Experience the many wonders of China, a mysterious land that captures not only the historical and cultural aspects, but sweeping extraordinary landscapes. Visit some of the world’s most inspiring natural wonders on this 15 day trip to China.
Day 1: Upon arrival at Beijing International Airport, a guide will greet and escort you to deluxe accommodations with dinner included.
Day 2: This morning join the local elders at Temple of Heaven to practice Tai-Chi under instruction of a professional coach. It is not only a traditional way of how local elders exercise, but also a great chance to immerse yourself with the local culture. The next stop is the largest city square in the world, Tiananmen Square.
Visit the Imperial Forbidden City, the largest and best-preserved imperial palace constructed in 1420. (B,L)
Day 3: Today, drive to the Great Wall of China, one of the country’s most famous tourist attractions and one of the greatest man-made wonders of the world. The Great Wall runs about 5,500 miles through 150 different counties and there will be enough time to explore this breath-taking piece of art. After some “intense exercise” given by the Great Wall, slow down the pace and go visit the Ming tombs. The Ming tombs are a collection of mausoleums built by the emperors of the Ming dynasty of China.
Day 4: Today, move on to the next destination – Xi’an. Transfer to the airport for a short flight to Xi’an. In 221 BCE, Emperor Qin Shi unified China and became the first Emperor. When he died, an entire Terracotta Army was constructed to be buried along with the Emperor. Unearthed in 1974 by farmers, it became one of the century’s greatest archaeological discoveries. Visit the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum and Terracotta Army replication factory. After, take slow walks around The Small Goose Tower.
Day 5: After breakfast, visit one of Xi’an’s must see sites, The Ancient City Wall, one of the best-preserved city walls in China.
In the afternoon visit the Xi’an Museum. Composed of three parts including the museum, the site of Jianfu Temple in Tang Dynasty and Historical and Cultural Park of Small Wild Goose Pagoda.
Next stop is Muslim Street, site of the local bazaar after which you will be escorted to one of the oldest local opera theaters to learn Qinqiang Opera. A professional Qinqiang opera artist will dress you with full facial makeup, stage costume and specially designed decorations if desired.
Day 6: The next destination – Chengdu by bullet train. Visit he Renmin Park, famous for its marriage market where it attracts a lot of people on the weekends. Some parents even come here to choose the future wives and husbands of their children. On the notes are written the personal information of those who wants to find a partner, including their gender, age, occupations, income, photos, telephone number and educational background. Their requirement for partners can be found on the notes. In addition to the marriage market, take part in a local tea tasting session to chill out and relax for a while. Visiting the Jinli Street this afternoon to experience the culture of the three kingdoms.
Day 7: After breakfast, drive to the Panda Breeding Research Center, an optimal place to see the Giant Pandas up close and not behind bars as at a zoo. Today, you are signed up for the program that feeds, cleans and plays with the Giant Panda as part of your duty! Get closer than anyone else can with these delightful creatures, pet the most precious species of China, an opportunity that can’t be missed! For dinner, eat like a local… spicy hot pot with a bottle of beer along with night breeze, enjoying the slow pace lifestyle and treat yourself as a real Chengdunese.
Day 8: Today, see old wooden houses, narrow streets and tea houses of the famous Ciqikou Old Town. Enjoy the tasty local food and snacks and exquisite handicrafts. After a relaxing city tour day of picturesque Chongqing, your guide will invite you to board your deluxe cruise ship in order to experience a unique Yangtze River Cruise.
Day 9: Sail along the Yangtze River today and enjoy the spectacular surroundings. Take a shore excursion to Shibaozhai, known for its magnificent wooden Pagoda and named “The Pearl of the Yangtze” by the locals. The pagoda was built without nails and is considered one of the gems in Chinese architecture history. (Note: Shore excursion is subject to change due to water level.) An alternative optional shore excursion is Fengdu – the “Ghost City.”
Day 10: Have a leisure breakfast as you sail through Qutang Gorge, the shortest and most dramatic one of three Gorges. Wu Gorge is famous for its quiet beauty.
Day 11: Today, pass and visit the massive Three Gorges Dam Project , the world’s largest dam, measuring 606 feet high and 6,500 feet long. The dam has two five stages locks to raise and lower ships to the different river levels. Each lock in the five stages is 65 feet high and 910 feet long. This afternoon, cruise on to Yichang to disembark before leaving to Wuhan. Tonight, you are invited to enjoy the most popular street for after dinner walks – JiangHan Road. Modern shops are surrounded by architecture left from the Minguo period, a mashup of old and new. Get ready to immerse yourself in the local night life!
Day 12: Today spend the morning visiting one of the best-known museums in China – The Hubei Provincial Museum. Browse a collection of state-level historic and cultural relics numbering in excess of over 200,000 objects, including the sword of Goujian, an ancient set of bronze bells (Bianzhong) and extensive artifacts from the tombs of Marquis Yi of Zeng and the tombs at Baoshan.
This afternoon, experience the local Wuhan culture at “Hankou Li”, while learning to make a Chinese cultural object. Choices are: draw your own Chinese Opera Mask, draw on and decorate a lantern, make a toy figurine, do hand embroidery and do scissor-cuts. Later, depart to airport for a short flight to Shanghai. (own arrangement)
Day 13: To begin your Shanghai journey, visit the famous Bund where locals start the day with exercise. See them walking, jogging, practicing Thai-Chi or flying a kite. Getting up early and joining them is a pleasant way of taking in the real local lifestyle. After, take a walk in the Yu Garden, which is small in size, but contains all elements that a classical Chinese garden should have. The pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters all have unique characteristics. Yu Garden is inside of Chenghuang Temple, which is contracted with many halls such as the grand hall, middle hall, bedroom palace, star god’s hall, yama palace, Xuzhen god hall and so on. Feel free to explore the area, many local dessert shops are concentrated nearby. Afterwards, a spot is reserved just for you at a famous local Xiaolongbao (steamed buns with soup) shop, where the local chef will teach you how to make those buns by hand.
Day 14: After breakfast it will be to transfer to airport for your return flight home.