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Great China

15 Days

Countries Included: CHINA

Cities including: Beijing, Taian, Qufu, Xuzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou, Tongli, Shanghai, Luoyang, Longmen, Sanmexia, Xian, Lingfen, Mansion Clan Wang, Pingyao, Wutai, Yanmenguan, Yinkxian, Hanging Temple, Datong, Jiming Post

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Itinerary:

Day 1

(CHINA) Beijing :

Welcome to China. Transfer to the hotel. Early in the evening, to familiarise ourselves with the city, we provide a transfer to Wangfujing street, a pedestrian and commercial street full of life with many shops and restaurants. Dinner included and return to hotel.
Day 2

(CHINA) Beijing :

An exciting day awaits us. We will discover the main points of interest in the Chinese capital. We will have a full day visit in which we will visit some of the main avenues in the city. The Great Chinese Imperial Palace, better known as "The Forbidden City", the most majestic architectural complex in China from where 24 emperors ruled for almost 500 years. We will also have the opportunity to visit Jingshan Park where the Coal Hill is located, one of the best preserved imperial gardens in Beijing. We ascend to the top of the hill to have the best views (if the day is clear) on the Forbidden City. We will walk through the immense Tiananmen Square one of the largest squares in the world, and from them, we will appreciate the Great National Theater, Beijing Opera House. Lunch is included. Today, we will also visit the SUMMER PALACE, the Imperial House of the Qing Dynasty with its beautiful gardens and lakes. In the afternoon we include a tricycle ride through the traditional neigbourhood of Beijing, known as Hutong. In this area we can see the typical life style in these popular neighborhood, visit typical shops and even a traditional house, a Siheyuan, with all its lounges around a courtyard. Return to the hotel and overnight.
Day 3

(CHINA) Beijing :

Today's programme includes an excursion to visit the GREAT WALL OF CHINA (section Mutianyu). spectacular architectural work. Its history covers more than 2000 years. The day will include a cable car ride up and down to one of the most scenic areas. Returning to Beijing, we will stop in the 798 th district, with its contemporary art located in an old military factory. We will also visit the TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, one of the country's largest sacred complexes and a World Heritage Site. Before returning to the hotel, and as a way to rest from this intense day, we will enjoy a foot massage and we will take a Tai Chi class. We will bid farewell to Beijing with a lacquered duck dinner included.
Day 4

(CHINA) Beijing /Taian /Qufu :

After breakfast, we go to the train station. We take one of China's state-of-the-art high speed trains. At 300 km/hour, in two hours we arrive at TAIAN, situated at the foot of Mount Taishan, which is considered the most sacred mountain in China. We will visit the DAI Temple, a magnificent complex of Taoist temples from the 11th century. From here, the pilgrimage route begins. Lunch included. After this, our visit will include the cable car that ascends to the 'gates of heaven' of the sacred mountain. The last phase has to be done walking on foot up its steep staircase among hundreds of pilgrims. At the end of the afternoon, we will travel in our bus to QUFU, the city of Confucius.
Day 5

(CHINA) Qufu /Xuzhou :

We visit the city of Confucius, the Chinese thinker of the V century BC, who was the initiator of Confucianism. Our trip will include a visit and entrance to the Mansion and the Confucius Temple. We then continue our route towards XUZHOU. Lunch included. We will discover the impressive underground Mausoleum of the Han Emperor, and we will be surprised by the sight of the terracotta army in the museum (similar, but smaller in size, to the extremely famous ones in Xian). After that, in the bus, we will pass by the beautiful Lake Yunlong, which is located in the centre of the city. Accommodation.
Day 6

(CHINA) Xuzhou /Nanjing :

We leave Xuzhou in the early morning. At around 12.30, we arrive in NANJING, a city of eight million people and considered by many to be the most pleasant in China. We will be amazed by the activity and commercial life of this modern metropolis. We will visit the Purple Mountain, where we will look round the SUN YATSEN mausoleum and the picturesque Lingu Temple. Free time later on. Overnight.
Day 7

(CHINA) Nanjing /Suzhou /Tongli /Shanghai :

We leave for SUZHOU, which has wonderful gardens that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city was the main silk producer in the world, and was always associated with beauty and elegance. We include entrance tickets to the garden of the humble administrator. We will have free time to stroll along the very picturesque Pingjian road. Lunch is included. After that we go to TONGLI, a charming lake town with its small houses next to the canals and their gondolas. We included a nice boat ride. Continue on to SHANGHAI. Accommodation.
Day 8

(CHINA) Shanghai :

In the morning, our trip includes a visit round this impressive city. We will know the area of Pudong, located across the Huangpu River, is now the financial district, with its skyscrapers as the Pearl Tower. We include a ferry crossing of the Shanghai River which will give us great views of the two parts of the city. We will stroll the Old City and the Yuyuan Garden, a private garden that was built during the Ming Dynasty. We will enjoy a demonstration of the Tea ceremony,traditional drink that plays an important cultural role in China. We will pass by one of the most fashionable neighborhoods of the capital, Xintiandi. Lunch included. Then, visit Tianzifang, a former residential area known for its narrow, labyrinthine traditional streets with its small craft shops and art galleries. We finish the visit along the Bund with its old buildings that remind us of the influence of European trade. Free afternoon. If you wish, you can enjoy a boat trip to see Shanghai at night, it will be an unforgettable experience.
Day 9

(CHINA) Shanghai /Luoyang :

Transfer to the station. We take the high-speed train (a train is expected to leave at 07.17 h), and in a little over five hours, through many sections of pretty countryside, we cover the 1,000 km to LUOYANG. Lunch included. We see the impressive Buddhist caves of LONGMEN over more than a kilometre of the rocky walls of the river, where they sculpted more than 100,000 images of Buddha. We will include a boat trip. After this, transfer to the ancient city, where we cross its impressive wall and can enjoy the great traditional activity and its lit up streets.
Day 10

(CHINA) Luoyang /Longmen /Sanmexia /Xian :

In the early hours, on the outskirts of Luoyang, we visit the WHITE HORSE BUDDHIST MONASTERY, a huge monastery and place of study where Buddhists from all countries of the world. We continue our route to SANMEXIA. In this historic city we will see the Yellow River and the Baoulon temple with its tall pagoda and we will visit one of the best museums in China: the Guo museum with the funeral carriages of the former state of guo. Lunch included. We continue eastwards, passing the foot of Mount Hua, a holy mountain. XIAN, arrival at the end of the afternoon.
Day 11

(CHINA) Xian :

We have arrived in the fascinating city where the silk route originated. First thing in the morning, we will go to see the TERRACOTA ARMY, with its thousands of life size clay soldiers that were found underground. We return to XIAN, where we will visit the Small Wild Goose Pagoda where we will enjoy a brief Chinese calligraphy course . Later, we go across through the walled centre. We will cross the Muslim quarter there and we will enter the mosque, where we will be able to see the multiple cultures and religions that have left their mark on this country. Our tour will also include entry tickets to the Drum Tower where we will enjoy a short show of traditional instrument playing. Free time.-
Day 12

(CHINA) Xian /Lingfen /Mansion Clan Wang /Pingyao :

We leave from Xian in a very modern high speed train and in less than three hours we will arrive in Lingfen. From here, we go in our coach to the MANSION OF THE WANG CLAN, which was built by a wealthy family between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Lunch is included. We continue on to PINGYAO, China's best preserved historical city, which has 4,000 ancient buildings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will enjoy this charming traditional city. Our tour will include entry tickets that allow visitors access to all the temples, mansions and city walls.
Day 13

(CHINA) Pingyao /Wutai :

We travel to one of the most exciting spiritual places in China: WUTAI MOUNTAIN. This place, situated between green mountains and forests, is one of the centres of the Lamaism form of Buddhism. There are more than 40 ancient monasteries (and a similar number of monasteries have been built in more recent years), which are home to a large community of monks. We will visit Nanshan Temple with our guide, and later we will leave time free for you to look for less visited temples, where you can respectfully observe the monks. Dinner included.
Day 14

(CHINA) Wutai /Yanmenguan /Yinkxian /Hanging Temple /Datong :

After breakfast, we travel along a road of great scenic beauty between the mountains to YANGMENGUAN, which is not far from the border of Mongolia. In one of the mountain passes, we will visit a part of the GREAT WALL OF CHINA here. We will be able to take a tranquil walk, as it is an area with a very small number of tourists. We continue to YINGXIAN, quiet picturesque village with its great wooden pagoda. Lunch included. We continue to the HANGING TEMPLE of Xuancong Temple. Its construction on the wall of a cliff is amazing. Continuing with the coach, at the end of the day, you can stroll in DATONG, a city that has impressive walls and a rebuilt historic centre.
Day 15

(CHINA) Datong /Jiming Post /Beijing :

We leave in the morning to YUNGANG CAVES, China's most impressive art cave site, which has more than 51,000 statues in its 252 caves that were excavated in the 5th century. We continue to JIMING POST, a small traditional Chinese settlement that preserves its peaceful and provincial life. It was created as a resting place for the mails that were sent from the emperor. Continue to BEIJING, arriving mid-afternoon. End of our services. Please, check the time of your flight in case you might need an additional night.

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