Remarkable Journey: China
Let this trip inspire you, so together we can design your own Remarkable Journey.
It all began 2,500 years ago… the dynasties and their emperors, Confucius, the invasions, the Great Wall, and the legendary imperial cities. With such a rich history and fascinating economy, we remain intrigued by this marvelous country. Go to China and stand in awe of its towering mountains, magnificent silks and porcelain, diverse cultures and religions, varied landscapes, and unique architecture.
- Visit Beijing’s fascinating Forbidden City and The Temple of Heaven.
- Spend a leisurely afternoon at the Summer Palace with a tour, picnic lunch, and boat ride on the lake.
- Walk along and marvel at the historic and endless Great Wall of China.
- Tour a Hutong in Beijing aboard a private rickshaw.
- Travel to Zian to see the terracotta soldiers of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
- Train to mystical Tibet and Lhasa to visit the Buddhist monks of the Sera Monastery.
- Cruise & discover the beauty and mystery of China’s great rivers; the Yangtze and Li Rivers.
- Admire the skyscrapers and the incredible pace of two of the great cities of the world; Hong Kong and Shanghai.
On arrival in Beijing you will be met at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel where you will stay for the next few nights. Spend today adjusting to the time change and preparing for your next few days of touring!
After breakfast, join your private guide and visit the Temple of Heaven, a Ming dynasty temple complex that houses altars on which sacrifices and offerings were laid to the gods. Continue on to Tiananmen Square, the setting for several turning points in modern Chinese history, and the Forbidden City, a vast compound of palaces that were the home to successive Emperors for more than 500 years.
Rise early and beat the crowds for a morning tour to the Great Wall of China, stretching almost 4,000 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the sands of Central Asia. Stop for an authentic dumpling lunch then on to the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved imperial gardens in China.
In the evening, entice your taste buds and revel in the traditional Chinese specialty of Peking duck in the bustling Chongwen District.
Start your day with a rickshaw tour of Beijing’s Hutongs. In the past, noble homes with courtyards were scattered around the Forbidden City, and linking up these courtyard houses were lanes and alleys called hutongs. Today, they retain their old world charm and are excellent for walking and exploring.
If you have time, we can arrange an architecture tour of the 2008 Olympic venues, such as the National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) and the National Aquatics Center with the nickname of “the Water Cube (H2O3)” for its design.
In the late afternoon, fly southwest to Xian, home to the ruling houses of the Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang dynasties.
Today see the more than 2,000 year-old Terracotta Warriors entombed with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Spend the rest of the day in Xian biking to the top of the Ancient City Walls, ascending the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and wandering through the magnificent Bell Tower.
Tonight visit the Muslim Quarter to see the shaded streets lined by blue flagstones and wander the shops and sample famous street foods like bean threads in shaanxi or pita soaked in lamb soup. Xian is also famous for its many different types of noodle dishes, which are regular staples in the Muslim Quarter.
This morning fly to Chongqing, or the ‘Mountain City’, which is your starting point for the Yangtze River cruise. Upon arrival, you will be guided on a short city tour of Hongyadong Block, Ci Qi Kou Village, and the People’s Assembly Hall before boarding your cruise ship for your three-day sail along the Yangtze River.
If you prefer to spend an extra day in the area, travel to Sichuan, the home to the Giant Panda Reserve. Here you can see baby pandas playing in the expanding fields while adults munch on bamboo.
Days 7 & 8
Yangtze River Cruise
Over the next few days experience cruising down the Yangtze River. Relax with spectacular views of reconstructed villages and modern cities and enjoy the shipboard activities as you journey the legendary river. Navigate through the Three Gorges, one of the most spectacular sights in China; see the Wu Gorge with its “Twelve Peaks”, the Qutang Gorge that is known for its magnificent scenery and the Xiling Gorge, which is the longest gorge in the region.
Shore excursions include a stop at Fengdu, known as “City of Ghosts”, a “peapod” boat trip on the lush Shennong Stream, and a visit to the Three Gorges Dam, the largest in the world.
Disembark at Yichang and transfer to the airport to fly to Guilin, which has long been famous for its limestone karst hills, formed more than 200 million years ago when the oceans receded from this area. The towers sprout from a patchwork of paddy fields and flowing streams, creating a dreamy, seductive landscape that leaves few souls unstirred.
Spend the day exploring Rong Hu Lake and see Elephant Trunk Hill, the 800-year old banyan tree on the northern bank of the Rong Hu Lake which rests near authentic remnants of the Old City, or people watch around Central Square, the main hub of Guilin.
Today sail along the beautiful Li River and experience the magical beauty of limestone rock formations and farmland commonly seen in Chinese landscape paintings. Disembark at the charming village of Yangshuo, which has one of the best antique and craft markets in China. Browse at the market or relax at one of the local cafes with a hot cup of Guiping Xishan tea.
For the last stop on your Remarkable Journey, fly to Shanghai, a city full of contrasts and contradictions. Walk along the Bund, the city’s famous waterfront, then head west and explore the vast architectural styles including Baroque, Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance and Classical. Experience the Yu Garden, over 400 years old and famous for its rock gardens, pavilions, halls and ponds. Witness Shanghai’s past in the Old Town, then head to the East Meets West museum and learn a little more about the future of China.
For those interested, a final stop to Hong Kong can be arranged in-lieu of Shanghai.
Get outside the city center today and take an excursion to the rural water-town of Zhujiajiao, a charming reminder of China’s past in the architecture and atmosphere of China’s Qing period.
This evening, end your trip with a 16-course dumpling feast.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight arriving home the same day.
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