China Discovery Tour: Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai

China Discovery
See the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, the Terracotta Warriors, Wild Goose Pagoda, Shanghai Museum & Acrobatic show!
Oct 20-29, 2018

Saturday, Oct 20, 2018 – We are on our way!
Meet your tour directors Dea and Declan at the Saint Louis Airport for our

flight to Beijing, the capital city of China. We fly through the night and cross the international dateline. (Meals on Plane)

Sunday, Oct 21, 2018 – Arriving in Beijing
We arrive in Beijing this evening, where we transfer to our deluxe hotel in the heart of the city. Our Chinese tour director moved to Irving, Texas where the couple has been operating group tours back to China since 1979! One of them will be with us the entire tour and be able to answer any questions you may have. Rest tonight at the hotel Beijing International Hotel, our home for the next four nights.

Monday, Oct 22, 2018 – Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before we head out to explore some of the highlights of Beijing. Our first stop is Tiananmen Square, which contains the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China in the square on October 1, 1949; the anniversary of this event is still observed there. It is also the site of the 1989 protests, featuring the iconic photograph of the man standing in front of the column of tanks.

Our next stop is the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The seat of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was the political center of China for nearly 500 years, from 1420 to 1912. Now home to some of the most amazing art and artifacts from this period of Chinese history, it is the most visited Art museum in the world, with some 14.6 million visitors annually. Tonight, we have a special treat – a traditional Chinese meal of Roast Peking Duck!
(B, L, Special Dinner – Roast Peking Duck)

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018 – The Great Wall and Cloisonné
After breakfast, we head out to the most amazing engineering feat of ancient China, the Great Wall. This UNESCO World Heritage Site stretches over 13,000 miles over numerous branches. Created to protect against the invasions of nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe, it also served as well as border control, tariff and duty imposition, and a transportation corridor. Don’t forget your camera!

We’ll also have a visit to a studio where they produce cloisonné, a form of artwork in which metal objects are decorated with enamel inlayed with small strips of metal wire. Introduced in the 14th century from the Byzantine Empire, artisans began creating larger works, such as bowls, vases, and even sculptures. (B, L)

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018 – The Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before we visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first is the Temple of Heaven, built in 1420 under the Ming Dynasty. It was here that the emperor would worship the heavens and pray for an abundant harvest. When it was selected as a UNESCO site in 1998, it was described as “a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design,” and has had “a profound influence on architecture and planning in the Far East over many centuries.” Open to the public since 1918, it is a popular place for people to engage in morning exercises.

The second site we visit today is the Summer Palace, dating back to 1153 and featuring a man-made lake and hill, upon which the palace was built. The UN describes the Summer Palace as "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value." While the front of the hill features amazing halls and pavilions, the back hill is a tribute to nature. (B, L)

Thursday, Oct 25, 2018 – Backstreets of Beijing Rickshaw Tour
After breakfast, we depart the hotel. In China, narrow streets and alleys are known as Hutong, and today we explore them by rickshaw, allowing us to visit the old residential sections of the city, famous for their traditional architecture. We will get the chance to visit one of the homes and even enjoy a home cooked lunch! This afternoon we fly to the city of Xi’an. Our accommodations will be the Xi’an Hilton Hotel for two nights. (B, L)

Friday, Oct 26, 2018 – Jade Shop, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, and Tang Dynasty Dinner Show
After breakfast, we begin our day touring the Ancient City Walls of Xi’an: the most complete city wall in China and one of the largest ancient military defense systems in the world. Following the sage Sheng’s advice, the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuan hang began building a high wall around the city in 1370. The original wall made of tamped earth was strengthened in the 1560s by laying bricks over wall. Two centuries later in 1781, the wall was enlarged and modern modifications were added, such as drainage features and crenels. During WWII, residents would use sections of the wall as anti-aircraft shelters from Japanese air bombings.

Next we visit a famous Jade Workshop, learning how this precious stone is shaped into the amazing artwork seen around the world. After lunch, we head to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, part of the Buddhist architecture movement used to store the writings that introduced Buddhism to China. Built between 707 and 709, it once stood 147 feet tall until the 1556 Shaanxi earthquake damaged it, reducing the height by 6 feet.

This evening, we enjoy a special Tang Dynasty Dinner Show. The Tang Dynasty is regarded as one of the most progressive and prosperous eras in Imperial China, and its music and dance come alive as over 100 artists perform a colorful spectacle of traditional music and dance routines. (B, L, Dinner Show)

Saturday, Oct 27, 2018 – Terracotta Warriors and Noodle Making Demo
After breakfast, we check out from the hotel before heading to perhaps one of the most famous exhibits to tour the world from China, the Terracotta Warriors. Found in a farmer’s field, the warriors were buried with the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Dating back to 210 BCE, the site features warriors, chariots and horses, as well as officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. Over 8,000 soldiers are estimated to have been buried with the emperor, many of which have yet to be excavated. We also will enjoy the Circle-Vision movie, a 360 degree movie that helps to tell the story of the terracotta warriors. We will also see the Bronze Chariots and Horses, two copies of the Emperor’s personal chariot recreated in bronze, down to the tiny arrows to be fired by the miniature crossbow.

Today at lunch we will watch and learn during a Noodle Making Demo. Discover how the noodles that are found so often in Chinese dishes are made. We then fly to Shanghai and check into the Sheraton Shanghai Hongqiao for our last two nights in China. (B, L + Demo)

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 – A view of the City, the Shanghai Museum and the Acrobatic Show
Enjoy breakfast before we begin our day by visiting the Bund, the waterfront area of central Shanghai that provides incredible views of both the modern and the ancient buildings that make up this dynamic city. Then we head to the Old Town of Shanghai, learning about the origins of the city, followed by the world-renowned Shanghai Museum. The priceless collection of jade, bronzes ceramics, calligraphy and furniture is sure to amaze.

This evening, we close out our tour with an amazing Acrobatic Show. Chinese acrobats are among the most famous in the world, and their death defying feats of strength, grace and agility will leave you breathless. (B, L)

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 – – Return home
After breakfast, we check out of our hotel before heading to the airport for our flight back to Saint Louis. Because we are flying across the International Dateline from the opposite direction, we will arrive back in the US on the same day. Thank you for traveling with us!

This is a 5 Sneaker Tour. Please see our Passport To Fun! which explains activity levels on our tours.

Tour includes:
Round trip airfare from St. Louis plus all intra-china flights
Chinese Visa
Five-star accommodations in all three cities (Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai)
A Chinese Tour director who lives in Irving, TX and has led tours back to China since 1979
Local guides in each city
17 Meals (8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches and 2 dinners) including the Tang Dynasty Dinner Show
Visits to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace
Backstreets of Beijing Hutong Rickshaw Tour and Visit with a local family
Terracotta Warriors, Ancient City Wall of Xi’an, Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Old town Shanghai, Shanghai Museum, The Bund, and Acrobatic Show
All other Activities as indicated
Baggage Handling
Professional Tour Directors Dea Hoover and Declan Rutan, plus a US based Chinese Tour Director
All gratuities including step-on guides, included meals, driver and director
Please note: Any notice of fuel surcharges imposed by carriers and/or attractions will be disclosed at least 30 days prior to tour departure.

$4,947 per person, double occupancy $5,927 per person, single occupancy

Save 3% on this tour! Discover the history of China and its numerous UNESCO sites for
*$4,799 pp, dbl occ when you pay with check or money order!

*$4,799 per person, double occupancy *$5,749 per person, single occupancy
*These prices reflect 3% savings by paying with check or money order

Make your reservation with a $1,000 deposit per person. Please send a check, or call with a credit card along with your name, address, phone number, and all roommates’ names if you are sharing a room and any dietary or walking restrictions. This is an Are We There Yet? Select Tour. We will take no more than 20 travelers. Once the tour has filled, we will form a wait list.
We encourage all travelers to purchase travel protection and pay with initial deposit.
Please remember that certain benefits are time sensitive. Plans help provide coverage for unexpected circumstances and help protect your trip and your investment.
Please insure that you have a valid passport through April 30, 2019 in order to enter China. You will not be allowed to fly without the proper documents, enter China nor return into the USA without proper documentation. Travel protection will not cover any expenses due to not having valid travel documents.
Balance on base tour price is due July 6, 2018, and no refunds will be given after that time. If you purchase Travel Protection and need to cancel after July 6, 2018, you must file a claim. If you attempt to book after this date, there may be a substantial increase in price or you may have to arrive on a separate flight.

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5902 Columbia Ave, 63139
St. Louis
20 October , Saturday 08:00

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