Day 1: The adventure begins! You will leave the US for China.
Day 2: Beijing: You will arrive in Beijing in the early evening; you will be transferred to your hotel. Meals on the plane. Beijing - The capital of China, where many miraculous structures have been built for the glory of the Emperor! This city is rich in history and culture. Here you will experience China from the last 500 years of history to modern times.
Day 3: Beijing: 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. This is the traditional housing in old Beijing that was generally four small houses surrounding a court area. The Hutong has been home to both the poor and the rich. These quaint dwellings are disappearing in the continual modernization of China. After lunch, 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. Option: Beijing Duck, Evening Option: Beijing Opera.
Day 4: In the Morning you will be guided to the Summer Palace. After lunch you will have free time to shop.
Day 5: Today you will go to Tian Anmen 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). Then we will take you to a special part of the Great Wall at Jinshanling, where you can stay overnight in a guard tower! This portion of the Wall is not offered to the tourist on most general tours, we are offering this site to those who want an adventurous Great Wall experience, which includes going to site where you will see few or no other Westerners on the wall and you can enjoy a home-cooked dinner by your Chinese hosts! You drive three hours outside of Beijing, passing out of the metropolitan area, past smaller villages, interesting farmland and animals and then into the mountainous area. Then you come to the small set of buildings below the Great Wall at Jinshangling. There you will meet your hosts. They will take you to the Great Wall and show you the options of where you will sleep. You can then explore the wall and walk along. Some of our clients have experienced being the only ones on the wall for hours (or you will see very few others). You should be able to take some particularly striking photos of this intriguing portion of the wall without hundreds of people on it. Later you hosts will cook for you a home-cooked meals with you can eat either on the Great Wall or down below in their home. Your hosts will then set you up with sleeping bags and a small mat on the guard tower floor (or if you prefer, there is an enclosed room that you can sleep in. You will be able to enjoy sunset and sunrise on the Great Wall. This requires a little more effort then some portions but we believe you will find it very rewarding. This experience is a little more expensive, but is a unique experience that you remember for the rest of your life.
Day 6: You will wake up one of the Wonders of the World! It is certainly the longest of the Wonders. You can spend more time enjoying the wall. After you have finished with your time there you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Xi’an. There your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.
Day 7: Today you will have a tour of the city, including the old city wall (which 4 chariots could ride abreast) and the Wild Goose Pagoda, with its Drum Tower and Bell Tower. You will go to the Shaanxi Provincial Museum, which has an extensive collection of artifacts from the various Chinese Dynasties. Evening option: Tang Dynasty Concert. Xi'an is the oldest capital of China. Xi’an is the home of incredible archaeological discoveries and is the Eastern-most city of the Silk Road. The ancient emperor's burial sites can be found here. Xi'an is naturally a flat area. The many "hills" that you will see there are actually burial mounds of emperors, governors, and other rich dignitaries.
Day 8: Today you will visit what has been called the "8th Wonder of the World" the Terra Cotta Soldiers Museum. Oftentimes, one of the farmers who discovered the site is actually there. You will also visit the Terra Cotta Soldiers Replica Factory. You can actually purchase a genuine looking Terra Cotta Replica constructed at a variety of sizes including full size. This unique factory and store also offers many other quality products including silk rugs, jewelry, the famous Xi’an 3–color pottery and some beautiful furniture with laminated jade artwork. The Terra Cotta Soldiers Museum itself, has 3 major “pits” where various types of figurines were uncovered. No two soldiers look exactly alike. The museum also has a 360-degree theater which shows a dramatized history of how and why the Terra Cotta soldiers were created. Then you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Guilin. Guilin: This is one of the most beautiful areas on the face of the earth. The fantasy-shaped mountains, the beautiful river and beautiful caves all combine to make Guilin a delight to the eyes.
Day 9: Today you will see Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo Hill, and the natural beauty of the Reed Flute Caves.
Day 10: We will take you on the 3-4 hour Li Jiang River Cruise. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the whole world, showing the magnificent limestone mountains rising along the river banks, usually shrouded in clouds and catching a glimpse of the people who live along the riverbanks. Cormorant fishermen still use these unusual birds to catch their daily fish. 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.
Day 11: The morning is free to enjoy the scenery in Yangshuo. Today you will be driven to the Guilin airport for your flight to Chongqing. A guide will meet you at the airport and take you to visit the Three Gorges Museum, and on a brief tour of Chongqing. Then after a delicious Sichuan dinner you will be transferred to the Victoria Cruise Ship – Anna. The ship leaves the harbor this evening for your Yangtze River Cruise.
Chongqing - The ancient city which we called Chunking: the usual western starting point of the Yangtze River Cruise.
Day 12-13: Yangtze River Cruise: The Yangtze River Cruise continues (The Ghost Temple, Shendong stream, beautiful scenery, The Three Gorges and the Chinese Dam.
Day 14: Yichang – Beijing: The cruise ship arrives at Yichang around mid-day. You will then be taken to the airport for your flight to Beijing. You will make your own way to the Sino Swiss Hotel. You can catch a free shuttle takes you directly to the Sino Swiss Hotel. This hotel is nice and close to the airport. There are also many activities to do at the hotel.
Day 15: Return to the USA: You will use the hotel shuttle to transfer to the Beijing airport for your flight back to the U.S.
Note: Exact tour itinerary and schedule are subject to change. The tour will take place from the 28 of June till 12 of July.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia China Local Culture Cultural Journey