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(Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Shanghai)
As you watch pandas at play in their natural habitat you may feel the need to pinch yourself.
But pinch yourself as much as you like, because a close encounter with China’s shyest native animal at Chengdu is just one experience on this unforgettable trip. Begin in Beijing where your private tour guide will reveal the secrets of the Forbidden City, usher you through the gates of the Temple of Heaven and tell the tales of Tiananmen Square. Follow that up with fun and games at a wild Kung Fu show and stop by the Great Wall of China before stepping aboard the overnight train to Xi’an where you’ll stand toe-to-toe with Terra Cotta Army and meet the Kung Fu fighting monks of a real Shaolin Temple. Then it’s on to Sichuan province for a taste of the region’s famously spicy cuisine. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen and to a local teahouse in traditional Chengu for an ancient tea ceremony with all the trimmings.
This trip is all about family fun and there’s plenty to keep kids – big and small – smiling mile wide. Action-packed Kung Fu displays and gravity-defying acrobatic shows will keep jaws to the floor, and a parade of centuries-old monuments provide a peerless educational experience. Accommodation is a mixture of luxury hotels and authentic cultural experiences that adds a richness to the trip that reaches well beyond the postcard image.
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, then settle into your VIP seats for the Legend of Kung Fu Show, featuring a group of the best Kung Fu practitioners in China, where the age of the performers averages at 17. The costumes, stage design, and special effects are of high standard and run by China's finest directors and designers. The story line is about a child found by monks, whose dream is to become a Kung Fu master. Searching for enlightenment the boy is often challenged and tempted. The Legend of Kung Fu consists of an exceptional and dazzling combination of modern dancing, acrobatics, and Kung Fu. The performers do not speak, but English subtitles enable the audience to follow the plot.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy this full day excursion aboard a train to see the Luoyang Longmen Grottoes and Shaolin Temple. The Grottoes are located on the Li River in the South of Luoyang City and feature stone inscriptions and pictures that took over 400 years to create. The engravings stretch for about 1,094 yards, contain many thousands of niches, steles, and holes and date back to 493 AD, as Emperor Xiaowen moved to the city of Luoyang. The Shaolin Temple is a Buddhist monastery and was established in the 5th century. Known for its Shaolin Kung Fu and the Pagoda Forest, the temple is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunch is included.
Fly from Xi'an to Chengdu.
The Sichuan province is the home of Szechuan cooking. Experience the burning fire of Sichuan's famous Hotpot dish at the Huang Cheng Lao Ma restaurant. The restaurant is accommodated in an artistically impressive brick building with a façade displaying pictures from Chengdu’s past. There are several types of hotpots; the traditional chili pepper-hua jiao red pot, hot and mild spilt version, beer lamb hotpot or bullfrog hotpot. A typical ingredient is offal, but in many restaurants the old tradition has been reinvented and modern versions usually include a selection of different meats and seafood.
Buddha Zen was named by Master Chishan and is the first hotel with the theme of Buddha Zen culture in China. The design of the hotel follows the spirit of Buddha Zen with the combination of traditional Chinese aesthetics. Its interior design is unique and there are a plenty of rare Tangkas, ancient temple paintings and antiques, which include the oldest man-made embroidery of Qing Dynasty in Sichuan.
Enjoy a full day private guided Chengdu tour, starting with a half-day trip to the Panda Research Centre. The centre was designed to imitate the pandas' natural habitat in order to provide the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. After watching and observing the Pandas, travel to Chengdu's traditional Jinli Street for a local lunch. After your meal, you will visit a local teahouse to experience one of the most vibrant and ancient tea cultures in the world. Lunch is included.
Fly from Chengdu to Shanghai.
This evening you will be picked up by a private car to enjoy a deluxe dinner and then watch the spectacular performers of an acrobatic show. The impressive acrobatic feats are hardly credible and are a result of early professional training, starting as young as age six or seven. Most performers have a minimum of twenty years experience.
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.
Enjoy a half day cultural tour in Shanghai experiencing a Tai Chi class as well as a Calligraphy class. Lunch will be served in NanXiang, one of the districts in the Shanghai Jiading District at XiaoLong Bao restaurant, meaning ‘dumplings’ in English.
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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