The list of ways we help the local environment:
- Providing all travellers with reusable bags and chopsticks in order to avoid waste
- Encouraging use of “tea flasks” for drinking water (or tea, like the locals do!) so as not to purchase multiple plastic bottles. Safe drinking water available in all our accommodation and transport. Any bottles that are purchased are given to the community of waste collectors who rely on this for an income
- All suppliers issued with RT recommendations in their local language and leaders and groups act as “ambassadors” for spreading the RT message beyond just our travellers but also trying to involve the local tourism industry.
- Wherever possible we take local transport in China. This can mean anything from public bus, trolley bus, tram or subway. We also have the opportunity to explore on bikes and on foot and travel overland on all our basix trips.
The list of ways we help the local community:
- Food left over after group meals is collected and boxed up to be left where homeless/street people might easily find it and take it without them having to go through garbage for a meal
- Include informal local language lessons to give our travellers a head start into understanding the culture and communicating with the people we meet along the way
- When taking trains we travel 2nd or 3rd class (hard sleeper) which is the way the majority of locals travel - this gives us maximum chance to meet and share stories, food, games and the journey with local travellers
- At the end of out journey we encourage our travellers to donate unwanted clothes, toiletries or other goods which we then distribute to local organisations - Our tour leaders are all Chinese locals.
Join your leader for a walking tour through Old Beijing along the ancient network of alleyways and lanes known as hutong to see how important it is to protect cultural heritage in the face of rapid development.
After the closure of the Simatai section of the wall last year we needed to look for a new route. This has meant that we are now able to stay in a family run guesthouse in a nearby village rather than in a YHA hostel. The facilities are basic (expect simple shared showers and squat toilets outside of the rooms) but we can be assured of great local hospitality and a welcome night sleeping out in the fresh countryside air! Most travelers will choose to eat dinner and breakfast at the guesthouse (not included) to sample great local produce and delicious home style cooking.
On the way back from the Terracotta Warriors, there is a chance to stop in for lunch with a village family.
Also in Xi’an we can meet with our friends at Xi'an Huiling (meaning "wise spirit") - a special supported project for people with intellectual disabilities.