Enchanted China: A Family Adventure

Travel Idea:

Enchanted China: A Family Adventure

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Length of trip:

12 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 3095

Best travel dates to go:

Jul 26, 2009 to Aug 06, 2009;


Detailed Description of this trip:

This twelve day family China trip is guaranteed to impress the whole family by combining China’s must-see sites with the quirky local attractions beloved by local Chinese families. The tour will take your family from busy Hong Kong Harbor to beautiful Guilin, then onward for a bike tour in Yangshuo and a ride down the River Li. You’ll then explore Chengdu and visit the Giant Panda Research Base, where your family will have the opportunity to volunteer with the pandas. Xian’s Terracotta Warriors and the Forbidden City in Beijing will entertain your family for the next few days until you complete your trip with a visit to China’s most famous monument — the Great Wall. China pulses with energy, defies our stereotypes, and presents the perfect opportunity for family members to be surprised and delighted together.



Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Hong Kong (SAR)

    Arrive Hong Kong.

    Welcome! Your family won't have to worry about anything upon arrival at the airport.

    Hotel

    Simply exit customs and someone will be there to meet you. They will even help with check-in at the hotel.

  • Day 2 - Hong Kong (SAR)

    Explore Hong Kong.
    Sightseeing

    Today is free to relax or do some exploring with your family; your hotel can arrange for guided tours if you wish. Consider a Hong Kong Island tour to visit Man Mo Temple, Aberdeen Fishing Village, Stanley Market, Repusle Bay, and see Victoria Peak by tram.

    Sightseeing

    Another option is Ocean Park, one of the largest oceanariums in the world, which features aquariums, dolphin shows, rides, a film simulator, and giant pandas — it’s got something fun for everyone in your family. You can also take a cable car ride over the Park. Another option is a tour of the Lantau Islands.

    Your family can take a ferry out to see Silvermine Bay, Po Lin Monastery, Cheung Sha Beach, and Tai Village, then it’s only a short ride out to the China Sea to see Chinese White Dolphins.
    Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 3 - Guilin

    Guilin and Yangshuo's Natural Beauty.
    Sailing

    Your family's day begins traveling by jet boat to Schenzhen (about 1.5 hrs), one of the most rapidly growing cities in China.

    Commercial Flight

    Here, you meet your tour leader and transfer to the airport where your family boards a flight to Guilin, a place of impressive natural beauty.

    Sightseeing

    After arriving in Guilin, visit Reed Flute Cave. Its multicolored lighting and fantastic stalactites and stalagmites are sure to leave an impression on the kids.

    Bus

    Afterwards, drive just a few hours away to Yangshuo, which is nestled among imposing limestone karst formations that have inspired poets and painters for centuries.

    Hotel

    Overnight at a local hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 4 - China

    Biking in Yangshuo, Boating in Fuli.
    Bicycling

    This small town offers a relaxed and intimate alternative from the major cities of China and is an excellent place to explore by bicycle.

    Sightseeing

    You and your family can join your local guide and spend a few hours exploring the wonderful scenery in the surrounding countryside, including Moon Hill, a limestone pinnacle with a moon-shaped hole. The kids will love climbing and exploring this unique natural wonder. Your family will also meet some of the inhabitants of the nearby villages.

    Food and Dining

    After finishing your bike ride, enjoy a home-cooked lunch at the home of a local family.

    Sailing

    Afterwards, take a leisurely boat ride down the Li River to the picturesque market town of Fuli, which has stone houses and cobbled lanes.

    Private Car Service

    Return to Yangshuo by car for your overnight. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 5 - Chengdu

    Sights and Sounds of Chengdu.
    Commercial Flight

    Fly to Chengdu, a city which has been influenced by a history of trade built on “cottage industry” handicrafts.

    Sightseeing

    Recent changes in Chinese regulations have seen a revival of this private industry tradition and signs of a thriving market are at almost every turn. Afterwards, visit Renmin Park, where there is a bonsai rockery and a kids’ playground. Your family can take a delightful trip around the park's lake in a pedal boat for a fun way to see all that the park has to offer.

  • Day 6 - Sichuan

    Visit the Giant Pandas.
    Adventure

    One of the highlights of this family trip to China is a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, which is the world's largest and most important panda sanctuary. Here, your family will be able to watch the pandas at play, and even have the opportunity to volunteer! Optional volunteer activities will include cleaning panda areas, preparing the panda's food, carrying bamboo, and sometimes collecting behavioral data. The Giant Panda is one of the world's most endangered species and has become an icon for conservation movements everywhere. Though still found in parts of the Sichuan province, they are very difficult to spot in the wild. Seeing these amazing creatures up close is something that kids of all ages are sure to enjoy.

    Hotel

    Overnight at a hotel near the reserve.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Day 7 - Xian

    The Terracotta Warriors of Xian.
    Commercial Flight

    Fly from Chengdu to Xian, best known for its renowned Terracotta Warriors.

    Historical and Educational Tours

    These entombed statues are considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the century. Over 6,000 of them were individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height and even facial expression. They stand in battle formation, facing east to protect the tomb of China's first Emperor, the great Qin Shihuang.

    Sightseeing

    Time permitting, visit the Banpo Neolithic Village, named for its early examples of Yangshao culture. Your family will also visit the ancient Imperial Hot Spring Baths, where you can relax together by taking a dip in the Springs, and the bustling countryside open market.

    Performing Arts

    In the evening, there will be a dinner and concert from the restored Tang Dynasty featuring court music and dance. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Day 8 - Xian

    Explore Xian.
    Sightseeing

    In the 10th century, Xian was thought to be the greatest city on earth. Visit its ancient sites, which include the Bell and Drum Towers, the Wild Goose Pagoda, which was built by Emperor Gao Zong in memory of his deceased mother, and the Ancient City Walls, built on the foundations of the walls of the Tang Forbidden City.

    Museums

    If there is time, you will visit the Shanxi Museum, which holds the world's greatest repository of Tang Dynasty ceramics, paintings and imperial artifacts.

    Train

    In the evening, your family will board an overnight train for Beijing. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Day 9 - Beijing

    Adventure in the Forbidden City.
    Sightseeing

    Morning arrival in Beijing, a city which offers endless opportunities for exploration. After breakfast, you and your family will begin a guided city tour that includes the enormous Forbidden City, built more than 500 years ago and off limits to commoners for almost all that time. Its size might surprise you, but what makes it fascinating is the intense detail with which it was built, ranging from intricately carved walkways to colorfully painted ceilings. The surprises at every turn make it a fun area to explore with your family. The Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven are two other fine examples of extraordinary workmanship. Your family may also have the opportunity to witness a kung-fu performance!

    Performing Arts

    In the evening, enjoy dinner and a performance of the unique Beijing Opera. The colorful costumes, bright makeup, and combination of singing, dialogue, dancing, and martial arts makes this show exciting for kids and culturally enlightening for parents. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Day 10 - Beijing

    Hutongs - Experience Traditional Beijing.
    Sightseeing

    Take your family off the beaten path on a pedal-cab tour to the hutong area. Hutongs are extensive residential neighborhoods of low courtyard houses lining mazes of “streets” that may be only a meter or two wide. By some counts, a quarter of Beijing’s population lives on these very orderly, traditional old lanes. Your kids will be fascinated by life in the hutongs, and the local children will be just as curious as your kids are about them.

    Sightseeing

    In the afternoon, visit Milu Yuan (Milu Park), located in the Southern Marshes. Once a site where Yuan, Ming, and Qing emperors would hunt deer, rabbit, and pheasant, it is now an ecological research center. Here the kids can see Pere David’s deer (milu), a creature that became extinct in China toward the end of the Qing dynasty. The Milu Deer you see today are the descendants of 18 animals that were collected in 1898 by Lord Bedford from zoos around Europe. The research center's expansive marshlands also boast migratory birds, other endangered animals, a maze, and an organic vegetable garden - something to entertain everyone in the family!

    Hotel

    Return to your hotel in Beijing. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Day 11 - Beijing

    The Great Wall.
    Sightseeing

    The least visited, largely unrestored, and most beautiful section of the Great Wall is located in Simatai. Standing on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience.

    Hiking

    Your family will have a great time hiking one of the few portions of the Great Wall that has maintained its Ming Dynasty architectural features, and kids will love exploring the many military watchtowers and imagining life as one of China’s great ancient warriors.

    Sightseeing

    The Simatai section of the wall has many fascinating landmarks, such as the Wangjinglou Tower, the Heaven Bridge, and the Fairy Tower. Legend has it that thousands of years ago, an angel lived in the Fairy Tower. In its former life the angel was an antelope who fell in love with a shepherd; since this love was unrequited the antelope was repaid by being reincarnated as an angel.

    Hotel

    Afterwards, you'll return to your hotel in Beijing, where you can explore with your family for the remainder of the day.

    Shopping

    There are good shopping opportunities at the Silk Market and Dachilan Market. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Day 12 - Beijing

    Beijing - Onward.

    Sadly you'll say goodbye to your guide and to China today as you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.
    Meals: Breakfast

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