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Shanghai



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Beijing-Xi’an-Guilin-Yangshuo-Shanghai-Suzhou-Hangzhou-Shanghai 13 days 12 nights tour package

Highlights:


• Take a cruise down the Li River, one of the most scenic and serene rivers in the world. You’ll then depart to Yangshuo, a tropical paradise surrounded by mountains and bamboo forests
• See the sights of Beijing, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square
• Spend time in the lush river cities of Suzhou, a “heaven on earth” known for its classical gardens and canals, and Hangzhou, famed for its epic West Lake. As the saying goes, Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou."
• See the bustling metropolis of Shanghai, China’s biggest city and its window to the west

Standard Tour and Luxury Tour Packages Available.

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

 

STANDARD TOUR ITINERARY

Tour code:
P-BXGSHS
Day Activities Hotel
DAY 01 Arrive in Beijing

Upon arrival at the Beijing airport, you will be me by your local English-speaking guide, and he will take you to a 4 star hotel located in downtown Beijing. If time permits, we can get started with some sightseeing, but if not, you are free to spend the night at your own leisure, and resting up for the days ahead.

4**** Hotel
DAY 02 Beijing (B, L)

After breakfast in the hotel, we’ll make the short drive outside the city to the Great Wall at Badaling. Badaling was the first section of the Great Wall to be opened to the public in 1957, and is therefore the best known among visitors. Badaling was the site of U.S. President’s Richard Nixon’s visit to the Great Wall on his historic trip to China, and is a popular choice for celebrities, foreign dignitaries and leaders (U.S. President Obama visited Badaling in November of 2009). Badaling also offers incredible views of the wall winding and twisting along the hills. After a delicious lunch we will make the short journey by minibus to the Ming Tombs.

The Ming Tombs, about 50 km/31 miles from Beijing, are where 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are buried. This site was carefully chosen for its feng shui principles by the third Ming emperor Yongle (who also moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing and began construction on the Forbidden City). The tomb we will visit, Dingling, is the tomb of the Wanli Emperor. It is the only one of the Ming Dynasty Tombs to have been excavated. It also remains the only imperial tomb to have been excavated since the founding of the People's Republic of China. After viewing the tombs, we will head to the “Shenlu”, or the Spirit Way. The Spirit Way leads into the complex, lined with statues of guardian animals and officials, with a front gate consisting of a three-arches, painted red, and called the "Great Red Gate". The Spirit Way, or Sacred Way, starts with a huge stone memorial archway lying at the front of the area. Constructed in 1540, during the Ming Dynasty, this archway is one of the biggest stone archways in China today.

You will then be dropped of at the hotel, and the rest of the evening can be spent at your discretion.

4**** Hotel
DAY 03 Beijing (by train) (B, L)

After breakfast in the hotel we will head over to the center of Beijing, Tiananmen Square. The largest public square in the world, Tiananmen Square is seen as China’s political center. Its grounds have seen some turbulent moments, from the May 4th Movement of 1919 to the political turmoil of 1989. The south of the square is marked by the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, while the center of the square is dominated by the Monument to the People’s Heroes, an imposing 10-story granite obelisk. To the east is the National Museum of China, and to the west is the Great Hall of the People, home to China’s legislative bodies. The north of the square is dominated by the Gate of Heavenly Peace, known for its iconic portrait of Mao Zedong, and is the national emblem of China.

After walking across the street, we will enter what is perhaps the greatest attraction in China, the Forbidden City. 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 best example of classical Chinese architecture in the world, and is a wonder to behold.

To continue our theme of imperial royalty, we’ll go from the Forbidden City to the royal family’s retreat from the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace. Being northwest of the city center, the Summer Palace has 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. Like most of the gardens of Beijing, it could not elude the rampages of the Anglo-French allied force of 1860 and was destroyed by fire. In 1888, Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled navy funds to reconstruct it for her own benefit, changing its name to Summer Palace (Yiheyuan). She spent most of her later years there, dealing with state affairs and entertaining.

Highlights not to be missed are climbing Longevity Hill, viewing the Empress Dowager Cixi’s extravagant Marble Boat, and talking a walk down Suzhou jie, a canal meant to resemble the beautiful river city of Suzhou.

You will then be dropped off at your hotel for the evening.

4**** Hotel
DAY 04 Beijing-Xian (by train) (B, L)

Following breakfast we’ll make the short drive to the Temple of Heaven park. The 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!

Next you will have the chance to get some great bargains on clothing at Silk Street. Silk Street is one of the famous clothing markets in Beijing. It attracts domestic and foreign tourists with varied styles, colors and materials as well as an inexpensive price. Remember to always haggle, as you can regularly get 50% off the asking price. If you need some help your guide is more than happy to help!

Following your visit to the Temple of Heaven, you will be driven to the Beijing train station, and you’ll take an overnight train to Xian. You will be in a soft-sleeper compartment, so your train journey will be both peaceful and comfortable.

On the train to Xian from Beijing
DAY 05 Xian (B, L)

You will arrive at the Xian train station in the morning, and upon arrival you’ll be met by your local English-speaking guide. You’ll then be taken to Xian’s greatest attractions, 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. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China. 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.

The museum is divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back. No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, contains over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994. Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976. It is the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.

Following our visit with the Terracotta Warriors, we’ll then step back to an even earlier time at the Banpo Neolithic Museum. Located in the eastern outskirts of Xi’an city, the Banpo Museum is the first prehistoric excavation site museum in China. Banpo (half slope) Village was a typical Neolithic Matriarchal community of the Yangshao (Respect Splendid) culture (5000-3000 BC) around 6000 years ago. The Yangshao culture was named after the first discovery of this civilization in Yangshao, Henan Province. About 400 sites of this type have been discovered around the Yellow River Basin, and the Banpo site is the largest one. The site was discovered in 1953 during the construction of a power plant. The excavation work lasted four years, and the Banpo site was first opened to the public in 1958. Since then, two million people have visited it.

The Banpo site, occupying an area of approximately 50,000 square meters, was divided into three parts: the living area, the pottery making area and the cemetery area. Among the ruins are 46 dwellings, two domestic animal pens and over 200 storage pits, 174 adult tombs, 73 burial jars for kids, six pottery making kilns and many production and domestic tools. The site delivers visitors a vivid picture of the long ago lifestyle of the primitive Banpo people.

After visiting the Banpo Museum you’ll be taken to your hotel, the 4 star Jianguo Hotel, which is just a 15 minute walk to the old city center.

4**** Hotel
 
DAY 06 Xian-Guillin (by air) (B, L)

After breakfast we’ll make the short drive to 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. The Tang regime gave orders to build a chamber for the translation of Buddhist scriptures in an effort to have the then widely renowned Master Xuanzang agree to be the head of the temple. Xuanzang was a Buddhist monk who traveled to India, translated Sanskrit scriptures and developed theories of consciousness, karma and rebirth that were adopted by some later popular schools of Buddhism.

The hallowed pagoda is an architectural marvel. It was built with layers of bricks without any cement. The bracket style used in traditional Chinese architecture was also used in the construction of the pagoda. The seams between each layer of bricks and the " prisms' on each side of the pagoda are clearly visible. The grand body of the pagoda with its solemn appearance, simple style and high structure, is indeed a good example of Chinese traditional architecture.

Then you can unwind a bit by taking a leisurely stroll on the Xi’an City Wall. It's the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Xi'an City Wall was erected in the 14th century Ming Dynasty, under the regime of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. When Zhu Yuanzhang captured Huizhou, long before the establishment of the Ming Dynasty, he was admonished by a hermit named Zhu Sheng, who told him to "build high walls, store abundant provisions and take your time in proclaiming yourself emperor." If you like, you have the option of renting a bike or a rickshaw on the wall in order to cover more ground in a shorter time.

In the late afternoon, you’ll be driven to the Xian airport, where you will have an evening flight to Guillin. Located in Guangxi province in southwest China. Upon arrival at the Guillin airport, you will be met by your guide, who will take you to your hotel. Your lodging will be the 4 star Plaza Hotel.


4**** Hotel
DAY 07 Guilin-Yangshuo (B, L)

Today you will be cruising down one of the world’s most stunning rivers, the Li. Gorgeous karst peaks give you surprises at each bend of the limpid river under the blue sky. Water buffalo patrol the fields, peasants reap rice paddies, school kids and fisherman float by on bamboo rafts. With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, the scenery along the Li River become one of China's top tourist destinations. Some of the highlights you will see on your 7-8hour cruise will be Elephant Trunk Hill, a hill resembling an Elephant taking water from its trunk, Pagoda Hill, just a few minutes away from the Elephant Trunk Hill, Daxu Town, an ancient river town, and of course you will also see local fisherman and workers over their normal course of work. The cruise down the Li River offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the local population here.

Our cruise will terminate at Yangshuo, a lush and exotic county that includes minority groups from all over Asia. In the evening we will make the drive back to Guillin, and you will again stay at the Plaza Hotel.

4**** Hotel
DAY 08 Guilin-Shanghai (B, L)

Following breakfast we’ll visit the Reed Flute Cave. The Reed Flute Cave (Ludi Yan) is a fascinating gallery of natural sculpture (limestone cave formations), now enhanced by multicolored lighting, which has been one of Guilin’s many interesting attractions for over 1200 years. It rates as one of the top four tourist sites in the city. The cave is about 240 meters long and a tour lasts about one hour. Along the u-shaped route, you will have ample time see the oddly shaped rocks and stone pillars while the guide narrates interesting stories about them. Illuminated by the colored lights, the cave looks like a dazzling underground palace. That’s why the cave is also known as the Nature’s Art Palace.

You’ll next be taken to the airport where you’ll fly on to Shanghai, where you’ll be met by your guide and taken to your hotel, the 4 star Holiday Inn Downtown Shanghai.

Holiday Inn Downtown
Shanghai
DAY 09 Shanghai (B, L)

Following breakfast, we’ll start our day in Shanghai with a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple. The Jade Buddha Temple is one of the richest and most frequented Buddhist Temples in Shanghai. Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai is an active temple, with 70 resident monks at the last count. The 70 monks who live and work there can sometimes be seen worshiping. inside, the centerpiece is a 1.9-meter-high white jade Buddha, which was installed here after a monk brought it from Burma to Zhejiang Province in 1882. The seated Buddha, encrusted with jewels, is said to weigh about one thousand kilograms. A smaller, reclining Buddha from the same shipment lies on a redwood bed. In the large hall are three gold-plated Buddhas, and other halls house ferocious-looking deities. Artifacts abound, not all on display, and some 7,000 Buddhist sutras line the walls.

Afterward you’ll have a chance to stroll along 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.

Following a Chinese lunch we’ll cap off our day of touring with a visit to the city premier museum, the Shanghai Museum. The Shanghai Museum is a world famous museum of ancient Chinese art and culture. The exterior design of the round dome and the square base symbolizes the ancient idea of a round heaven and a square land. 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.

You will then be dropped off at your hotel for the evening, and you have the option of further exploring shanghai on your own. With all the shops, cafes, and street performances there is more than enough to keep you busy for the night.

4**** Hotel
 
DAY 10 Shanghai-Suzhou (B, L)

In the morning you will take a 2 hour train ride to the garden and canal city of Suzhou. When you arrive you’ll be met at the train station by your guide. Youll first stop to unpack your things at your hotel, the 4 star Garden View Hotel. Then we will drive to Tiger Hill. The 36-meter-tall Huqiu (Tiger Hill) stands outside the lumen Gate to the north west of Suzhou. It was where the King of the State of Wu( a small state in the Spring and Autumn Periods over thousands of years ago) Fu Chai, buried his father-Helu along with 3,000 swords. Legend has it that on the third day after the burial, a white tiger appeared to guard the tomb, hence the name of the hill.

The Yunyan Temple, another key attraction on the hill, is one of the most famous Buddhist land in this part of China. Even Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty could not resist its peaceful ambience so he decided to make the temple his temporary residence during his Suzhou trip.

We’ll next arrive at the most famed garden in Suzhou, the Humble Administrator’s Garden. The garden is the best representative of Chinese classical gardens, constructed in the Ming dynasty, which focuses on a central pond with pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers located nearby, the garden is divided into three parts: the eastern, middle and western parts. At 5 hectares the largest of these beautiful gardens, it is one of the most famous one. It provides everyone with pleasure. Don't miss the Garden Museum - actually don't miss any of this lovely place. You should wear comfortable shoes, as there's a lot of walking here.

To cap your day in Suzhou we’ll explore the Lion Grove (also known as the Lion Forest). Lion Grove is another interesting garden in Suzhou, which is well-known for oddly-shaped rocks and deep caves. Like the Humble Administrator's Garden, this one was also built hundreds years ago in the Yuan Dynasty. A monk called Tian Ru constructed this garden to commemorate his teacher. The garden's name comes from the rocks' resemblance to lions.Occupying an area of over one hectare, Lion Grove is filled with rockeries of various shapes and sizes, which have made the garden the "Kingdom of Rockeries" in China. Qing Emperor Qianlong once paid a visit to Lion Grove and was impressed by the intricate labyrinth of caves there. Delighted, he wrote the inscription "Really Interesting". The buildings in Lion Grove are representative works of the Yuan-dynasty architecture.

The rest of your night can be spent at your discretion, but you may want to walk along the many teahouses and cafes that dot the city.

4**** Hotel
 
DAY 11 Suzhou-Hangzhou (B, L)

Following breakfast in the hotel, you’ll be taken to the train station and you’ll make the short train ride to Hangzhou. As in Suzhou, you’ll be met at the train station by your guide. Your hotel for the night will be the 4 star Friendship Hotel. After freshening up in the hotel, we’ll head to the most famous of Hagnzhou attractions, West Lake.

West Lake is man-made and created after the Chinese love for garden style parks for recreation.
Hangzhou's West Lake Scenic Area, in the southwest of the city, covers 60 square kilometers (23 square miles), of which West Lake itself occupies 5.6 square kilometers (2.2 square miles). It was originally the center of the city, but now the Qiantang River is becoming the central feature as the south bank is developed in similar fashion to Shanghai’s Pudong District. West Lake is a place of tranquility where urbanity becomes a silhouette on the northeast horizon and mountains near and far surround it on the other three sides. The occasional pagoda and Chinese-style arched bridge add atmosphere to the tree-lined walkways, verdant islands and hills.

Near West Lake is Lingyin Temple, one of the ten most famous ancient Buddhist temples in China. It also houses various Buddhist literature and treasures situated in front of the Temple, and is famous for its more than 470 stone carvings of Buddhist figures, which dated from the 10th to 14th centuries.

Then it is off to the Six Harmonies Pagoda and its nearby temple. Located on the north bank of the Qiantang River, Six Harmonies Pagoda was built in 970 to dispel the river's tidal bore, which was thought to be an evil manifestation. Liuhe Ta, Six Harmonies Pagoda, was once a seven-storey stone pagoda, but later a 13-story wooden pagoda was built around the outside enclosing the wooden structure. The top level, accessed by a spiral staircase in the stone pagoda, offers a fine view of the surrounding mountains, the Qiantang River and Qiantang River Great Bridge, which is the largest double-decker (road above, rail below) bridge built by China. The ceiling of each level is carved and painted with flowers, birds and animals in an elegant and delicate style.

Six Harmonies Pagoda is named after nearby Six Harmonies Temple, but it could be said there are six harmonies within the structure itself where the 7-story inner pagoda harmonizes with the 13-story outer pagoda.

The rest of the evening can be spent at your own leisure.

4**** Hotel
 
DAY 12 Hangzhou-Shanghai (B, L)

In the morning you will be taken to the train station and you’ll make the quick trip back to Shanghai. You’ll be met by your Shanghai guide upon arrival. As in your time here before, you’ll stay at the Holiday Inn Downtown hotel. Your first stop on today’s touring will be the Bund, Shanghai’s most famous and recognizable landmark. 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.

Across the river we’ll visit he Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the most distinctive landmark of the Shanghai skyline. From the top of the tower you can get marvelous views of the Bund and the east bank of Shanghai.

You will then have free time for the rest of the day. You might want to stroll along West Nanjing Road, which is near the Bund and is Shanghai’s most famed shopping street. In addition to high-street fashion and the usual outlets and stores, open-air bars, abstract sculptures, and lingering sounds from street musicians will enhance your experience. At night flashing neon signs illuminate the magnificent buildings and spangle the night skyline of this lively city.

4**** Hotel
 
DAY 13 Depart from Shanghai (B)

Following breakfast in the hotel you will be driven to the Shanghai airport, and from there you will fly on to your next destination, ending your tour with the Great Wall Adventure Club.
 



Package includes:
1.Pickup service from railway and airport to hotel
2.The transportation between scenic spots
3.Eleven nights accommodation based on two persons sharing one standard room in the four star hotel
4 Soft-sleeper Train ticket from
Beijing to Xi’an, Soft seats Shanghai/Suzhou/Hangzhou/Shanghai, Flight tickets from Xi’an to Guilin and Guilin to Shanghai.
5.Professional local guide
6.Meals indicated in the itineraries
7.The admission of the first gate

 

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