Day 1: Beijing. Arrive in Beijing in the day time; upon arrival, receive a warm pick up from our local guide and then transfer to your hotel. We will stay in Lusongyuan hotel, which is the traditional court yard hotel in Hutong. This gives you time to explore the old Beijing as well as to help acclimate you to the local time difference.
Day 2: Great Wall Expedition Tour. Today we will head for the Great Wall in Mutianyu Section, which is far away from the heavy tourist track. Here we can challenge ourselves by hiking on the ancient wall, or just walk as far as we can! And it is also a great place to enjoy the quiet mountain of northern China. Just imagine that you can still hear the neighing of horses in the ancient wars. Return to Beijing city in the late afternoon, and enjoy the famous Beijing Roast Duck at the facmous Quanjude restaurant. Later, in the late evening we will take a boat cruise at Shichahai Lake to enjoy the view of the old city wall.
Day 3: Traditional Beijing Tour. In the morning our guide will take us to the grand Tian’anmen square, which is regarded as the political heart of China, and we will ascend the Tian’anmen Tower where we can enjoy a wide view of this most revered square. Then we will explore the Forbidden City. In the past 600 years, former Chinese emperors resided here making it both the living and administration center of the Empire. In the afternoon we will learn about the great iimpact of Confucius teachings in Asia at the ancient Confucius temple, followed by a walk around in the Temple of Heaven, where emperors used to worship for the harvest each year. You will enjoy the pleasure of walking around in the large park.
Day 4: Beijing - Dunhuang. Fly to Dunhuang in the morning. Dunhuang used to be a busy transportation hub for ancient Silk Road, merchants from both Europe and Asia crossed here frequently 1000 years ago. Desert has almost ruined this city in the intervening years, but a lot of cultural relics still survive. After landing we will head to our hotel . We will stay in Silk Road Dunhuang hotel, which is located at the foot of Mingshashan Hill, a good place to watch desert’s Sun set and Sun rise.
Day 5: Dunhuang Silk Road Trail Tour. In the morning we will get up early and ride our camels to the Mingshashan hill to watch the Sun rise. Also another wonder of nature: a spring with this desert hill. Then we will head for Mogao Cave to explore the frescos painted 1000 years ago. Each of vivid pictures will tell us an interesting Buddhist tale or life story. In the late afternoon we will visit the ruins of Yangguan. Imagine as you stand at the ruin of Great wall 1000 years ago, tracing the sad floot of boarder solders thousands of years ago in the wind.
Day 6: Silk Road Train Riding. In the morning we will board the train K592 (9:32-9:15 +1) to Xi’an. The train will travel through the Hexi Corridor, another trail of the Ancient Silk Road. Enjoy the Gebi desert, villages, and ruins of The Great Wall en route. The historical names as Jiayuguan, Jiuquan, Zhangye, Tianshui, Lanzhou, all will be in the line.
Day 7: Ancient Xi’an City Tour. Arrive in Xi’an in the morning; be picked up by the local guide on arrival. First we will transfer to hotel to have breakfast and a short rest. The famous Terracotta Museum naturally is the first destination of our tour in Xi’an. There we will inspect the Terracotta Army which was created over 2000 years ago. While there, we will visit a workshop where you will have the opportunity to make a terracotta warrior yourselves! Return to Xi’an City in the afternoon, and hike along the old city wall. The City Wall of Xi’an is the best proserved in China. We will also visit the exotic Muslim market where a variety of food and handcrafts can be seen and purchased.
Day 8: Xi’an - Chengdu. In the morning we will visit the Wild Goose Tower. It is the Center of Buddhism 1000 years ago, and its previous glory still can be seen from the high tower. And then fly to Chengdu in the afternoon. Our hotel is located at Wenshufang Old Street, where we will be free to walk around a bit. Chengdu is the ancient cultural city in Southwest China, and it is famous for its pandas and spicy food. We will enjoy the spicy hot pot at dinner.
Day 9: Leshan Giant Buddha Tour. The giant Buddha in Leshan is the largest Buddha statue in the world now, so we will take 2 hours’ driving to admire this huge statue carved in 713 AD. Besides the Buddha statue, it was recently discovered that the mountain Buddha carved was also a sleeping Buddha. We will enjoy the sleeping Buddha through the river, and then take a cruise in front of the Buddha statue. Afterwards we will hike down from the head of Buddha to its feet, about half an hour’s walking. Return to Chengdu in the late afternoon.
Day 10: Panda Tour in Chengdu. In the morning we will head for Panda Breeding Research Base in the suburb. Morning is the most active time for giant pandas; it is really a fun to watch them play in the wide open yard. For a donation to the local administration, we can even hold one in our chest and take photo while cuddeling or even feed them! In the afternoon we fly to Hangzhou, and then head for Huangshan in the late afternoon, a 3 hrs’ drive. Stay overnight in Huangshan Xidi Travel Lodge. Xidi is one of the oldest cultural villages in Huangshan area, and we will stay in a traditional lodge.
Day 11: Huangshan Old Villages Visit. In the morning we will explore the old village freely. The Memorial Arch of Purity, Loyalty could be seen in many places. And then we will head for another Village, Hongchun, which is a good place for traditional Chinese painting, and water color picture. In the afternoon we will head for Huangshan Mountain. We will take a cable car up the mountain, and then walk in the pictureque mountain. Huangshan is regarded as the symbol of China, the first mountain in China, here to the Xihai hotel at the summit.
Day 12: Huangshan Mountain Visit. The Seas of Clouds or the Sun Rise of Huangshan are a well known wonder of nature. So we will get up early in the morning to catch this event. And then continue to explore the beautiful mountain. The Bright Summit, Flying Peak, Shixing Peak, etc, all will tell us a romantic story. Descend the mountain in the afternoon, and then fly to Shanghai in the evening.
Day 13: Old Water Village Exploration. Southern China is rich in rivers, and river channels spread to every village as you will see when we arrive at the famous Tongli old village in the morning. But first, let’s experience the high technology of modern China again, with their high speed bullet train which can travel at 320 km/per hour! But please do not worry as you will not feel the speed as you relax in the safety of your cabin! And we will stay in Dongshan hotel, which is the national guesthouse, the president of China stayed here every time when they come to Suzhou. It is a great enjoyment to have a panoramic view of the endless Taihu Lake with fishing boat shuttling.
Day 14: Taihu Lake Excursion. In the morning we will walk around at lake side corridor to enjoy the beautiful lake, and then enter the Qiyuan Garden, wheich was the dock for Emperor Kangxi in 1699 AD. Then we will explore the delicate carving building, Diaohuanlou, many Chinese movies use it as background for their scenes. After lunch we will drive to Suzhou, which is an old city with thousands of years’ history, and the Gardening is the best in China. Many of private gardens scattered in the old town, either large or small, they have a same features that is fully making use of each inches to show the oriental Aesthetics. Well start from Lingering Garden. In the late afternoon we will check in the traditional garden hotel, Pingjiang Lodge. All rooms here are int the oriental old style with beautiful yard. It is amazing to realize that all furniture in the room is art!
Day 15: Suzhou Gardening Tour. Besides gardening, Suzhou is also the most important place producing good silk, so we will learn the ancient history of silk in Suzhou Silk Museum. In the late afternoon drive to Shanghai. As the most modern metropolis in Asia, surely it will leave you with an unforgettable impression. Then it is time to enjoy the magical night of Bund, where the European style old architecture, skyscrapers with Neon lights flashing, ships cruising on waving Yangtze river. You will doubt where you are! Make a river cruise and have our dinner on the cruise.
Day 16: Modern Shanghai Tour. It is nice to be back again. And Pudong district is the financial center of China, with skyscrapers standing like a forest. The Global Financial Center is the tallest building in China at 490 meters in height; Naturally, we will ascend to its “summit’ to enjoy the panoramic view of Shanghai. In the afternoon we will be free to do shopping in Yuyuan market, a good place to search souvenirs for our friends.
Day 17: Shanghai Free day.
Day 18: Shanghai departure. Head for airport today and fly back to our warm home with sweet memories. Bidding a farewell to China!
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Asia China Local Culture Sightseeing Cultural Journey