For those on the Land and Air package originating at Vancouver International Airport on your departure date, be at the Airline’s ticket counter in the International Departure Terminal three hours prior to departure for your seat assignment. Your great circle route usually takes you north from Vancouver, over western Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. After you leave western Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, you either enter Russian airspace or fly over the Pacific Ocean until you cross Japan. Sometimes on a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji. The jet stream determines both your route and the flight time, which usually averages 11 hours.
Today you visit the Yu Yuan Garden Market area of Old Shanghai. This busy day also includes a visit to the Shanghai Museum and a stroll through Xintiandi (the French Concessions). BLD
You have a free day to explore. With a population around 18 million, Shanghai (Queen of the Orient) has been forcefully “helped” by almost every major nation at some period in history. The areas known as the “concessions” reflect the architecture and period of the country of occupation. The Bund area reflects all of the countries and their business interests before the revolution. You have lots of opportunities to watch people and take pictures. This is your “SHOP TILL YOU DROP” day. Take a pack of matches or a card from your hotel to show a taxi driver in case you get lost. B
In the morning you fly to Qingdao, “Green Island”, a major seaport and industrial center in China. Here you will visit Signal Hill, a beautiful park that offers a panoramic view of old Qingdao. You will also relax on Bathing Beach, one of the largest sandy beaches in all of Asia, enjoy the city square and take a walk on the famous Qingdao concrete Pier. Wenhua International Hotel. BLD
You will tour the famous Tsingdao Brewery and take a trip up Laoshan Mountain on the shore of the Yellow Sea. It is the highest mountain on China’s coast and said to be the home of many supernatural spirits. BLD
Today you fly to Zhengzhou, the capital of the Henan province, where you will visit the Shang Dynasty Ruins. During the Shang Dynasty the capital was moved eight times. This site is the remains of one of its locations. You can see tombs, workshops, and the old palace location. Your time in Zhengzhou also includes a trip to the Henan Provincial Museum and Yellow River Park. BLD
The Shaolin Monastery is said to be the Number One Temple under heaven and the cradle of Chinese Zen Buddhism. It is famous for its Chinese martial arts. Look forward to observing a Kung Fu class! You will then travel by coach to Luoyang. BLD
Luoyang is rich in historical and cultural sites. You travel by coach and visit the Dragon Gate Grottos, a series of caves carved to pay tribute to Buddhism. There are over 2000 caves with over 100,000 statues going back as far as the 5th century. You will also see some traditional cave dwellings. BLD
This morning you will be on the bullet train to Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi Province. You will visit the former residence of the family Chang, Chang’s Mansion. BLD
Today you will be on a coach to Pingyao, a tiny ancient town about 100 kilometres from the capital. With its long history of over 2,700 years and its preservation of urban landscape in China’s Ming and Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in Dec. 31st 1997. Your visit will include the City Wall (33 feet high and more than 20,000 feet long), the Qiao Family’s compound (built in 1755, this well-preserved structure was the residence of a famous businessman during the Qing Dynasty), Ming-Qing Street, the Ri Sheng Chang Financial House (China’s first private financial institution to provide currency exchange in around 1824) and the Tongxinggong Armed Escort Company Museum. BLD
After breakfast you will board your first class Bullet Train bound for Beijing. Here you will visit Tien an men Square. On the four sides of the square you will find Mao’s Tomb, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum, and the front entrance to the former Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City). You will recognize this from TV since every western news person uses it as a backdrop in Beijing with the familiar face of Chairman Mao looking over the reporters shoulder to give the story credibility. Most of the afternoon will be taken up by your visit to the Forbidden City. BLD
This morning after an early breakfast, you will make the two hour drive to visit the greatest man-made barrier in the world, “THE GREAT WALL”. You will travel north of Beijing to the Mutianyu section of the Wall. This will be one of the high points of your China experience! You will also visit the Lama Temple and the Olympic Center in the afternoon. This evening you will experience a dinner which includes Peking duck. BLD
After breakfast today you have your last free day. Your guide will assist you in your search for the ultimate shopping experience with directions to Wangfujing Street and Silk Alley (taxi rides). Or you might ask about optional day tours or performances (at additional expense). If you want western food, try McDonald’s or the Beijing Hard Rock Cafe. Don’t forget the address card from your hotel so you don’t get lost! B
This morning after breakfast, you say goodbye to China as you are transferred to the airport for your flights home.
If you are on the Land Only package, your tour ends at the hotel. Arrangements can be made with your local tour guide for transfers or extended stays. B