Travel to China with Phoebe Xu




Day 1. Los Angeles-Beijing

From Los Angeles LAX to Beijing International Airport

Day 2. Beijing

Arrive in Beijing from LAX and bus to Olympic Hotel or equivalent where the group will stay for two nights.

Day 3. Beijing

The group will visit Tian¡¯anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) and The Palace Museum, more commonly known as the Forbidden City. Tian¡¯anmen was and is considered the center of Beijing, not only because of its location but also because it is a symbol of power. Tian¡¯anmen is the front gate of the Forbidden City, the gate leading to
the supreme power in imperial times. The Tian¡¯anmen Square, the largest of its kind in the world, covers an area of 400,000 square meters. The Palace Museum is the largest imperial palace ever built in the world, concealed from public view for 500 years, features more than 800 buildings with over 9,000 rooms, resplendent gold-glazed roofs, red lacquered pillars and vermilion walls. Lunch included in tour.
We will visit Beihai Park and Jingshan Park. Beihai Park or the Winter Palace is an ancient secondary palace dating to the 10th century. Now it is a popular park, including a lake, a classical Chinese garden, pavilions, halls, temples, and covered corridors. Jingshan Park contains 5 pavilions. From the middle one, visitors have a broad view of the Forbidden City. Weather permitting; one can view the entire city of Beijing. This is an ideal place to photograph the Forbidden City and the city. Acrobatics show at night.
Lodging at Olympic Hotel or equivalent.

Day 4. Beijing

After breakfast, board bus and visit The Great Wall. We will explore the Badaling section just north of Beijing. This section has quick, easy access from the car park. The Wall was built in 1571 and is 10 meters high. Along the Wall are many beacon towers, some connected to the Wall and others far away, which were used as a means of communication to warn of an enemy advance. In the 16th century warnings were sent with smoke during the day and fire at night.
After lunch, time permitting, we will visit the Ming tombs built from 1409 A.D. to 1644 A.D. and where the 13 emperors of the Ming (1368 ¨C 1644) and their empresses and concubines are buried. We will focus on exploring Dingling, the tomb of Emperor Wanli (1573 A.D. to 1620 A.D.), the 13th Ming emperor, and his two empresses. This excavated tomb is famous for a magnificent underground palace, which consists of five stone chambers. The underground palace lies 27 meters below the surface and occupies a floor space of 1,195 square meters. Among the precious treasures buried with the emperor are a gold crown and four phoenix crowns.
Time permitting, we will visit a jade-producing mill and drop in on the famous Fair of Replicas, finally visiting Wamfujing Avenue, a commercial boulevard.

Day 5 and 6. Beijing-Shanghai

The group will depart in morning for Shanghai by airplane.
Shanghai, the most important port in China, its largest and most cosmopolitan city, with a recorded history of approximately 400 years. We will visit Chenhuan Temple located in the Yu Yuan Gardens, the famous Nanjing Avenue, Witan (the Bund along the Huangpu riverfront. We will observe and experience the vibrancy, dynamism, and energy of this world-class city.

Day 7.Shanghai - Zhujiajiao

The bus will tour through Shanghai, with a shopping opportunity, time permitting.
We travel to the ancient canal town of Zhujiajiao where we stroll the ancient lanes, cruise the canals and absorb the charming old world atmosphere. Back in Shanghai we have a chance to explore the old architecture of the French Concession area.

Day 8. Suzhou

After breakfast, the group boards a coach for an excursion through the countryside to Suzhou where the group will stay three nights at the Grand China Garden Hotel or equivalent.
Suzhou is an ancient city with a history of more than 2,500 years. Once a vacation getaway for emperors, Suzhou retains a rich cultural heritage with subtle and spectacular scenery, especially its gardens. The earliest gardens of Suzhou can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn period in the 6th century B.C. Laid out within a limited area by the house, a classical garden of Suzhou is a microcosm of the world made of basic elements of water stones, plants, and different kinds of buildings with literary allusions: beautiful and elegant.
The group will visit Tiger Hill which is surrounded by rivers and covered with pine and plum trees and contains many attractions, including the Sword-Testing Rock, the Nodding Rock, the Thousand Man Rock, each with its own astounding story. Tiger Hill contains Suzhou¡¯s oldest pagoda built almost a thousand years ago.

On Tiger Hill lies Jianchi Pond, under which the tomb of the King of the Wu State, He Lu, was built during the spring and Autumn Period (770 to 476 B.C).
Also of interest is the Garden For Lingering In, the most famous garden in Suzhou. This garden is an excellent example of how gardens are designed in Suzhou in classical Chinese style.
We will also visit a silk factory and watch the employees coax strands of silk from the cocoons of silkworms. The factory has a store with a wide variety of silk products for purchase. Fashion show, time permitting.

Day 9. Shanghai

After breakfast, the group will return to Shanghai for lunch. After lunch, we head to the airport for our direct flight to Los Angeles.

Travel to China with Phoebe Xu
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