China has always been one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world, partly because so much history exists alongside the new, partly because it is still so unknown to outsiders. The country and its people remain a mystery. The rice paddies may have sprouted cities and manufacturing centers, and the streets may be clogged with cars and pollution, but the people remain rooted in a rich cultural heritage. This program will introduce you to some typical rural villages in different areas of China. We've chosen three of them, each with their own unique features, giving you some insight and understanding of life in rural China!
Day 1: Arrive Beijing, China
Today when you arrive in Beijing you will be met and driven to your hotel for check-in and overnight.
Holiday Inn Downtown Beijing is located in the city center, near the financial district, surrounded by securities houses, insurance companies & major government ministries.
The capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is a unique reflection of the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture, where ancient cultural sites such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven vie for space alongside high-rise buildings, modern shopping malls, and an intricate freeway system. A thriving commercial capital, continually developing, Beijing's 2000-year-old cultural heritage is still very much in evidence, with a vast array of stunning attractions throughout the city.
Beijing Penta Hotel
Day 2: Beijing
Start your tour of Beijing with a visit to Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world.
Then visit the impressive Forbidden City within the Imperial Palace. Also known as the Imperial Palace Museum or Gugong, the Forbidden City was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties carried out their administration and lived. Now it is open to the public as a palace museum where people can see the great traditional palace architecture, enjoy the treasures kept in the palace, and learn of the legends and anecdotes about the imperial family and the court.
In the afternoon you will be driven to visit the Summer Palace, a former summer resort for the royal family, and take a boat ride on its Lake Kunming (weather permitting).
Beijing Penta Hotel (B)
Day 3: Beijing
Join a full-day excursion to include the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, which snakes over the green hill countryside outside of Beijing.
UNESCO enlisted the Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, in the World Heritage in 1987. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus stretching approximately 4,163 miles from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2,000 years, some of the sections of the great wall are now in ruins or even entirely disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance.
Mid-afternoon you'll return to downtown and will visit the Old Beijing- Hutongs- by trishaw and have tea at the home of a local family.
Beijing Penta Hotel (B)
Day 4: Beijing- Cuandixia- Beijing
Today you'll drive to visit a special village called Cuandixia, which is located on an ancient post road in a mountainous area 90km west of Beijing.
First built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Cuandixia Village preserves about 70 courtyard houses built with stones and wood. They sit one by one following the slopes of the terrain in the valley. Its natural environment and distinctive characteristics make the old post an interesting stop, which will give you the chance to understand more about everyday life in rural China.
Beijing Penta Hotel (B,L)
Day 5: Beijing
Your sightseeing this morning is the Temple of Heaven, where Ming and Qing emperors prayed for good harvests. It is the largest temple complex remaining in China today. You will also have a chance to visit a famous silk shop, which has a history of over a hundred years.
Beijing Penta Hotel (B)
Day 6: Xi'an
You'll take a two-hour flight to Xi'an, the great ancient capital and the eastern end of the Silk Road. You will be transferred to your hotel upon arrival. This exciting day of sightseeing will include the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses at the Tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first Qin Emperor. In the afternoon, visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built in 652 AD. It contains a large volume of Buddhist scriptures, which were obtained from India by the eminent monk Xuanzang. You will also have the chance to visit a jade carving factory. Afterwards, the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Ramada Bell Tower (B)
Day 7: Xi'an- Dong Han- Xi'an
Today you will be taken to visit a village near Xi'an named Dong Han, which is famous for farmer's paintings. Drawn by hand, the artwork actually demonstrates their heart & soul. Just like the melodious folk songs of West China, the farmer's paintings express the farmers loves and pursuits in life. The great changes of each passing day are recorded in these works.
Ramada Bell Tower (B, L)
Day 8: Xi'an
Today you'll visit the Shaanxi Provincial Museum where you will discover how Xi'an became the cradle of Chinese culture and then visit the ancient city wall, one of the few well-preserved city walls in China.
Ramada Bell Tower (B)
Day 9: Shanghai
You will be driven to the airport for a two-hour flight to Shanghai, a cosmopolitan, bustling city. When you arrive you will be taken to your hotel. Sightseeing today features a tour of the Yuyuan Garden, the old area of the city, and a stroll along the lively waterfront, known as the "Bund". After lunch you will visit the Jade Buddha Temple, home to two famous white jade Buddha statues brought from Burma in 1882.
Courtyard Marriott Puxi Hotel (B)
Day 10: Shanghai- Zhujiajiao- Shanghai
On this fabulous day you will be driven to visit a beautiful water town called Zhujiajiao. It is an ancient water town with a history of more than 1,700 years. Covering an area of 47 sq km, the little fan-shaped town glimmers like a bright pearl in the landscape of lakes and mountains.
Courtyard Marriott Puxi Hotel (B, L)
Day 11: Depart Shanghai
Today is the end of your unforgettable trip to China. You are at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
Depart any day! Contact an iExplore Adventure Consultant for details.
$3199 per person double occupancy (2-5 clients)
$5111 solo traveler
$900 single room supplement
March, June-August; November 2013-February 2014
$3199 per person double occupancy.
$4999 solo traveler
$800 single room supplement
· Accommodations as listed in the itinerary
· Flights Beijing/Xi'an/Shanghai in economy class, including taxes.
· Meals as indicated in the itinerary.
· Scheduled private sightseeing by air-conditioned vehicle.
· All admission fees for stated sites.
· English-speaking local guides.
· Luggage handling and transfers from/to airports.
· International airfare
· Departure and airport taxes
· Meals, unless otherwise indicated
· Items of a personal nature
· Gratuities and porterage
· Travel insurance
· Visas (if required)
· Holiday surcharges
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.