City walls, Ming Dynasty murals, ancient temples…


Step back into China’s evocative past on this two-day RASBJ & Courtyard Institute joint excursion to Yuxian, less than 3.5 hours’ drive north of Beijing.


Matthew Hu of the Courtyard Institute, one of Beijing’s leading cultural heritage experts, will introduce the area’s traditional architecture and lifestyles. Departing on our bus from Beijing at 0830 AM Saturday, June 18, we drive to Yuxian and check into a four-star hotel before visiting Nanquan town, with three walled fortresses, 27 temples, and pre-1949 theatrical stages. That evening we see a thrilling display of molten iron splashed onto a city wall, mimicking fireworks. Sunday we tour heritage sites in Yuxian city, including a Liao Dynasty temple with a workshop on the traditional handicraft of Yuxian paper-cutting. Then we head back to Beijing, arriving about 6:00 PM Sunday. Thanks to Matthew and the Courtyard Institute for this rare opportunity! The day-by-day itinerary is below.


Weekend Yuxian trip, led by Matthew Hu of Courtyard Institute

Bus leaves 0830 Saturday June 18; returns about 1800 Sunday June 19.

Pick-up at Hilton Hotel (Xi Er Dun Jiudian), northeast Third Ring Road 400m north of Lufthansa Center. Tel: 5865 5000. 北京希尔顿酒店 朝阳区东三环北路东方路1号

RMB 1,980 per person (see below for what’s included). Pay on Yoopay at,  before June 16, or in cash June 5 at Capital M from 3:30-7 PM. If you wish to cancel no later than 48 hours before the event begins, please inform us and you’ll be refunded; however if you cancel less than 48 hours beforehand, or are late for the bus, or don’t show up at all, you will not get a refund.

Email by June 16, put “Yuxian Trip” and a cell number.


D1, (Sat)Beijing to Yuxian (L, D)
Our bus will pick up the group from an agreed meeting location and drive to Yuxian in the morning (3-3.5 hours). Along the way, we will see some drastic change in scenery, as we will drive through typical North China Plain to Yanshan Mountain terrain, then to eastern edges of Loess Plateau terrain. Most of the trip will be on very good maintain highway, except the short leg (about 30 kms) as we approach Yuxian.
Upon arriving in Yuxian, we check into the Yinghao International Hotel (4 star).
After lunch, we will head to Nuanquan Town to visit this National Level Heritage Site. The town includes three fortresses built in different period of time, each ringed by a defensive wall, a once thriving market street embraced by the fortresses, no less than twenty-seven temples, around a dozen theatrical performance stages, Confucian educational institutions and hundreds of courtyard dwellings.


In the evening, we will have the chance of enjoying a special custom called Da Shu Hua (打树花) in Nuanquan Town, with the local masters splashing heated iron water onto a city wall and create an amazing firework effect.
D2, (Sun) Yuxian (B, L)
In the morning we will stroll around Yuxian City. We will visit the Yuxian City Wall to get a good overview of this strategic old town built in the Ming Dynasty. In the City God Temple next door, we will also be able to enjoy the authentic Ming Dynasty murals.



We will also spend some time at Nan An Si Ta, a Liao Dynasty pagoda, to visit this heritage building, also to have a chance to try the local handicraft: Yuxian Paper Cutting.



After lunch, we will be heading back to Beijing, arriving around 6 pm.

RMB1,980 per person for a minimum of 12 paying participants.
The cost includes:
– All transportation on this trip.
– All food indicated.
– Four star hotel with breakfasts.
– A Courtyard Institute study leader.
– Admission tickets to all sites.
– Experts we may enlist to facilitate the visit.
– Paper-cut workshop materials and tutors.
– Safety insurance.

The cost does not include:
– Any personal shopping.
– Optional gifts to the local hosts.

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