iExplore China: Hiking the Great Wall

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  • Privately Guided
  • Starting Price: $1,499
  • Length: 6 days
  • Operator: iExplore Exclusive
  • 1-800-267-33479am - 5:30pm Eastern
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Tour Description

Welcome to China! Punctuated by strategically located towers, the Great Wall winds its way like an endless, slender dragon from the Yellow Sea through five provinces, two autonomous regions and up into the Gobi Desert. The earliest sections of the Great Wall were built in the 5th century BC, but its present course was determined around 220BC by Qin Shi Huangdi, the first Chinese Emperor and founder of the Empire. He linked up smaller, previously constructed sections, extending them northwards to ward off horse riding nomads. However, the most impressive sections were built during the Ming Dynasty. Soldiers and peasants from all over the country were conscripted, spending several years of their lives building this wall. Most of the sections of Great Wall in Beijing are well preserved and mainly the remains from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), an era of huge construction. The wall goes across the northern part of Beijing for 629 kilometers with various passes and towers. The main sections include Badaling, Juyongguan, Huanghuacheng, Jiankou, Mutianyu, Gubeikou, Jinshanling, and Simatai. Of the eight sections, five sections are officially open to the public - Badaling, Juyongguan, Mutianyu, Jinshanling and Simatai with more than 100 kilometers renovated and well preserved. All the five sections of the Great Wall in Beijing have their own unique features.

Itinerary

Day 1: Beijing, China

Today when you arrive in Beijing you will be met and driven to your hotel for check-in and overnight.

The capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, is a unique reflection of the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture. This is 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

Today you have a full day city tour of Beijing. Start your tour with a visit to Tiananmen Square, a site of historic significance for the advent of communism in China. Known as "six-four" or "June 4th", the movement has become an albatross about the Chinese government's neck in regards to human rights and freedom of speech, a point of contention in Sino-American relations. Aside from the grand and tragic events here over the last 50 years, Tiananmen is truly a people's square, alive with local kite fliers and wide-eyed tourists from out of town.

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.

Also, enjoy a rickshaw tour of the Hutongs, the "Old City" neighborhoods of narrow alleyways and courtyard gardens hidden behind Beijing's modern facade. Later enjoy afternoon tea with a local family.

Finally, visit the Temple of Heaven, set in a 670-acre park. Here you will find Qinian Dian (Hall of Prayer for the Good Harvests), constructed without a single nail, and one of the finest examples of Chinese architecture.

Beijing Penta Hotel (B)

Day 3: Beijing- Simatai- Jinshangling

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be met and driven to the Great Wall at Simatai, about three hours away. From there, experience a full day of hiking to the Jinshangling section of the wall for around five hours. Enjoy a picnic lunch and a local dinner.

The Jinshangling section is virtually a museum of the architectural styles of Ming-era towers. There are as many as found within a distance of only ten kilometers. The towers are built in a surprising variety of shapes, the largest of which is the impressive Storehouse Tower, so named because of the storehouse on its southern terrace. This tower was used as a garrison headquarters and is protected by special defensive barriers and an extra wall 60 meters downhill.

Jinshangling Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 4: Jinshangling- Juyongguan

This morning drive to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, about an hour and a half away and hike for two to three hours.

After lunch drive to Juyongguan Pass and visit the Huanghuacheng Wall en route. This is a resort with mountains, lakes and the ancient Great Wall under water.

Situated at the foot of the magnificent Juyongguan Great Wall, the Juyongguan Great Wall Hotel is around 50 kilometers away from Beijing city proper and 60 kilometers from Capital Airport.

The hotel has 94 deluxe guestrooms of different types. The restaurant specializing in both Chinese and Western cuisines can serve 300 people simultaneously.

Juyongguan Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 5: Juyongguan- Beijing

This morning visit the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass; the landmark of China and one of the most amazing feats of human labor. Then, stop by the Olympic Green, located at the north end of the central axis of Beijing and visit the exterior of the stadiums on your way back to downtown Beijing.

Beijing Penta Hotel (B)

Day 6: Day of Departure

Today you will be driven to the airport for your departure flight.

(B)

Departures

Depart any day. Contact an iExplore Adventure Consultant for details.

Pricing Information

2013 Prices:

April, May, September, October

$1,599 per person double occupancy (2-5 clients)

$3,159 solo traveler

$383 single room supplement

March, June - August, November

$1,499 per person double occupancy (2-5 clients)

$2,699 solo traveler

$325 single room supplement.

Inclusions:

· Accommodations as listed in the itinerary, or similar, including daily breakfast.

· Transfers and tours on a private basis.

· Meals as indicated in the itinerary.

· English-speaking local guide assistance

Exclusions:

· International airfare 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.

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