We are proud to be Your China Travel Specialist !

12 Day The Middle Kingdom (2009)

Day 1: Depart USA
Board Air China 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. Relax and enjoy the evening in China's historic and vibrant capital city.     Beijing Jianguo Garden 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. Enjoy a boat ride on Kunming Lake.      (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 visit the "Bird's Nest" and Water Cube, the main 2008 Beijing Olympics venues.

Afterwards, you 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.      (B,L,SD)     

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 - Hangzhou
After breakfast, fly to Hangzhou, one of China's premier tourist destinations. An old Chinese saying states, "In heaven above there is Paradise, on earth there is Suzhou and Hangzhou". Hangzhou has been the inspiration for poets and artists for centuries. Besides silk, the region is also a major producer of tea. After lunch, take a cruise on the picturesque West Lake, which is said to be created from a pearl dropped by a phoenix and a dragon, and proclaimed by the Chinese "the landscape composed by a painter". Stroll along the lake's causeways and immerse yourself in its beauty. You also visit the famed "Broken Bridge" to marvel at the Golden Fishes. No tour to Hangzhou is complete without going to the world renowned Dragon Well Tea Plantation, where the legendary green tea is picked and processed by hand. The first picked tea leaves of the new harvest were once reserved solely for the Emperor and transported to him via the Grand Canal. You will learn about the harvesting, as well as the proper way to brew this healthful beverage. The Chinese Tea Ceremony will be demonstrated. Sample the freshness of the tea. Appreciate its "green color, smooth appearance, fragrant aroma and sweet taste".      West Lake Golden Plaza (B,L,D)     

Day 8: Hangzhou - Suzhou
In the morning you tour the "Old Street" with Ming & Qing houses and stone cobbled lanes, where you visit the Chinese Herb Museum, a rare opportunity to know China traditional herb and medication. After lunch, you travel by deluxe motorcoach to the fabled water town of Suzhou. Suzhou is often referred, by the Chinese, as the "Venice of the East". It is a 2,500-year-old town renowned the world over for its traditional gardens, ancient canals and silk production. In 1997 Suzhou was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction of the Grand Canal created a means whereby goods from this region could be transported to the Northern capital, Beijing, a distance of over 600 miles. With prosperity came prestige as merchants and artisans plied their trade; elaborate gardens were built. Enjoy the evening at your leisure. Your hotel is centrally located in the quaint old city and surrounded by art studios, silk shops, tea houses and handicraft stores. It's the place where you want to take an evening stroll on the street, enjoy bargain shopping or sip tea at a traditional tea house.     Suzhou Nanlin Hotel (B,L,D)     

Day 9: Suzhou - Shanghai
After breakfast, take a cruise on the Grand Canal and see local people's life along the river. Then visit the Garden of the Master of Fishing Nets, and experience all of the elements of a classical Chinese garden. In the afternoon, tour the Silk Spinning Mill, where you will learn how silk is created from the mulberry-munching silkworms to produce thread and fine cloth. Marco Polo once reported that so much precious silk was produced in Suzhou that every citizen was clothed in it. Later, travel by motor coach to Shanghai. 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 Crowne Plaza Hotel (B,L,D)     

Day 10: Shanghai
Begin your tour in the heart of old Shanghai at the 16th century city 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,SL,D)     

Day 11: 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 12: Journey Home
Your morning is free to rest, pack or do some last minute shopping. 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! Board your return flight home, and arrive in U.S.A. later today. * Maglev is available for San Francisco departures only.      (B)     

Flight ScheduleHave a Group? You earn a free trip! Printable Version


Departures & FaresClick fare to reserve
Departure - ReturnSan Francisco
(SFO)
New York
(JFK)
Land Only
Package
Single Room
Supplement
(mm/dd/yyyy)
Tour fare*Cash
discount rate
Tour fare*Cash
discount rate
Tour fare*Cash
discount rate
Contact us if you need a roommate
01/01/2009 - 01/12/2009
$1599$1399
$1799$1599
$1499$1299
$379
01/13/2009 - 01/24/2009
$1599$1399
$1799$1599
$1499$1299
$379
01/27/2009 - 02/07/2009
$1599$1399
$1799$1599
$1499$1299
$390
02/10/2009 - 02/21/2009
$1599$1399
$1799$1599
$1499$1299
$390
02/17/2009 - 02/28/2009
$1599$1399
$1799$1599
$1499$1299
$379
03/10/2009 - 03/21/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
03/17/2009 - 03/28/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
03/24/2009 - 04/04/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
03/31/2009 - 04/11/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
04/07/2009 - 04/18/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
04/14/2009 - 04/25/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
04/21/2009 - 05/02/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
04/28/2009 - 05/09/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
05/05/2009 - 05/16/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
05/12/2009 - 05/23/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
05/19/2009 - 05/30/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
05/26/2009 - 06/06/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
06/02/2009 - 06/13/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
06/09/2009 - 06/20/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390
06/16/2009 - 06/27/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390
06/23/2009 - 07/04/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390
06/30/2009 - 07/11/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390
07/07/2009 - 07/18/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390
07/14/2009 - 07/25/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390
07/21/2009 - 08/01/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390
07/28/2009 - 08/08/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390
08/04/2009 - 08/15/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
08/11/2009 - 08/22/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
08/18/2009 - 08/29/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
08/25/2009 - 09/05/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
09/01/2009 - 09/12/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
09/08/2009 - 09/19/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
09/15/2009 - 09/26/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
09/22/2009 - 10/03/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
09/29/2009 - 10/10/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
10/06/2009 - 10/17/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
10/13/2009 - 10/24/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
10/20/2009 - 10/31/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
10/27/2009 - 11/07/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
11/03/2009 - 11/14/2009
$2199$1999
$2399$2199
$1699$1499
$390
11/10/2009 - 11/21/2009
$2099$1899
$2299$2099
$1699$1499
$390
11/17/2009 - 11/28/2009
$2099$1899
$2299$2099
$1699$1499
$390
11/24/2009 - 12/05/2009
$2099$1899
$2299$2099
$1699$1499
$390
12/01/2009 - 12/12/2009
$2099$1899
$2299$2099
$1699$1499
$390
12/19/2009 - 12/30/2009
$2299$2099
$2499$2299
$1699$1499
$390

*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, China Land Only: $75.

China Single Entry Visa handling fee: $150

Add-on airfare via SFO (Roundtrip including taxes)
Add-on airfare via New York (NYC) (Roundtrip including taxes)

Passport & Visa Travel Insurance Booking Procedure
Know Before You Go Regional Weather All About Fright
Chinese History Tell a Friend Contact Us


© 2005 Tour Beyond, Inc.
CST 2075458-40