China Itinerary - 2009

click on a date to view the journal entry

 

7/20: Arrive Shanghai

Arrive in Shanghai. Stay in Le Royal Meridien Shanghai (5 star) located on the famous Pedestrian Street of Nanjing Road (by the City Square and close to the Bund).

 

7/21: Shanghai/ Jinshan                                coach

Shanghai is the most sophisticated city in China. Today’s tour starts with the renowned Shanghai Museum, with its priceless collections of ancient Chinese bronzes, ceramics, and calligraphy. Then we will stroll along the Bund, from where you can view both the new and old Shanghai. Mongolian BBQ for lunch (where you will have a chance to visit the weaving procedures of beautiful silk carpets and silk tapestry). The next is the Old Town of Shanghai, which is known as “China Town in China”. After the city tour, we will drive to Jinshanwei and get ready for next day’s Solar Eclipse observation. Stay at Jinshan Sunrise Hotel (4 star) B

 

7/22: ECLIPSE DAY! Jinshan /Suzhou     coach

Watch the great Total Solar Eclipse of 2009 (nearly 6 minutes of totality, weather permitting).  Then we will leave for Suzhou. Stay in centrally located garden-like Sheraton Suzhou Hotel & Towers (5 star). B, L                

 

7/23: Suzhou                                                  coach

Suzhou is well-known as “Venice in the East”, “City of Gardens”; and “Capital of Silk”. Today’s tour includes the Silk Spinning Factory, the Garden of Master Fishnet (a World Heritage Site) and Boat trip on the ancient Grand Canal.  B, L, D

 

7/24: Shanghai/Yichang/Victoria Anna      air

Leave Suzhou and transfer to the airport in Shanghai for the flight to Yichang, where we’ll board deluxe Victoria Anna after dinner in a local restaurant. B, D                                 

  

7/25: Three Gorges Dam

Today’s shore excursion is to visit the Three Gorges Dam, the largest in the world. It is a great experience to pass through the 5-stage shiplock. Then our ship will sail through the Xiling Gorge and Wu Gorge. Captain’s welcome-aboard party in the evening. B, L, D

 

7/26:  Three Gorges and Lesser Three Gorges

Disembark from our cruise ship and transfer to a smaller boat to tour the Lesser Three Gorges and Smaller Lesser Three Gorges. Return to the cruise ship and pass through the Qutang Gorge. Chinese cultural show after dinner. B, L, D

 

7/27:  Fengdu

Shore excursion to Fengdu (known as “Ghost City”). Captain’s farewell dinner. B, L, D

 

7/28: Chongqing/Guilin                              air                         

Disembark in Chongqing after breakfast. Visit pandas in Chongqing Zoo, City Square, People’s Hall, Art Gallery and local market. Take an afternoon flight to Guilin. Stay in Sheraton Guilin Hotel (5 star) located by the Li River and near the commercial center. B, L

 

7/29:  Guilin                         

Board a riverboat and sail on the Li River surrounded by majestic karst limestone formations, mist-covered hills and bamboo groves.  Lunch on boat. Disembark in Yangshuo in the afternoon and have some free time in the bustling market town of Yangshuo. Drive back to the hotel. Optional tour to Reed Flute Cave and optional massages. Dinner in a local restaurant. B, L, D

 

7/30:  Guilin/Xi’an                                         air

Fly to Xian, the ancient capital of Chna for 13 dynasties.  Visit the Museum of History, one of the finest museums in China. Then proceed to the ancient City Wall of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). We’ll also stop by the Jade Arts Center to learn more about the beautiful jade carvings. Stay in comfortable Sheraton Xi’an Hotel (5 star).B, L

  

7/31:  Xi’an

Today’s highlight is the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses - the eighth wonder of the world. The tour includes the circle vision movie and all the excavation sites and the Exhibition Hall of Bronze Chariot. There you will witness thousands of life-size Terra-cotta warriors and horses guarding the Tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. After lunch, we’ll visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the landmark of Xi’an. It was built in 652AD to safe keep the 657 volumes of Buddhist scriptures brought back from India by Monk Xuan. In the evening, we will attend the fantastic Tang Dynasty dinner show. B, L, D

 

8/01: Xi’an/Beijing                                 

Take a morning flight to Beijing. Visit the famous Summer Palace – China’s largest and best preserved imperial garden. Lunch at the beautiful Pearl Center where you will have a chance to visit the beautiful freshwater pearl products. Stay in New Otani Hotel. (5 star). B, L

 

8/02: Beijing

Today’s tour starts with the Tiananmen Square (the largest public square in the world), and then we’ll proceed to the Forbidden City (aka Palace Museum), in which 24 emperors lived from 1421 to 1911. While in the Forbidden City, we will visit all the major halls, residential quarters and gardens. After lunch, let’s go to Hutongs by rickshaw! “Hutong” is the word in Beijing for traditional quaternary residences connected by alleyways. We’ll be traveling to the maze-like alleyways of the quaint residential quarters for a visit of everyday life as it has been lived generations.  There we will also visit a private house and meet with the host.

B, L, D

 

8/03: Beijing

In the morning, we’ll visit the Temple of Heaven, one of the most photographed buildings in the world. Built in 1420, it was the place where the emperors of Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1911) Dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for abundant harvest. Then we’ll drive out of the city to the Great Wall (at Badaling), the greatest project in ancient China. Enjoy climbing the Wall! (on the way to the Great Wall, we’ll stop by a cloisonné factory to witness the making procedures of cloisonné, a unique handicraft in Beijing with a history of over 500 years). Farewell dinnerPeking Duck. B, L, D

 

8/04: Free Day in Beijing

B

 

8/05: Beijing/Home                            air

Depart Beijing and arrive home the same day. B             

 

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