Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors (with Beijing) (Group A) (4 nights)

SHA 503-201


  • Terracotta Warriors!
  • Campus exchange and dumpling-making with local students
  • Great Mosque & Old Bazaar


  • Great Wall!
  • Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City
  • Temple of Heaven
  • Summer Palace
Program Overview
Country: China
Depart: 11/25/2017 0600
Return: 11/29/2017 1700
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Moderate
Capacity: Min 25 / Max 35
Category: ILLUMINATE: History / Culture, Faculty-Led Programs

Faculty-Led Program

Program Fee
$1701 (early booking: $1619)

Field Class Conflicts
  • HDFS 101 Individual & Family Development

Dr. Andrew Creekmore, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Curator of the Anthropology Collections at the University of Northern Colorado will lead this Facutly-Led Field Program.

Xi’an, the “Eternal City”, and Beijing, the capital and second-largest city, are home to some of China’s most breath-taking scenery and world-famous historical landmarks. In this five-day tour, take in the sights, sounds, and figures that give China its rich cultural heritage.

On day 1, travel to the capital of Shaanxi province, Xi’an! Called Chang’an in ancient times, Xian is one of the birthplaces of the ancient civilization in the Yellow River Basin area.  With the Qinling Mountains to the north and the Weihe River to the south, it is in a favorable geographical location surrounded by water and hills. In the afternoon, learn what university life in like for Chinese college students at the Xi’an International Studies University. Hear from students and professors, tour the campus, and maybe even compete in a friendly basketball game before heading to a local restaurant with new student friends for a dumpling-making class!

The following morning, explore the Ancient City Wall. The city walls of Xi’an are some of the oldest and best preserved in all of China, and can be dated back to the 2nd century BC. Next see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Originally built in 652 AD during the Tang dynasty, it houses some of the most important sutras and figurines of the Buddha. In the afternoon, behold what everyone has been waiting for…the Terracotta Warriors! One of the world’s greatest archaeological finds, these Warriors were discovered quite by chance in 1974 by a group of people digging a well outside of Xi’an. These sculptures of soldiers, chariots, and horses were funerary statues made to accompany China’s first emperor to the afterlife over 2100 years ago. On the last evening in in Xi’an, observe the Great Mosque, still used today as a place of worship by Chinese Muslims, and the Old Bazaar.

On the first day in Beijing, explore Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Prepare to be overwhelmed by its sheer size, measuring in at 440,000 square meters (over 109 acres). Walking from the southernmost part of the square, pass several monuments including the mausoleum that houses Chairman Mao’s remains. The northern gate of the square features a portrait of the PRC’s founding father, and is also the gate to enter the Forbidden City.

The Forbidden City was completed in 1420, and was home to 24 emperors, the last of which left Beijing in 1924. The entire imperial complex is reputed to have 9999 rooms, which at its peak housed up to 10,000 people, including the imperial family, 3000 eunuchs, as well as maids and concubines. Stroll through and discover what is arguably the best-preserved example of classical Chinese architecture in the world.

Finish up the first full day flying through Beijing’s narrow hutongs by rickshaw. The word “hutong” refers to the narrow network of lanes created by closely built homes. Once the primary architectural feature of China’s capital city, hutongs now make up only a small fraction of Beijing. Stop at a local family’s courtyard home for dinner along the way.

The next day, visit the ornate religious buildings comprising the Temple of Heaven. Whereas most imperial buildings have yellow roof tiles, the blue tiles here echo the color of the sky. The dominant feature of the whole complex is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Amazingly, the wooden pillars ingeniously support the ceiling without nails or cement! Here participants may observe local residents performing their morning exercises. Seniors might be practicing their slow-motion Tai Chi. Youth may be performing kung fu fighting or sword fighting and some ladies may be perfecting traditional dances. It is truly a great place to people watch!

After lunch, take the opportunity to  stand on Beijing’s most well-known landmark, the Great Wall! Explore the quieter Mutianyu section. The 2.5-kilometer (1.5m) stretch passes twenty-two watchtowers. Take in the spectacular views on a breathtaking cable car ride to the top!

On the last morning, before flying back to Shanghai, travel to the Summer Palace, one of the largest and best-preserved imperial gardens in the world. The grounds are stunning, as is the lovely Kunming Lake, which occupies more than three quarters of the total area. Enjoy a boat ride before walking the Long Corridor featuring paintings collected by the Emperor during his travels around the country.

 “This program was amazing. To be able to see so much of China in so few days was truly amazing. I enjoyed the variety of activities and the itinerary.” – Spring 2015 Voyager

“A very educational experience, since you get to visit some of the oldest and most emblematic places of China.” – Silvia C. Spring 2017 Student Voyager

“Without this program I would not have been able to see so much of the history of this amazing country.” – Lauren G. Spring 2017 Student Voyager


Day 1

  • Fly to Xi’an 
  • Lunch
  • Xi’an International Studies University Exchange
  • Dumpling-making with local students
  • Dinner
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Ancient City Wall
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda
  • Lunch
  • Terracotta Warriors Museum
  • Great Mosque & Old Bazaar
  • Dinner on your own
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 3

  • Breakfast
  • Fly to Beijing
  • Lunch
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Forbidden City
  • Rickshaw ride through hutongs
  • Dinner
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 4

  • Breakfast
  • Temple of Heaven
  • Lunch
  • Great Wall (Mutianyu section)
  • Dinner
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 5

  • Breakfast
  • Summer Palace
  • Fly to Shanghai
  • Lunch (on plane)


*Please note that times, activities and accommodations are approximate and subject to change.*

Meals Included

Day 1: lunch, dinner
Day 2: breakfast, lunch
Day 3: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5: breakfast, lunch