China and Yangtze Cruise

China

“It was incredibly meaningful and we could not believe how
much we got to see!”
S. Adams, Dehoney Travel passenger

Flood your senses with exotic sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Far East.  Stand in Tiananmen Square, one of the largest public squares in the world, with its Gate of Heavenly Peace and the Great Hall of the People.  Visit the Forbidden City where 24 dynasties of Chinese emperors lived.  The sprawling palaces and temples, consisting of some 9000 rooms, contain displays of jade, jewelry and works of art.  Enjoy an unforgettable gastronomic experience – a famous Peking Duck dinner.  Gaze upon the stunning Temple of Heaven, an incredible wooden structure 125 feet high that was built entirely without nails.  Marvel at the Great Wall of China, which runs 3,852 miles, has been in existence for more than 2,000 years, and is the only man-made structure seen from the moon by the astronaut’s naked eye.

Visit Xi’an, the cradle of Chinese civilization, and view the army of thousands of life-size terra cotta warriors standing guard at the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi.  Sail along the Yangtze River on a four-day cruise, through picturesque gorges and past the massive construction site of the Three Gorges Dam.  In Shanghai, attend an acrobat show and explore sites such as the Old Town, Yu Yuan Garden, and the Children’s Palace.  Conclude your adventure in Hong Kong, where you are treated to a Dim Sum lunch, a tram ride to Victoria Peak for a spectacular view of the harbor, and a special sunset harbor cruise to Lamma Island for a farewell seafood dinner.

The sequence of touring and days may be altered to adjust to religious holidays, special closings of sites, air schedule changes, etc. Hotels listed subject to availability. Meal inclusions may vary by departure.

China, StatueDAY 1, LOS ANGELES

We depart for Los Angeles late this afternoon, where we spend the night at a hotel near the airport.

DAY 2, DEPART USA

After breakfast on our own, we return to the Los Angeles airport to check in for our transpacific flight to China. (meals aloft)

DAY 3, BEIJING

Crossing the international dateline we arrive in the evening to Beijing and transfer to the Beijing Park Plaza Hotel for overnight. (meals aloft)

DAY 4, BEIJING

After a leisurely start, we see Tian’anmen Square, one of the largest public squares in the world, with the Gate of Heavenly Peace, and the Great Hall of the People. We visit the Forbidden City, where 24 dynasties of Chinese emperors lived, with its impressive palaces and temples (9000 rooms) containing displays of jade, jewelry and works of art. In the evening we are treated to the famous Peking Duck dinner. (B,L,D)

DAY 5, BEIJING

An excursion out of Beijing takes us to see the Great Wall of China. This colossus is the only man-made structure seen from the moon by the astronaut’s naked eye. The Wall runs 3,852 miles across the northern part of China and has been in existence for more than 2,000 years. We will visit the Mutianyu portion of the Wall that is less crowded and also offers a cable car that can take us up to the Wall. From the Wall, we visit a cloisonne workshop. After lunch, we continue to the Ming Tombs, burial site of 13 of the 16 Ming emperors. This evening we enjoy a performance of the Peking Opera, where we may get to enjoy a backstage visit to observe the colorful makeup being applied. (B,L)

DAY 6, BEIJING

Our full day of touring begins with the Temple of Heaven, an incredible wooden structure 125 feet high, built entirely without nails, and possibly the most photographed building in the world. We also see the Summer Palace. This park, dating back to the 12th century, was the rest and recreation area for the royal families. You will want to walk along the Long Corridor with its painted gallery to the famous Marble Boat. This afternoon we visit the Beijing Zoo, built in 1908 and originally called the Ten Thousand Animal Garden, to see the pandas. We then enjoy a Hutong tour. We take a traditional Beijing Rickshaw (black rickshaw with red cover, driven by a resident from a rural village in central China) into the Hutong (the small lanes downtown). The tour focuses on the central area of the city, where time-honored images still remain. Here children play traditional games outdoors; the elders play Chinese chess or Mahjong, or have fun with pet birds; and peddlers hawk their wares on tricycles. During our time here, you will be welcomed into the courtyard of a traditional Chinese house. The neighborhood is a perfect combination of natural scenery and daily life as it has evolved from ancient Beijing to the present time. We conclude the day with a visit to the colorful Pan Jia Yuan Market. (B,L)

DAY 7, BEIJING/XI’AN

Today we transfer to the airport for our flight to Xi’an, once the largest city in the world and ancient capital of eleven dynasties. Considered to be the cradle of Chinese civilization, Xi’an is a city rich in archaeological treasures. Upon arrival, we stop at the tomb of the Han emperor Jing Di, seeing thousands of small figurines depicting all walks of life. After our visit here, including the Yang Ling museum, we enjoy a tour of the City Wall and Bell Tower. Tonight we are treated to a special dumpling dinner, including a noodle-making demonstration. Overnight is at the Golden Flower Shangri-La. (B,L,D)

China, GardenDAY 8, XI’AN

The highlight of our day is a visit to the burial site of the Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, where an army of thousands of life-size terra cotta warriors have stood guard in front of his tomb for over 2,000 years. The tomb was first discovered in 1974 and is considered to be one of the greatest archaeological finds of the century. We also visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China, built in the Tang Dynasty to collect Buddhist scriptures. Finished in 652 A.D., the storied pagoda was an architectural marvel, built with layers of bricks but without any cement in between. This evening we enjoy a Tang Dynasty dinner and cultural show. (B,L,D)

DAY 9, XI’AN/CHONGQING/YANGTZE CRUISE

Today we fly to Chongqing, where we will have a drive through the city to glimpse sites from World War II when “ChungKing” was the capital of China and the headquarters of U.S. air support of the Nationalist troops. Time permitting, we will visit the Stilwell Museum and enjoy a famous Hot Pot dinner before transferring to our Victoria Cruise boat. Sailing starts in the evening. (B,L,D)

DAY 10, YANGTZE CRUISE

We enjoy the beautiful scenery of the river banks as we leisurely cruise down the Yangtze River. Depending on river conditions, our first shore excursion takes us to either Shibaozhai, a 720-foot hill that boasts the best of Chinese architecture; or Wanzhou, a small, mountainous city spanning both sides of the river that stages an exciting acrobatic show. Tonight, the captain will host a welcome dinner. (B,L,D)

China, MonksDAY 11, YANGTZE CRUISE

In the early morning we will sail through the first of the Three Gorges, the magnificent Qutang Gorge with its imposing vistas of caverns, pillars and pathways. Later we will enter Wu Gorge with its immortal Twelve Peaks before arriving at Badong. We will be taken on a boat excursion, determined by river conditions, either through the Lesser Gorges on the Daning River, or to Shennong stream where we are poled along through lush pine gorges and translucent water in smaller wooden boats known as “pea-pod boats,” enjoying spectacular sights like ancient plank roads, ancient cave coffins, and rare animals. We return to our boat for lunch then continue our cruise until we arrive at the last and longest Xiling Gorge. We pass through Sandouping village, where the massive construction site of the Three Gorges Dam is located, before arriving at Yichang. Even for those who have already visited the Three Gorges Dam in progress, it will be exciting to see its development. This will be the largest man-made structure on earth since the Great Wall. Millions of people have been relocated to make room for the dam and its impact. Anticipated completion date for the dam is 2009. (B,L,D)

DAY 12, YICHANG/SHANGHAI

We arrive in Yichang, disembark, and transfer directly to the airport for our flight to Shanghai. After arrival and check in at our hotel, the Mayfair, we have some time to relax prior to attending an acrobat show this evening. (B,L)

DAY 13, SHANGHAI

Our city tour today includes the fabulous Bund with its wide tree-lined boulevard, Shanghai’s Old Town, and Yu Yuan Garden in its picture postcard setting. We also visit the Children’s Palace and the famous Shanghai Museum. Tonight we say goodbye to Shanghai with a special dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

DAY 14, SHANGHAI/HONG KONG

We transfer to the airport mid-day for our Dragonair flight to Hong Kong, the “Pearl of the Orient.” Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel, the Regal Kowloon. (B)

DAY 15, HONG KONG

Our morning Hong Kong Island tour starts with a ride on the Star Ferry followed by a tram ride to Victoria Peak for a spectacular view of the harbor. Then, on to the beautiful Repulse Bay and Aberdeen, where we are treated to a sampan ride. We conclude with a Dim Sum lunch and visiting & shopping at Stanley Market. The remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy other independent activities. (B,L)

DAY 16, HONG KONG

Today is free for sight-seeing and shopping on your own. This evening we take a special sunset harbor cruise to Lamma Island for a farewell seafood dinner. (B,D)

DAY 17, HONG KONG/USA

Today our fabulous trip comes to a close. Crossing the international date line, we turn the calendar back, arriving in the USA and continuing to our hometown on the same day. (B, meals aloft)