(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.
Take an airport transfer by private car with an English-speaking guide in Beijing.
The Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing is a modern oasis, right in the heart of Beijing's bustling cultural, commercial, business and entertainment center. With its superb location, spacious facilities and personalized service, the Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing is the ideal choice for both business and leisure guests. All guestrooms feature Western décor and are furnished with lounge chairs in sandstone colors.
Private full day tour to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the hutong areas with lunch (is in the price included). 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 as your vehicle and driver pick 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 details 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 (Cleaver), and how to use the traditional Chinese fry-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. Your vehicle will transfer you back to your hotel upon completion.
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 today. The direct flight should take approximately two hours.
Take an airport transfer in Xi'an by private car with an English-speaking guide.
Built to meet the elaborate standards of China's new platinum five-star hotel rating, the Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is the ultimate accommodation facility in the ancient city of Xian. Its design is of astounding contemporary concept. With a full range of spacious and well-appointed rooms, suites and apartments, state-of-the-art business facilities and exquisite dining and recreational options, Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is a perfect choice for the most astute of business and leisure travelers.
First stop 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. Continue on to the imposing ancient city wall, and explore by bicycle with your local guide. Also visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
While the capital of China long ago moved from Xian 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.
From your hotel a private vehicle will pick you up and transfer you a local family residence for some culinary training. Once you've arrived and settled in, your instructor will go through what exactly is being prepared today, some traditional dumplings and noodle pulling. After a brief demonstration, it is your chance to use the information given by your instructor to create your own meal. Upon completion you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Fly from Xi'an to Guilin.
You will be picked up and transferred to the Guilin airport from Yangshuo by private vehicle with an English speaking guide.
The Li River Retreat is located about a 25 minute walk north of Yangshuo in an isolated location overlooking the Li River. While there are more conveniently located hotels in the area, this is in fact the absolute best located 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 some of the friendliest people in Yangshuo and serve some of the finest local and international fare in the area. Wifi is available.
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 deluxe 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 bottle 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.
Enjoy an airport transfer in Shanghai with a private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking Guide.
Enjoy a one and half hour tour walking in the Bund Area and Nanjing Road. A lovely deluxe wester dinner will be served to you at Mr. and Mrs Bund.
The Marriott Shanghai City Center is located in Shanghai Downtown. It is only 1 minute walk from Nanjing Road and few minutes' walk to the People's Park. The hotel has 720 guest rooms and suites. Every room has luxurious bathroom and separate bathtub and shower. Other amenities include in-room safe, mini-bar, coffee/tea service, iPod docking station, individual climate control, "42" LCD TV, wireless and wired Internet. The hotel has several restaurants and cafes that offer Japanese, Chinese and International Cuisine. The hotel also features Indoor Swimming Pool and Sauna, Health Centre and Spa.
In the morning you will transfer from you 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 will be prepared and served to you.
Transfer from central Shanghai with a driver, and English-speaking Guide to the Maglev station in Pudong from where you can complete your airport transfer in about 8 minutes at speeds of over 400 km/h. (Warning - involves a little walking).
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of China for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Medical facilities outside of major cities are poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/china.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Beijing. Government: People's Republic. China comprises 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, two special administrative regions and four municipalities directly under central government. Language: The official language is Mandarin Chinese. Among the enormous number of local dialects, large groups speak Cantonese, Shanghaiese (also known as Shanghainese), Fuzhou, Hokkien-Taiwanese, Xiang, Gan and Hakka dialects in the south. Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang, which are autonomous regions, have their own languages. English is spoken by many guides and in hotels. Many taxi drivers do not speak English, even in big cities. Religion: China is officially Atheistic, but the stated religions and philosophies are Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. There are 100 million Buddhists and approximately 60 million Muslims, 5 million Protestants (including large numbers of Evangelicals) and 4 million Roman Catholics, largely independent of Vatican control. Time: GMT + 8. Despite the vast size of the country, Beijing time is standard throughout China. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin and three-pin sockets are generally in use. However, most 4 to 5 star hotels are also wired for the use of 110 volt appliances. Telephone: Country code +86 Mobile Telephone: China has the most mobile phone users in the world, backed by a very sophisticated mobile communications system that now covers the entire country. Roaming agreements exist with most major international mobile phone companies. Alternatively, you can buy a prepaid GSM SIM card (from China Mobile stores) that allows you to use your mobile like a local phone with a new number. You'll need your passport to register. Internet: The number of Internet users in China reached 253 million in 2008. Internet cafes can be found in most towns and cities, and Wi-Fi is increasingly available at hotels and cafes in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Hangzhou and other major cities.
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