THE YANGTZE, THE LAKE COUNTRY, AND
SHANGHAI 12 DAYS
CHONGQING, YANGTZE CRUISE, FENGDU, SHANGHAI, SUZHOU-ZHOUZHAUNG-WUXI
1. Los Angeles-Beijing
From Los Angeles LAX to Beijing International Airport
Day 2. Beijing
in Beijing from LAX. Bus to hotel where the group will stay for three nights. Lodging at Olympic Hotel or equivalent.
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
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
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.
we will visit a jade-producing mill and drop in on the famous Fair of Replicas, finally visiting Wamfujing Avenue, a commercial
The group will depart in late afternoon for Chongqing by airplane.
Day 5. Chongqing
to western China, Chongqing sits near the confluence of the Jialing and the Yantgze rivers and at the head of the reservoir
behind the Three Gorges Dam.
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
hair monkeys, and south China tigers.
Days 6 and 7. 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 bean ¡®King of the Immortals.¡¯ The site has a temple and many traditional statues.
cruise includes a trip along the Shennong Stream, famous tributary which flows through deep and scenic gorges.
8, 9, 10. Yangtze River -Shanghai ¨CSuzhou - Zhouzhaung
This morning, after breakfast, we board a jet for
a flight to Shanghai. From the Shanghai airport, the group will board 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.
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 includes a day trip to 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
Days 11 and 12. Suzhou-Shanghai
After breakfast, we board a coach to 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 12th
day of the tour, the group leaves the hotel for the Shanghai Pudong International Airport for a direct flight to Los Angeles.