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Beijing - Taian - Qufu - Kaifeng - Luoyang - Nanjing - Suzhou - Hangzhou - Shanghai

Description :Starting from Beijing, we’ll go through North China region, Shandong land, Henan territory and south Yangtze River region, ends at Hangzhou – the capital of ancient Song dynasty. Tourists can have a full view of China scenery, taste the customs in each region, and observe the 2000 years of canal vicissitudes.
Tour Code : CHP-522
Price : from US$2007 p/p
Departure Date : You choose

Day 1

Beijing   (No meal included)

Upon arrival, our guide will wait you at the arriving hall and help you with the luggage if needed. Then we will escort you to your hotel in the private car. On the way, the guide will introduce you some information of this city about its geography, climate, history, culture and food etc. and remind you with the precautions. After arriving at hotel, our guide will help you with the check-in. you’ll be free for the rest of the day. Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel is located in central downtown; it’s close to many attractions like Forbidden City and Heaven temple and has easy access to major parts in the city.
Hotel: Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel 4 star

Day 2

Beijing   (B, L)

We’ll start our Beijing tour after the breakfast. Driving to Mutianyu Great Wall in our private car is our first move. U.S.A first lady Michele and her family visited Mutianyu Great Wall before. This section is to the northeast of the city, about 2 hours’ drive. It belongs to Ming dynasty Great Wall and also the best preserved section. The Mutianyu section is well known and popular among those Great Wall sections.

After lunch, we can have a break. Our next stop is Long Tomb. The Ming Thirteen Tomb has typical imperial tomb layout. The original tomb belongs to Zhu Li and his queen Xu. He enthroned in Beijing. From the Grand Red Gate, passing through the 7 km long sacred way and we can see the Long Tomb. Long Tomb is the most famous graveyard which buried Zhu Li and his wife. It’s comparable with the Forbidden City. The Feng Shui theory can be described as the pinnacle here. It’s the very first one of Ming Thirteen Tombs. It’s also the biggest and earliest one with the most magnificent scale and the most sophisticated technology. It’s also the best preserved and is one of the Beijing cultural heritage sites.

Then we’ll drive back to downtown and have an overlook at the Olympic constructions – Bird’s Nest and Water Cube.

In the evening, we’ll take you to the Red Theater to watch the Kongfu Show. Under the splendid lighting and music, it expresses a legendary that inspired many people.
Hotel: Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel 4 star

Day 3

Beijing   (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we’ll go to visit the Heaven Temple first. We can watch or learn some Taichi here. Heaven Temple is the largest royal ritual buildings in the world, and has been selected into World Heritage list. There are four temples in Beijing – Earth Temple in the north, Heaven Temple in the south, Sun Temple in the east and Moon Temple in the west. And the Heaven Temple is the most magnificent one. In 1918, the temple has been planned as City Park. In the morning, we can see local folks playing Taichi in the park. You can go and take some Taichi class here if you like.

After lunch, we’ll drive to Tian’anmen square and Forbidden City. Tian’anmen square is the heart of Beijing city. It has witnessed many historical events happened, it’s also the biggest city square in the world. The famous landmarks like People’s Great Hall, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall and National Museum of China are all nearby.

Then we’ll enter into the Forbidden City. It was firstly built in Ming dynasty Zhu Li period, 24 emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties lived and worked here. It was built according to ancient astrology; the heaven emperor’s residence is called Ziweiyuan. In order to correspond the heaven, the emperor in earth is called Zijincheng (Forbidden City). Between heaven and earth, at the top of the Zijin, there’s the place that can never be violated. Everything has to surrender to it. Getting out of the Shenwu Gate, we can go climb the Jing Hill if the weather is fine (ticket not included). We may see the sunset light spread on the city.

For dinner, we prepared the top food of Beijing – the Quanjude Roast Duck. Created in 1864, the roast duck is considered as the first food is China and is well liked by many celebrities.
Hotel: Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel 4 star

Day 4

Beijing -> Taian   (B, L)

Today we will go to Summer Palace. It’s called the royal garden museum and one of the four gardens in China. Previously called Qingyi garden, the Summer Palace is based on Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill and modeled on West Lake in Hangzhou, fully learned the features of South China gardens. In 1998, it became the world cultural heritage. If you like the scenery here, you can have a good look at the original version in Hangzhou in our next tour. After that, we will take a tour in the Hutong to see the people’s lives and customs here.

At dawn, we will transfer you to the railway station and the train to Tai’an city.
Train info: G271 18:39/20:50
Hotel: Lijing Plaza Hotel Taian 4 star

Day 5

Taian   (B, L)

Our tour starts at Tai Mountain today. Confucius said: climb on the east mountain, the Lu region become small, while climb on the Tai mountain, the world become small. Tai Mountain has grand momentum and is Emperor Mountain. Since the Qin and Han dynasty, each emperor followed the tradition of climbing Tai Mountain and hosting worship. As the first mountain of five mountains, Tai Mountain has the reputation of auspicious mountain. There’s an old saying: Tai Mountain is peace then the world’s peace. Among to tales of Tai Mountain, the tale of Pangu is the most excellent one. According to the ancient literature, Pangu created the world, and then died due to exhaustion. His head became Tai Mountain, left arm became South Heng Mountain, right arm became North Heng Mountain and Feet became Hua Mountain. Since long time ago, Tai Mountain has become the important place of Chinese culture and arts. From the mountain foot to the top, there are more than 30 monuments. Tai Mountain was listed into World Natural and Cultural Heritage site in 1987.
Hotel: Lijing Plaza Hotel Taian 4 star

Day 6

Taian -> Qufu -> Kaifeng   (B, L)

After today’s breakfast, we’ll go to visit the Dai Temple. Dai Temple was first built in Han dynasty. Located at the south side of Tai Mountain, it’s a typical Taoist temple. As the biggest and best preserved ancient buildings, it’s the place for ancient 72 emperors worshiping place, and also the place that gathers the most relics. It’s considered as the Tai Mountain museum. Dai Temple preserves many books, classics and ritual. The architectural style applies imperial palace style, more than 150 rooms spread in the area. This is one of the four ancient China buildings.

Then we will drive to Qufu to admire Confucius and visit the Temple and cemetery of Confucius and residence of the Kong family. The Three ‘cons’ was listed as World Cultural Heritage in 1994. The Kong family has more than 2000 years’ history since Confucius. It’s considered as the oldest family in the world. Kong shares the fame with the Zhang family in the south China. Every first eldest son has the honor of titling Duke. Confucianism as the cornerstone of Chinese thought makes Qufu the orient holy city. Since the first emperor of Han dynasty, every emperor followed the custom of worship Confucius.

After that, we head to Qufu railway station and take the train to Kaifeng.
Train info: D257/D260 16:10/19:58
Hotel: Henan Jinyuan Hotel 4 star

Day 7

Kaifeng   (B, L)

Today we’ll drive to Kaifeng Town Hall. Kaifeng is the capital of North Song Dynasty. It’s the prototype of the famous painting Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival. Kaifeng has a high prestige and influence in Chinese history and culture. In some ways, it becomes the first impression of whole the Song dynasty for Chinese people. Kaifeng magistrate – Bao zheng – is the first ‘Black Face’ in history. He is just and stern, all corrupt officials are afraid of him. Kaifeng Town Hall is the best place to let people know how ancient Chinese governments deal with the corrupt officials.

Then we’ll go to The DaXiangguo Temple. This is the first royal temple. Built in 555 AD, this is one of Chinese famous ten temples. This is the largest temple in North Song capital, and this is especially for emperor to host the blessing ritual for the country.

At last, we’ll go to the Iron Tower Park. Located in the northeast side, the park is name after the remaining iron tower. The tower is built in 1049 and has the reputation of the first tower in the world. The tower is 55.88 meter high with thirteen layers and eight angles. The whole tower is covered with glazed brick, but it look like iron. So since the Yuan dynasty, this tower is named as iron tower.

And we will stroll on the Song Royal Street. The Song Royal Street was rebuilt in 1988. In the North Song period, the street is made for emperor’s activity and travel. It lasts more than 10 miles. The main road which is impressive and prestige starts from Xuande Gate at the royal palace then go through the Zhuque Gate right to the Nanxun Gate. This ancient royal street leads you to cross time and back to that old and bustling city.
Hotel: Henan Jinyuan Hotel 4 star

Day 8

Kaifeng -> Luoyang   (B, L)

Today we are going to Songyang Academy. Academy education is the major form in ancient Chinese elite training and is an important carrier of ancient China education. It is more of Chinese characteristics in world's education system. Songyang Academy is the representative for Chinese ancient education, and it’s one of the ancient Chinese four academies. It’s considered as the sample of studying ancient Chinese academy architecture, the education system and the Confucian culture. As one of the birthplace of Song dynasty philosophy, it’s the lecturing place for many masters. In 1961, it was listed as national key relic. In 2010, it was listed as World Cultural Heritage as the subproject of among the world historic buildings.

After that, we will go to the famous Shaolin Temple. Shaolin Temple was built in 495. In 2010, it was listed as World Cultural Heritage. Shaolin Temple is a well known Buddhist temple, and the ancestral of Buddhist Zen. Shaolin is also one of the birthplaces of Chinese Kongfu. In China, there’s an old saying that world’s Kongfu is all from Shaolin. Shaolin monks meditate and lecture in the daytime. At night, they practice Kongfu in the most hidden palace – Thousand Buddha Palace. The floor in the palace is sunken due to long time practice. Today we can still see that. Visit Shaolin, the tower forest is a must visit place. The tower forest consists of many tomb tower of Shaolin respected monks. Since Tang dynasty, there have been 232 towers. Through Tang, Song Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, this is the largest, most quantity and highest value tower buildings. There are brick, stone and mixed structures.

Then we will have the opportunity to watch a Shaolin Kongfu show. Shaolin Kongfu is unique and marvelous. As the most famous faction of Chinese Kongfu, Shaolin Kongfu can keep practitioner fit and healthy. Along with the Buddhist theory, it possess the function of enhance both inside and outside. Then we’ll drive back to Luoyang and check in our hotel.
Hotel: Luoyang Peony Hotel 4 star

Day 9

Luoyang -> Nanjing   (B, L)

After breakfast we’ll go to Longmen Grottoes. Longmen Grottoes is a treasure trove of Chinese Buddhist statues and was listed as World Cultural Heritage in 2000. It’s one of the four Chinese grottoes and shares the fame with Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, Yungang Grottoes and Maiji Mountain Grottoes. Longmen Grottoes is the important place in Buddhist culture. Firstly carved in North Wei period, the scale is growing during its next 400 years history. Now the length is one km from north to south. There are 2345 niche and more than 100 thousand statues exist. And there are inscriptions 2800. The Longmen twenty among those works is the supreme boutique. UNESCO thinks the grottoes in Longmen district show the largest and finest modeling arts during North Wei to Tang dynasty. The art works with detailed description of the Buddhist religious themes represents the highest achievements of Chinese stone carving art.

Then we’ll move to Luoyang Museum. This museum primarily reflects Chinese history and culture before Song dynasty. Especially the Heluo culture, many bronze discovered show the long history of Luoyang. Luoyang is an important city in Hetuluoshu culture. And Hetuluoshu is considered as the origin of Chinese culture. As an important part of the Grand Canal and the central city on the canal, everything here shows the brilliance of this oriental capital.

After that, we will go to visit the White Horse Temple. Built in 68 AD, this is the very first temple in China. In East Han dynasty, the emperor had a dream about golden man, he sent messenger to the west. In 67 AD, two respected monks from India and Han dynasty came to China with classics carried on white horse. The emperor greeted them himself. In the same year, he ordered to build the White Horse Temple.

At last, we will stroll in the Luoyang old town to admire this thousand year capital. The snacks and food here is also something you can’t miss. In the central plain, there’s a long food history and Luoyang is the center. Luoyang old town has much food like Luoyang water banquet, Bufan Soup, muddle noodle tec.

Then, we’ll take the night train to Nanjing. This train is an old fashion style. After experienced the bullet train, take this train makes us have a better comparison of the development in China.
Train info: K736 19:34/8:00 +1
Accommodation: on the train

Day 10

Nanjing   (B)

After spending the night on the train, our guide will meet you at the railway station, and then help you to check in the hotel near Qinhuai River. You can have a good rest in the morning and start our tour in the afternoon after lunch.

Our first stop is Confucius Temple. It’s one of the four Chinese cultural temples. It’s used to sacrifice Confucius. The architecture is grand and is the culture and education center in Nanjing or even in South China region. The temple is built in Song dynasty; design follows the cultural temple regulation and is not subject to space limitation. It sets Qinhuai River as the pool and south bank brick wall as screen wall. The main buildings include Lingxing Gate, Dacheng Gate, Dacheng Palace, Mingde Hall and Zunjing House. It’s also the landmark in the Qinhuai River.

Otherwise, Confucius Temple is food paradise. This is the first choice for Jinling snacks. Many famous local foods can be found here: Xueyuan steamed bun, Qifangge spring rolls. Liufengju tofu jelly and fried beef dumplings.

Then we’ll go to the Jiangnan Examination Hall. It place used to be the biggest examination hall and is thematic pavilions of Chinese imperial culture and imperial history showcase. It is also currently the only professional museum that reflects the Chinese imperial examination system content. Imperial examination system started in Sui dynasty, this is a regulation that select official by exam which followed by many dynasties. Since 605 to 1905, this system has 1300 years history. South China examination house is the place to know ancient China elite culture and social mobility and also the place to learn the old saying: officialdom is the natural outlet for good scholars.

When it’s getting dark, we will board on the river cruise to admire the beautiful scenery on the Qinhuai River. This river used to be the most bustling place in China. We can still see the prosperity today, the dance and music are full of romance, and it has been the perfect gathering place for literati.
Hotel: Holiday Inn Nanjing Aqua City 4 star

Day 11

Nanjing   (B, L)

We’ll visit the Ming Xiao Mausoleum after breakfast. This mausoleum is World Cultural Heritage site and is the tomb for Ming dynasty’s first emperor Zhu Yuanzhang and his wife. It’s prior among the Ming Tombs. Architectural pattern is grand and spectacular, embodies the highest achievements of the early Ming Dynasty architecture and stone carving art and also has become a model to imitate for imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It has unrivaled position in Chinese royal mausoleum architectural history. Therefore, it has the reputation of the first Ming and Qing imperial tombs.

Then we’ll visit the Sun Yat-sen Tomb. It’s next to the Ming Xiao Mausoleum. It has the reputation of the first Tomb in Chinese modern architecture history. The tomb was finished in 1929; the whole tomb was built along the hill with grand payout. It increases gradually from south to north. The main buildings include Arch, ramps, mausoleum doors, pavilion and the tomb room. And many houses and halls are surrounded around the tomb.

After that, we have three options to choose. We can pick one. Also the fare is not included.

Option 1: Presidential Palace. It has nearly 160 years history, it’s the biggest modern China museum for now and it shows the Chinese development and changing from 1840 to 1949. As the government location of Republic of China, it has the same position with the Forbidden City.

Option 2: Holocaust Memorial. More than 300 thousand of ghosts are lying here. This is the proof of Japanese army’s atrocities during the World War Ⅱ. This is the mirror for us all to face up to history.

Option 3: Nanjing Museum. As one of Chinese three biggest museums, this is a comprehensive museum with the longest history. It formerly was the National central museum built by Cai Yuanpei. This is also the first museum after the Qing dynasty. It is said there are 20 thousand collections in it.
Hotel: Holiday Inn Nanjing Aqua City 4 star

Day 12

Nanjing -> Suzhou   (B, L)

Today we will drive to Suzhou. Our first stop for today is Humble Administrator's Garden. Humble Administrator's Garden is typical the Ming Dynasty garden and is a masterpiece for the Suzhou garden art. Dating back to 500 years of history, along with Beijing's Summer Palace, Chengde Mountain Resort and Lingering Garden in Suzhou, they compose the China's four Classical Gardens. In 1997 it has been declared a World Heritage Site. Humble Administrator's Garden is the largest private garden in Suzhou, originally belonged to Censor Wang Xianchen in Ming Dynasty. He was frustrated by officialdom and returned home to build gardens. After coaching by Ming Dynasty painter Wen Zhengming, the artistic conception got raised. The park has China's only garden themed museum.

After lunch, we will check in our hotel and visit Hanshan Temple. This has a 1400 years history. It got its name due to the Hanshan Keepers story. Then it became the shrine for scholars due to the poem To Moor at Night at the Maple Bridge by Zhang Ji.

At last, we will take the cruise on the canal to experience the 3000 years Suzhou and 2000 years canal story.
Hotel: Nanlin Hotel Suzhou 4 star

Day 13

Suzhou -> Nanjing -> Hangzhou   (B, L)

Today we go to visit the Garden of the Master of Nets. Nets Garden is the representative for Song dynasty garden. Firstly built in 1174 and name changes in 1765, the owners of this one are mostly scholars and each of them had inscriptions left in the garden. After sorting and repairing, it became the boutique masterpiece in classic gardens. As part of the Suzhou gardens, it was listed into the World Cultural Heritage too.

Then we go to Tiger Hill. It locates to the northwest of Suzhou city. The king of Wu was buried here. Legend says after three days the king was buried, there are white giant tiger stayed on it. So it got its name Tiger Hill. This place is full of ancient trees and beautiful scenery. The tiger hill tower stands on the top of the hill.

In the afternoon, we will drive to another city – Hangzhou. Upon arrival, we will first check in our hotel by the West Lake. Then we will take the canal night cruise. As the south most city of the canal, also the most important two cities on the canal line, Hangzhou has always been the center in the south. Canal here is living heritage, is the floating history. Have a close contact with it, you may have a better view of this city. The cruise starts at 19:30 and ends at 20:30. From Wulinmen dock, we will board on the antique boat to feel the charm on the bank of the canal. Along the paradise jade belt or historic painting, we will pass West Lake cultural square, Chaohui Bridge, Chaowang Bridge, Royal dock, Fuyi granary, Qianlong Boat, Dadou Road, Xiangji Temple, Xiaohe street, Qingsha Park and Qiaoxi street, also we can see many impressive views. Deeply feel the soul of the canal. The cruise tour will end at the Gongchen Bridge – the first ancient bridge in South China.
Hotel: Ramada Plaza Hangzhou Haihua 4 star

Day 14

Hangzhou   (B, L)

After breakfast we will visit the Lingyin Temple (including Feilai Peak). Hangzhou is the Buddhist city in the southeast. Lingyin Temple is a thousand years temple. Buddhist Zen culture and the story of Jigong, even the Feilai peak statues are all worth seeing.

Then we go to the Meijiawu Tea Plantation. Longjing green tea is the representative of green tea and also the representative of Hangzhou tea. Meijiawu is rich for Longjing tea. It’s also the leisure place for local folks. It’s also one of the two most famous tea parks in Hangzhou, and the leisure place for local folks. Thanks to its hazy hill, gurgling water and slim woods, plus its far from the downtown crowd, this place has become a great spot for people to join the nature, taste tea and talk. Local cicerone would take you to observe the process of collecting tea and frying tea. A sip of green tea would fresh your mind, it’s real tremendous.

In the afternoon, we’ll drive to Southern Song Guan Kiln Museum. This is China's first ceramic thematic museums, also contains information about the history of the Southern Song Dynasty. While taking the cruise on the lake (no island boarding), we can watch the gentle wave flows underneath, see lake view and green hill lying beside. Great scenery differs from seasons, and that could be breathtaking. West Lake is the windows of Hangzhou spirit, unique spirituality with no words can describe, trace of history looming in between, make the lake a brilliant paradise and holy place in the world. Moreover, in the beginning of the 21 century, the west lake was listed as world heritage for its fame of culture landscape. With 40 minutes lake viewing on the boat, you can enjoy Spring Dawn at Su Causeway, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, Leifeng Pagoda Silhouette against the Sunset and many other attractions.

After dinner, we’ll go watch the Impression West Lake show. Using lake virtual landscape as the stage backdrop, the dancers stand above the waves, dancing, and interoperated the lingering of the West Lake.
Hotel: Ramada Plaza Hangzhou Haihua 4 star

Day 15

Hangzhou -> Shanghai   (B, L)

After breakfast, we’ll drive to Shanghai. Shanghai Museum is our first stop. As one of the famous museum in China, it has the reputation of fine culture and art. Shanghai Museum with its strong finance and wise vision, has acquired some world-class collections such as Calligraphy and so on. Shanghai Museum set traditional philosophy as the foundation, built a palace of art with oriental charm. South China bachelor culture and Chinese ancient culture has concentrated expression here. If you like painting or bronze, this is the place you ought to come.

Then we will walk on the East Nanjing Road. Here is the famous the first street in China, also one of the top commercial streets in the world and the paradise for shopping. Wandering here unrestrained, you can find foreign flavor side of busy Shanghai. Find the original side of Shanghai in the alleys.

Then we’ll go to the Bund. This is the name card of Shanghai. Huangpu River is the intersection of classic and fashion, a blend of Eastern and Western cultures, docking of business and life. They all show here. The Bund is Shanghai's most famous scenic spots and shopping street. With the length of 1.5 km, it constitutes a total of more than twenty different styles of buildings, a variety of architectural art together as a one, such as Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque, there are also modern doctrine and eclectic architecture, and it is called the International Architecture Exhibition of the world. Starting from the date of its establishment, it has been China's financial center; it is also known as the East Wall Street. On the opposite side of the Bund, the urban jungle of skyscrapers constructs in neon bright showing its exceptionally enchanting.

At last, we can visit the Oriental Pearl Tower and have an overlook of the large Shanghai. Oriental Pearl Tower is in Lujiazui financial district and is a landmark in Shanghai. Oriental Pearl Tower in the evening time is brightly shining, the 59-meter-high floating boarding sightseeing Gallery - Peak Trail allows guests feel like in Wonderland. Visitors can have panoramic views overlooking the Huangpu River through the transparent glass under the feet and feel the feeling of walking in the clouds. Vacant sightseeing Gallery is located on the second main sphere with circumference 150 meters and 2.1 meters in width, where visitors can feel the 720-degree visual experience. We recommend guests have dinner here (meals fare excluded). Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower revolving restaurant is unique and full of elegant atmosphere. It is located on the 267 meters sphere and it is Asia's highest revolving restaurant. With bright and spacious windows down to the ground, we can have a glance of Huangpu River, its environment and the meals are second to none.
Hotel: Ramada Plaza Shanghai Gateway 4 star

Day 16

Shanghai   (B, L)

Today’s tour will start at Yu Garden. Here’s a must go attraction in Shanghai. As a model for the South China private garden and the culmination of the Chinese garden art, Yu Garden’s beauty can not be ignored. Listed as national key cultural and relic protection units, the Yu Garden was opened to public in 1961. Along with Beijing Panjia Garden, Liulichang and Nanjing Confucius Temple, they are the four cultural markets in China. Yu Garden was built in Ming dynasty, it has 400 years history. The Yulinglong stone in the garden is one of the three stones in South China. And there are also many other ancient buildings.

Yu Garden and the City God Temple are connected. City God Temple locates at the southwest side of the Yu Garden. It has 600 years history and is a Taoist temple. Three city gods are served in the temple. Their prototypes are Huo Guang, Qin Yubo and Chen Huacheng. A commercial street is also not far. We can taste snacks or purchase some souvenirs on the street.

After lunch, we will go to the ancient water town – Zhujiajiao. Zhujiajiao is typical South China water town; it’s one of the four famous cultural towns in Shanghai and has the reputation of Venice in Shanghai. We can enjoy the South China peculiar water town customs and lifestyle of local residents.

Hotel: Ramada Plaza Shanghai Gateway 4 star

Day 17

Shanghai   (B)

Today we are going to end our tour. We will transfer you to the airport after breakfast. The 17 days Canal cultural tour will end here. In the meanwhile, the next journey of life is just around the corner.

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