The ECLC Office organises a rich cultural programme, composed of excursions and field trips in which all ECLC students are welcome to take part. These excursions have been designed in close cooperation with a local travel agency, and have been very popular among the students. Destinations are Chengde, Xi’an, Datong, Inner Mongolia and sights in and around Beijing. The excursions aim at deepening the students’ knowledge of Chinese traditional culture, history and geography, while at the same time bringing them into contact with people outside of the country’s capital.

Most excursions innvolve transport by bus or train, depending on the size of the student groups in question as well as the destination. Accommodation and the programme, including guided tours (with an English-speaking guide) are organised by a local travel agency. This provides us with a cheap and safe way to travel, as well as giving students from different universities a good opportunity to get to know each other outside of the classroom. All excursions are non-profit for the ECLC programme.

A short overview of destinations and attractions is given below.

A summerly visit to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing

Destinations in and around Beijing

Trips to different destinations in and aoround the capital have been organised in the past. Among these destinations were the Buddhist Tanzhe Temple and Jietai Temple, which are located in the Western Hills, Mentougou district of Beijing. Jietai Temple was constructed during the Tang dynasty, and modified during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Tanzhe Temple was built during the Jin dynasty, and is now more than 1,700 years old. It is one of the best known and oldest temples in Beijing, as reflected in the local saying “first there was Tanzhe, then there was Beijing”. A regular destination for field trips withing Beijing is the World of Acrobatics", one of China’s most famous acrobatics performances, showcasing a mixture of traditional and modern acrobatics, dance, and dare-devilish stunts. It is shown throughout the year at the Chaoyang Theatre, which was established in 1984, and is located in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, right next to the metro line 10’s Hujialou station. Furthermore, trips to famous sights like the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven as well as different museums have also been organised by the ECLC office.


Chengde is a city located about 160 km northeast of Beijing in Hebei province, well-known for its Mountain Resort, which was founded during the reign of the Qing as a means to escape from the scorching heat of the capital Beijing for several months during the year. Outside the walls of the Mountain Resort are the Eight Outer Temples, with the Putuo Zongcheng Temple being the most famous, as it was built to resemble the Putala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Another famous attraction is the Sledgehammer Peak, a large rock formation, outside of the city. Since 1994 the Mountain Resort and the Eight Outer Temples have been included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. A section of the Great Wall near Simatai will also be visited during the trip.


Xi’an, located about 900 km southwest of Beijing, is the capital of Shaanxi province, and one of the four ancient great capitals of China, with a history of about 3,100 years. One of its main attractions is the unearthed Terracotta Army, a collection of sculptures of the armies of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor. Other famous sites are the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Famen Temple. Xi’an is also well known for having been the terminus of the Silk Road.


Datong lies in northern Shanxi province, about 270 km west of Beijing, and was founded during the Han dynasty. Today it is mostly known as a coal-exporting area, and for its famous sights, such as the Yungang Grottoes, the Hanging Temple, and the Wooden Pagoda of Fogong Temple in the vicinity of Datong. The Yungang Grottoes are listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, and are among the three most famous Buddhist sculptural sites in China, with more than 252 grottoes, and more than 51,000 Buddhas (although not all of the grottoes are open to the public). The Wooden Pagoda was built during the Liao dynasty, and is most famous for having survived several major earthquakes over the centuries. The Hanging Temple was built into a cliff more than 1500 years ago. It features Buddhist, Confucian and Daoist elements.

Inner Mongolia

The excursion to Inner Mongolia encompasses visits to Hohhot, its Inner Mongolia Museum, the Buddhist Dazhao Temple, and the bordering grasslands and desert. Students will gain an insight into the lifestyle of Mongolian tribes, by sleeping in yurts, riding horses and camels, and witnessing a traditional Mongolian wedding.

Special Excursions

Besides the excursions listed above, which are organized each semester, the ECLC will also organize special excursions, activities and field trips, often in cooperation with PKU’s School of International Studies. A list of these activities can be found on this page.