Exotic China Discovery
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.
The People’s Republic of China is an ideal destination for the group traveler. A hosted, customized itinerary is the easiest means for anyone interested in wanting to delve into China’s complex cultural traditions, history and language. Our Exotic China Discovery itinerary will take us behind the scenes to experience elegant gardens, calligraphy lessons, a dumpling-making workshop, a local kindergarten and ancient, authentic villages. We’ve included visits to the mesmerizing UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Terra Cotta Warriors, and many royal and private gardens.
Our mandate is for you to have the time to get out of the coach and engage all your senses: on walking tours, meeting the locals, learning and participating in Taichi, enjoying tea at a teahouse, viewing pandas at a Panda Breeding Center and even going behind the scenes to meet their keepers, participating in a gift exchange with a local family… the list is endless, and, if your group has a special interest, we will do our best to incorporate it in to your special itinerary!
Depart From Home City to Beijing
Arrive in 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. Enjoy an informative city tour enroute to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free. Enjoy welcome dinner at a local restaurant with transfers and guide assistance.
China is the world's largest country in population with over 1 billion people — about 20 percent of all the people in the world. It is the third largest country, in area, and one of the world's oldest countries, 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. BD
Overnight: New Otani Hotel, 4 star (4 nights)
Your full day of touring begins at the Tian’anmen Square, the largest public plaza in the world. Visit the Forbidden City, built by more than 200,000 workers in the 15th century during the Ming dynasty and home to the 24 Emperors of the Ming and Ch’ing (Qing) dynasties.
Proceed to the centuries-old hutongs, the ancient quarters of Beijing and enjoy the unique local snacks (on own account). Visit Shizhahai Sports School and see how they train the future Olympic champions for China. The school currently coaches more than 600 students in eight sports. Trials are held annually to bring in new athletes to replace those who fail to make the grade.
Transfer to a local family for a 2 hour cooking lesson on making dumplings followed by a dumpling dinner with the family. Travel back to the hotel at the end of the dinner. BD
Depart the hotel for one of the highlights of the tour to visit and climb the Mutianyu Great Wall, the only man-made object visible to the naked eye from space. The Wall was built in the fifth century BC to protect China from the aggressive northern Tartars and winds 6000 kilometers through Northern China. There will be time for lunch at a local restaurant. Stop at the sacred Path of the Ming Tombs for a view of beautifully carved statues of real and mythical animals and guardians.
Travel back to Beijing and visit the underground air raid shelter. Built in 1969 by more than 300,000 Beijing citizens in preparation for a possible nuclear attack from former Soviet Union, the tunnels wind for over 30 kilometers and occupy an area of 85 square kilometers. Tonight, enjoy special noodle dinner followed by a martial arts performance. BLD
Found in the mid 1600’s, Tai Chi, or T’ai Chi Chuan (supreme ultimate fist), is designed partly to provide relaxation and body-conditioning. It employs flowing, rhythmic, deliberate movements, with carefully prescribed stances and positions.
This morning, join a Taichi master and practice this ancient Chinese exercise at a local park followed by a visit to the Temple of Heaven, a masterpiece of Ming Dynasty architecture built for important rituals for the emperors. You will then visit the Summer Palace, a royal garden and summer retreat of Empress Dowager Cixi. Enjoy a Beijing duck dinner banquet before transferring back to your hotel. BLD
Fly to Xian
Transfer to the airport for the flight south west to Xian, one of the ancient capitals of China. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to the Huxian Farmer’s Village, where you will have lunch at a local farmer’s house followed by a Chinese painting lesson. Huxian 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. Travel to your hotel for overnight. BLD
Overnight: Titan Times Hotel, 4 star (2 nights)
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 join your guide for a visit to Shangxi Provincial Museum, which displays more than 2,000 artifacts starting with the Shang Dynasty
(C.A.17th c – 11th c. B.C.)
After lunch at a local restaurant, proceed to Beilin Museum, the Forest of Steles, built to preserve the Thirteen Classics of Filial Piety which were engraved during the Tang Dynasty. A significant collection of Steles was gathered by the Qing Dynasty and the building became known as the Forest of Steles. Today, this is a professional art museum which collects, studies and displays various Steles and stone sculptures. If you are interested in Chinese art and calligraphy, there are some interesting objects on display here.
After dinner at a local restaurant, join your local guide for our Muslim Night Market Tour. With Arab merchants travelling on the Silk Road from Persia and Afghanistan, the Muslim neighborhood still retains the atmosphere of those trading days with bustling markets selling dried kiwi fruit, dates and an array of souvenirs. The cobbled backstreets are stocked with teashops and eateries serving steaming bowls of yang rou pao mo, a spicy mutton soup with pita bread croutons, followed by sesame seed cakes. Travel back to the hotel at the end of the tour. BLD
Fly to Chengdu
You will be transferred to the airport today for your flight south to Chengdu. On arrival join your coach and guide for a unique experience of local tea culture.
With hundred of teahouses scattered throughout the city, drinking tea is part of the locals’ daily life. Chengdu depots are unique – they are made of brass and the spout is about three feet long. Enjoy your tea which will be shot from across the room into your small teacup without spilling a drop. Besides drinking tea, teahouses also serve as social areas where the locals come to relax, do business and reconnect with their friends.
After lunch at a local snack house, travel to your hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure. BL
Overnight: Tibet Hotel, 4 star (1 night)
Panda Breeding Research Center Fly to Guilin
Leave your hotel at around 9:00 AM and travel through the countryside before arriving at the Panda Breeding Research Center. Located just 10 km (6miles) away from Chengdu, the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Centre imitates the Pandas' natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. Giant Pandas, lesser Pandas, black-necked cranes, white storks as well as over 20 species of rare animals are fed and bred here throughout the year. At 12:30, you will travel back to Chengdu for lunch at a local restaurant followed by a visit to a local flower market and a flower nursery. Dinner tonight is the spicy hot pot at a local restaurant. Travel back to your hotel at the end of the tour.
Situated in the province of Sichuan known for its spicy cuisine, Chengdu has a history of over 2000 years and has managed to preserve the atmosphere of how China might have been sometime in the past. The older part of the city has narrow streets lined with scores of small restaurants and two-story brown and white stucco buildings with balconies of sculptured wood.
This evening, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Guilin. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Guilin, a cultural city with a history of over 2,000 years, is world famous for its serene landscapes, mysterious limestone formations, mist covered hills and bamboo groves. The region boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and offers one of the most photographed areas of China. The city of Guilin is located on the Li River, surrounded by the exotic geographic formations that seem to evoke a mystical feeling in all who travel here. Although it is a small, slow-paced town, 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. BLD
Accommodation: Bravo Hotel, 4 star (2 nights)
Day excursion to Daxu Afternoon at leisure in Guilin
After breakfast, depart for Daxu, an ancient town which still retains in its antique style from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). A flagstone street, lined with old residences, shops and stalls, runs two kilometers along the river bank through the town. Some well-preserved residences hidden behind the street door will surprise you as you explore further into the backstreets. These buildings were used as quarters for businessmen in the past times. Time to sample (on own account) snacks from the dumpling stalls or peddle cars along the street. They will surprise you with both their taste and reasonable prices.
Travel back to Guilin and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. B
Li River Tour & Chinese Cooking Lesson
After breakfast you will be transferred to the wharf for your boat cruise along the Li River. The cruise down the Li River is 50 miles with opportunities to see the breathtaking panorama of the misty “karst” scenery (limestone formations along the river banks). You will observe feathery bamboo plants, cormorant fishermen in small boats, and picturesque villages as you sail along this calm, serene river. A light box lunch with sandwich, water and fruits will be provided.
At 4:00 PM this afternoon, join a local chef to buy groceries in the market prior to starting your cooking lesson to learn how to cook some of China’s unique dishes. Enjoy the dinner with the chef and your group before traveling back to your hotel. BLD
Accommodation: Green Lotus Hotel, 4 star (1 night)
Fly to Shanghai
Morning at leisure. This afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight north east to Shanghai. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel with an informative city tour enroute. The rest of the day will be at leisure.
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 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. B
Overnight: Ramada Plaza Gateway, 4 star (2 nights)
Begin your full day tour of Shanghai at the French concession area. 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, proceed to the Shanghai Museum. Built in 1994, the stunning museum can be seen as a completely new approach to museum design in China. The exhibits in ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, jade, Ming and Ch’ing (Qing) dynasty furniture, coins and ethnic art are fantastic.
After lunch at a local restaurant, 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 undulating dragon walls and lovely lotus pools. Tonight enjoy a special snack dinner including steamed meat buns at a local restaurant. BLD
Travel by road to Suzhou
After breakfast you travel by coach to Suzhou. Upon arrival, visit a kindergarten and participate in a culture exchange by visiting a local family. Enjoy the conversation with the family and have a first hand experience of what life is like in the 21st century China. Later this morning, visit a local food and snack market and enjoy lunch at a local snack restaurant. This afternoon, proceed to the Suzhou Sandalwood fan factory, which is famous for making all different sorts of fans, including perfumed wood fan, silk tissue fans.
Travel back to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day free. With over 100 gardens of various sizes, Suzhou is one of China’s most beautiful cities. We visit two of Suzhou’s gardens: the Humble Administrator’s Garden and the Ornamental Garden. Unlike Western gardens, these are not places of lawns and flowers but of rock conglomerations, water reflecting intricate pavilions and architectural tricks. Here scholars would think, paint, write poetry and debate with their colleagues. BL
Overnight: Bamboo Grove Hotel, 4 star (2 nights)
Blended with the movements of Taiji and other martial arts and dances, Taiji Fan is an exercise or dance practiced by many people in the early morning at local parks. This morning, you depart early to a local park and join a group of Taichi Fan dancers to learn and participate in this ornamental and artistic dance. Travel back to the hotel for breakfast before joining the Great Canal Gondola Ride and Walking Tour of Mountain Pool Street to experience first-hand local street life that has not changed for over one hundred years.
Your walking tour will end at Guanji Bride where you will proceed to Yu Pu Garden, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sights for a Chinese calligraphy lesson followed by a lunch featuring local snacks and accompanied by a local folk singing performance. Later you will visit a silk embroidery research institute and get the inside story of Suzhou’s amazing silk embroidery industry. Located in the lower reaches of the Youngest River with its fertile soil and mild temperatures, Suzhou’s silk has been well recognized throughout China as one of the four major silk embroidery styles. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant before traveling back to your hotel. BLD
Travel to Shanghai Pudong International Airport Depart Shanghai for the flight home
Travel to Shanghai Pudong International Airport by bus for your flight home. B
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