(Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai)
Embark on a dramatic & action packed odyssey through 2 of the world’s most epic ancient civilizations. Led by expert private guide tour the ancient wonders of Beijing, Xi'an & futuristic Shanghai as well as glittering Tokyo and culturally decadent Kyoto. Featuring bike rides, boat cruises, rickshaw rides, all the legendary highlights, scenic rail journeys, 4* hotels, driver, domestic flights & more.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
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 full day private guided tour with lunch at the Great Wall at Mutianyu located 45 miles northeast of Beijing. This section winds along lofty, cragged mountains for 1.4 miles. Construction was started in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577) and was restored in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Built mainly from granite with 8 meter walls and 5 meter wide at the top, it is notable for its 22 watchtowers. Lunch is included.
Enjoy this half day private guided tour of the Hutongs of Beijing. 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. This tour includes exploration of the hutongs with a tricycle/rickshaw. Our suggestion is to finish the tour at the bar/restaurant cluster of Houhai rather than return to the hotel. Lunch with a local family is included.
Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Fly from Beijing to Xi'an. Flight time is approximately 2 hours.
The first stop 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 210 BC. 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 defenses 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.
Fly from Xi'an to Shanghai. Flight time is approximately 2 hours.
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's 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
Experience a full day private guided tour of Shanghai visiting the Shanghai Museum, Urban Planning Museum, Nanjing Road, the Bund, cruising on the Huangpu river, and enjoying the views from the Oriental Pearl Tower. The museum is an authentic treasure house of ancient Chinese art and holds around 120,000 precious relics. Bronzes, pottery, paintings, and calligraphies are distinctive features of the museum's collection. The nearby Urban Planning Hall is a fun and informative introduction to Shanghai’s exciting past and future. Strolling down Nanjing Road, which was once listed as one of the most interesting streets in the world, you will arrive at the historic Bund. Enjoy a cruise on the Huangpud River that divides old Shanghai from the futuristic Pudong, before venturing across the water for a trip up the Oriental Pearl Tower to view the city from above. The majority of this tour is best to be done by foot.
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.
Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.
An English speaking assistant will meet and assist you upon arrival at the airport and take you to meet your driver.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
Welcome to Japan!
Take a day tour of this fascinating city with a local guide, making use of Tokyo’s comprehensive and user friendly public transport system. The day begins with a visit to Meiji Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Take a walk down Omotesando shopping street, a broad tree lined avenue home to the flagship stores of the world’s top fashion brands. Head across town to Asakusa, Tokyo’s old town where you can soak in the atmosphere of the Tokyo of old. Visit Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple and wander down Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries. Take a boat cruise on the Sumida River passing under 12 bridges. Disembark in Hamarikyu garden, an Edo Period Japanese garden surrounded by the Shiodome district’s futuristic skyscrapers, a great example of how Japan is the land of contrasts, where you will stop for a cup of steaming matcha and Japanese sweets in a tea house on a small island in the park’s lake. Please note that with this tour you will have a private guide, but rather than travelling by private vehicle, you will make use of Tokyo’s efficient local transit system.
Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and assistant.
Transfer by train from Tokyo to Kyoto. The train ride is approximately 2.5 hours.
The Granvia Kyoto is located directly above the Japan Rail train station. After exiting your train, please follow the below instructions to reach your hotel. This is a very short walk, and done easily on your own, so no guide service has been included.
When using the Shinkansen bullet train: Exit via the Shinkansen Main Exit, turn right and walk straight through Nanboku-Jiyu-Tsuro (North-to-South main corridor) until you reach the escalator to the hotel entrance on your right.
When using the Haruka Express from Kansai International Airport: Exit via the JR Chuo Main Exit and take the escalator on your right to the Lobby on the 2nd floor of the hotel.
Transfer from your hotel to Nara by train (45 minutes) with a local guide. For 74 years during the 8th century Nara was Japan’s capital and many of the temples and shrines built at that time still remain. Visit Todaiji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building and home to Japan’s largest Buddha. Next stop is Nara’s most celebrated shrine, Kasuga Taisha, established in 768 AD and famous for its hundreds of bronze and stone lanterns which have been donated by worshipers. Take a wander through Nara Park, called Deer Park by locals due to the large population of more than 1,000 tame deer living there.
Today you explore the former imperial capital with a knowledgeable local guide, utilizing Kyoto’s comprehensive bus system to visit some of Kyoto’s World Heritage Sites. You will start your day with a visit to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), which was originally built as a retirement villa for the Shogun. After his death it became a Buddhist Temple at his request, and is now one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. Nijo Castle is an ornamental castle was built by the founder of the Edo Shogunate as his Kyoto residence and is surrounded by stunning surrounding gardens. The main building was completed in 1603, and is famous for its architecture, decorated sliding doors and ‘chirping’ nightingale floors.Take a walk down Nishiki Market, a narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. Final stop is Kiyomizu (Pure Water) Temple. From the 13 meters high veranda jutting out from the Main Hall you can enjoy amazing views of the whole of Kyoto, whilst pondering the fact that both the Main Hall and Veranda were built without the use of nails or any kind of joiners.
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.
Discover unmatched hospitality, an unbeatable location and superior amenities at one of the newest hotels in Shanghai city center, Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Center. The hotel is within walking distance to Nanjing Road, People's Square, the Bund and the metro station. The hotel is the perfect place to unwind when traveling for business or leisure with rooms and suites featuring 42-inch LCD TVs, iPod docking stations, luxury bedding, Wi-Fi, safes, mini-bars and deluxe bathrooms. Enjoy international cuisine and local favorites from chefs as they prepare various choices at five delectable restaurants and lounges. After a day in the city, take a dip in the indoor pool, visit the fully equipped gym or enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa. Amenities at the hotel in Shanghai City Center include a business center, 24-hour room service and concierge. More than 21,000 square feet of dedicated event space waits with two pillar-free ballrooms and seven additional meeting rooms.
Park Hotel Tokyo is ideally situated in Shiodome, a flourishing center of business and culture. This luxury business hotel in Tokyo provides a superior level of service to satisfy the needs of all international clientele. A member of the design hotels TM group, Park Hotel Tokyo offers an extraordinary level of service and coordinated interior designs. Each room at Park Hotel Tokyo is decorated with Monique Le Houelleur's natural artwork and features color coordinated curtains and bedcovers. With its Atrium, Restaurants and Travel concept, art, the hotel is also unique in not only offering traditional Japanese hospitality throughout the year, but also stimulating the aesthetic senses of its guests.
Hotel Granvia Kyoto is an integral part of the JR Kyoto Station Building, the visually striking architectural masterpiece which also includes a department store, museum, musical theater, and a vast underground shopping mall. From this convenient location, hotel guests have direct and easy access to and from Kansai International Airport and major metropolitan destinations across Japan. With its elegant accommodations, including beautifully appointed guestrooms, there is simply no better place to stay in Kyoto. The inclusion of 12 restaurants and bars and fitness facilities makes Hotel Granvia Kyoto the premier destination for international travelers.
Maynard Fossum ,
December 12, 2014
"My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure. "
Craig Gelman ,
December 12, 2014
"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent. "
Ruth Reinhard ,
December 12, 2014
"The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience."
SixtoCastenada Jr. ,
December 12, 2014
"100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!"
December 12, 2014
"We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken."
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."
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