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A Taste of China

Discover this legendary ancient Middle Kingdom in just eight days. From the historical and cultural heart of the country, Beijing to fascinating Shanghai, you will experience a land of immense beauty, electrifying energy and great contrasts. Ponder the enormous expense of Tian’anmen Square, walk into the home of Imperial emperors, the spectacular Forbidden City, visit the architectural and artistic treasure of Ming dynasty - The Temple of Heaven, stand on top of the Great Wall, witness the incredible Terracotta Warriors of Xian, climb the old City Wall and Big Goose Pagoda in Xian, end your tour at the ever-changing city - Shanghai, you will get a taste of China.

 

Day 1: Depart from USA
Fly to Beijing, across the International Date Line.

Day 2: Arrive Beijing (-)
Upon arrival Beijing you will drive out of Beijing to visit the elegant Summer Palace on the banks of Lake Kunming, the largest Imperial garden of the world, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This palace is renowned for its classical Chinese garden and collection of elaborate halls. Ponder the huge farmers market before noontime, then drive to Beijing’s few remaining Hutongs (backstreets) and take a tour by old-fashioned pedicab, visit a local family’s courtyard-style home, walk around the old courtyard homes, often clustered together and inhabited by whole communities, where you will get a sense of people’s daily life and history. Gather tonight to have a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Beijing (B, D)
A full day tour includes the Ti’ananmen Square, the place that witnessed most of modern China’s turning points, the Forbidden City, home to emperors of the last two dynasties of Ming and Qing, also known for its architectural and artistic treasures, and Temple of Heaven, literally “the Altar of Heaven”, where emperors prayed for good harvest since the 15th century, and a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design of imperial China. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperors prayed once a year. The building is completely wooden, without a single nail. This Imperial temple today has come to symbolize Beijing. Both Imperial Palace and Temple of Heaven are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Tonight Beijing’s delicacy Peking duck is waiting for your tasting at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Beijing - Xian (B, L, D)
Rise up early to drive to the Great Wall, first built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who unified China in 221 BC. You can take a cable up to the top and walk along the ramparts of the Great Wall for a breathtaking view of it snaking over the surrounding hills. Return to Beijing and visit Capital Museum. Stroll on Qianmen Pedestrian-only Street, one of the oldest and most famous commercial streets with a 500 year old history. Spend one hour at the populous Silk Street before dinner. Take an overnight train to Xian, the hometown of Terracotta Army, is called the Living Museum of China, is also known as the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, was in its heyday one of the largest and most cospopolitan cities in the world.

Day 5: Xian (B, L, D)
In the morning drive to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum to see the incredibly lifelike terracotta figues of 2200-year-old. After lunch you will visit Shaanxi History Museum, one of the best museums in China. Continue on to Old City wall, the only complete city wall that exists out of all the ancient capitals of China. Here you will see many locals practice Taichi. Continue on to the Great Mosque, first built on the site as early as in the 7th century, as commencing along the fabled Silk Road, Xian became home to motley of Nestorian Christians, Buddhist, Jews and Muslims. Enjoy a delicious Dumpling dinner.

Day 6: Xian - Shanghai (B)
In the morning you will visit the city landmark of Xian, the tranquil Big Goose Pagoda, which was one of the main centers for translating Buddhist texts and a key witness of the Silk Road. In the afternoon head south to the vibrant Shanghai. Shanghai was known as ‘Paris of the East’, merely a fishing village two hundred years ago, and today it is the commercial center of China. Drive across Hupuang River to Jinmao Tower, from top of which you will enjoy the panoramic view of Shanghai. This evening, you can take an evening boat ride on the Huangpu River and get a sense of Shanghai of both in the past and at present.

Day 7: Shanghai (B)
Start your day with a visit of the charming Yu garden in the Old Town, a wealthy businessman’s mansion and was originally bulilt to please his aging father. Then walk around Yuyuan Shangcheng Plaza, the old shopping center renovated in its traditional style. Later visit Shanghai Museum, one of the best museums in China. Continue on to walk around French Concession area, also Xintiandi, “New Earth Sky” if time permits. The older buildings in this area, know as Shikumen were built in the mid 19th century as a fusion of European and Chinese architecture, and the newer buildings toward the back of the complex show the ultra modern style that is currently in vogue. In the evening you can walk along Nanjing Road - the Pedestrian-only Street, the Golden Mile of China.

Day 8: Shanghai/USA (B)
Morning will be free for your own relaxtion or shopping in Shanghai. In the later afternoon  transfer to airport for your homeward flight.

Trip dates:
Customized date: Between Jan 1 and Dec 31, 2016 (Except public holidays in China)

Trip cost:

Landcost for individual travellers (Minimum 2 persons): $ 1720/person

Landcost includes:

First class accommodation 
Internal airfare                                                                  
All tours with English speaking local guides

Meals as listed in the program
(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

Air conditioned private vehicle for ground transportation

Monument entrance fees as per program

Baggage handling, hotel taxes and service charges
                                                                                                                      
Landcost does not include:

International airfare

All personal insurances

Gratuities and items of personal nature
Visa

Our Hotels:

Beijing: Sun World ****

Xian: Grand New World ****

Shanghai: Jiulong ****