Adventures in Ancient China

Experience China as it was in ages past, from walled cities to vibrant temples to mountain scenery. Travelers will visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, encounter ancient objects in some of China’s best museums, delve into regional cuisines, and experience heritage tourism like a local. See everything from the Bronze Age wonders of the Shu culture of Sichuan to the beginning of imperial history under China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Highlights include an overnight stay in a Buddhist monastery, a gong fu class at the Shaolin Temple, Emperor Qin’s Terra Cotta Army, and a trek on unreconstructed parts of the Great Wall.

Students will explore Chinese and Western approaches to ancient Chinese ritual; social complexity and feudal social structure; craft specialization, production, and exchange; Chinese ideals of harmony; and Buddhism in China. Adventures in Ancient China is offered in collaboration with the Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology. Prior knowledge of Chinese is not required, but students will have an opportunity to begin speaking Mandarin or polish their language skills.


When in Beijing

  • Overnight in the Qianmen hutong
  • Wander through the Forbidden City
  • Explore the Summer Palace
  • Speak to the heavens at the Tian Tan
  • Dine on Beijing duck, dumplings, and hotpot
  • Make traditional clay toys with a local folk artist & learn how a bunny saved the people of Beijing
  • Hike unreconstructed parts of the Great Wall that few ever see

Experience Tang China

  • Modern kitsch meets history at the Tang Paradise theme park
  • Wonder at the 60-foot tall Buddha at Longmen Grottoes built by the famed empress Wu Zitian
  • Enjoy Classical Tang dance and music
  • Eat X’ian specialties, including a Xi’an hamburger

Xi’an Adventures

  • Bike the ancient city wall
  • Visit the oldest mosque in Xi’an
  • Shop your way through the best night market in China
  • Marvel at the Terra Cotta Army

Spices of Sichuan

  • Food is the highest art in Sichuan—learn to cook the classics, pay homage to the Kitchen God and sip the very best tea
  • Treasures of the Kingdom of Shu—gigantic bronzes and brilliant gold artifacts of China’s lost kingdom
  • See wild monkeys and pandas in their natural habitat

Buddhism up close and personal

  • Overnight on a sacred Buddhist mountain in a working monastery
  • Study kung fu at the famed Shaolin Temple


Experience the archaeological and natural wonders of China. This trip has it all—lost civilizations, brilliant gold artifacts, fortune telling oracle bones, mysterious tombs, outdoor adventure, sacred mountains, wild animals, and incredible food. This is not your typical guided tour. Get ready to see China first-hand and up close. An Adventure you’ll never forget!

Date: On hiatus 202

Program Director: Ryan J. Wheeler, Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology

Program Teachers: Congmin Zhao

Themes: Archaeology, History, Art, Religion, Architecture, Animals, Heritage Tourism

Program Price: $6,450 to $7,200

Financial Aid: We are committed to offering need-based financial aid for any Andover student who is selected.

Adventures in Ancient China is offered in collaboration with the Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology.