American breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 5 dinners including a Peking Duck welcome dinner in Beijing and a farewell dinner in Shanghai
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in Beijing, China
Welcome to China! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 Beijing
Your full-day sightseeing starts with a visit to TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE, the largest public square in the world. Next, explore the FORBIDDEN CITY, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest palace complex in the world. Once the home of China’s great emperors, today it showcases ancient Chinese architecture, landscaped gardens, and displays of rare art and artifacts. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, followed by free time to explore on your own. This evening, savor a special PEKING DUCK WELCOME DINNER.
Day 3 Beijing. Great Wall Excursion
The GREAT WALL OF CHINA once stretched 4,000 miles across China’s barren northern terrain from the Bohai Sea to the Gobi Desert. Head north to a village where the Great Wall is well preserved and walk along the wall to enjoy sweeping vistas of this mammoth fortress. Return to Beijing for some time at your leisure. Tonight, you may choose to attend a performance of the Peking Opera, a traditional form of Chinese theater or attend the Legend of Kung Fu Show, with a fusion of kung fu, dance, and acrobatics.
Day 4 Beijing–Xi’an
This morning, visit the TEMPLE OF HEAVEN and enjoy a rickshaw ride through one of Beijing’s HUTONGS, the city’s ancient alleys. Experience life in this historic neighborhood as you are invited into the courtyard of a family’s home to learn more about their life. A short flight brings you to the city of Xi’an in central China.
Day 5 Xi’an
One of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world when China dominated the silk trade, Xi’an today is an archaeological treasure trove. Sightseeing begins with the enormous tomb of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, accidentally discovered by local farmers in 1974. Marvel at the legion of TERRACOTTA WARRIORS that has been guarding the burial site for 2,000 years. During lunch, enjoy a NOODLE-MAKING DEMONSTRATION by a master chef and learn how Chinese noodles are made by hand. Next, visit the DAYAN PAGODA, built in 652 AD. This evening, attend the “Tang Dynasty” DINNER SHOW, featuring a colorful assemblage of classical performances.
Day 6 Xi’an–Guilin
Today, fly to Guilin, one of China’s most beautiful areas. Tonight you may choose to join our optional trip to see trained cormorants dive for fish, the traditional Lijiang fishing method.
Day 7 Guilin
Limestone mountains, their needle peaks hidden in the mist, rise from the green plain surrounding Guilin. The scene conveys a sense of mystery that for centuries artists have tried to capture. Savor unique vistas during a leisurely CRUISE on the Li River, where you’ll enjoy a light lunch. Afterward, visit a local TEA FARM for a hands-on demonstration of the tea-making process, followed by a tea ceremony.
Day 8 Guilin–Shanghai
Fly to Shanghai, China’s most populous city and center of trade and industry. This evening, sip a drink as you CRUISE on the Huangpu Riverfor stunning views of the Bund.
Day 9 Shanghai
This morning, your sightseeing starts at the YU YUAN GARDENS, dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Then, learn about the silk-making process at a SILK FACTORY. For lunch, stop at a local restaurant for a traditional DIM SUM feast. This culinary treat originated as a snack centuries ago in roadside teahouses established for weary traders traveling along the Silk Road and hard-working farmers. Today, it has evolved into a full meal featuring a wide variety of steamed buns, dumplings, and mini rice-noodle rolls. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. Perhaps visit Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s main pedestrian and shopping area with more than 400 stores. This evening, consider joining an optional tour to see a spectacular acrobatic show.
Day 10 Shanghai
This morning, visit the SHANGHAI MUSEUM, featuring stunning displays of ancient bronze, jade, and ceramics. Then, take a WALKING TOUR of the former French Concession, once Shanghai’s leading residential and retail area. Today, the qualities that made the area so popular endure—from quaint, tree-lined streets and exquisite architecture to charming shops and fashionable restaurants and bars. Along the way, see the famous Art Deco Cathay Theatre, explore the narrow lanes of Xintiandi, and visit Fuxing Park, where locals play chess, dance, practice tai chi, and more. The afternoon is at your leisure. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner.
Day 11 Shanghai
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.