Travel to China
Highlights of CHINA: Progress and Its Price
November 2-18, 2008
20 years ago, when foreign visitors first began arriving in China in large numbers, a typical tourist itinerary would feature world-renowned locations like the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Terra-Cotta Army. It was a country both remote and exotic, with a long history but with little international presence. In the two decades since, China’s economy has grown at a stunning pace, and its impact can now be felt in everything from the price of oil to the cost of shoes and toys. If China’s development can affect a market as large and as distant as that in the U.S., what has it meant to the people at home?
To explore this question, the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association has organized “China: Progress and its Price,” a special trip which will, of course, include must-see places like the Forbidden City, but which will also bring participants to places seldom seen by tourists, such as the world’s largest light industrial export center and unimaginably large manufacturing zones. We will also have unique opportunities to talk to ordinary citizens about efforts to narrow social disparities, to preserve dying arts like Beijing opera, to protect a rapidly deteriorating environment, and to preserve heritage sites from redevelopment and commercialization.
We invite you to join us in experiencing first-hand what the shock of modernization means to an ancient culture.
Your adventure starts in Beijing where you will visit the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Later tour the Houhai district by pedicab for a view of
traditional life, visit the Summer Palace and experience the Great Wall of China.
You’ll fly to Xian to see the terra
cotta warriors and other historic sites. We will then travel
to Shanghai where you will tour the famous Shanghai Museum. Our trip will take us
next to Hangzhou by way of the picturesque
town of Wuxhen. In Hangzhou we will tour Huagang Park, visit the Buddhist
Lingyin Temple and tour the National Silk
Museum. We will then fly to Guangzhou and tour the Nan Yue Wang Tomb Museum,
and the Family Chen’s Clan Temple.
Our trip concludes in Shenzhen where we
will visit industrial parks where China’s recent economic
boom all started
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Day 1 (11/2 Sun) - Depart USA
Day 2 (11/3 Mon) - Beijing
We arrive in Beijing in the early evening. Our tour director will meet us at the
airport and transfer to hotel
- Accommodations at the Grand
Hotel located in the heart of Beijing next to the Forbidden
Enjoy an optional early morning walk to Changpu
Park to observe local Chinese practicing traditional health
forms including Taiji and Qigong (note: this link leads to a great short documentary on Qigong).
After breakfast visit the new Capital
Museum designed by a French architect on West Changan
Avenue. The grand museum houses thirteen exhibition halls
showcasing Chinese art and antiquities over the last two thousand
years. Later, explore Beijing’s picturesque Houhai district
where many old courtyard homes are preserved amid narrow hutong
alleys bordering tree-lined lakes. Tour the district by “pedicab”
for a more lively experience of traditional Chinese life.
Then we divide into smaller groups and enjoy lunch at local
In the afternoon visit the Summer
Palace. Explore the beautiful grounds, cruise the lovely
Kunming Lake, and stroll through the royal gardens. Also,
walk the Painted Gallery, the longest covered walkway in China
famous for its exquisite landscape paintings.
This evening, enjoy a special Peking Duck banquet.
Day 4 - Beijing
This morning, visit Tiananmen
and then the Forbidden City
, the abiding symbol of imperial China. Marvel
at its expansive architecture, magnificent imperial gardens,
and many museums of Chinese antiquities and treasures.
In the afternoon visit the Temple
, one of the finest cultural expressions of the Ming
. The Temple of Heaven represents the most advanced
architecture of its day and served as the ritual center of the
Dinner is on your own. After dinner, there will be a Peking
5 - Beijing
After breakfast we have a discussion with an advocate for
migrant workers who will inform us about the social disparities
emerging in China today.
Then we drive to the famous Great Wall of China at Mutianyu,
a rugged section of the Wall that is less crowded and with
cable car available. Enjoy the astounding views of the Wall
as it winds over the surrounding hills. Tonight, we enjoy
a special banquet at the elegant Shanglinyuan Restaurant inside
Day 6 - Xian
This morning, fly to the ancient Tang Dynasty capital of Xian.
Upon arrival we visit the Yangling Museum, located at the
site of a Han imperial tomb, to view recent archaeological
finds. Later, check in at our hotel. Dinner is on one’s
own this evening.
7 - Xian
This morning visit
the extraordinary 2,300-year-old terracotta warriors, the
tomb of China’s first emperor, Qinshihuang.
The warriors still stand on the original site of the emperor’s
burial complex, where they were discovered by peasants in
In the afternoon explore the the Provincial History Museum and its artifacts spanning many dynasties. We meet with the
museum curator for an introduction to its extraordinary collection,
and examine 1,300+ year old Tang dynasty tomb murals preserved
in a special basement vault which is normally off limits to
the general public.
After lunch we’ll have an opportunity to stroll the
Muslim Quarter and visit its Grand
Mosque. Chinese Muslim culture traces its heritage from
the flourishing Silk Road culture of the Tang dynasty.
Our day concludes with a Dumpling Banquet, featuring 20 varieties
of traditional Chinese
Day 8 - Xian - Shanghai
In the morning we fly to Shanghai and transfer to the hotel. Our city tour includes a visit
to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall where you can
see how Shanghai expects to transform itself over the next
two decades. Later in the day we will have a discussion with
locals on the topic of the state of fine and performing arts
in China and issues of artistic freedom. Dinner is on one’s
Day 9 - Shanghai
- Accommodations at the brand new deluxe Royal Le Meridien Hotel
in the heart of the city
We will spend the morning visiting Shanghai
and viewing its wonderful collection of Chinese bronzes,
jade, pottery and ceramics, paintings and calligraphy, old coins,
Lunch is on our own at Xin
, a development within a historic neighborhood near
the French Concession now famous for its trendy restaurants,
boutiques and galleries. The afternoon is free for shopping
and museum-going. In the evening we enjoy a banquet at the Ruijin
Branch of Xiao Nan Guo Restaurant (Heping Guandi)
Day 10 - Shanghai/Wuzhen/Hangzhou
This morning drive to Wuzhen
a marvelously preserved ancient water town crisscrossed with
canals. Life here is slow and charming, and traditional crafts
like the making of rice wine and cotton batik cloth are still
done by hand. We enjoy lunch by the canal before continuing
on to Hangzhou.
Day 11 - Hangzhou
is the most idyllic ancient city in China, a successful merging
of traditional and modern that exudes the cultural sophistication
of southern China. A thousand years ago, it was the capital
of the Southern Song dynasty, and has since remained a center
of music, art, poetry and the literati lifestyle.
In the morning we tour Huagang Park, sauntering among its exotic
trees, flowers, and fish ponds. Then we explore Guo Zhuang
an unusually well-preserved family manor featuring magnificent
pavilions and gardens on the shore of the West Lake. Countless
garden views open onto colorful lake scenery and surrounding
hillsides, a thrilling experience for the garden lover. Then,
visit the immense estate of the 19th century entrepreneur Hu
Xueyan, which incorporates western elements into traditional
Chinese architectural design.
After lunch, participate in a discussion with locals on the environmental challenges
posed by China’s rapid development.
Later in the day visit the Buddhist
Ling Yin Temple
, one of the grand temples remaining
in China today. We end the day with a sunset boat ride on the
Day 12 - Hangzhou
Day 14 - Guangzhou
In the morning we visit the National
Silk Museum followed by the Tea
Museum. Both museums showcase extensive collection and
exhibits of silk and tea production tradition over 3000 years
history. Hangzhou is the only city in China where all
museums offer free admission, a wonderful example of providing
free education for the citizens, particularly the children.
After lunch, we drive to Yiwu,
one hour away. This is the world’s largest trading center
for light industrial goods, with over a million square meters
of exhibition space and exporting a thousand containers of
goods daily – the sales window of China’s “workshop
to the world.” We return to Hangzhou for dinner.
Day 13 - Hangzhou – Guangzhou
Take a morning flight to Guangzhou.
Upon arrival, tour the Nan Yue Wang Tomb Museum, a Han Dynasty tomb accidentally discovered during groundbreaking for an
office building. Later in the day engage locals in a discussion
on the tensions between urban growth and the preservation
of historic artifacts.
Visit the Family Chen’s
. Then drive for one hour to the city of Foshan
for a tour of a factory which exports apparel (such as Ralph
Lauren and Brooks Brothers shirts) all over the world. Lunch
is at the factory, where we will also hear about corporate social
responsibility programs. Before leaving Foshan, we stop by the
Temple of Ancestors to see its amazingly well-preserved ceramic
decorations which are several centuries old. We then return
to Guangzhou for a dinner featuring special Cantonese cuisine.
Day 15 - Guangzhou - Shenzhen
After breakfast, drive to Shenzhen
(about 2 hrs.). A small village of 2000 people two decades ago,
Shenzhen became the pacesetter in China’s economic reforms.
Visit the industrial parks where China's recent economic spurt
all started. Discussion with locals on unionization and improving
- Accommodations at the deluxe Shangri-la Hotel.
Day 16 • Shenzhen
Optional tour of the Splendid China Miniature Park and Chinese
Ethnic Cultural Park. Spend time on own shopping and exploring
local markets. Tonight’s farewell banquet features fine
Day 17 (11/18) • Shenzhen – Hong Kong
– San Francisco
After breakfast we depart for the Hong Kong airport by bus
(about 3 hours). Our flight arrives in San Francisco the same
day. (B, meals aloft)
Tour quotation, per passenger, based upon double
Full Tour without international air-----------------------$5,490
Tour Single Supplement:--------------------------------$1,690
Pre-Tour Yangzi River Extension-----------------------$1,890
Extension Single Supplement:------------------------------$890
Post-Tour Gullinr Extension---------------------------$1,990
Extension Single Supplement:------------------------------$890
International Air on United Airlines:
SFO/Beijing, Hong Kong/SFO approximately:
San Francisco---Coach Class $1,290-----Buisness Class $7,590
New York------Coach Class $1,390-------Buisness Class $8,990
- All domestic land and air transportation in China
- All sight-seeing, cultural activities, and meals on tour
(except 4 dinners)
- Double occupancy accommodations on the Victoria cruise
ship on the extension
- Double occupancy accommodations in first class deluxe
hotels throughout China
- China Advocates’ tour director and local guides
- Chinese airport taxes and gratuities to guides and drivers
Trip cancellation Insurance, lost baggage, or medical insurance;
Visa processing fee
We require a deposit of $600 per person upon enrollment. The
balance is due 75 days before departure.
Cancellation of the program and tour by an individual or the
group will incur the following penalty per person:
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Leading our trip to China will be June Mei, Bryn Mawr Class
of 1966. A native of New York, June Mei attended elementary
and secondary schools in New York City and Hong Kong. She
completed her undergraduate work at Bryn Mawr College, and
received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University
in History and East Asian Languages.
After teaching History and Asian American Studies at U.C.L.A.
and working in the field of U.S.-China exchanges, she became
an independent consultant and high-level interpreter. Her
clients include Fortune 500 companies, U.S. government agencies,
major museums, foundations, universities and other non-profit
June has worked with several Presidents, Vice Presidents
and Secretaries of State, as well as many other cabinet
members, governors and mayors on diplomatic, policy and
economic exchanges; in the area of business, she has arranged
visits to China for CEO's of major corporations, is an instructor
in executive education programs, and regularly briefs key
executives on current developments; in arts and culture,
she has dealt extensively with special exhibitions and archeological
site visits, and was responsible for taking care of the
Chinese team during its first post-1949 appearance at the
Olympic Games (1984, Los Angeles). She is special consultant
to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for projects in China,
and also China consultant to the American Museum of Natural
June has interpreted for senior American and Chinese officials
both at formal meetings and for interviews broadcast on
all the national TV networks. In 1999, she was invited by
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji to be his principal interpreter
for American TV interviews and for his visits to New York
and Boston -- the first time that any senior Chinese leader
has asked someone other than an official Chinese government
interpreter to do so. She has also been asked to serve as
principal interpreter for the annual meeting of the International
Business Leaders’ Advisory Council to the Mayor of
Shanghai since the founding of the Council in 1990. To date,
she has traveled to China over 100 times, and published
a number of essays on various aspects of Chinese history
and U.S.-China policy issues.
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Yangzi River Cruise
October 29 - November 3, 2008
Highlights of China:
Progress and Its Price
Beijing • Chongqing•
Yangzi River• Beijing
Day 1 - (10/29) -- US/Beijing
Fly from US to Beijing. Arrive on the second day in early
evening. Check in at Grand Hotel. .
Day 3 (10/31) -- Beijing-Chongqing
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After breakfast, our extension begins with a flight to Chongqing,
the great city in the interior of China. We’ll visit
Museum which presents the allied effort in China during
WWII. Later, explore the lively art scene at the Chongqing
Art Galleries. Dinner is at Yangzi Island Restaurant.
Following dinner we board the Yangzi cruise ship, Victoria.
Day 4-5 (11/1-11/2) -- Yangzi River
The main focus of the cruise is the extraordinary Three
Gorges--the deep valleys and towering mountains carved
by the Yangzi River.
Each day there are special excursions on shore, including
a visit of the ancient village Shibaozhai and to the breathtaking Lesser Gorge Daninghe.
Tour the Three
Gorges Dam construction site at Sandouping and sail through
the new ship-locks.
Day 6 (11/3) -- Yichang-Beijing
Disembark the ship in Yichang after lunch. Fly to Beijing in the late afternoon and transit
to Grand Hotel.
The evening is free and dinner is on your own. The main
group arrives tonight.
November 11 - November 22, 2008
Highlights of China
Progress and Its Price
Post Tour Itinerary
Shenzhen • Longsheng • Guilin/Li
River • Yangshuo • Shanghai
Day 1 (11/18) • Shenzhen
Morning flight from Shenzhen to Guilin. Upon arrival, take an
hour bus ride to Longsheng. Longsheng
is famous for rice terraces cut into precipitous hills that
farmers have cultivated since the Yuan dynasty (13th ADE). Spring
is a particularly beautiful season as the paddies fill with
water and reflect the changing panorama of the sky. A little
later, skeins of luscious green rice plants create remarkable
views throughout the valley. Longsheng is the home of Yao
minorities who both continue to don colorful dress and carry
on their traditions. We will explore the village market and
delightful craft shops.
Li An Lodge is a wonderful boutique inn with 16 rooms created
by an American-Chinese artist. (It took eight years to build
and has just opened for business.) The lodge is a work of art
itself, using Vietnamese hardwoods and the owner’s art
and crafts collection in every room. Situated above the rice
terraces with a commanding view of the valley, Li An Lodge will
provide a memorable experience of bucolic China. All three meals
will be prepared by the chef of the lodge with the freshest
produce he personally picked from the farmer’s market
Day 2 (11/19)• Longsheng - Guilin
We continue to explore the paths and life of Longsheng until
early afternoon. Then, motorcoach to Guilin. Guilin
is world famous for its spectacular karst limestone formations,
vertical mountains thrust up from the seabed some 300 million
years ago. Eroded over the millennia by water and winds, these
picturesque mountains, immediately recognizable to anyone familiar
with Chinese painting, have provided inspiration for countless
Chinese artists. Dinner is at the Green Tea Restaurant.
Day 3 (11/20)• Li River - Yangshuo
This morning, we cruise down the Li River
, winding past Mural Hill, Folded Brocade Hill,
Crescent Moon Hill, and many more. The four-hour cruise navigates
some of the region’s most stunning karst formations. After
disembarking, we check in our hotel. Then take a ride to Yongcun
Village & Lexiang Village, a gorgeous agricultural valley
and surrounded by distant karst scenery. Walk into the fields
to enjoy another experience of rural China, this time in the
middle of a visual paradise. In the evening explore lively Xijie
(West Street) filled with restaurants, shops, and local inns.
Xijie is the home away from home for numerous Westerners and
so exudes a cosmopolitan air as well as an invitation for a
rollicking good time.
Day 4 (11/21)• Yangshuo-Shanghai
This day, continue our exploration of the natural beauty of Yangshuo
including a walk by the beautiful Yulong
,( this link is really fun use your mouse or arrows
on your keyboard to view the beautiful panorama
of Li River. Saunter along the riverbank of scenic villages,
water buffalo, farmland, and playing children. In the evening,
fly to Shanghai and transfer to our hotel.
Day 5 (11/22)• Shanghai-San Francisco or New
At mid-day we leave for the airport. Our flight arrives
in US the same day.
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