(Beijing, Xi'an, Lijiang, Yunnan's Shangrila, Shanghai)
Visit one of China's most naturally stunning regions: Yunnan Province. Experience the dramatic mountain landscape, the local Tibetan culture, and the unique regional cuisine on this luxurious exploration through one of the countries least explored areas. In addition, visit the major highlights of Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai including the majestic Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors, and the futuristic bund. All with private guide and driver, and 5* accommodation.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Enjoy a full day guided tour of Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and Temple of Heaven with 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. The Summer Palace occupies an area of 294 hectares, three quarters of which is water. Classically designed as an archetypal Chinese garden, it's ranked amongst the most noted gardens of the world and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1998.
Enjoy a deluxe duck dinner at Dadong and acrobatic show at Chaoyang Theater in VIP style. Dinner time is from 5:30pm - 6:45pm and the show begins at 7:15pm, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
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.
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 Lijiang via Kunming or Chengdu.
Enjoy an hour of soothing relaxation, as you indulge in traditional massage at the Banyan Tree in Lijiang.
Experience a full day private guided tour of Old Town, Black Dragon Pool, and Naxi Museum with a deluxe lunch. The Old Town was built in the late Song Dynasty and the early Yuan Dynasty and has a history of more than 800 years. Since Kublai Khan set his reign here, the first Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty, Lijiang has been the nexus of trading activities among Yunnan, Tibet, and India. The streets of Old Town reflect this prosperity with flourishing traditional houses and shops with fancy and superb collections of handicrafts. Naxi people are famed for their artists and poets. Great talents in the areas of poetry, calligraphy, painting, and music have all come from this rich and captivating culture, featured in the Naxi Museum.
Transfer from Lijiang to Zhongdian via Tiger Leaping Gorge. The Tiger Leaping Gorge is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River a primary tributary of the upper Yangtze River. At a maximum depth of approximately 3790 meters from river to mountain peak, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world. Lunch is included.
Zhongdian is a town in Yunnan which houses the Emerald Pagoda Lake locally known as Bita Hai, the major highlight of this town. Situated about 32 kilometers away from Shangri-La County, Bita Hai covers an area of 166 hectares. Bita Lake, a fault lake, is an intact natural attraction with various species of flora and fauna and picturesque landscapes. In the Tibetan language, Bita means "a piece of land as soft as cattle hair felt". With an altitude of 3,539 meters, the lake is the highest in Yunnan Province. The main attraction of this area is the Tibetan folklore, the primeval forest, the highland meadow, and the highland flowers and plants.
Enjoy a full day trekking at Napa Lake and the surrounding villages. In the morning you will drive to Napa Lake which is a "seasonal" lake. This meaning that the entire pasture turns into a lake during the springtime where lots of wildflowers bloom and and dries out come fall. Start your trekking from Hamu Village and visit a Tibetan family on route. Then drive to Nixi Village where you will enjoy a local style lunch. After lunch, visit Tutao Village also known as the Pottery Village, continue for about 2 hours, and then drive back to your hotel.
Fly from Zhongdian to Kunming. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.
Fly from Kunming to Shanghai. Flight time is approximately 3 hours.
Enjoy a private guided tour of Shanghai taking in the Urban Planning Museum, Nanjing Road and Bund area, a cruise on the Huangpu, and the character of Yuyuan Gardens. Start with a short visit to the Urban Planning Hall, a fun and informative introduction to the exciting city of Shanghai past and future. Strolling down Nanjing Road, once listed as one of the most interesting in the world, you will arrive at the historic Bund. Enjoy a cruise on the Huangpu river that divides old Shanghai from the futuristic Pudong before venturing to the old quarter and Yuyuan gardens. Much of this tour is best done by foot.
Soaring above the heart of the Beijing’s Central Business District, Park Hyatt Beijing is part of the prestigious Beijing Yintai Centre, the tallest skyscraper on Chang’an Avenue and a symbol of the new China. Directly opposite the China World Trade Centre and the new CCTV Tower, this five-star luxury hotel is 40 minutes from the Beijing Capital International Airport, five minutes from the Embassy District and just 15 minutes from the Forbidden City by car. In addition to the 5 star hotel services and facilities, guests will be able to experience a wide range of unique and luxury shopping, dining and entertainment concepts in Park Life, a dynamic lifestyle destination located within the Yintai centre.
Shangri-La Hotel Xian has the very best of the city right on its doorstep with 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 guest rooms and suites set a new standard for deluxe accommodation in Xian. The hotel also offers trendsetting designer restaurants. With luxurious spa treatments and a fully equipped health club with heated pool, it's the perfect place to soothe the 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.
The Banyan Tree Lijiang, set amidst the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, is the first luxury resort in Lijiang, with its stunning architecture and luxurious villas reflecting the rich fabric of its surroundings through its design and furnishings. Enjoy a delightful array of international cuisine at the indoor and outdoor café, offering buffet-style dining, following a nightcap at the hotel bar. Rejuvenate at the Banyan Tree Spa, gym, and sauna and take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, enveloped in the beauty of the surrounding region.
The Banyan Tree Ringha (5*) is located in China's Yunnan province; a mountainous area designated as the official Shangri-La by the Chinese government and is part of Greater Tibet, both historically and culturally. The resort boasts 32 spacious lodges and suites that are traditional Tibetan farmhouses with intricate woodcarvings, smoky fireplaces and wooden balconies that have valley or river views. Impressive pine pillars add enormous character to both the interior and exterior of each house. Perched 3,200 metres above sea level and 45 minutes from Diqing Shangri-La Airport, its surroundings and undulated landscape is an alluring magnet for those seeking a truly unique travel experience in a frontier destination.
Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai is ideally located in Shanghai’s downtown. The 37-storey hotel is a tranquil sanctuary in the heart of the bustling metropolis, with 439 guest rooms and suites. Si Ji Xuan serves traditional Cantonese cuisine combined with Shanghainese favourites in an elegant atmosphere. At lunch, guests can choose from a wide selection of dim sum delicacies. For dinner, Chinese specialties and fresh seafood are the focus. Offering discreet, personalized service in a casual yet professional atmosphere, the spa is a tranquil retreat, away from the activity of this busy city. Also enjoy the healing effects of authentic Balinese massages, and experience the luxury of the Four Seasons Shanghai.
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."
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!! "
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