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Beijing-Datong-Wutaishan Mountain-Pingyao Ancient Town-Xi'an-Guilin-Yangshuo-Sahnghai 13 Days Tour

Day 1. Arrive in Beijing (Dinner)

Wangfujing Park Plaza  ★★★
We arrive in Beijing, the fascinating capital of the nation, it has presided china since 13th century. Ages of ruling under the emperors of different dynasties have given Beijing undeniable mark in every corner of the city. Even though the last quarter a century has transformed Beijing into a modern city filled with skyscrapers and heaving flyovers, still just few steps away people are living peacefully in the ancient hutongs. This city mirrors the whole of China’s fast-growing economy, while at the meantime struggling to keep her own tradition and culture; all these, and much more, make Beijing one of the world’s most impressive cities to visit. From the airport, we directly drive to the Summer Palace. Served as the playground of the royal family during the summer heat, the enormous park comprises various temples, gardens, pavilions, lakes and the world’s longest decorated corridor, and today it offers Beijingers a place where they can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. We tour the site on foot and enjoy a boat ride on the man-made Kunming Lake. Then we transfer to our hotel for refreshment. After that we continue to Wangfujing Pedestrian Street, where, behind some of the world’s largest shopping malls, we visit the night food market. For the brave at heart, a delicious meal of various insects cooked in several ways awaits.





Day 2.  Beijing (Breakfast, Dinner)

Wangfujing Park Plaza  ★★★
We have an early start and leave for the Temple of Heaven. As the world largest heaven worship architectural complex, it used to be where the emperors, considered to be directly descended from heaven and representing the heavenly spirit on earth, asked for blessings for the Imperial Family and for the entire nation. The ceremony lasted three days during which he did not leave the compound. Nowadays the grounds surrounding the temple are filled with Beijingers of all ages, who come to practice tai chi and dancing, and take part in all kinds of recreational activities. We join them for morning exercise before proceeding on a tour of the temple itself. From there, we go to the Tiananmen Square. As the world’s largest central city square, it is a symbolic center of China universe, it is said that no one could rule China without first gaining control of the square. It is surrounded by important buildings, among them the National Museum and the Great Hall of the People (the Chinese parliament), both were build in 1959 to celebrate 10 years foundation of the people’s republic of China. At the heart of the square there is a mausoleum for Chairman Mao, who reshaped the country, leading the People’s Republic of China from its foundation in 1949 until his death in 1976. After that we proceed on foot to the Forbidden City, so called are because it is off-limit to common people in ancient time; it is home to 24 emperors in 505 years in Ming and Qing dynasty. The compound was forbidden to all but the Imperial Family and their servants, and has been the place from which the emperors of China ruled the country for hundreds of years. We will stop at some of the more significant halls, and we will also explore more authentic small courtyard, from where is the royal family’s honor as well as misery really happened. Leaving the Forbidden City, we continue to Coal Hill, an artificial hill built in the Ming dynasty. It is worth us to spend 10 minutes at a fine weather to climb to the top for a breathtaking view over the Forbidden City. From there, we will make a visit to the hutongs, which are alleys formed by lines of traditional courtyard, today have been preserved and protected as a living evidence of how Beijing looked during imperial times. We will take a rickshaw through the calm alleys, and get a glimpse of the local life here. With dozens of families living in one courtyard, sharing public toilets, and facilities, this way of life has been lasted for centuries. We will also have a calligraphy class at local family.





Day 3. Beijing (Breakfast, Dinner)

Wangfujing Park Plaza  ★★★
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive out of the city to the famous Mutianyu Great Wall, China’s most prominent landmark and must-see site. Begun the construction 2000 years ago, the efforts required to build the wall through the history is phenomenal, some people call it the longest cemetery in the world, but it is better to be named as the accumulation of Chinese culture and history. The total length of all the walls built in different dynasties around china exceed 20,000 km, however lengthy sections of it has returned to dust in the history, the wall remained today is less than 2500 km. We will take the cable car up, and walk on part of the Wall, and hear about its history and how it failed to fulfill its main goal of stopping the Mongols from invading the country, and then we take slide way down. On our way back to the city, we stop for an outside view over the famous Bird’s Nest and the Water Bubble, the two main venues of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. From there we will make a visit to Zone 798, a modern art compound, in which artists from all over the city create and exhibit their work. We get to talk to some of the artists, hearing from them about what it is like to express yourself in a country where self-expression was taboo until not so long ago.





Day 4.  BeijingQDatong/Wutaishan (Breakfast, Dinner)

Youyi Hotel  ★★★

With an early transfer to Beijing’s airport, we take the morning flight to Datong. Upon arrival, we begin our visit of the city with one of the three most famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites, Yungang Grottoes. The grottoes are all ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes and excellent examples of rock-cut architecture. Leaving there, we go to visit another main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area, the Hanging Temple. Built into a cliff more than 1,500 years ago, the temple is well known not only for its special location but also for the Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements it includes. After exploring the temple, we head towards the last place to visit in Datong, Ying Xian Muta,is also called Wooden Tower of Ying County. It is highest and oldest wood tower building in China. The ancient simple appearance and staggered rigid structure attract the tourists. It was listed the first key national heritage conservation unit approved by the State Council in 1961. Not only is the treasure of wooden structure in the world, but also it is the conservation place for rare historic relic in Liao Dynasty. Two Buddha teeth reflect the Buddhist cultural connotation of Yin Xian Muta, and the Buddhist relics are in the palace of the Buddha. Then we continue to Wutaishan Mountain.





Day 5. Wutaishan/Pingyao (Breakfast, Dinner)

Dejuyuan Boutique House 
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wutaishan is home to many of China's most important monasteries and temples and is one of the Four Sacred Mountains in Chinese Buddhism. With five rounded peaks, it is notable not only for its religious aspect, but also for its exquisite natural scenery. Among the five peaks, the North one is the highest, and indeed the highest point in northern China. We spend the whole day visiting it. After that, we drive to Pingyao Ancient Town.





Day 6.  Pingyao/Xi'an(Breakfast, Dinner)

Grand Noble Hotel ★★★
Today we spend the whole morning visiting the PingyaoAncient Town. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was a financial center of China. Now it is renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall. We go to visit all the highlights in the city, the local government, the Ancient Bank, the Hall of God, Confucius Temple, the Ming and Qing Dynasty Street and the local family. Then in the afternoon, we transfer to railway station for our bullet train to Xi’an. Known as ‘The Eternal Peace’ during the Tang Dynasty, Xi’an was the center of the ‘old world’ and also the center of the first Chinese Empire after the first Qin emperor conquered the nearby feudal kingdoms and laid the foundations of the great united Chinese empire. On arriving in the city, we transfer to our hotel.





Day 7.  Xi'an (Breakfast, Dinner)

Grand Noble Hotel  ★★★
Today we head towards the Terracotta Army Site. Discovered accidentally in 1974 by two farmers plowing their plot, one of the most amazing historical discoveries of our time was made. An entire army made of terracotta, each of the soldiers with different characteristics and fully armored, was created to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor. We explore this breathtaking site and then visit the nearby museum to see the permanent exhibition displaying the rare artifacts found in the site and also describing its discovery, excavation, and the restoration works. After that, we take a walk along the City Wall, which dates from the Ming Dynasty. It's the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well as one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world. Leaving the wall, we proceed into the bustling Muslim Quarter. The Muslims settled in Xi’an during the glory days of the Silk Road, which connected East and West for trading purposes. Originating in Central Asia, the Muslims arrived to trade in the exotic goods they brought to the then capital of the Chinese Empire. Over time, a huge community of Muslims became assimilated into the population and has recreated its traditional way of life. They brought with them their delicious food, their clothes and customs, and built a beautiful Mosque at the heart of the once cosmopolitan capital. We roam the colorful market and visit the Great Mosque, which is a blend of Chinese style and Muslim architecture.






Day 8.  Xi'anQGuilin (Breakfast, Dinner)

Guilin Bravo Hotel ★★★
In the morning we first visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Built in AD 647, it was originally constructed to house holy scripts brought from India, which contributed to the adoption of Buddhism as the main religion in China many years later. Then we proceed to the Shanxi History Museum. Because of the significant role Xi’an played during the Tang Dynasty, the museum has numerous archeological finds from this era.  After that, we go to the Eight Immortals Temple which is the biggest Taoist temple in Xi’an and is a famous Taoist architecture in northwest China. Leaving the temple, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Guilin. Famous for its wonderful scenery, rivers and karst peaks covered in lush greenery, Guilin has a long history as the most beautiful place in China.In the evening, we stroll around the unique Night Market.





Day 9. Guilin/Longsheng/Yangshuo (Breakfast, Dinner)

Yangshuo Green Lotus ★★★
In the morning we drive to Longsheng. The Dragon Ridgeback Mountain (Longji Rice Terrace) features one of the world’s largest manmade creations. In the endless slopes of the mountain, the local peasants have carved with their bare hands thousands and thousands of terraces to capture water streaming down the mountain and use it for crop cultivation. We climb to the top of the terraces to take in their enormous extent and to enjoy the great view over the beautiful landscape. The region of Longsheng is also known for the diversified minority groups living there and we stop at some of their villages to learn about their traditions and customs. We will hike from the old Zhuang village to 7 stars in Ping’an village. Leaving Longsheng, we drive to Yangshuo






Day 10.  Yangshuo (Breakfast, Dinner)

Yangshuo Green Lotus ★★★
In the morning we embark on a cruise ride along the Li (Crystal) River from Yangshuo to Fuli. Along the way we get a glimpse of life on the riverbanks. In the small villages, the locals depend totally on the river to sustain their way of life. The river is not only their main mean of transportation but also the source of water for their fields and washing their clothes, and even of drinking water. After visiting the Fuli Ancient Town, we go to explore the local villages and local market by bicycle, where we meet the local farmers as they cultivate their small rice plots just outside the town. Then we have some free time at the unique West Street. In the evening, we enjoy the unique “Yangshuo Impressions” (Vice-vip seat) performance directed by the very same director who was responsible for the Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony in 2008, when hundreds of actors performed in the world’s largest outdoor theater—with the waters of the Li River serving as their stage. This breathtaking show is not to be missed.





Day 11. Yangshuo/GuilinQ Shanghai (Dinner)

Shanghai Central Hotel  ★★★
Today we meet our chef early in the morning and join him for a trip to the local market to buy fresh ingredients for our cookery class. During the next few hours, we shall be learning some of the secrets of traditional Chinese cookery, and for lunch we shall enjoy the results of our labors.Then we take a slow bamboo raft ride down the Yulong River, if we are luckyenough, we may get a chance to see the traditional fishing with cormorants.In the afternoon, we go to explore the local villages by bicycle, where we meet the local farmers as they cultivate their small rice plots just outside the town.In the late afternoon, we transfer to airport for our evening flight Shanghai, the most populous city in China. The city is located in eastern China and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Due to its rapid growth in the last two decades, it has again become one of the world leading cities, exerting influence over finance, commerce, fashion, and culture. Shanghai is also a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, Peoples Square and Yuyuan Garden, and its extensive yet growing Pudong skyline.Upon arrival,we transfer to our hotel. 





Day 12. Shanghai (Breakfast, Lunch)

Shanghai Central Hotel  ★★★
Today we go to Shanghai’s old town to visit the Yu Yuan Garden& Chinese Bazaar.Perfectly maintained to the present day the gardens were built by a Chinese mandarin in the 16th century in honor of his beloved parents. With their six very distinctive areas, these gardens are a true marvel and a great escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.We then proceed to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, whichrises to 468 meters and offers a great view over the city and its harbor. With its unique design, the tower has become the city’s own trademark. After that we go to the Jewish quarter, the shelter of hundreds of Jews during 2ed world war. After visiting the Synagogue Museum, we go to visit Taikang road, also called Tianzifangart area, it’s a romantic street present the Young china with contemporary art, design and fashion. From there, we continue to explore XinTian Di& French Quarter, the new hot spot in town. This pedestrian street offers a mixture of traditional architecture alongside contemporary design. Here you can get a real sense of the fusion of two cultures that sometimes clash but most of the time peacefullyis coexistence in this rapidly changing city.






Day 13. Shanghai/Depart (Breakfast)

Today we transfer to the airport for our international depart flight.





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