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Classic China

(13 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Beijing, Great Wall, Xian, Chengdu, Lijiang, Shanghai, Suzhou

 

China’s cultural riches and over 4,000 years of turbulent history make it one of the most compelling of travel destinations. Celebrated places and sights abound. This is the land of the Yangzi River, the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors and the serene mountains of Yunnan province. From Shanghai’s towering skyscrapers and Beijing’s historical treasures, to rural farming villages where one will rarely see mechanization, this China is surging forward into the modern, but with a reverent eye on the past.

 

 

Day 1: Welcome to Beijing

Fly to Beijing, CHINA

 

Welcome to China. Upon arrival at Beijing Airport, obtain your Chinese visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Beijing, the capital of China, lies just south of the rim of the Central Asian Steppes and is separated from the Gobi Desert by a green chain of mountains, over which The Great Wall runs. Modern Beijing lies on the site of countless human settlements that date back half a million years. Homo erectus Pekinensis, better known as Peking man was discovered just outside the city in 1929. It is China’s second largest city in terms of population and the largest in administrative territory.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 4 nights in Beijing

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Park Plaza Wangfujing, Double Happiness Beijing, Red Wall Garden

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Fairmont Beijing, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, Peninsula Beijing

 

Day 2: Beijing

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning guided tour of Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City: This morning you will be picked up from the hotel and taken for a tour of Tiananmen Square where you will visit the mausoleum of Chairman Mao. Afterwards you will enter the Forbidden City which is the largest and most complete group of ancient buildings in China. Built in the 15th Century, the Imperial Palace was a forbidden area for 500 years before the revolution of 1911. It was home to two royal dynasties, the Ming and Qing emperors and it is from this palace that the emperors governed China, stepping out of its confines extremely rarely. Afterwards you will visit Jingshan Park where you can get a great view over the Imperial city and the rest of Beijing and then you will have lunch in a local restaurant.

 

Afternoon guided tour of the Summer Palace: This afternoon travel to the outskirts of Beijing to the Imperial Summer Palace. The original Summer Palace was laid out in the 12th Century and over the centuries was used by the emperors as their summer escape from the humidity of Beijing and the Forbidden City. The Palace is set in huge gardens on the large Kunming Lake. You will be taken around the palaces of the complex, including Empress Dowager's retreat, gardens and enjoy a boat ride on Kunming Lake.

 

Day 3: Beijing – Great Wall – Beijing

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Full day tour to The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu: Today is a full day tour to the Great Wall (Mutianyu) everybody who visits Peking wants to see the Great Wall and for good reason: it is one of the wonders of the world. As you stand on the top tower and look at the wall snaking its way across the tops of the mountains, close your eyes for a moment and see in your mind's eye the ancient armies locked in combat, and hear the whistle of arrows and the clang of striking swords. Explore this section of the Wall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

 

After lunch at the architecturally interesting Commune by the Wall you will visit the magnificent Ming Tombs and the Sacred Way before returning to the city. Later enjoy a performance of the Peking Opera.

 

Day 4: Beijing

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Full day guided tour of Beijing including the Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple and the Hutongs: This morning we visit the Temple of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven is enclosed with a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected an ancient Chinese thought of "The heaven is round and the earth is square". The temple and its surrounding altars, gates and park are a meeting place for the people of Beijing and it is possible to see the locals enjoying a game of chess or practicing the ancient art of Tai-Chi. Later return to downtown Beijing visit Lama Temple. Lunch will be taken in a local restaurant.

 

This afternoon take a ‘cyclo' tour of the fascinating Hutongs, the small alleys and former courtyard houses of an Old Beijing. The Hutongs were mostly built during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, and are the narrow network of lanes created by closely built quadrangular homes. Enjoy tea here with a local family. Adjoining the Hutongs is Prince Gong Palace. Within the confines of the palace walls are beautifully ornate and colorful buildings, ponds straddled by arched bridges and dotted with pagodas.

 

Day 5: Beijing – Xian

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Xian.

 

Fly Beijing to Xian on Air China CA1209, departing 10:20, arriving 12:30

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Xian. Upon arrival at Xian Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Xian, the eternal city, records the great changes of the Chinese nation just like a living history book. Called Chang’an in ancient times, Xian is one of the birthplaces of the ancient civilization in the Yellow River Basin area of the country. During Xian’s 3,100 year development, 13 dynasties such as Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang placed their capitals here. So far, Xian enjoys equal fame with Athens, Cairo, and Rome as one of the four major ancient civilization capitals. Xian is the capital of Shaanxi province, located in the southern part of the GuanZhong Plain. With the Qinling Mountains to the north and the Weihe River to the south, it is in a favorable geographical location surrounded by water and hills. It has a semi-moist monsoon climate and there is a clear distinction between the four seasons.

 

After settling in and enjoying a bit of free time, this afternoon you'll head out with your guide and spend the afternoon visit the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, the historic Muslim quarter of the city and the ancient city walls. In the centre of the walled city, the bell in the Bell Tower was sounded at dawn when the city gates were opened, and the drum or the nearby Drum Tower at dusk when the gates closed. The renovated Bell Tower dating from 1384 was moved to its present site in 1582 where it is now encircled by downtown's shopping and commercial centre and stands 118 foot high. Afterwards visit the beautiful mosque near the Drum Tower in Huajue Xiang. It is surrounded by the old houses and narrow lanes of Xian's Muslim, or Hui, community. Islam has been the most enduring of all faiths in Xian. It was first introduced by Arab merchants during the Tang Dynasty, and flourished during the Yuan (1279-1368). The Great Mosque survived the Cultural Revolution virtually unscathed and remains an outstanding Chinese re-interpretation of an Islamic place of worship. It was founded in 742 A.D, according to a stone tablet in the mosque, but nothing from this Tang period survives. The present layout dates from the 14th century. Later you will be taken to see the old city walls which form a circumference of 9 miles and on each side is a gateway and watchtowers. Most sections of the wall have been restored or even rebuilt and it stands at 12 metres high.

 

Evening light show at the Wild Goose Pagoda: This evening you will see the light show which takes place at the Wild Goose Pagoda, a symbol of ancient Xian. This well preserved, ancient building and Buddhist holy place is located in the southern suburb of Xian City, about 2 ½ miles from the city centre. Standing in the Da Ci'en Temple complex, the pagoda attracts visitors due to its appealing style of construction and the new square that is in front of the temple. After the light show you will return to your hotel.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 nights in Xian

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square, Wyndham Grand Xian

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Sofitel Legend Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel Xian

 

Day 6: Xian

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning excursion to the Terracotta Warriors: Today is the highlight of your visit to Xian as you visit the Terracotta Warrior Digs. In 1974 a peasant digging a well came upon what now stands as one of the main attractions in China and one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. An army of thousands of life-sized warriors and their horses in battle formation, which were buried for 2,000 years, stand guard over the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi-Huang. The figures were buried with artefacts and weapons of the day and every figure differs in facial features and expressions. The dig is still in progress, as it is believed that the site is part of an even larger army still buried.

 

Afternoon tour of the Shaanxi Museum: After lunch in a local restaurant you will visit the Shaanxi Museum, established in 1952, and considered to be one of the best museums in China. Its exhibits date from prehistoric times through early dynastic China and up to the early 20th century, and many are from the local area. Included are terracotta horses and soldiers, Ming and Qing pottery, bronze cooking vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasties (16th - 11th centuries B.C.) and tools and pottery from the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages.

 

Dumpling Dinner & Tang Dynasty Show: This evening you will enjoy a special dumpling dinner followed by a colourful performance of traditional music and dance from the Tang Dynasty era at the Shaanxi Grand Theatre.

 

Day 7: Xian – Chengdu

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Morning visit to the Tomb of Han Yangling: After breakfast pack your bags and set off to visit the lesser known terracotta army. Road workers in the northern suburbs of Xian recently discovered the 2000 year old tomb of Han Yangling, and the site has now opened to tourists in its barely excavated state. Relics from the tomb reveal the cultural characteristics of imperial life from Han Dynasty as well as a miniature set of clay soldiers

 

After the sightseeing, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Chengdu.

 

Fly Xian to Chengdu on Hainan Airlines HU7855, departing 14:10, arriving 15:50

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Chengdu. Upon arrival at Chengdu Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Chengdu is well documented for its Panda Research Center and Giant Panda breeding programs – the biggest facility of its kind in the world. However, there are many other areas of interest in Chengdu, including Luodai Ancient Town and its spectacular food. Recently designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, there is a never-ending selection of delicious food to choose from. The local people are also very welcoming here and can often be found sipping tea with friends at a local shop house. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 1 night in Chengdu

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Tibet Hotel, Buddha Zen Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu, Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu

 

Day 8: Chengdu – Lijiang

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Enjoy a full day private guided Chengdu tour, starting with a half-day trip to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. It is estimated that there are between just 700 and 1,000 pandas left in the wild. Writings about the panda can be traced back 3,000 years, and they were once believed to have magical powers that could ward off evil spirits. It is extremely difficult to see the panda in the wild nowadays. The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base has been in operation since 1990 and pandas at the base live in large enclosures designed to resemble their natural habitat, which helps the visitor to understand how these animals live in the wild. The base is dedicated to the research, breeding and conservation of the giant panda as well as keeping the public aware of the status of the endangered species. In addition to the giant panda, visitors will also be able to see its smaller and more active cousin, the red panda.

 

After watching and observing the pandas, travel to the Wenshu Monastery, the best-preserved Buddhist monastery in Chengdu. Some of the highlights include cultural relics, paintings and calligraphy that have been stored here since the Tang and Song dynasties. Continue to Jinli Street, an ancient thoroughfare that dates back to the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). It was the busiest commercial street during the Shu kingdom, as Sichuan Province was called during the Three Kingdoms period, and is known as 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'. Today, the street is popular with tourists who come to see the traditional architecture and old shops selling goods including Shu embroidery, handicrafts, lacquer products and Chinese paintings, and to taste famous local snacks.

 

Early this evening, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Lijiang.

 

Fly Chengdu to Lijiang on Air China CA4451, departing 18:15, arriving 20:00

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Lijiang. Upon arrival at Lijiang Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Lijiang, located on a plateau at an elevation of 2,400 meters in the northwest part of Yunnan, has been enlisted as a World Monument by the UNESCO in 1997. It is the center of the Naxi minority, a relatively small minority group with a richly textured culture. The Naxi people migrated to Lijiang long ago from northeastern part of Tibet. The surroundings offer many fascinating scenic places, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Grand canyon Tiger Leaping Gorge, Baoshan Stone Village where people live in houses made of stones, Yufeng temple with its ten-thousand-flower-Camellia, the frescoes of Baisha or just the little Naxi villages of the surroundings make of Lijiang a highlight destination not to be missed in Yunnan. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 night in Lijiang

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Zen Garden Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Lijiang

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Banyan Tree Lijiang, InterContinental Ancient Town Resort

 

Day 9: Lijiang

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

This morning visit the beautiful Old Town of Lijiang called Dayan and which is located at an altitude of almost 8,000 feet and is a UN World Heritage Site. The old part of the town has wonderful old cobbled stress, meandering streams and views that will take your breath away, where our guide brings alive the area’s history and its indigenous Dongba culture.  Also visit the Black Dragon Pool, where the snow-capped mountains seemingly shimmer as they reflected in the waters of the lake, which is also the source of water for Dayan.

 

This afternoon after a simple lunch visit the countryside outside of Lijiang and make a visit to Yu Hu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. When walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yu Hu Lakeexplore leisurely around the village and then get to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yu Hu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority. You will also be able to visit the Yonfeng Monastery. This evening enjoy a performance of the Naxi Orchestra.

 

Day 10: Lijiang – Shanghai

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Shanghai.

 

Fly Lijiang to Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines MU5820, departing 12:00, arriving 15:20

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Shanghai. Upon arrival at Shanghai Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Shanghai, Hu for short, is situated on the estuary of Yangtze River of China. It is the largest industrial city in China. Covering an area of 5,800 square kilometers (2,239 square miles), Shanghai has a population of 18.7 million, including 2 million floating population. Originally, Shanghai was a seaside fishing village and in time its gradual development led to it being granted County status on August 19th, 1291 during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Hence this day became the anniversary of the founding of Shanghai. Today’s Shanghai is a multi-cultural metropolis with both modern and traditional Chinese features. Bubbling Shanghai shows off every aspect of her unique glamour. Serving as the largest base of Chinese industrial technology, the important seaport and China’s largest commercial and financial center, shanghai draws the attention of the whole world.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 night in Shanghai 

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Les Suites Orient, Yangtze Boutique Hotel, Shanghai Marriot Hotel City Centre

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Fairmont Peace, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai, Peninsula Shanghai

 

Day 11: Shanghai

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today you’ll explore Shanghai’s most famous waterfront Bund, lined with fine colonial buildings from its 1930s heyday when the city was occupied by European, American, and Japanese banks, trading houses, clubs consulates and hotels. These buildings have been restored as a showcase of the city. Next, continue to visit the historic and harmonious Yu Yuan Garden. Within the past turbulent century much of Shanghai's old quarters were destroyed; however what remains gives an interesting insight into Shanghai's past. For the Chinese, gardens were a microcosm in which the skillful gardener who had to combine the qualities of a painter, poet, architect and landscape gardener could construct his own world using minerals, plants and animals in a limited space. Although the Yu Yuan occupies less than two hectares it seems far larger and ingeniously mingles pavilions and corridors, small hills, lotus ponds teeming with goldfish, bridges, winding paths, trees and shrubs. Yu Yuan Garden date from the 16th century, after looking around the garden you will have time to visit the adjoining market or sip tea in the tea pavilion. Continue to the Jade Buddha Temple. Comparatively new (built in 1911), this temple, with its multiple courtyards and levels, is still in active use with dozens of monks in attendance. It is named after its two exquisite milk-white jade Buddhas brought back from Burma in the 19th century.

 

This afternoon, your China tour continues when you get a good introduction to Shanghai at the Shanghai Urban Planning Center showcasing the city's future urban development through detailed models and multimedia displays. Explore the center's exhibits on this historic port city's past, present and future, including a mock-up of 1930s Shanghai; a huge model of what the city might look like in 2020; a 360-degree, 3-D film and more. Then tour the Shanghai Museum, displaying 120,000 works of art and artifacts.

 

This evening enjoy a performance of Chinese Acrobatics show. The impressive acrobatic feats are hardly credible and are a result of early professional training, starting as young as six or seven. Most performers have a minimum of twenty years experience.

 

Day 12: Shanghai

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today is a full day excursion by car to Suzhou. From the earliest time, Suzhou was known for its canals, which criss crossed the low lying land. Many of the canals have disappeared with the need to reclaim land for buildings. Visit the traditional water village of Zhouzhuang where you will see one of the town’s old merchant’s houses. Continue to Suzhou for lunch and this afternoon, explore Suzhou’s remarkable classical Chinese style gardens, which are on the United Nations’ World Heritage List and visits are planned to The Humble Administrator’s Garden and The Garden of the Master of the Nets before returning by road to Shanghai.

 

Day 13: Depart China

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today enjoy time at leisure until you are transferred to the Shanghai airport in time for your flight to your next destination. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey.

 

 

Price guideline:

 

The above tour costs from $985*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.

 

*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.

 

Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges.

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary.

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner.

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.

 

The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff

 

 

All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: info@globaltravel-asia.com