China Culture Discovery - 11 Days / 10 Nights
TOUR CODE TC 2015
Beijing, Xian, Luoyang, Shaolin/Zhengzhou, Shanghai
Day 1 Beijing
Upon Arrive in Beijing, you will be warmly welcomes and escorted to your hotel to ret from your flight or have free tome to explore Beijing on your own.
Day 2 Beijing (AB, L, D)
Begin your journey today in Beijing by visiting the sites of the 2008 Olympic Games such as the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube for outside viewing. The intricately built Bird's Nest cost approximately $480 million to build and seats roughly 91,000 spectators. The stadium was built with massive steel structures overlapping and intertwining each other, creating an image of a gigantic bird's nest which embraces and nurses human beings. The Water Cube, originally home to the swimming events during the Olympics, is truly a fascinating sight. Its translucent color-shifting building combines modern technology with traditional Chinese values. Now, one part of it has been turned into an indoor water park, where swimmers shoot down colorful tubes into pools of water. Popular Science magazine chose the Water Cube as the "Best of What's New" in 2006. After, enjoy a visit to the Summer Palace and a pearl factory. The Summer Palace, located in the northwest suburban Beijing, is the largest and best-preserved imperial garden in China. Its Chinese name, YiHeYuan translates as "Garden of Nurtured Harmony"or "Garden for Maintaining Health and Harmony". The Summer Palace is a virtual museum of traditional Chinese garden arts with a natural landscape of hills and open water combined with rocks, trees, pavilions, palaces, temples, paths and bridges to form a harmonious and poetic ensemble of astounding aesthetics. We then venture to the Pearl Factory and discover the beauty and importance of these delicate gems in Chinese culture. Pearls were valued for four thousand years in China and the people in China have been culturing and harvesting quality pearls for over two thousand years. Take a look around and observe these lustrous elegant pearls in all shapes, sizes and colors!
Day 3 Beijing (AB, L, SD)
Today you will visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Tiananmen Square
is located at the center of Beijing and is the largest square in the world. There, the national five-starred red flag flutters high above the mid-point of the square's north side. Every day, at dawn and dusk, the guards march in unison to the foot of the flagstaff to hoist or lower the National Flag, saluted with eyes by the on-lookers. Explore the Forbidden City
, which is translated from "Gugong" and was the imperial palace and center of the kingdom throughout the reign of 24 emperors. 14 in the Ming and 10 in the Qing dynasty resided and ruled from this palace for 491 years until Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing dynasty and of China. It is now the largest and most well preserved ancient architecture in China.
Next, visit the Temple of Heaven
, often considered the quintessential Chinese temple as it incorporates some of the finest architectural talents found anywhere in the nation, without even using a single nail in its construction. Observe this extraordinary temple, as you capture awing photos of the most well preserved ancient architecture in China! In the evening, enjoy a Peking Duck Banquet
. This can be replaced with alternative meals if preferred.
Day 4 Beijing (AB, L, D)
Today you will visit the Great Wall followed by the jade factory and the Lama Temple. The Great Wall
(Wanli Changcheng) literally means the Ten Thousand Mile Wall and is the greatest fortification in ancient China. The Great Wall of China is the longest man-made structure in the world. It was built by various dynasties over 2000 years ago to protect China's northern boundary. The way the imposing Badaling Great Wall climbs up and down and twists and turns along the high mountain ridges helps make it one of the eight great wonders of the world. Then, explore the Jade Factory
. Stretching 9,000 years back, jade has been present in Chinese art, culture and history. These milky green stones were used for personal adornment by kings and the imperial, as well as utilitarian and ceremonial objects. View a vast collection of beautiful and fascinating jade pieces. From there, make your way to have lunch at a local restaurant. Then, return to the city to visit the Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple). The Lama Temple
was built initially in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty, this building was the residence of Emperor Yongzheng when he was just a prince. However, in 1744 the Qing Dynasty formally changed the status of the dwelling to that of a lamasery, and so it became the national centre of Lama administration. After dinner, enjoy a spectacular Kung Fu show
for some evening entertainment. Chinese Kung fu also called "martial art" is a traditional Chinese sport developed over a long history of time. Having been developed for a thousand years, it has become a precious cultural treasure displaying the art of attack and defense in a series of intricate hostile body movements.
Day 5 Beijing - Xian (AB, L, SD)
Take a Hutong (a neighborhood) Tour in the morning before catching an afternoon flight to Xian. Hutongs
are traditional narrow streets or alleys most commonly found in Beijing. Old traditional alleyways and courtyard homes once covered all of Beijing before the city began to become more modernized. Explore the authentic traditional homes as you ride a pedicab through the zigzagging hutongs. Then, we'll make our way to our flight to Xian. In the evening, enjoy a Special Chinese Dumpling Banquet
followed by a Tang Dynasty Show. Xian is well-known for dumplings. Dumplings are one delicacy served as a banquet dish that can come in a variety of delectable styles that create a plentiful cultural experience. They can be steamed, boiled, fried or roasted and come with an assortment of fillings in different kinds of shapes.
Enjoy a spectacular performance with the Tang Dynasty Show
, which showcases the ancient music and dance that originated during the Tang Dynasty more than a thousand years ago.
Day 6 Xian (AB, L, D)
Spend an exciting day as you visit the Terracotta Warriors
excavation site, one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in the world. The site measures 16,300-square meters and contains approximately 7,300 warriors, horses and chariots arranged in battle formations within 3 different pits. Each warrior is uniquely created with such intricate craftsmanship that it's hard to believe these Terracotta Warriors were built over 2000 years ago. Their purpose was to guard the First Emperor to protect him in the afterlife.
After lunch, continue your tour by visiting the Big Goose Pagoda and the Ancient City Wall.
The Big Goose Pagoda
was built in 652 AD and originally had five stories which collapsed, but was later rebuilt in 704 AD with two additional stories. The Big Goose Pagoda is one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China and is filled with ancient artifacts. One of the pagoda's many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang. The temple complex in which the pagoda is located is filled with beautiful gardens and stunning architecture. Xian is one of the few old cities in China where the original city walls are well-preserved and still visible. Visit the Ancient City Wall
, which encircles and protects the ancient part of Xian and is one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. The massive city wall measure 12 meters high, with a width of 12 - 14 meters at the top and 15 - 18 meters at the base. The ancient City Wall features a series of watchtowers, turrets, crenels and gate towers, all of which are surrounded by a moat. It is rare for visitors to not be impressed by the size and simplicity of the Ancient Wall.
Day 7 Xian - Luoyang (AB, L, D)
Visit Muslim Square It was built and renovated in later periods (especially during the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty). It remains a popular tourist site of Xi'an, and is still used by Chinese Muslims (mainly the Hui people) today as a place of worship. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xi'an is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style, except for some Arabic lettering and decorations, for the mosque has neither domes nor traditional-style minarets.[ before taking the high-speed train to Luoyang, Have s Luoyang flavor dinner for the Evening
Day 8 Luoyang - Shaolin - Zhengzhou(AB, L, D)
In Luoyang, you will visit the Longmen Grottoes - an awe-inspiring Buddhist sculpture regarded as one of the three most famous treasure houses of stone inscriptions in China. The grottoes represent the high point of Chinese Stone Carving and date back to as early as circa 493 when Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty moved the capital to Luoyang. They were continuously built upon for the next 400 years until the Northern Song Dynasty came into power. These grotto caves are home to nearly 100,000 statues of the Buddha, 2100 niches, 3600 tablets and nearly 40 pagodas.
Following the grottoes tour, visit Guan Mausoleum, which remarkably covers an area of about 33 acres with more than 150 rooms. The main architectural marvels are distributed along the central axis: the Main Gate, the Corridor, the Worshipping Hall, the Grand Hall, the Second Hall, the Third Hall, the Stone Archway, the Eight-Square Pavilion, and the Tomb of legendary General Guan Yu, respectively. There are over 70 steles, 4 stone archways, 110 stone and iron lions of different sizes, 10 statues and over 800 trees in the Mausoleum.
In the afternoon, we will take a drive to Shaolin Temple, best known for its martial arts. Zongyue Temple at Songshang, Talin, and Shaolin Martial Arts School are other sites in Shaolin. We will later travel to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province.
Day 9 Zhengzhou - Shanghai (AB, L)
Board a flight to Shanghai and then check into your hotel. First explore Shanghai by visiting the Yu Yuan Garden, Old Shanghai District and the famous Pearl TV Tower. The Yu Yuan Garden
is a famous classical garden, located in the heart of Shanghai's Old District. Considered one of Shanghai's highlights, it was originally built in the 16th century and displays an exquisite layout and beautiful picturesque scenery. Here you will find classical numerous rock and tree garden areas, ponds, bridges and pavilions. In the Old Shanghai District
, a great number of small streets and lanes are present where vendors sell their traditional Chinese products and goods to the tourists and locals alike. Strolling through the Old District, you'll be immersed in Chinese culture. However, Shanghai's most recognized landmark is, without a doubt, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower
. The Pearl TV Tower measures at a height of 4698 meters (almost 3 miles) and is the world's 3rd tallest TV and radio tower. Travel up and down the tower in a double-decker elevator that can hold up to 50 people at the rate of seven meters (almost 23 feet) per second. Enjoy the modern style architecture and spectacular views of Shanghai. On a clear day, you can even see all the way to the Yangtze River.
After lunch, enjoy a walk along Nanjing Road and the Bund. The Bund
is a key symbol of Shanghai and the epitome of Shanghai's modern history. Stroll through this colonial riverside of Old Shanghai and view the dozens of historic buildings lining the Huangpu River. 52 high rises of all styles in the West showcase the art of world architecture and history of contemporary Shanghai. Also visit Nanjing Road
, China's premier shopping street stretching 3.4 miles long. Enjoy the modern, vibrant and eclectic street filled with shops, eateries, restaurants and more. Nanjing road starts at the Bund in the east and ends in the west, and truly is a must-see metropolitan destination for shoppers from all over the world.
Day 10 Shanghai (AB)
This is your free day to explore as much of Shanghai as possible.
Day 12 Shanghai (AB)
Enjoy a free morning in Shanghai before we escort you to the airport to catch your flight back home.
||This itinerary is subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including: weather, airline schedules, cruise itinerary changes, boat changes, etc.