Cultural Tours with a strong educational element

China continues to be a ‘cultural’ rather than a leisure destination – although there are now several places where you can enjoy a few days on the beach – Hainan Island or relaxing in ‘Spa’ Hotels – the Banyan Tree group or Shangrila Hotels.

We have been approached either directly by Universities and Educational Institutions or through other tour operators and have devised tailor-made programmes for the following :-

Sothebys MA in East Asian Art
Cardiff University – Department of History – Modern Chinese History undergraduate programme
Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum
Friends of the Royal Academy
NADFAS & DIFAS branches
Friends of the Cheltenham Museum & Art Gallery

Sample Programmes


We worked closely with the Course Director to devise a programme which linked in with the course content. Their journey to China is usually planned in late February, early March. We prepare the students well in terms of multi-layered clothing, but we have also been lucky with the weather and have  encountered early signs of spring as we travel south.

It is a good time to travel in China as there are relatively few other foreign visitors and it is also possible to obtain considerable price advantages to secure a good standard of accommodation and a combination of internal flights and rail travel.

They visited Shanghai focussing on the excellent museum – Zhengzhou for the Provincial Museum, Zhengzhou being close to China’s earliest capitals & best archaeological sites – Luoyang for the Longmen Buddhist Grottoes – Xi’an for the Terracotta Army and the Forest of Steles, Jingdezhen – the porcelain capital of China where they visited both modern and ancient kilns.
Link to tour

In 2008 we arranged a highly successful tour along the Silk Road – taking in Shanghai – a flight to Urumqi – followed by a flight to Khotan on the southern extremities of the Taklamakam Desert whence we continued by road stopping at the various oases of Aksu – Kuche – Korla and Turfan, before taking the overnight train to Dunhuang for the Mogao Caves – and finally arriving in the ‘caravanserai’ of Xi’an, before flying back to the UK via Shanghai.
Link to tour

Friends of the Royal Academy

This programme was devised to link in with the theme of the Three Emperors Exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2005/6 and their appointed tour operator was a well-known specialist with exacting standards. The programme was very popular and two departures operated, both accompanied by a Sinologist and a tour manager.

In keeping with the Qing Emperor theme, Beijing, Zunhua with its Qing Tombs and Chengde the well known summer resort of the Qing Emperors were incorporated into the programme, as well as Xi’an, Shanghai and the Garden City of Suzhou with its representative Qing Gardens.

Five Star hotels were selected, we provided a balance of free time and organised visits and many visits included meetings with curators, a look at projects sponsored by the World Monuments Fund, time for illustrated lectures and meals in carefully chosen restaurants. Transportation between cities was by air, except in the Beijing area where private coaches were available for our exclusive use.