CHINA ANCIENT TOURS 14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS
(BEIJING – TAIYUAN – PINGYAO – XIAN – LUOYANG – KAIFENG – ANYANG – ZHENGZHOU – SHANGHAI)
DAY 1: BEIJING
Today’s sightseeing depends on your arrival time. Upon arrival at the Airport welcome by our local guide and transfer to your Hotel. In the afternoon you start exploring the city with a visit to the famous Temple of Heaven (Tian tan); the ancient altar complex that was used for the emperor to worship Heaven in the imperial times; it is one of the oldest and most interesting historical buildings of the capital, as much by its architecture, as by its former importance like a ritual center of the Chinese empire. Overnight in Beijing.
DAY 2: BEIJING
Sightseeing today includes the visit to the Tian’anmen Square – the biggest public square in the world. Located at the north of the Tian’ament Suare is the Forbidden City. A visit to Beijing without Gu Gong (Chinese name) is not a visit to Beijing! It was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties, also known as the Palace Museum. Only part of the Forbidden city can be visited (somehow always some parts of the buildings are under renovation); But still: it can take hours to visit this gorgeous site! After lunch visit the Lama Temple, a beautiful complex which also is often crowed with Beijingers. It is a short block away from the Yonghegong subway station. The White Cloud Temple – a Daosit temple – is the last site on your sight seeing list and an interesting contrast to the Lama Temple. Let us know if you would book you a ticket for a Beijing Opera performance at the Liyua Opera in Qianmen. Overnight in Beijing.
DAY 3: BEIJING – GREAT WALL – JUYONGGUAN PASS – MING DYNASTY TOMBS (B)
After breakfast drive to the outskirts of the city to the Juyongguan Pass, one of the most famous sections of the Great Wall around Beijing. This visit includes the ascent by foot of the elevated section of the wall and the visit to the ruins of an ancient Buddhist temple dated from Yuan dynasty times. Inside you find some beautiful reliefs carved on the wall with Buddhist Gods and ancient inscriptions in many languages. Continue to he ancient mausoleum of one of the thirteen Ming emperors (Shisan Mingling). Your visit includes the Sacred Path (sheng dao) flanked by fabulous animal stone sculptures and the tomb of Ding Ling emperor (1563 D.C.-1620 D.C.) one of the few open to the public. Upon return to your hotel it is leisure time or shopping to the Silk market. Overnight in Beijing.
DAY 4: BEIJING – LAMASIT TEMPLE – YONGHEAGONG – HUTONG (B)
After breakfast visit the Lama Temple of Yonghegong, a very impressive Buddhist monastery of exquisite architecture, which first was an imperial residence of prince Yongzheng (1678 D.C. – 1735 D.C.). The temple belongs to the Gelug-pa school (“School of the Virtuous) of Tibetan Buddhism. This temple houses a magnificent collection of Buddhist paintings of Tibetan style (thangkas), bronze statues of bodhisattvas and a monumental set of engravings and wood statues of great beauty – the most impressive among them is the Maitreya Buddha of 18 meters of height, carved from a single piece of White Sandalwood. Later hop on a rickshaw, relax and let Old China pass your way, along the famous ‘hutongs’. Your afternoon free. Crate your own program. We can help you and show you how to manage to get there! Really easy! You have many choices, such as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace. Overnight in Beijing.
DAY 5: BEIJING – TAIYUAN – PINGYAO
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your one hour flight to Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province and one of the cradles of ancient Chinese culture. Upon arrival continue your journey straight to the the outskirts of Taiyuan to the ancient Temple of Jinci. On the way to Pingyao, have a side trip to Former Residence of Family Chang. It is the largest mansion of all the mansions of Shanxi merchants in Shanxi. Chang’s Mansion is located 40 km to the northeast of Pingyao. There are many reasons to visit this ancient city! You can pedal through time-locked Pingyao, 14th-century Chinese style grey houses mixed with red lanterns, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1997or ride around the city to discover the back alleys and visit an ordinary family and see the details of the superb Ming dynasty architectures. In the evening walk through the Ming and Qing street, lined with completely traditional Chinese-style restaurants and shops. You may come across the Ancient Parade Performance, in which people are dressed in Ming Dynasty costume and enjoy free lantern shows at night. You stay in an old-style hotel, cozy, warm and amiable, everything Chinese, an exotic experience!
DAY 6: PINGYAO – TAIYUAN – XI’AN
After breakfast walk around on the awesome City Wall, one of the most intact ancient city walls in China with a viewover the inner city. Explore the “Civilian Forbidden City” (Family Wang’s Residence) an ancient government residence compound of government, continue the famus merchant houses of the Qiao Family Manor (remember the movie “Raise the Red Lanterns” ?). The next on your sightseeing list is the Ri Sheng Chang remittance bank, the first private bank in China. Before lunch clim up steep and narrow stairs to the wooden City Tower, being the landmark of Pingyao. After lunch one more temple to see: the Temple of Shuanglin behind the city walls. Back to to Taiyuan to get the plane to Xi’an. Upon arrival, transfer to the Hotel. Overnight in Xian.
DAY 7: XIAN – TERRACOTTA WARRIORS – GRAND MOSQUE – MUSLIM QUARTER (B)
After breakfast have a transfer to the airport to take off to Xian, once being the most important dynastic capital of imperial China, and nowadays the capital of the your morning will be totally dedicated to the magic of the Terracotta Soldiers and their horses. Lunch will take place at one of the restaurants nearby. Drive back to the center of Xian, and wonder in the compound of the Great Mosque which rather looks like a Chinese Temple than a Mosque. Its artistic fusion of styles harmonizes the traditional Chinese architecture combined with the doctrines of an Islamic mosque. The entrance of the Mosque is in the middle of the market, – rather a Bazaar, where you can shop till you drop and and make use of your bargaining skills… Overnight in Xian.
DAY 8: XIAN – RIUCHENG – LUOYANG
After breakfast visit the garden atmosphere of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the Xian Museum. Following this visit you drive to the city of Luoyang and after a 3 hours drive stop en route at the town of Ruichen to visit the Yongle Gong Daoist Temple. In the late afternoon continue to Luoyang and arrive around 8 pm at your hotel for check in. Overnight in Luoyang.
DAY 9: LUOYANG – KAIFENG
This day we will be dedicated to the most significant places of the area: the famous temple of Guandi and the sculptures of the breathtaking Longmen Grottos in the outskirts illustrate the perfection of a long-established art form, playing a highly significant role in the cultural revoluton of this area in Asia. On the way to Kaifeng, continue to the temple of White Horse built in Chinese territory in the first century. This temple for a long period of time was a focal point for the diffusion of Buddhism in China. After one and a half hours you finally arrive in Kaifeng . Overnight.
DAY 10: KAIFENG – ANYANG
After visit the Buddhist Temple of Xiangguo, one of the most important centers of the history of Buddhism in China during the Song dynasty (960 D.C.-1279 D.C.), when the temple became one of the most important centers for the diffusion of Buddhism Chan (Zen) in Asia. Later take a walk by the gardens surrounded by lakes of the Dragon Pavilion, a place where the imperial palace of Song emperors were located. The immense calm and mysterious beauty of this place allow you to go back to ancient times when Kaifeng was the richest and crowded city in the world. If you are not too tired after visiting the Buddhist pagodas your next visit will be to the Iron Pagoda the symbol of the city of Kaifeng. After lunch have a stroll to the old streets of the city. Then a two hours drive will bring you to the ancient city of Anyang, boasting a history of over 3,000 years. Overnight at Anyang.
DAY 11: ANYANG – ZHENGZHOU
After breakfast visit the archaeological Yin Ruins Museum , recently inaugurated over the ruins of the old capital of the Shang dynasty (Yin). Here you find numerous pieces of great artistic and historical value. This museum contains the greatest collection on tortoise shells and oracle. This archaeological site also houses the tomb of Princess Fuhao, the wife of Emperor Shang Wu Ding, who was considered the most important military leader of the history of China. Continue to the Temple of the Celestial Tranquility and the Wenfeng Pagoda, both symbols of the city. After lunch leave for Zhengzhou (2h), the capital of the province of Henan. En route a short stop to see the Yellow River (Huanghe), which is considered the cradle of the Chinese civilization. Overnight in Zhengzhou.
DAY 12: ZHENGZHOU – SHANGHAI
(Jade Buddha temple, Jinmao Tower and Huanggpu river evening cruise)
After breakfast take the morning flight to Shanghai. On your today’s sight seeing list: visit the Jade Buddha temple, the most important Buddhist temple of the city, famous for the two Buddha statues made of precious jade brought from Burma in the XIX century. Take a Jewish tour illustrating the remarkable history of Jewish population in Shanghai. You will start with the Peace Hotel., built by the Sassoon family in 1920. Continue to Hongku district (known as the Shanghai ghetto) visiting various places including the Ohel Moshe, the monument and Chinese (former Jewish refugee) home and ending in the Children’s palace (Sir Kadoorie’s former home).
Take an evening cruise on the Huangpu River, to see the beautiful urban landscape of the old colonial architecture of the Bund
and the futuristic architecture of Pudong.
DAY 13: SHANGHAI – WUZHEN – SHANGHAI (B)
After breakfast you will start your excursion. A two hour ride will bring you to Wuzhen which is the prettiest and best preserved among many water towns surrounding the Grand Canal in Zhejiang province. Most of the many ancient buildings of the city were built during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Besides its ancient and beautiful channels and bridges, the town was famous in imperial times for its cultural tradition. For so many years the town was a kind of university town with students from all over the country. Lots of sightseeing: You may say stop to your guide if it is too much for you! Just to name some: the Taoist temple of Xiuzhen, the Bay and the Temple of the God of the Fortune, the former Residence of Mao Dun, the Chinese Shades Theater or the old pharmacy of the Perfumed Mountain, the Museum of Old Beds of the South of China, Museum of old wood statures, and …more after lunch…where you visit many other ancient buildings and channels such as the Tower of the White Loto, the Zhaoming Academy, the old Water Scene, the Temple of General Guam, the traditional fluvial market and the Museum of the History of Foot Binding! Overnight in Shanghai.
DAY 14: SHANGHAI DEPARTURE
After breakfast transfer to the airport for the departure flight with a good memory of your China journey! Should you have some time left, then why not visit the Oriental Pearl TV TOWER and the National Museum in the base?
TOUR DURATION: 14 Days / 13 Nights
TOUR OPERATES: March to October
TOUR PRICE: Available upon Request
As rates vary frequently, please contact us to get best price based upon your travel period and travel requirements
- Bed and breakfast
- English speaking guide
- aircon car
- entrance fees as above (except of 101 Observatory)
- intl. airport tax
- meals not mentioned in the program
- travel insurance
- tips, porter fees, personal expenses, beverage
- please ask for German, French, Russian, Spanish speaking local guide