|10 Day China's Golden Triangle (2009)|
|Day 1: Depart U.S.|
Board nonstop flight to Beijing. En route, cross the International Date Line. (IM)
Day 2: Beijing
Arrive in Beijing in the afternoon. Meet your local representative and transfer to your hotel in the heart of Beijing. Your hotel has prime location and is only a few minutes walk to the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the renowned Wangfujing shopping area. Relax and enjoy the evening in China's historic and vibrant capital city. Beijing Joy City Hotel
Day 3: Beijing
Tour Beijing's imperial treasures. First, Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world, capable of holding a million people. Stroll across its vast expanse. An assortment of historical buildings, Communist monuments and huge museums, including Chairman Mao's Mausoleum, the Monument to the People's Heroes, and the Great Hall of the People - home of the National People's Congress, flank the Square. Walk through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, under the famed portrait of Chairman Mao, to enter the Forbidden City, a 9,999-room compound, where the 24 emperors of the Ming and the Qing Dynasties ruled the Middle Kingdom for nearly 500 years (1420-1911). Experience the architectural splendor of the palaces, ceremonial courtyards and private quarters. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then visit the Giant Panda at Beijing Zoo. In the afternoon tour the idyllic Summer Palace, with its sprawling encampment of temples, pavilions, the marble boat, and the 728-yard Long Corridor. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Beijing
In the morning, you visit the Temple of Heaven; this remarkable building is considered the supreme achievement of traditional Chinese architecture. During each winter solstice, the Ming and Qing emperors would perform rites and make sacrifices to Heaven praying for good harvest for their empire. The most striking edifice is the "Hall of Prayer of Good Harvests", which according to the emperor's Fengshui masters, is the exact point where heaven and Earth met. Built in 1420, this masterpiece of Ming architecture, features triple eaves, dramatically carved marble balustrades, and gorgeous glazed azure roof that symbolizes the color of heaven. Built without a single nails, this 120-foot-high structure is fixed by four inner pillars represent the seasons, and two sets of 12 columns denote the months and the traditional Chinese division of a day. Later, you tour the "Bird Nest" and "Water Cube" - the main Beijing Olympics venues.
You then take a scenic drive through the countryside to reach China's most renowned monument - the Great Wall. The 'original' wall was begun in the 5th century BC to keep out foreign invaders. Construction continued for centuries, eventually linking up the walls of the former independent kingdoms. The Great Wall meanders through China's northern mountain ranges from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert - a distance of over 3500 miles! Chairman Mao once said "You haven't walked on the Wall, you haven't been a good Chinese". Today you will have ample time to climb a section of the Great Wall and to get a sense of the enormity of this ancient edifice. In the evening, savor a specially prepared meal of Beijing Duck, cooked to crispy perfection.
Day 5: Beijing - Xian
After breakfast, join our Culture InSitesT Program and experience the world of Beijing's Hutongs, via rickshaw. This network of courtyard homes and narrow lanes traditionally linked the Old City. Tour the maze-like alleyways and neighborhood residences. See the locals as they go about their daily activities. Highlights include visits to a local kindergarten, to the 800-year-old Drum Tower and to a traditional courtyard style home. This unique tour concludes with a meal served at the home of a local family. Then transfer to the airport for a flight to Xian, an ancient capital and the historic gateway to the Silk Road. Xian was the capital of the Middle Kingdom for 11 dynasties. In a time when ancient Beijing was just a remote trading post, Xian was the capital of China and one of the world's largest and richest cities, with a population exceeding one million in the 10th century. Tour the Wild Goose Pagoda, a Tang Dynasty landmark. This seven-story pagoda was initially constructed in 652 AD to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from India by the monk, Xuan Zang, who later translated them into Chinese. His pilgrimage to India is immortalized in the Chinese classic - The Journey to the West. Enjoy the evening at leisure. Xian Titan Times Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 6: Xian
Today's excursion will take you to modern China's greatest archaeological discovery - The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, which silently guarded the tomb of the First Emperor, Qin Shihuang, for over 2200 years. In 1974, a local farmer uncovered the first of three massive earth and timber vaults, while digging a well. The extensive excavation, still in progress, has yielded over 6000 life-sized terra cotta warriors, each individually sculpted, with the physical characteristics of the humans they were modeled after. Archers, infantrymen, horses and bronze chariots have also been unearthed. A Circle Vision documentary is available on site. After lunch at a local restaurant, see a noodle making demonstration. Later you take a walk through one of Xian's most fascinating areas - the Muslim quarter, to the 7th century Great Mosque. Stand in four beautiful courtyards of ancient trees, ornate arches and stone steles, the Mosque is the center of life for the Muslim community - the descendants of the merchants that ferried the religion into China along the ancient Silk Road. Tour the lovely and unusual area with bustling stalls and enjoy some of the best street food in China. Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), traditionally regarded as the golden age of China, was a time of patricians and intellectuals, Buddhist monks and Taoist priests, poetry and music, song and dance - a period of peace and exceptional creativity lasting 300 years. This evening, you attend a feast of culinary and cultural delights with a special Dumpling (dim sum) banquet followed by a fascinating Tang Dynasty stage show. Indulge yourself in this remarkable show and reinvent your China dream with a travel back in time to the world of China's Golden Age, then come back to the present with a greater understanding of this amazing time. (B,L,SD)
Day 7: Xian - Shanghai
After breakfast, you fly to Shanghai, China's most modern metropolis. Shanghai is China dynamic financial and cultural center and was once referred to as "The Paris of the East". Upon arrival, you talk a walk along the Bund, the elegant riverside promenade which symbolized European and foreign influence and affluence in the 1930s. See the ships and barges on the Huangpu River, en route to the sea or going upstream to the interior of China. The modernistic Oriental Pearl TV tower looms in the background redefining the skyline. Enjoy the evening at leisure. Shanghai Bund Riverside Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 8: Shanghai
Begin your tour in the heart of old Shanghai at the 16th century Yu Garden bazaar. This complex, with its classical architectural details, maze of walkways and reflecting pools, has been a marketplace and social center for over 200 years. In contrast, is the futurist Pudong area. Transformed from once fertile farmland, this new area is rapidly becoming the symbol of modern China with its world class hotels, international financial institutions, and commercial centers. Enjoy a stunning view of Shanghai from the 88th floor of the Jinmao Tower, the tallest building in China. At 1,380 feet, it is the world's third tallest building, as well as home to the world's tallest hotel - the Grand Hyatt Shanghai. Enjoy a traditional Mongolian BBQ Buffet lunch. In the afternoon, visit Shanghai Museum, an unique and inspiring piece of architecture, home to more than 120,000 cultural relics of ancient China, including a priceless collection of jade, bronze, ceramics, paintings, furniture, etc. After dinner, attend an unforgettable performance of the Shanghai Acrobats (B,L,D)
Day 9: Shanghai
Today is a free day to explore this vibrant city on your own. You will be provided with a specially prepared orientation list. You can stroll through the Old Shanghai bazaar, shop at Nanjing Road's emporiums, or enjoy a nostalgic evening performance by the renowned senior citizen's Jazz band at the Peace Hotel. (B)
Day 10: Fly to home
After breakfast, board the Maglev, the world's fastest magnetic levitation train, for your trip to the Pudong International Airport. The Maglev travels at a speed of 287mph and will cover the 20 mile distance in less than 8 minutes! Then take your home bound flight to U.S. and arrive in U.S. the same day. (B)
|Departures & Fares||Click fare to reserve|
|Departure - Return||San Francisco|
|Contact us if you need a roommate|
|12/22/2008 - 12/31/2008|| || ||$299|
|01/03/2009 - 01/12/2009|| || ||$299|
|01/15/2009 - 01/24/2009|| ||$299|
|01/29/2009 - 02/07/2009|| ||$299|
|02/05/2009 - 02/14/2009|| ||$299|
|02/12/2009 - 02/21/2009|| ||$299|
|02/19/2009 - 02/28/2009|| ||$299|
*Prices reflect early booking discount of $200 per person on
select dates if you book by Oct. 31, 2008.
$200 deposit is required to
secure a reservation and payable by a credit card or personal
check. It makes no difference on the method of payment as
for the initial deposit. To take advantage of the cash discount
rate, you should pay the balance by personal check or money
order 50 days prior to departure date.
Rates are in U.S. fund, per person, based on double occupancy.
U.S.A. & China air taxes/fees and China visa handling fee
are extra. International air transportation is included except
for Land only package. Land Only Package includes all China
internal flights and transportation except for international
flights and airport/hotel transfers on arrival/departure date.
U.S.A. & China air taxes and fees: SFO: $490, JFK: $530, SEA: $495, China Land Only: $75.
China Single Entry Visa handling fee: $150