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Save $1,000 per couple | $500 solo

China Sampler

10 days

Never more than 16 guests OR Travel Privately

Overall Rating
based on 111 Reviews

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Our Distinctive A+R Style

  • Situated a bit farther from the capital, the Great Wall at Mutianyu draws fewer visitors; and with its many defensive towers and splendid mountain setting, it offers a more rewarding experience.
  • Spend time with tea farmers in their fields near Hangzhou for a unique hands-on discovery in the ancient art of tea cultivation
  • Experience the sublime beauty of the Garden of the Master of the Nets, designed long ago during the Song Dynasty.
  • A guided boat excursion along the canals of Wuzhen is the best way to experience the evocative  architecture and ambiance of this ancient town.
  • Fully guided with 9 nights in our luxury hotels; 21 meals with wine at lunch and dinner; complete sightseeing; all transfers; both internal flights; and all gratuities except for your Trip Leader.
 
Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
 

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Day
1

On arrival at the airport, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to our luxurious hotel in the heart of the capital.

Day
2

Your expertly guided, full-day exploration begins in Tiananmen Square. Covering more than 100 acres in the heart of the city with a scale reminiscent of Moscow’s Red Square or the Piazza San Marco in Venice, it ranks as one of the grandest public plazas in the world. Then follow in the footsteps of Ming Dynasty emperors as you explore the magnificent palaces, courtyards and pavilions of the sprawling Forbidden City c. It is said that there are 9,999 rooms within these imposing walls and although you won’t see everyone, your guided tour offers a fascinating look into the splendor of Imperial life centuries ago.
 
Then explore by rickshaw through the narrow lanes of a Hutong, one of the city's few remaining enclaves of traditional, centuries-old courtyard homes. After lunch, you'll tour the resplendent Summer Palace . Set on wooded hills surrounding a tranquil lake, this assemblage of pavilions, palaces and gardens offers a fascinating look into Imperial life long ago. From April to November, our tour of the Summer Palace includes a boat ride on Lake Kunming, a delightful and tranquil way to experience the architectural landmarks and sublime natural beauty of this World Heritage Site. Tonight’s festive Peking Duck banquet is accompanied by wine and local beer.  Meals B+L+D

The Great Wall c stretches for nearly 4,000 miles across northern China - its oldest sections dating back more than 2,000 years when various states and dynasties first began to build these defensive walls. A few centuries after these earliest sections were constructed, Emperor Qin Shihuang consolidated them into a single, massive fortification to guard his empire against Hun invaders from the north. Succeeding emperors maintained, reconstructed and built anew, and much of what is seen today is the result of work that was done during the Ming Dynasty. As a result the wall is not uniform throughout its length; situated farther from the capital than other parts of the Great Wall, the section at Mutianyu draws fewer visitors and is celebrated for its many defensive towers and splendid setting amidst the rugged mountains. Ascending by cable car, you'll walk atop the Great Wall here at Mutianyu as our expert guide shares dramatic stories of its past. For lunch today, we'll take you to the famous Brickyard Restaurant, conveniently located nearby. Back in the city, the rest of your afternoon and evening is free to enjoy and dine as you wish.  Meals B+L
 

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Xian, China’s ancient capital for 13 dynasties. On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to our deluxe hotel, ideally situated within the old defensive walls of the city. A+R guests enjoy a complimentary upgrade to Club Floor Guestrooms with high-speed Internet and access to the Club Lounge for breakfast and cocktails. After settling in, you'll rejoin your guide to visit Hanyangling Underground Mausoleum. With its royal tombs, ceremonial sites and numerous other burial pits this archaeological site offers fascinating insight into life, culture and society during the ancient Han Dynasty. This evening's congenial dinner features savory dumplings - a regional specialty and favorite.  Meals B+D

Day
5

Behold the Terra Cotta Army

Hilton Hotel - Xian, China

Farmers stumbled upon the site while digging a well in 1974; today the Terra Cotta Army c is still regarded as China’s greatest archaeological discovery. Set out this morning to visit the excavation site and marvel at the exquisite details of these clay warriors buried 2,000 years ago to guard the tomb of China’s first emperor. It has been estimated that more than half a million laborers and craftsmen worked for nearly 40 years to complete the tomb - and the thousands of terra cotta soldiers, horses and chariots that were to serve the Emperor in the afterlife. After lunch, you’ll visit the ancient defensive walls of the city before returning to your hotel.  Meals B+L+D

Day
6

Marco Polo Fell in Love with Hangzhou… You Will Too!

JW Marriott Hotel - Hangzhou, China

After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport for your included flight to Hangzhou, where you'll be escorted to our 5-star hotel. Just outside of the city, you'll visit an authentic working tea plantation to spend time with the farmers amidst their lush fields. From preparing the soil to picking the tea leaves, your time on the tea plantation is a fun way to learn about the ancient techniques that ensure the high quality of the region’s esteemed teas. Back in the city, a guided stroll along the shores of West Lake reveals why Hangzhou is heralded as one of China’s loveliest cities - as evidenced by an ancient Chinese proverb, “Above there is Heaven; below there is Hangzhou.” Indeed, these landscapes have inspired artists and poets for centuries, and today you’ll have a chance to experience its enchanting scenery for yourself.  Meals B+L

Day
7

Onward to Wuzhen + The Garden City of Suzhou

Shangri-La Hotel - Suzhou, China

Departing Hangzhou this morning, you’ll travel to Wuzhen for a glimpse into what life was like during the Ming Dynasty! Set along an ancient canal that stretches north from Hangzhou toward Beijing, Wuzhen is an enchanting water town famous for its centuries-old homes and shop-houses, now splendidly restored. Ancient stone railings, picturesque courtyards and arching bridges of wood and stone add to the evocative ambiance. Not only the architecture, but the rhythms of daily life have also been preserved here – making Wuzhen a veritable living museum. Experience it all with our guided tour, including a boat excursion along its ancient canals - a delightful way to experience the evocative atmosphere of this timeless place.  Then continue to Suzhou and check in to our 5-star hotel, where you’ll have time to refresh before dinner.  Meals B+L+D

Tour the exquisite Garden of the Master of the Nets c. Originally laid out 1,000 years ago during the Song Dynasty, this classic Chinese garden is one of the city’s most refined with landscaped waterways, pavilions, meandering pathways and a delicate footbridge a mere 12 inches wide. The diminutive Inner Garden was the model for the Ming Hall Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Then experience a popular Chinese pastime as you join city residents to fly a kite at the impressive Panmen Gate, one of Suzhou's most notable ancient landmarks. Learn how silk is made at a local workshop before traveling to Shanghai where you’ll check in to our luxury landmark hotel.  Meals B+L

Day
9

Today’s full-day sightseeing begins at the Shanghai Museum, highly regarded for its expansive collection encompassing thousands years of Chinese arts and culture - including ancient bronzes, celadon pottery, precious jade, Buddhist sculptures and exquisite Ming Dynasty furniture. Along the elegant waterfront Bund, you’ll learn about the impressive landmarks built more than a century ago by Japanese and European trading companies.

After lunch at Casanova, one of the city's most stylish restaurants, you'll continue your sightseeing at the lovely Yu Yuan Garden. Originally established in 1577 by a government official for his aging parents, the garden's unique ensemble of plantings, lotus ponds, winding paths, pavilions and bridges is revered as a superb example of classical Chinese landscaping during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This evening, you’ll gather with your fellow travelers for a congenial farewell dinner featuring Shanghai’s fine regional cuisine.  Meals B+L+D

Day
10

Depart Shanghai

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward flight.  Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Be a Hong Kong Insider...

4-Day Post-Tour Extension from $1,399

Sophisticated Hong Kong is the perfect way to enhance your trip! We include your flight from Shanghai, 3 nights at the stylish Mira Hotel, daily breakfast, lunch at Jimmy's Kitchen and our Be a Hong Kong Insider full-day tour.

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Private Tour Add-Ons

Hong Kong Insider

Enhance your travels through China and Asia with our signature Hong Kong Insider. We include your choice of deluxe or luxury hotel, chauffeured transfers when you come and go, and our exclusive Hong Kong Insider sightseeing tour.

Guilin

Our 3-day Private Tour includes a choice of fine hotels, daily breakfast, full day sightseeing with Li River cruise and private car airport transfers.

Tokyo

Our 4-day Private Tokyo tour includes a choice of fine hotels, daily breakfast, city sightseeing and airport transfers via the convenient Airport Limousine Bus.

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Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

Pay-In-Full

Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.

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