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Beijing to Shanghai Package


Forbidden City, Beijing


Jiuzhaigou


Giant Panda Breeding Center


Shanghai

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China's Splendor: 14-day tour from Beijing to Shanghai
including Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Leshan, Chongqing, Yangtze River,
and Shanghai

Marvel at the giant carved Buddha at Leshan and stare down the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an.

Follow ancient footsteps along the Great Wall, wall the futuristic streets of Shanghai and cruise the Yangtze Rive to the Tree Gorges. Travel like an emperor as you encounter the treasures of China on this comfortable two-week journey. Travel days are well paced and domestic flights to remote attractions minimize travel time so you can maximize time exploring and domestic flights to remote attractions minimize travel time so you can maximize time exploring this region’s treasures yourself in the best of China.

Highlights:

•This tour will take you through the three most famed cities of China: Beijing, China’s cultural and political center, Xian, China’s ancient capital, and Shanghai, China’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city

•You will get to visit the best attractions in China, such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors, and the Bund, among many others you will get to see

•You’ll experience the Yangtze River, China’s longest river and home to the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam. You'll also get cute and cuddly with Pandas in Chengdu, which is the best place in the world in which to view Pandas.

Standard Tour and Luxury Tour Packages Available.

B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner  Departure: Upon booking

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Tour code:
P-BSH011

Day 1 : Welcome to Beijing (D)


Upon arrival at the Beijing airport, you will be me by your local English-speaking guide, and he/she will take you to your hotel to freshen up. After unpacking you will be treated to delectable dinner of Peking Duck, Beijing’s signature culinary dish.

Day 2-4 : Beijing (3B, 3D)

Over the next three days you will visit the Great Wall at Mutianyu, which is about 70km from downtown Beijing, and is located in the district of Huairou. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs. First built in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi, Mutianyu Great Wall is older than the Badaling section of the Great Wall. We will have a picnic lunch on the wall.

Other sights will include Tian’anmen Square. The largest public square in the world, Tian'anmen Square is seen as China’s political center. After walking across the square we will enter the Forbidden City (known in Chinese as Gu Gong), the largest surviving palace complex and the former home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The Forbidden City is one of the greatest attractions in the world. Built by the third Ming emperor between 1406-1422, the Forbidden City served as the official residence to the Emperor of China until the last emperor, Puyi, was forced to evacuate in 1924. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Consisting of 980 buildings and with 8,707 bays of rooms, the Forbidden City is the greatest example of classical Chinese architecture anywhere in the world.  

After exploring the Forbidden City we will conclude the first day of your tour with a visit to the Summer Palace. Having the largest royal park and being well preserved, the Summer Palace is ranked amongst the most noted and classical gardens of the world. In 1998, UNESCO listed it as one of the World Heritage Sites.

You’ll also have the chance to visit Temple of Heaven. This complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. The Temple of Heaven park is best known for the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, an iconic building famed for its magnificent triple-gabled circular roof. You will also have an opportunity to walk the same imperial walkway that the same emperors walked hundreds of years ago in their holy rites. You will also see Beijing’s senior citizens using the park grounds for everything from tai chi and ballroom dancing to bullwhip practice!  

After touring the Temple of Heaven we will embark to the Lhama Temple. Other than the temples in Tibet this is the best Buddhist temple in China. Work on the Lhama Temple originally began in 1694 during the Qing dynasty. It served as an official residence for court eunuchs. It was then converted into the home of the Prince Yong, a son of the Kangxi Emperor and himself the future Yongzheng Emperor. It was converted into a lamasery after his ascension to the throne in 1722. Today the Lhama Temple still functions as a monastery and temple of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism. You will see many active Tibetan monks and Buddhists at the temple today. Walking through the temple your senses will be enveloped by the incenses and the chanting of the visiting monks and other followers. The rear Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happinesses features a 26m tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha cared from a single piece of white sandalwood. It is one of three artworks in the Lhama Temple that were included in the Guinness Book of World Records, and it is not to be missed on your visit.

After a filling lunch we will conclude your tour with us by going on a hutong tour of old Beijing. You will go on this tour by rickshaw. Hutongs are courtyard homes grouped together around narrow alleys, and served as the lifeline and center of everyday life in old Beijing. The hutongs were a critical component in the development and evolution of Beijing folklore and culture. While there are still hutong houses in the city, they are quickly disappearing due to the demands of a rapidly modernizing Beijing, so see the hutongs while you still can.


In addition to the sights, you will also be treated to a performance of Chinese acrobatics.

You will then be taken to the train station, and you will take an overnight sleeper (shared cabin of four passengers inside) train to Xian, China's ancient capital and home to
the Terracotta Warriors.

Day 5 : Xian (B)

Today will consist of a full city tour of Xian. Our first stop will be at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a pagoda surrounded by a still functioning Buddhist temple (named Da Ci’en Temple). The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China. The Pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) for the study of Buddhist scriptures. Although it has been attacked by centuries of weather, war and seismic activity, which destroyed most of the original material of the structure, a pagoda by this name and style still exists on the site.

You’ll also visit Xi’an ancient City Wall, the best City Wall preserved in China. We'll then drive an hour outside the city to see Xian’s greatest attraction, and one of the greatest sites in all of China, the Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum is the result of the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor.

For dinner we will have traditional Xian fare and after that, if time permits, we’ll take you to a Great Tang Dynasty Dance and Music Opera (optional). We’ll transfer you to your hotel after that.

Day 6-7 : Chengdu-Leshan (2B)

You will be taken to the Xian airport and from there you will make the short flight to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. You will be met at the airport by your travel guide and taken to your hotel. Sichuan is home to the world’s cutest and most beloved endangered animal, the Panda, and no trip to Chengdu is complete without seeing these national treasures. After an early morning start, we will visit the Bifeng Gorge Panda Reserve. In the May 12th 2008 the Wenchuan Earthquake dealt the pandas a crushing blow and over fifty giant pandas living in captivity became completely homeless. In order to save these national treasures, the Wolong National Natural Reserve has, since May 15th, carried out an evacuation plan. Twenty-seven giant pandas were transferred in batches to Chengdu, Fuzhou and Beijing, and the rest were moved to Bifeng Gorge Base of China Panda Protection and Research Center, located in the northern suburbs of Chengdu.

The pandas are assured of healthy growth in their new home, and good news continually flows from Bifeng Gorge Base. In the morning on July 6th, 2008, the panda "Guo Guo" gave birth to the first twin cubs in the base. Guo Guo, the great panda mother, came to the base on June 24th when she was 119 days pregnant. She was really strong and brave to have these baby pandas after surviving the big earthquake, overcoming the difficulties of bumping and shaking on the long journey, and adjusting herself to the new environment. The center is divided into the giant panda breeding zone, baby giant panda care zone, research center, bamboo woods and office area.

We will also set out for the Leshan Buddha. The largest representation of the Buddha in the world, the statue is of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in Leshan City. In December, 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites. Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story. Our visit to the Leshan Buddha will be complete with a river cruise, giving you a glorious vantage point (and photo op!) of which to view the Buddha.

Day 8 : Chongqing(B)

Following breakfast in your hotel you will be taking China’s bullet train (First-class seat) to Chongqing, one the world's fastest growing cities. Serving as the departure point for your Yangtze River cruise, you will also have the chance to visit Luohan Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple that is still an active monastery. You’ll board the cruise in the afternoon to commence your Three Gorges tour. You’ll be checking in a single room with private bathroom on a three-star ship. Meals are not included on the boat as it is a tradition to give customers their own freedom to choose what they want to have on the boat.

Day 9-10 : Yangtze River cruise (2B, 2L, 2D)

The Yangtze River is the longest river in China and the third longest in the world after the Amazon and Nile. The Yangtze River along with the Yellow River is renowned as the "Mother Rivers of China" as it has nourished China's long and splendid culture. The evidence is seen in the varied cultural heritage along the river. Taking a Yangtze cruise is a popular way to discover China. There is an old saying: "on a slow boat to China". Well, why not relax on a slow boat in China, on the beautiful Yangtze River. A Yangtze River Cruise will take you through the center of China, while giving you the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable.

The cruise will conclude with the enormous Three Gorges Dam. Construction was begun in the 80's, and was completed in 2008. It backs up the Yangtze River for 550km, making it the world's largest dam. Due to the fact that the water rises to a level of 185m behind the dam, millions of people have had to be resettled, bridges moved and historical relicts secured. The energy production capabilities of the dam are estimated at 84.7 billion kilowatts, equivalent to 18 nuclear reactors. The three single stage locks guarantee that ship traffic is not delayed.

You’ll finally arrive in Yichang City, the end of the cruise. You’ll be transferred to the airport and take an afternoon or evening flight to Shanghai, your final destination. You’ll be met by your tour guide in Shanghai and transferred to your hotel.

Day 11-13 : Shanghai (with Zhujiajiao excursion) (3B, D)

These three days will consist of a full city tour of Shanghai, China's largest city and metropolis. You will visit the Shanghai Museum, a large museum of ancient Chinese art. The museum style and presentation surrounds visitors with artifacts demonstrating ancient wisdom and philosophy. The museum is divided into eleven galleries and three exhibition halls. The eleven Galleries cover most of the major categories of Chinese art: Ancient Bronze, Ancient Ceramics, Paintings, Calligraphy, Ancient Sculpture, Ancient Jade, Coins, Ming and Qing Furniture, Seals, and Minority Nationalities. The museum is a wonderful primer on ancient Chinese culture, and is a must-see when coming to Shanghai.

Nearby is Yuyuan Garden. Yuyuan Garden is a famed classical garden, and even though it may be small, it contains numerous pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters, and all have unique characteristics. There are six main scenic areas in the garden: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall and the Inner Garden. Each area features several scenic spots within its borders.

We will take a time machine from old Shanghai into the city’s glittering present and future, which the Jin Mao Tower is a prime example. Being the fourth tallest building of the world and the second tallest building in China, Jin Mao Tower is located in the center of Lujiazui Finance and Trade Districts in Pudong. The architect, Adrian D. Smith, of this skyscraper ingeniously combined the elements of traditional Chinese culture with the newest architectural styles of the time, which makes Jin Mao Tower one of the best-constructed buildings in China. The tower’s observation decks give you an almost bird’s eye view of the city’s rapidly rising skyline.

We'll walk down Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s premier shopping street. Open-air bars, abstract sculptures, and lingering sounds from street musicians enhance evening strolls. A trackless sightseeing train provides a comfortable tour of the pedestrian street. Then we’ll go to the most recognizable landmark of Shanghai, the Bund. The Bund is a waterfront embankment and has been regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. It affords marvelous views across the river of the Pudong district and its numerous towers. The most famous and attractive sight which is at the west side of the Bund are the 52 various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance.

We will also make time to visit the nearby town of Zhujiajiao. Located in the suburbs of Shanghai, Zhujiajiao occupies an area of over 47 square kilometers (18 square miles), making it China's largest water town. The town of Zhujiajiao is laid out like a traditional Chinese fan, and is surrounded by lakes and mountains making it one of the most picturesque towns in China. The majority of the buildings in Zhujiajiao date back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties and are in a remarkable state of preservation. The several large gardens that are scattered around this ancient town are breathtaking.

Day 14 : Shanghai-departure (B)

You will be driven to the Shanghai airport and fly to your next destination, ending your China tour.
 
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