5 Day Educational Tour Program in Hangzhou
- Hanghzou, a beautiful lake city and one of China’s Seven Ancient Capitals (it was the capital of the Song Dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries), is especially known for West Lake. Held on three sides in the embrace of hilly peaks, this water wonderland has been an attraction for centuries and it is small wonder that it was a favorite imperial retreat.
- You’ll become absorbed into a host of cultural activities. Some the activities will be:
- Learn how to Tie-Dye at the China National Silk Museum
- Make Chinese pottery at the Southern Song Dynasty Guan Kiln Museum
- Learn and Practice Seal-Carving, Magic and Kungfu
- Evening Sports Activities
(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Day 1 arrive in Hangzhou (D)
You will fly into Hangzhou, and upon arrival you’ll be met by your English-speaking guide. The capital of Zhejiang province, Hangzhou is one of the more modern and prosperous cities in China. It sits at the southern end of the Grand Canal and is one of China's seven ancient national capitals. Hangzhou's "heavenly" beauty attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to its exquisite West Lake (Xi Hu) area each year to enjoy the placid lake, beautiful gardens, reflecting pools, lavish temples and lakeside teahouses.
After your arrival we’ll on your sightseeing with a cruise on West Lake. West Lake is a man-made lake and is created after the Chinese love for garden style parks for recreation. Hangzhou's West Lake Scenic Area, in the southwest of the city, covers 60 square kilometers (23 square miles), of which West Lake itself occupies 5.6 square kilometers (2.2 square miles). West Lake is a place of tranquility where urbanity becomes a silhouette on the northeast horizon and mountains near and far surround it on the other three sides. The occasional pagoda and Chinese-style arched bridge add atmosphere to the tree-lined walkways, verdant islands and hills.
We’ll take our boat to Fairy Island in order to visit “Three Pools Mirroring the moon”. Three miniature stone pagodas, which act like beacons, built over 800 years ago and 2 meters in height, are the centerpieces of the scenic spot called "Three Pools Mirroring the Moon". On the night of the Mid-Autumn festival, when the moon shines full and bright in the sky, a candle is lit inside each of the pagodas. The light from the holes and the moon cast their reflections on the water, hence the name.
Following our cruise you’ll be taken to your hotel, where you’ll have a buffet dinner in the evening.
Day 2 Hangzhou (B, L, D)
After an early rise at 6:30, you’ll be taken to the shore of West Lake to begin your lessons in Tai Chi, where you will be taught by a professional instructor. Tai Chi is a sophisticated method of fighting based on the reconciliation of dynamically interacting forces. Daily practice of Tai Chi promotes mental clarity and a healthy body, assists with balance and helps the circulation of the blood. Tai Chi is also a vehicle for the realization of surpassing beauty.
After about 90 minutes we’ll head back to the hotel for breakfast, and then we’ll set out to learn more about Hangzhou’s vibrant tea culture. Tea culture is an important part of Chinese tradition. Alongside social development and progress, tea has not only played a role in driving the development of the economy, but has also remained a feature of people’s lives. Moreover, tea drinking has gradually developed into a resplendent tea culture and become a bright pearl in the social life of Chinese civilization. We will go to Longjing village, where we’ll visit a traditional tea farmer’s house, where we’ll learn about the ancient methods of making tea.
After our tutorial we’ll hike around the nearby Tea Garden, with a picnic lunch along the way. We’ll hike from Longjing village to the Bamboo Forest to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere surrounded by diverse flora and greenery.
Afterwards, we will return to our hotel for a buffet dinner. Following dinner, we’ll be paid a visit by a professional magician. Everyone will learn three different tricks with their own props.
Day 3 Hangzhou (B, L, D)
We’ll have breakfast at 8. Following breakfast we’ll bike to Xixi Wetland Park, where we’ll learn seal carving. ituated in the western part of Hangzhou, less than 5km from West Lake, Xixi National Wetland Park is a rare urban wetland. With rich ecological resources, simple natural landscape and profound culture, Xixi is known as one of the Three "Xi's" along with Xihu (West Lake) and Xiling (the Seal Engravers' Society). It is the first and only wetland park in China combining urban life, farming and culture. Xixi has not only broad open views, but also a variety of water views.
When foreigners negotiate, or register in certain areas of China, they may be surprised at Chinese' special fondness and preference for seals. To Chinese, seals are an art of deep cultural roots, which combines the essence of both calligraphy and engraving and inspires generations to study, to appreciate and to collect. The genre of seal is greatly determined by the strength and speed of wrist and hand. Seals, like a person's character, are distinctive from each other. A sanguine seal engraver makes deft and buoyant strokes while a sober person makes careful and neat ones.
After our lesson in seal carving we’ll have lunch at a local restaurant. Following lunch we’ll pay a visit to a kindergarten to see how Chinese children learn and play. It will be interesting to compare and contrast the different educational methods used in this school and in the one of your youth.
We’ll then take a leisurely walk around West Lake, with the sunset providing the perfect backdrop. After our walk we’ll have dinner, and then you’ll be taken to an indoor sports center to learn more about popular Chinese sports.
Day 4 Hangzhou (B, L)
After an early morning breakfast, we’ll head on over to the Dujinsheng Silk and Brocade Museum, otherwise known as the National Silk Museum. The museum is in an appropriate location, as this region of the country is China’s historical center for silk production. The museum is a showcase for the origination, evolution, variety of silk and the evolution of the Silk Road with its social implications and influences. You’ll also learn the traditional techniques of Chinese tie-die and try it out for yourself!
We’ll then head to Hefang Street where you can choose where to have lunch. Hefang Street is a well-designed old pedestrian street, which is the epitome of old Hangzhou. The original street has been ruined and it recently takes on a completely new look after lager-scale of restoration. Shops selling art crafts, souvenirs, silk, teahouses, and restaurants line on both sides of the street. Many famous century-old shops including Hu Qing Yu Tang, Wang Xingji Fans can be found along the street.
Hefang Street is otherwise known as the Snack Street for the diverse food it serves. The street clearly concentrates food from all around the country, while at the same time highlighting the local flavors.
At 6 we’ll have a final buffet dinner at the hotel, with a night of dancing and disco afterwards!
Day 5 Hangzhou-depart (B, L)
After breakfast and check out, we’ll arrive at the Southern Song Dynasty Guan Kiln Museum. This museum is built over the remains of Jiaotanxia Guan Kiln and is the first museum with pottery and porcelain as its subject in China. Among many beautiful works of art, the museum displays the products of the guan kilns of the Southern Song Dynasty, highlighting their charm and delicate beauty. You’ll also get to spend time doing pottery yourself and plate Paintings at the Pottery Bar.
After a light lunch, you’ll be taken to the airport, and you’ll fly on to your next destination, ending your tour with us.