Tour heritage sites in Beijing - the capital city of China. Shanghai is known as "Paris of the East". A famous cultural city with a history of more than 2,000 years, Suzhou is often referred to as the "Venice of the East".
Day 1: USA - Beijing. Depart the United States today to begin your China's Cities and Waterways Tour. Cross the International Dateline en route to China.
Day 2: Beijing. Arrive in Beijing this afternoon. Your English speaking tour guide and driver will transfer you to the hotel upon your arrival. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Beijing. Explore the Great Wall this morning. The construction of the ancient wall began more than 2,000 years ago, 6 350 km in length, it remains the only man-made structure visible from space. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 4: Beijing. Visit the Imperial Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City. The palace was the home of 24 Ming and Qing emperors, until the last emperor Pu Yi abdicated the throne in 1924. The Forbidden City is 720,000 square meters in size and contains 9,999 rooms, numerous pavilions, gardens and courtyards. Move on to the Tiananmen Square just north of the imperial palace. Rated the largest city square in the world, it is initially designed for political rallies and important gala events. After lunch, travel to the Temple of Heaven, the largest temple and altar in China. Built in 1420, the halls in the temple were used by Ming and Qing emperors to pray for good harvests. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Beijing - Shanghai. After breakfast, explore the imperial gardens of the Summer Palace. The palace is said to contain numerous gardens, halls, pavilions, courtyards and the world's longest covered corridor decorated with ornate patterns and scenes from Chinese literature. Then visit your last attraction in Beijing — the hutong neighborhoods. Your guide will lead you to Beijing's best-preserved hutong neighborhoods that represent the history, culture and lifestyle of old Beijing. Get onboard a luxury express train for your overnight journey to Shanghai this evening. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Shanghai. Arrive in Shanghai at 8 a.m. and your local English speaking guide and driver will show you around “Paris of the East” — Shanghai. Your first stop will be the Bund, located near the Huang Pu River. Then visit the Yu Yuan Garden nearby, where you can view intricately designed gardens, pavilions, koi stocked pools and courtyards. In the afternoon, visit the Jade Buddha (Yufo) Temple built in 1882. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 7: Shanghai - Suzhou. After breakfast, get onboard an express train to Suzhou. Your local English-speaking guide and driver will meet you at the train station for a day of sightseeing. A famous cultural city with a historical background of more than 2,000 years, Suzhou is known as the “Venice of the East”. This afternoon, explore the finest garden in Suzhou - Master of Nets Garden (Wangshi Yuan). Includes: (B), (L).
Day 8: Suzhou. Visit the Humble Administrator's Garden (Zhuozheng Yuan) located at the Loumen Gate of Suzhou, which is often regarded as one of the major gardens in China. Continue your tour at the Taoist Temple of Mystery (Xuan Miao Guan), founded during the third century. Move on to the Embroidery Research Institute this afternoon to observe and purchase the delicate works of the artists as they embroider on the silks with intricate patterns. Having a historical background of more than 2,000 years in embroidery, the research institute in Suzhou is rated one of the four major schools of Chinese embroidery. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 9: Suzhou - Hangzhou. Travel to Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province by train this morning and your local English-speaking guide and driver will show you around town. Visit Hua Gang Park located at the southwest end of West Lake (Xihu) this afternoon. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 10: Hangzhou. After breakfast, visit the Ling Yin (Soul's Retreat) Temple founded in 326 AD by the Indian monk Hui Li. In the afternoon, get on board a gorgeous scenic cruise on West Lake (Xihu). Includes: (B), (L).
Day 11: Hangzhou - Wuzhen - Hangzhou. After breakfast, travel to the 1200 year old canal town of Wuzhen. Recently opened to visitors, the town retains its charm and grace reminiscent of a traditional Chinese painting: quaint buildings, traditional arched bridges and willow- lined canals could be found in town. Local actors regularly perform Shaoxing, Peking and Flower Drum Operas for free at the town square adjacent to the Xiuzhen Temple. After lunch, visit traditional workshops that carry local craft products, such as indigo painted fabric, Sanbai wine, cloth shoes and bamboo handicrafts. Return to Hangzhou in the early evening. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 12: Hangzhou - Shanghai. Take a train back to Shanghai this morning, passing through the lush vistas of east China's countryside. Your local English speaking guide and driver will meet you at the railway station to transfer you to the Shanghai Museum, your last attraction in Shanghai. Famous for its world-class architecture, the museum also has 123,000 cultural artifacts, which specialized in bronze ware, ceramics, calligraphy and painting. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 13: Shanghai - USA. Your English speaking guide and driver will transfer you to the airport for your International flight back to the United States after breakfast. Includes: (B).
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