With No Barriers Youth
No Barriers Youth offers you an unforgettable journey to discover the ancient world while unearthing today’s modern China. Not only will you experience the rich historical sites, but you will meet with unforgettable people as you examine the environmental, cultural and social issues facing the world’s largest population.
School groups can:
- venture off the beaten path and go trekking to remote areas of the Great Wall
- be immersed in Mongolian culture and learn how yurts are built
- visit the modern cities of Shanghai and Beijing and compare them to the ancient ways of life in rural communities
- participate in ecological restoration projects designed to reduce erosion and desertification
- improve their Mandarin, teach English to Chinese children, work at an orphanage, and more
China is home to 37 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and countless temples, palaces and tombs. Its ultra-modern cities are not far from quaint and picturesque rural villages. Places such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the terracotta warriors of Xi’an and the Ming tombs, all conjure up images of a land filled with rich ancient culture. Yet today, industrialization, rapid urbanization, acid rain, air and water pollution all threaten many of China’s historic monuments and have created a host of related social and environmental problems. Straddling both ancient and modern, China is a fascinating student travel destination that cannot be ignored!
Depart your home gateway on an overnight flight to Beijing, China!
- Arrive in Beijing. After being met at the airport by your local guide and your No Barriers Youth Expedition Leader, you will be taken to your hotel to get settled in. Gather for a welcome dinner and program orientation. Turn in early to catch up on much-needed rest.
Morning: After a long-rest, become oriented to the city. Explore and visit the Forbidden City and tour Tian’anmen Square to learn about ancient Chinese history.
Afternoon: After lunch, continue to the Temple of Heaven and the Gate of Heavenly Peace and learn a little Taiqi before resting for dinner.
Evening: Dinner & food workshop. Tour the famous Donghuamen Night Market to view and try some daring foods.
Morning/Afternoon: Bus to the Huanghua Cheng area where students will be hiking and orienteering through the Chinese countryside to the Great Wall. While many of the sections within driving distance of Beijing are overly touristy, this section is one of the less visited and unrestored.
Afternoon: Lunch at local restaurant. Return to the city and enjoy a pre-dinner hutong tour at the Hutong Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center. Discover the hidden gems of Beijing and one of the last surviving areas of ancient China. Wind your way through tiny alleys and learn how to make authentic dumplings before an authentic dinner in the city.
Evening: The Beijing Opera – a traditional form of Chinese theater which combines music, folklore, vocal performances, mime, dance and acrobatics. Rest up and reflect on your day’s activities.
Morning: Visit the great Summer Palace and gardens. A UNESCO World Heritage site, visit the palace to learn about cultural preservation and saving the world’s artifacts.
Afternoon: Visit the Beijing 798 Art Zone and conduct a workshop with Chinese artists to learn about the Chinese Storytelling Project. Named after the 798 factory which was built in the 1950s, this Art Zone has become the exhibition center of Chinese culture and art. Visit the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art or the Galerie Paris-Beijing to study new photographers in China.
Evening: Roasted Beijing Dinner followed by time for reflection and journaling.
Morning: Board a flight to Guilin, Guangxi Province. Guangxi Province is home to spectacular scenery and named aptly so as the “expanse” with rice terraces and mountainous terrain.
Afternoon: Upon your arrival at Guilin, be met by your experienced guide and driver. After lunch, directly transfer to Guilin Bei Railway Station. Take a bullet train to Zhaoxing Dong village (56mins ride). Surrounded by the high mountains, Zhaoxing is one of the largest Dong villages in the region, with more than 700 households and a population of 4000. The Dong can be recognized by their turbans (for men), and pleated skirts (for women). They are also best-known for their architecture, particularly their drum towers, and wind and rain bridges (Feng Yuqiao), which are pavilions for sheltering people during bad weather.
Evening: Enjoy the famous “ Grand Song” performance of Dong.
Morning: In the morning we will walk around Zhaoxing Dong Village and have a family visit in a local house. Then learn a traditional folk handicraft -Tie-dye with local people
Afternoon: Do a 3hrs hike to one of the small villages nearby for their special celebration activities if there are.
Evening: Dinner at a local restaurant followed by group reflection time.
Morning: After breakfast, transfer to Congjiang railway station, and take a bullet train back to Guilin. Upon arrival, take 1.5~2hrs drive to witness one of the most beautiful terraces in China, Longji Terraces and have an excursion there for ethnic minority culture.
Afternoon: After lunch, hit the road for a 4-5-hour hike to Dazhai Village. Walk on the flagstone trekking path on the mountains with many ups and downs shared by the local minority farmers and water buffaloes, which allows you to have a better understanding of these mountain tribes and their real life. You may also stop at minority villages along the way for a break. On both sides of the path, terraced rice fields wait for you to take pictures. As you begin to see hanging buildings, you are approaching Dazhai Village, where the Jinkeng Red Yao Terraced Fields are the core heartland of the Red Yao ethnic group. In the villages the long-haired Yao ladies dress in their unique and dazzling red embroidered costumes.
Evening: Tea time and dinner with community members in rural village to practice Chinese language and participate in a tea ceremony-“Youcha”. Tea oil, is used to treat the most distinguished guests, a symbol of beauty and beauty.
- Start your morning by exploring Shanghai’s most prominent wet markets from the perspective of a local culinary expert as your guide.
- After exploring the markets, visit a local restaurant for a cooking lesson.
- After dinner, take an evening boat ride on the Huangpu river for amazing views of the skyline
Morning: Wake up in the fresh air of peaceful morning to watch the magnificent sunrise in Ping’an Village Terraced Fields. Take a 2.5hrs drive to the start point of your hike along the Li River.
Afternoon: The driver will transfer you to the foot of Mount Hebao and start your hiking to Xingping. Walking along the winding country roads, the scenery along the Li River section from Mt. Hebao to Xingping is the best. Enjoy farmlands, orchards and trees, water buffalos patrolling the fields on both side of the river bank, further away gorgeous Karst peaks of all shapes which will give you surprises at each bend of the limpid river under the blue sky. You will then take a ferry to get to a 1200-year-old Town of Xingping, a well-preserved fishing village. After the end of hike, drive to Yangshou and discover this ancient village with more than 1,400 years of history.
Evening: After returning to the hotel in the town, enjoy a dinner with friends and then head to bed early to rest from a long day of hiking.
Morning: After breakfast you will spend 1.5 hours’ rafting on Yulong River will give a fascinating insight into life in rural China. After that, bike onto the country roads through the paddy field and orchards surrounded by mountains, enjoy the breathtaking views including the delicate Moon Hill and you may stop to take pictures on the way. Your countryside trip ends up with an interesting traditional lunch.
Afternoon: School visit where students will get to attend classes and collaborate on school projects with local students.
Evening: After dinner, take a private boat to see the Cormorant Fishing Show on Li River, a traditional mode of fishing in China involves the use of cormorants to catch fish. Fishermen on bamboo rafts use strong lights suspended over the water to attract the fish. The cormorants, which are tethered with rings round the base of their necks, catch the fish and then disgorge them for the fishermen.
Morning: Take an early morning flight (10:45 am) to Chengdu. Arrive in Chengdu at 12:30pm and meet your local guide.
Afternoon: Our guide will pick you up from the airport and transfer to the hotel for check in. After a short rest at the hotel, we will take a walk in People’s Park & Kuanzhai Alleys, followed by free time for souvenir shopping.
Evening: After dinner, group reflection time.
Morning: 2 hours drive to Mt. Emeisan. From there we will drive up to where our walk to the Wannian Temple, one of the most ancient temples on Emei Mountain. If time permits, keep walking for another 50 minutes down to the famous Ecological Monkey Area (more than 3,000 species of plants and animals). After this visit we walk down to Qingyin Pavilion, and then continue on to Wuxiangang Station to catch a bus back down to the bottom of the mountain.
Afternoon: Drive to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, The tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, carved into the side of Mount Lingyun.
Evening: Dinner back in Chengdu, rest up and reflect on day’s activities.
Morning/Afternoon: Depart for the airport to check into your international flight.
Return home exhausted but transformed and inspired!
Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.Rachel W., Student
There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.Saul S., Student
I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.Amanda W., Trip Leader
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
– Martin Buber
Facts & Figures
Special Note: One in every five people in the world is Chinese
Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages
Below Poverty Line
Carbon Emissions (%)