(Beijing, Xi'an, Longsheng, Yangshuo, Shanghai)
There’s nothing more special than watching your children’s wide-eyed reaction to ancient sites and authentic cultural experiences that will last a lifetime.
This award-winning family adventure will not only open your children’s imaginations to the wonder of the world around them, but also packs plenty of thrills for the more mature. It all begins in Beijing where you’ll lunch at the Great Wall of China, enjoy a Kung Fu show and explore the city’s historic highlights. Then you’ll take the four-star overnight train to Xi’an where you’ll meet the 7000-strong Terra Cotta Army before moving onto the terraced rice paddies and small hillside villages of Longshen. Here you’ll witness the truly remarkable Sister Liu Show that boasts a cast of 500 people in a stunning outdoor setting. Finally, you’ll stop in on the charming farmhouse villages of Yangshuo and to the modern city of Shanghai via the Li River.
This trip has been expertly designed to suit the active family. The focus is on participation, with plenty of bonding experiences on offer that will be talked about around the family dinner table for years to come. From a Tai Qi lesson and cooking traditional dumplings with a real Beijing family, to climbing the cliffs surrounding the Dragon River and a visit to calligraphy school, this is a hands-on trip. But that doesn’t mean it skimps on the luxury. You’ll stay at four- and five-star hotels along the way, including incredible mountain and river lodges.
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.
Book by June 15th and save $200 per person or $800 for a family of four. Travel by September 1, 2013
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. 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 Beijing Wangfujing 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, meeting facilities and currency exchange center. All guestrooms feature Western décor and are furnished with lounge chairs in sandstone colors.
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 8m walls and 5m wide at the top, it is notable for its 22 watchtowers. Lunch is included.
Enjoy a private deluxe dinner at a fine local restaurant, then settle into your VIP seats for the Legend of KongFu Show, featuring a group of the best Kung Fu practitioners of China.
Start off the day in Chinese style peace, harmony and good health through having a Tai Qi instructor instruct and lead you through a one hour Tai Qi session at your hotel or, as part of your tour at one of the most popular venues for public space recreation in all of China, the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven.
This full day, 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.
Full day guided city tour, beginning with a morning exploring the hutongs, Beijing traditional neighbourhood of winding laneways and courtyard homes. Stop for lunch with a local family where your family can get engaged by watching and helping prepare Jaozi – the traditional dumplings of Northern China. Next travel to the Summer Palace – an impressive fusion of classical Chinese architecture, garden design and construction and enjoy a boat trip (not private) on the palace’s Kunming Lake.
Enjoy a transfer to/from train station with private vehicle, driver 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, clothes brush, stainless steel thermos, fine porcelain teacup, a trash can and wall socket. Travel time is roughly 11-13 hours.
A private transfer with an English speaking professional guide from the hotel to the train station, or vice versa, is provided.
The first stop is of this private guided bicycle tour is the Terracotta 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. 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, Sofitel Xian on Renmin Square is a perfect choice for the most astute of business and leisure travelers.
An airport transfer by private car with an English-speaking guide is provided.
Fly from Xi'an to Guilin.
Transfer to Longsheng for an overnight experience. Transfer includes private guided tour with a deluxe lunch on the way. The spectacularly terraced rice paddies 90km northwest of Guilin have become a popular destination. The most famous section is called "Dragon's Backbone", with the terraced rice paddies like the shining scales of the dragon down the steep slopes. Lush bamboo groves and small hillside villages show off the rich culture of the Zhuang and Yao people.
The Li-An lodge is a unique facility in a traditional Longsheng wooden building, perched on a mountain side. The Lodge is located in Long Sheng County and is about 50 miles northwest of Guilin; roughly a two-and-a-half-hour drive. Due to the lodge’s exclusive location, a half-hour uphill hike is required before one can actually reach it. Porters are available to relieve some burden and sedans can provide one with a ride. Each of the 16 rooms is artistically unique and built in traditional Chinese architectural style, offering all the western amenities. Dine on Chinese specialties or western dishes and have a drink at the bar. Lounge around the hotel, enjoy a photography showing and embark on a guided walking tour, highlighting beautiful scenic spots.
Spend the morning exploring the rice terraces, vistas and rural lifestyles of Longsheng before returning to Yangshuo.
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.
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.
Experience the local karst scenery at your own pace while exploring the villages and rice farms of the Dragon River area by bike. Stop en route to enjoy lunch next to one of the cliff in this world world-famous rock climbing destination. Get your adrenalin flowing and experience a different view of these unique rock formations under the expert supervision and instruction of internationally trained rock climbing guides. Finish the day at a charming rural farmhouse professionally converted into a gourmet cooking school where you will finish your lesson enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Full day hike along the most interesting stretch of the Li River can be done in various formats our suggestion being: Begin in the village of Yangdi and follow the winding river as it flows downstream towards the village of Xingping. Pass en route some of the most famous landmarks of the river such as the 9 horse Fresco. This journey includes 4 to 5 hours walking, river ferries and a short cruise. It designed for individuals or small groups, and offers a truly alternative view of this famous river as well as the rural landscapes and people who live beside it. 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. Snacks, fruit and bottle water is also included in this tour.
Receive a calligraphy lesson from Forest Lin, a local celebrity in the Yangshuo area for his training and skill in traditional Chinese art. Forest loves to share his artistic knowledge and can provide you with memorable sounveniers, including landscape t-shirt paintings for families with children.
You will be picked up and transferred to the Guilin airport from Yangshuo by private vehicle with an English speaking guide.
Fly from Guilin to Shanghai.
A transfer between the airport and your hotel or the city Shanghai with a private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking Guide is provided.
Enjoy a deluxe dinner and VIP seats at an Acrobatic Show with private car transfer. The spectacular acrobatic feats are barely believable but come from expert 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.
Full day private guided tour of Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple, and Yu Garden with deluxe lunch. Shanghai Museum is a veritable treasure house of ancient Chinese art and houses 120,000 precious relics. Bronzes, pottery, paintings and calligraphies are distinctive features of the Museum's collection. The Jade Buddha Temple 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 with its own style, the most popular being the Grand Rockery in the center.
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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