China

Explore vivacious Shanghai, heritage rich Beijing, and traditional villages of Longsheng and Guilin.

Country Information

China Including Tibet

China Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

China Including Tibet


(Interest Type(s))

Adventure Travel

,

Family Travel

,

Recommended


(Tour Length)

13 Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $7,430
  • Experience the many faces of China from the frenetically vibrant Shanghai, to the rich heritage of Beijing, to the traditional towns and villages of Longsheng
  • Travel to an uncrowded section of the Great Wall of China in the Mutianyu section, where you take a cable car to the top of the wall
  • In Xian, once gateway to the ancient Silk Road, you visit Hanyang Tomb, where you have the unique opportunity to visit the archaeological site and the antique renovation room, where you speak with the resident archaeologist in a one-on-one setting
  • In Yangshuo, learn how to cook local foods with your skilled and friendly teachers after you have shopped for ingredients in the local markets
  • Encounter some of China’s ethnic minorities such as the people of Huangluo Yao, Long-hair Village, where the women are renowned for their abundantly long hair

 

 

Day 1:  Arrive Beijing, China
Welcome to China!  Upon arrival in Beijing, you are met and privately transferred to your hotel.  The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.  Beijing Huabin Fairmont Hotel – Deluxe Room

Day 2:  Beijing
Your guide takes you through Tiananmen Square and the phenomenal Forbidden City, one of the most amazing architectural wonders of Chinese history, where emperors held court for five centuries.  Visit the Empress Dowager’s extravagant Summer Palace on serene Kunming Lake, and learn about life during her era.  Lunch is served at Cheng Mansion Feast.  Beijing Huabin Fairmont Hotel – Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 3:  Beijing - Great Wall of China
Travel off the beaten track to walk on the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall.  Travel by cable car as your guide explains the history of this incredible achievement.  It is thrilling just to walk along the top of this ancient wall and to see how it snakes across the mountains in a seemingly endless ribbon of rock.  On the way back to Beijing, you will visit the Changling Tomb and Sacred Way.  Beijing
Huabin Fairmont Hotel – Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 4:  Beijing
Spend the morning exploring the neighborhoods of the Hutong area to savor a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people.  Take a rickshaw ride through the narrow streets.  After a private lunch with local family, continue to the sublime Temple of Heaven, a 15th-century Ming masterpiece.  Venture northeast to Yonghe Gong Lama Temple and its Palace of Peace and Harmony.  Now the foremost Buddhist temple in China, it was a center of learning for the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Lamaism.  It houses a fine collection of Tibetan art.  Beijing Huabin Fairmont Hotel – Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 5:  Beijing / Xian
Fly from Beijing to the arid plains of Xian, gateway to the ancient Silk Road that once linked China with travelers from as far away as Rome and Istanbul.  The capital for 11 dynasties, Xian exemplifies the extraordinary continuity of Chinese civilization.  Upon arrival you will be met by your private guide who will take you to visit Hanyang Tomb, where you have the unique opportunity to visit the archaeological site and visit the antique renovation room, where you can speak with the resident archaeologist and ask questions in a one-on-one setting.  After your visit you will be transferred into the city and your hotel.  This evening, you will join a local family and learn how to make dumplings at their home.  Hotel Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square – Superior Room (B,D)

Day 6:  Xian
One of China’s most spectacular archaeological sites is your focus today.  The army of life-size terracotta soldiers and horses were accidentally stumbled upon by a farmer working his fields in 1974.  The discovery of this unlikely army astounded the world.  Now, enclosed beneath a protective hangar, the site contains some 8,000 individually sculpted clay warriors clad in armor.  Step into the adjoining museum to see the fantastic bronze chariot and figures that still have some of their original bright paint.  Cap off the day with a Chinese dinner and colorful cultural stage show at Tang Dynasty Theater.  Hotel Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square – Superior Room (B,L,D)

Day 7:  Xian / Guilin
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Guilin, China’s great scenic city on Li River.  On arrival, enjoy lunch before you visit the Reed Flute Cave, with its unusual lantern-lit formations and Elephant Trunk hill.  Situated majestically at the southeast of Guilin city and west bank of Li River, Elephant Trunk Hill is regarded as the symbol of Guilin landscape.  It is geologically ancient, dating back some hundreds of millions of years.  Resembling an elephant leisurely sucking water from the river with its long trunk, this hill is 200 meters high.  Between the trunk and the legs of the elephant is a cave, in the shape of a full moon.  On the walls in and around the cave, more than 70 inscriptions date from the Tang and Song dynasties have been found, praising the beauty of the area.  Guilin Shangri-la Hotel Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 8:  Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin
A five-hour cruise on the tranquil Li River sets out from Guilin this morning for Yangshuo.  Savor a buffet lunch as you pass through the lovely landscapes along the river.  On arrival in Yangshuo in the afternoon, you have the opportunity to learn how to cook local foods.  Your skilled and friendly teachers, who speak fluent English, will share stories and secrets of Chinese cuisine with you.  You will join them in the local markets to learn about the ingredients that you will use later to create in the kitchen.  With your individual wok and bench, you will learn by doing.  Try your hand at beer fish, a famous local dish, chicken with cashew nuts, steamed stuffed vegetables, eggplant with soy and oyster sauce, green vegetables with garlic.  After preparing these delightful dishes, you sit down together to enjoy the fruits of you labor and to informally explore Chinese culture and customs.  Return to Guilin and your hotel in the late afternoon.  Guilin Shangri-la Hotel Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 9:  Guilin - Longsheng - Guilin
Today you have a full day tour to explore rural China in Longsheng.  Visit the Longji Rice Terrace, which includes some 66 square kilometers of terraced fields in southeast of Longsheng that are also known as Dragon’s Backbone Terrace.  They were first built in the Yuan Dynasty and completed in the Qing Dynasty as the crystallization of the wisdom and labor of the Zhuang people.  Watch the “Yao Lady” hair combing ceremony.  Huangluo Yao, Long-hair Village, is the only one of the Yao ethnic group among all 13 villages in Longji, where the Red Yao people live.  The women wearing red clothes, but the outstanding characteristic of the village is the women’s hair.  According to local tradition, women cut their hair only once in their lives when they are between 16 and 18 years old.  It signifies that they are ready for adulthood and marriage.  The cut hair is kept like a headpiece, and twisted into part of their regular hairdo.  Members of this village hold the Guinness Record for the length of their hair!  Women wash their hair, some four feet or longer, along the riverbanks.  It is said that they wash their hair every two to three days with "rice water" (water used to rinse rice) in the nearby river.  Guilin Shangri-la Hotel Deluxe Room (B,L)

Day 10:  Guilin / Hangzhou
After a leisurely breakfast, you are escorted to the airport for your departing flight to Hangzhou, one of China’s most beautiful and scenic cities and lesser explored areas.  The West Lake is known for the scenic beauty.  There are established historical and cultural sites as well.  Ling Yin Temple is in a long, narrow valley between Fei Lai Feng peak and North Peak to the northwest of the West Lake at Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province.  The temple is without doubt notable as one of the ten most famous Buddhist temples of China.  In 1961 the temple was listed for protection as a key provincial historical and cultural site, and is considered today a leading center for research about Chinese Buddhist culture.   Upon arrival you will be met by your private guide and taken on a boat ride on West Lake.  Dinner this evening is at Lou Wai Lou restaurant for Beggar’s Chicken and West Lake Fish.  Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake – Deluxe Room (B,D)

Day 11:  Hangzhou / Shanghai
This morning, visit the Lingyin Temple (Souls Retreat).  Built in 326 AD at the foot of Lingyin Mountain, this temple is one of the best known Buddhist monasteries in China.  The main hall, 33.6 meters high, is one of China's tallest one-story buildings.  A statue of Sakyamuni, carved out of 24 pieces of camphor wood, stands 19.6 meters high in the main hall.  The foremost temple houses a laughing Buddha carved in camphor wood and covered in gold, with a carved gilt figure standing guard behind it.  Both figures are set under a double-eave wooden canopy decorated in red and gold.  Ornate lamps hang on either side.  In front of the hall are two stone pagodas built during the Five Dynasties (907-960).  Explore the Longjing tea plantation hidden away in the southwest corner of the lake with some secluded walks and the village of Longjing itself.  Longjing actually means, "Dragon Well" and according to legend, the Dragon Well was discovered about 230 AD.  This fresh spring water encouraged the people of Hangzhou to develop their kind of quality tea.  After lunch hosted by a local farmer, you will have the opportunity to visit Hu Qing Yu Chinese Herb shop before you return by high-speed train with your guide to Shanghai and your hotel.  Shanghai Fairmont Peace Hotel – Fairmont Room (B,L)

Day 12:  Shanghai
China’s vibrant, trend-setting modern metropolis is your focus today.  Stroll the waterfront Bund, surrounded by beautiful Art Deco buildings and the sleek new skyscrapers of her futuristic Pudong District.  Step into the past as you cross the zigzag bridge into Yu Yuan Garden, a peaceful haven in the middle of this city.  Then you will explore the mystical Jade Buddha Temple and the teeming lanes of the Old Quarter.  You will also visit the newly built Shanghai World Financial Centre.  It serves as a residential and commercial complex with an observation tower on the 100th floor on the other side of the Huang Pu River.  Shanghai Fairmont Peace Hotel – Fairmont Room (B,L)

Day 13:  Shanghai / Depart
Transfer to the airport for your departing flight home.  (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Starting from $7430

 

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