Day 1 Depart USA
- Gourmet dining at Beijing’s prestigious China Club
- A behind the scenes look at Terracotta warriors’ excavation in Xian
- A la carte dining with wine as you cruise the Yangzi River
- A private tour of Shanghai’s Bund with a noted historian and lecturer
- Fresh seafood on Hong Kong’s Lamma Island
You board your trans-pacific flight to Beijing, capital of China and site of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Day 2 En Route
You cross the International Date Line and "lose" a day, but gain it back on your return trip.
Day 3 Arrival in Beijing
You arrive in Beijing, capital of the most populous country on Earth. As you step off the plane you are met by our representative and assisted through the immigration and customs process. As you exit the customs area you are met by your guide and driver and taken to your hotel. You have a light dinner before catching up on your sleep and getting ready for the events ahead.
Day 4 The Great Wall at Jinshanling
Today you will spend the day both exploring and walking the Great Wall but away from the hordes of tourists. You will be traveling to Jinshanling which is further from the city and offers a much more authentic wall experience. Since the area is less visited you have ample opportunity to explore this section of the wall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. A picnic lunch is enjoyed while sitting on the wall and then, if you are reasonably fit and willing, you can walk along the wall between Jinshanling and Simatai which offers an absolutely incredible wall experience. No trip to Beijing would be complete without a delicious Peking Duck dinner especially as served at one of the city's most renowned restaurants.
Day 5 The Forbidden City and The Imperial Summer Palace
After breakfast you begin a full day of exploration of some of Beijing's main attractions.You will start with a brief walk from the hotel with your guide to reach the vast Tiananmen Square, which is home to China's Parliament also known as The Great Hall of the People. walking through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, from where Mao declared China as the People's Republic in 1949, you will then have a private tour of the Forbidden City, home of China's Imperial Dynasties. You have lunch at " my Humble House" restaurant before continuing your visit to the Imperial Summer Palace where you marvel at the opulence in which the Emperor's lived. This evening, we have secured a table at the exclusive, members' only, China Club. you will dine well!
Day 6 The Hutongs of Beijing and an Arrival in Xian
This morning your first visit will be to the magnificent Temple of Heaven where the Emperors came to pray for good harvests and where, today, residents come for morning exercises such as Tai Chia and, believe it or not, Ballroom dancing! People say that to know Beijing you must know the Hutongs. A Hutong is a Mongolian word meaning "water well" because these Hutongs grew up around wells. Hutongs are the connections betweens courtyards and if you were to take helicopter ride you would see tens of thousands of Hutongs surrounding the forbidden city. Since they are maze-like and narrow you will take a rickshaw to explore this vanishing part of the true Beijing. You will then visit a traditional home where a local " housewife" will introduce you to daily life in the city through the local dishes that they would make for their families. The kitchen is in the outdoor courtyard so this is a unique experience in contemporary Chinese culture.. After your exploration you head for the airport for your flight to Xian. You are met on arrival and escorted to your hotel.
Day 7 The Terra Cotta Warriors of Qin Shi Huang
In 1974, a group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well. That discovery created a flurry of activity and digging as thousands of life-size Terracotta warriors, each with different features were gradually uncovered by the archeologists. Without a doubt the highlight of any visit to Xian and possibly even China is an exploration of the warriors. Most visitors view the warriors from a catwalk above the site but Ultitude clients through special arrangements will be granted access to the lower viewing platform and also access to the restricted area behind Pit 1 where restoration work is being done on the warrior figures. After lunch you will have a tour of the Shaanxi Museum and the Wild Goose Pagoda before returning to the hotel. This evening you will enjoy the excellent Shaanxi Theatre's Dinner Show where they showcase the song and dance from the Tang Dynasty era.
Day 8 The Old City, Han Warriors and the Flight to Chongqing
After breakfast you you will visit the Old City of Xian which for 1,100 years was the Coutntry's Capital. You have a chance to take a bike ride along the old city walls before having lunch. En route to the airport you enjoy a visit to the fascinating Warriors of the Han Dynasty (dating about 100 years after the better known Terracotta Warriors). Upon arrival in Chongqing you are met by your guide and escorted to your cruise ship where you have a deluxe cabin reserved you have dinner on board. Later in the evening your ship sets sail.
Day 9 Cruising the Yangtze and Visiting the “Ghost City” of Fengdu
This morning you enjoy your first breakfast on board and getting to know your five star ship. About 100 miles from Chongqing you arrive at Fengdu. Known as the "Ghost City" it has become a very popular excursion for tourists. According to folklore, two officials from the imperial court during the Han dynasty, Wang Fang Ping and Ying Chang Sheng were bored with political life in the court and came to Mt. Minshan outside Fengdu city to practice Taoist teachings. Through self-cultivation they became immortals. When combined together, their surnames Ying and Wang sound very much like "King of Hell" in Chinese so people began calling Fengdu "ghost city". Whether true or not, the temples built on Mt. Minshan display punishments and wild demon images, which vividly depict the Chinese people's vision of Hell. Turning to more pleasant topics you return to the ship for a delicious dinner as your cruise continues.
Day 10 Cruising the Yangtze and The Three Gorges
Your entry into the Three Gorges is highlighted by a side trip through the lesser gorges on the Daning River; you will board smaller boats for the twenty mile stretch of river where birds can be heard as well as the chattering of monkeys. As opposed to the turgid waters of the Yangtze, the waters of Daning are crystal clear. You pass through three small gorges, Dragon Gate, Misty Gorge, where we see a 2,000 year old hanging coffin of the Han people and the Emerald Green Gorge covered with lush bamboo groves. You return to Wushan, your starting point before passing through the three Gorges; Qutang Gorge, Witches Gorge and Xiling Gorge. You then pass though the three locks leading to the Three Gorges Dam.
Day 11 Three Gorges Dam, Yichang and the Flight to Shanghai
After docking at Yang Jia Wang you disembark at the Three Gorges Dam, the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken. When completed, the Dam will be 7,000 feet long, 560 feet high, be 54 feet wide at the top and 390 feet at the bottom. It will raise the riverbed 525 feet above sea level creating a 360 mile long reservoir. In so doing it will dislocate 1.5 million people, and put 570,000 acres of farmland under water. It will, however control flooding and create new sources of electricity and better navigation on the river. After inspecting the dam you rejoin the ship for the short cruise to Yichang where you disembark. Our driver will meet you to take you to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival you are mat and transferred to your hotel.
Day 12 Strolling and Dining on the Bund
After breakfast you will leave your hotel for a very personal exploration of the Bund. Your guide will be Peter Hibbard an engaging local historian and writer specializing in the history of foreign communities that contributed to the creation of this cosmopolitan city. As you step from your hotel on to the Bund, the ricj history of the Bund will be brought to life as Peter helps contrast the colorful history of this city especially the first half of the mast Century with the Communist China and Modern China, Lunch will be at Ye Shanghai restaurant. The afternoon is at leisure and this evening, contemporary cuisine at trendy M on the Bund.
Day 13 Shanghai to Hong Kong
Following a leisurely breakfast, your driver will transport you to the airport for your flight to Hong Kong. This afternoon is free for shopping or just enjoying the harbor views from your room. This evening you will enjoy an intimate dinner overlooking the lights of Hong Kong Harbour.
Day 14 An Immersion in the Culture of Hong Kong
Today we offer an exploration of Hong Kong Island. We begin by immersing you in the more traditional side of Hong Kong which is where the city and the residents' roots lie. Your first visit will be to one of the city's Dried Provisions Markets where all types of weird and wonderful dried food is available. Your guide will explain their different uses in cooking preparation of tonic soups and even in traditional medicines. You then visit the atmospheric Man Mo Temple located on Hollywood Road. Next you go to the south side of the island to the active fishing harbor of Aberdeen. Here you board a sampan to observe the fishing " junks". After lunch at the Boatyard Restaurant tou have the option of doing some shiopping at Stanley Market or returning to the hotel. This evening superb seafood on Lamma Island where the seafood farms are located.
Day 15 The Heritage of Hong Kong
Today you will explore Hong Kong's ancient heritage with some of it dating back to the Song Dynasty. You have a chance to see the Punti, indigenuous Hong Kong people, along the Ping Shan Heritage Trail through the villages built by the Tang clan. They are one of the 5 most powerful clans in the New Territories and trace their ancestry to the Southern Song Imperial family. Your visit will include the Ancestral Halls and Stady Halls with feng-shui influenced architecture. You will also visit the elegant Tai Fu Mansion, an example of traditional Chinese scholar-gentry way of life. You then stroll the Tai Po market popular with the local villagers before stopping for some Dim Sum for lunch. After lunch you have some time free for shopping. This evening enjoy spectacular harbor views from your restaurant table in Tsim Tsa Tsui.
Day 16 Return to the USA
After breakfast your driver is ready to transport you to the airport for your return flight to the US where you arrive back later the same day having gained back the "lost" day.
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Luxury Guided Tour - Great Cities and Yangzi Cruise ULCH06 Location and other villas and tours nearby
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Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Beijing, Xian, Yangtze River, Shanghai, Hong Kong
Additional Pricing Information
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest informationregarding passports and visa requirements)
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