Essence of China, Private Tour
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Join us on this unforgettable 9-day tour starting in Beijing. Visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in the capital. Learn the art of Cloisonné, an ancient decoration technique, and bring home your own unique handmade piece. Spend a night on a sleeper train and then spend a day exploring the ancient Xi’an City Wall. Stroll along Shanghai Old Street, Miaoqian Dajie, and experience a completely different side to city life away from the futuristic skyscrapers of modern Shanghai.
Great Wall: Hike one of the most beautiful sections of the Great Wall in an area of outstanding natural beauty with a private photographer.
Maliandao Tea Market: One of China’s largest tea markets where you can taste all different kinds of tea and learn how to make tea cakes.
Summer Palace: The largest and best-preserved imperial garden in the world with beautiful palaces, temples, pavilions and beautiful scenery.
Xian City Wall: These fortifications are the oldest and most complete in China, and it is one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.
Terracotta Army: Pay homage to the immortal clay warriors unearthed after 2,000 years guarding China’s first emperor in the afterlife.
Shanghai: A city of contrasts where China’s traditional past meets modern technology and futuristic design.
- Operated with English-speaking local guides
- 6 nights’ accommodation
- 7 Breakfast on days 2- 4 and 6-9
- 7 Lunches on days 2-8 (1 bottle of soft drink included)
- Private transfer from Beijing Airport to hotel in Beijing
- Air-conditioned private transport throughout the tour
- Overnight train from Beijing to Xi´an on Day 4 with soft berth class (Porterage is not included and no guides on the trains)
- Overnight Train from Xi´an to Shanghai on day 6 with soft berth class (Porterage is not included and no guides on the trains)
- Private transfer from hotel in Shangai to Shangai Airport
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
- All entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary; Temple of Heaven visit, rickshaw ride, Forbidden City and Cloisonné Museum visit on Day 2; Jinshanling Great Wall tour with private photographer on Day 3; Maliandao tea tour and Summer Palace visit on Day on 4; Xi’an City Wall tour and Hanguang Gate Museum visit on Day 5; Xi’an Jingwen Ox culture Ceramics Museum and Terracotta Army Museum tour on Day 6; Shanghai city tour on Day 7; Caoyang New Village visit and Zhujiajiao Water town visit on Day 8.
- Meet & Greet at Beijing International Airport on day 1
- International flight tickets and airport taxes or China visa fees (if any)
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of personal nature like tipping, laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic/non- alcoholic beverages, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses or items not stated explicitly in the programme
- Any visit not mentioned in the programme
- Optional tours and activities
- Tips for guides and drivers
- Forbidden City, Yu Garden and Shanghai museum are closed on Mondays
- Surcharge of overweight luggage (in case of exceeding 20 kilo per piece)
- Please check the China visa requirements with your local embassy or authorities
- Set menu lunches/dinners specified (as per itinerary) in local Chinese restaurants with 1 bottle of soft drink (coke, sprite or mineral water) per person per meal
- No guide service on the train
- Trains are subject to change due to the adjustments of the schedule
- On overnight train, 4 passengers share a soft sleeper cabin
- No refund for unused services. Splitting the package is not allowed
- Local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the contents of the tour without prior notice, including possible change of hotels and/or itinerary
What do I need to bring?
Comfortable and light clothing is best suited to travel in the warm months and warm clothing in the colder months in China. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or sparse clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Sun protection, sunglasses and a hat can be very useful during your stay.
Day 1-3 Beijing:
- Superior Hotel Category = Penta Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = The Presidential Hotel or similar 5*
Day 5 Xi´an:
- Superior Hotel Category = Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Sofitel Renmin Square Hotel or similar 5*
Day 7-9 Shanghai:
- Superior Hotel Category = Shanghai Jianguo Hotel or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel or similar 5*
- Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL BEIJING
Arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport. Upon arrival, a representative will be waiting to greet you at the airport and accompany you on the transfer to the city. The private transfer will take you directly to your hotel in Beijing. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure in the city. Take the opportunity to rest and recover after the flight or head out into the city for your first glimpse of life in China’s sprawling capital city.
Overnight in Beijing.
Day 2 : BEIJING (Temple of Heaven – Forbidden City Tour – Rickshaw Ride)
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your tour guide at 8:00 in the morning and transfer to the Temple of Heaven, an imperial complex of religious buildings originally used by emperors to pray for good harvests. Then visit Tiananmen Square, one of the most impressive public plazas in the world located in the heart of Beijing. The square is big enough to hold half a million people and it witnessed the Chinese people’s struggle against foreign aggression and reactionary rule at home. Move on to the Forbidden City (closed on Mondays), the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant. After eating, enjoy a 1-hour rickshaw ride around the hutong and visit the Beijing Cloisonné Factory to see how China’s famous traditional enamelware is produced. You will be guided around the factory by an expert in cloisonné. Stand with the artists along the production line and get involved with the whole process from start to finish. At the end of the tour you will have produced your own piece which can be taken home as a souvenir. You will arrive back to the hotel at about 17:00.
Overnight in Beijing.
Day 3 : BEIJING (Jinshanling Great Wall Tour)
Start the day with breakfast at the hotel, then be ready for collection at 8:00 in the morning for your Great Wall tour. We will spend around 3 hours exploring one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken. With sections dating back 2,000 years, the Great Wall is a testament to Chinese engineering, a monument to human endeavour set against a backdrop of stunning scenery. The Jinshanling section is the most beautiful and best-preserved stretch of the Great Wall. Located on the junction of Miyun County of Beijing and Luanping County of Hebei province, Jinshanling is 10.5 km in length and has 5 passes, 67 watch towers and 3 beacon towers. This section stands out for its ruggedness, dilapidated walls and unique structures. This can make the walk a little more difficult, but it adds to its beauty and it is why this is the preferred section of the Wall among photographers. At the end of the hike, the driver will take you to a restaurant near to the Great Wall. Enjoy a well-deserved lunch before transferring back to your hotel for the evening at around 17:00.
Overnight in Beijing.
Day 4 : BEIJING – XI’AN (12 hrs by train)
Wake up to breakfast at the hotel, then prepare for collection at 8:00 for a 2-hour tour around Maliandao Tea Market. Maliandao Tea Street is the biggest tea market in Beijing, housing almost 1,000 tea shops selling loose and bagged teas of all varieties. Enter one of the teahouses and sample a selection of different types of teas and learn how to make tea cake out of white tea leaves. Once you have drunk enough tea, stop for lunch in a local restaurant. After eating, visit the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal park in China and former summer retreat of the Imperial family. The landscaping, water features, pavilions, and bridges here have greatly influenced Chinese horticulture and the park is often referred to as ‘the museum of royal gardens’. Spend around 2 hours enjoying the gardens before transferring to Beijing West railway station to catch the overnight train to Xi’an. Please note that the overnight train accommodates 4 passengers to each soft sleeper cabin.
Overnight on board a train.
Day 5 : XI’AN (City Wall Hiking Tour – Hanguang Gate Museum Tour – Peasant Paintings)
The train will arrive in Xi’an this morning at approximately 8:30. Upon arrival, you will be met by your tour guide and driver ready to start your walking tour around Xian City Wall. Built by Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming dynasty, this 600-year-old wall is now one of the oldest, largest and best preserved of all Chinese city walls and is one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Starting at the east gate of the city wall, hike to the Hanguang Gate (south gate). Visit the Hanguang Gate Museum and learn more about the history of this ancient fortification. Continue to the West Gate and see Guangren Temple, the only Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Shaanxi Province. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant near to Xi’an Muslim street. After lunch, transfer to Huxian County to see the brightly-coloured Peasant Paintings. Originating from traditional folk arts, peasant paintings first appeared in the 1950s when a group of farmers started painting scenes that reflected their feelings, thoughts, wishes for the future, customs and the beauty of the world around them. The visit will take about 2 hours after which you will be transferred to the hotel at about 17:00 to check in.
Overnight in Xi´an.
Day 6 : XI´AN – SHANGHAI (11 hrs by train)
Wake up to breakfast at the hotel. You will be collected at 9:30 for a visit to Xi’an Jingwen Ox culture Ceramics Museum where you may have a chance to touch the ceramics wearing gloves. Then visit pit no1 – 3 of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors Museum. Praised as the eighth wonder of the world, this collection of terracotta warriors, as well as horses, chariots and weapons, were made by an army of artisans and buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, who died in 210 BC. Around 2,000 warriors have been excavated since their chance discovery in 1974, but it is estimated that there may be up to an impressive 8,000 in total. This silent army is a fascinating highlight to any tour. Then take a trip to Xi’an local farmer family to learn about the Yaodong, cave houses and experience their way of living. After the visit, enjoy lunch before transferring to the railway station to catch the overnight train to Shanghai. Please note that the overnight train accommodates 4 passengers to each soft sleeper cabin.
Overnight on board a train.
Day 7 : SHANGHAI (Shanghai City Tour)
Upon arrival in Shanghai at approximately 6:30 in the morning, you will be taken to a local restaurant for breakfast. Then, begin a full-day sightseeing tour of Shanghai. Start in Yuyuan Garden (closed on Mondays), a famous classical garden in Anren Jie. Stroll around the Shanghai Old Street, historically called Miaoqian Dajie, where you will find a combination of tourist attractions, shops, entertainment and cultural exhibits. Next, travel to the Bund, the famous waterfront area on the west bank of Huangpu River and the symbol of Shanghai. You will find many different architectural styles here including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and Renaissance. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit the Shanghai museum (closed on Mondays). Considered one of China’s first world-class modern museums, the collection includes exhibits of bronze works, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jade and Ming and Qing dynasty furniture. The exterior design of the round dome and the square base symbolizes the ancient theory of a round heaven and square land. Spend around 1.5 hours in the museum then proceed to the hotel for check in.
Overnight in Shanghai.
Day 8 : SHANGHAI (Caoyang New Village Tour – Zhujiajiao Water Town)
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel and then prepare for collection at 9:00 ready a visit to Caoyang New Village. The village was built as the first worker’s housing project in China in 1951. It was designed to house workers for cotton mills, machinery plants, chemical factories and food manufacturers in the area and residents were vetted to ensure that housing went to skilled workers. Today’s tour will give you an insight into local life here in Shanghai. Visit local residents’ homes, exchange stories with them with the help of your guide and visit the market to find some bargains. Learn how to make wontons, a type of Chinese dumpling. Lunch today is bound to be a treat as your hospitable hosts are well known for preparing lavish feasts for foreign guests. After lunch, transfer to Zhujiajiao Water town. Similar to Venice, this ancient town has a multitude of waterways and bridges. Spend around 2 hours enjoying the tranquillity of Zhujiajiao before transferring back to the hotel at around 16:00.
Overnight in Shanghai.
Day 9 : DEPARTURE SHANGHAI
Start the day with breakfast at your hotel. Then, prepare to check out of your hotel room at the scheduled time and transfer to Shanghai Airport for your onward or return flight. Although this is the last day of your 9-day tour through some of the most fascinating cultural, architectural and natural wonders of China, we are sure that your memories of this fascinating country will last you a lifetime.