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China Experience

(16 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Beijing, Great Wall, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Yangtze River Cruise, Shanghai, Hong Kong

 

China’s cultural riches and over 4,000 years of turbulent history make it one of the most compelling of travel destinations. Experience the highlights of China as you tour the country’s principal sights. Explore the ancient lanes and parks of Beijing while admiring its historical masterpieces and modern additions. The legacy of the terracotta warriors in Xian will captivate you. One of the most scenic journeys in the world is a ride on the Li River in Guilin as a rich tapestry of limestone hills seem to rise majestically out of the earth in front of you. Sailing up or down the majestic Yangtze River while soaking up beautiful scenery is a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a few days before heading to dynamic Shanghai to explore one of China’s best museums, historic buildings and ancient water towns. For your finale, the city lights of Hong Kong allow you to end your journey with a wonderful combination of ‘east meets west’ sophistication and style.

 

 

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 – Guilin

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 Guilin.

 

Fly Xian to Guilin on China Southern Airlines CZ6376, departing 11:55, arriving 13:55

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Guilin. Upon arrival at Guilin 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. Located in the northeast of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin is considered to be the pearl of China’s thriving tourist industry on account of the natural beauty and historic treasures. Guilin is one of China's best known cities, famed for its beautiful landscape of Limestone Mountains, clear waters, caves and rocks. Standing lofty and firm, the hills in Guilin have risen up from ground, straight and high. It is enchanting to take a boat cruise on the river passing picturesque scenery punctuated with bizarrely - shaped pinnacles, sprays of bamboo lining up the riverbanks, fishers with their cormorants and buffaloes bathing in the sun. At the end of the cruise on Li River, the small city of Yangshuo is bustling of commercial activity, just to fall back to its sleepy pace after the ships have gone. One can then stay behind en appreciates the beauty of the landscape all around. Believe that each of these places and many other attractions will leave you with lasting memories.

 

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

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 night in Guilin 

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Guilin Golden Hotel, Guilin Bravo Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Shangri-La Hotel Guilin

 

Day 8: Guilin – Yangshuo – Guilin

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

 

An early start for what will be the highlight of your visit to Guilin – a cruise down the Li River. Immediately as you set sail the scenery is imposing and over the next few hours you will be stunned by what nature can produce. Many of the hills and cliffs have names supposedly evocative of what they resemble though at times you may need some imagination! A very simple lunch is served onboard.

 

On arrival in Yangshuo you will have time to either wander round its small streets and browse in its numerous shops and stalls or sit back in one of its many cafes and watch the world pass you by. On the return to Guilin you will make a stop at a small village for some lovely countryside views.

 

Day 9: Guilin – Chongqing – Yangtze River Cruise

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

This morning you will again head out into the countryside, today to visit Longsheng and the amazing terraced rice fields known as The Dragon’s Backbone, where the scenery is spectacular. In this area there are also a number of colorful indigenous tribal people that you will see and meet as you drive through the countryside. A simple countryside lunch is offered and on the return to Guilin transfer to the Airport in time for your onward evening flight to Chongqing.

 

Fly Guilin to Chongqing on China Southern Airlines CZ6986, departing 16:15, arriving 17:40

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Chongqing. Upon arrival at Chongqing 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 local Restaurant. Dinner will be at a local restaurant specializing in Chinese 'hot pot' dishes. After dinner, you will be taken to Chongqing port.

 

Board the Victoria Cruise ship for a 3 night cruise to Yichang.

 

Overnight onboard the Victoria Cruise (Executive Superior Cabin) – Yangtze River

 

Day 10: Yangtze River Cruise

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

This morning there will be a safety briefing as you sail down the Yangtze River.


Depending on river conditions you will be taken on either of the following excursions:


Shore excursion to Shibaozhai.

Shibaozhai is known for its impressive wooden pagoda, which was built without any nails, and is appropriately named "The Pearl of the Yangtze." It is considered one of the gems of Chinese architecture.


Shore excursion to Fengdu.

River conditions permitting, an additional optional shore excursion will also be available today, to visit Fengdu's 'Ghost City', known for its statues of ghosts and devils on Mingshan Hill. During the Tang Dynasty, two princely families the Yin (Hell) and Wang (King) were joined in marriage. They became the Yinwang (King of Hell) and since that time the residents of Fengdu have believed that the town is populated by ghosts. The plethora of demon-decorated temples, buildings and statues in the river town attest to their beliefs and has earned it the nickname 'City of Devils'.

 

Overnight onboard the Victoria Cruise (Executive Superior Cabin) – Yangtze River

 

Day 11: Yangtze River Cruise

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

This morning the ship will navigate the waters of the first two of the Three Gorges. The first, Qutang Gorge is the smallest gorge at 5 miles long where the water flows most rapidly. The second, Wu Gorge is 25 miles long and is flanked by cliffs of up to 295 feet and is known for its 12 peaks, although these are often enveloped in eerie mist as the sun rarely penetrates the sheer cliffs of the gorge.


Depending on river conditions you will be taken on one of the following excursions:


Excursion: Goddess Stream.

Known as "Shennv Xi" in Chinese, Goddess Stream flows from the southern bank of the Yangtze opposite Goddess Peak. Board a smaller craft for a ride of about 9 miles each way to view the beauty of its narrow gorges. Enjoy local folk songs and dances along the way. Once just a brook, the Three Gorges Dam raised the water level to 230 - 295 feet in depth, depending on the season. Surrounded by beautiful peaks, many protected species live here, including monkeys, mountain goats, deer and boar, as well as varieties of Chinese medicinal herbs. The area is also famous for its tea, named Longevity Tea or Mountain Tea.


Excursion: Shennong Stream.

Only canoes and sampans can ply the limpid waters of the Shennong Xi. Powered by the sheer strength of local trackers, the vessels travel up the shallow rapids of this tributary to the Yangtze. This wild preserve is home to more than a thousand types of tree and is named for the mythical founder of Chinese medicine, Shennong, who hiked the cliffs and collected herbs here.

 

Return to the boat for lunch.


In the evening, sail through the Three Gorges Dam ship locks.

 

Overnight onboard the Victoria Cruise (Executive Superior Cabin) – Yangtze River

 

Day 12: Yichang – Shanghai

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After breakfast you will be taken by bus to the Three Gorges Dam site.

 

Dr. Sun Yat-sen originally proposed a dam along the Yangtze in his ambitious 1919 blueprint for the future of China. The feasibility of the project has been studied and debated ever since and American engineers selected the current site in 1930, the project was started in 1994 and all components became fully operational in 2012. The dam is almost 1.2 miles long, 607 feet high and cost 60 billion dollars to complete. Creating the world's largest reservoir at 360 miles long, over 1.5 million people were relocated The controversial dam is intended to bring the benefits of flood control, drought control and hydroelectric power for the large cities in the Yangtze Basin. You will be taken to see the immense construction and to a viewpoint above the dam to see the scale of the project.

 

You will be met on arrival in Yichang and transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Shanghai.

 

Fly Yichang to Shanghai on China Eastern Airlines MU9366, departing 18:00, arriving 20:00

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 2 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 13: 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 14: Shanghai – Hong Kong

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

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

 

Fly Shanghai to Hong Kong on China Eastern Airlines MU503, departing 12:30, arriving 14:55

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Hong Kong. Upon arrival at Hong Kong 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. Hong Kong. In our opinion, Asia’s most dynamic city. A place where ‘East meets West’ is more perfect a description than any other place on Earth, where the old sits comfortably alongside the new, encompassed within the most vibrant harbour the world has to offer. Hong Kong is a sophisticated metropolis of more than six million people sharing an area of about 1,100 square kilometres, more mobile phones and pagers than you can imagine, and soaring skyscrapers that draw your eyes ever upwards. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 2 night in Hong Kong

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Lanson Place Hotel, Mira Moon Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: InterContinental Hong Kong, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, Peninsula Hong Kong

 

Day 15: Hong Kong

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Day at leisure to explore this exciting city.

 

Day 16: Depart China

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Today enjoy time at leisure until you are transferred to the Hong Kong 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