Adventure - Art - Culture - Juniors Abroad at George Fox


Faculty: Matt Meyer
Meeting Time: T- 6:30 - 9:00 PM

Two countries next to each other alphabetically, very different culturally. Our trip will study the culture of India, a melting pot of religions and castes. Students will see how Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, and Christians coexist in (relative) harmony, and how the work of Gandhi and Mother Teresa has impacted the centuries-old caste system.

Students will tour the Taj Mahal, eat curry from banana leaf plates, ride elephants, look for tigers in a wildlife sanctuary, and take auto-rickshaws to a Bollywood cinema.

Then we’ll go from Bollywood to Bali, from India to Indonesia. Home of the largest Muslim population of any country, Indonesia is spread across roughly 17,000 islands (estimates vary) and home to hundreds of distinct people groups and over 300 languages spoken.

We’ll start in Bali, where we’ll visit a sacred monkey forest, go whitewater rafting, and snorkel or take a surfing lesson on Bali’s famous beaches. Then we’ll head to Java, where we’ll visit ancient temples, experience tribal culture, and visit a tea plantation.

Note: We’ll encounter various conditions, from three-star hotels to extreme poverty during this trip. Students should be prepared for 110-degree weather and high humidity.


Preliminary Itinerary

Day 1-2 – Depart from Portland, with a stop-over in an exotic city en route to Delhi.

Day 3 – Delhi – After a good night’s sleep, students can buy Indian clothes in a bustling marketplace. Now that we blend in, we’ll visit Friday Mosque and take rickshaws through the narrow streets of Old Delhi, and then see India Gate (India’s Arc de Triumph) and Humayum’s Tomb (a smaller, redder version of the Taj Mahal).

Day 4 – Travel to Agra – After a Bollywood dance workshop, we’ll take a coach to Agra. Once there, we’ll have a free afternoon, then take tuk-tuks to a nearby cinema.

Day 5 – Agra – We’ll tour the Taj Mahal in the early morning, then visit Agra Fort, where Shah Mahal was imprisoned after building the Taj.

Day 6 – Travel to Ranthambore – We’ll go by bus to a small village, where we’ll get a cooking lesson before riding camels in the village. We’ll then journey on to Ranthambore National Park.

Day 7 – Ranthambore National Park – We’ll take two safaris, morning and evening, in hopes of seeing tigers (along with lots of other fauna) in this wildlife refuge.

Day 8 -- Ranthambore to Jaipur – We’ll hit the road to Jaipur, the third corner of the Golden Triangle. There we’ll see a Hindu temple to a monkey god, where monkeys roam the grounds and dive into outdoor pools. Then we’ll go to Elefantastic, where students will ride elephants (and possibly bathe them)

Day 9 - Jaipur – We’ll explore the Amer Fort, a sandstone palace complex, before catching a plane for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Day 10 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – We’ll hike up 272 colorful steps to the Batu Caves, an ancient holy site outside of KL. Then we’ll check out the highest skyscrapers in the world before catching our flight to Bali.

Day 11 – Travel to Bali –After those long flights, we’ll stretch out on a sandy beach in Denpasar, Bali.

Day 12 – Ubud, Bali – We’ll journey to central Bali, where we’ll visit Taman Ayun temple, swing out over a tropical rain forest, and visit a sacred monkey forest on the way to Tagallalang rice terraces.

Day 13 – Ubud, Bali – We’ll visit a Hindu cave temple and Tukad Cepung waterfall before going whitewater rafting.

Day 14 – Amed Beach – We’ll shoot early morning photos at Penataran Lempuyang (the Gates of Heaven) on our way to Amed Beach, with awesome snorkeling and dive opportunities.

Day 15 – Amed Beach – More world-class snorkeling before we head back to Denpasar for a traditional fire dance.

Day 16 – Denpasar to Yogyakarta – Students can have a surf lesson on Batu Balong beach before we catch a plane to Yogyakarta, Java.

Day 17 – Yogyakarta – We’ll take an early-morning hike to Borobadur temple, then learn to do traditional pottery or batik.

Day 18 – Yogyakarta – We’ll visit an tea plantation and maybe rappel down into Jomblang Cave.

Day 19 – Travel to Jakarta – We’ll take a train to Jakarta, a bustling city, where we’ll visit the Wayang Museum or Puppet Museum.

Day 20 – Jakarta – We’ll visit the mammoth Istiqlal Mosque before haggling in Chinatown for some last-minute souvenirs.

Day 21 – Travel to Portland