Fancy an alternative from North Korea? But still keen for something different and thrilling? Dive deep into China’s contemporary history in June and explore the country’s communist and revolutionary heritage with our new Red China Tour. Led by our expert guide in Chinese history, this tour provides to you an educational and insightful experience covering a host of historical sites and areas of interest. If you want to grasp China in a unique perspective and … » Learn More about The Red China Tour
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Fancy an alternative from North Korea? But still keen for something different and thrilling? Dive deep into China’s contemporary history in June and explore the country’s communist and revolutionary heritage with our new Red China Tour. Led by our expert guide in Chinese history, this tour provides to you an educational and insightful experience covering a host of historical sites and areas of interest. If you want to grasp China in a unique perspective and on its own terms, this is a program well and truly worth joining. If you can’t visit North Korea due to the U.S travel ban, then we definitely recommend this instead.
Tracing and investigating the life of Mao Zedong, the tour will start in Beijing where the group will travel to a host of destinations across the space of 6 days including: Shaoshan, Mao’s ancestral and family home, the adjacent Hunan countryside where he gave famous meetings, and later the the Nanjiecun commune which was an early attempt at collectivization, all before returning to Beijing with a visit to Mao’s Mausoleum in Tiananmen square and the city’s military museum!
The price for this package is 795 euros, which includes all train tickets and transportation, hotels entrance tickets and certain meals. It does not include a Chinese visa, flights and any optional expenses. Payment for this tour works by submitting a 50% deposit upfront by bank transfer, with the remaining 50% to be settled in a 30 day period before the commencing of the tour. If the tour is booked within a 30 day window of it starting, 100% must be settled upfront.
Monday 29th June
- Meet up with the guide at McDonald’s across the street (get some capitalist feeling before we commence!) from the entrance to Beijing West Station (North Square) to collect your tickets. We’ll then head into the station and grab a coffee in Starbucks and go over the orientation for the trip.
- Take the HS train from Beijing West to Shaoshan in Hunan province (10:00-17:02), Mao's birthplace and hometown.
- Check in to the hotel and have dinner at the "Mao" family restaurant". Here we can meet Yang mama, a community elder and businesswoman of the town who once met Mao herself!
- Check out Shaoshan at night, including the old train station and Martyr's park
- Back to the hotel
Tuesday 30th June – Shaoshan
- In the morning, we'll explore the main parts of Shaoshan, including Chairman Mao’s ancestral home which receives a lot of local tourism
- For lunch try a famous local delicacy of Hunan noodles.
- After we'll walk around Shaoshan, visiting central Mao Square with his statue, the school he was taught in, the Mao Zedong memorial museum and the Relic Hall of Mao Zedong, filled with personal artefacts and pictures from his youth.
- We'll have more Hunan food for dinner, including braised pork on rice, a favourite dish of Mao's
- OPTIONAL – Witness a show performance titled Mao Zedong of China, with hundreds of dancers, singers and acrobats depicting highlights of the life of the Chairman and China's history, from Colonialism to the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. It is an impressive display with brilliant special effects (About 240 RMB)
- Back to the hotel
Wednesday 1st July- Shaoshan/Luohe
- Head out of town to explore the countryside, visiting the famous Dripping Water Cave where Mao held meetings and lectures during the Cultural Revolution.
- Try out local Changsha noodles for lunch
- We'll now leave Shaoshan and take the highspeed train to Luohe (14:10-17:49).
- Check into the hotel and overnight in Luohe
Thursday 2nd July- Nanjiecun
- In the morning we'll take a private ride to Nanjiecun Collective Village (45 minutes)
- Here we'll meet with up with our local guide who will give us an introduction to the area
- First we'll see the town's museum, which explores its rise from a People’s Commune in the Mao Era, through a brief experiment with decollectivisation in the early 1980s before recollectivising as it remains today. This exhibition explains the importance of collective society in Nanjiecun and the success they had in combining industrialization and agriculture.
- Lunch at the commune's "collective canteen"
- After lunch we'll visit the local school and watch students in a lesson
- We'll drive to the outskirts of the area where we can see a local bonatical garden, but also an interactive
- ‘Walk through Chinese revolutionary history’ which has models of Mao’s birthplace in Shaoshan, the site of the Zunyi conference, the Zaoyuan cave house and Baota pagoda in Yan’an and the Xibaipo reovolutionary site.
- In the late afternoon, we will check out the East is Red Square, where astatue of Chairman Mao stands under a rainbow in the middle of huge portraits of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.
- TRIP HIGHLIGHT – we meet up with a local Communist Party official for a dialogue about Nanjiecun and Maoism in history and China today, with the opportunity to ask as many questions as we can!
- Post-discussion dinner and drinks at Nanjiecun’s one and only all-you-can-eat-and-drink barbeque, overnight in Nanjiecun.
Friday 3rd July
- Visit the Nanjiecun fields and collective farms. The local guide will show us the irrigation, mechanisation and collective agricultural projects that have been promoted to the extent that Nanjiecun today is a model industrial village. Learn how the farmer’s life in a collective is different to the family plots in other parts of China.
- Explore a local home- in the commune all housing is free, including furniture and bills, along with a portrait of Mao that hangs in the lounge. Engage with the residents and talk about what life in the collective is like.
- Next up is the "red corridor" which was built for students to walk from their home to school sheltering them from harsh weather and elements, as well as of course the commune's ideological objectives.
- Lunch in the collective canteen
- After lunch we head to the retirement home where rooms are provided free to elderly residents of the collective and chat with some of the people there about their lives in Nanjiecun and the Mao era
- Visit the local mosque, built for the area's small Hu Muslim community
- Visit the area's noodle factory, famous throughout China and a good example of an industrial project which was given the capital and support to become a national brand, take some noodles away with as sample!
- Stop by the book shop where you can get your share of Mao memorabilia and books about Nanjiecun collective
- We head out to Chaoyangmen gate, decorated with revolutionary carvings, before we settle down for a delicious outdoor barbecue for dinner and drinks
- Overnight in Nanjiecun.
Saturday 4th July
- Last morning walk around the square to listen to the revolutionary music playing throughout the village
- Transfer back to Luohe for the high-speed train back to Beijing at 14:20.
- Try out your Nanjiecun noodles on the train!
- Arriving back in Beijing we will check back into the Zhong Gu Hotel
- Go out for dinner and drinks
- Back to the hotel
Sunday 5th July
- Our journey nears its end with a visit Mao’s final resting place, his mausoleum in the centre of Tiananmen Square where he lays in state preserved.
- Visit the Museum of Revolutionary History where we can see an overview of Mao’s life and the Chinese Revolution, as well as seeing how it is interpreted by the CCP today
- Catch the local metro over to the Military Museum. Here we get a closer look at the Chinese point of view of the Korean War – described as "the War to Resist America and Defend Korea". From the captured UN military equipment to Mao’s own personal sacrifices in the war, in which his son Mao Anying was killed.
- Late lunch of delicious Peking Duck
- End of the tour in Beijing.
- Entry fees and guides
- International flights
- Chinese visa
- Any optional spending
- Any tips
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