Biodiversity and Environmental Studies
This trip will expose students to the impact economic development, resource management, and tourism have upon natural ecosystems. Students will gain a first-hand understanding of the profound repercussions monoculture production has had on the area’s diverse forest wildlife. Activities will include completing a biodiversity survey, as well examining large-scale agriculture, energy and construction projects and their effect on the local ecosystem.
Culture & Service
Home to 26 of China’s 56 ethnic minorities, students on this program will come face to face with Dai agricultural techniques, Bulang Tea Production, and Hani landscaping and dwelling design. Ultimately, students will experience first-hand how these peoples have coexisted and prospered for centuries by tasting their food, sipping their teas, visiting their homes, dancing their dances, painting their pictures, and singing their songs. During the daytime, students will have the opportunity to service their host communities, and each evening will be capped by culture exchange activities.
Students will test their tenacity and move beyond their comfort zones, all in the spirit of a safe, controlled and mediated adventure. Yunnan province has some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in all of China. On our bicycle rides and treks through Yunnan, we will be able to witness the stunning diversity of both Yunnan’s landscape and its people, as we pass through green valleys and over wind-swept mountain passes.
Local Experts, Wendy & Echo:
Wendy and Echo run sustainable ecotourism ventures in Xishuangbanna, and are familiar with entrepreneurs, tea farmers, rubber bosses, Dai Traditional Medicine men, and travelers from all walks of life. Adventurers on The Hutong’s Southern Yunnan programs will come to know and love Wendy, a local of the Jinuo ethnicity, for her detailed knowledge of the rainforest and all the good things it offers to eat, and Echo’s great personality and dry Hong Kong wit.