16602
China
China Today: Hidden Villages, Contemporary Cities and Yangtze River
Discover China through its people as you enjoy a meal with locals, speak with villagers in Guizhou, learn about urban planning in Shanghai and sail the historic Yangtze River.
Program No. 16602RJ
Length
22 days
Starts at
4,899
Flights start at
1,000
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22 days
21 nights
55 meals
20 B 17 L 18 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Beijing, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Beijing
D
Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

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

DAY
3
Temple of Heaven, Family Lunch and Walkabout in Old Beijing
Beijing
B,L,D
Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

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.

DAY
4
Walk the Wild Great Wall at Jin Shan Ling
Beijing
B,L
Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

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.

DAY
5
The Forbidden City, Fly to Xi'an, Classical Chinese Music
Xi'an
B,L,D
Grand Noble Hotel

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.

DAY
6
Chinese Life Views, Dynastic Treasures at Museum of History
Xi'an
B,L,D
Grand Noble Hotel

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.

DAY
7
A Qin Emperor's Terra Cotta Warriors, Family-hosted Dinners
Xi'an
B,L,D
Grand Noble Hotel

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.

DAY
8
Fly to Guizhou Province and Coach to Miao Town of Kaili
Kaili
B,L,D
Jiaruihe Weijing International Holiday Hotel

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.

DAY
9
Kaili Sunday Market and Miao Paper-making Village
Kaili
B,L,D
Jiaruihe Weijing International Holiday Hotel

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.

DAY
10
Life in a Hillside Miao Village, Overnight in Leishan
Leishan
B,L,D
Leigongshan International Hotel

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.

DAY
11
Miao Villages in Terraced Landscapes, Overnight Rongjiang
Rongjiang
B,L,D
Dongxiangmi Grand Hotel

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.

DAY
12
Rural Villages of the Dong People
Zhaoxing
B,L,D
Zhaoxing Hotel

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.

DAY
13
Preserving Traditions in a Dong Village, Countryside Walk
Zhaoxing
B,L,D
Zhaoxing Hotel

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.

DAY
14
Morning at Leisure, Coach to Guiyang Capital City
Guiyang
B,D
Hotel Novotel Guiyang

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.

DAY
15
Villagers in Folk Opera Performance, Children's Palace
Guiyang
B,L
Hotel Novotel Guiyang

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

DAY
16
Fly to Chongqing, Giant Pandas, Yangtze River Sailing
Yangtze River Vessel
B,L,D
Victoria Cruise Lines

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.

DAY
17
Shore Visit to Relocated Families in a New Yangtze Village
Yangtze River Vessel
B,L,D
Victoria Cruise Lines

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.

DAY
18
Sail through the Yangtze Gorges and Mini Gorges
Yangtze River Vessel
B,L,D
Victoria Cruise Lines

Breakfast: Ship's buffet

Morning: Today, pass through the magnificent Yangtze Gorges and ferry 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.

DAY
19
Three Gorges Dam, Disembark & Fly to Shanghai
Shanghai
B,L,D
Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai

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

DAY
20
Arts Museum, Riverside Bund, Acrobatics Performance
Shanghai
B,D
Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai

Breakfast: In the hotel. Tai ji is offered before breakfast.

Morning: This morning, explore Shanghai 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: The museum contains a small café where you can take lunch on your own at a time that is convenient for you as you explore the museum. Your group leader can also give you suggestions for restaurants nearby.

Afternoon: Depart the museum for a stroll on the Bund, Shanghai's Huangpu River promenade, to view the busy river activity and the iconic art deco and neo-classic buildings dating from the time of 'foreign concessions' in Shanghai.

Dinner: In a local restaurant.

Evening: Enjoy a performance by the renowned Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe. Acrobatics have, for thousands of years, been considered as one of the 'treasures' of Chinese performing arts and figure in other genres such as Beijing Opera.

DAY
21
Yu Garden, Buddhist Vegetarian Lunch, Taikang Road
Shanghai
B,L,D
Four Points by Sheraton Daning Hotel Shanghai

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.

Lunch: Savor a delicious and imaginative vegetarian meal near the active Longhua Temple.

Afternoon: Stop at Taikang Road area (also known as Tian Zi Fang). Once a Shanghai residential neighborhood in the former French Concession this district is now a lively area with cafes, craft shops, design studios and tea houses.

Dinner: Farewell Banquet in nearby restaurant.

Evening: at your leisure

DAY
22
Program Concludes
Shanghai
B

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Your National Guide will give you information regarding departure to Shanghai Airport for your international flights.