China's Cultural Delights

Travel Idea:

China's Cultural Delights

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Length of trip:

16 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 3462

Best travel dates to go:

Jul 23, 2008 to Nov 24, 2008;


Detailed Description of this trip:

This 16-day journey explores China’s cradle of culture with a 10-day cruise on the Yangtze all the way from Chongqing to Nanjing. You still see all the wonders of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai, but on this cruise, you uncover the roots of Chinese civilization from Jingdezhen, birthplace of porcelain; to Mt. Jiu Hua’s remote Buddhist Temple complex, Nanjing the former capital of ancient China and even Suzhou with its famed gardens. This journey is for those who want to really understand the origins of Chinese culture.



Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Beijing

    Hotel

    Welcome to Beijing, China’s former imperial capital whose rich history dates back more than 3,000 years. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

    Relaxation

    After check-in, you have free time to relax or explore.

  • Day 2 - Beijing

    Sightseeing

    This morning visit Tiananmen Square, built to accommodate over 1,000,000 people.

    Sightseeing

    Then, tour Beijing’s mysterious Forbidden City. Completed in 1420, it was off limits to visitors for 500 years.

    Sightseeing

    Explore the elegant palaces, pavilions, courtyards and gardens within its walls.

    Sightseeing

    After a local lunch you can tour the Summer Palace which is a 700-acre complex. Walk among its elegant buildings and landscaped grounds, considered to be among the finest of Chinese gardens.

    Performing Arts

    Tonight’s dinner features China’s famous Peking Duck followed by a performance of the world-renowned Peking Opera. (B, L, D)

  • Day 3 - Beijing

    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, travel to the Badaling Hills to walk the ramparts of the fabled Great Wall of China.

    Sightseeing

    Lunch in a local restaurant is followed by a stroll along the Sacred Way, a tree-lined avenue with massive animal sculptures guarding the Ming Tombs.

    Food and Dining

    Tonight enjoy a dinner of local specialties. (B, L, D)

  • Day 4 - Xian

    Beijing & Xian.
    Sightseeing

    Today tour Old Beijing’s hutongs (narrow alleys) via rickshaw. (Rickshaw hutong tour only available on Beijing to Shanghai itinerary direction.)

    Sightseeing

    Discover the sights and sounds of traditional Chinese life. Visit a silk carpet workshop for a demonstration of this ancient art.

    Commercial Flight

    After lunch, fly to Xian, key city of the Tang Dynasty.

    Sightseeing

    From 618 to 907 A.D. this dynasty presided over one of China’s most glorious cultural periods.

    Performing Arts

    Tonight, experience its grandeur as you dine surrounded by the historic song and dance of this colorful era.

  • Day 5 - Chongqing

    Xian & Chongqing.
    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, tour the mausoleum where Emperor Qin Shi Huang was laid to rest over 2,000 years ago. Marvel at his eternal minions—more than 6,000 life-sized Terra Cotta Warriors, archers, infantrymen and horses buried with him—from walkways that provide a bird’s-eye view.

    Commercial Flight

    After lunch fly to Chongqing, gateway to the Yangtze.

    River or Barge Cruise

    You are welcomed aboard the Viking Century Sky and enjoy a Western dinner. (B, L, D)

  • Day 6 - At Sea

    Shibaozhai.
    Sightseeing

    This afternoon, you tour the 12-story red pavilion Shibaozhai Temple. An amazing piece of Chinese architecture built during the Qing Dynasty (c. 1650), it is set on a hill high above the Yangtze. Climb up to the top for breathtaking views of the river below.

    Food and Dining

    Lunch and dinner aboard. (B, L, D)

  • Day 7 - At Sea

    Three Gorges & Lesser Three Gorges.
    River or Barge Cruise

    This morning, cruise past the spectacular limestone cliffs known as the Three Gorges. During your 150-mile journey, first pass Qutang Gorge, the shortest and narrowest of the three larger gorges.

    Sightseeing

    Then board smaller boats to the Lesser Three Gorges. Marvel at the hanging coffins of the Ba people and the ancient plank road carved into the cliffside.

    River or Barge Cruise

    After enjoying a scenic lunch stop, board your ship and cruise through Wu (Witches) Gorge.

    Food and Dining

    Dine aboard and sail overnight. (B, L, D)

  • Day 8 - At Sea

    Three Gorges Dam.
    Food and Dining

    Enjoy breakfast aboard while traversing the 5-stage locks of the Dam.

    Sightseeing

    Disembark for a tour of the Three Gorges Dam. Learn about this immense hydroelectric engineering project and how it will affect the Chinese people and the Yangtze.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Then cruise through Xiling Gorge, the longest of the Three Gorges.

    Food and Dining

    Dinner is served aboard. (B, L, D)

  • Day 9 - At Sea

    Jingzhou.
    Voluntourism

    This morning, visit a rural village where Viking River Cruises has sponsored a much-needed elementary school. Arrive to a warm greeting from the children and be charmed with songs and stories.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Return to your ship for meals and afternoon cruising. (B, L, D)

  • Day 10 - At Sea

    Dongting Lake.
    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, sail Dongting Lake, China’s second-largest freshwater lake. From here, tour 66-foot-high Yueyang Tower and its nearby pavilions, originally built during the Qing Dynasty.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Cruise overnight. (B, L, D)

  • Day 11 - Wuhan

    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, disembark in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province. Tour the Hubei Museum with its many historic artifacts including a collection of ancient bronze bells. (B, L, D)

  • Day 12 - Jingdezhen

    Museums

    After breakfast, tour the Ceramic History Museum. Learn how ceramics were produced in ancient times and their significance to each dynasty.

    Sailing

    Dine aboard and sail overnight. (B, L, D)

  • Day 13 - At Sea

    Mt. Jiu Hua.
    Sightseeing

    Marvel at the tranquil beauty of Mt. jiu hua, one of only four sacred buddhist mountains. Later, tour a buddhist temple.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Enjoy dinner onboard. (B, L, D)

  • Day 14 - Suzhou

    Nanjing & Suzhou.
    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, enjoy a scenic motorcoach ride to Suzhou, nicknamed “Venice of the East” for its intricate canals. Tour the Old Town and embark on a sampan ride. Tour a silk factory and the exquisite Fishermen’s Garden.

    Bus

    Have lunch and continue via motorcoach to Shanghai.

    Hotel

    Check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner with evening free time. (B, L, D)

  • Day 15 - Shanghai

    Sightseeing

    This morning, tour Old Shanghai and the Bund, the city’s elegant riverfront promenade.

    Museums

    Then, visit the Shanghai Museum which features displays of ceramics, bronzes and paintings.

    Performing Arts

    Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant, followed by a Chinese acrobatic performance. (B, L, D)

  • Day 16 - Shanghai

    After breakfast, check out of your hotel and we will take you to the airport for your return flight. (B)

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