- A home-cooked meal in the Hutongs of Beijing
- Enjoying a picnic lunch on a section of the Great Wall rarely visited by tourists
- A cruise along the canals of Wuzhen and on the willow-framed West Lake in Hangzhou
- Learning the medicinal benefits of dried foods in an old part of Hong Kong
- Visiting Punti, the indigenous people of Hong Kong in their villages in the New Territories
Day 1 Depart USA
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 Shanghai
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 Shanghai, China's vibrant commercial hub. Upon arrival you are met and transferred to your deluxe hotel located on the Huangpu River.
Day 7 Strolling and Dining on the Bund
This morning you will have the opportunity to visit the city's Bund, flanked by the magnificent buildings previously owned by the great trading houses and banks of the early 20th Century. you will have the chance to visit the Yu Gardens before having lunch at Lubalong Restaurant where you will be exposed to traditional Shanghainese cuisine. In the afternoon to visit the superb Shanghai Museum and the facinating Urban Planning Center (don't let the name fool you). This evening contemporary cuisine at trendy M on the Bund.
Day 8 Zhouzhuang and Suzhou
This morning you depart with your guide and your driver for the traditional water village of Zhouzhuang where you visit one of the town's old merchant houses. You then continue on to Suzhou and the Silk museum before having lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon you explore Suzhou's remarkable Chinese style gardens which are on the UN's World Heritage List. Most of the gardens were built for private use by aristocrats and businessmen and date back to the 6th Century. The gardens were designed to mimic nature and therefore were miniaturized to reflect the world around. You will visit two of the most famous called " The Humble Administrator's Garden" and "Garden of the Master of the Nets" which was used as the model for the Ming Hall Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. You then return to Shanghai.
Day 9 Wuzhen and Hangzhou
After breakfast you leave Shanghai with your guide and your driver and head to amother water village. They are called " water villages" because the homes are built overlooking canals, much like Venice. One of the best preserved is at Wuzhen and a visit provides a fascinating insight into the more traditional history and lifestyle of the area. Your guide will explain the history of the town as you take a cruise down the main canal. This is followed by lunch. You then proceed to Hangzhou, which is known for three things, Silk, Tea and the West Lake. You check into your hotel where you have dinner overlooking the West Lake.
Day 10 Hangzhou and Hong Kong
Your day begins with a with a serene cruise on West Lake with its banks edged with with weeping willows.Your next visit is to the Tea Museum.The green tea produced in Hangzhou is world renowned for its exceptional color, fragrance and taste. After tasting the tea you stop for lunch at Louwallou Restaurant before visiting Ling Yin Temple whose statue of Sakyamuni carved from camphor wood and gilded with gold is considered a masterpiece of Buddhist religious work. Your guide will take you to the airport where you catch a flight to dynamic Hong Kong. Upon arrival you are met and escorted to the iconic Peninsula hotel where a Grand Deluxe Harbor View Room awaits you. After a chance to relax and refresh, dinner is served at the hotel.
Day 11 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 12 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 13 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 later the same day.
Available Year Round
Luxury Guided Tour - Scenic Highlights of China ULCH04 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, 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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