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Detail Itinerary
Day 1 Depart USA for Beijing, China
Day 2 Arrive in Beijing
Your tour of one of the most fascinating countries in the world begins in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China. An English-speaking guide will meet you at the airport, drive you to your hotel, and help you check in
Day 3 Beijing B,L,D,
Your adventure begins in Tiananmen Square, the heart of Beijing and the largest public space on earth. Step back in time as you pass through the Gate of Heavenly Peace and enter the Forbidden City, home to the Imperial Courts of the Ming and Qing Dynasties for more than 500 years. The Forbidden City is an enormous complex of perfectly preserved palaces, temples, magnificent squares and formal gardens. You’ll stroll down cobblestone paths once known only to the Emperor’s most intimate advisors, visit the private chambers of Imperial concubines and see stunning collections of priceless art, furnishings, and jewelry. After lunch you’ll visit the Summer Palace, a fairyland of pagodas, pavilions and stone bridges on the outskirts of the city. You will cruise on the Kunming Lake. Then you will visit the Panda Garden in Beijing Zoo.
Day 4 Beijing B,L,D,
Today you will start your day by visiting the iconic “Beijing 2008 Olympic Center”. After taking pictures of the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, you will leave the bustle and traffic of Beijing behind and journey through the countryside to see one of the Wonders of the World – The Great Wall. You will walk along a portion of this 3700-mile long marvel or to simply sit and contemplate the wonders of China’s past. After lunch you’ll visit the massive tomb complex of the Ming Emperors where you’ll walk along the “Sacred Way” passing between pairs of huge stone sculptures. If time permits, you will visit a Jade Carving Factory and observe the skilled artisans at work as they create intricate designs. In the evening, you will enjoy a special cultural performance – Peking Opera.
Day 5 Beijing B,L,SD
This morning you’ll visit the Temple of Heaven, one of China’s most photographed attractions. This ornate wooden structure was where the “Sons of Heaven”, as the Chinese Emperors were known, worshiped the gods and prayed for good harvests. It is the largest temple complex in China and the lovely park surrounding the ancient tower is a popular spot for morning Tai Chi. Then you will visit Beijing City Planning Museum and watch a 3D film which shows the history and changes of Beijing. After lunch you’ll forget about the skyscrapers and construction cranes of modern Beijing as you venture into a Hutong neighborhood, where the atmosphere of Old Peking lives on. You’ll bicycle or ride rickshaws down narrow lanes and alleyways, past vegetable markets, traditional medicine shops and tiny, wooden teahouses. You may visit a pearl workshop. This evening you’ll enjoy the capital’s most famous dining experience - a Peking Duck Dinner Party.
Day 6 Beijing / Xi'an B,L,D,
Take a short, two-hour flight to Xi'an, Imperial Capital of the Tang Dynasty and eastern border of the fabled Silk Road, a city with a long tradition of welcoming foreign visitors. You’ll begin your visit with a tour of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 AD to house Buddhist scriptures from India. You’ll stroll through Xi'an’s bustling markets and visit the Provincial History Museum where you’ll see artifacts from the Paleolithic period, priceless Tang Dynasty bronzes and treasures from the Silk Road caravans.
Day 7 Xi'an B,L,SD
Today you’ll visit the astonishing excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors. More than 6000 soldiers, ministers, and horses, each individually sculpted from a real life model, stand guarding Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s still unopened tomb. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the site, get a good look at the warriors from various vantage points and visit the excellent museum. Afterwards, you'll visit a Ceramics and Pottery Center. Tonight you’ll celebrate Xi'an’s rich history with dinner and entertainment; enjoy the magnificent Tang Dynasty Show while sampling the regional specialty – Xi'an dumplings.
Day 8 Xi'an / Chongqing B,L,D,
Take a morning flight to Chongqing where you'll visit Yangtze River Museum and the World War II Memorials before boarding your Yangtze River cruiser, the M.V. Paradise. Relax and get ready for unforgettable journey along the Yangtze, the third longest river in the world, where the magnificent, wild scenery of the Three Gorges (Xiling, Wu, and Qutang Gorges) and the New Dam construction site await for you.
Day 9 Chongqing - Fengdu B,L,D,
You’ll set sail for a distance of 430 miles in all the great gorges and the deep mountain valleys. In the afternoon, you’ll take a short break from the fabulous natural scenery for a short excursion to Fengdu. Known as the “Abode of Devils”, Fengdu and nearby Pingdu Mountain attracts tourists with its temples and shrines dedicated to the gods of underworld. Within, instruments of torture and wild demon images are displayed. Alternative excursion: Shibaozai Pagoda. Shibaobai Pagoda on the cliff has always been regarded as a pear along the river for praying for good luck since the ancient time.
Day 10 Lesser Gorges and Shennong Stream B,L,D,
This morning you'll sail through miles of stunning gorges. At noon you'll arrive at Badong, where you'll disembark for a magical excursion into the fabled Three Lesser Gorges and along the Shennong Stream. Get ready to be pulled in wooden sampans by local trackers through awesome gorges and lush pine forests. Along the way you'll see the remnants of ancient roads and pass cliff-top grottoes that held the coffins of warriors. You'll see translucent pools, aquatic caves, and rainbow fountains. If you're lucky, you'll get a glimpse of rare animals, such as the golden-haired monkey. After return from the excursion, you will sail into Xiling Gorge and pass through many historical sites. Finally, you will pass through the gigantic Three Gorges Dam and the 5 ship locks.
Day 11 Yichang /Shanghai B,L,
Today you'll visit the Yangtze River Dam construction site, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world. You'll disembark at Yichang in the afternoon and then fly to Shanghai, China's largest and most cosmopolitan city. You'll be met by an English-speaking guide and driven to your hotel. This evening experience Shanghai’s world-famous nightclubs on your own, walk along Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s fabulous shopping street, or simply enjoy the hotel's amenities and rest up for tomorrow's adventures.
Day 12 Shanghai B,L,D,
Today you’ll revisit Shanghai’s past as you visit the Old Downtown and classical Yu Garden. Old Downtown has many narrow zigzag lanes, small squares, fins ponds and pavilions. There are many local bars, restaurants, tea houses and souvenir shops. Built 400 years ago, Yu Garden is a famous ancient private garden with architectures of Ming and Qing dynasties. Owing to its ingenious design, it became a museum of typical Chinese ancient architecture. You will see vivid brick-carving figures of warlords and warriors, unique animal statues standing on the roofs of ancient buildings and the huge dragons decorated on the walls. In the afternoon, you will visit the fascinating Shanghai Museum to see artifacts from every period of China’s past. Next, you will take a short waling tour at People’s Square, where you can find some of the best collection of modern architecture. If time permits, you’ll tour a carpet factory. After dinner, you’ll attend a thrilling acrobatic show.
Day 13 Shanghai B,L,
Today’s highlight is a visit to Shanghai World Expo. (May 1 – Oct. 31). Before and after Shanghai Expo (Before May 1 and after Oct. 31), you will take an excursion to Zhujiajao, a well-preserved, traditional river town with lovely water views, ancient arched stone bridges and elegant gardens. After lunch, you’ll return to Shanghai and visit Jade Buddha Temple. The rest of the is free at leisure.
Day 14 Shanghai / USA B,
Bid farewell to Shanghai. You will be driven to the airport for your flight home.