Day 1 – Shanghai: Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, 97th floor, “Observatory Bridge”.
Topics: We would like to learn more about the influence that China’s past has on its current architecture. It is said that the Oriental Pearl Tower was influenced by architecture in the Tang Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty was considered the Golden Age of China and produced much of the Chinese poetry and art that we know today.
Day 2 – Shanghai: Xiaotaoyuan Mosque, Chenghuang Temple, Yuyuan Garden , Shikumen Museum and Nanjing Road.
Topics: The Chenghuang Temple is something that really interests us because it represents the gods of the city of Shanghai. One of the best ways to learn about a culture is to explore the religious customs of the culture. The Chenhuang Temple represents three gods: Huo Guang (a Han Dynasty chancellor), Qin Yubo (served in the civil service during the Yuan Dynasty), and Chen Huacheng (a general during the Qing Dynasty that protected Shanghai during the first Opium War). These gods show that the Chinese value political and military figures that have a positive powerful influence on China.
Day 3 – Zhujia Jiao, Water town in Su Zhou
Topics: The Water Town is a great place to go to see architecture that dates back to the Qing Dynasty. This town is built along the water and has bridges connecting the two sides of the riverbank. Rice shops, spice shops, a post office, and bank dating back to the Qing Dynasty can be found here. We are very excited to see the buildings and bridges of Water town that reflect the architecture of China in the past.
Day 4 – Xi’an: City wall and Muslim Quarter
Topics: Xi’an is the first city in China to be introduced to Islam. During the Tang Dynasty the emperor allowed the practice of Islam. There are about seven mosques in Xi’an.
Day 5 – Xi’an: Terracotta Warriors, the emperor’s tomb, the Big Goose Pagoda, and the Tang Dynasty music and dance show.
Topics: The Terracotta Warriors at the emperor’s tomb is what we are most excited to see. It is unbelievable that such a big site was kept hidden for so long. This site shows how powerful the emperor was and how important it was for him to be protected in the after life by these warriors. We are excited to learn more about the warriors and the tomb.
Day 6 – Beijing: Jingshan Park and Hutong experience in Shi Cha Hai area.
Topics: Jingshan Park is a public park in Beijing. The main attraction here is the imperial garden that lies between the Forbidden City and Jingshan Park. It was formerly only accessible from the Forbidden City, but is now accessible from both sides.
Day 7 – Beijing: the Temple of Heaven, doing Tai Chi, the Forbidden City, the National Museum, the Great Hall of the People, the Tiananmen square and Chinese Calligraphy
Topics: We are most excited to do Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that is also a form of meditation. We have heard that in present day China Tai Chi is used for health purposes, especially with senior citizens. We think it will be very interesting to experience and see if it has an effect on how we feel.
Day 8 – Beijing: the Great Wall and Peking Opera
Topics: We would love to learn more about the construction of the Great Wall and how it has been taken care of all of these years. A common theme or interest for us is architecture throughout this trip and since the wall was constructed so long ago it will be great to see.
Day 9 – Beijing: Confucius temple, the Guo Zi Jian Museum, Yong He Gong Lama Temple, Jing-Hang Canal, the Summer Palace and the Tongrentang pharmacy.
Topics: After reading about the influence of Confucius on China we think it will be interesting to see the temple in Beijing. In the required text we read that Confucius has actually been frowned upon in most of China’s history. It is interesting that China has founded a temple in his honor in Beijing and many more around the world.
Day 10 – Beijing: Nan Tang Catholic Church
Topics: We were not aware that there was a Catholic population in China before studying the culture more in depth. It will be interesting to see how different the Catholic tradition is in China than it is in the United States.