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Beijing-Xi'an-Jiuzhaigou-Chengdu-Lijiang-Shangri-la-Kunming-Guilin-Yangshuo-Shanghai 18 Days Tour

Day 1. Arrive in Beijing (Dinner)

Wangfujing Park Plaza  ★★★
We arrive in Beijing, the fascinating capital of the nation, it has presided china since 13th century. Ages of ruling under the emperors of different dynasties have given Beijing undeniable mark in every corner of the city. Even though the last quarter a century has transformed Beijing into a modern city filled with skyscrapers and heaving flyovers, still just few steps away people are living peacefully in the ancient hutongs. This city mirrors the whole of China’s fast-growing economy, while at the meantime struggling to keep her own tradition and culture; all these, and much more, make Beijing one of the world’s most impressive cities to visit. From the airport, we directly drive to the Summer Palace. Served as the playground of the royal family during the summer heat, the enormous park comprises various temples, gardens, pavilions, lakes and the world’s longest decorated corridor, and today it offers Beijingers a place where they can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. We tour the site on foot and enjoy a boat ride on the man-made Kunming Lake. Then we transfer to our hotel for refreshment. After that we continue to Wangfujing Pedestrian Street, where, behind some of the world’s largest shopping malls, we visit the night food market. For the brave at heart, a delicious meal of various insects cooked in several ways awaits.





Day 2.  Beijing (Breakfast, Dinner)

Wangfujing Park Plaza  ★★★
We have an early start and leave for the Temple of Heaven. As the world largest heaven worship architectural complex, it used to be where the emperors, considered to be directly descended from heaven and representing the heavenly spirit on earth, asked for blessings for the Imperial Family and for the entire nation. The ceremony lasted three days during which he did not leave the compound. Nowadays the grounds surrounding the temple are filled with Beijingers of all ages, who come to practice tai chi and dancing, and take part in all kinds of recreational activities. We join them for morning exercise before proceeding on a tour of the temple itself. From there, we go to the Tiananmen Square. As the world’s largest central city square, it is a symbolic center of China universe, it is said that no one could rule China without first gaining control of the square. It is surrounded by important buildings, among them the National Museum and the Great Hall of the People (the Chinese parliament), both were build in 1959 to celebrate 10 years foundation of the people’s republic of China. At the heart of the square there is a mausoleum for Chairman Mao, who reshaped the country, leading the People’s Republic of China from its foundation in 1949 until his death in 1976. After that we proceed on foot to the Forbidden City, so called are because it is off-limit to common people in ancient time; it is home to 24 emperors in 505 years in Ming and Qing dynasty. The compound was forbidden to all but the Imperial Family and their servants, and has been the place from which the emperors of China ruled the country for hundreds of years. We will stop at some of the more significant halls, and we will also explore more authentic small courtyard, from where is the royal family’s honor as well as misery really happened. Leaving the Forbidden City, we continue to Coal Hill, an artificial hill built in the Ming dynasty. It is worth us to spend 10 minutes at a fine weather to climb to the top for a breathtaking view over the Forbidden City. From there, we will make a visit to the hutongs, which are alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyard, today have been preserved and protected as a living evidence of how Beijing looked during imperial times. We will take a rickshaw through the calm alleys, and get a glimpse of the local life here. With dozens of families living in one courtyard, sharing public toilets, and facilities, this way of life has been lasted for centuries. We will also have a calligraphy class at local family.





Day 3. Beijing (Breakfast, Dinner)

Wangfujing Park Plaza  ★★★
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive out of the city to the famous Mutianyu Great Wall, China’s most prominent landmark and must-see site. Begun the construction 2000 years ago, the efforts required to build the wall through the history is phenomenal, some people call it the longest cemetery in the world, but it is better to be named as the accumulation of Chinese culture and history. The total length of all the walls built in different dynasties around china exceed 20,000 km, however lengthy sections of it has returned to dust in the history, the wall remained today is less than 2500 km. We will take the cable car up, and walk on part of the Wall, and hear about its history and how it failed to fulfill its main goal of stopping the Mongols from invading the country, and then we take slide way down. On our way back to the city, we stop for an outside view over the famous Bird’s Nest and the Water Bubble, the two main venues of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. From there we will make a visit to Zone 798, a modern art compound, in which artists from all over the city create and exhibit their work. We get to talk to some of the artists, hearing from them about what it is like to express yourself in a country where self-expression was taboo until not so long ago.





Day 4.  BeijingQXi'an (Breakfast, Dinner)

Grand Noble Hotel  ★★★

With an early transfer to Beijing’s airport, we take the first available flight to Xi’an. Known as ‘The Eternal Peace’ during the Tang Dynasty, Xi’an was the center of the ‘old world’ and also the center of the first Chinese Empire after the first Qin emperor conquered the nearby feudal kingdoms and laid the foundations of the great united Chinese empire. On arriving in the city, we head towards the Terracotta Army Site. Discovered accidentally in 1974 by two farmers plowing their plot, one of the most amazing historical discoveries of our time was made. An entire army made of terracotta, each of the soldiers with different characteristics and fully armored, was created to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor. We explore this breathtaking site and then visit the nearby museum to see the permanent exhibition displaying the rare artifacts found in the site and also describing its discovery, excavation, and the restoration works. After that, we take a walk along the City Wall, which dates from the Ming Dynasty. It's the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well as one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. 





Day 5. Xi'an (Breakfast, Dinner)

Grand Noble Hotel  ★★★
In the morning we first visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Built in AD 647, it was originally constructed to house holy scripts brought from India, which contributed to the adoption of Buddhism as the main religion in China many years later. Then we proceed to the Shanxi History Museum. Because of the significant role Xi’an played during the Tang Dynasty, the museum has numerous archeological finds from this era.





Day 6.  Xi'anQ Jiuzhaigou(Breakfast, Dinner)

Jiuzhaigou Resort ★★★
In the morning, we take the flight from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou (Nine Villages Valley). On arriving in the valley, we drive to the nearby Huang Long Nature Reserve. Huang Long literally means ‘The Yellow Dragon Valley’ and it is commonly known to the Chinese people as ‘The fairyland on Earth’ for its undeniably breathtaking landscapes. The valley was added to UNESCO’s Natural World Heritage List in 1992.Running along the southern slopes of the Minshan mountain range, the valley is a true wonder of nature, with stunning limestone formations, some 3400 pounds of all shapes and colors, stalactite caves and beautiful waterfalls. In addition, several ancient temples dot the landscape. All these features, together with the snowcapped peaks of the Minshan in the background, make up an area that is not often visited, but a beautiful day is in prospect for anyone willing to make the journey. In the late afternoon we drive to Jiuzhaigou. On the way there, if time permits we will visit the local Tibetan villages.





Day 7.  Jiuzhaigou (Breakfast, Dinner)

Jiuzhaigou Resort  ★★★
Today we spend our full day to explore the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve. Jiuzhaigouand its superb and breathtaking landscapes are extremely attractive on account of the karst scenery, the large number of lakes, and spectacular waterfalls. A great number of endangered plant and animal species, including the giant panda, inhabit this wonderland. The name Jiuzhaigou derives from the nine Tibetan villages scattered throughout the valley. Its attraction lies in its simple, idyllic beauty; it is primitive and natural and still in a pristine state. With majestic and unrivalled emerald lakes, layered waterfalls, colorful forests, snow-peaked mountains, and Tibetan folk villages, all blending in harmony with each other, it is a jewel of nature set in spectacular mountain scenery. Jiuzhaigou lies in a transitional area where northern and southern flora and fauna meet. A natural botanical and zoological garden, it is home to densely growing conifers and broadleaf trees, and to rare and endangered animal species such as the giant panda, golden snub-nosed monkey, and white-lip deer.





Day 8.  JiuzhaigouQ ChengduQ Lijiang (Breakfast, Dinner)

Lijiang Wangfu Hotel ★★★
In the morning we transfer to the airport for our morning flight to Chengdu. Unon arrival, we visit one of the world’s largest wildlife rescue operations, the Panda Research and Breeding Center. We visit the station in which researchers from all over the world have joined forces to save this rapidly declining species. We shall learn about the rescue efforts and get to see these cuddly, playful bears. After having a cup of tea at the local Tea House,we go to visit Jinli Old Street. Being one of the oldest commercial streets in China, Jinli Old Street is not only a wonderful reminder of China's past, but also a great place for people to fully appreciate Sichuan's customs, folk arts and snacks.Then we transfer to the airport for our flight to Lijiang.A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lijiang is a town combining different cultures, beliefs and architectural styles.





Day 9.  Lijiang (Breakfast, Dinner)

Wangfu Hotel  ★★★
We start our day with first visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which is 5600 meters high. This is a true haven for wild flora and fauna, of which it is said that about a quarter of China’s plants can be found in its vicinity. We take Yunshanping cable car trip to one of the peaks for an amazing view over the surroundings, and then enjoy the ‘Impressions of Lijiang’ show with the mountain as the backdrop. After that, we continue our visit to Baisha village. Baisha Village is the village in the Lijiang Basin at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Houses there were built of a peculiar rough stone without plaster or painting. From there, we proceed to Yuhu village and Yufeng Temple. Yuhu village was one of the first residential places of Naxi ethnic group. Located at the southern foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain,Yufeng Temple is a historical witness of the peaceful coexistence and syncretism of multinational cultures and religions and a place that helped the Naxi culture develop and enrich.





Day 10.  Lijiang (Breakfast, Dinner)

Wangfu Hotel  ★★★
In the morning we go to the Morning Market, where we can see dozens of local mushrooms as well as frogs and things we can’t have opportunity to imagine in the west. After that, we continue to the Black Dragon Pool with Naxi Museum. Covering an area of about 40 hectares, this huge lake is a natural habitat for all kinds of waterfowl and fish. We take a walk around the lake and to the several temples surrounding it. We then have a visit to the Shuhe village to taste the city further. After visiting the Zhiyun Temple& the local village, we have some free time to explore the wonderful Old Town by ourselves.





Day 11.  Lijiang/Zhongdian (Breakfast, Dinner)

Kunlun Resort Boutique House
Leaving Lijiang, we drive towards the Tibet Autonomous Region and the north of Yunnan Province. En route, we stop at the Yangtze First Bend and the Tiger Leaping Gorge, where the waters of the Yangtze River rushes into this narrow gorge. In the afternoon we reach the town of Zhongdian, which is often referred to as Shangri-La. Upon arrival, we explore the unique Old Town.





Day 12.  ZhongdianQ Kunming (Breakfast, Dinner)

Kunming Era Hotel ★★★
Today we first visit the PudacuoNational Park including Shudu Lake,Bita Lake resort. Being the highest lake in Yunnan Province at 3500 meters above sea level, this is a great spot to enjoy the beautiful wilderness and landscapes of the region. After that we stop for a traditional tea with a Tibetan family and hear from them about their daily life. Leave here, we visit the monks of Yunnan’s largest Tibetan monastery for their puje ceremony in which they chant from Tibetan scripts. Songzanlin Monastery, dating back to 1679, lies at the foot of Foping Mountain and is rich with Buddhist treasures. In the evening, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province.





Day 13.  ChengduQGuilin (Breakfast, Dinner)

Guilin Bravo Hotel ★★★
In the morning, we embark on a two-hour drive out of town to the famous Stone Forest. Many legends tell the story of the creation of this unique geological phenomenon, but only seeing it yourself can reveal the entire majestic landscape. It is said that ‘visiting Yunnan without seeing the Stone Forest is like not visiting the province at all’. During our visit to the forest, we meet the people of the Sani, an ethnic group living in the area, who wear colorful embroidered traditional clothing. The Sani are known for their heart-stirring singing and dancing. Leaving here, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Guilin. Famous for its wonderful scenery, rivers and karst peaks covered in lush greenery, Guilin has a long history as the most beautiful place in China. Upon arrival, we have some free time at the famous Night Market





Day 14. Guilin/Longsheng/Yangshuo (Breakfast, Dinner)

Yangshuo Green Lotus ★★★
In the morning we drive to Longsheng. The Dragon Ridgeback Mountain (Longji Rice Terrace) features one of the world’s largest manmade creations. In the endless slopes of the mountain, the local peasants have carved with their bare hands thousands and thousands of terraces to capture water streaming down the mountain and use it for crop cultivation. We climb to the top of the terraces to take in their enormous extent and to enjoy the great view over the beautiful landscape. The region of Longsheng is also known for the diversified minority groups living there and we stop at some of their villages to learn about their traditions and customs. We will hike from the old Zhuang village to 7 stars in Ping’an village. Leaving Longsheng, we drive to Yangshuo





Day 15.  Yangshuo (Breakfast, Dinner)

Yangshuo Green Lotus ★★★
In the morning we embark on a cruise ride along the Li (Crystal) River from Yangshuo to Fuli. Along the way we get a glimpse of life on the riverbanks. In the small villages, the locals depend totally on the river to sustain their way of life. The river is not only their main mean of transportation but also the source of water for their fields and washing their clothes, and even of drinking water. After visiting the Fuli Ancient Town, we go to explore the local villages and local market by bicycle, where we meet the local farmers as they cultivate their small rice plots just outside the town. Then we have some free time at the unique West Street. In the evening, we enjoy the unique “Yangshuo Impressions” (Vice-vip seat) performance directed by the very same director who was responsible for the Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony in 2008, when hundreds of actors performed in the world’s largest outdoor theater—with the waters of the Li River serving as their stage. This breathtaking show is not to be missed.





Day 16. Yangshuo/GuilinQ Shanghai (Dinner)

Shanghai Central Hotel  ★★★
Today we meet our chef early in the morning and join him for a trip to the local market to buy fresh ingredients for our cookery class. During the next few hours, we shall be learning some of the secrets of traditional Chinese cookery, and for lunch we shall enjoy the results of our labors.Then we take a slow bamboo raft ride down the Yulong River, if we are luckyenough, we may get a chance to see the traditional fishing with cormorants.In the afternoon, we go to explore the local villages by bicycle, where we meet the local farmers as they cultivate their small rice plots just outside the town.In the late afternoon, we transfer to airport for our evening flight Shanghai, the most populous city in China. The city is located in eastern China and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Due to its rapid growth in the last two decades, it has again become one of the world leading cities, exerting influence over finance, commerce, fashion, and culture. Shanghai is also a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, Peoples Square and Yuyuan Garden, and its extensive yet growing Pudong skyline.Upon arrival,we transfer to our hotel. 





Day 17. Shanghai (Breakfast, Lunch)

Shanghai Central Hotel  ★★★
Today we go to Shanghai’s old town to visit the Yu Yuan Garden& Chinese Bazaar.Perfectly maintained to the present day the gardens were built by a Chinese mandarin in the 16th century in honor of his beloved parents. With their six very distinctive areas, these gardens are a true marvel and a great escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.We then proceed to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, whichrises to 468 meters and offers a great view over the city and its harbor. With its unique design, the tower has become the city’s own trademark. After that we go to the Jewish quarter, the shelter of hundreds of Jews during 2ed world war. After visiting the Synagogue Museum, we go to visit Taikang road, also called Tianzifangart area, it’s a romantic street present the Young china with contemporary art, design and fashion. From there, we continue to explore XinTian Di& French Quarter, the new hot spot in town. This pedestrian street offers a mixture of traditional architecture alongside contemporary design. Here you can get a real sense of the fusion of two cultures that sometimes clash but most of the time peacefullyis coexistence in this rapidly changing city.






Day 18. Shanghai/Depart (Breakfast)

Today we transfer to the airport for our international depart flight.





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