Day 1 Arrival in Shanghai
Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed by your guide(s) and transferred to the hotel. Central View Suites Hotel (4 stars)
Day 2 Shanghai (B, L, D)
Explore the vibrant culture and lifestyle of Shanghai. The day will first begin with a visit to the world renowned Shanghai Bund. Take a glimpse into Shanghai's architecture and see how it looked centuries ago. This landmark known for its distinct neo-classic architecture of 52 European style buildings not only lined the Huangpu River but at one time in the past housed most financial institutions including national banks that were considered part of the "Big Four." After feasting on a delicious and special Mongolian BBQ meal, you will then tour the Pearl Tower and Shanghai History Museum and thereafter a visit to the emporium-lined Nanjing Road. In the evening you will attend a mesmerizing Shanghai Acrobatic Show which will conclude the night.
Day 3 Free Day in Shanghai (B, L, D)
Today is a free day to explore the vibrant culture and lifestyle of Shanghai. Relax and indulge yourself by shopping at the stores along the Nanjing Road. Have a great time and enjoy the splendors of this magnificent city.
Day 4 Shanghai - Suzhou - Tai'an (B, L, D)
Today you will spend an exciting day in Suzhou. You will travel by deluxe motor coach (1½ hours) to a city nicknamed the "Venice of the Orient." Indulge in the magnificent waterside architecture along with gorgeous gardens prevalent in Suzhou. Enjoy a canal ride on the Grand Canal. Notice the crisscross with canals and watch the daily traditional lifestyle of the locals that live in this graceful wonderland. Upon arrival, you will visit the Garden of the Master of the Nets, the smallest and most proportional of all the beautiful gardens in Suzhou. Shortly after, you will be taken to the original Silk Spinning Factory, where you will learn the true art form of silk production. You will then take the motor coach back to Shanghai. After dinner You will aboard an express train to Tai'an.You will enjoy a memorable experience of this 9-hour overnight train ride.
Day 5 Tai'an (B, L, D)
Today you will experience a joyful and scenic cable car ride to visit the summit of Mount Tai, one of the "Five Sacred Mountains of Taoism." Located in the northern part of Tai'an, Mount Tai's rock formation consists of a mixture of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Along the flight up the steep mountain lays a total of 22 sacred temples and roughly over 800 stone templates. For nearly over 3000 years, famous emperors would pay homage to heaven as each would climb to the highest peak also known as the Jade Emperor Peak. If you are up for the challenge, you do have the option of climbing up to the top of the monstrous mountain. The remainder of the afternoon is for you to explore Tai'an at your own leisure. Taishan Hotel (4 stars)
**Disclosure:** For those interested in climbing Mount Tai we strongly suggest you to wear the most comfortable shoes that can withstand the journey up the mountain. It's also important to pack light and make sure to have water bottles accessible to stay hydrated during the climb. The weather at the very peak of the mountain is known to be extremely cold so please prepare yourself to dress accordingly.
Remember to stretch, keep hydrated, and take breaks when necessary.
Website for Mt. Tai: www.mount-tai.com.cn/english/
Day 6 Tai'an - Qufu - Ji'nan (B, L, D)
In the morning after breakfast you will travel by motor coach to Qufu, the birthplace of the legendary and great philosopher, Confucius. Here you will tour the Kong Family Mansion and the forest, which are both considered a major cultural attraction in all of Qufu. The mansion has been occupied by descendants of Confucius and its traditional layout is designed where the residential quarters are located in the back end of the mansion and the official rooms are situated in the front. After you have completed your tour of Confucius' Temple, you will travel by motor coach to the "The Springs City" known as Ji'nan. This provincial capital is famous for its natural springs and lakes and at one time was the historical epicenter of Buddhist culture for the entire Shandong province. In the evening you will attend a special dinner banquet. Enjoy the delicious cuisine and prepare for tomorrow's great adventure! Litian Hotel (4 stars)
Day 7 Ji'nan to Beijing (B, L, D)
You will bid a goodbye to Jinan for now. An express train (10:19am-1:29pm) will take you to the country's capital city, Beijing. Enjoy a McDonald's Lunch (burger, fries & drink), which you are longing for after so many days of Chinese food. Consider these next few days in Beijing as the climax of your trip. In the afternoon you will visit the Temple of Heaven Another spectacular day is here! Today you will visit the Temple of Heaven where the Chinese Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would go to pray for bountiful harvests. It was a critical task for all emperors to perform rituals and tasks in order for his empire to reap successful harvests and good fortune. Capture the detailed essence of all the rich colors blended together on the hand painted tiles and roofing of the structures. This remarkable construction is pledged highest level of Chinese traditional architecture. Holiday Inn Express Hotel
Day 8 Beijing (B, L, D)
After breakfast you begin with a tour to the world's largest and renowned public square where many historical events once took place - Tian'anmen Square. Around the vast square, you can see The Great Hall of People, holding the congress of the Communist Party and National People's Congress, History Museum, Military Museum and Monuments to the People's heroes. Under the famous Mao's portrait, which is positioned at the center of "The Gate of Heavenly Peace" entrance, you will walk into the Forbidden City (also known as Imperial Palace), which holds 9,999 rooms. Experience the intricate architecture and exquisitely designed layout of these grand buildings once housed by Chinese Emperors who ruled during the period of the Qing and Ming Dynasties for almost 500 years (1420-1911). Thereafter, you will partake in a tranquil visit to the picturesque landscape of the Summer Palace with historic temples, numerous pavilions, marble boat and famous 728-yard Long Corridor, situated on the man-made Kunming Lake.
Day 9 Beijing (B, L, D)
Today you will begin the morning by setting out to the Great Wall of China, also considered as one of the greatest wonders of the world. This massive wall stretches well over 4,000 miles and once was used as the soldier's safeguard to protect the Chinese empire's northern borders against invaders. You then have the opportunity to climb up the mammoth sized wall at your own pace. Be sure to take in the experience and enjoy the breath-taking view from the top of one of the greatest achievements of civilization. After lunch, you will tour the exterior portion of the Beijing National Stadium, also familiar to the world as the Bird's Nest and the home to the 2008 Olympics. The stadium designed by an architecture firm in Switzerland implemented the world's largest structure built out of steel. Later you will capture the lifestyles of families residing within the Historic Hutong by rickshaw. The amazing gray brick courtyard residence is Beijing's oldest and remains infused with timeless culture and history. In the mid 1990's, most of the original Hutongs vanished rapidly and was substituted by high-rise buildings and commercial offices. You will then wrap up the evening with a delicious Peking Duck dinner at one of the most prestigious restaurants in Beijing recognized for its specititley.
Day 10 Trip Ends (B)
The journey finally comes to an end as the 11th day has now come for us to part ways with China. We hope you enjoyed your time in China and will be leaving this country with endless amounts of stories, memories and captivating pictures of the entire journey. You will be transferred to the airport for your departure.
Price: USD1550 per person for a group of 2-6 pax