With the Chinese government recently opening up the country to travelers, we know you must be eager for your next adventure. We get it, with the world cooped up for the last two years, we feel the same way. To add a touch of excitement to your students’ learning experience, we wanted to share 3 school trips to China that involve wilderness survival skills and plenty of outdoor time. From hidden escapes on the outskirts of Beijing and Shanghai to an ethnic minority village in Guizhou, we hope these programs inspire your next, or perhaps your first, escapade to the other side of the planet.
Wilderness Survival Skills in China
Survival Skills in Grapeland
When you think about Beijing, Grapeland is probably not the first thing to come to mind, which is why we’d love to show you this little-known location that’s two hours away from the city on your school trip. This program’s learning objectives include outdoor education, team building, and eco-diversity. On this school trip to China, your students get to learn orienteering, wilderness survival skills, and raft-making skills.
On the first day of your school trip in China, you’ll meet your WildChina Program Leaders, go on a bus ride to Grapeland, and have lunch there. As part of the outdoor education and eco-diversity learning objectives, you will help local farmers with their farming tasks in the afternoon. After doing some team-building activities and games, you’ll have dinner and a fun movie night. To close off the night, your Program Leaders will teach you Morse code, and then you can stargaze until you fall asleep on the campgrounds.
The second day of your school trip to China calls for raft building, DIY cooking, and wilderness survival activities. After breakfast, your students will take part in a leave-no-trace activity in which they leave the campground just as they found it. If we all left trash out in nature there would be no more places to camp and learn about wilderness survival! Your students will build rafts and cook their own lunches by the peaceful lakeside. The afternoon will be filled with numerous survival skill activities, including building shelters and water filtering. Following a BBQ dinner and a bonfire party, you will partake in an adventurous night exploration task.
On your last day, you’ll do an orienteering activity and complete a secret mission in Grapeland. You’ll also participate in an activity involving bicycles, a compass, a map, and some tips. After checking out of the guesthouse, you’ll have lunch and transfer back to Beijing city.
Shanghai Secret Islands
We have yet another lesser-known location for you that’s also just a driving distance away from one of China’s biggest cities, Shanghai. This school trip to China combines outdoor education with team building and is suitable for older students.
After meeting your WildChina Program Leader, you’ll transfer from Nanpu (南浦, nán pû) Bus Station to Shenjiawan Port (沈家湾港, chén jiā wān gâng), and hop on a ferry to Shengsi Island (嵊泗列岛, shèng sì liè dǎo), also known as the Western Island Port. You will enjoy a packed lunch on the ferry. Your Program Leader will bring you to Beach Side Guest Houses to check in and relax after your long journey. After exploring the village for a bit, we’ll head to dinner and do some team-building activities on Market Square and Small Beach.
Guess what? Day two of your school trip in China will be an entertaining Beach Olympics day where students start off with breakfast at the guesthouse and go on a hike along the Eastern Rocky coast of the island, following the Monk’s trail. Your students will explore the fishermen’s village and do an educational scavenger hunt as a break from the hike, after which you’ll have a seafood lunch on the beach. The star of the show, Beach Olympics, will take place in the afternoon. It will be a series of sports challenges mixed with some free time. For dinner, your Program Leader will take you to CaiYuan Town (菜园镇, cài yuán zhèn), after which you’ll take an evening hike back to your guesthouse.
The next morning on your school trip in China, you’ll check out of your hotel, partake in a challenge at the Fish Market, and transfer to XiaoCaiYuan Jetty for the ferry that’ll take you to Shengshan (嵊山, shèng shān) Island. Once there, you’ll have a seafood noodle lunch and transfer to the top of the island to access Wurencun (无人村, wú rén cūn), also known as the Abandoned Village. The village, filled with plant-covered houses gives off the atmosphere of a fantasy village or a Minecraft server. It’s eery yet wonderfully surreal. After exploring the village, you’ll transfer to Shadawang to check in to a hotel and have dinner. If we have time, you will get to watch some Chinese Cinema.
Guizhou Village Service Learning Homestay
Students will spend a lot of time out in the open on this school trip to China as well. This school trip was designed and developed with local community leaders and covers outdoor education, service learning, and sustainable development. Residing in rural homes, interacting with the local community, and being a part of restoration projects will develop your students’ understanding of urbanization, sustainability, and microeconomics.
Once you land in Guiyang (贵阳, guì yáng), you’ll see your WildChina guide waiting for you at the arrivals gate. From there, you’ll take a 3-hour bus ride to Kaili ( 凯里, kâi lî), where you’ll check into the Kinca Meri Hotel. We’ll treat you to a welcome dinner where you’ll try some Miao fish hot pot at a famous Guizhou (贵州, guì zhōu) restaurant. We’ll also have an evening orientation and since your students will be doing community service on this school trip in China, there will be a project briefing.
Bright and early the next morning, we’ll take you to the Miao village hiking trailhead, which will take 1 to 2 hours. Once there, you’ll hike to a local Miao village, enjoying the scenery of tightly stacked houses and rice terraces along the way. You’ll find that the local villagers are very warm and welcoming. After a welcome lunch at your local homestay and getting to know your hosts, your students will start their village community service project for the rest of the day. Come nightfall, you’ll enjoy a communal dinner in your homestay and have an optional evening hike.
To keep up with service learning activities on this school trip to China, your students will wake up early to help your host families do farm work such as working in rice fields and catching paddy fish. They’ll also continue their Community Service Project throughout the day and have a group dinner and bonfire party if the weather permits.
Day four of this school trip in China involves an exchange workshop with the local village school for half of the day, after which you’ll say goodbye to your Miao hosts and hostesses. You’ll hike back through the valleys to a bus pick-up point and go back to Kaili after lunch. After checking in to your hotel and freshening up, your students will prepare their Community Service Project Presentations. If we have time, you can visit the Kaili Market.
On day five, students will do their presentations and have some reflection time. After that, your WildChina guide will take you to Matang Village (麻塘革家, má táng gé jiā) to experience Batik Making, which is a textile dyeing method. We will all say goodbye before you take your flight back home.
Before you go…
Our school trips to China are always designed with your safety in mind, from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. All you need to bring with you on your school trip to China, apart from your luggages, is a hunger for adventure and knowledge. If there are any other learning objectives you would like to add to your selected program, let our Academic Managers know and we can arrange it for you.
WildChina has a Travel Advisory page that we keep up to date with the latest information regarding pandemic travel. You can check out that page, but we are also happy to answer your questions. We are only an email or phone call away! You may also fill out a form on our website to get a quote for your school trip to China.