Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai
Day 1 – DEPART U.S.
Day 2 BEIJING
Arrive Beijing and transfer to hotel.
Day 3 – BEIJING (B, L, SD)
You are going to wake up this morning in the magnificent 800 year old Capital city of Beijing! While standing in the middle of the largest square in the world – Tiananmen Square, you will really want to pinch yourself. That’s right, you are in China! Then you will follow the meridian line of this ancient city and enter the majestic Forbidden City, which has been a monument to classic Chinese architecture for over 500 years.
In the afternoon, you will explore an authentic Chinese Imperial garden – the Summer Palace. It is to be a summer resort built exclusively for the Emperor and Empress. You are going to enjoy the legendary scenery on a Dragon Boat, a treat originally reserved only for the Imperial family!
Tonight you will savor the most authentic Peking Duck dinner in Beijing. A great way to finish an unforgettable day!
Day 4 – BEIJING (B, L, D)
A full-day excursion takes you forty miles north of Beijing to the Great Wall. This wonder of the world was built more than 2,600 years ago. The Wall was an extraordinary 4,000-mile-long fortification built to thwart barbarian invasions. A walk along a section of this enormous edifice is definitely a not-to-be-missed experience.
This afternoon, you are going to walk through the Sacred Way, which is lined with the colossal stone statues leading to the Ming Tombs. These lavish burial chambers of thirteen emperors of Ming Dynasty will reveal those rare treasures that have been uncovered through years of excavations.
Day 5 – BEIJING (B, L, D)
We begin this day with a rickshaw tour through old downtown Beijing. These historic narrow alleyways are called Hutongs. You will really be amazed by the peek into the everyday life of the real Beijingers’! You are going to enjoy a face-to-face visit with a local family there. So prepare your list of questions that you are dying to ask, and anticipate a genuine warm welcome from your host!
This afternoon, you are going to visit the majestic Temple of Heaven, where the Ming and Qing emperors prayed annually to the Heaven for a good harvest. It is one of the most memorable symbols of Beijing and one of the most photographed sites in Chinese architecture!
A performance of the renowned Beijing Opera (or the fabulous Legends of Kung Fu Show) highlights your evening.
Day 6 BEIJING (B)
You are going to visit the biggest Lama Buddhist Temple in Beijing, which is the second biggest temple in China after the Potala Palace in Tibet. The Lama Temple (Lamasery of Harmony and Peace), one of the best preserved temples in Beijing, is one of the most important attractions of the city. This complex dating back to 1694 was the palace in which the son and successor of the Qing Emperor Kangxi lived. It was converted into a lamasery in 1744. The lama temple, built on a north-south axis, has been preserved until today. The temple still houses a small group of Lama Buddhist monks, young and old, who also manage the complex.
This afternoon, you will be free to explore Beijing on your own. Of course, we would love to give you some suggestions!
Day 7 BEIJING/XIAN (B, L, SD)
Today you are going to fly to Xi’an, the cradle of Chinese civilization. Xi’an was the state capital of 73 emperors, spanning 11 dynasties over 2,000 years. Get a feeling for this medieval metropolis as you stand on top of the old city walls, enjoying the fabulous bird’s-eye view. One of China’s most prosperous times in history was during the spectacular Tang Dynasty (619 – 907), during which Xi’an was the capital. As the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, Xi’an was the most important international metropolis in middle Asia; attracting businessmen, traders, scholars and students from all over the world.
Tonight, you are going to have a feast while enjoying the dazzling Tang Dynasty cultural show featuring music, dance, and colorful traditional Tang costumes.
Day 8 – XIAN (B, L, SD)
This morning you are going to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is still an active temple. In the afternoon you are going to visit one of the most stunning sites in world, the life-sized Terra-Cotta Warrior Army. An underground army buried to protect the legendary first Emperor of China during his afterlife. While in awe of those thousands of life-sized soldiers, officers, horses and wagons dating from the third century BC, you can’t get over that this wonder was accidentally discovered by a farmer while he was digging out a well in the early 1970’s! If you are lucky, you will also see some archaeologists still working on site to uncover another part of the vast tomb complex built by first emperor in Chinese history!
The Dumpling Banquet dinner will be a great ending of your fantastic day in Xi’an.
Day 9 – XIAN/GUILIN (B, L, D)
Xi’an’s well-presented Shaaxi Provincial Museum, with its exceptional collections tracing back from the matriarchal societies of the third millennium BC to the glorious Tang dynasty in the tenth century.
In the afternoon, you are flying to Guilin, the most picturesque city in China, famous for its splendid natural scenery. Its romantic countryside will soothe you of your tiring urbanism. Enjoy water buffalos strolling in the lush green rice paddies combined with the craggy limestone background; you will really get lost in this picture! Elephant Trunk Hill will vividly demonstrate the miracle of nature: An elephant enjoying his moment by the Li River! Don’t miss the well lit up image of this elephant at night. That will be the highlight of your dream!
After dinner, enjoy the Cormorant fishing during their night shift.
Day 10 – GUILIN/ YANGSHUO (B, L, D)
Early in the morning you will enjoy a relaxing boat-ride along the highlight of Guilin, the meandering Li River. Clumps of phoenix tail bamboo trees line the shores, little bamboo rafts floating on the water with the cormorants resting on them, every once in a while awakened by the swimming boys. The cruise will take you to Yangshuo, which is more famous for its beauty than even Guilin! The open market in Yangshuo is a wonderful example of a country-style free market. You are going to stay overnight in Yangshuo. You will be amazed at the large Caucasian population here. Many of them settled here to open a small business like a coffee shop, or simply because of the beautiful scenery and peaceful country. All of these foreign residents make a very unique atmosphere for Yangshuo.
Day 11 YANGSHUO/GUILIN (B, L, SD)
You will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the countryside, including a visit to Crescent Moon Hill with scenic vistas of the area.
In the afternoon you will return to Guilin, where you will be entertained by the colorful Minority ethnic dinner and show as your farewell celebration in this paradise city – Guilin.
Day 12 GUILIN/ HANGZHOU (B, L, D)
We will start the day off with a trip to the Reed Flute Cave, also known by another beautiful name, “The Art Palace of Nature”, features fantastic natural stalactite and stalagmite formations, artfully illuminated by multicolored lights.
After lunch, you are flying to Hangzhou, a city whose beauty is encapsulated by a famous Chinese couplet: “In heaven there is paradise, on earth there is Hangzhou and Suzhou.”
Day 13 HANGZHOU (B, L, SD)
It was Hangzhou whose wealth and splendor flabbergasted Marco Polo. Your visit begins exactly as Marco recommended, with a tour by gondola of the West Lake’s elegant causeways and landscaped islands. Back on land, we are going to visit a tea garden to see tea girls hand-picking the tea leaves. Then you will be treated a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, at which you will definitely be amazed by the dynamics of Chinese culture. After refreshments, we will visit Lingyin Temple to view not only a historic temple, but also to inspect the astounding sculptures of its Buddhist monks.
You will enjoy an authentic local banquet, which is as exquisite as it is tasty.
Day 14 HANGZHOU/ SUZHOU (B, L, D)
You will take a coach tour to Suzhou, a port on China’s Grand Canal. Bordering on Shanghai to the east, Zhejiang Province to the south, Lake Taihu to the west and the Yangtze River to the north, Suzhou enjoys a mild and humid climate and is easily accessible by water, land and air. Suzhou, as the silk capital, is also famous for its elegant and charming gardens, decorated by the traditional building of tall white perimeter walls. You are going to visit one of the classical gardens, called: “The Humble Administrator’s Garden”. A boat ride on the ancient Grand Canal will refresh you with its hundreds of years of history.
Tonight, you are going to have a special evening tour to a garden and entertained by a local performance. You will have an unforgettable evening!
Day 15 SUZHOU /SHANGHAI (B, L, D)
You are going to visit a peaceful garden in the downtown of Suzhou, called “Lingering Garden”. After enjoying this ancient private garden, you will be on the way to Shanghai. En route, you will have a vivid view of the beautiful local farmers’ houses.
Day 16 SHANGHAI (B, L, D)
Shanghai is the city considered to be the most Western of Chinese cities. Established early in last century, it is the financial and commercial center of China today. You will be impressed by the skyline of this stunning metropolis. You are going to see the old section of this prosperous city, Yu Garden, a finely designed maze of elegant pavilions and ponds. While standing on the Bund, China’s most famous waterfront stretching about a mile along the Huangpu River, you will see the contrast of both the old western buildings finished at the beginning of last century, and the tallest TV tower in Asia, the Oriental Pearl.
In the afternoon you are going to visit the Children’s Palace, where you are going to meet the future pianists, dancers and painters on their pilgrimage to stardom.
Enjoy the marvelous stunts of an Acrobatic Show tonight.
Day 17 SHANGHAI (B, SD)
The Shanghai Museum is a very modern design, and has an extensive collection of all aspects of Chinese art from ceramics to jades, furniture, costumes to paintings, and more.
This afternoon will be free-time to have the last few moments exploring Shanghai. You can finish your shopping list, melt in and out of the crowds, or wander around the Bund one more time.
You are going to say good bye to China in the toast at the Farewell Banquet.
Day 18 DEPART SHANGHAI/ (B)
Depart Shanghai for home.
Tour Price Will Include:
- Accommodations in four stars and above hotels.
- 16 breakfasts (American style buffet in the hotel), 13 lunches & 14 dinners (including 6 special dinners) at local fine Chinese restaurants.
- Private English Speaking Tour Guide in each city.
- Private Driver and Vehicle in each city.
- 5 Special Performances.
- Professionally guided tours of major attractions.
- Accompanied by bilingual experienced Tour director (for groups of 10 or more).
- All internal flights and land transportation (as listed in itinerary).
- Entrance fees to all tourist sites.
Not included in the tour price:
- International airfare to/from China, visa processing fees, travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, excess luggage fees, telephone charges, room service and laundry charges
- Gratuities to tour director, guide and driver
- Baggage handling,
- Hotel and domestic airport taxes