Volunteer Program in China



Hutongs & Courtyard Residence (Siheyuan)

Hutongs are a type of narrow streets or alleys, most commonly associated withBeijing,China. InBeijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighbourhoods.

Since the mid-20th century, the number ofBeijinghutongs has dropped dramatically as they are demolished to make way for new roads and buildings. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history.

Hutongs represent an important cultural element of the city ofBeijing. Thanks toBeijing’s long history and status as capital for six dynasties, almost every hutong has its anecdotes, and some are even associated with historic events. In contrast to the court life and elite culture represented by the Forbidden City,SummerPalace, and theTempleofHeaven, the hutongs reflect the culture of grassroots Beijingers. The hutongs are residential neighborhoods which still form the heart of Old Beijing. A siheyuan is a historical type of residence that was commonly found throughoutChina, most famously inBeijing. In English, siheyuan are sometimes referred to as Chinese quadrangles. The name literally means a courtyard surrounded by four buildings.

Throughout Chinese history, the siheyuan composition was the basic pattern used for residences, palaces, temples, monasteries, family businesses and government offices. In ancient times, a spacious siheyuan would be occupied by a single, usually large and extended family, signifying wealth and prosperity. Today, many remaining siheyuan are still used as housing complexes, but many lack modern amenities.

National Museum

NationalMuseumof China (NMC) is located at the east side ofTiananmen Squareand opposite with the Great Hall of the People. It was founded in February 2003, based on the merging of two previous museums, namely the National Museum of Chinese History and National Museum of Chinese Revolution. NMC, an integrated national museum under the Ministry of Culture ofChina, draws equally from both history and art and is dedicated to its collections, exhibitions, research, archeology, public education and cultural communication. Its basic functions are cultural relics and artworks collection, exhibition display, public education, history and art research, and cultural communication. 

The predecessor of theMuseumofChinese Historyis the Preparatory Office of theMuseumofChinese History, which was founded on July 9, 1912. Upon the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct 1st , 1949, the museum was renamed the Beijing Museum of History, only to be renamed once again as the National Museum of Chinese History in 1959. The predecessor of the Museum of Chinese Revolution was the Preparatory Office of the National Revolution Museum that was founded in March, 1950, and was given its current name ten years later. In August of 1959, with the completion of new building at east side of Tiananmen Square that housed both museums, it was called one of the Ten Great Constructions built to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the People’s Republic ofChina. On Oct 1st of that same year, the two museums opened to the public.
As the most important cultural and art institution inChina, NMC not only displaysChina’s outstanding civilization achievements, but also other parts of the world. 
NMC plays an important role in displaying Chinese culture, cultivating national spirit, leading the development of the cultural relics and museum field. 
Today NMC is the largest museum in the world with first class facilities and capabilities. It has Ancient China and The Road to Rejuvenation exhibitions on regular display and more than a dozen categories of display related to special exhibitions and international exchange exhibitions. Not only has the museum amassed five thousand years of Chinese art and cultural heritage, the museum itself attests to the long road to revival and provides high-quality exhibitions reflective of the fruits of this world civilization.

Forbidden City

TheForbidden Citywas the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle ofBeijing, and now houses thePalaceMuseum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.

Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers720,000 m2. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments inEast Asiaand elsewhere. TheForbidden Citywas declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

Tian’anmen Square

Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing,China, named after the Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from theForbidden City.Tiananmen Squareis the third largest city square in the world (440,000 m²-880mby500m). It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.

Great Wall
Mutianyu is an ideal section of the Great Wall if you’re looking for a half-day tour to the Wall with moderate hiking. Other portions of the Wall like Simatai,  Jinshanling and Jiankou are far from the center ofBeijing, too "wild," and more physically challenging, while the Badaling and Juyongguan sections are too crowded and commercial.Situated inHuairouCounty,72 kmnortheast ofBeijing, Mutianyu Great Wall has been preserved intact. The Mutianyu section is not as crowded as Badaling, making its scenic views that much more breathtaking, and vegetation and fruit trees abound. 

This three- kilometer stretch of the Wall has 25 beacon towers, watchtowers, and lodging houses. The construction here required the largest number of laborers to complete, and as you’ll soon discover, they produced work of extremely high quality.

The Ming Tombs

Located 60 Kilometers north ofBeijing, this well-preserved imperial tomb complex consists of the mausoleums of 13 Ming emperors and over 500 years of history. We’ll begin our tour by taking a 30-minute walk along the imperial Sacred (or Spirit) Way, the highlight of the tomb visit. The serenely beautiful approach leading to the tomb complex is lined with willow trees and stone figure carvings.

After crossing theSacred Way, we’ll make our way to the Changling Tomb, the first tomb to be constructed, begun in 1409 and completed in 1427. While Dingling is the only tomb that opens to the underground grave, nothing remains there except some coffin reproductions. So we’ll bring you to Changling, which features extraordinary palace halls, courtyards, and willow trees. In addition, many unearthed artifacts are exhibited in the Changling Tomb.

The Summer Palace
An imperial garden & palace in Beijing, the Summer Palace or Yiheyuan is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill (60 meters high) and the Kunming Lake. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water. In its compact 70,000 square metres of building space, one finds a variety of palaces, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures. In December 1998, UNESCO included theSummerPalaceon its World Heritage List. It declared theSummerPalacean "outstanding expression of the creative art of Chinese landscape garden design, incorporating the works of humankind and nature in a harmonious whole." It is a popular tourist destination but also serves as a recreational park..

The Lama Temple
This exceptional temple is a glittering attraction in Beijing Buddhist firmament. If you only have time for one temple (the Temple of Heaven isn't really a temple) make it this one, where riveting roofs, fabulous frescoes, magnificent decorative arches, tapestries, eye-popping carpentry, Tibetan prayer wheels, tantric statues and a superb pair of Chinese lions mingle with dense clouds of incense.
The most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside the historic lands ofTibet, theLamaTemplewas converted to a lamasery in 1744 after serving as the former residence of Emperor Yong Zheng. Today the temple is an active place of worship, attracting pilgrims from afar, some of whom prostrate themselves in submission at full length within its halls.

Old Beijing flavor Grand Canal Terminals -Shi Sha hai 

Shi Shahai Deshengmen from theNorthBridge, the North Sea south to the back door, the same kind of water from the sea before and after the sea, theWestSea(Jishui Tan). Also known as "10-productive" because this area had 10 Baosha, therefore the name. 
Humanities rich history here. Guan Hanqing the Yuan Dynasty, Zhao Mengfu, Ming Li Dongyang, Yuan Hongdao, the Qing Dynasty Nalanxingde,Cao Yin, Liu Yong, Zhang Zhidong, the modern summer sticks nest, Guo Moruo, Zhang Boju, often to this event or long Living in this. Shi Shahai to radiation as the center of the surrounding area is also available in the Mei Lanfang Hu Guosi Street house, to Tiananmen Square Hu Shih former places of residence within metres of grain, to Tiananmen Square, Johnston (Puyi's English teacher) former places of residence, to Tiananmen Square Main Street East Wellington Koo former places of residence, east Maor backdoor alley-yu, is the University of disabilities, the home can park, the adjacent Queen's Wanrong is the last of the family house. 
Shisha Hai Haidong from the former northward along the way. "Barbecue quarter," Restaurant advertising under the bridge is Yinding Qiao, where Lotus had been planted in the late Qing Guangxu years some Daguan elite, Wenrenmoke here Shanghe, Lake Tea Tour, so set-Habitat, Qingyinchashe, blasting belly Wang, barbecue season, will be appear from time to time-of Health. Then sit here and push window will be tabled in a Lotus. 
Shi Shahai now is not only the public park, and attract many tourists. "Barbecue quarter" in front of rickshaws, bicycles, cars come and go, the river grinder of the boat came in from time to time, pipa, erhu the Golden Voice, two small guys from "barbecue quarter" in carrying delivery Mu Xia barrels of embarkation, a girl with Danfen Qipao sit on the bow gracefully on the vine Quanyi embrace pipa, Chuanpeng's Cup in a note to listen or watch the boat, Zhuantou. Along the river bar sat a group blonde foreigner. 
Shi Shahai retained the edge of many ancient streets. Like Yandaixiejie, Yin Dingqiao Xiecha it from the north into the axis of the bell Gulou the west side ofMain Street, shape like a Yandai. This street, there are antique shops, a fish shop, jewellery shops, bath, Xiuju Pu, bookstores, Yan Mei Fong, and other shops, a cloud Shuige Liao Qi, the owner had his home is used to suit the garment shops, Beijing's first suit is produced in this shop. 
Yandaixiejie from entering after the Haibei along the Arthur children alley, gradually noisy sound strip, the You-alley in an open cement board on the roads Sazhaoguhuai Posuo mottled the Shuying. Shi Shahai preserved in the alley near a dozen blocks Baosha the only preserved the most complete, the Yuan Dynasty, founded in Beijing famous ancient temples in one of the eight-Huasi. Serve in theForbidden City, Wan Rong Zhang eunuchs had also live here. 
In Shi Shahai Xianbu, especially people Huaixiang Last Emperor Puyi. And here he has a special fate. He grew up in Wales after the House of alcohol; living Liu Yin Street Prince Gong Yi Xin Pu Yi is the grandfather of six, while Baylor old Tao Tao House are masters of Pu Yi is the Qi Shu; Shi Shahai former East Sea Maor alley Is the Queen's Palace is the home Wanrong; Shufei Wenxiu and Puyi in the Puppet Tan Yuling during the two were in the home of the North Prince Gong House Xiangfeng alley. 
Apart from the forest ofconstructionPalace, where the alley is definitely going to see the. South official alley, the alley Xiangfeng, the wire alley, three bridges alley, the former along the Haibei, Hainan after along with the various courtyard, because of the different grades, in the form of doors, the doors of the hall, the openings into the deep, Zan door, the threshold, Shek Mun pillow, Mendun, the Ying, Yingbi walls and Zhuandiao patterns, accessories of choice, both have different stresses.


Temple of Heaven 

TheTempleofHeavenwas built in 1420 during the reign of Emperor Youngle of the Ming Dynasty. Situated in the southern part of the city ,this grand set of structures covers an area of 273 hectares. To better symbolize heaven and earth ,the northern part of theTempleis circular while the southern part is square .The whole compound is enclosed by two walls, a square wall outside a round one. The outer area is characterized by suburban scenery, while the inner part is used for sacrifices. The inner enclosure consists of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and the Circular Mound Altar. 

(Along the Imperial Passage leading from the Southern Lattice Star Gate in front of the Circular Mound Altar) 

The Circular Mound Altar is enclosed by two walls ,each containing four groups of Southern Lattice Star Gate, each in turn consisting of three doors, with 24 marble doors altogether. Standing on the passage facing north, you will notice that with each pair of doors on is narrower than the other. This reflects the feudal hierarchy: the wider door was reserved for monarchs, while the narrower one was used by courtiers.