TOUR CODE: SCCHDS
This 12-day journey unravels China’s enriched history, irresistible landscapes, and deep-rooted traditions. The highlight of this trip is a visit to the charming little town of Yangshuo, where you will have the opportunity to experience unique mountain scenery and the charm and beauty of the region up close. This journey combines the sights of the historical attractions in Beijing, the marvelous Terracotta Warriors in Xian, a relaxing cruise down the Li River and Shanghai’s Chinese Old Quarter.
After customs and immigration formalities, our local representative will welcome you and assist for transfer to the hotel. After time to relax we meet our tour guide for a walking tour of the area surrounding our hotel. Dinner is on our own.
After breakfast, we begin our discovery of this 2,000-year-old city at vast Tiananmen Square. From here, we walk through the Gate of Heavenly Peace to the magnificent Forbidden City which was home to the Ming and Qing dynasties for over 500 years. Then, take a rickshaw ride through Beijing’s traditional courtyard neighborhoods (hutongs). Here we visit the home of a local family for a rare glimpse of the traditional communal life-style that is fast disappearing.
Then, we make a brief photo stop at Olympic Park, site of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Tonight we enjoy a traditional Peking Duck dinner at a local restaurant.
MUTIANYU GREAT WALL/798 ART DISTRICT (B)
Travel to the northwest of Beijing to visit China’s most famous attraction – the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu. Built over 2,000 years ago, it stretches 4,000 miles across mountains and valleys in the northern part of China. Walk along a well-preserved section of this true wonder of the world and enjoy the panoramic views. Return to the city with a stop at 798 Art Zone (also known as the Dashanzi Art District), you will have free time to visit some of the galleries and museums, and have lunch on our own at one of the fabulous cafés.
Visit the Temple of Heaven, a perfection of Ming architecture and one of the symbols of Beijing. Built in 1420, this huge site (twice the size of the Forbidden City) follows a route traversed by past emperors and their entourages in splendid procession from which the commoner had to avert his eyes. The emperors came to the Temple of Heaven during the winter solstice to offer sacrifices to Heaven and pray for bountiful harvests – momentous occasions for which the temple’s beauty and simplicity provided a fitting background. Following lunch continue on to visit the magical Summer Palace – enjoy your visit to this ethereal garden of imperial grandeur set around the shores of Kunming Lake – last reconstruction of the imperial summer residence – history dates to the Jin dynasty (1115 – 1234) and last site from 1888 – tour by foot and by boat – walk the “Chang Lang” (the Long Corridor) and end your visit with a shared boat ride on Kunming Lake.
This morning we fly to Xian. Once the last stop on the Great Silk Road, Xian is a melting pot of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Upon arrival, take a stroll along the top of the City Wall which was built during the Ming Dynasty on the original foundations of the Tang Forbidden City Wall. Proceed with a walk through Xian’s Muslim Quarter en route to the mosque. The Great Mosque, one of the most interesting sites in a city known for its rich history. While the Buddhist traditions of Chinese culture are well known to most visitors, the influence exerted by Islam is not. Yet, of the religious beliefs within China today, no one can claim the strength of belief that Islam does.
In the morning, visit the Shaanxi Provincial Historical Museum followed by a traditional dumpling lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, take a short drive to one of the most marvelous archaeological discoveries, the Terracotta Warriors in Xian. This underground tomb is home to a vast army of unique soldier statues that once served the sole purpose of protecting the Qin Emperor in his afterlife. You will also have the opportunity to witness the Circle Vision Documentary on the history of the site and to view the bronze chariots and horse sculptures which are the most precious centerpiece of the Terracotta Warriors Museum.
Fly to Guilin in southern China known for its dramatic landscape of limestone karst hills. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
LI RIVER CRUISE/YANGSHUO (B/L)
Unwind on a relaxing cruise down the picturesque Li River, which is often found featured in many Chinese paintings. Along the way, pass through fascinating villages and stunning mountainous peaks with names such as Paint Brush Hill and Cock-Fighting Hills. Disembark at the charming little town of Yangshuo with free time to browse around or to just relax in one of the street cafés.
Head out into the countryside for a chance to explore rice paddies, fish farms, and beautiful scenery up close.
Return to Guilin and tour the dramatic rock formations at Fu Bo Hill and Reed Flute Cave. After lunch, fly to Shanghai.
Spend the day touring this dynamic city by visiting the Yu Garden which features the garden architectural styles of Southern China during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Stroll through the Chinese Old Quarter with its winding alleyways, lined with shops, teahouses, and restaurants. Walk along the main avenues of the French Concession with many of the city’s most magnificent colonial mansions, parks, and town houses. The remainder of the day is yours to relax, or use your free time to explore Shanghai’s emporiums at Nanjing or Huai Hai Road’s popular shops. Tonight we dine on our own then attend an acrobatics show.
SHANGHAI DEPARTURE (B)
Hotel check – out and transfer to the airport.
Meals: B= Breakfast L= Lunch D=Dinner
Per person, based on double occupancy
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