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13 Days China Essentials Tour

Destinations:Beijing, Xi\'an,Guilin,Shanghai

from: US$100
Tour Code: CITIC-SD-01
Summary: Take this opportunity to experience the best of China in 13 days.Begin with walking the Great Wall in Beijing,then witness the incredible Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an before taking a relaxing Li River cruise in Guilin.Enjoy the picture-perfect landscapes in Guilin before flying to the cosmopolitan city-Shanghai.

Day 1

Beijing

International flight on your own arrangement. Once arrive in Beijing,be met and transferred to your hotel. Feel free at leisure for the rest of the day.

Day 2

Beijing
The Tian'anmen Square

After breakfast starts with a visit to the Temple of Heaven .You will see local people practicing Tai Chi,as well as singing and calligraphy in the neighboring park,and take a leisurely walk through Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City, enjoy the panoramic view of Forbidden City form Jing-shan Hill .Sample Peking Duck Dinner before a fantastic Kongfu Show .
The Tian'anmen Square : The largest city square in the world.
The Forbidden City : The largest imperial palace in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties with a history of around 600 years.Located in the middle of Beijing, Forbidden City was the Chinese royal palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Also called Palace Museum, the Forbidden City is recognized as the most magnificent and splendid palace complex in China and one of the five world-famous palaces with the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in United States and the Kremlin in Russia.
The Temple of Heaven : Temple of Heaven ( Tiantan ) is located in the southern part of Beijing, and has been one of the most holy places for the whole country for more than five centuries. It used as a complex of sacrificial buildings for the Ming and Qing emperors, and is the largest one in Beijing among several royal altars to Heaven, Earth, the Sun, the Moon and other deities or symbolic forces of Nature.

Day 3

Beijing
The Great Wall

Morning head to visit the Great Wall, Ming Tomb .Then explore the alleyway -"Hutong" by riding on a traditional rickshaw to catch close-up glimpses of local life.
The Great Wall : One of the seven wonders in the world and the symbol of China.Badaling Great Wall is the most impressive and the most visited section of the Great Wall of China. Constructed in 1502 during the Ming Dynasty, the Badaling Great Wall once served as an important military fortification. Many leaders from China and around the world, like Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher…all visited this section of the wall.
The Ming Tomb : The only underground tomb of the thirteen tombs of the emperors in the Ming Dynasty.Some 50 kilometers northwest of the downtown Beijing, the Ming Tombs are generally combined with a visit to the Great Wall. Otherwise known as the “13 Tombs”, this is the burial site of 13 out of 17 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. However, the only one you can get a good look at is the tomb of Emperor Wanli, who reigned from 1537 to 1620. This tomb was unearthed in 1956. There are two others that have been uncovered, but the rest remain illusive.

Day 4

Beijing  Xi'an
Birds Nest National Stadium

Take a photo stop at the 200 Olympic Site to see the Bird's Nest National Stadium and Water Cube Aquatic Centre .Then explore the Summer Place-a former imperial summer resort. Then take the overnight soft sleeper train to Xi'an.
Bird's Nest National Stadium:The National Stadium, affectionately known as Bird's Nest, is situated in Olympic Green Village, Chaoyang District, Beijing. It was designed as the main stadium of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Olympic events of track and field, football, gavelock, weight throw and discus were held there. Since October, 2008, after the Olympics ended, the National Stadium has been opened as a tourist attraction. Now, it's the center of international or domestic sports competition and recreation activities .
Water Cube Aquatic Centre:Located on the west side of Landscape Avenue in the Olympic Green and to the west of Beijing National Stadium(Bird's Nest), the National Aquatics Center contains the official 2008 Olympics swimming facility. It measures 177 meters (194 yards) long, 177meters wide, and 30 meters (98 feet) high and covers an area of 62,950 sq meters (75,287 sq yard). It has four floors: one at street level, two above, and one below. Its floor space reaches 79,532 sq meters (95,119 sq yard), while the below street level area is no less than 15,000 sq meters (17,939 sq yard). The one below served as the service area during the Olympics. The first floor is for tourists. The auditorium is on the second floor with 6,000 fixed seats (2,000 of which are movable), and 11,000 temporary seats. The third floor is strictly for business .
Summer Place:Situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing City, the Summer Palace is 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from central Beijing. Being the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China, it greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape with its famous natural views and cultural interests, which also has long since been recognized as 'The Museum of Royal Gardens' .

Day 5

Xi'an
The Ancient City Wall

Morning arrive Xi'an,you will be met and transferred to your hotel.This afternoon stroll on the original City Wall,Which you have opportunity to cycle on this ancient wall,and then explore the Old Muslim Quarter and Old Mosque.Tonight enjoy a local specialty-dumpling dinner before the famous Tang Dynasty culture show.
The Ancient City Wall : An extension of the old Tang Dynasty structure boasting the most complete city wall that survives through Chinese long history.The City Wall has corner towers, ramparts, sentry towers, gate towers, battlements and a a number of city defensive fortifications with very strong defense capability.
Old Muslim Quarter and Old Mosque:The Great Mosque is a Chinese traditional Alhambresque architecture with a long history and grant scale, which is the great combination of Islamic and Chinese culture. It was recorded that it was established in the first year of the Tian Bao reign by Li Lung Ji, after renovations and expansions on several occasions in the Song, Yuan and especially the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it gradually takes on the current performance. The Great Mosque and the Muslim Quarter now is the important relic preservation of Shanxi Province and the national important relic preservation of third period.
Tang Dynasty culture show:If you prefer a night performance to kill your night time, Tang Dynasty Show is your best choice, which is on the most Xian visitors' top 10 attractions list. The Tang Dynasty Show showcases the costumes, music, and dancing of China's golden age: the Tang dynasty (618 - 907). The show begins with an ancient Chinese musical instrument ensemble while you dine and then later the cultural dance segment begins. The costumes are splendid and you can get some really nice photos if you sit near the stage.

Day 6

Xi'an  Guilin
The Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses

After breakfast visit the historical significance of the amazing The Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses -where7000 individually crafted clay soldiers stand on guard.Then continue to the Bid Wild Goose Pagoda built to house Buddhist scriptures collected by a Chinese Monk,where you can see variety of buddha statues before flying to Guilin.
The Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses : The greatest archaeological findings of the century: the army of terra-cotta warriors and the bronze chariots entombed in vast underground vaults at emperor Qin's tomb.
The Wild Goose Pagoda: The pagoda where widely renowned Master Xuanzang (Monk Tripitaka) stored his classics brought from India. Big Goose Pagoda is one of the oldest structures in China. Originally Big Goose Pagoda consisted of a brick structure of five stores and was about 60 meters high. First built in 589A.D.in the Sui Dynasty. Between AD 701 and AD 704 during the reign of the Empress Wu Zetian five more stores were added to the pagoda making ten in all.

Day 7

Guilin
Longsheng

Today head to the beautiful rural countryside-Longsheng to see ancient rice terraces built about 800 years ago.Wander through little stone pathway and traditional wooden houses on stilts and villages of the Zhuang people.Wake up the mountain to admire the spectacular rice terrace scenery.This evening sample the local specialty dinner.
Longsheng :Longsheng Gezu Autonomous County (Longsheng Multi-ethnic Autonomous County) is located in the northeastern portion of Guangxi and it is under Guilin's governance. This area is the centralized hub for about ten ethnic minority groups in northern Guilin including Zhuang, Yao, Miao and Dong, etc. who thrive on farming and tourism. Longsheng boasts many attractions that have helped build a thriving culture of tourism. A few of its highlights include: Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces located in Heping  Township; Longsheng Hot Springs, which originate in the Longsheng Hot Springs National Forest Park and is considered supernatural water by locals - the water that flows from the Longsheng Hot Springs is natural mineral water which can be used both medicinally and as drinking water; Huaping National Nature Reserve, which is the largest subtropical evergreen broad-leaf forest and also known for its many waterfalls; Longsheng Nanshan Prairie, which is a natural meadow stretching across Hunan and Guangxi Provinces and famed as 'China Southland's Hulunbeier Prairie (in Inner Mongolia)'.

Day 8

Guilin
Li River Cruises

After breakfast enjoy the spectacular Li River Cruises.The cruise ship goes past the bizarre shaped mountains,villages and water buffaloes.Disembark at the traditional country town of Yangshuo.
Li River Cruises:The Li River (Lí Jiāng, pronounced Lee Jyang) is the main river system of Guilin Prefecture, Northeast Guangxi. Originating from Kitten Mountain (Mao’er Shan), the Li River winds its way south for 437 km (272 miles). The 83-kilometer-long (52-mile-long) section between Guilin and Yangshuo is the most beautiful part.The Li River from Zhujiang Pier (Guilin city suburbs) to Yangshuo is like an artist's masterpiece. The landscape is decorated with startling hills, steep cliffs, fantastic caves and farming villages, and is lined with bamboo groves. In a Chinese poem it is written: "The river is a green silk ribbon, and the hills are jade hairpins".It is a Chinese tradition to divide the long trip into sections (just as the Three gorges along the Yangtze River) and give each peak an imaginative name. Although some take much of your imagination to see what it is like, listening to tour guide's legendary stories behind them is a delightful experience when you are appreciating the landscapes. Most are mystical fairy and love stories. The writer choose some of the peaks and places to illustrate below. (They are presented in order of location along the River.

Day 9

Guilin

Spend a free day to explore tranquilly countryside and local villages,see rice paddies and fish farms.There are many activities to day,such as cycling,bamboo boat drifting,bargain shopping and cooking class.

Day 10

Guilin  Shanghai
Elephant Trunk Hill

Visit"Palace of Natural Art"Reed Flute Cave,view the beautiful vista of the Elephant Trunk Hill before flying to Shanghai.
Elephant Trunk Hill : is located on the western bank of Li River. The shape of the hill is just like a huge elephant drinking water from the river with its trunk, so it is called Elephant Trunk Hill.Shui Yue Cave (Water Moon Cave) is between the trunk and the legs, which is a semi-round cave penetrated by water. The inverted reflection of the cave in water plus the part above forms a full moon. This phenomenon is unique and many laudatory inscriptions were found on the wall inside the cave. Visitors can boat through the cave to the river.
Palace of Natural Art"Reed Flute Cave:Known as “the Palace of Natural Arts”, Reed Flute Cave's remarkable features impress domestic and foreign visitors alike. Situated at the foot of Guangming Hill in northeastern Guiln, Reed Flute Cave got its name from the kind of reed growing immediately outside the cave entrance, which is used to make fine flutes.It has been a tourist attraction for more than 1,000 years. Inside the cave, there are various stalagmites, stone curtains, stone flowers and stone pillars, which constitute a unique charm, making it known as a palace of natural art.This limestone cave with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations makes the Reed Flute Cave well worthy of a visit.According to legend, it is believed that the green reed could be made into flutes to create dulcet music. The exuberant reed covered the entrance to the cave, so the people of the area used this cave for many centuries as a hideout in times of war.

Day 11

Shanghai
Bund

Morning visit the Shanghai Museum and after dinner visit the Bund and enjoy the boat cruise on the Huangpu River.
Shanghai Museum: Shanghai Museum used to be near the Bund area. It is now situated in People's Square and its new buildings were built in 1996, designed by a Shanghai architect named Xing Tonghe. The new design symbolizes China's ancient understanding of the world: round sky and square earth. The museum has a circular roof and rectangular base. It stores 120,000 precious artifacts, which narrate a story of China's 5,000-year civilization.
Bund: This symbol of Shanghai is known worldwide as the ‘gallery of international architecture.’ Its assortment of buildings standing along the Huangpu River varying in height, color and architectural design make it one of the most magnificent skylines in the world.The Bund is Shanghai's most characteristic landscape. Over one hundred years, it has emerged as a symbol of Shanghai. It is located between the Nanpu Bridge and the Waibaidu Bridge in the West Bank of Huangpu River, with the total length of four kilometers. It is one of the new ten landscapes of the Shanghai 90s and the top ten tourist attractions. The Huangpu River, Long Beach, Green Square, as well as magnificent architectural complex together constitute a spectacular Shanghai incomparable landscape.
Huangpu River:Huangpu River is a branch of the lower reaches of theYangtze River. It lies in Shanghai City, formerly known as Huangxiepu or Chunshen River. It takes its rise from theTai Lake, runs eastwards through the Dianshan Lake in Qingpu County and then flows to Minhang District in Shanghai. At the Baidu Bridge in the center of Shanghai City, Huangpu River flows together with the Wusong River (i.e. Suzhou River) and finally flows into the East China Sea.

Day 12

Shanghai
Yuyuan Garden

In the morning you will visit Yuyuan Garden and Jade Budda Temple, and the rest of the day is free for you.
Yuyuan Gardens: A famous garden of beauty and tranquility in the heart of Shanghai built during the Ming Dynasty 400 years ago as a son’s gift to his parents.Black tiles and white walls establish a nonchalant and simple keynote . The dainty style makes one feel comfortable, and each exquisite window lattice is telling its own story, serves the record of the past delicate life. Every piece of roof tile is passing a sort of affection of pride and memories.The entire Yuyuan Garden is bordered by the Dragon Wall.
Jade Buddha Temple:A beautiful Buddhist temple constructed in 1882 housing two spectacular, imported, jade, Burmese Buddhas.

Day 13

Depart Shanghai

In the morning you will be transferred to the airport and take the flight back to your hometown.

Travel in party of Superior Class
★★★★★
Deluxe Class
★★★★
Tourist Class
★★★
2-5 persons N $ $
6-9 persons N $ $
10 persons & above N $ $
Single room Supplement N $ $

Service included:

1 Entrance fees/
2 Meals as listed in the itinerary, B=breakfast; L=lunch ;
3 Personal Guide & Driver + Private car / van for Private Transfers & sightseeing
4 Hotels with breakfast(twin share bases) as listed in the itinerary .
5 Domestic flights or trains as listed in the itinerar
6 Airport Taxes: US$30for domestic,
7 Service Charge & Government Taxes .
8 Luggage Transfers between airports and hotels
9 Goverment letter for visa support

Service excluded:

1 All lunches and dinners, and breakfast on the train
2 Personal expenses, tips to the guide and driver.
Note, the price for 6-10 pax included Lunches and Dinners1 Entrance fees/
2 Meals as listed in the itinerary, B=breakfast; L=lunch ;
3 Personal Guide & Driver + Private car / van for Private Transfers & sightseeing
4 Hotels with breakfast(twin share bases) as listed in the itinerary .
5 Domestic flights or trains as listed in the itinerar
6 Airport Taxes: US$30for domestic,
7 Service Charge & Government Taxes .
8 Luggage Transfers between airports and hotels
9 Goverment letter for visa support
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