Is your teen itching to travel during winter break? Consider a unique ten-day tour of Nepal (December 20-29) tailored especially for teens between the ages of 12 and 15. Operated by Korean company Sunny Tour, the trip is open to any Beijing-based student who speaks English or Korean. The trip costs RMB 6,000 per person plus airfare. The RMB 6,000 includes bus transportation, accommodations, meals, lectures, trekking-related expenses, guide fees, and porter fees. Airfare is expected to cost around RMB 5,000.
I spoke to Hyunhee Chang, a facilitator and program manager for Sunny Tour and the mom of two teenage sons who attend Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing). Originally from South Korea, she and her family moved to Beijing last July. Chang joined Sunny Tour to enable her son and daughter to experience more “unique” forms of travel.
“In 2011, I brought my two children to Sydney, Australia, where my mom and sister live,” she said. “We stayed two whole months there, then we went on a two-week tour from Darwin to Adelaide organized by an Australian tour company. Half the time, we camped in national parks and all the meals were prepared by participants. My children were 9 and 11 at the time; they really enjoyed the trip despite the language barrier. I realized that they can truly learn from nature and traveling.”
This past summer, Chang and her kids traveled to Mongolia with Hyundai to volunteer by “planting” dead tree branches in a desiccated lake to create a barrier against alkali dust, which can cause respiratory, eye, and nasal inflammation when spread by the wind. “[The kids] really enjoyed the volunteering work,” she said. “The best part of the tour was watching the night skies with millions of stars and shooting stars, though!”
Chang started working for Sunny Tour after joining several trips as a customer and meeting the founder, a Korean expat called Jaewan Cho. Based in Wangjing, the company is well-known in Beijing’s Korean community. Cho, who is himself a parent, first organized the Nepal trip soon just after starting Sunny Tour because he wanted to take his daughter there, but for various reasons the trip wasn’t possible until now.
Here are some of the activities participants will be doing during the Nepal trip:
- Volunteering: The participants will visit two schools in Bhaktapur to spend time with pre-elementary and elementary students as well as two NGOs called Beyond Nepal and 3 Sisters.
- Trekking: One of the highlights of the trip, the kids will go trekking from Khare to Australian Camp, then on to Phedi.
- Heritage sites: Attractions include UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Changu Naraya, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Pokhora.
- Cultural activities: These include yoga, meditation, lectures about Nepali history and culture, trying the Nepali sport of kabaddhi, and writing and journal-keeping.
If your teen can’t make the December trip, you’re in luck; Sunny Tour will be offering a second trip to Nepal in February 2015. Note that each participant will have to bring a winter sleeping bag as Australian Camp is located 1,920m above sea level and will be very cold.
To find out more about the trip, contact Hyunhee Chang at 186 0038 2252 between 1pm and 6pm or email email@example.com.
Photo: dave.dave.dave (Flickr)