Top 8 China Educational Tour Destinations in China
China has become Asia's most popular travel destination for overseas students. A study tour across the expansive China would make an impressive encounter with the one of the most stunning and culturally rich country in the world. Home to the world's oldest and longest civilization stretching back over five millenniums, China will get you to see and touch history at every turn. However, the greatest experience your group will gain on a China educational tour is more than just history, but also the captivating landscape, fabulous art, local people and even the incredible food. Here below are 8 best places that should definitely on top of any student travelers' list. Just take the chance to step outside of the familiar and be ready to experience something totally new.
Beijing is no doubt China's most prosperous modern metropolis, while the capital is also a great gateway to explore the glorious past of the Middle Kingdom. Beijing holds some of Chinese best imperial sites to trace the feudal history, from the Forbidden City served as the dwelling palace of 24 emperors to the Temple of Heaven for sacred royal ceremony as well as the Summer Palace used as a retreat escape of royal members.
Another must-do for student travelers in Beijing is to hike the Great Wall that stands for the biggest and most astonishing ancient engineer work across China. To peek at the Beijingers' life, there are plenty of places to go, such as the old hutong alleys and the morning park of the Temple of Heaven, where vibrant local life is showcased. Particularly at hutong neighbors, there are lots of cultural and social activities to keep students enriched, such as learning Chinese calligraphy and painting as well as making a mask of Peking opera. Art students and young travelers may find 798 art zone a cool place to encounter with some of Chinese most edging artists with their own studios, galleries and workshops. Besides, Beijing Zoo is also a stand-out as the nearest place to see giant pandas.
Yet Xian, a Chinese ancient capital has rich history and culture for students to meet and dig. Firstly, Xian houses one of the world's most astounding archaeological sites, the incredible Terracotta Army. You will not get to see such a huge collection of 8,000 life-size terracotta sculptures anywhere else in the world, and it is a key site for visitors to reveal the secrets of the first monarch of China, Qin Shi Huang.
Beyond that, Xian offers more than you could imagine. One could immerse into the city's historical ambience by a bike ride on the top of the 600-year-old Ming City Wall, or a pilgrimage to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to learn about China's most legendary missionary journey to the west of Monk Xuanzang in Tang Dynasty, or a visit to the Hanyang Tomb to observe the uniquely naked clay figurines and the rich burial customs of ancient China. Meanwhile, the Banpo Museum for a look into primitive man's life and Beilin Museum for China's most brilliant calligraphy carving steles are also marvelous educational sites to go.
Luoyang is another significant ancient capitals of 13 ruling dynasties, so the city also retains a great number of historical and culture relics. In close proximity to Luoyang downtown, Longmen Grottoes is one of China's four most splendid Buddhist grottoes sites. Firstly built in the North Wei Dynasty, the treasure house of ancient stone-carving boasts over 10,000 stone statues with largest ones taller than 17 meters and smallest ones shorter than 2 centimeters. It opens a window for student travelers to gain insights into Chinese ancient religion and sculpturing art.
Additionally, for student tour groups, a more appealing point of Luoyang should be the Shaolin Kungfu. It is very easy to make a side trip from Luoyang to Dengfeng where the Shaolin Temple, the cradle of Chinese Kung Fu, is located. Watching a fantastic Kung Fu show and having a real Chinese Kung Fu class with the martial monks in the temple would absolutely be a highlight of your China study tour.
With a history over 3,000 years, Chengdu is a well-known historical and cultural city, but what makes Chengdu an internationally renowned destination is its special residents, the giant pandas. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is one of the best and most popular educative tour places in China. There students could not only observe the cuddly pandas of all ages in their enclosures, but also have opportunities to take care of this endangered species by working as volunteer panda keepers. Spend a day to be panda experts with a series of tasks, such as cleaning panda's house, making them meals, hand-feeding them and watching documentary about giant pandas' living condition.
Moreover, Chengdu in Southwest China is one of the most leisurely cities in China. You will indulge in the leisurely atmosphere by visiting the People's Park, where your team will meet locals relaxing and socializing via sipping tea in the city's 100-year-old outdoor Heming Teahouse. Besides, remember to try the unique local ear cleaning service here served by vendors along the paths.
As the financial heart of China, Shanghai is blessed with an incredible blend of western and oriental cultures, boasting world's tallest skyscrapers and finest shopping malls as well as hotels. However, if you just think of Shanghai a modern and rich metropolis, your discovery of this magical city would be so much limited.
Actually, the heartbeat of Shanghai is captured by the city's fabulous historical monuments. The iconic Bund, a waterfront promenade known as the museum of buildings in various architectural styles, offers an impressive insight into the city's colonial past. The old French Concession and the Shikumen residences would let you unveil the fascinating western influence in modern China. Meanwhile, you could learn about the city's old jewels like Yu Garden and Jade Buddha Temple, and recall the modern Chinese history of 1960s by a visit to a hidden gem, Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre.
Hangzhou is one of China's most popular tourist cities renowned for its classical nature beauty and livable city ambience that have inspired much of the country's art and literature. Most visitors to Hangzhou are deeply drawn by the city's No. 1 stunner, the famous West Lake. Surrounded by green hills shrouded in mist, willow-tree lined causeways, elegant gardens, temples and pagodas, West Lake is a UNESCO-listed city oasis holding leisure and pleasure in abundance. Biking along the winding paths is the most popular way for student travelers to explore the lake, while boating the lake in laziness is also a treat.
In addition, those seeking an in-depth discovery of Hangzhou tea culture should make a visit to Meijiawu Tea Village. It has long been a major center of Longjng green tea production in China, where you could join the local tea farmers to pick the tea leaves by wearing their bamboo pack baskets and straw-hats, and immerse into the joy of tea harvest. The local expert would enlighten you more on the history and traditions about the Longjing Tea.
Suzhou is definitely a must-go city for student travelers. Just one hour drive from Shanghai, Suzhou is the superexcellent place for you to absorb the classic garden architecture and dreamy water towns in China. Christened the “Venice of the East”, Suzhou boasts China's most fascinating water towns like Tongli, Zhouzhuang, Mudu and Luzhi. Made up of latticework of canals, stone bridges and faded folk residences, these quiet towns offer laid-back atmosphere and views with its third-millennium settlements beside the waterways.
Besides, the gardens in Suzhou is also shining gems to discover. The city keeps a significant UNESCO-listed legacy of gardens such as Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden and Net Master's Garden. They are the best windows to see how Chinese people achieve the balance between nature and residential life.
Dunhuang City in the western gobi desert is also worth an adventure. As one of the most prosperous trading hubs on the ancient Silk Road, Dunhuang is richly blessed with stunning desert landscape, camel flocks, Buddhist caves, mural paintings and miracle lakes. All these make Dunhuang an increasingly popular destination for student tour groups to learn about the culture and economic exchange on the ancient caravan trail.
And one of the most remarkable historical sites in Dunhuang is the UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves. It is truly a treasure house having the most brilliant Buddhist art in China. You will have a chance to witness well-preserved mural paintings and grotto statues in the caves from the 4th century to the 14th century, and visualize how camel caravan meander through the desert towards west. Meanwhile, seize the chance to uncover the natural magic of the Singing Sand Dunes and the Crescent Moon Lake.