Day 1: Arrive Beijing, the capital of China. Meet your guide upon arrival and be transferred to your comfortable hotel. Meals: (D).
Day 2: Beijing. Begin the day with a visit to Tian'anmen Square, the world largest. Then, move on to the Imperial Palace, also known as the "Forbidden City" that symbolizes the imperial and traditional China. After lunch, visit Temple of Heaven, the place where the emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped heaven and prayed for peace and harvest. A Peking Duck Dinner concludes your first full day activities in China. All meals are included.
Day 3: Beijing. Visit the enchanting Summer Palace, one of China's largest and best-preserved imperial gardens. In the afternoon, you will visit the Yonghe Lama Temple, the biggest Tibetan Buddhist Lama Temple in Beijing, and the most renowned in China (outside Tibet itself). All meals are included.
Day 4: Beijing. Today's highlight is your visit to the Great Wall, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” and the symbol of Chinese civilization. Then, move on to visit the Ming Tombs area where is for deceased emperors of the Ming Dynasty. All meals are included.
Day 5: Beijing-Xi’an. After a relaxed breakfast at hotel this morning, you will take a walk through some old "Hutongs", a kind of ancient city compound, to see traditional style courtyards and locals doing their daily chores. Fly to Xi'an and check in Hotel upon arrival. Climb up the ancient City Wall and visit Forest of Steles Museum where precious stone carvings and sculptures are kept. Enjoy a characteristic Dumpling Dinner at a local restaurant. Meals: (B) and (D).
Day 6: Xi’an. Begin the day with a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of the extraordinary 2200-year-old Terracotta Warriors of China's first Emperor, Qin Shihuang. After lunch, visit the superb Shaanxi History Museum, the best of its kind in China. Visit to Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was built in 652 AD. It contains a large volume of Buddhist scriptures which were obtained from India by the eminent monk of Xuanzang. Tonight, you are invited to enjoy a Tang Style Dinner Show. All meals are included.
Day 7: Xi’an-Chengdu. Take a short visit to the digging site and museum of Yang Ling, tomb of Emperor Jingdi of the Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). Fly to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. Check in Hotel. Visit the magnificent Sanxingdui Archaeological Museum in the afternoon. Meals: (B) and (D).
Day 8: Chengdu. Today's highlight is to take a full day excursion to Wolong Panda Preserve to get a behind-the-scenes look at the current work underway to preserve the Chinese panda. You will also have a chance of meeting the local Qiang and Tibetan people. Return to Chengdu in the evening. All meals are included.
Day 9: Chengdu-Kunming. Fly to Kunming this morning. Check in Hotel. Take a city tour in the afternoon. Visit Yuantong Temple, northern Yunnan's major Buddhist site and an active place of pilgrimage. Next visit Golden Palace, temple structure built later in 1671 with Buddhist statues, inscription boards, beams and pillars, wall-screen and other decorations, all made of copper. All meals are included.
Day 10: Kunming. Today's excursion takes you to the Stone Forest, about 100 kilometers southeast of Kunming. Located in Lunan Yi Nationality Autonomous County, this area offers visitors a unique landscape of stark limestone pillars twisted and sculpted by the elements. From a distance, these stone pillars look indeed like a dense forest; hence the name of Stone Forest. It covers an area of 81000 acres, yet only about 400 acres have been developed as scenic landscape open to public. Return to Kunming in late afternoon. All meals are included.
Day 11: Kunming. Today you will have a chance to visit suburban hills of Kunming and check out the intriguing Buddhist art at Qiongzhu Temple. Then visit Daguan Lou, which was built in 1690. Stop by the Ethnic Village where the colorful cultures of Yunnan's different ethnic groups are represented. Later, go to the Western Hill to get a bird's-eye-view of the Dianchi lake. All meals are included.
Day 12: Kunming-Guilin. Fly to Guilin, one of China's most beautiful cities. Visit Fubo Hill for a panoramic view of Guilin and Seven Star Park for its huge caverns and charming pavilions. Enjoy a Sichuan flavor dinner at a local restaurant. All meals are included.
Day 13: Guilin. Check out the Elephant Trunk Hill in the morning. Today's highlight is a 4-hour cruising down the Li River, which stretches 83 kilometers from Guilin to Yangshuo. The cruise will give you a chance to savor the lovely view of the area's extraordinary limestone peaks. Get off the boat in Yangshuo, and explore this small county town and its local markets on your own. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 14: Guilin-Hangzhou. This morning you will have some free time to explore the beauty of Yangshuo's waters and mountains. Return to Guilin for an afternoon flight to Hangzhou later afternoon. Check in Hotel. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 15: Hangzhou. Visit West Lake and Huagang Park. Go to the Lingyin Temple (Temple of the Soul's Retreat) initially built in 326 AD. On the outskirts of the city is the natural wonder of Longjing Quan and the lush tea bushes of nearby Longjing Village that produce the highly regarded tea. Also, you will visit a Tea Museum located next to the plantation. All meals are included.
Day 16: Hangzhou-Suzhou
Take a morning train to Suzhou, a famous garden city, check in Hotel. Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou is known as the "Venice of the East". It was so named by early travelers because the town was built around a network of canals and 300 criss-crossing bridges that fanned out from the Grand Canal. The highlight of the day is a visit to two of Suzhou's beautiful gardens - Zhuozheng Yuan and Lion's Grove. A boat ride on the Grand Canal reveals the traditional way of life for the people who have lived here for generations. All meals are included.
Day 17: Suzhou-Shanghai. You will begin the day with a stop at the ancient Wumen bridge and the relatively under-visited but intriguing Canglang pavilion. You will then visit Suzhou Silk Museum. A short train takes you to Shanghai, check in Hotel. On the Bund, this splendid row of early 20th century European buildings remains the quintessential Shanghai sight. A fabulous Acrobatic Show concludes your first day in Shanghai. All meals are included.
Day 18: Shanghai. This morning you will visit Yuyuan Garden. It is a well-restored Suzhou-style garden that was created by a Ming Dynasty official in 1559. Visit the marvelous Shanghai Museum, a leading attraction of the city since it opened in 1994. Move on to the leafy Fuxing park and the architecture in the area. All meals are included.
Day 19: Shanghai. Enjoy a relaxing day in Shanghai on your own. Great shopping opportunities abound in central Shanghai, and restaurants serving a full range of international cuisine can be found in every part of the town. Meals: (B).
Day 20: Return from Shanghai. Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight. Meals: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia China Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History
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