Be captivated by the extraordinary sights of China – Tian’anmen Square, one of the largest public squares in the world; the Forbidden City, where 24 dynasties of Chinese emperors lived; the Temple of Heaven, an amazing 125-foot high structure built entirely without nails; and of course the massive Great Wall, the only man-made structure seen from the moon by the astronaut’s naked eye.
Explore long-standing traditions of life in Beijing, still very much alive today, on a hutong tour. Be entertained by the exquisite choreography of an acrobat show. Admire the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai, and browse the extensive collection of over 120,000 pieces at the famous Shanghai Museum. Visit the beguiling city of Suzhou, lined with canals and gardens, and take a fascinating tour of a silk factory.
Tour operated by Dehoney Travel, Inc. of New Albany, IN, who will make every effort to adhere to the itinerary as described. However, travel in the People’s Republic of China is controlled by China International Travel Service (CITS) which reserves the right to modify the itinerary and the sequence in which places are visited, adjusting to current air schedules, special closings, etc. The hotels listed are subject to availability.
DAY 1 – USA/BEIJING
We depart the USA en route to China. (meals aloft)
DAY 2 – BEIJING
Crossing the international dateline we arrive in Beijing and transfer to the Beijing Renaissance Hotel for overnight. (meals aloft)
DAY 3 – BEIJING
After a leisurely start to our day, 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. (B,L)
After attending a church service this morning, 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 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. (B,L)
DAY 5 – BEIJING
Today we see the Temple of Heaven, an incredible wooden structure 125 feet high, built entirely without nails, and possibly the most photographed building in the world. This afternoon we visit the Beijing Zoo, built in 1908 and originally called the Ten Thousand Animal Garden, to see the pandas. This afternoon is at leisure for independent exploring, sightseeing, and shopping. You may wish to try your hand at bargaining at the Pearl Market, where in addition to pearls you will find colorful scarves, fans, handbags, clothing, and countless other souvenirs. (B,L)
DAY 6 – BEIJING
Today we visit the Lama Temple, the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Beijing and one of the most famous outside of Tibet itself. Also known as the “Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple,” it dates back to the late 17th century. Today one inhales the aroma of incense and hears distant chanting of monks while admiring the architecture and treasures found within its grounds. We also visit 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. (B,L)
DAY 7 – BEIJING/SHANGHAI
This morning we 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 traditional 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 in the Hutong. The neighborhood is a perfect combination of natural scenery and daily life as it has evolved from ancient Beijing to the present time. This afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival we check in to our hotel, the New World Mayfair Hotel. This evening we enjoy an exquisitely choreographed and highly entertaining acrobat show. (B,L)
DAY 8 – 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 Jade Buddha Temple, with its Grand Hall full of statues and sculptures. The original temple was built in 1882 to house two jade Buddha statues that were imported from Burma, but it was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. The sparkling statues were saved and a new temple was built on the present site in 1928. We conclude our touring at the famous Shanghai Museum, featuring a collection of over 120,000 pieces, including bronze, ceramics, calligraphy, furniture, ancient coins, paintings, seals, and sculptures. (B,L)
DAY 9 – SHANGHAI/SUZHOU
Today we enjoy a full day excursion to Suzhou, a beguiling canal-laced city noted for its unique centuries-old landscaped gardens created for mandarin philosophers. We learn about Suzhou’s celebrated gossamer silks on our tour which takes us to a silk factory and the Embroidery Research Institute. Following a laser show, we return to Shanghai this evening. (B,L)
DAY 10 – SHANGHAI/NARITA
Today we travel to the airport for our flight to Narita, where we spend the night at a hotel near the airport. (B)
DAY 11 – NARITA/USA
Today our fabulous trip comes to a close. Crossing the international date line, we turn the calendar back, arrive in the USA, and continue to our hometowns on the same day. (B, meals aloft)