sent to Guizhou in the 15th century. Among the customs they brought with them is dixi' (earth opera'), a folk form that dates from the early Ming Dynasty and is still performed in 'old Han' locales. Villagers will perform a sampling of dixi, using traditional hand-made wooden masks.
 Lunch: at a 'dim sum' restaurant
 Afternoon: Engage with local youngsters at Guiyang 'Children's Palace' a government supported recreation center, examples of which exist throughout China and where activities include music, dance, painting, calligraphy, sports and martial arts.
 Dinner: Your chance to choose local fare.
 Evening: at your leisure
Accommodations: Ramada Plaza Hotel Guiyang
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Chongqing / Giant Pandas/Yangtze River
(Sunday, April 26)
 Breakfast: After morning tai ji practice, enjoy breakfast at hotel buffet.
 Morning: Morning flight to Chongqing, an independent municipality in Szechuan Province and situated at the head of the navigable Yangtze River.
 Lunch: in a restaurant en route
 Afternoon: At Chongqing Zoological Gardens view Giant Pandas which are indigenous to Szechuan Province only.
 Dinner: Dinner is at a restaurant near the Yangtze piers.
 Evening: This evening, board your Yangtze vessel and, as you set sail, view the brightly lit hill city of Chongqing at night.
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Sailing on the Yangtze
(Monday, April 27)
 Breakfast: Ship's buffet
 Morning: Discuss traditional Chinese medicine and consider the Yangtze's influence on China. Where possible, your national guide will also continue instruction in Tai Ji and Chinese conversation.
 Lunch: Hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Visit a new village for relocated families. Explore their agricultural market and visit with a local family.
 Dinner: Before dinner on board, the Captain invites you to a welcome reception.
 Evening: Evening entertainment includes performances of Chinese music and dance.
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Sailing through Yangtze Gorges/ Sampan cruise on Mini-Gorges
(Tuesday, April 28)
 Breakfast: Ship's buffet
 Morning: Today, pass through the magnificent Yangtze Gorges and cruise in sampans up a mini-gorge on a pristine tributary of the Yangtze where you can catch glimpses of red monkeys amongst the trees, goats clinging to the craggy cliffs, and 'hanging coffins' secured in the cliff face by the Ba people centuries ago.
 Lunch: on board.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to enjoy sailing on the river, ship's presentations, or Chinese language learning with your program leader.
 Dinner: on board.
 Evening: Enjoy an on-board performance of Chinese music and dance.
Accommodations: Victoria Cruise Lines
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Three Gorges Dam/ Disembark and fly to Shanghai
(Wednesday, April 29)
 Breakfast: ship's buffet
 Morning: This morning, take a short coach ride to the Three Gorges Dam site. From an observation deck, you have a bird's-eye view of the dam, five-step ship lock, diversion canal, and power station. A nearby exhibition displays a dam model; a briefing will explain this project, one of the largest construction ventures ever.
 Lunch: en route to Yichang airport.
 Afternoon: Disembark in the Yangtze town of Yichang for a late afternoon flight to Shanghai
 Dinner: in a local restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Shanghai: Ancient Arts in Modern China
(Thursday, April 30)
 Breakfast: In the hotel. Tai chi is offered before breakfast.
 Morning: This morning, explore Shanghai Art Museum which houses China’s finest collection of ceramics, painting, sculpture, and bronzes. If you like, join your local guide for a ride on the Shanghai metro to the Museum stop – or take the coach.
 Lunch: Coach to Shanghai's fashionable Xin Tian Di (New Heaven Earth) section. Explore its lanes, cafes, shops, and a small restored residence/museum independently. Take lunch of your own choosing.
 Afternoon: The astonishing transformation of Shanghai into one of the world’s ‘mega cities’ is revealed in a huge scale model that projects a city of the future at the Shanghai Urban Planning Center which we visit this morning. Compare this daring vision of the future with historical photos that capture cityscapes of days gone by.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a performance by the renowned Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe.
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 21: Shanghai's Changing Citiscape/Yu Garden/ the Bund
(Friday, May 1)
 Breakfast: Following morning tai ji, enjoy breakfast at hotel buffet.
 Morning: Explore the Ming Dynasty Yu Garden in Shanghai’s historic district. The garden’s classical pavilions, fountains, and arching bridges exemplify traditional Chinese garden landscaping.Continue on to the riverfront Bund beside iconic art deco and neo-classic buildings stemming from Shanghai's history as a foreign 'concession'. View across the river 'new Shanghai' -- until recently undeveloped farmland and now a forest of glittering skyscrapers.
 Lunch: Savor a delicious and imaginative vegetarian meal near the active Longhua Temple.
 Afternoon: Free Time
 Dinner: Farewell Banquet in nearby restaurant.
 Evening: at your leisure
Accommodations: Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: International Departures
(Saturday, May 2)
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: Your National Guide will give you information regarding departure to Shanghai Airport for your international flights.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Xi'an Forest of Stone Steles Museum
This small, pleasant museum -- once a temple with peaceful gardens -- houses ancient stone tablets with exemplary Chinese calligraphy. As well, it has a small collection of sculpture and ceramics.
  Night Market
Xi'an's night market bustles with activity. Locals and visitors stroll, chat and look for bargains.
  People's Park
Typical meeting place where various generations gather for tai ji, to air pet birds, play traditional musical instruments or practice local opera.
  Zhaoxing Hike to a Village
There are several Dong villages just outside of Zhaoxing that are not included on the itinerary. The roads to them are unpaved and have exquisite scenery.
  Beijing Beijing Summer Palace
Located outside Beijing, the Summer Palace is among the largest and best preserved of imperial parks. It is famed for Kunming Lake which is laced with lily ponds and crossed by steep arching bridges. It can be reached easily by taxi or by metro.
  Beijing Walks
Many areas of Beijing are quite ‘walkable’. Frommer’s Beijing (or on line: ) contains interesting walking tours with clear directions. We strongly recommend using this for free time self-guided walks. For additional information, visit
  Capital Museum of Beijing
A new and elegant building housing five floors of Chinese arts including artifacts, calligraphy, painting, jade, and sculpture. For additional information, visit
  Factory 798
This defunct German-built factory complex houses international exhibitions of modern art, contemporary Chinese art, as well as creative art festivals in the spring and fall and contains various galleries, bookstores, cafes, etc. This Bauhaus influenced complex is quite large; maps are available on-site to navigate the different buildings and galleries.
  Liulichang Antiques Area
Restored area known especially for antiques, calligraphy, paintings, coins collectibles, and tea shops.
  Panjiayuan (Dirt Market)
Wander amongst thousands of stalls offering assortments of Chinese antiques and collectibles. Open weekends only and located further southeast of the city center. Bring your bargaining skills and watch out for fakes.
  The Beihai Park
This former imperial garden with a scenic large lake is a lovely spot to walk about or just to sit and people-watch as it is a favorite park for families to relax.
  Shanghai French Concession
The former French concession contains mansions from colonial past, many now turned into chic restaurants and pubs, often with garden seating. The area also includes Huaihai Road with upscale shops and the former residence of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, now a small and pleasant museum open to the public.
  Hall of Urban Planning Center
The Shanghai Exhibition Hall of Urban Planning (not far from the Shanghai Museum) includes archival photos and a vast scale model of Shanghai as projected in 2020.
  Huangpu River Cruise
There are many cruise offerings both night and day and differing in length of time. Ask your local guide in Shanghai how to arrange for tickets. Evening cruises can sometimes be very crowded.
  Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Built in 1994, situated on the Pudong side of the river, the TV tower offers 365 degree views of Shanghai. Lines can sometimes be quite long.
  Peace Hotel
This art deco hotel built by the Sassoon family has recently been restored. Enjoy the lobby or walk up to the roof and garden bar for spectacular views of the Bund and the Huangpu River and the newly developed Pudong area on the opposite bank.
  Renmin Guangchang (People's Square)
Located just off of the main shopping street Nanjing Road, this square was once the site of a horse-racing track popular in Shanghai among the 1930s elite. The park serves as a meeting place for Shanghai locals to practice tai ji or martial arts, play games or perform music and dance. Numerous attractions surround the square, including an English-style clock tower building, which was used as clubhouse for the Shanghai Race Club. Other surrounding buildings include Shanghai City Hall, the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Shanghai Urban Planning Center.
  Shanghai Walks
Many areas of Shanghai are quite ‘walkable’. Frommer’s Shanghai (or on line: contains interesting walking tours with clear directions. We strongly recommend using this for free time self-guided walks. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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