From the mystical landscapes of Guilin to the culture-filled metropolis of Shanghai, our Best of China tour promises to be an unforgettable adventure. In fabled Beijing, home to such historic structures as the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, you will experience a time-honored Chinese pastime, kite-flying at the Temple of Heaven! During your stay, you’ll walk a portion of the 3,700 mile Great Wall of China, enjoy a rickshaw tour and experience a show at the world-famous Peking Opera. In Xian, you’ll take in such legendary sights as the Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the most famous Buddhist Temples in the world; and the wondrous excavation site of the Terra-Cotta Warriors. In Guilin, experience tranquility when you participate in a private Tai Chi lesson before cruising the Li River, and shopping the local markets for souvenirs. A three-night stay in Shanghai includes a visit to the YuYuan Gardens; the Temple of the Jade Buddha; and an amazing Acrobatics Show. Enjoy a full day excursion to the water village of Zhujiajiao, an ancient city located on the banks of beautiful Dianshan Lake.
Day #1 Overnight Flight -
Day #2 Arrive Beijing, China - Tour Begins - Join us on a tour of one of the world’s most fascinating countries. In China, experience the ancient splendor of Xian, the traditional bustle of Beijing, and the modern cityscape of Shanghai. Your adventure begins in Beijing, the vibrant capital city.
Day #3 Beijing - LANGUAGE DISCOVERY: Today, your Tour Manager will help you discover the origin and history of the language(s) you will experience on your tour along with key words and phrases that will help you communicate with the locals. A sightseeing tour of Beijing begins with a visit to the expansive and historic Tiananmen Square. Continue to the Forbidden City, a vast network of palaces, including five halls, seventeen palaces and numerous other buildings.
Day #4 The Great Wall - China’s legendary landmark, the Great Wall, is yours to discover today. During your visit, you’ll have a chance to walk along a portion of this 3,700 mile marvel! Then continue through the valley of the Ming Tombs to visit the extensive Sacred Way burial site, commissioned by Emperor Yongle in the 15th century. You will have time to experience a time-honored and favorite pastime of the Chinese when you go kite-flying! Tonight, enjoy a Peking duck dinner followed by a traditional Peking opera show where you delight in the colorful costumes and interesting music.
Day #5 Beijing - This morning you will visit the UNESCO site of the Summer Palace, amongst the most noted classical gardens in the world. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Day #6 Beijing - Xi`an - Explore the world-famous Temple of Heaven, an ornate sanctuary where Chinese Emperors worshiped their gods. Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime rickshaw tour through the Hutongs, the narrow streets of ancient Beijing. Then visit a local home where you will share a simple lunch and learn the art of dumpling making. A short flight brings you to China’s interior city of Xi`an.
Day #7 Xi`an - Today you visit one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the world, the classical Wild Goose Pagoda. The impressive structure was built during the Tang Dynasty to house Buddhist treasures. For lunch you will savor a local specialty, Xi`an dumplings, before traveling to the excavation site of the Terra-Cotta Warriors. This army of men and horses was buried with the first Emperor of Qin to protect him in the afterlife. You will be amazed by the sheer numbers of them and their detailed features!
Day #8 Xi`an - Guilin - An early morning flight whisks you from Xi`an to the beautiful city of Guilin, land of mystical landscapes of limestone karst pinnacles covered with lush vegetation. Visit the legendary Reed Flute Caves for a guided tour showcasing the spectacular underground scenery. You’ll also stop to take in the view of Elephant Trunk Hill, named for its curious shape which resembles an enormous elephant drinking water from the placid river.
Day #9 Guilin - Begin this day to remember with a scenic cruise along the Li River to admire the landscapes that have been inspiring Chinese artists and poets for centuries. Be sure to keep on the lookout for water buffalo! Next, visit the Guilin Tea Institute, learn the art of tea leaf picking and enjoy a traditional tea ceremony.
Day #10 Guilin - Shanghai - Start the day with a private Tai Chi lesson, a highly-revered Chinese martial art that is both invigorating and relaxing. Then depart for Shanghai, a bustling trade port and the economic heart of China whose futuristic skyline will leave you speechless. Enjoy a locally-guided tour of the waterfront district known as the Bund which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River. Famous for its gorgeous colonial buildings, you’ll feel as though you have stepped back into 19th century Europe as you wander among the impressive Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture.
Day #11 Shanghai - This morning is highlighted by a visit to the Children’s Palace, an ornate fortress where the local children come to learn various arts including calligraphy, piano and dance. Delight in the sight of children at work and play as you tour the palace. Next, visit the Old Town and walk its winding, narrow lanes. You’ll pass traditional Chinese buildings as you make your way to the once-private Yu Yuan Gardens. Admire the classical design as you wander among the flowering trees and quiet ponds. End your full-day sightseeing tour with a stop at the beautiful Temple of the Jade Buddha. Tonight, take in the energy and excitement of a Chinese acrobatics show.
Day #12 Shanghai - Zhujiajiao - Shanghai - Enjoy a full day excursion to the water village of Zhujiajiao, an ancient city located on the banks of Dianshan Lake. After more than one thousand years, Ming & Qing dynasty buildings still stand and 36 ancient stone bridges cross the canal that runs through the center of town. Visit the rice museum, enjoy a boat ride on the canal and have time to shop. This evening you may choose an optional cruise on the Huangpu River to enjoy the Shanghai skyline by night, followed by a western dinner.
Day #13 Shanghai - Today you will discover the treasures of the Shanghai Museum, home to priceless artifacts that span China’s rich history. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore more of the city on your own or to revisit some of your favorite locales. Snap a few more photographs, enjoy another steaming bowl of noodles, or shop for a few last-minute souvenirs. Later this evening, bid farewell to China at a dinner with your fellow travelers.
Day #14 Shanghai - Tour Ends - Your tour ends in Shanghai but you will carry your memories of China with you as you make the journey home.