Classic China Homestay
Day 1 – USA-Shanghai
Depart from your city to Shanghai, China
Day 2 – Shanghai
Welcome to Shanghai, the largest city in China. On arrival, meet your local TSA Tours representative for orientation & transfer to your hotel.
Day 3 – Shanghai
Begin your day’s tour at Yu Garden, a classical garden in downtown Shanghai with over 400 years of history. It’s reputed to be the most beautiful garden south of the Yangtze River. Travel on to visit The Bund, the birthplace of Shanghai and the most famous sightseeing spot in the region. Next, see the once ubiquitous Shikumen houses that are quickly disappearing in the city. The Shikumen House Museum will bring the traditional old Shanghai home to life in the context of Chinese history. Tonight, enjoy the famous Acrobatics Show, an interactive, gravity-defying production that transcends the language barrier.
Day 4 – Shanghai-Wuzhen-Hangzhou
Depart Shanghai for your home stay destination, Hangzhou. En route, stop in historic Wuzhen Town. The town’s 1,000 years of history have been beautifully preserved in ancient residential neighborhoods, workshops and shops still standing on the banks of the rivers. After your visit, continue on your journey to Hangzhou, where you will meet your new “family” at a local school.
Day 5 – Hangzhou
Join your group at the school and begin your day of discovery with a visit to Lingyin Temple, one of the best-known Buddhist monasteries in China. Built in 326 AD, it boasts a 34 meter (111ft) tall main hall featuring a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. Return to the school with your host family and attend a class with your new friends. Experience the differences and similarities between your respective cultures as you spend the afternoon learning together. Return to your host family’s home for the evening.
Day 6 – Hangzhou-Overnight train
Take a relaxing cruise on the West Lake, a fairy tale setting of hills rising above the peaceful waters, enchanted islands and charming pagodas. Visit the Tea Garden and learn how tea is made by hand at the Tea Making Center. Experience the perfect cup of tea at the local tea houses in Meijiawu Village. See why partaking in tea ceremonies is such an important part of Chinese culture. Tonight, enjoy a Thank You Dinner with local students and your home stay families. Transfer to the train station for your overnight train to Beijing.
Day 7 – Beijing
Arrive at the train station in the morning and transfer to your hotel for breakfast. Depart for a visit of Old Beijing, known as Hutong. Take an exhilarating rickshaw ride through the historic streets that are home to many locals whose families have resided in the area for generations. This afternoon, learn to make traditional Chinese dumplings with a local family and enjoy your creation for dinner this evening.
Day 8 – Beijing
This morning, visit a local Beijing school and teach the students about your culture’s customs while learning theirs. On today’s guided tour, climb the Great Wall of China, the only manmade structure visible from the moon. See the setting of the spectacular 2008 Olympics, The Beijing National Stadium, then visit the cutting-edge National Aquatics Center, known as the “water cube”. Top off your tour with a visit to the Summer Palace, an immense park that had long been a royal garden and was considerably embellished by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th Century.
Day 9 – Beijing
After breakfast, set off on a full day private tour of the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. Built between 1606 and 1420, the Temple of Heaven represents the pinnacle of Ming and Qing architecture. Continue on to visit The Forbidden City, a maze of palaces built between 1417 and 1420 as the residence of the emperor. The 9,000 halls and rooms contain many precious relics and make it the largest palace in the world. Your tour concludes at the famous Tian’anmen Square where one million people gathered in 1949 to hear Chairman Mao Zedong proclaim the birth of New China. This evening, enjoy a special farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 10 – Beijing-USA
After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
- Beijing city tour
- Temple of Heaven
- Forbidden City
- Great Wall
- Summer Palace
- Ming Tombs
- Olympic city tour
- Hong Kong city tour
- Victoria Peak
- Hong Kong Museum of History
- Museum of Art
- Science Musem
- Lantau Island
- Xi'an city tour
- Wild Goose Pagoda
- Terra Cotta Warriors
- Shaanxi Provincial Museum
Currency: Renminbi (yuan) (CNY)
Time Zone: – China Standard Time
Country Calling Code: 86
Official Language(s): Putonghua (Mandarian)