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China - A Study In Contrasts

  • China - A Study In Contrasts

Below is a sample itinerary of a past Goway Group. It is provided to give you an idea of what we have already done & what you might also consider doing.

However, because of timing, your own group's special interests and budget, we expect to custom make a program just for you. Contact your favorite travel agent click on "Inquire about this Trip" to fill out request for a group quotation.

China is a land with a long and varied history, from the times of the Dynasties to the emerging giant of today. You will marvel at the contrasts and the mysteries waiting to be discovered in Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Shanghai and while cruising on the Yangtze River! Experience lively cities, enthralling countryside and, above all, the friendly Chinese People living in this vast, mysterious land.

Day 1

Fly from Hometown to Beijing

Day 2

Arrive Beijing

Welcome to the People's Republic of China! On arrival in Beijing, you are met by Goway's local representative and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free. Tonight, transfer from your hotel to a local restaurant for a special Chinese noodle dinner. Transfer back to your hotel.

China is the world's largest country in population with over 1 billion people – about 20 percent of all the people in the world. China is also the third largest country, in area, and one of the world's oldest nations, with a rich history that stretches over thousands of years. During this tour, you will marvel at the contrasts and the mysteries waiting to be discovered. D

Accommodation: New Otani or similar

Day 3

Full Day Tour of Beijing

Your full Day tour begins with a visit to the Temple of Heaven Park, with time for a morning Taichi lesson. Then visit the Temple of Heaven site, a masterpiece of Ming Dynasty architecture. This temple exemplifies Chinese perfection, of form and space, and was built for important rituals for the emperors.

Continue your visit to Tian'anmen Square, the largest public plaza in the world. Time to fly kites, followed by a visit to the Forbidden City. Built in the 15th century during the Ming dynasty, this Imperial Palace was home to the 24 Emperors of the Ming and Ch'ing (Qing) dynasties. There are over 9900 rooms and halls, with many imperial treasures to view. After lunch enjoy a unique opportunity to experience local life. A Hutong tour takes you through the ancient quarters of Beijing via rickshaw. Experience a labyrinth of narrow alleys and visit a local resident's home to have a first hand experience of the people's daily life. BLD

Day 4

Day Excursion to The Great Wall

Today, experience one of the tour highlights - the Great Wall of China, at the Badalin section. The Great Wall is the only man-made object visible to the naked eye from space, and was built in the fifth century BC to protect China from the aggressive northern Tartars. It winds for 6000 kilometers through Northern China, and you will marvel at the sweeping vistas.

There will be time for lunch at a local restaurant. Stop at the Sacred Road of the Ming Tombs for a view of the beautifully carved statues of mythical animals and guardians. Travel back to Beijing and your hotel. The rest of the Day is free to relax or explore the city on your own. Tonight enjoy a local specialty, a roasted Peking duck dinner, followed by a martial arts performance. BLD

Day 5

University Lecture & Culinary School

A full Day of immersion into Chinese culture! You transfer to the campus of the prestigious Beijing University to meet a prominent professor for a short, informal talk on changing Chinese culture through history. You will have time for questions and to have a guided stroll on the university grounds. After your visit, you head to a Beijing Culinary School for a fun and informative 2 hour Chinese cooking lesson and demonstration. You will be cooking your own dishes to share with your group for lunch! The remainder of the afternoon is free. BLD

Day 6

Half Day Beijing City Tour & Fly Beijing to Xian

Your first stop today is the Beijing Zoo, to visit the pandas. From there, travel to the Summer Palace, home of the 19th century Empress Cixi. The park is a beautiful combination of lakes, bridges, gardens, temples, and pavilions. At the end of the visit, you are transferred to the airport for the flight to Xian. On arrival, in Xian, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Dinner is included at a local restaurant.

Just one-and-a-half hours by air from Beijing, Xian is the home of the world-famous life-size Terra Cotta Army, unearthed in 1974, by local farmers, after being buried with the first Qin emperor for 22 centuries. Xian was the cradle of ancient Chinese civilization dating back to 4000 BC, and the capital city for 11 dynasties. It is from here that caravans started on the Silk Road to Europe, changing the Western world forever. The massive City Wall, that surrounds the old city, is a monument to the importance of Xian. BLD

Accommodation: Grand Mercure or similar

Day 7

Full Day Tour Of Xian

Depart your hotel for another major highlight of your China tour - a full Day excursion to the Terra Cotta Warrior and Horse Museum (the Eighth Wonder of the World). Visit over 6000 life-size warriors and horses guarding the tomb of the first emperor of China. After lunch, visit the city wall and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 to protect the Buddhist scriptures brought from India. Also, there will be time to enjoy a guided walk through the Muslim quarters and the local market. This evening you enjoy a Tang Dynasty dance performance with a local specialty, a dumpling dinner. BLD

Day 8

Fly Xian to Guilin

Before your flight to Guilin, you will visit the farmer painters' village. This village is famous for its style of Chinese painting. It is instantly recognizable, mainly for the bold, exaggerated forms and excessive use of color. Every inch of the canvas is filled with scenes from daily rural life. On arrival in Guilin you will join the local guide for a tour of the Reef Flute Cave, a spectacular world of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations created by carbonate deposition. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Guilin, a cultural city with a history of over 2,000 years, is world-famous for serene landscapes, mysterious limestone formations, and mist-covered hills and bamboo groves. The region boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and is one of the most photographed areas of China. The city of Guilin is located on the Li River, surrounded by exotic geographic formations that seem to evoke a mystical feeling in all who travel here. Although it is a small, slow-paced city, Guilin has a highly developed tourism infrastructure. It is the breathtaking beauty, peacefulness, and tranquility in such a magical setting that rewards those who visit Guilin. BL

Accommodation: Waterfall Hotel or similar

Day 9

Li River Cruise

After breakfast you will be transferred to your boat to cruise the scenic Li River. Meander around steep hills and green fields, enjoying the world famous mystical landscapes. See picturesque villages with cormorant fishermen in small boats, and feathery bamboo plants, as you sail along this calm, serene river. After the cruise, you will have some free time, on your own, in Yangshuo, before traveling back to Guilin. A western dinner is included at a local restaurant. BLD

Day 10

Coach – Longshen Terrace Rice Fields and Yao National Minority Village

Depart your hotel for a full Day tour of Longshen Terrace farms and Yao Minority Nationality village tour. Located in the northern mountains, this remote area is dominated by minority groups, chiefly the Dong, Miao, and Yao, who pursue terrace farming, hunting, and logging. Time to stop at the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces to witness the beautifully sculpted landscape of terraced rice fields. You will also have a chance to visit a Yao Minority Nationality village before traveling back to Guilin and your hotel. BLD

Day 11

Fly Guilin to Chongqing & City Tour of Chongqing

Board the Yangtze River Cruise. This morning, you are transferred to the airport for the flight to Chongqing, the embarkation city for the Yangtze River Cruise. After lunch at a local restaurant, join your coach and local guide for a city tour of Chongqing, which includes a visit to a local market, the Three Gorges Museum, and the City Square. After dinner, you will be transferred to Orient Royal Lines, East King Cruise - a first class, multi-decked vessel with sauna, health club/spa, bar, dining room, and sun deck. Excursions, while on board, are included.

The city of Chongqing is situated on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The river surrounds the city on three sides and it is built against a mountain, which has given the city the nickname: "the Mountain City." East King Cruise BLD

Day 12

On The Cruise - Fengdu Shore Excursion

You may start your Day with Tai-Chi exercises on the sun deck, followed by a buffet breakfast and the first of several informative lectures on the mighty Yangtze River and the Three Gorges Dam project. Time to enjoy the shore excursion to Fengdu, known to most Chinese citizens as the 'Ghost City.' Having nearly two thousand years' history, this river city combines the cultures of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism with the mystique of ghosts. Most of this area is destined to vanish beneath the rising waters of the Three Gorges Reservoir. BLD

Day 13

On The Cruise / Shennong Stream Shore Excursion

Continue downstream through the first and second of the three gorges - Qutang Gorge, the shortest but most dramatic gorge, and Wu Gorge, known for its quiet beauty and forest covered mountains.

You can nearly touch the perpendicular walls, rising from the riverbanks. You then disembark the ship for your excursion to Shennong Stream, for a quaint and quiet journey in traditional rowing boats called sampans. Return to the cruise in the afternoon to continue sailing through Xiling Gorge and in the evening, the Three Gorges Dam, 5-stage ship locks. BLD

Day 14

Arrive Yichang Visit The Three Gorges Dam Project

Fly Yichang to Shanghai. Arriving by mid-day, you will disembark and travel by coach to the site of the hydroelectric dam. This immense Three Gorges Dam project is being built in three phases. The first phase was completed in 1997, the second phase in 2003, which raised the water level 135 meters, submerging many villages and towns. More than one million people were displaced and resettled to new, urban areas.

The third phase, to be completed in 2009, will see the water level rise to 175 meters, essentially submerging much of the landscape and historical sites along the riverbanks. After the Dam visit, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Yichang prior to flying to Shanghai. On arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel, and dinner.

With a population of more than 12 million, Shanghai is China's largest urban centre. In the 19th century, Shanghai was jolted from being a quiet commercial backwater city to a thriving financial metropolis. The Treaty of Nanking in 1842 opened Shanghai as a free port to western trade and influence. Even today, we can still see the foreign (mainly European) concession areas distinctly visible to this day. BLD

Accommodation: Okura Garden Hotel or similar

Day 15

Full Day Excursion to Suzhou

After breakfast you travel by coach to Suzhou with a stop at Zhujiajiao, enroute. This picturesque water town is known as the Venice of the East, mainly for its winding canals, arched bridges and Ming and Ch'ing (Qing) architecture.

A highlight of the tour includes a traditional sampan ride on the canals. Continue on to the charming garden city of Suzhou; upon arrival you have a city tour, including a visit to a local garden, the city gate, the silk embroidery research institute, and silk factory. You are then transferred back to Shanghai and your hotel. Tonight, after dinner, enjoy an acrobatic show. BLD

Day 16

Shanghai Touring

Begin your half-day city tour of Shanghai visiting the narrow streets of the old city. In the early 20th century, Europeans immigrated to Shanghai for business and trade, and settled in specific areas, set aside for their homes and businesses. The ambience of these concession areas still remains. Visit the Bund, a collection of numerous buildings, built in different styles, including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance.

After viewing the famous harbor of Shanghai, continue on to the Yu Gardens. Situated in the old Chinese quarter of the city, this marvelous garden was built in 1577 and hidden behind carved brick walls decorated with its undulating dragon walls and lovely lotus pools. After lunch at a popular Shanghai restaurant, you will join your guide for a visit to the stunning Shanghai Museum, where you can fully enjoy the history of China.

With a collection of over 120,000 historic artifacts, the Shanghai Museum has been selected as one of the best museums in China. Its 11 state-of-the-art galleries and three special exhibition halls are arranged on four floors, which encircle a spacious cylindrical atrium in the center. It has become an ideal place for visitors to appreciate the arts and cultures of China. After the tour, the remainder of the afternoon is free to relax or do some shopping. Tonight you are transferred to Lu Bo Lang restaurant for a delicious farewell dinner. BLD

Day 17

Fly Shanghai to Hometown

Today, you are transferred to the international airport for your flight home. B

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