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The Gems of China

Spend an exciting two weeks learning about the ancient and modern China and experiencing its delights: from the ancient Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an to modern Shanghai, explore China in depth, as you tour the Middle Kingdom. See Beijing’s Forbidden City, walk along a secluded section of the Great Wall, enjoy the breathtaking landscape of the Yangtze River with its dramatic gorges and the idyllic rising rice paddies, and conclude in the dazzling capital of Shanghai. 

Terracotta Warriors
Terracotta Warriors

Discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Xi’an, the Terracotta Warriors are a collection of terracotta (baked-earth) sculptures that served as funerary art and were buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. The warriors are meant to represent the armies of the emperor and protect him in the afterlife. The Terracotta Warriors date from the late third century BCE, built in workshops by government laborers and local craftsmen – different body parts such as heads, arms, legs, and torsos were created separately and then assembled as life-sized figures and placed in the burial pits in precise military formation. >>

The Great Wall
The Great Wall

The Great Wall is one of the most recognizable sights associated with China, and although the idea that the wall is visible from the moon has long since been debunked, it remains an enduring historical legacy and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Wall of China is composed of a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. >>

Chinese Acrobats
Chinese Acrobats

Although Chinese acrobatics are a popular form of entertainment in the modern world, the actual beginnings of Chinese performing arts have been lost to history. It is known that they existed as early as the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BCE). During the Qin and Han periods, the Jiaodi  or Baixi variety show was popular with the common people. Jiaodi was originally an entertainment where men wearing horns charged at one another like bulls, but became a general term used interchangeably with Baixi to describe popular entertainment during the Han Dynasty. >>


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