Day 1: You will leave for China. The adventure begins! Meals on the plane.
Day 2: When you arrive in Beijing, you will be met by a guide and transferred to your hotel. Meals on the plane.
Day 3: Today you will experience the Temple of Heaven, which is the site where the emperor would go to pray and commune with the gods. This is a magnificent temple that is surrounded by beautiful gardens. After lunch you will visit the 2nd Hand Street Market. If the 2nd Hand Street Market is closed you will be taken to what is popularly called the “Knockoff Mall” which features knock-offs of many name brands. This is typically where many Beijingers and foreign residents shop. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: The day begins with a tour of a Chinese Hutong. This begins with a rickshaw ride through the old neighborhood, then a short walking tour into the narrow streets of the Hutong. You will be able to visit the home of a family who lives there; feel free to ask any questions. We can arrange for you to have lunch prepared by a local family in the Hutong. After lunch you will go to TianAnmen Square and then to the Forbidden City. In addition to seeing the buildings and grounds of the Emperor's palace, you will also see the Emperor's clock collection and the Qing Dynasty Jewelry, Robes and Relics collection (which Westerners rarely see). Evening Option: Beijing Opera. Tonight you can attend a Beijing Opera performance (with two short presentations which are 30 minutes each). The costumes and makeup and excellent on this site. We can take you there early so that you can watch some of the actors put on their makeup.
Day 5: Today you will visit the Ming Tombs, including the Sacred Way and the Ding Ling Museum. You will be able to enter one of the tombs. In the Ding Ling Museum you can see artifacts and replicas from the tomb itself. They also have some golden crowns, jewelry and Qing Dynasty robes. After lunch you will go onto the incredible Great wall of China (at Badaling). It is an incredible feeling to be standing on one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which is over 3,900 miles in length! Afterwards, you will be returned to your hotel. Then you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Xi’an. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: The day begins with a tour of the city, including the old city wall, the Bell Tower and Drum Tower. After lunch you will go to the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, which has an extensive collection of artifacts, ceramic works and other cultural artifacts from the various Chinese Dynasties. This museum is a walking tour through the history of China as it features the various dynasties in order as you walk from room to room. Your guide can give you many insights into the history of China here. Evening Option: Tang Dynasty Show. This show has an interesting display of costumes, dances, etc. reflecting back to the Tang Dynasty. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: The morning is free for you to rest or do some independent exploring. We will take you to lunch. Then we will take you to the Great Mosque. Then we will take you through the Muslim Quarter in which you can many interesting things in the Muslim shops including clothing, shadow puppets, beautifully crafted knives and other interesting items. Then you will have dinner in a lovely dim sum restaurant which features a very special type of food art – the dumplings are often shaped and decorated to reflect the main ingredient. Evening Option: Watch the Wild Goose Pagoda water show. This free show is the largest of its kind in China.
Day 8: Today we will start the day with a brief visit to where they have a tremendous variety of beautiful samples of Chinese artisanship and craftsmanship. This is a store which has some museum-like qualities. In addition to the Terra Cotta Replicas in all sizes, they also have silk rugs, jewelry clothing and the famous Chinese 3-color pottery. Then you will go to what has been called the "8th Wonder of the World" the Terra Cotta Soldiers Museum. Afterwards you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Guilin. You will be met by a guide and transferred to your hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Today you will see Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo Hill, and the natural beauty of the Reed Flute Caves. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: We will take you on the 3-4 hour Li Jiang River Cruise. As the cruise ends, you will disembark in Yangshuo, a quaint village with a very nice street market. You are very close to the beautiful mountains and you can go into the countryside to see the beautiful vistas. You can take a bicycle ride or a drive through these fantasy-shaped mountains. We will check you into your hotel in Yangshuo. Evening Option: Enjoy the spectacular show “Impressions” with over 600 performers, live animals, and spectacular lighting effects all performed on the Li River with the majestic limestone mountains as the back drop. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 11: You can continue to enjoy this lovely village of Yangshou. Then you will be taken through some incredible countryside. You can even stop and visit a local farmer and see how they live. Then you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Chongqing. A guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 12: Today you will leave early to visit the famous Buddha grottoes and caves in Dazu. This is a truly amazing area to explore. Then you will return to Chongqing. If there is time you can have a brief tour of the new Three Gorges Museum, which will give you an interesting overview of your cruise. Then after a delicious Sichuan dinner you will be transferred to the 5-star Victoria Cruise Ship. The ship leaves the harbor this evening for your Yangtze River Cruise. Includes: (B), (D).
Days 13-14: The Yangtze River Cruise continues. You will see such sights as a mountain-side Temple, the Shendong Stream (or the Three Little Gorges), the beginning of the Three Gorges Dam and the beautiful scenery along the way. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 15: In the morning the ship will stop at the three Gorges Dam for a brief tour. The cruise ship continues until your arrival at Yichang around mid-day. A guide will meet you and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. You will arrive in the early evening. We will take you to dinner, to your hotel and then to see the Bund, which is particularly beautiful at night. Evening Option: The famous Peace Hotel Jazz Band (in the Bund area). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 16: The day begins with a tour of the classic Yu Yuan Gardens, which is a gorgeous example of a classic Chinese Garden. This area exits into the main shopping center of Shanghai. After lunch, you will visit world-class Shanghai Art Museum. Afterwards, we will take you to the Private Lotus Shoe Museum. This private collection contains hundreds of pairs of the tiny shoes which contain spectacular hand embroidery. Then we will take you to the Private Blue Batik Factory and shop. This beautiful and fairly unique Batik Factory began decades ago by a Japanese family who settled in Shanghai. Evening Option: Shanghai Acrobats. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 17: The day begins with a drive to Suzhou. On the way to your hotel we will take you to beautiful Humble Administrator’s Garden. Then you will be taken to the much smaller, yet still gorgeous Master of the Net garden. After lunch you will visit the incredible Embroidery Institute, where Chinese masters do with thread what our Western masters did with oil paint. After lunch we will take you to the Silk Factory and the Pearl Factory. Then you will be driven back to Shanghai. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 18: You will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the USA with many wonderful memories.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia China Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History