We start our vacation by boarding an international flight bound for Beijing, the bustling capital of modern day China. Spend the night onboard the wide body jetliner as the it traverses the international date line.
Beijing is the host city for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games and is the final stages of preparation for the throngs of international visitors set to arrive. With no sightseeing planned, the remainder of the day is spent free at leisure.
Beijing (AB, L, DP)
Beijing has been China’s political center since Ming emperor Yongle moved the capital there from Nanjing in 1421 A.D. Beijing is home to over 13 million people. Today’s fun-filled tour takes us around this wondrously historic city. Start off with the Forbidden city, which during China’s Imperial era was the official home of the emperor and his royal court; commoners were not allowed inside. Some time will be provided to walk around sprawling Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. After lunch, continue to the emperor’s other abode, the Summer Palace. Return to the city to find that a sumptuous Peking Duck Banquet awaits our arrival.
Beijing (AB, L, DH)
Surely the highlight of any tour to China must be the glorious Great Wall. Meandering its way thousands of miles across Northern China, the Great Wall is rumored to be visible from the Moon. Initially built by emperor Qin Shi Huang (more on him later) in 221B.C. as a military defense structure, it stands today as an UNESCO world heritage site. Spend ample time traversing the ancient steps of the Great Wall, descending later to walk along the Sacred Way to the Ming Tomb Museum. End the day with dinner at the hotel
Two full days of sightseeing has earned us a day free at leisure. Finally time to do some shopping and exploring on our own. Spend the day discovering the wonders of Beijing, do some bargain hunting, catch up on some rest, or perhaps steff off the beaten path for an optional tour to the ancient Hutongs of Old Town Beijing by rikshaw.
Beijing - Xian (AB, L, DH)
We finish up our Beijing tour by visiting the Temple of Heaven. Widely regarded as the noblest example of religious architecture in all of China, it was the site where emperors came to pray to the heavens for a bountiful harvest. Continue to the airport and board a short flight to Xian. Xian’s residents have good reason to be proud of their city; it enjoys a history as long as that of China’s. Dinner is served at our hotel tonight.
Xian (AB, L, DS)
Xian is home to the life-sized Terra Cotta Warriors of Qin Shi Huang. Created to protect China’s first emperor even in death, the Terra Cotta Army was discovered by farmers in 1974 and attracts multitudes of visitors each year. Return back to city limits to take a stroll atop the City Wall and enjoy a tour of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. We are in for a treat this evening - after an Imperial Dumpling Banquet, we take in Xian’s world famous Tang Dynasty Stage Show.
Xian - Shanghai (AB, L, DH)
Board a short flight to Shanghai, China’s largest metropolis with a population of over 16 million and its most important center of international commerce. Originally a sleepy fishing town, Shanghai’s modern history dates back to the early 1900’s and is a perfect mix of East and West. Time permitting, upon arrival we embark on a city tour which takes us to Yu Garden, driving by bustling Nanjing Road and the famous waterfront Bund; if not, we will do this tomorrow. Dinner is served at our hotel.
Shanghai (AB, DS)
The entire morning has been set aside for a visit to the famous Shanghai Museum, a musem with over 120,000 cultural treasures covering China’s 5000 year history. The afternoon is free at leisure. If you desire, you may choose either to stay at the museum for the duration of the day, continue on to Nanjing Road for free time, or head back to the hotel. After a farewell banquet tonight, attend an exciting performance of Chinese Acrobatics.
Shanghai - USA (AB)
Bid a fond farewell to China as we board our homebound international flight. *** Home Sweet Home ***
Departure & Pricing
1/09,23, 2/06,20 (2009)
Price includes fuel surcharge $153
Taxes of $95 not included September 11th security fee $2.50 - $10.00 not included