Road Trip China

Road Trip - China

Only 660€ per week!

Explore the great mainland, and ride on an amazing fast train during this all-in-one road trip encompassing the best China has to offer!

Learn about China and its rich, vast culture. Encounter incredible Pandas, the scenic mountains of Hongyan village. Practice some Chinese language and experience the coastal city of Zhanjiang. This broad and well-rounded program really has it all!

Culture
Learning
Leisure
Community Engagement
Physical Demand





Program Description

This road trip is an incredible journey where you will find yourself immersed in the charming and fascinating nature of Chinese culture.

The first week in Chengdu is a very important step towards a great stay in a new country!

It is a fun filled week that is dedicated to getting you introduced to China and some of its cultural aspects first hand. You will also have opportunities to meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with many different Chinese customs. You will also get to be closer to those amazing Panda bears!

After exploring these wonders in South-west China, it's on to the Fengyan village of Guilin. During the days we spend here with the locals, you will gain an even greater understanding of the Chinese ways of doing things. Plus it is a fun-filled week where you can get to know China and its history.

You will have the time to interact with the villagers, taste the local cuisine and become familiar with the area’s Chinese customs. There are many opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture with visits to local villages, a Confucius temple, a Guangong temple, local fairs, and some amazing natural scenic sites.

After Fengyan Village you will go to Yangshuo, where you can go cycling, boating in the Li river, enjoy the nightlife in West street. It is a famous place with its scenery with mountains and rivers. Followed will be trekking in Longsheng rice terrace. People here are Yao, a minority of China with its special culture. You will also have the chance to see the woman with the longest hair in the world. For Red Yao, the women only cut their hair one time in their whole life. During your stay you will get to know the culture of them.

Zhanjiang is the next stop of this journey, a city in a very special location. It is located in Guangdong Province, faces the South China Sea in the east and the Qiongzhou strait in the south, with over 2000 km of coastline and various harbors.This part of your trip will be more relaxing. You will wind down on the local beaches, soaking in the sunshine and coastal life, with more free time to explore this amazing area. You will visit the dolphin conservation center, help clean the area where dolphins live and also enjoy the traditional local arts. Zhanjiang is a must visit, if not just to indulge in this region’s famous fruits and heavenly seafood dishes.

Haikou is the last stop of this four week journey.Our center located in a Village called Meimei, it is an ancient and artless village located in Haikou, Hainan Province. It was built up in Yuan and Ming dynasty with historical culture. The name of Meimei Village means beauty in Chinese, and according to the legend God made this precious place for people to enjoy their happy and peaceful years. Unique island style brings not only visual pleasure but also relaxing feelings for tourists. You will have the chance to experience local farming life or help teaching, to go to the beach and enjoy the leisure time (Hainan has the most famous beaches in China), to see the city and try local snacks & food.

Please be Advised:

  1. This schedule, especially in Longsheng, participants will need a good physical state (no heart disease, asthma, severe reactions to high altitude)
  2. Self Organized, whether activities or meals, means that TGL coordinator may offer help/suggestions for locating, but these things are paid for on your own.
  3. Train ticket is included in the program fee. It is important to be aware that it is a hard-sleeper train which takes about 24 hours in total. The Chengdu coordinator will see you off at Chengdu station and the Guilin coordinator will pick participants up from the station upon arrival in Guilin.

Aims & Objectives

  • Give you a complete, cultural experience of China
  • Expose you to major cultural sites and scenic locations along an action-packed journey
  • Instill an appreciation of Chinese culture, history, and its contribution to the world

Schedule

Week 1

Day 1: Sunday

Chengdu

  • Arrival in Chengdu airport by flight
  • Transfer to Mrs. Panda Hostel with airport express bus or Metro (depends on the time or arrival), to freshen up and relax
  • Free time to orient yourself, catch up on rest to recover from jet lag, or find some local food on your own!
Overnight stay in Hostel in Chengdu

Day 2: Monday

Chengdu

  • Breakfast
  • First things first! A visit to the Pandas at the Breeding Center of Chengdu
  • Lunch
  • Time to explore! A half day city-walking tour in Chengdu:
  • Tianfu square, to see city business center, and the statue of Chairman Mao
  • The People’s Park to see how local people spend their leisure time;
  • Kuan & Zhai Alley is a newly renovated culture street with ancient architecture and a variety of shops etc.
  • Panda post
  • Welcome Dinner – Local cuisine: Hot Pot!
Overnight stay in Hostel in Chengdu

Day 3: Tuesday

Panda Reserve

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Panda Reserve by highway bus
  • Lunch at the Panda conservation
  • In the afternoon, visit Panda Reserve office to get registered as a helper, get work uniform and staff card
  • Join a training screening to get basic knowledge of Pandas (can also be watched anytime during the week if you want to know more about Pandas!)
  • Meet your Trainer aka the Panda Keeper
  • Take a tour of the Panda Base waterfall (if time allows)
  • Dinner at the Panda base Hotel
Overnight stay at the panda base

Day 4: Wednesday

Panda Reserve

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are offered
  • Working with the Panda keepers
  • Optional activities during the evenings available: Chinese language lesson
Overnight stay at the panda reserve

Day 5: Thursday

Chengdu city

  • Breakfast
  • Bus back to Chengdu
  • Lunch
  • Visit Huanghuaxi Park,the biggest park in Chengdu
  • Visit Qingyang Temple, a famous Taoist Holy Land
  • Dinner
  • Enjoy the Sichuan opera(based on face changes,self-organized)
Overnight stay in the Chengdu hostel

Day 6: Friday

Chengdu city and Huanglongxi

  • Breakfast
  • Explore the Chengdu Museum
  •  Lunch
  • Bus to Huanglongxi Ancient Town-to see the old street, temples and old buildings of Ming and Qing dynasty,incl stilted building.
  • Dinner in the city (self-organized)
  •  Free time and experience the nightlife of Chengdu
Overnight stay in the Chengdu hostel

Day 7: Saturday

Chengdu city

  • Breakfast
  • Bus to Leshan
  • One day tour to Leshan Giant Stone Buddha
  • Lunch in Leshan
  • Return to Chengdu City
  • Dinner
Overnight stay in the Chengdu hostel

Week 2

Day 8: Sunday

Train to Gongcheng Town, Guilin

  • Breakfast
  • High speed train to Gongcheng, about 8 hours
  • Lunch is on your own in the train
  • Arrive in Guilin in the evening
  • Dinner in the center
Overnight TGL Guilin center

Day 9: Monday

Guilin

  • Late Breakfast (sleep in a bit if you like)
  • Walk around the village with coordinators to explore local life,climb the mountain of the village
  • Lunch
  • Introduction to China: Chinese lesson
  • Chinese Lesson 1: Chinese alphabet
  • Hot tips on living in China;
  • Dinner
  • Optional activity :Play Mahjong, Chinese chess or watch a Chinese movie
Overnight stay at TGL Guilin center

Day 10: Tuesday

Guilin

  •  Make “Chinese coffee”- local oil tea, a specialty from the Yao culture
  • Breakfast
  • Chinese Lesson 2: Numbers – taking part in a culture session focusing on Chinese festivals
  • Lunch
  • Visit Hongyan Village (new Socialism Model village with Persimmon forest) Visit Fengyu Bridge (from the Yao culture)
  • Dinner
  • Optional activity :Play Mahjong, Chinese chess or watch a Chinese movie
Overnight stay in TGL Guilin Center

Day 11: Wednesday

Guilin

  • Breakfast
  • Chinese Lesson 3: Basic Conversation
  • Lunch
  • Take part in s culture session focusing on Chinese food;

Dinner

  • Optional activity :Play Mahjong, Chinese chess or watch a Chinese movie
Overnight stay in our Guilin center

Day 12: Thursday

Guilin

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner are offered
  • Learning Chinese songs
  • Chinese Calligraphy
  • Lunch
  • Tour Gongcheng County (Confucius Temple, Guangdong Temple, Gongcheng YAO Minorities’ Musuem and learn the history,culture, folk of it)
  • Free time and shopping
  • BBQ
Overnight stay in our Guilin center

Day 13: Friday

Yangshuo

  • Breakfast & Lunch are offered.
  • Pack and transfer to Yangshuo in the morning.
  • Check in hostel
  • Lunch in Yangshuo.
  • Cycling to the big Banyan scenery spot, climb Moon Hill. This is pictured on the front of Lonely Planet China!
  • Dinner at Western Street (self-organized), a good chance to try local food or find some Western comfort food to satisfy any cravings!
  • Free time in Western Street
  • Evening recommended activity: Appreciating the light show: Impression Liusanjie. Directed by Mr. Zhangyimou
Overnight stay in Yangshuo hostel

Day 14: Saturday

Yangshuo

  • ·Breakfast
  • Bus to Xingping
  • Bamboo raft up the Li River
  • Lunch in Xingping
  • Tour around Xingping village
  • Back to Yangshuo for dinner
  • Dinner at Western Street (self-organized), a good chance to try local food or find some Western comfort food to satisfy any cravings!
Overnight stay in Yangshuo hostel

Week 3

Day 15: Sunday

Longsheng

  • Breakfast
  • Departure from Yangshuo
  • Arrive Dazhai village of Longsheng (check in and get settled)
  • Lunch
  • Spend the day trekking the spectacular terraced hills – JinFoDing. Enjoy the beautiful Scenery of Dazhai and Zhuang culture.
  • Dinner
  • Evening recommended activity: Appreciating long hair show and performance (Yao People). A Bonfire party is included in the show.
Overnight stay in Longsheng

Day 16: Monday

Longsheng

  • Breakfast、Lunch and dinner are included
  • Spend the day for more trekking – Xishan Shaoyue or Qianceng Tianti.
  • Dinner
Overnight stay in Longsheng

Day 17: Tuesday

Overnight Train

  • Bus ride back to Guilin
  • Breakfast and lunch offered during the ride
  • Arrive in Guilin, free time for relaxing
  • City tour in Guilin/Chinese massage to reduce any tension from your trek! (self organized)
  • Dinner
  • Night train to Zhanjiang
Overnight stay on the train

Day 18: Wednesday

Zhanjiang

  • Arrive in Zhanjiang in the early morning
  • Check into hostel Breakfast
  • Unpack and relax
  • Relax on beachLunch
  • Visit a university and meet the students
Overnight stay in Zhanjiang center

Day 19: Thursday

Donghai Island

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Donghai Island and tour the area
  • Lunch
  • Visit the local village
  • Watch a documentary of dolphin
  • Make local snacks
Overnight stay in the Dolphin Center on Donghai Island

Day 20: Friday

Donghai Island

  • Breakfast
  • Take a boat to sea and if you are lucky, see some dolphins! Fishing from the boat
  • Lunch at the center
  • In the afternoon, clean the beach area.
  • Relax and enjoy the beautified area
  • Dinner BBQ night in the center
Overnight stay in the Dolphin Center on Donghai Island

Day 21: Saturday

Zhanjiang City

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer back to Zhanjiang city
  • Lunch
  • Zhanjiang Museum;
  • Free time in City park and shopping mall
  • Dinner (self-organized)
Overnight stay in our Zhanjiang center

Week 4

Day 22: Sunday

Hainan

  • Breakfast
  • Train to Haikou(about 5 hours)
  • Arrive Haikou in the afternoon
  • Free time and have a rest
  • Dinner
Overnight stay in Haikou center

Day 23: Monday

Hainan

  • Breakfast
  • Brief introduction to Hainan island and its culture
  • Farm experience-pick up papaya or guava
  • Lunch
  • Take a tour in Yongxing Town,and taste local desert;
  • Dinner
Overnight stay in Haikou center

Day 24: Tuesday

Hainan

  • Breakfast
  • local school visit
  • lunch
  • leisure time on the beach
  • Dinner
Overnight stay in Haikou center

Day 25: Wednesday

Hainan

  • Breakfast
  • local farming life experience or help teaching
  • Lunch
  • Visit Hainan Museum
  • Go to Arcade Streets offering diversity local snacks
  • Self organized dinner
Overnight stay in Haikou center

Day 26: Thursday

Hainan

  • breakfast
  • local farming life experience or help teaching
  • Lunch
  • Make local snacks
  • Dinner
Overnight stay in Haikou center

Day 27: Friday

Hainan

  • Breakfast
  • Local farming life experience or help teaching
  • Lunch
  •  Prepare coconut hotpot materials for dinner
  • Packing
Overnight stay in Haikou center

Day 28: Saturday

Departure day!

Hope you enjoyed this full and varied journey through China!

   Note:   This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:

Maximum age:

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: On Signup

Passport copy required: No

Resume copy required: No

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

  • Due to the length and active nature of this program, a decent level of fitness is required. If you have chronic ailments such as: Asthma, Heart Disease, or any other illness, you might want to consider the high level of activity before booking.

Additional Equipment

  • Good hiking shoes
  • Compact backpack. Less is better!
  • A heavy jacket for winter depends on the season (the temperature can range between 0 – 30 degrees.)

Location

A route from Chengdu to the best places China has to offer. Some bigger cities along the road trip is Guilin and Zhanjiang.

About the Accommodation

Along the route you will have overnight stays in lot’s of different accommodations. You will be sleeping in some of our centers, in a hostel, on a night train, in a homestay, a dolphin center and a panda base. Every accommodation has it’s own character and charm. More information can be found inside the schedule.

Food Arrangements

Mostly Chinese style dishes (vegetarian and fish) will be served during the trip.

Facilities

Along the route – but not at all times – there are ATMs and small local stores. Please make sure you have enough money with you before starting the trip.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

You’ll be on a busy schedule.

Transportation

From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

  • Zhanjiang
  • Donghai Island

Quick Facts

Name: People’s Republic of China

Population: 1.37 billion

Capital: Beijing

Language: Standard Chinese

Currency: Renminbi (Yuan) (CNY)

Time zone: CST (UTC +8)

Country Information

China covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometers making it the 2nd largest country by land area. It is not only the country with the largest population in the world but it is also one of the largest economies laying claim to being the world’s largest exporter and 2nd largest importer of goods.

It is a country of incredible cultural history boasting one of the earliest ancient civilisations dating back to around 2800 BC. Its landscape is equally rich in diversity, ranging from its forest steppes, its deserts in the north and subtropical forests in the south to its 14,500km long stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline. All of this makes China an incredible and exciting place to be, both in what it has to offer today and the story of its past.

Climate

Due to the vast expanse of land that China covers both in terms of longitude and latitude, the climate varies greatly from place to place. Generally, the climate pattern in China is characterised by dry seasons and wet monsoons. The rainy seasons mainly span from May to september but this pattern is less consistent in the some areas such as the dry northwest.

The difference in season causes a pronounced disparity in temperatures between winter and summer. Whilst the summer offers warm temperatures almost everywhere, the winter can cause temperatures to drop significantly, especially in the northern areas of China.

The Monsoon

The southern provinces start to experience the monsoons first, starting in April and May. The winds start to blow north in June meaning that northern provinces receive the rains around July and August, and the rains start to come to an end in September and are generally completely over in October. The northwest of China is the only area that avoids the monsoon climate.

Culture

China is one of four great ancient civilizations with 3,600 years of written history, and its culture both past and present is incredibly profound. Whilst Chinese cultural identity has many common, unifying elements, it is a country that represents 56 ethnic minority groups, the largest of which is the Han Chinese (900 million people), with other groups including the Tibetans, Mongols, Naxi etc. The significance of this is that each group to an extent creates their own culture and so within the vast expanse of China, depending on where you are, cultural variety is plentiful and there to be explored!

The country is currently ruled by The Chinese Communist Party. It is officially atheist, but is slowly and surely becoming more tolerant towards the practice of religion. The five official religions in China are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. Due to the fact that it is only in recent years that tolerance of religion has made any progress, the practice of other religions is not formally recognised, although are often tolerated especially in the case of ancient Chinese beliefs. Currently about a quarter of the population practice Taoism, Confucianism and other traditional religions.

Gastronomy

There are 8 different styles of traditional Chinese cuisine, and traditional food can be found everywhere in China. Other styles adopted into Chinese cuisine and that might be found in China include Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian, Indian and American cuisine.

The staple foods used in Chinese cooking include exactly what you would expect: rice, noodles, and vegetables with sauces and seasonings.

The attitude regarding food in China is generally “waste not, want not” meaning that it not just uses a wide variety of both plants and animals, but every part of these plants and animals are used in some way. For westerners this might mean that there are a few things on the menu that you may not be used to and might want to avoid.

Due to the scale of the country, it isn't surprising that each area of China has a unique style of cooking and the ingredients very much depend on the natural agricultural produce of the specific region. For example the south of China uses far more rice than the north, where wheat is its main ingredient, a reason why noodles and dumplings are much more common. Southern food is also typically more spicy than that of the north.

Common Chinese dishes include: Sweet and Sour Pork, Gong Bao Chicken, Ma Po Tofu, Wontons, Dumplings, Chow Mein, Peking Roasted Duck and Spring Rolls

Transportation

Like its economy, China’s transportation network has rapidly expanded over recent years and now houses the longest road network in the world as well as the busiest train network

Air

Although the most expensive means of transportation, it is by far the most convenient and can save a lot of time travelling the longer distances across China.

The main ports of air travel are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong although all major cities within the country host domestic flights.

Rail

This is the primary mode of transportation in China and most major cities have their own metro systems. As well as its standard vast rail network, China boasts over 7000 km of high-speed rail.

Bus

For local travel, buses are a very affordable way of getting around and a good alternative mode of transport where metro is not available.

Taxi

Taxis are generally cheap and easy to find. Meters are generally used in towns and cities. If your driver does not want to use a meter, common for longer trips out of town, be sure to negotiate a price before the journey.

Other Alternatives

Motor pedicabs, pedicabs and motorbikes can all be found in China and are a cheap way of getting around. We recommend you set a price before using this form of transport.

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