Day 1: Upon your arrival in Beijing, your guide will meet you and provide a private car transfer to your hotel. This evening dinner will be served at a noted local restaurant. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Enjoy a morning visit the Forbidden City, former imperial residence closed to the "common people" for centuries. Walk in the footsteps of 24 Chinese Emperors as you explore the halls and pavilions contained within the palace walls. Adjacent to the Forbidden City is the world's largest open square, Tiananmen Square. Built to hold nearly 1 million people during important political rallies. Today the Square is a popular place for families to gather for kite flying. Your visit continues to the Temple of Heaven, originally constructed in 1420. The beautifully constructed buildings were once used by the emperors to make sacrifices for the year's harvest. Enjoy a tour of the Summer Palace this afternoon. The park-like grounds gaze out over Kunming Lake, dotted with bridges and small islands. Walk along the Long Corridor and view the exquisite architecture of the Qing Dynasty. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: A full-day of sightseeing awaits you today as you travel outside of the city of Beijing to explore the Great Wall. Constructed over 2,000 years ago and stretching for 3,750 miles, the wall is the only man-made structure that can be seen from outer space. After your Great Wall visit, your tour continues as you drive along the Sacred Way to the Ming Tombs. A stop at the Beijing Cloisonné factory is planned for this afternoon. You will have the opportunity to watch as artisans demonstrate the incredible process of creating this beautiful artwork. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: A late morning flight will transfer you to the ancient capital city of Xian. This afternoon you will visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda dating back to 652 AD. This seven story pagoda is a repository for Buddhist Scriptures. Climb to the top of the ancient Xian city wall for an excellent view of the city. There will also be time to visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum. The beautiful museum is constructed in traditional Tang Dynasty style and houses more than 4,000 exhibits dating back to the Zhou Dynasty. Included in the display are rich fabrics once traded along the Silk Road, Tang Frescoes, bronze and stone carvings, and the famous Tang Dynasty tri-color glazed pottery. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Xian is most famous for the 1974 discovery of the burial site of the first emperor of China, Qin ShiHuang. Today's sightseeing tour includes a visit to the awesome archaeological site where over 2,000 terra cotta warriors and horses have been carefully excavated. In the afternoon you will visit the 6,000 year old Neolithic Banpo Village Museum. Banpo is the oldest known agricultural village in China. Terra-Cotta warriors and horses are still being manufactured today; a visit to a local factory will be included before returning to the city of Xian. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: A morning flight takes you to the Gansu Provincial capital city of Lanzhou located on the banks of the Yellow River. Sightseeing today will include seven story White Pagoda, Five Fountain Hill and the Gansu Provincial Museum. On display are ceramics, wooden tablets and carvings, the famous 2,000 year old bronze "Flying horse of Wuwei" and more. This museum is noted as being one of the best provincial museums in all of China. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Travel to the famous Silk Road city of Dunhuang this morning by air. Upon your arrival, embark upon sightseeing to the Shazhou Town Ruins and beautiful Crescent Moon Lake. The lake is a crescent shaped pool surrounded by golden sand dunes. A legend claims that an eternal spring feeds the lake keeping it in the same location for 2000 years. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: A full-day of sightseeing awaits you today as you visit the famous Magao Grottoes with it's astounding array of religious artworks and Mingsha Mountain also known as the "Singing Sand Dunes" because of the humming noise that can be heard in windy weather. The sand dunes are a popular spot for a panoramic view of the surrounding area, and for those brave enough to try sand surfing or paragliding. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Coach travel will transport you through the countryside along the legendary Silk Road to the next stop on your itinerary will be Turpan. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Before an afternoon flight to Urumqi, visit the beautiful oasis of Grape Valley and the stunningly beautiful Flaming Hills. Then transfer to the airport for your flight to Kashgar via Urumqi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Today visit the Grand Mosque, one of China's largest and most active, the Buddhist Grottoes and the famous and colorful Market Bazaar. This evening fly back to the city of Urumqi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: A relaxing full-day excursion to Tianchi Lake (the Lake of Heaven) is planned for today. The lake is noted as one of the most beautiful places in the world due to its unusual mountainous desert setting. Panoramic views of snow capped mountains and lush fir tree covered hillsides are mirrored in the iridescent waters of the lake. Traditional yurts of the Kazak people are dotted across the alpine landscape while their horses graze on the abundant green grass. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Say farewell to the historic Silk Road and fly to Beijing this morning. After lunch, a free afternoon awaits you for shopping along busy Wangfujing Avenue or set out on your own in the bustling capital city. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Enjoy a free morning in Beijing before your guide provides a private car transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia China History Whiz Archeology/History
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