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The "Middle Kingdom" Revealed

This journey sets out to reveal the imperial past of China. During this short tour you will explore four ancient capitals of Imperial China - Beijing, Datong, Taiyuan and Xian. First, Beijing, situated at the foot of Mount Yan, where the Great Wall was built to protect Han Chinese from attacks of the Huns, is particularly rich in Ming period Architecture, such as Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City. In Datong, marvel at the beautifully sculpted Buddha statues. En route to Taiyuan, you will discover sacred Chinese Buddhist mountain - Mount Wutai and the ancient Foguang temple, its Great East Hall is the third oldest dated wooden building in China. In Xian, at the largest preserved city wall of China, you will see vestiges of the extraordinary power and wealth of ancient “Middle Kingdom”.This tour also includes Pingyao, an old town that offers the insight of Chinese life during Ming and Qing dynasty.

 

Day 1 Los Angeles/Beijing

Day 2 Beijing (L, D)
Arrive in Beijing. Join the locals at People’s Culture Palace, which is Taichi practitioners’ paradise. Walk to the Forbidden City and visit, after lunch visit Lama Temple and Hutong area.

Day 3 Beijing (B, L, D)
A day excursion to the Great Wall and Summer Palace. Enjoy Peking duck dinner.

Day 4 Beijing - Datong (B, L, D)
Fly to Datong, drive to the Buddhist caves complex of Yungang and visit, afternoon visit Hunyan temple and Nine Dragon Wall.

Day 5 Datong - Hunyuan - Muta - Mount Wutai (B, L, D)
Travel to the impressive monastery Xuankong Si, continue your journey to the giant wooden pagoda Muta, drive further south to Mount Wutai, the home of the Bodhisattva of wisdom, visit Xuantong temple and Nanshan temple.

Day 6 Wutai Shan - Foguang Si - Taiyuan (B, L, D)
Visit Pusading. Continue to Foguang Si temple, admire at the ancient architecture. Taiyuan, the ancient capital of Zhao State, visit Jinci Temple.

Day 7 Taiyuan - Pingyao (B, L, D)
Travel to Pingyao, an exceptionally well preserved traditional Han Chinese city. En route you will visit a rich merchant’s residence - Chang's mansion.

Day 8 Pingyao - Taiyuan - Xian (B, L, D)
Xian is the capital of the first Emperor Qinshihuangdi of consolidated China. Visit the old City Wall, the Great Mosque and walk around the Bazar.

Day 9 Xian (B, L, D)
Have a 2-hour drive to Terracotta Museum and visit. Back to Xian to visit the Provincial Museum, which has the largest collection of Bronze ware of China. Continue to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda - the most important Sanskrit translation center in Tang dynasty.

Day 10 Xian - Dunhuang (B, L, D)
home for Mogao Grottoes which is highly important for the study of Silk Road, Buddhist art and ancient Chinese mural painting. Visit White Horse Dagoba and Crescent Lake at Mingsha Sand dunes.

Day 11 Dunhuang (B, L, D)
Start with an extended exploration of the remarkable Mogao Caves complex, with their greatest collection of Buddhist art, ending at Dunhuang Museum.

Day 12 Dunhuang - Beijing (B, L, D)
Fly to Beijing. Visit 798 Art Gallery, which is known for its excellent collection of Chinese modern art. Enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 13 Beijing/Los Angeles (B, L)
A half-day tour of Beijing visiting the Temple of Heaven and National Museum. Additional program can be arranged by request. In the evening take return flight to Los Angeles.

Trip date:
August 20 - September 1, 2016

Trip Price:
including flights  $ 4,980 per person
excluding flights $ 3,790 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/Los Angeles

HOTELS: First class hotels or best available