Day 1: Beijing No meal is included. Upon arrival at the Beijing Capital International Airport, the local guide will meet you at the arrival hall and then you will be transferred to the hotel. The balance of the day will be at leisure.
Day 2: Beijing Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. While fixing your eyes on this huge Tiananmen Square, symbol of historical changes in China, be sure to also soak up the Chinese patriotic atmosphere. Take a symbolic picture in the center of the square before walking along its underpass, which leads to the Forbidden City. Then, pass the Tiananmen Gate and begin the tour of Forbidden City. Stroll between the walls steeped in history and this huge imperial palace touched by the footsteps of emperors from past Chinese dynasties. Pass by the Palace interiors and courtyards to see how past will reveal its treasures and mysteries. Enjoy the Palace museum to relax in a unique atmosphere.
After lunch, you will climb the small slope of the Jingshan Park to access area with the Wanchun Pavilion. From here you experience memorable views of the golden roofs of the Forbidden City, the National Grand Theater and the central axis of the capital. Then, discover the National Grand Theater, a world famous architectural work close to the Forbidden City. Unless there is any special event, this gigantic egg enthroned in the midst of artificial waters will open the doors of its theaters and its mysteries. This is a visit definitely worth experiencing. Time for an evening at the Peking Opera, you will plunge into the legends of ancient China. After an early dinner, if you wish, enter backstage at the theater to see the actors apply their makeup and get ready for their performance. The acting, costumes and music are set with such finesse that you forget the English subtitles on both sides of the stage. You will be surprised by the staging and colors, but especially those sounds that are so different from ours.
Day 3: Beijing Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. Today, come and explore one of the most important symbols of China: The Mutianyu Great Wall. This wonderful site offers a stunning landscape of the surrounding nature. Having access to the ramparts by cable car, you may enjoy of exclusion from the rest of the world, as this area is a slightly less touristy section of the Great Wall. To return, you can choose between some walking or tobogganing or cable car. After the Great Wall tour, stop at the cloisonne factory where this ancient art will be revealed. You will explore artisans welding on a piece of copper inlaid with colored enamels. During your visit to the Ming Tombs, enter the tomb Changling, as it is the most surprising site. The Sacred Way will lead you in this sacred site where Ming emperors chose to rest for eternity. Enjoy one of the most delicate Chinese cuisine dishes: the Beijing Roast Duck. You will enjoy this ancient dish in one of the best restaurants in Beijing.
Day 4: Beijing Breakfast, Lunch are included. This morning, you will spend a few hours hunting in the largest flea market in Beijing, the Panjiayuan Antique Market. You may even have fun engaging in the Chinese custom of bargaining as you find goods across China at the best price. Then, experience a tour back to a time of ancient worship by visiting the Temple of Heaven. A shrine of Heaven and symbol of Beijing, the Temple is believed to be as important as the Forbidden City, or even more because the emperor is the son of Heaven. If there is not too crowded, a stroll through the extensive gardens and corridors of the park will immerse you in the lives of old Beijing. Later, visit the architectural treasures of the largest imperial garden in China, the Summer Palace. Built based on models of the most beautiful gardens of Suzhou and the shores of West Lake in Hangzhou, this huge garden is full of history and will make you forget all your worries. There is even a chance for a short cruise on the calm Kunming Lake. After visiting the Summer Palace, go visit the Pearl Factory. This factory is where the ancient culture of freshwater pearls will reveal its secrets, which traces back to how these beads began being processed 2,200 BC.
Day 5: Beijing-Xian Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. This morning, meet the faithful Buddhist in the Yonghe Lama Temple. This Lamasery is still active and considered the most beautiful Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. This temple has also been the Office of Tibet which for the Dalai Lama's communication directly with the central government in Beijing. Over its five halls, you soak in the sacred atmosphere and feel enchanted by the huge, wooden statue of Buddha Maitreya. As you ride in a rickshaw in the Hutongs later, prepare to dive deeper into this unique atmosphere of old Beijing. The doors of the famous courtyard houses are open to you, as you experience being around working-class families as they enjoy life in these old homes. When sharing a meal with a typical Beijing Hutong family, you will learn about the customs and traditional ways of life in these neighbourhoods. This afternoon, the Temple of Confucius opens the doors of knowledge and Confucian Chinese thought. This temple also highlights one of the most important Confucianism, as it is noted being a haven of peace in the middle of the capital. During your visit, stop at the Imperial College. Walk among the footsteps of the most important dignitaries of China who trained in this Imperial College. Tonight, you will take the overnight train to Xian.
Day 6: Xian Breakfast, Lunch are included. Upon arrival, the guide will meet you at the arrival hall and then you will be transferred to the hotel for breakfast and after then, go a few miles outside of city wall and discover one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas. As a symbol of Xian, you could admire the city and realise Xian at the seventh floor of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. This afternoon, dive into the history of the province of Shaanxi. The huge Shaanxi History Museum is a treasure of China that leaves you speechless. From prehistory to the discovery of the Terracotta Army, you will figure out the constant changes that the people of the ancient capital Chang'an had made. Then, immerse yourself in the culture by visiting the Great Mosque and Muslim Quarter. Open your senses in the Muslim Quarter of the city and discover spices and dishes typical of the Hui ethnic group. Arrive at the Great Mosque of Xian, one of the four largest ancient mosques of China. Gardens and buildings open to non-Muslims will give you an overview of the Sino-Arab cultural mix in which many places are impregnated.
Day 7: Xian Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. This morning, climb up a few stone steps and then you are on the Xian City Wall. Enjoy a stroll or even bike on the city wall to admire the city view with an overlook. Although it is impossible to make a complete tour of the city on the wall, the ride will be interesting. This afternoon, get away downtown Xian to visit the eighth wonder of the world, the Terracotta Army. From the passage of the door, prepare to marvel at the craziest project by the first emperor of China. Although the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi is never ever open, a few rooms containing objects have been observed as having accompanied the deceased. In an annex building, watch the story of the emperor and the construction of this magnificent tomb. The real size of the Terracotta Warriors will definitely leave you speechless and make you Xian tour unforgettable. Tonight, indulge in the delicacy offered in a local restaurant, the Dumpling Dinner in Xian. Enjoy these dumplings with meat or vegetables stuffing. By the way, dumplings are the special dish for the Chinese New Year.
Day 8: Xian-Chengdu Breakfast, Dinner are included. This morning, take the flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival, the guide will pick you up and then go 10 miles from downtown Chengdu to visit the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Center. This center is one of the few places where one really cares about the survival of this endangered species. In the landscaped zoo, you can admire these beautiful creatures munching their bamboo or just napping. Through the nursery, maybe you'll get to meet a baby panda, no bigger than a kitten. After dinner, you will be transferred back to the hotel for check in.
Day 9: Chengdu-Leshan Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. This morning, take the road to the site of the Leshan Giant Buddha. Arrived in the small town of Leshan, you will board a ferry bringing the best view of the largest statue of Buddha in the world. Its oversized proportions will leave you speechless and you'll feel being an ant face this Giant Buddha. After then, you will continue to go to Mount Emei. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel.
Day 10: Leshan-Chengdu Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. You will spend whole day visiting the Mount Emei, a sacred Buddhist mountain of Samantabhadra. With your guide, you will go in the dense forest where hides many Buddhist temples with crowded pilgrims. Climbing to the Golden Summit, then you will have a splendid view of the green mountain interspersed with sharp peaks. Enjoy the descent while you stop to see some of the best views of the park. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred back to Chengdu and spend one more night there.
Day 11: Chengdu-Guilin Breakfast is included. In the city center, discover the seat of Zen Buddhism, Wenshu Temple. Although rebuilt, you will not fail to appreciate the beauty found this huge temple. You stop in front of the bas-reliefs which are quite exquisite before you venture over to the temple to see ancient religious relics. You can enjoy its gardens to relax a little or a cup of tea. Then, enter a place full of history and emotion, the poet Du Fu Thatched Cottage. It is here that the Saint of Poet of the Tang Dynasty lived a few years and wrote some of his most beautiful poems. Reading some poems translated on the walls of the rooms, you will have previous painful past of the Chinese people at the time. Enjoy the gardens to soak up all the sincerity of Du Fu's poems. The Wuhou Temple for the activity in the afternoon. It is a memorial in honor of the ruler and his minister of the Shu Kingdom, which Chengdu was the capital there 1800 years ago. It will open the secrets of the Three Kingdoms period. Another window to reveal the culture of that time, the ancient Jinli Street, to the east of the temple is very interesting. Along this street, soak up the relaxed atmosphere of these quite typical Sichuan places. After then, you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Guilin. Upon arrival, the guide will pick you up at the airport and then you will be transferred to the hotel.
Day 12: Guilin-Yangshuo Breakfast, Dinner are included. In the morning, you'll be driven to the pier to take the Li River Cruise where lunch will be served. Over the 4-hour drive, drive of an enchanting world made up of karst peaks in the form of Sugar Loaves. It's as if a Chinese painting paraded before you. The landscape of the Shanshui (water and mountains) is extraordinary. You may be lucky to admire buffalo while you're peacefully grazing the water. Upon arrival, enjoy the time you have in Yangshuo to wander in the West Street. This street, also called Foreigner's Street which attracts visitors for its traditional Chinese architectural style and western shops that offer a European break from the deep Chinese countryside. Stop along the way to discover the art of traditional painting and learn more about these aesthetic principles and finesse. After dinner, you will be driven to the hotel in Yangshuo.
Day 13: Yangshuo Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. This morning, go to a cycling in the countryside of Yangshuo. Pedal amid the surrounding rice fields and soak up the unique atmosphere of the place, lost in the deep Chinese countryside. This breath of fresh air will make you look bigger after the visit of Chinese cities. Continue ride to Moon Hill to admire the peak that has the appearance of a moon-shaped hole. Climb the 1,251 steps that separate you from the empty space in the wall of the hill. Once at the top you will have a better view of the Li River nestled in a valley consisting of rice terraces and fields in the background with the beautiful karst peaks. After then, take a walk to the Dragon Bridge to cruise on the Yulong River with a traditional bamboo raft. During the Yulong River Bamboo Rafting, you have a whole different view of the Karst Mountains and rice fields around. So please ready to marvel at the stunning view along the banks.
Day 14: Yangshuo-Longsheng Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. This morning, you will be transferred to Longsheng. Upon arrival, go in the district of Longji to visit a traditional village of the Zhuang minority, the Ping'an village and Longji Ping'an rice terraces. After a brisk half-hour walk in the hills, you arrive at Ping'an village. If you wish, you can ask the carrier to take you up to the hill on their palanquin. Stroll through the beautiful Longji rice terraces along the hillside. If possible, you'll even have the opportunity to visit a rural elementary school with children from all local minorities. To better soak up the Zhuang minority culture, spend the night in the village inn, where the morning rice terraces views are stunning.
Day 15: Longsheng-Guilin-Shanghai Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are included. This morning, you will take the flight to Shanghai from Guilin. Upon arrival, the guide will pick you up at the arrival hall and then be transferred to visit the most bustling street in Shanghai, West Nanjing Road. Enter the crowds of shopaholics strolling around the long pedestrian street of several kilometers. As you do your shopping on the Nanjing Road, enjoy and admire some of the historic buildings in their various styles. Then, take a nice walk along the Huangpu River on the Bund. Historic buildings in this street are a style that combines Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque to the New York of the 1930s and the Sino-Western. As a symbol of Shanghai since the 1920s, the Bund is considered “Chic Avenue of China”. With modern skyscrapers on the other side of the river, a walk on the Bund mixes old and renewal in a sumptuous setting. This evening, go for Huangpu River Cruise. Discover the city as the aliens did before 1949. The cruise is indeed along the Bund and its Gothic, Baroque and romantic frontages. On the other side, admire the modern Pudong New Area and its huge skyscrapers. The cruise will makes a U-turn near the Yangpu Bridge and you are provided then the most beautiful view on this cable-stayed bridge which is one of the longest in the world.
Day 16: Shanghai Breakfast, Lunch are included. This morning, explore the Shanghai Museum to discover one of the most important collections of Chinese art in the world. From room to room, let yourself be amazed within the history of this country's millennial culture. Get there by first crossing the People's Square and its Park. Then, jump into the crowds of visitors, the Yuyuan Garden is a breathtaking, beautiful garden of Shanghai. As one might notice while strolling through the shops and restaurants, this area has been restored in a very typical style of ancient China. Cross the bridge with nine turns and finally go to the Yuyuan garden, a haven of peace in the economic capital-Shanghai.
In the afternoon, stroll in the Old French Concession of Shanghai and discover some of the most beautiful villas of the pre-war in this area. Pass by Huaihai Street and the hotel Jinjiang, which today represents the heart of this old French Concession. Then, stop in the trendy Xintiandi district in the heart of old French concession. Admire the past and future of Shanghai. On one hand, you have the old architecture of the Shikumen and on the other hand, enjoy the hustle and bustle atmosphere of the local people after work. You even pass the site of the first National Congress of the CCP. You will stop in the Museum of the Shikumen where you will discover the lifestyles of the Shanghai before 1949.
Day 17: Shanghai Breakfast, Lunch are included. In the morning, mount in the second highest skyscrapers in China and one of the highest in the world - Shanghai World Financial Center. Its different observation platforms have a dizzying view of illuminated buildings of the Pudong Area, including the famous Oriental Pearl Tower. You can even see the Huangpu River and the Bund in the distance. Did you miss the Shanghai World Expo in 2010? You can still visit the largest and most important Pavilion of the site, the China Pavilion. Browse this immense Pavilion today that is now converted into a museum as the fundamentals of Chinese culture will be revealed to you. This afternoon, discover the M50 Art Gallery of Shanghai. Enter the dated buildings to admire the works exhibited in the studios of artists. In addition to the Chinese contemporary art galleries, go through advertising agencies, architecture and design firms that remake the face of Shanghai.
Day 18: Shanghai Breakfast is included. Free until be transferred to the Pudong International Airport for your flight home.
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