Caravan-Serai Tours is pleased to offer this exceptional opportunity to visit China, at a great price! The tour will take you to Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. Tour highlights include the Palace for the royal family-Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China; royal retreat-Summer Palace, largest city of China-Shanghai, Venice of the East-Suzhou, and West Lake.
2018 Tour Dates: March 18, 25; April 8, 15; May 13; June 17, July 22; August 19; September 9; October 14, 28; November 4
Day 1/Sunday: Arrival in Beijing
Upon arrival, a tour representative will meet you at the airport and then escort you to check into your hotel.
Day 2/Monday: Tiananmen Square & Forbidden City (B)
Your exploration of Beijing begins with a visit to Tiananmen Square, one of the largest public squares in the world, and then takes in the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City, also known officially as the Imperial Palace Museum, was originally constructed by the third Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Yong Le, where 24 emperors once lived successively. The palace was built between 1406 and 1420, but was burnt down, rebuilt, sacked and renovated countless times, so most of the architecture you can see today dates from the 1700’s and onwards. Afterwards, visit a Pearl Factory to gain a little knowledge of fresh pearls.
In the afternoon, take the opportunity to join an optional tour (not included) to see Beijing’s 700 year old Hutong’s (narrow lanes) area by old fashioned pedicab as well as visit a local family living in a courtyard style home to experience the local customs of old Beijing people and their unique architectural structure. The optional tour also includes a visit to Shichahai, a historic scenic area consisting of three lakes (Qianhai, meaning Front Sea; Houhai, meaning Back Sea and Xihai, meaning West Sea), surrounding places of historic interest and scenic beauty and remnants of old-style local residences, Hutong and Courtyard.
Day 3/Tuesday: Great Wall Of China (B,L)
On the way to the Great Wall you will make a stop at a Jade Museum to learn the history of Jade. In Chinese, jade is pronounced as “Yu”, and it has a history in China of at least four thousand years. Observe the skilled artisans at work as they create their intricate designs. Afterwards take a scenic drive through the countryside and mountains to reach China’s most renowned monument—the Great Wall. Visit the less-visited and more original Juyong Pass and try to avoid other sections which are the most accessible and consequently the most crowded. The Great Wall meanders through China’s northern mountain ranges from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert—a distance of over 3500 miles!
Tonight, take the opportunity to attend an optional large scale dramatic musical, “The Golden Mask Dynasty” (not included).
Day 4/Wednesday: Beijing – Suzhou (High speed bullet train experience) (B)
Enjoy a high speed bullet train experience from Beijing to Suzhou (approximately a 5-hour journey). Suzhou, which dates back to 514 BC, is sometimes called the “Venice of the East”. Visit Shan Tang Street, which has always been regarded as the first name of Suzhou ancient streets. It has a long history of about 1,100 years, its layout and architecture are the best to represent the characteristics of Suzhou’s old alleys, and it has connections to many ancient Chinese celebrities and anecdotes. Take the opportunity to cruise along the Grand Canal (not included) to view life along China’s ancient waterway.
Day 5/Thursday: Suzhou – Hangzhou (B)
Today visit the famous Lingering Garden. The Lingering Garden is a renowned classical Chinese garden and is recognised with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. China is known for its silk, so of course a visit to the Silk Spinning Factory is in order.
Afterwards drive to Hangzhou (approximately a 2-hour coach ride). Hangzhou is considered the tea capital of China, so a visit to the city just isn’t complete without a trip to a local tea house. Make a special visit to the Tea House at Meijiawu Tea Village located at the hinterland of West Lake Park which is considered one of the most important Longjing tea productions in China. Enjoy the natural environment and beautiful village scenery while learning more about their special tea culture and how to appreciate the sophisticated taste and aroma of Longjing tea. At the Tea House, learn how to make the Longjing Tea including tea leaves picking, frying and tasting.
Day 6/Friday: Hangzhou – Shanghai (B)
This morning start this amazing day with a small boat ride on the West Lake another UNESCO World Heritage Site, which reveals the ethereal beauty of Hangzhou’s willow draped islands. Afterwards drive to Shanghai (approximately a 2-hour coach ride) to visit the famous Bund. Shanghai is divided by the Huangpu River into eastern and western sections. Modern mega high rises are seen on the eastern side while traditional European style architecture may be seen on the western side. The Bund is a five-block riverfront promenade with many of Shanghai’s banks and trading houses. Tonight take the opportunity to watch a superb and thrilling Chinese Acrobatic Show “ERA: The Intersection of Time” (not included).
Day 7/Saturday: Shanghai (B)
This morning step back in time at the Shanghai Museum with more than 120,000 art objects on show, including a priceless collection of jade, bronze, ceramics, paintings, and furniture. Enjoy some free time at leisure this afternoon or join an optional half-day tour of Shanghai (not included) including Yu Garden, believed to have been built in the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years ago. The exquisite layout, beautiful scenery, and the artistic style of the garden architecture have made the garden one of the highlights of Shanghai. Other attractions include Xintiandi, Old Town and Nanjing Road. In the evening, take the opportunity to join the optional “Night Cruise on the Huangpu River” (not included).
Day 8/Sunday: Shanghai – U.S. (B)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your homeward flight.
End of services
The order of attractions might be adjusted for a better tour experience. You must book at least a month in advance to allow time for your visa to be issued. Be sure to plan your airline booking so you arrive on Sunday, the date the tour begins with pickup at the airport. Caravan-Serai can assist you in making your airline bookings. This tour is organized by Stunning China Tours.
Hotels to be used:
Beijing : Holiday Inn Central Plaza TripAdvisor Reviews
Suzhou: Grand Metropark Suzhou or similar TripAdvisor Reviews
Hangzhou: Zheshang New Century Grand Hotel or similar TripAdvisor Reviews
Shanghai: Eton Hotel or Guoman Hotel TripAdvisor Reviews
Photos courtesy of Stunning China Tours