Adventure - Art - Culture - Juniors Abroad at George Fox

China/Vietnam

Faculty: Chengping Zhang, Jonathan Ramse
Meeting Time: T - 6:30 - 9:00 PM

Get your taste buds warmed up and get your camera ready! Delicious food, bustling city streets, historic sites from the Vietnam War, and beautiful beaches are just some of the exotic sites and experiences that await you when you go to Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. We will enjoy exploring a variety of places spread out across the country including Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City.

From Vietnam, we will venture on to China. China is the most populous nation in the world and is home to a whole host of diverse and amazing food, timeless sites, and exhilarating activities. You will enjoy hiking on one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall of China - and also feel the thrill of riding a toboggan down after your hike! You will have the opportunity to get an up-close view and experience the extreme cuteness of Giant Pandas. You will also see the Eighth Wonder of the World – the Terracotta Warriors. Other activities include tasting famous Chinese tea in a tea house; a fun karaoke singing; watching a stunning acrobatic show; visiting the magnificent and striking beauty of the floating "Hallelujah Mountains" that became the inspiration for the film Avatar; touring the largest building in the world, the New Century Global Center! The facility is home to a large shopping mall, an aviation museum, a water park, two 5-star hotels, and numerous restaurants.

Unbelievable food, including spicy foods that will have you crying, exotic sites, and the sounds of busy Asian streets are just some of the thrills you are in store for on this Vietnam-China trip! You will be sure to come away from your travels with a deeper understanding of these distant lands as well as yourself. This up-and-coming part of Asia is sure to exceed your expectations and give you some amazing stories to tell your family and friends.

NOTE:  Participation in this trip requires the ability to walk reasonable distances and climb hills and stairs.

Tentative Itinerary:  

Day 1 - Fly from Portland, OR to Hanoi, Vietnam

Day 2-5 Live Aboard in Ha Long Bay– Spend two days soaking up the sun as we tour around Ha Long Bay on the eastern shore of Vietnam. We will be spelunking (caving), kayaking, and swimming in one of the most beautiful scenic areas in the world. Ha Long Bay has over 5,000 islands.

Day 6-8 Hanoi and Vicinity– tour Hanoi and live in the “old quarter.” Influences of the French occupation can still be seen in their architecture and can be tasted in their breads! Oh, the breads!! We will visit Hoa Loa Prison, now a museum, which is where U.S. Airmen were housed (including Senator John McCain) during the Vietnam War.

Day 9 - Travel to Beijing.

Day 10 - Visit Tian'anmen Square in the morning, the World's largest urban square and the Forbidden City, the largest and most complete ancient imperial palace in the world. We will then watch a tea performance and taste some Chinese tea in a tea house. In the afternoon, we drive to the Temple of Heaven, which was used to pray for harvest by the emperors.

Day 11 - We will hike on the Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and also feel the thrill of riding a toboggan down the hike. We will then drive back to the downtown for a short visit to see the Bird Nest and Water Cube, the home of the 2008 Olympics. Then we will enjoy a roasted Peking duck dinner.

Day 12 - In the morning, we will visit the Summer Palace, the largest, best-preserved imperial garden in China. Then go to Houhai - the largest of the three lakes, along with Qianhai (lit. the "Front Sea") and Xihai (lit. the "Western Sea") in a vibrant neighborhood of Beijing.

Day 13 - Take a bullet train to Xi’an. After checking in to the hotel, we will visit an exotic food street in Xi'an for different kinds of local delicacies and snacks.

Day 14 - Tour the Terracotta Warriors, one of the world's most important archaeological finds, with troops, horses and carriages in battle formation. It is also known as the eighth wonder of the world. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a bike ride on the Ancient Xi’an City Wall, one of the oldest and best-preserved Chinese city walls.

Day 15 - We will visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda (Little Wild Goose Pagoda) before we travel to Chengdu. Chengdu is one of the three most populous cities in Western China (the other two are Chongqing and Xi'an). The surrounding Chengdu Plain is also known as the "Country of Heaven" and the "Land of Abundance". Enjoy a spicy hotpot lunch or dinner that will have you crying.

Day 16 - Tour to Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries (Panda Breeding and Research Center) and People’s Park. We will also visit the New Century Global Center, the largest building in the world at 18,000,000 square feet. The facility is home to a large shopping mall, an aviation museum, a water park, two 5-star hotels (we may stay in one of them for one night), and numerous restaurants.

Day 17 - Free in the morning. Travel to Zhangjiajie in the afternoon.

Day 18 – Tour Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. This natural wonder is the inspiration behind James Cameron's alien world in the movie Avatar. You will enjoy seeing the foggy pinnacles surrounded by lush greenery and may encounter some wild monkeys. You will also have the opportunity to test your courage to stand on the world's longest glass bridge at 300 meters (1,000 feet) high.

Day 19 - Travel to Shanghai. Watch an amazing acrobatic show in the evening. Enjoy a walk and night scene view along the Bund – Shanghai’s famed waterfront promenade.

Day 20 - Have a birds-eye view of the city after ascending Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which is the third tallest TV and radio tower in the World.  Stroll around at Chenghuangmiao old street and Nanjing Road, China No. 1 commercial street for souvenir shopping. We will end our trip with a Karaoke Party celebration!

Day 21 - Fly back to the US.