Chinese Language and Culture Immersion Tour
13-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Shanghai Educational Family Vacation
Forbidden City, the Great Wall night tour
The Terracotta Army, Dumplings Making
The Giant Panda, The Giant Buddha
New China, Disneyland
During this trip, you will:
Enjoy a memorable family vacation
- An educational trip covering many of China's popular icons
- 100% tailor-made for your family's needs and desires
Improve your children's Mandarin proficiency
- Mandarin- & English-speaking guides
- Practice Mandarin with friendly locals
- Chinese-culture immersion activities
- Experience China's development first-hand
The sample itinerary below is specially designed for 5th-grade children, who are in a Mandarin Immersion Program at school. We can, however, customize the trip to suit your interests, preferences, budget and children's Chinese-language proficiency.
Ni Hao! Begin your family immersion in the Far East with a smile from your personal guide at Beijing International Capital Airport (PEK).
Your guide will accompany you to your centrally-located hotel in a comfortable private vehicle and help you with check-in. If you are worried about jet lag, we can have a late start on Day 2 or simply leave it as a free day. Feel free to let us know your preference.
Novotel Peace Beijing
Let's start our Chinese immersion tour with the Temple of Confucius, to begin to understand how Confucius's principles shaped Chinese tradition and beliefs.
Then we'll head to the Imperial Academy, and learn about China's traditional education system. You should be on time to enjoy some Dacheng Rites Music, and to observe how Chinese people transform educational ideas into singing and dancing.
Enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch in a local restaurant, where an a-la-carte meal will be arranged. Kids can talk to the waitress in mandarin and order food from the Chinese menu.
In the afternoon, practice art vocabulary in Lama Temple, built using a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.
In the morning, drive to China's amazing icon, the Great Wall. We recommend the Mutianyu section for its majestic views and comparatively smaller crowds.
There are five gigantic Chinese characters on one hillside by the wall. Find out what they mean and why they are there from your knowledgeable guide. A chairlift going up and toboggan sliding down are included, to help make the experience more fun for kids.
Lunch will be arranged in a hidden retreat-restaurant at the foot of the Great Wall. The restaurant used to be a glazed-tile factory. Now it offers organic dishes and an opportunity to explore rural China. Head back to your hotel in the city center.
Today we'll explore the highlights of Beijing city using public transport. Kids will learn how to ask for directions and will read some Chinese signs along the way.
According to your preferences, the distances, and weather etc, your guide may choose to go by bike, subway, bus, or foot! You will not only be helping towards environmental protection, but also gain deeper insights into local people's lives.
First visit Tian'anmen Square, and then the Forbidden City. Enjoy the famous Peking roast duck for lunch, and then learn the art of Chinese calligraphy from a hutong family.
If you would prefer not to use public transport, we can arrange a private vehicle instead.
After a buffet breakfast at the hotel, head to the Temple of Heaven, the place where emperors worshipped heaven.
Now it is a bustling place where locals participate in all kinds of activities, such as kite-flying, dancing and water-calligraphy. Let's join them and practice daily conversation.
Then it will be time for a tai chi class with a renowned local tai chi master. You will learn some basic movements and how these relate to Chinese culture and traditional health science.
Race towards Xi'an and enjoy lunch on a high-speed train, a good way to experience China's technological development.
Somerset Xindicheng Xi＇an
The Terracotta Warriors are one of the greatest man-made wonders. We will introduce you to a different Terracotta Museum, one that can't be googled:
Within 11 years, Emperor Qinshihuang's craftsmen made more than 8,000 life-sized warriors. How could craftsmen of 2,200 years ago do that so quickly? How could they keep the clay warriors from cracking?
You will discover the answers from your knowledgeable guide.
Then pay a visit to a local cave dwelling where a craftsman makes warriors in the traditional way. Make a little warrior of your own, with your local host's help.
After lunch, we head back along the Silk Road to the city center for a food challenge at the Muslim Quarter.
You’ll first visit Shaanxi History Museum, the top museum in China. Your guide will introduce to you the impact on China of cultural exchange with other countries.
Visit an energetic local family. Make dumplings and enjoy a family meal with them.
Later, we will learn from an ancient academy about China’s traditional national costume. Your guide will teach you the basics of Hanfu, traditional dress of the Han Chinese people, and you will have time to dress up in such costumes and imagine life in ancient times.
Catch the morning high-speed train to Chengdu, a city renowned mainly for two things – its pandas and its food.
We will spend the rest of the day tasting famous street food, taking family photos in front of the world's largest panda-statue and then writing a post card in Chinese in the Panda Post Office.
Lia! Chengdu Hotel
Arrive at the Breeding Research Base in the early morning, when the pandas are most active. There are more than 80 giant and red pandas at the base. Visit between July and September, and you might get to see baby pandas taking their first steps in the nursery. Afterwards, return to downtown Chengdu for a hot-pot lunch.
In the afternoon, we will have a little adventure at Chengdu's last remaining farmer's market. Kids will take up the task of using Chinese to purchase some special delicacy from locals and will master the art of bargaining.
Drive for 2 hours and arrive in Leshan by noon. You can enjoy the countryside scenery along the way. After a short break and lunch, begin your journey to the Giant Buddha.
Climb up the Buddha, then walk down the narrow plank all the way to its feet, to discover you are only as tall as one of its toes.
A cruise on the river nearby is also included, so you can have a different panoramic view of the Buddha. Legend has it that the Buddha has hidden treasure inside. Can you find the entrance? Your personal guide will whisper the secret to you.
After the tour, your private guide and driver will accompany you to the airport and you will fly to Shanghai. Your Shanghai guide will be waiting to escort you back to your hotel.
SSAW Boutique Hotel The Bund
Today your local guide will lead you to discover the secret of Shanghai's rise to prominence. The clues start from the Bund, where foreigners first landed in Shanghai hundreds of years ago. Each building tells its own golden-age story.
Wander through alleyways to catch a glimpse of the lives of locals. Sit down for a break in a Michelin-starred restaurant and enjoy some delicious Shanghai snacks.
Try to squeeze onto the public ferry to cross the Huangpu River along with the crowds, and travel slowly from old Shanghai to the new Pudong area. Ascend the tallest building in Shanghai - Shanghai Tower. Discuss how Shanghai impacts China and how China impacts the world.
Half-Day Customized Icing-on-the-Cake Experience
After traveling in China for around 10 days, you might want to do something different at the end of your tour. Do you want to have some relaxation time? Do you have any unfulfilled trip wishes? In the magic city of Shanghai, your private guide will make your wishes come true!
Whether you want to relax, experience fashion, appreciate art, explore folk customs, or shop; from having fun in fancy bar to exploring an art center, trying nail beauty, testing your popularity in the marriage market, or just buying some lovely gifts, we will make it happen. Just tell us what you’re interested in.
If you don’t know what you want, just let your guide make the arrangements. You will not be disappointed!
It has been a long journey for the whole family. Why not keep a nice surprise for the end, as a reward for the kids?
Let's create some memorable family moments at Shanghai Disneyland. A private vehicle will escort you directly to the Disneyland entrance. Enjoy fun experiences the whole day, and fireworks in the evening.
Toy Story Hotel
Pack the gains from Chinese immersion along with some other unforgettable memories. Your private car, driver, and guide will be ready and waiting at your hotel lobby to get you to the airport on time. Have a nice journey home!
Every element of the tour above can be tailored. Feel free to tell us your ideas and we will be happy to make adjustments for you.
1. Extend the Tour
- Guilin and Yangshuo: add 2-3 days - idyllic countryside and fun along the river
- Huangshan: add 3 days - mountain views and rural local life
- Hong Kong: add 2–3 days - mixture of Eastern and Western culture, Hong Kong Disneyland
- More destinations: Zhangjiajie, Yunnan and Tibet. Inform us of your interests and we will offer you our recommendations.
Hotels with a convenient location are included. In most cities, we recommend hotels with a swimming pool.
Various types of accommodation are available, including famous 5-star hotel chains, 4-star hotels in the best locations, good-value 3-star hotels, or boutique hotels that reflect the styles of their regions.
Whatever your accommodation preferences, our travel experts will seek out and find the perfect hotels for you.
China is a huge country, so to make your travel experience smoother, we usually arrange flights between destinations.
China's high-speed rail network, however, is a fast-paced way to travel. To interested customers, we recommend taking high-speed trains for journeys of less than 6 hours - let's know if you are interested.
Buffet breakfasts at hotels and lunches at popular local restaurants are included, so you can taste authentic Chinese food. Children will be able read Chinese menus and order dishes in Chinese. Your guide will be there in case you need help.
Vegetarian, halal, kosher, Indian, or gluten-free - all your dietary requirements can be taken care of by our experienced private guides. When booking, please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
About China Highlights
Since 1998 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"
Camping on the Great Wall
Did a hike of the wild Great Wall, which was an amazing experience. Highly recommended if you want to get away from the crowds. Many thanks to my guide, Oliver, who was first class. Hiked, climbed, had a bbq and camped on the Jiankou section of the Great Wall. The views were serene. An unforgettable memory! more