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China Sampler (2020 Itinerary)

10 days

Never more than 16 guests OR Travel Privately

Overall Rating
based on 11 Reviews

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Our Distinctive A+R Style

+ Our expert native guide will show you more of China’s most important cities – plus the ancient water towns connected to Shanghai.
+ Sit down to lunch with a Beijing family that’s lived in their home for generations.
+ Join tea farmers in their fields near Hangzhou to learn how fine tea has long been cultivated.
+ Experience the sublime beauty of the Garden of the Master of the Net, designed long ago during the Song Dynasty.
+ Stroll in Shanghai’s trendy Xintiandi district where historic stone buildings have been given new life as boutiques and eateries.
+ With 9 nights luxury hotel; 21 meals with wine at lunch and dinner; comprehensive sightseeing; all transfers; both internal flights; and all gratuities except Trip Leader.

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Day
1

We’ll be at the airport to escort you to the luxurious Fairmont Beijing Hotel. 

Day
2

In and around Beijing with your Trip Leader

The Fairmont - Beijing, China

Your expertly guided, full-day exploration of China’s vibrant capital 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. 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. Spend time with a resident family in the home they’ve occupied for generations and learn about the challenges and rewards of their life here in the bustling Chinese capital. Tonight’s festive Peking Duck banquet is accompanied by wine and local beer.  Meals B+L+D

Day
3

The Great Wall + Summer Palace

The Fairmont - Beijing, China

Situated farther from the capital than other sections of China’s most famous landmark, the Great Wall #WHS at Mutianyu draws fewer visitors. And with its many defensive towers and splendid setting amidst the rugged mountains, Mutianyu offers a more authentic and rewarding experience. Ascend by cable car and walk atop the Great Wall as your expert guide shares insight and history. After lunch at the famous Brickyard Restaurant, you’ll continue your touring with the beautiful Summer Palace c, erstwhile seasonal retreat of China’s emperors. Set on wooded hills surrounding a tranquil lake, this assemblage of pavilions, palaces and gardens offers a fascinating look into Imperial life long ago. The 5-star Fairmont offers a variety of outstanding restaurants including The CUT, known for its outstanding steak and seafood, and Lunar 8 – a stylish venue with authentic Chinese and Asia cuisine prepared and presented with modern flair. Or take advantage of your hotel’s city-center location to sample one of Beijing’s many fine restaurants. Our in-the-know guide would be happy to offer personal recommendations and assistance. 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 the Hilton Hotel, ideally situated within the old defensive walls of the city. Later visit Hangyangling underground Mausoleum, with its royal tombs ceremonial sites and numerous other burial pits. This evening, you’ll sample savory dumplings – a regional specialty and favorite. Meals B+D

Day
5

The Terra Cotta Warriors + Ancient City Walls

Hilton Hotel - Xian, China

Farmers stumbled upon the site while digging a well in 1974; today the Terra Cotta Army 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 the 5-star JW Marriott Hotel. Hangzhou is revered as one of China’s loveliest cities, as evidenced in 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 your self – beginning with a guided boat excursion across the tranquil waters of West Lake. Later, we’ll take you to an authentic working tea plantation where you’ll spend time with the farmers amidst the lush fields. From preparing the soil to picking the tea leaves, this hands-on experience is a fun way to learn about the ancient techniques that ensure the high quality of the region’s esteemed teas.  Meals B+L

Day
7

Onward to Wuzhen + The Garden City of Suzhou

Shangri-La Hotel - Suzhou, China

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 ambience. Not only the architecture, but the rhythms of daily life have also been preserved here – making Wuzhen a veritable living museum. Departing Hangzhou this morning, you’ll travel to this ancient town for a guided tour – and a step back into what life was like during the Ming Dynasty! Continue onward to Suzhou and check in to the first class Shangri-La Hotel, where you’ll have time to refresh before dinner.  Meals B+L+D

Tour the exquisite Garden of the Master of the Nets. Originally laid out during the Song Dynasty 1,000 years ago, 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 historic Panmen Gate. Learn how silk is made at a local workshop before traveling to Shanghai where you’ll check in to the landmark Fairmont Peace 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. Then fast-forward to the 21st century as you marvel at the iconic skyscrapers that dominate the vibrant Pudong District – including the soaring Jin Mao Tower and the futuristic silhouette of the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Later stroll through Xintiandi's pedestrian only streets and explore the inviting galleries, shops and cafes of this historic district, where ancient stone buildings have been restored and given new life. 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

Your transfer to the airport is included. 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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Act Now...  

  • Free Companion Air in Economy
  • $1,000 Off Companion Fares in Business and Economy Plus
  • Solo Travelers Save $500 on air

Pay in full at booking by 11/30/19
+ Travel anytime through 2021

Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking.

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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.

Free Companion Air or Save $500

Available for Economy Class travel when you pay in full at booking by Nov 30, 2019 for any 2020-2021 departure. If you prefer Economy Plus or Business Class, take $1,000 off your companion’s airfare. Solo travelers enjoy $500 savings on air! Applies to new bookings made between Oct 1 and Nov 30, 2019 and cannot be combined with our ongoing pay-in-full discount. Any airline charges for advance seat assignments are not included. Cancellation penalties and other requirements and conditions may apply.

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