Taking a geography trip to China brings students face-to-face with issues of human and physical geography in a vitally important country. China has a lot to offer geography classes: exploring the ultra-modern urban landscape of Shanghai, discussing the Chinese responses to desertification and the need for sustainable agriculture, visiting the Leye Tiankengs karst caves, and, of course, visiting some of the sites central to Chinese cultural and political history – including Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing. By using a school travel service, school groups can ensure a safe and intellectually stimulating trip with a full itinerary.
Shanghai is a vast city, and a major financial and shipping centre with a population of over 24 million people. Visiting it gives students the opportunity to raise and discuss questions of human geography in such a populous country, from rural-to-urban migration to the city’s modern development. Students can also enjoy a day in the Shanghai Natural History Museum, which has a formidable collection of animal, plant and mineral specimens, including the rare species Yangtze alligator, giant panda, giant salamander and Yellow River mammoth. A school travel service can arrange high quality accommodation in the city, as well as a suggested itinerary within the city and outside it on excursions.
A particularly interesting excursion that can be organised is a trip to one of China’s eco villages. These eco villages are one answer to the vital question of sustainable agriculture and living: they are designed to be a self-sustainable community, with environmentally friendly energy sources (such as solar energy) and farming techniques. They exhibit modern and traditional modes of living, maintaining traditional ways of life with sustainable updates where needed, thus make a fascinating case study for geography students.
The Leye Tiankengs are rare karst caves – spectacular geological formations – in Guangxi Province. A school travel service can arrange an excursion to see them, which will be a definite treat for geography students. The deepest cave is over 600 metres deep, with a forest growing at its base – home to a secluded, precious ecosystem of flora and fauna including new species of crab and spider. Standing at the top of the cave, students will be treated to a stunning and rare view.
It would be impossible to visit China without taking in some of its major historical sites, many of which are found in or near Beijing. With the help of a school travel service, school groups can take some leisure time to stand in Tiananmen Square, wander through the Forbidden City or leave the city behind to see the legendary Great Wall of China, parts of which date back over one-and-a-half thousand years.