Day 1 – USA – Beijing
Depart from your city to the capital of China, Beijing.
Day 2 – Beijing
Welcome to the capital of China, Beijing. On arrival in Beijing, meet your local guide for orientation & transfer to your hotel.
Day 3 – Beijing
After breakfast, set off on a full day private tour of the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. Built between 1606 and 1420, the Temple of Heaven represents the pinnacle of Ming and Qing architecture. Continue on to visit The Forbidden City, a maze of palaces built between 1417 and 1420 as the residence of the emperor. The 9,000 halls and rooms contain many precious relics and make it the largest palace in the world. Your tour concludes at the famous Tian’anmen Square where one million people gathered in 1949 to hear Chairman Mao Zedong proclaim the birth of New China. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4 – Beijing – Xi’an (overnight train)
On today’s guided tour, climb the Great Wall of China, the only man-made structure visible from the moon. See the setting of the spectacular 2008 Olympics, The Beijing National Stadium, then visit the cutting edge National Aquatics Center, known as the “water cube.” Top off your tour with a visit to the Summer Palace, an immense park that had long been a royal garden and was considerably embellished by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th Century. After dinner, transfer to the train station and take your overnight train to the ancient capital, Xi’an.
Day 5 – Xi’an
Arrive in Xi’an and transfer to your hotel for breakfast. Embark on a full day city tour of Xi’an, including the Wild Goose Pagoda and the Muslim Quarter. The Large Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 A.D, is a square pyramid and stands seven stories tall. It is tradition to throw coins from the windows of the pagoda to bring good luck. In the Muslim Quarter, you can visit the small and narrow souvenir market streets nearby. Shop for bargain souvenirs and visit the numerous art galleries in the area.
Day 6 – Xi’an – Hangzhou
The Terra Cotta Warriors draw crowds of tourists to Xi’an. The site does not disappoint. Amazingly, the warriors are just one piece of Qín Shi Huáng’s attempt to reconstruct his empire for the afterlife. The tomb to the west is still to be fully excavated, and is said to include a full reconstruction of the ancient capital, complete with rivers and lakes of mercury built by the hands of 700,000 laborers. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hangzhou, one of the most scenic cities in China.
Day 7 – Hangzhou
Today, we will visit a local school (either a Middle School, or a High School, depending on the ages of the visitors). You will have to opportunity to visit the school campus, meet the principal and experience a class with your Chinese peers. Make new friends and share your own culture with Chinese students and even play a game of basketball or football! Follow up with a cruise on the West Lake, a fairy tale setting of hills rising above the peaceful waters, enchanted islands and charming pagodas. After dinner, explore the night market and shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs.
Day 8 – Hangzhou – Shanghai
Begin the day with a visit to Lingyin Temple, one of the bestknown Buddhist monasteries in China. Built in 326 AD, it boasts a 34 meter (111 ft.) tall main hall featuring a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. Hidden away in the southwest corner Classic China of the lake is Longjing tea plantation, your next destination. Its fresh spring water prompted the people of Hangzhou to develop their own quality tea, and thus the famous Longjing tea was born. Proceed to Shanghai by coach. Upon arrival in the largest city of China, check in to your hotel, then enjoy the famous Acrobatics Show, an interactive, gravity-defying production that transcends the language barrier.
Day 9 – Shanghai
Begin your day’s tour at Yu Garden, a classical garden in downtown Shanghai with over 400 years of history. It’s reputed to be the most beautiful garden south of the Yangtze River. Travel on to visit The Bund, the birthplace of Shanghai and the most famous sightseeing spot in the region. Textiles have a very long history in China, as garments, currency, tax goods, and commodities. In the Silk Workshop, you will have a chance to see the complete process of making silk from silkworms, to the old silk weaving machines to a handmade silk quilt. You will begin to understand why Chinese silk is so famous. This evening, enjoy a special farewell dinner and share your Chinese experience with your fellow travelers.
Day 10 – Depart
After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight home.