Delve into the unique world of China during this magnificent vacation and visit Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guilin, and Hong Kong. As you’d expect from a trip to China, a tour highlight is your visit to the Great Wall of China. Known as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, it is the only man-made object that can be seen from space by the naked eye. As you walk along the wall, see how expansive it is and imagine what it was like to construct the wall—at a time without modern machinery to help! As if the Great Wall of China is not enough to astonish you, wait until you see the Terracotta Warriors. Discovered accidentally in 1974, construction on the roughly 8,000 soldiers, chariots, and horses started in 210 BC—all to help China’s first emperor in the afterlife. On this tour, you’ll get the opportunity to see these amazing soldiers, which range in height from 6 ft. to 6 ft. 5 inches. These are just a couple of the many highlights you’ll see on this tour. You’ll also be entertained in a noodle-making demonstration, a Peking Opera performance, and a show of the music and dance from the Tang Dynasty, which reigned over 1,000 years ago. Ride a rickshaw through one of Beijing’s hutongs, the city’s ancient alleys, and enjoy a cruise on the Li River in Guilin. In Hong Kong, you may want to shop at the many street markets or browse some of the shopping districts. Be sure to try some authentic Chinese cuisine and shop for local souvenirs, including a stamp with your name in Chinese and English. History, amazing sights, cosmopolitan cuisine, and loads of fun await you on this grand tour though China. It’s a vacation of a lifetime!
Day #1 Arrive in Beijing, China. Welcome to China’s capital city. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day #2 Beijing. Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to the FORBIDDEN CITY and its IMPERIAL PALACE, once the home of China’s great emperors. Nearby is 100-acre TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and continue to the former SUMMER PALACE, a complex of pavilions, temples, and galleries set among beautifully landscaped grounds and situated on Kunming Lake. This evening, savor a special [LF] PEKING DUCK WELCOME DINNER. (B,L,D)
Day #3 Beijing. Great Wall Excursion. The GREAT WALL OF CHINA once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. Then, visit a CLOISONNÉ WORKSHOP and see local artisans use the techniques of this ancient art form to turn pieces of copper into colorful decorative items. After lunch at a local restaurant, take a leisurely walk down the SACRED WAY of the Ming Tombs and marvel at the impressive hand-carved stone statues. Tonight, experience local culture at the [LF] PEKING OPERA, including a behind-the-scenes look at the colorful make-up being applied to the performers. (B,L)
Day #4 Beijing-Xi'an. This morning, enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing’s [LF] HUTONGS, the city’s ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighborhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family’s home for tea. A short flight brings you to the city of Xi’an in central China. Look forward to this evening’s highlight, the “Tang Dynasty” DINNER SHOW, featuring a colorful assemblage of classical performances. (B,D)
Day #5 Xi'an. One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi’an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with a visit to the DAYAN PAGODA, built in 652 AD. During lunch, enjoy a NOODLE-MAKING DEMONSTRATION by a master chef and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. In 1974, the tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, was accidentally discovered by local farmers. Marvel at the legion of TERRACOTTA WARRIORS that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. (B,L)
Day #6 Xi'an-Shanghai. Fly to Shanghai, China’s most populous city and center of trade and industry. This afternoon, stroll along the Bund, the city’s riverfront boulevard that is lined with historic buildings, housing, banks, and trade houses. This evening, consider joining an optional tour to see a spectacular acrobatic show. (B,L)
Day #7 Shanghai. This morning, visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM and experience the YU YUAN GARDENS before lunch at a local restaurant. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. Perhaps join an optional tour to a nearby ancient water town or shop some of the 400 stores on Nanjing Road. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. (B,L,D)
Day #8 Shanghai-Guilin.Today, fly to Guilin, one of China’s most beautiful areas. (B)
Day #9 Guilin. Limestone mountains, their needle peaks hidden in mist, rise from the green plain surrounding Guilin. The scene conveys a sense of mystery that artists have tried to capture for centuries. Savor unique vistas during a leisurely CRUISE on the Li River and enjoy a light lunch. Tonight, you may choose to join our optional trip to see trained cormorants dive for fish, the traditional Lijiang fishing method. (B,L)
Day #10 Guilin-Hong Kong. Enjoy the morning and early afternoon at leisure in this charming town. It is easy to explore the city by foot, so take a walk along the pedestrian mall or perhaps visit Reed Flute Cave with its unusual stalactite and stalagmite formations. Later, fly to Hong Kong. (B,L)
Day #11 Hong Kong. This morning’s sightseeing begins with a CABLE-CAR RIDE up Victoria Peak for panoramic vistas of this one-of-a-kind port city. Drive by Repulse Bay, a popular beach area, then to the Aberdeen fishing village for a SAMPAN RIDE on the harbor. Next stop is STANLEY MARKET, a narrow street jammed with stalls offering clothing, arts, and crafts. Tonight, consider an optional sunset cruise on Hong Kong’s magnificent harbor. (B)
Day #12 Hong Kong. A free day to explore this exciting city. You may take an optional excursion to learn about Hong Kong’s history, view the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island, or take a full-day outing to visit Macau. Shopping is a highlight of Hong Kong, with markets, malls, and shops to fit any taste and budget. For those who want to try out some of the local fare, head over to Lan Kwai Fong Street. (B)
Day #13 Hong Kong. Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)