(Beijing, Xi'an, Yangshuo, Shanghai)
From delectable steamed Jiaozi dumplings & mouth-watering Dim Sum to teas that date back to Imperial times & the world's most famous Peking Duck restaurant - this appetizing adventure will please any foodie. Led by private guide, taste your way through the historic highlights of Beijing, Xi'an, Yangshuo & Shanghai. Tour the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terra Cotta Army & more intermingled with culinary encounters. Discover the secrets of noodle stretching, learn to cook traditional dumplings, shop with a chef in colourful markets, dine with a local family & go fishing with trained cormorants. Featuring stylish hotels, internal flights & more – the tastes of China await.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Tiananmen square is the biggest square in the world, its south is the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 rooms. The word "hutong" originates from "hottog" which means "well" in Mongolian, and means a lane or alley - or in fact the passage formed by lines of siheyuan (a compound with houses around a courtyard) where old Beijing residents live. Beijing's hutongs are inequable ranging from a few feet to over 30 feet wide. The longest has more than 20 turns, though most have a slant, half turn, or are cul-de-sacs "blind hutongs". The gray-tiled houses and identical criss-crossing deep alleys give you the impression of being in a maze - fun to walk through, but be careful not to get lost!
Enjoy a Peking Duck dinner at Dadong restaurant. Voted by locals as the best Peking Duck in Beijing.
This tour begins with your driver picking you up from your hotel and make route towards one of Beijing's many local markets. Soon after you will meet up with your chef who will go into detail about the local produce and ingredients needed for today's cooking class. You will then make your way to the kitchen for some basic culinary training including some basic knife skills training, and how to use the traditional Chinese frying pan, the Wok. Your chef will demonstrate how to create five distinctive dishes, where you will apply your skill to create two or three of these delicious meals. After the class you will be brought back to the hotel.
Take an evening walking tour with your guide of the famous Chinese night food markets, and visit exciting Wangfujing Street.
Enjoy a full day private guided tour of the Great Wall at Mutianyu, located 45 miles northeast of Beijing. This section winds along lofty, cragged mountains for 1.4 miles and holds a prominent place in Chinese military history. Construction was started in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 577) and was restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). There are abundant natural springs which feed a great variety of verdant plants and ancient trees. Built mainly from granite with 8m walls and 5m wide at the top, it is notable for its 22 watchtowers, suggesting a significant military importance. Next, you will visit The Temple of Heaven which was built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven. The most magnificent buildings are The Circular Mound Altar (Yuanqiutan), Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian), which are connected by a wide bridge called the Sacred Way. The temple is surrounded by a park which is a popular meeting point for local people and is often considered a highlight of visiting the temple. Lunch is also included in this tour.
Experience a half day Chinese tradition tour and visit the Silk Factory (Tianhou) and be apart of a tea ceremony and tasting. Enjoy lunch at JingDingXuan Restaurant.
Fly from Beijing to Xi'an. Flight time is approximately 2 hours.
The first stop is of this private guided bicycle tour is the Terra Cotta Army. Discovered accidentally in 1974, this incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits which are protected inside huge hangars. The tour continues on to the imposing ancient city wall. The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers from one of the oldest and most complete city defences are still around. They were built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City surrounding the city center. The last leg of the tour is the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, which is a major Buddhist site. The simple, elegant brick Pagoda stands in the grounds of the attractive Da Ci'en Temple. The Pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals.
While the capital of China long ago moved from Xi'an to Beijing, the culinary capital, when it comes to dumplings, remains. Experience a feast of perhaps China's most popular dish in the city it is best known for through a superb dumpling dinner at the famous Defachang Restaurant.
A chef from Dong Fang Hotel will teach you the art of noodle pulling as well some other basic skills. Your guide will help to translate for you during the class. After class, enjoy a noodle meal which will be cooked by you.
Fly from Xi'an to Guilin. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Transfer from Yangsuo to the Guilin airport with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 1.5 hours.
The focus of this tour is to stop, step off the trail and get your feet wet working alongside a local farmer tending to their land. Working alongside the farmer with the translation and interpretation of your English speaking guide, you’ll work up a good appetite and enjoy lunch in the countryside. This activity is not available at all times of year and is best suited to families with children. Snacks, fruit and bottle water is provided on this tour.
Enjoy an evening of Cormorant Fishing with dinner. Cormorants are good sized birds who enjoy diving underwater in search of fish. Fishermen place a cord around the bird's neck to keep the bird from swallowing the fish, so they return to the boat and the fisherman places the catch in the basket.
If you are comfortable on two wheels biking is best choice to get out and experience the countryside up close through surprisingly flat rural trails weaving through farmer’s fields and karst mountains. Attend a boutique local cooking school based in a beautifully restored local farmhouse in a small village. With professional instruction in a hygienic open-air classroom, these well organized classes help you to create your own local delicacies for dinner. Floating on a traditional bamboo raft offers a unique view of the region and the opportunity to see local farmers at work, water buffalo and admire the scenery. Snacks, fruit and bottled water is also included in this tour.
Enjoy a deluxe local dinner followed by the Sister Liu Show. This spectacle was created by the Oscar winning Zhang Yimou and presents the local culture through a cavalcade of lights and cast of 500 using a private bay as the theatre and local mountains as the backdrop. This is sure to be one of the most memorable activities of your trip.
Fly from Guilin to Shanghai. Flight time is approximately 2.5 hours.
Enjoy a one and half hour tour walking in the Bund Area and Nanjing Road. A lovely deluxe western dinner will be served to you at the famous Mr. and Mrs Bund.
In the morning you will transfer from your hotel to the home of a local family. There you will learn to make authentic Chinese dumplings with the local family, while your tour guide works as an interpreter. Eat your dumplings for lunch before being driven back to your hotel.
This evening, enjoy a one and half hour walking tour in French Concession & Xintiandi. A deluxe dinner at Jessie Restaurant in XinTianDi is included.
Enjoy a transfer from central Shanghai with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide to the Maglev station. From here you will take the train to get to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing showcases the city as a unique reflection of the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture, where ancient cultural sites vie for space alongside high-rise buildings and an intricate freeway system. This Beijing lodging is just minutes away from several popular attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City. The world-renowned services at the Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel Beijing ensure that guests enjoy a warm and personalized stay. Enjoy their amenities, including a gymnasium and massage center. The Park Plaza Wangfujing Hotel features three on-site restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Enjoy Asian dining at Ooodle, international dishes at Bloo Dining, and a menu of light fare at First Lounge Bar.
The heritage of Xian and the classic French hospitality of Sofitel combine to create a stunning hotel welcoming travelers to the heart of the city. Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is located very centrally within the Xian city walls near many historical sites including the Bell Tower Drum Tower Great Mosque and Forest of Steles. The airport and Terra Cotta Warriors are both a 45-minute drive. All luxury hotel rooms, suites, and apartments indulge with modern conveniences. Explore Mediterranean flavors and Moroccoan Chinese Brazilian and Japanese cuisines in the 5 elegant restaurants in addition to 2 inviting bars and lounges. For more leisurely pursuits, guests can enjoy the services of Touch Spa with the swimming pool Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fitness center.
The Li River Retreat is located about a 25 minute walk north of Yangshuo in a quiet area overlooking the Li River. While there are several conveniently situated hotels in the area, this is the best located one to enjoy a scenic panorama of the local topography while still being able to get to town. The rooms are simple yet spacious, clean and well appointed. The owners are very friendly people and serve some of the finest local and international dishes in the area. Wifi is available.
Discover unmatched hospitality, an unbeatable location and luxurious amenities at the new Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Center. Located in the heart of downtown, our Shanghai hotel is within walking distance to Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street, People's Square, the Bund and the metro station. Premier among Shanghai hotels, we are the perfect place to unwind when traveling for business or leisure. Enjoy international cuisine and local favorites from our chefs as they prepare various choices at our five restaurants and lounges. After a day in the city, take a dip in our indoor pool, visit our fully equipped gym or have a relaxing massage at our spa. Among hotels in Shanghai, amenities include a business center, 24-hour room service and concierge. More than 2,000 square meters of dedicated event space await with two pillar-free ballrooms and seven additional meeting rooms.
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
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