China Explorer

Depart the United States for your flight across the Pacific and into the colorful and exciting People’s Republic of China. Begin your morning tour with a visit to the Great Wall and the Valley of the Ming Tombs, where the Ming emperors and their consorts were laid to rest. thereafter, enjoy a relaxing lunch at the Beijing Country Club, followed by an afternoon stroll through the Summer Palace.

Next day visit Tian’anmen Square, some 100 acres in size and the site for the Memorial Hall of Mao Zedong. See the Great Hall of Congress and the Monument to the People’s Heroes. Across the square, find the Imperial Palace, also known as the Forbidden City. This 250-acre palace was the residence of former emperors where entry was denied to all commoners. Enjoy the thrill of a rickshaw ride through “Old Town” and later this evening, a performance of national origin.

Fly to Xian to visit the terra-cotta warriors, guardians of the burial site of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. Your visits to the Xian museum and the local mosque are highlights of your stay. This evening, enjoy a performance of music and dance. Wing your way to Chongqing, your gateway city for a spectacular cruise on the Yangzte River. Drive across beautiful countryside to the city of Dazu. During the 9th century, Buddhists fleeing persecution fled to these mountains and carved thousands of colorful sculptures and relief’s across the breadth of the verdant hillsides. Your return to Chongqing is highlighted by the arrival your sailing ship and the enthusiastic “Welcome Aboard” celebration as you board the vessel.

Your departure leads you down river on one of the world’s most spectacular navigable waterways. En route you will sail through the Yangtze’s three scenic gorges, its narrow and winding path always breathtaking in beauty. Yichang is your port of disembarkation, where you will fly to Shanghai. Begin your tour of Shanghai with a visit to the renowned Children’s Palace, where the talents of the young will amaze you. Begin your day aboard the Suzhou Express to visit and tour both Suzhou and Zhou Zhang, two classical cities that lend themselves to a version of “Old China.”

A morning visit to the national museum presents a truly magnificent array of antiquities laid out in a professional and theatrical manner. See the Jade Buddha Temple, known for its rare stature of the Buddha. Enjoy a stroll along the Bund, while later this evening, thrill to the daring and the expertise of the world-renowned Chinese acrobats. A morning flight wings you to Jingdzhen, world famous for the excellence of its porcelain. Continue on to Huang Shan, its 72-peak mountain range considered a rival in beauty to the monoliths at Guilin. A cable car ride brings you to one of the more scenic sites high atop the mountain range for a panoramic view of these environs.

Next morning fly to Guilin, considered by many to be the most picturesque site within all of China. It is renowned for its natural limestone peaks, which present a vibrant panorama as the setting for a memorable cruise along the Li River. For generations, artists young and old have tried to capture on canvas or in prose the dynamic and sensual beauty of this spectacular region. Live the moment as you glide along the Li River amidst the splendor of lush vegetation intertwined throughout the seemingly endless limestone peaks. A morning flight wings you to Hong Kong, to enjoy the excitement and search for a treasure in one of its many exquisite shops as a memento of your thrilling passage across China.

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Regional Advisory

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China, “The Middle Kingdom”, has a history stretching back over five thousand years. It dominated technology in early history producing myriad inventions including: gunpowder, compasses, printing, and kites.

The modern People’s Republic of China, established in 1949, is a world leader in manufacturing and an emerging superpower. It is home to 1.3 billion people, or 22% of the world’s population. This population is unevenly spread, however, resulting in bustling metropolises surrounded by rural havens.

The Chinese once considered Beijing the center of the world. In its heart lay Gu Gong, The Forbidden City, the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Covering more than 180 acres and comprised by 9,999 buildings, it is the largest palace ever built. Preserved as the Palace Museum, visitors are invited to tour its wondrous architecture.

The Great Wall, one of the Eight Wonders of the World, winds like a dragon across 4160 miles of mountains, grasslands, deserts, and plateaus. Running east-to-west, it served to protect China from the Huns to the north. The Great Wall has become a symbol of Chinese culture and the centerpiece of many stories and legends.

The Yangtze River, third largest in the world, begins its journey high in the mountains of Upper Qinghai. From there, it winds 3900 miles across China past breathtaking scenery: plunging gorges, mist-covered mountains, fertile farmlands, and rustic fishing boats and villages.

The city of Shanghai lies along the estuary where the Yangtze meets the sea. A major trade port, it offers shoppers the wonders of Nanjing Road. More than 600 businesses cluster along the 3.4 mile-long thoroughfare, offering goods to delight those looking for the latest fashions as well as Chinese art and antiquities.

Huang Shan, Yellow Mountain, is a range of mountains famous for their natural beauty. The granite peaks were carved by glaciers, resulting in magical stone pillar forests. The peaks often disappear behind low-hanging clouds, creating the misty spires and landscapes seen in ancient Chinese scrolls. From this region comes Mao Feng, a green tea named for the fuzzy appearance of newly opened tea leaves.

Whether your idea of adventure is an urban shopping spree, marveling at historical treasures, or reveling in unsurpassed natural beauty, China can provide an unforgettable adventure. The experienced guides at First Cabin Travel will ease your way through the intricacies of the Chinese culture and political environment.