Length: 7 Days. Group educational tour to China to study and see pagodas & pavilions (for 12 or more students or adults.) Self-designed custom tours typically led by teachers of high school juniors and seniors.
Highlights: Temple of Heaven, Beijing City Tour, Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Xi’an City Tour, Wild Goose Pagoda, Horse Museum, Terra Cotta Warriors, Huaqing Springs.
Itinerary: Beijing (4), Xi’an (2), Optional: Shanghai (2)
Day 1 – USA-China
Board your flight and journey to China, crossing the International Dateline.
Day 2 – Beijing
Welcome to the fascinating and ancient land of China! Arrive in the capital city of Beijing and transfer to your hotel. Relax, unpack and prepare for a fabulous week in the world’s most populous country, the “country of the dragon.”
Day 3 – Beijing
Explore the magnificent Temple of Heaven, an architectural wonder built entirely without nails. The building’s shapes, colors, and materials all have a special purpose and meaning. This was the site where the Emperors conducted their most sacred rituals. The walled park offers you a chance to view the Chinese at play, since many families practice Tai Chi, juggle, exercise, dance, and picnic here. Then discover the capital city on a guided Beijing City Tour. With almost 4,000 years of written history, China is one of the oldest civilizations on earth. See Tian’AnMen Square, where history was written in 1989, the Great Hall of the People and Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.
Day 4 – Beijing
Today you will walk a small part of the 3,700 mile long and 2,600 year old Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. It winds across deserts, valleys and mountains like a chain. Visit the Ming Tombs along the Sacred Way, with their giant marble figures and animals guarding the tomb area for deceased emperors of the Ming Dynasty.
Day 5 – Beijing
Enter the Forbidden City, built between 1406 and 1420 in the center of Beijing City. See the Imperial Garden, the Palace of Heavenly Purity and the 14 Gates. With over 9,000 rooms and halls it is the biggest architectural complex in the world. Then travel to the city’s outskirts and visit the beautiful Summer Palace, or Garden of Harmonious Unity, with its gardens, bridges, pavilions, halls and towers. Dominated by Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, it is traditional China as pictured in silk-screen prints.
Day 6 – Xi’an
Fly to Xi’an, the great ancient capital and the eastern end of the Silk Road, the main trade route between China, central Asia and Europe. Upon arrival, enjoy a Xi’an City Tour. See the eight mile long ancient city wall, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower and other highlights. Visit the 7-story Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the Ci’en Temple.
Day 7 – Xi’an
The accidental discovery of the gigantic tomb of the first emperor, Qin Shinhuang, revealed the aspiration of the king who attempted to perpetuate his power to the afterlife. Visit the Horse Museum where over 7,000 life-size Terra Cotta Warriors and their horses guard have been guarding the emperor’s tomb for over 2,000 years. They are in a battle array, showing a readiness to defend the imperial tomb. All figures have a different look with vivid details on their faces, postures and uniforms.The mausoleum was discovered in 1974 and is still being excavated daily. Later, relax at the Huaqing Springs, an imperial villa built in the Tang Dynasty. With a history of more than 3,000 years, this scenic hot springs spot was used by ancient emperors as an excursion center.
Day 8 – Depart-Or Shanghai Extension
Jet home from Xi’an, or Option: Fly to Shanghai, a city more sophisticated, more prosperous and more European than most of China. Points of interest include People’s Park, the Nine-Zigzag Bridge, Yu Yuan Gardens, the Jade Buddha Temple and the Children’s Palace.
Day 9 – Shanghai Extension
Enjoy a Shanghai City Tour, then a free afternoon. Celebrate your last evening on a Spirit of Shanghai Dinner Cruise.
Day 10 – Depart
Return home with excellent memories of the sights, the sounds, and the remarkable people of the mysterious, enchanting People’s Republic of China!