Day 1: Leave on an international flight for Beijing.
Day 2: You will arrive in Beijing in the early evening. You will be transferred to your hotel. Meals on the plane.
Day 3: 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. After lunch you will visit the 2nd Hand Street Market. This is where Beijingers shop, and is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Day 4: The day begins with a tour of the Yong He Gong Lamasery. This is the only Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Beijing. After you are done there, we will take you to a special part of the Great Wall at Jinshanling. There you will meet your hosts. They will take you to the Great Wall and show you the options of where you will sleep. Later your hosts will cook for you a home-cooked meal which you can eat either on the Great Wall or down below in their home.
Day 5: Today you will wake up on the Great Wall of China. You will have a simple noodles and coffee breakfast and then can walk around the wall until you are ready to leave. Then you will be driven back to your hotel.
Day 6: You will experience the Temple of Heaven, which is the site where the Emperor would pray and commune with the gods. 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. Then we will take you to the train station for the 17-hour train ride to Xi'an. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 7: You will arrive in Xi'an in the morning, where your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. The day will begin with a tour of the city, including the old city wall and the Wild Goose Pagoda, with its Drum Tower and Bell Tower. After lunch you will be taken to the The Great Mosque. Then we will take you through the Muslim Quarter. There are several streets which have various shops, restaurants, street food stands, etc. We will take you to a special restaurant for a delightful Dim Sum dinner. Meals: (B), (L) and (D).
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.
Day 9: The morning is free. The day will begin with a visit to the world-class Shaanxi Provincial Museum. This world-class museum features the Chinese dynasties in order, from the brasswork, ceramics, art, metalwork and other cultural relics. Then you will be transferred to the airport for the late afternoon flight to Chongqing. There your guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.
Day 10: The day will begin early to drive on a day tour to
Dazu. You will pass some Chinese countryside, view the Buddha caves. Then you will be returned your hotel in Chongqing.
Day 11: The morning is free. After lunch you will be picked up for a half-day Chongqing city tour, including the new Three Gorges River Cruise Museum. Then after a delicious (early) Sichuan dinner, you will be transferred to the 5-star Katarina Victory Cruise Ship. Meals: (B) and (D).
Day 12 - 13: The Yangtze River Cruise continues (The Ghost Temple, Shendong stream, beautiful scenery, The Three Gorges and the Chinese Dam). Meals: (B), (L) and (D).
Day 14: The cruise ship arrives at Yichang around mid-day. Then you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Shanghai. In the evening, you will be taken to the Bund. After dinner we will transfer you to your hotel. Meals: (B), (L) and (D).
Day 15: The day begins with a tour of the classic Yu Yuan Gardens. As you exit the Gardens area, you will be in one of the main shopping centers of Shanghai. After lunch, you will visit the world-class Shanghai Art Museum. If you like, you could then be taken to a private Lotus Shoe Museum, which features hundreds of pairs of the tiny 3-5 inch shoes with amazing embroidery work. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 16: The morning is free. After lunch, we will give you a tour of the Jewish Quarter in Shanghai. Then we will drive you to Suzhou and check you into your hotel.
Day 17: Today you will visit the Humble Administrator's Garden which is one of the most beautiful gardens. After lunch you will visit the Silk Factory and the Embroidery Institute (where the Chinese Masters do with thread what our Western Masters did with paint). If there is time you can visit the Pearl Factory. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 18: You will be driven back to the Shanghai airport for your international flight back home with a lifetime of wonderful memories. Meals: (B).
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Asia China Local Culture Cultural Journey Boating and Sailing