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(Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Shanghai)
Centuries fall away as you cruise the serene waters of the Li River as each bend reveals a new marvel.
Water buffalo work the farmland on the banks of the river, farmers harvest the lush rice paddies, children float past on school-bound rafts and fishermen capture their catch of the day. Meanwhile, you’ll take in life on the 80km stretch of river from the comfort of your cruise boat while feasting on a deluxe lunch of succulent local cuisine. Back on land, a private tour will introduce you to the historic delights of Beijing, including vast Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Then it’s on to a mountainous stretch of the Great Wall of China and the four-star overnight train to the ancient city of Xi’an where the Terra Cotta Army stands at eternal attention. Finally, put a full stop on your experience in the 21st-century city of Shanghai.
With an emphasis on private guided tours, this trip serves up an immersive experience that spans rural village life, majestic natural vistas, stirring historic sites and modern five-star city living. You’ll enjoy luxury all the way at some the finest hotels in the country and world-class dining experiences that will satisfy and delight. Experience old and new China at its absolute best, and collect the stories that you’ll tell with enthusiasm for years to come.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
The Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing is a modern oasis, right in the heart of Beijing's bustling cultural, commercial, and entertainment centre. With its superb location, spacious facilities, and personalized service, the Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing is the ideal choice for all guests. The Lodging reflects the many changing facets of contemporary Chinese culture, where ancient cultural sites vie for space alongside high-rise buildings and an intricate freeway system. The Park Plaza is just minutes away from several popular attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the National Museum of China, and the Forbidden City. Guests may also enjoy the complimentary high-speed internet access, security safe box, and currency exchange centre. All guestrooms feature Western décor and are furnished with lounge chairs in sandstone colours.
This full day of private guided tour explores Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven with a stop for a deluxe lunch. Tiananmen Square was built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty and stretches a vast 440,000 square meters. The Forbidden City is the world's largest palace complex with 9,999 buildings. The Outer Court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The Inner Court was where he lived with his royal family. Fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty reigned here until 1924. The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven.
Enjoy a private deluxe dinner at a fine local restaurant. After a delicious meal you will be picked up and transferred by private car to the Liyuan Theatre, where you have VIP seats for the Peking Opera. The Liyuan Theatre is one of the most prominent in Beijing and is located in the Qianmen Hotel. Old Beijing can be found in many objects within the theater; for example the performers’ distinctive make-up, the outdated 8-seaters tables (Baixian Table), attendants serving tea in Tang suits (Chinese garments), and the old-styled stage. The venue is well equipped for international tourists, offering simultaneous translations for English and Japanese speaking guests as well as English subtitles to help follow the story line.
Enjoy a 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 started in the northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 577) and was restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). There is an abundance of natural springs, which feed a great variety of verdant plants and ancient trees. Built mainly from granite with 8 metre high walls and 5 metres wide at the top, the wall is notable for its 22 watchtowers that suggest a significant military importance. Next, you will visit The Summer Palace, a sprawling suburban compound used by royalty as their summer retreat and best known for its stunning grounds around Kunming Lake. The Summer Palace occupies an area of 294 hectares (726.5 acres) of which three quarters are water. Classically designed as an archetypal Chinese garden, it is ranked among the most noted gardens of the world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. Lunch is included.
Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Board your overnight train bound for Xi'an. Choose either the standard soft sleeper, which is a cabin of 4 berths (two upper bunks, two lower bunks) or opt for the private 2 person berth (two lower bunks only). Comfortable bedding and good quality pillows are provided. Each bunk is equipped with a small reading lamp. Temperature controls are installed alongside the door. Generally speaking, the facilities include a clothes rack, slippers, a clothes brush, stainless steel thermos, a fine porcelain teacup, a trash can, and a wall socket. Travel time is approximately 11-13 hours.
This morning you will visit the Terra Cotta Army and Banpo Museum lead by a private guide. This tour includes a deluxe lunch. The over 7,000 Terra Cotta life size warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are China's greatest archaeological excavation. They symbolically guard the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who was the first emperor of the Qin dynasty (246-209 BC). The Museum Banpo is located next to the archeological remains of Xian’s first settlement. The museum and Neolithic site display nearly 10,000 production tools and the remains of 200 cellars and 45 houses.
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, the Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is a perfect choice for the most astute of business and leisure travelers.
This half day private guided city tour takes you to some of the highlights of 3,100 year old Xian, which is besides Rome, Athens and Cairo one of the four ancient capitals. Start with the Shaanxi History Museum which is with its 370,000 exhibits one of the nation's best. The next stop is the Xi’an City Wall, which is the most complete to survive in China and one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers still stand ready to repel attackers. Built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City surrounding the city centre, you can walk, rent a bike or take an electric cart around the full 14km circuit, with great views of the city on either side. Finish this tour with the Great Mosque, located in the heart of Xi'an's Muslim quarter. The Mosque is one of the largest in China. Remarkable for the melding of Chinese architecture with Islamic practice, the courtyards align from east to west facing Mecca. The pavilions, halls and gateways are wonderfully decorated. This is an active place of worship for the Hui descendants of Silk Road traders and travellers.
Fly from Xi'an to Guilin.
Overlooking the picturesque banks of the legendary Li River, this classic Chinese-style hotel sits on an impressive 48,000 square-meter site, from where Guilin's leading tourist attractions - including Diecai Mountain and the city's charming pedestrianized tourist area - are all easily accessible. For business travelers, the city center and the International Exhibition and Conference Centre are within a 10-minute drive, while Guilin Liangjiang International Airport is just 35 minutes away by car.
Relax on a full day Li River Cruise with lunch (included). The cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo is the centerpiece of any trip to Northeastern Guangxi Province. The cruise combines stunning topography, pristine nature and a tapestry of rural life as water buffalo bathe in the river, local farmers tend their patties, and fishers or school children float by on bamboo rafts. The river trip is over 80 kilometres long and is estimated to take 4 to 6 depending on water levels. With its breathtaking scenery and taste of a life far removed from the concrete metropolis, the scenery along the Li River is one of China's top destinations.
Fly from Guilin to Shanghai.
Walk along the famous Nanjing Road and the fabulous Bund area while you listen to your expert local tour guide explain the history and development of China's most cosmopolitan city. Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s major shopping district, is one of the world's busiest shopping streets, packed with bustling stores and food outlets. It is named after the neighboring province’s capital. A large part of Nanjing Road is a pedestrian precinct. The next stop is the Bund, which is Shanghai's famous waterfront. From here you will have spectacular views of the Pudong side of the city
Discover unmatched hospitality, an unbeatable location and luxurious amenities at the new Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. 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.
Today’s full day private guided tour takes you to the Shanghai Museum, the Jade Buddha Temple and the Yu Gardens and includes a deluxe lunch. The Shanghai Museum is a authentic treasure house of ancient Chinese art and houses about 120,000 precious relics. Bronzes, pottery, paintings and calligraphies are distinctive features of the Museum's collection. The next sight is the Jade Buddha Temple, which is one of the most popular sights in Shanghai containing rare white jade Buddhas brought from Burma in the nineteenth century. Yuyuan Garden is the largest of Shanghai's ancient gardens with architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The garden has six areas, each designed in a different style, of which the Grand Rockery located in the center is the most popular.
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.
Depart from Shanghai international airport - end of itinerary.
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!! "
Denise Abadi ,
June 21, 2013
"We have just returned from our trip to Malaysia and wanted you to know how much we enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. Our guides were personable and very knowledgeable about the various places we visited. We were amazed by the sights, sounds and friendliness of the people we encountered. Needless to say, it was a most memorable trip and one of the
highlights of our traveling careers!
July 11, 2013
"Sunita, my wife and I had a wonderful time in China. The hotels were superb. Our guides were excellent. They spoke good English, were knowledgeable, and flexible. It was a wonderful trip. We particularly enjoyed the Yangtze River cruise. We will certainly consider your firm for international travel in the future."
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