Welcome to Rustic Pathways in China!

Since 2007, Rustic Pathways has been offering premier language, service and adventure programs in the Middle Kingdom. We offer Group Journeys, Gap Programs and Rustic Trips throughout the year. Rustic Pathways’ China operations are headquartered in the Old Town of Dali in Yunnan Province – the southern land of blue skies and billowy clouds.

Your Group Journey Through China

We custom design our Journeys to meet your school’s requirements, so please contact us to discuss the type of experience you are looking for. As a general guide, here are some of the potential elements of your Journey through China:

Service Projects

Rustic Pathways has developed a long-term partnership with the Bi Feng Xia Conservation Centre in Ya’an in order to provide support for their Giant Panda breeding and conservation program.

Panda Conservation: Volunteer at a renowned panda conservation centre based in Chendu and work alongside researchers to help care for the pandas. Monitor their behaviour, prepare food, feed the pandas, and clean up their living spaces.

Education and Cultural Exploration

Discover the striking contrast between the urban modernity of bustling Beijing and the quietude and tranquillity of the rural countryside as you walk along the Great Wall and marvel at the majestic limestone karst of China’s southern countryside. Learn about China’s shifting position on the world stage and soak up the ancient culture. Study Mandarin with university professors or care for pandas at one of the most progressive panda centres in the world. You may like to incorporate some of the following experiences into your Journey:

Luding Bridge: This bridge was built during the 18th century under Qing Dynasty, and was the site of a famous battle between the Chinese Red Army and the Kuomintang during China’s civil war in the 1930s.

Forbidden City: Being the home of the royal family from the Qing Dynasty, this infamous cultural site is a great sneak peak into Chinese history.

Terracotta Warriors: Located in Xi’an, these individually produced statues were made to protect the village with an army of clay and are still being uncovered even today. Catch a glimpse of the active archaeological dig site here, learn about the unique history of the community, and marvel at how incredible it is that these statues have been able to survive.

Tiananmen Square: As you are led around the biggest square in China, your local guides will give a wonderful insight into this legendary political, cultural and historical site of Beijing.

Language Immersion: Based at a university in Shanghai, you’ll experience the student lifestyle and learn from native Mandarin speakers. Designed for all levels of Mandarin speakers, you can choose between private tutoring or group instruction.

Adventure and Challenge

Adventure and challenge is inherent to every Journey, however,
if you are looking to physically challenge your students through a specific activity, you may opt to include:

Mountains & Glaciers: Trek across the Hailuogou Glacier and spot Tibetan Macaques as you hike up Mt. Emei (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Leshan Giant Buddha: At 230ft tall, this is the largest Buddha sculpture in the world. Hike from shoulder to shoulder and take a boat ride to explore this giant from all angles.

The Great Wall Experience: Trek up and toboggan down the infamous Great Wall of China.

Kung Fu, Calligraphy & Tai Chi: Learn these uniquely Chinese cultural practices from locals in Beijing.


There are various accommodation options that we can offer in China.

Hotels: A variety of 3, 4 & 5 star hotels in cities and towns.

Guesthouses: Rustic Pathways uses this accommodation style in some of our smaller towns we visit.

Special Requests

Please chat to us if you have any special requests that you would like included in your Journey. There is nothing too big, small, or out-of-the-box that we can’t handle.

What Next?

Please email us at to start designing your Journey! We would be delighted to partner with your school to support the global education of your students.