Cultural/History tour to Beijing and Shanghai by air: 8 days, 6 nights

Cultural/History tour to Beijing and Shanghai by air: 8 days, 6 nights

Your tour to Beijing and Shanghai is a sure to be a trip of a lifetime that will also prove to be a wonderful language and cross-curricular learning opportunity, bringing many areas of the KS3 and KS4 curriculum to life.

Suggested itinerary

  • Day one
  • Fly overnight from the UK to Beijing
  • Day two
  • Arrive in Beijing
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Olympic Park
  • Birds Nest
  • Overnight in Beijing
  • Day three
  • Great Wall
  • Forbidden City
  • Overnight train to Xian
  • Day four
  • Arrive in Xian
  • Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Ancient City Wall
  • Overnight in Xian
  • Day five
  • Terracotta Warriors
  • Huaqing Hot Springs
  • Overnight train to Shanghai
  • Day six
  • Arrive in Shanghai
  • Jade Buddha Temple
  • Oriental Pearl TV Tower
  • Yu Garden
  • The Bund
  • Overnight in Shanghai
  • Day seven
  • Full day visit to Suzhou
  • Humble Administrator's Garden
  • Fisherman's Garden
  • Walk along the Grand Canal
  • Silk Factory
  • Overnight in Shanghai
  • Day eight
  • Transfer to airport
  • Flight back to the UK

Excursion locator map

Cultural/History tour to Beijing and Shanghai by air: 8 days, 6 nights

  • Beijing Pearl Market (Hongqiao market)

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural

    What you’ll experience:

    Beijing's most popular and largest market notably for freshwater pearl jewellery but also offers many other items such as clothing and luggage. More than 1,000,000 visitors come to the market each year.

    Select says:

    A good spot to haggle for a bargain. But beware of electrical goods – stick to souvenirs!

  • Tiananmen Square

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    Thousands of people come to this famous square every day. Located in the middle of Beijing City you can see Tiananmen Tower, the monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall. You may also see the national flag raising ceremony.

    Select says:

    Tiananmen Square can hold 1 million people!

  • Wild Goose Pagoda

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    As the symbol of the old-line Xian, Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. There are many featured squares and gardens around the pagoda and temple.

    Select says:

    The North Square boasts the largest musical fountain in Asia.

  • Beijing Olympic Park

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    A highlight of the park is the Beijing National Stadium also known as the Bird's Nest. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and is now used mainly for football matches.

    Select says:

    Find out more about the Olympic Park here.

  • The Great Wall

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    There are several possibilities when visiting the Great Wall. The most popular with school groups are the Juyongguan Pass, the Badaling section and the Mutianyu section, all between 1.5-2 hours from Beijing. The most popular section overall is the Badaling which is one of the best preserved sections with a backdrop of mountain scenery. The Mutianyu part of the wall can be less busy and has breath-taking views over forests. Its design is fairly unique with watchtowers and fortresses densely located along a short stretch of the wall.

    Select says:

    The Badaling and Mutianyu sections both have cable cars.

  • Summer Palace

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    This beautiful Lakefront palace is renowned for its ornate temple, artworks, landscaped gardens, arched bridges, pretty promenades, decorated corridors and breezeways. The Chinese call it Yihe Yuan (Garden of Restful Peace), and the landscaped gardens, temples, and pavilions were designed to achieve harmony with nature, to soothe, and to please the eye. The Summer Palace was initially built in 1750 by Emperor Qianglong.

    Select says:

    It covers an area of 70 thousand square metres - wear comfortable shoes!

  • Forbidden City

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    The world's largest palace complex, Forbidden City was the imperial palace for Ming and Qing Dynasties and has a 600 year history. The palace complex is a great example of traditional Chinese palatial architecture.

    Select says:

    There are over a million rare and valuable works of art in the permanent collection of the Palace Museum including paintings, ceramics, seals and sculptures.

  • Temple of Heaven

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    This is a beautiful temple complex opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion. The temple was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.

    Select says:

    There is a long covered walkway near the East Gate where locals gather on the weekend to play cards, sing traditional songs, play music, dance and do group exercises.

  • The Hutongs

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    Hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. You can take a rickshaw ride along some of the wider hutong areas.

    Select says:

    People say that the real culture of Beijing is the culture of the Hutong and Courtyards so this is a real opportunity for students to experience traditional China.

  • Wangfujing Street

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    This is one of the most famous streets for shopping in Beijing, and is located in the Dongcheng District. The name means Prince's Mansion Well. The majority of the main area is pedestrianized. There have been commercial activities here since the middle of the Ming Dynasty.

    Select says:

    You can see and taste the exotic cuisine associated with China on this street from snake to grilled scorpions.

  • Ancient City wall

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    Xi'an was originally a walled city, and today the wall is considered a landmark dividing the city into the inner part and the outer part.

    Select says:

    Bikes can be hired to ride along the wall.

  • Terracotta Army

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    The terracotta army was discovered by accident in 1974 at Xian, in China, when local farmers digging a well broke into a pit containing 6000 life-size terracotta figures. Excavation in 1976 revealed two further pits both filled with terracotta warriors. On the eastern side of the tomb a number of small pits have been found containing the bones of horses and smaller size terracotta figures of grooms. Since then discoveries have continued to be made at the site.

    Select says:

    To date the remains of nearly 8000 terracotta figures have been recovered.

  • Hua Qing Hot Springs

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    Huaqing Pool or the Huaqing Hot Springs are a complex of hot springs located in an area characterized by mild weather and scenic views at the northern foot of Mount Li, one of the three major peaks of the Qi.

    Select says:

    The gardens are beautiful and peaceful here.

  • The Bund

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    The Bund is a famous mile long waterfront and regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. It is on the west bank of Huangpu River from the Waibaidu Bridge to Nanpu Bridge.

    Select says:

    The Bund houses 52 buildings of various architectural styles amongst which are Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance.

  • Yu Garden

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    Yuyuan Garden is a famous and beautiful classical garden located in Anren Jie, Shanghai. There are 6 areas to the garden. A centrepiece is the Currow ancient stone.

    Select says:

    Each area is separated from the others by dragon walls with undulating tiled ridges, each ending in a dragon's head.

  • Oriental Pearl TV Tower

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower is a TV tower in Shanghai. Its location at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district, by the side of Huangpu River, opposite of the Bund makes it a distinct landmark in Shanghai.

    Select says:

    The tower has fifteen observatory levels. The highest, known as the Space Module, is at 350 metres.

  • Jade Buddha Temple

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    The Jade Buddha Temple is a Buddhist temple in Shanghai, best known for its two jade Buddha statues. The temple is a complex of buildings and courtyards. The two jade Buddhas are located upstairs in the side buildings behind the Grand Hall, the largest temple building.

    Select says:

    As with many modern Chinese Buddhist temples, this temple draws from both the Pure Land and Chan traditions of Mahayana Buddhism.

  • Silk Mill

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    China is known for its silk and Suzhou is the most famous place for silk production. A factory tour will give an overview of Suzhou's silk industry including silkworm cultivation and the production of silk thread on a silk reeling mill.

    Select says:

    The silk factory has a beautiful website where students can find out extra information pre tour and where you can see some of the traditional silk clothes made.

  • Grand Canal

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    Grand Canal, also known as Jinghang (Beijing to Hangzhou), is the most ancient man-made canal in China and the world.

    Select says:

    With a length of around 1,770 km, Grand Canal traverses Beijing, Tianjin, and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, to the city of Hangzhou.

  • Humble Administrator's Garden

    Subject range: MFL, Cultural, History

    What you’ll experience:

    The Humble Administrator's Garden, covering about 52,000 square metres (12.85 acres), is the largest and most renowned garden. Due to its unique designs and ethereal beauty, the garden has accumulated many special honours.

    Select says:

    It is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site and has also been designated as one of the Cultural Relics of National Importance under the Protection of the State as well as a Special Tourist Attraction of China.

Cultural/History tour to Beijing and Shanghai by air: 8 days, 6 nights

Learning areas:

History:

  • Mao’s China, c.1930–1976

Languages:

Chinese (Mandarin)      

  • Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing

Art:

  • How art & design relates to their social, historical, vocational and cultural contexts
  • Art from different cultures and their contribution to continuity and change in society

Geography:

  • Tourism
  • Population
  • Urban environments

 

 

Select Extras:

KS3/4 There are some fantastic video clips available to use pre-tour to help your students make the most of their tour. For example, ‘An introduction to China and the Chinese language’ and ‘Food, markets and new shopping centres in Beijing’:

BBC Bitesize KS3 Mandarin
BBC Bitesize GCSE Mandarin

Students could also try this resource: Time for Kids - Around the World - China

Cultural/History tour to Beijing and Shanghai by air: 8 days, 6 nights

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    Capacity: 192 rooms

    The Swan Hotel is located near to Luxun Park, and is around 10 minutes' drive from the historic Bund area.

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