Uncover ancient to imperial to communist China in this varied history itinerary through Beijing, Handan, Nanjing and Shanghai. Here’s our History school trip in China at a glance:
- Days 1-3 in Beijing: hutong tour, Chairman Mao’s mausoleum, Beijing National Museum, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Mao-themed restaurant, Great Wall, Panjiayuan Antiques Market, bullet train
- Days 4-5 in Handan: 120th Division HQ of the Eighth Route Army, Revolutionary Memorial Hall, Shandi village anti-Japanese war site, Xuebu Bridge, Huangliang Dream Lv Xian Temple, night train
- Days 6-8 in Nanjing: Nanjing Six Dynasties, city walls, Zhonghua Gate, Confucius temple, Jiangnan Examination Hall, Qinhuai River, National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, Mingxiao Ling, Xinjiekou, Nanjing Massacre Museum, Presidential Palace, bullet train
- Day 9 in Shanghai: Yu Yuan Gardens, Yu Yuan Bazaar, Propaganda Poster Museum, Tianzifang, Former French Concession
Like what you see? Discover the fascinating and troubled history of China in our detailed itinerary below! But remember, all our school trips are completely customisable.
*Prices based on groups of 20 students and 2 free teachers.
✓ All accommodation costs
✓ Full board meals for the entire trip
✓ All transportation costs, including airport pick-up and drop-off
✓ All activities listed in the itinerary
✓ 1 free teacher per 10 paying students
✓ 24-hour emergency contact support during the trip
✓ Detailed pre-departure summary & briefing
✓ Full financial failure protection
✓ Public liability insurance
✓ Our trips are fully risk-assessed
Day 1: Authentic Beijing
Step off the plane at Beijing Capital Airport and transfer to your accommodation in the city. On the way, listen up to your guide, who’ll give you some general knowledge about Beijing.
Once you’re settled in, go on a guided walking tour through one of Beijing’s ancient hutong areas. Hutongs are the traditional courtyard-based residential streets of Beijing.
As you listen to a trip briefing, introduce your taste buds to Beijing with a welcome dinner of Peking duck. Peking is the romanized name for Beijing.
Day 2: Communism, Imperialism
Visit Chairman Mao‘s preserved body on show within his mausoleum. Find out all about the cult of Mao.
Next up, the Beijing National Museum. This is the world’s most visited museum. Here, you’ll learn about Chinese history and the Chinese revolution.
Learn about China’s fascinating imperial history at Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the world’s largest imperial palace and has been the home of 24 emperors!
Finish off your day with a feast at a Mao-era themed restaurant, full of propaganda posters, communist imagery and, of course, great food.
Day 3: From The Great Wall to Handan
Make your way to the outskirts of the city and take a 2-3-hour hike to a secluded and fantastically beautiful section of the Great Wall. This is one of the most famous sites in the world – but we know China’s ins and outs, so today we’re sidestepping the big tourist crowds.
Head for Panjiayuan Antiques and Flea Market in the late afternoon. Practise your Mandarin language skills as you haggle it out and try to secure a bargain on some souvenirs.
Rest up on a bullet train from Beijing to Handan. They’re fast – you’ll leave early evening and get there before bedtime in 2.5 hours.
Day 4: Historic Handan
Spend your first morning in Handan at the site of the 120th HQ of the Eighth Route Army. During the War of Residence against Japan, Shexian county was the strategic centre.
After lunch, visit the Revolutionary Memorial Hall of Shanxi-Hebei-Shanxi-Henan border region. Discover the histories of famous historical figures, like Dong Biwu, Liu Bocheng, Deng Xiaoping, Xu Xiangqian and Bo Yibo. This is the location of the North China Finance and Economics Conference and the birthplace of People’s Daily.
Day 5: War of Residence
After breakfast, head for the Shandi village anti-Japanese war site. It’s located in Handang fengfeng mining area, which was built during the war against Japan.
Take an afternoon walk around Xuebu Bridge. Spot the stone sculpture of a young man crawling after a pair of elegant footsteps. Then, head for Huangliang Dream Lv Xian Temple.
Take advantage of the 15-hour night train journey – get a good night’s rest so that you’re ready to dive into Nanjing in the morning.
Day 6: Six Dynasties
Pick your way through the Nanjing Six Dynasties – it’s the most comprehensive collection of cultural relics in the six dynasties!
Then, head outside to explore the ancient city walls and Zhonghua Gate.
After lunch, visit the Confucius temple and Jiangnan Examination Hall, the largest and most influential imperial examination centre in Chinese history.
Take a leisurely stroll along the serene water of the Qinhuai River, also known as the mother-river of Nanjing.
Day 7: Ancient to Modern Nanjing
Deepen your knowledge of Dr Sun Yat Sen at the National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. He was the founder of the Republic of China and one of the forefathers of the China we know today.
Once you’ve refueled, head to Mingxiao Ling, the tomb of the founder of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Hongwu.
Take a walk through Xinjiekou, Nanjing’s central business district, to compare between the ancient Nanjing you’ve learned about and the bustling modern Nanjing you see now.
Day 8: Politics
It’s your last day in Nanjing, so pack everything in! Spend the morning at Nanjing Massacre Museum to find out about the atrocities of war.
Go to the Presidential Palace, the office of the President before the Republic moved it to current-day Taiwan, to learn about China’s recent political history.
That’s it! On to Shanghai. It’s a bullet train, so it’ll only take an hour.
Day 9: Food & Art in Shanghai
Take a chilled morning, strolling around the Yu Yuan Gardens to learn more about Chinese garden art. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying – and you’ll see why. Think lush greenery, serene waters and ornate pavilions. Then, try local delicacies or pick up some last-minute souvenirs at the Yu Yuan Bazaar, the heart of old Shanghai.
For lunch, we recommend Shanghai’s famous Xiao Long Bao dumplings. Tweet us a photo if you want to be on the receiving end of some serious food envy!
Learn about China’s communist history at an underground Propaganda Poster Museum. Then visit Tianzifang, a bohemian culture and arts area. Then, carry on the artsy theme as you visit the former French Concession’s art street to learn all about colonial Shanghai. Discover colonial mansions and hear the who-what-where-when-why of the formation of the French Concession. Visit quirky cafés and hip restaurants, concept bars and eclectic breweries, pop-up boutiques and experimental art galleries.
Day 10: So Long, Shanghai!
It’s home time, but it’s not over. China’s history will follow you back to the classroom…and beyond.