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Heritage of China

China’s culture is considered the longest continuous cultural tradition of any ancient civilization. This tour will give you an insight into the rich heritage of China. Beijing, has a rich history that’s mirrored in its spectacular palaces, temples and parks, you will visit the two thousand year old Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the best preserved Chinese imperial tombs – Ming Tombs. Pingyao, the walled city of antiquity, China’s premier banking center during Ming and Qing dynasties, tenaciously holds onto its past, is an exceptionally well-preserved traditional Han Chinese city offering a rare glimpse into the architectural styles and town planning of imperial China. The grandiose Longmen Caves filled with immense Buddha decorated with intricate designs are a testament to the skill and believe of the people of 1500 year ago and their devotion to Buddhism. Xian, the terminus of the Silk Road was in its heyday one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world. As the ancient capital of twelve dynasties, it boasts stunning archaeological treasures and the Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China. Wudangshan, a legendary mountain, immortalized in countless sword-fighting novels has been the cradle of Taoism for over 1000 years. It is also known as the birthplace of Taichi and Wudan Kunfu, its ancient architectural complex was selected as an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Your journey ends in Shanghai, which  was merely a fishing village two hundred years ago, and today it is the commercial capital of China, where the old and the new merge, reflected in the ever-changing skyline. 

 

Day 1 - Depart for Beijing

Day 2 - Beijing (D)
Arrive Beijing. Visit the Temple of Heaven, the imperial temple where emperors pray for good harvest. In the afternoon you will visit Lama Temple, later walk along Hutongs, the traditional narrow alleys where you will get a sense of people’s daily life and history.

Day 3 - Beijing (B, L, D)
A full day tour includes the Great Wall, built by the Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who unified China in 2 century BC; Summer Palace, the imperial summer court, was selected as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site; Ming Tombs, the best-preserved Chinese imperial tombs with 500 years history. Here you will visit the Spirit Way and Changling Tomb, the largest among 13 Tombs. Enjoy Beijing’s delicacy - Peking duck at dinner.

Day 4 - Beijing – Taiyuan - Pingyao (B, L, D)
Visit the Forbidden City, which was home to emperors of last two dynasties, the Ming and the Qing.Later you will take a fast train ride to Taiyuan, the capital of shanxi province. Then drive to Pingyao, an exceptionally well-preserved traditional Han Chinese city offering a rare glimpse into the architectural styles and town planning of Imperial China.

Day 5 - Pingyao (B, L, D)
Visit the City Wall which is a completely intact 4 mile Ming dynasty city wall (the last remaining in China), and the Rishengchang Financial House Museum, one of the earliest bank in China. In the afternoon, explore the Ming-Qing Street and alleyways; you will come across several small museums within traditional courtyard houses, temples and even a Catholic church.

Day 6 - Pingyao - Taiyuan - Zhengzhou (B, L, D)
Drive to Taiyuan with a detour of the ornately decorated Qiao Family Courtyard House (where the film Rasie the Red Lantern was filmed) and Shuanglin Temple. Take an evening train to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province.

Day 7 - Zhengzhou - Shaolin - Luoyang (B, L, D)
Drive to Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of China’s most famous Martial Arts (Shaolin Kung Fu), founded in 5 century by an Indian monk Ba Tuo. Today you will enjoy an exciting Kung Fu performance. Drive to Luoyang, which was once the centre of the Chinese world and home to more than 1300 Buddhist temples.

Day 8 - Luoyang (B, L, D)
In the morning drive to Longmen Caves, about an hour from Luoyang. Initially built in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD), these caves are regarded as one of the most important Buddhist cultural heritage sites. Later visit the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple built on Chinese soil. Visit Luoyang museum if time permits.

Day 9 - Luoyang - Xian (B, L, D)
Take a 5 hour morning train ride to Xian. In the afternoon visit Shaanxi History Museum, one of the best museums in China. Taste dumplings of all sorts in a special restaurant for dinner.

Day 10 - Xian (B, L, D)
Start your tour with the Old City Wall built on the foundations of the Tang Forbidden City 600 years ago. Drive to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, the archeological treasure. Return Xian to visit the Big Goose Pagoda. Commerce along the fabled Silk Road, Xian became home to motley of Nestorian Christians, Buddhists, Jews and Muslims. You will enjoy a visit of the Great Mosque, first built on the site as early as the 700s AD.

Day 11 - Xian - Wudangshan (B, L, D)
A 4-hour drive will bring you to Wudangshan, the most sacred mountain for Taoists with inspirational vistas. It is also the most famous self-cultivating center in China; numerous Chinese legendary had relocated themselves here, and the film Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon was filmed here too. Enjoy a spectacular Kungfu and Taichi performance.

Day 12 - Wudangshan (B, L, D)
A full day visit includes the Golden Hall, Nanyan Temple and the attractive Purple Cloud Palace. The Golden Hall was built entirely of gilded copper in 1416 AD, the hall contains a bronze statue of Zhenwu, who became a Taoist deity.

Day 13 - Wudangshan - Yichang - Shanghai (B, L, D)
Drive to Yichang, terminus city for Yangtze river cruise, where you will board a flight to Shanghai. Arrive Shanghai in the late afternoon.

Day 14 - Shanghai (B, L, D)
Visit a charming Classical Chinese garden Yuyuan in the Old Town. Walk around Yuyuan Shangcheng, the old shopping center renovated in its traditional style. Later visit Shanghai Museum, one of the best museums in China. Explore the ‘Bund’ waterfront. In the evening you can take a boat ride on the Huangpu River – an evocative way to appreciate both the past and present of Shanghai.

Day 15 - Shanghai/USA (B)
Depart Shanghai for homeward flight

Trip dates:

September 3 - 17, 2016

Tour Price
including flights $ 4,390 per person
excluding flights $ 3,190 per person

INCLUDED
Flights, tour coordinator/guide,
accommodation on full meal basis
Monument admission fee
Ground transportation, internal flights

EXCLUDED
Insurance, visa, additional programs, gratuities

FLIGHTS
Los Angeles/Beijing, Shanghai/Los Angeles

HOTELS
First class hotels or best available