(Beijing, Xi'an, Yangtze, Shanghai, Hangzhou)
On this exclusive tour you will visit the major highlights of China, feast on local delicacies and enjoy the dramatic scenery of the Yangtze from onboard your 5 star cruise. Start in Beijing, with the Great Wall and Peking Duck. Head to Xi'an where you will visit the Terra Cotta Warriors. Fly to Chongqing to board the Sanctuary Yangtze Explorer, for 4 days of relaxed cruising down one of the world's most famous rivers. Arrive in Shanghai where you can stroll the bund. Take a side trip to Hangzhou, a popular and peaceful vacation spot with some of the most luxurious properties available in China. All with private guide and driver, top tier local cuisine, and 5* hotel.
Take an airport transfer by private car with an English-speaking guide in Beijing.
Fairmont Hotel in Beijing is within a short driving distance to Forbidden City or Tiananmen Square, the Embassy District, Oriental Plaza or Wangfujing, and China World Trade Centre. The hotel offers natural-lit rooms with floor-to-ceiling-windows that are furnished in contemporary Chinese style. The gate-form architecture showcases natural light-filled interiors accented by contemporary Chinese artworks, creating a sense of space and luxury living in the heart of China.
This full day, private guided tour, explores Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven with a stop for a deluxe lunch included. 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 Peking Duck dinner at Dadong restaurant. Voted by locals as the best Peking Duck in Beijing.
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 Summer Palace which is 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), three quarters of which is water. Classically designed as an archetypal Chinese garden, it is ranked amongst the most noted gardens of the world and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1998. Lunch is included in this tour.
Enjoy a private deluxe dinner at a fine local restaurant. Then transfer by private car to your VIP seat at Liyuan Theatre Pekin Opera show.
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.
Enjoy a two hour evening walking tour in Muslim Cultural street in Xi'ian - a fascinating area of the city which juxtaposes old against new. Nowadays this district is divided into three parts namely, Beiyuanmen Street, Xiyang Market and Huajue Lane, and gets its fashionable name "Muslim Street". The Drum Tower is to the southern end and the Great Mosque is to the northern end of the district. The mixture of ancient culture and modern style along with the prosperous scene and tantalizing smells will give you a great insight into the pulse of the city. You'll also get to visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda evening music fountain during your tour and enjoy a deluxe dumpling dinner.
Shangri-La Hotel Xian has the very best of the city right on its doorstep such as the finest in shopping and entertainment. The hotel is just a 30-minute drive from Xian International Airport, and is within easy reach of many top tourist attractions. The hotel’s 386 guest rooms and suites set a new standard for deluxe accommodation in Xian and offer four trendsetting designer restaurants. With luxurious spa treatments and a fully equipped health club with heated pool, it's the perfect place to soothe mind, body and soul. Whether you're traveling for pleasure, Shangri-La Hotel, Xian offers exceptional levels of hospitality to further enhance your enjoyment of this magnificent city.
Enjoy a full day private guided city tour with the first stop on as 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. Continuing with the tour is another visit to the Ancient City Wall. The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers from one of the oldest and most complete city defences are still around. 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. 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.
Fly from Xi'an to Chongqing.
Transfer between the airport and pier with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide.
This evening you will board the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer for your cruise to Yichang. After settling into your cabin, the ship will set sail on its downstream course through the Three Gorges region. The total length of this cruise is 660 kilometers (402 miles) and is considered by most Chinese to represent the single most scenic area in all of China. Later in the evening, a documentary about the Three Gorges Dam Project will be shown in the Tang Theatre.
The Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer is a more intimate and luxurious style of cruising that is new China. With the largest cabins and suites on the river, all the private balconies, as well as the highest crew to passenger ratio on the river of 1:1, this is a Yangzi cruise unlike any other. The Yangzi Explorer carries 124 passengers, compared to other cruise ships and offers the finest and most personalized service on the river. Onboard facilities include a la carte dining, a luxury spa, an observation deck, 24 hour room service, a 2 floor theatre, library, and beauty and fitness facilities. A doctor also travels onboard. The ship also has the most spacious and indulgent spa on board this vessel.
Start your morning with traditional Chinese exercise and work up an appetite for the buffet breakfast. After breakfast, discover the authentic method to preparing tea in China and afterwards learn to make dumplings from a specialized chef.
After lunch, there will be a shore excursion to Fengdu. Mingle with the locals and see how school children receive their early education.
In the afternoon, enjoy a complimentary afternoon tea with pastries in the Explorer Bar, before a lecture presentation introducing the Yangzi River. There is also an optional tour to the Captain's Bridge.
This evening, you will have the opportunity to meet the Captain and other guests onboard, at the Captain's Welcome Reception which will be followed by the Welcome Dinner.
Early this morning, the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer will enter Qutang Gorge and after breakfast, you will enter Wu Gorge and then cruise Shennong Stream. Disembark from the ship at Badong and board a ferry to a local longboat (sampan) poled by Tujia boatmen.
After lunch, there will be a presentation by an expert on the Three Gorges Dam Project. Following afternoon tea, view Xiling Gorge and later, try Chinese brush painting and calligraphy.
Tonight, enjoy a "A Taste of China" Dinner and afterwards, take in an evening of well-prepared entertainment by the crew members.
After breakfast, you will arrive at the Three Gorges Project Dam Site and Exhibition Centre. The Three Gorges Dam Project was started in 1992 and building was completed in 2009. The dam will be the largest dam on Earth, 1.2 miles wide and 600 feet in height. The dam's 26 generators will generate enough clean energy to reduce China's reliance on coal but it will also submerge 13 cities, 140 towns, 1,352 villages and over 600 industrial factories, more than 1,200 archeological projects and the 1.2 million people that will be resettled as a result of the flooding.
You will disembark the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer at around midday in Yichang.
Transfer between the airport, hotel or pier with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide.
Fly from Yichang to Shanghai.
Enjoy an airport transfer in Shanghai with a private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking Guide.
Opening in late 2009, the ninth property in The Peninsula Hotels' portfolio fronts the historic Bund with spectacular views of the Bund, Huangpu River, Pudong and the gardens of the former British Consulate, and blends with the historic architecture of its landmark neighbors along the Bund -- a UNESCO-designated Modern Heritage Site.
Experience a full day private guided tour of Shanghai taking in the Shanghai Museum, Urban Planning Museum, Nanjing Rd, Bund, a cruise on the Huangpu and the views from the Oriental Pearl Tower. The 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 nearby Urban Planning Hall is a fun and informative introduction to the exciting city that Shanghai past and future. Strolling down Nanjing Rd, once listed as one of the most interesting 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 river for a trip up the Oriental Pearl Tower to view the city from above. Much of this tour is best done by foot.
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 to/from train station with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide.
Enjoy the train ride from Shanghai to Hangzhou by bullet train. The journey should take approximately 45 minutes.
Transfer from hotel to train station or vice versa, with private vehicle and guide to assist.
Located in the scenic area of West Lake in Hangzhou, the Impression West Lake Theatre is considered by many one of the most beautiful metropolitan theatres on the planet, boasting a natural backdrop of pristine, clear water and magical, natural mountains. Staged on the mellow West Lake, this performance dives into the myths and legends of this diverse area. The special concealable auditorium provides a wide, birds-eyed view of the show. A sophisticated sound and light system only add to the magic of this wonderful dramatic masterpiece. This show plays all year long, and creates a unique and unduplicated experience across all four seasons in Jiangnan. This tour includes round-trip bullet-train transfers.
In China’s most picturesque setting, Four Seasons reveals an intimate lakeside village, melding centuries of tradition with chic contemporary style. Convenient to business and shopping, discover a tranquil enclave, woven with ponds, streams and lagoons. Experience the gentle spirit of Chinese hospitality in exclusive private dining rooms and resort-style recreation, including two swimming pools and a cutting-edge designer spa. Deftly sophisticated Four Seasons care instills confidence and delight.
Cruise on the West Lake which is situated on the west edge of Hangzhou city. West Lake is the symbol of Hangzhou as well as one of the most beautiful sights in China. Next stop is the Lingyin Temple/ Monastery of the Hidden Souls. Lingyin Temple is one of the ten most famous ancient Buddhist temples in China. It also houses various Buddhist literature and treasures situated in front of Lingyin Temple. It is famous for its more than 470 stone carvings of Buddhist figures, which dated from the 10th to 14th centuries. And finally the Dragon Well Tea Plantation. It is one of the most famous brand in China, in this Tea Plantation, you can try to pick the tea leaves, taste a nice cup of tea and learn the history and processing procedure of tea. Private vehicle, lunch and driver included.
Take in the views on your train ride from Hangzhou to Shanghai. The direct train route by bullet train should take approximately 45 minutes.
Transfer between Shanghai's domestic (PVG) airport and Shanghai train station.
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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