Trip Leaders: Mr Matt Fowler
Please note that parents are responsible for the arrangement of visas if required.
Please ensure that your child’s passport is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of departure from their destination.
The Hutong’s Sichuan program brings students on a journey to experience the fiery cuisine, ancient landmarks, and vibrant cultures of China’s land of plenty. We’ll take time to soak up the relaxing atmosphere in Chengdu, exploring the winding alleys, bustling markets, all the while sampling the best bites of China’s most famous cuisine. Beyond the bustling city limits of laid-back Chengdu, we find a bucolic mountain landscape of picturesque cliffs, hilltop temples, and meandering rivers. Most importantly, we’ll get to hang out with China’s famous ambassador, the Giant Panda!
This action-packed trip will have the students engaging with the ethnic groups and religions that make up this diverse region, from Tibetan Buddhist monasteries to holy Taoist mountains, while they participate in meticulously designed activities that are sure to create new challenges, new friendships, and new stories to bring back home. From volunteer activities with the local community to exploring ancient stone villages , students will take away a unique perspective of China’s southwest. Join us for a trip that is a total immersion in everything that makes Sichuan so special.
Program Destinations at a glance:
The Hutong’s Sichuan program aims to give participants a chance to experience multiple areas of the land of plenty. We will therefore be visiting the following locations.
Day 1: Hong kong – Chengdu
Highlights Day 1- Chengdu City 成都
Upon arrival we will transfer to Chengdu city and begin our exploration with an amazing walking culture and food tour with our good friends at Chengdu Food Tours. Beginning at the Buddhist Wenshu Monastery, this 3-4 hour walking tour of one of Chengdu’s older neighborhoods we will get to know the classic numb and spicy tastes of Sichuan cuisine by sampling snacks, street-food and authentic family style
dishes before indulging yourself in the bustling, spicy atmosphere of one of the cities famous Hot Pot restaurants. This exciting experience is the perfect way to introduce the “Land of Plenty” and will help build a picture of international trade, globalisation and the evolving nature of Sichuan food, through examining its tasty history. Will round off an action packed day by heading to our hotel and preparing for day 2.
Day 2: Chengdu
Highlights Day 2- Chengdu City 成都
After some delicious breakfast we will head to the Hui Ling Center. Dedicated to persons with special needs, Hui Ling Community Services for People with Intellectual Disabilities (慧灵阳光家园) has
been operating in China since 2002. The organization provides a variety of invaluable services to individuals and their families. In a developing mental health care system, Hui Ling is one of a few
organizations in China working to promote the rights of citizens facing the challenge of seeking and keeping employment with an intellectual disability. Students will have the opportunity to visit the center and interact in a variety of fun activities with the amazing people at Hui Ling center. Moreover, students will learn valuable lessons about service in their communities and how they can help
and support organizations such as Hui Ling.
After a delicious lunch we will head to a Tibetan District, where students will partake in the Chengdu Chill Challenge. The Chill Challenge will consist of a trifecta of activities including exploring and decoding the unique Tibetan architecture and culture, interacting with colorful historical characters, and playing some Sichuan “snack food” bingo..
We will finish of the day by tucking into more delicious Sichuan cuisine, while also taking in a traditional Sichuan mask changing performance.
Day 3 Chengdu- Dujiangyan
Highlights Day 3- Dujiangyan 都江堰
We begin our day by heading to the bustling People’s Park. The largest and liveliest of Chengdu’s many public parks, the People’s park is the center of activity for the city’s grandparents, joggers, dancers, tai- qi practitioners, chess masters, calligraphers, musicians, and tea enthusiasts.
Next we will transfer to neighboring Dujiangyan, famed for its eponymous irrigation system that has been keeping the Chengdu Plain from over-flooding for over 2200 years. Built in 256 BC to provide irrigation and flood control to the region, the Dujiangyan is one of the greatest hydraulic engineering and water conservation projects in history. We will spend the afternoon traversing the different bridges and waterways, while also learning more about the history, engineering principles, and impact of this still-functioning ancient wonder.
Our final activity will be to prepare for the following day’s Panda Volunteering Experience with a briefing and discussion about Sichuan’s iconic giant omnivores.
Day 4 Chengdu – Dujiangyan
Highlights Day 4 – Dujiangyan 都江堰
This day is all about the cute and cuddly creatures we’ve all been waiting to meet on this trip…PANDAS! We will transfer to the Dujiangyan Panda Base in the morning, where all the participants will get a briefing about their tasks for the day, and begin their volunteer activities. In the morning, the main duties will be to clean the panda enclosures, prepare food and feed the pandas. After lunch, students will feed the pandas again and make notes of their afternoon activities, while expanding their knowledge of this incredible animal by learning from experts.
After our action-packed panda volunteer day, we will retreat to the hills of Aba Prefecture. We’ll be staying near Wenchuan, the epicenter of the devastating 2008 earthquake, and learn more about the fascinating people and culture of this still-recovering region. Once we have arrived, we will have another tasty dinner along a beautiful river.
Day 5: Dujiangyan
Highlights Day 5 – Wenchuan 汶川县
Will start our day off with an exploration of the colorful Wenchuan market before transfering to the remote Muka village.
After meeting our local Qiang minority hosts, we will begin to explore this culturally rich area. We will visit a local farm to harvest crops, to a local Qiang village to make handicrafts, as well as a hike to explore some ancient ruins and stone villages of the Qiang Peoples. We will learn how the environment has shaped the history of the area and made it famous for not only its architecture, but its incredible food production.
To round things off, we will have a final celebratory DIY BBQ dinner, where we can stories from our amazing week.
Day 6: Dujiangyan – Chengdu – Hong Kong
Highlights Day 6 – Back to Hong Kong
After taking some time for final program reflections, we will head back to Chengdu Our drive to the airport will take us back through Chengdu, where we’ll have lunch and say goodbye after an amazing adventure in Sichuan!