Travel to China with Phoebe Xu




Day 1. Los Angeles-Beijing

From Los Angeles LAX to Beijing International Airport

Day 2. Beijing

Arrive in Beijing from LAX. Bus to hotel where the group will stay for three nights. Lodging at Olympic Hotel or equivalent.

Day 3. Beijing

The group will visit Tian¡¯anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) and The Palace Museum, more commonly known as the Forbidden City. Tian¡¯anmen was and is considered the center of Beijing, not only because of its location but also because it is a symbol of power. Tian¡¯anmen is the front gate of the Forbidden City, the gate leading to
the supreme power in imperial times. The Tian¡¯anmen Square, the largest of its kind in the world, covers an area of 400,000 square meters. The Palace Museum is the largest imperial palace ever built in the world, concealed from public view for 500 years, features more than 800 buildings with over 9,000 rooms, resplendent gold-glazed roofs, red lacquered pillars and vermilion walls. Lunch included in tour.
We will visit Beihai Park and Jingshan Park. Beihai Park or the Winter Palace is an ancient secondary palace dating to the 10th century. Now it is a popular park, including a lake, a classical Chinese garden, pavilions, halls, temples, and covered corridors. Jingshan Park contains 5 pavilions. From the middle one, visitors have a broad view of the Forbidden City. Weather permitting; one can view the entire city of Beijing. This is an ideal place to photograph the Forbidden City and the city. Acrobatics show at night.
Lodging at Olympic Hotel or equivalent.

Day 4. Beijing

After breakfast, board bus and visit The Great Wall. We will explore the Badaling section just north of Beijing. This section has quick, easy access from the car park. The Wall was built in 1571 and is 10 meters high. Along the Wall are many beacon towers, some connected to the Wall and others far away, which were used as a means of communication to warn of an enemy advance. In the 16th century warnings were sent with smoke during the day and fire at night.

After lunch, time permitting, we will visit the Ming tombs built from 1409 A.D. to 1644 A.D. and where the 13 emperors of the Ming (1368 ¨C 1644) and their empresses and concubines are buried. We will focus on exploring Dingling, the tomb of Emperor Wanli (1573 A.D. to 1620 A.D.), the 13th Ming emperor, and his two empresses. This excavated tomb is famous for a magnificent underground palace, which consists of five stone chambers. The underground palace lies 27 meters below the surface and occupies a floor space of 1,195 square meters. Among the precious treasures buried with the emperor are a gold crown and four phoenix crowns.
Time permitting, we will visit a jade-producing mill and drop in on the famous Fair of Replicas, finally visiting Wamfujing Avenue, a commercial boulevard.
The group will depart in late afternoon for Xian by airplane.

Days 5 and 6.- Xian

We visit the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Terracotta Warriors excavation site containing more than 7,300 sculptures crafted 2,000 years ago to honor China first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. We also visit the Big Goose Pagoda and the Ancient City Wall.

Day 7. Xian-Chongqing

Flight to Chongqing, the gateway to western China. Chongqing sits near the confluence of the Jialing and Yantgze rivers at the head of the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam in mountainous Sichuan Province.
We will visit Erlin Park, which lies on the Erlin Mountain west of Chongqing. This park displays the layout of Suzhou gardens with pavilions, platforms, winding paths, lotus ponds, arc bridges and panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Also on the tour is a visit to Ciqikou, an old town preserved in modern Chongqing. The name means ¡®Porcelain Harbor¡¯ and dates back 1800 years when the town thrived during the porcelain trade. Only two main streets survive to this day.
Time permitting, the group will visit Chongqing Zoo with its giant pandas, lesser pandas, golden monkeys, and south China tigers.

Days 8 and 9. Yangtze River ¨C Fengdu.
We depart Chongqing early in the morning beginning a cruise down the Yangtze. Shore excursion to Fengdu, the ¡®City of Ghosts.¡¯ Approximately 2,000 years ago, during the Han dynasty, two Taoist recluses, Yin and Wang, are believed by the locals to have become Immortals in Fengdu. Their combined names mean ¡®King of the Immortals.¡¯ The site as a temple and many traditional statues.
The cruise includes a trip along the Shennong Stream, famous tributary which flows through deep and scenic gorges.

Days 10 through 13. Suzhou ¨C Zhouzhaung - Wuxi

This morning, after breakfast, we board a jet for a flight to Shanghai. From the Shanghai airport, the group boards a coach for an excursion through the countryside to Suzhou where the group will stay three nights at the Grand China Garden Hotel or equivalent.
Suzhou is an ancient city with a history of more than 2,500 years. Once a vacation getaway for emperors, Suzhou retains a rich cultural heritage with subtle and spectacular scenery, especially its gardens. The earliest gardens of Suzhou can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn period in the 6th century B.C. Laid out within a limited area by the house, a classical garden of Suzhou is a microcosm of the world made of basic elements of water stones, plants, and different kinds of buildings with literary allusions: beautiful and elegant.
The group will visit Tiger Hill which is surrounded by rivers and covered with pine and plum trees and contains many attractions, including the Sword-Testing Rock, the Nodding Rock, the Thousand Man Rock, each with its own astounding story. Tiger Hill contains Suzhou¡¯s oldest pagoda built almost a thousand years ago.
On Tiger Hill lies Jianchi Pond, under which the tomb of the King of the Wu State, He Lu, was built during the spring and Autumn Period (770 to 476 B.C).
Also of interest is the Garden For Lingering In, the most famous garden in Suzhou. This garden is an excellent example of how gardens are designed in Suzhou in classical Chinese style.
We will also visit a silk factory and watch the employees coax strands of silk from the cocoons of silkworms. The factory has a store with a wide variety of silk products for purchase. Fashion show, time permitting.
The tour travels to Hanshan Temple, built in the 6th century. This temple contains cultural relics, including a stone tablet inscribed with the poem ¡°Anchoring at Night at Maple Bridge¡± written by the poet Zhang Ji.
Also, we will visit the Garden For Lingering In, one of the four most famous gardens in China and the most famous in Suzhou. This garden is an excellent example of how gardens are designed in Suzhou in classical Chinese style. We will also visit the Embroidery Center to see the designs of local silk weavers.
One afternoon, we will board a coach destined for Zhouzhuang, the perfect embodiment of the serene villages of the Yangtze Delta. We will tour the stone lanes and interlaced streams where the 900-year-old town¡¯s stories are depicted in landmarks and magnificent canal bridges resembling keys, rainbows, and musical instruments.
We will also enjoy a 2 hour scenic ride through the countryside to Wuxi which is famous for its beautiful scenery, the ancient culture of the Wu region, the view of islands and bridges, the idyllic life and the delicious local cuisine. Xishan, a local town and the Guangfu Temple are both well-known in China. The grand architecture in the regional temples are very famous. A few well-know temples are the Copper Kwan-yin Temple, the Baoshan Temple, the Shengsi Temople, the Guangfu Temple. Additional scenic locales are the Tai Lake Bridge and the Plum Garden. Time permitting, the group will visit Tai Lake, which is famous for its landscape of natural beauty combining hills and water.
Days 14 and 15 Shanghai
The group will depart in the morning for Shanghai by coach.
Shanghai, the most important port in China, its largest and most cosmopolitan city, has a recorded history of approximately 400 years. We will visit Chenhuan Temple located in the Yu Yuan Gardens, shop on the famous Nanjing Avenue, visit the Witan (the ¡®Bund¡¯) along the Huangpu riverfront, an historic relic of European mercantile activity. We will observe and experience the vibrancy, dynamism, and energy of this world-class city.
Lodging at the Brightness Hotel or equivalent.
On the 15th day, the group will board a bus for the Shanghai Pudong International Airport for a direct flight to Los Angeles.

Travel to China with Phoebe Xu
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Yangtze and Lake Country

Ancient and New China

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China Tour Classic

Beijing and Lake Country

Imperial & Lake Country