China Trips - Chinaspree

18 Day The Silk Road (2012)


 
18 Days from only $4499
 
Beijing, Urumqi, Kashgar, Turpan, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, Xian, Suzhou & Tongli, Shanghai

 
What's Included

46 bountiful meals including 16 international buffet breakfast, 15 lunches and 15 dinners.
 
Unique culinary events including an authentic Peking Duck dinner, local Uygar food in Xinjiang, and a delicious Dumpling Banquet in Xian
 
Professional service of an expert Tour Director throughout mainland China (group 10 or more)
 
Professional local guide in each destination city
 
All Intra-China flights, ground transportations and transfers
 
First class hotel accommodation with private bath, daily buffet breakfast
 
Roundtrip non-stop flights from San Francisco (SFO) and New York (JFK) to Beijing with Air China
 
Exclusive Culture InSites Programs featuring people to people experience and insider's perspective of local culture
 
Comprehensive private sightseeing tours and evening shows including entrance fees
 
 
China Tour Itinerary

 
China Map
 
Day 1 Depart USA
Your exotic journey to China begins as you board China's national airline, Air China non-stop flight bound for Beijing. En route, cross the International Dateline and lose a day. You'll recover this day on your return trip.      (IM)     
 
 
Day 2 Beijing
Arrive in Beijing in the late afternoon. Meet your local representative and transfer to your hotel in the center of Beijing. Your hotel is conveniently located near the Chang An Avenue, along which are Beijing's major shopping malls, upscale restaurants, and tourist attractions. Relax and enjoy the evening in China’s historic and vibrant capital city.      Marriott Beijing City Wall   
 
Day 3 Beijing
After a hearty breakfast and a tour briefing, you visit the Tiananmen Square. At 100 acres, it is the world's largest public square, flanked by an assortment of historical buildings, huge museums and Communist monuments, including Mao's Mausoleum. One visitor has written, "An army could be massed, and all the kites in the world could fly." You roam the Square; and walk through the Gate of Heavenly Peace, under the famed portrait of Chairman Mao, to enter the Forbidden City, the symbolic center of the Chinese universe and a lasing monument of dynastic China, from which 24 emperors of the Ming and the Qing Dynasties ruled the Middle Kingdom for nearly 500 years (1420-1911).

Completed in 1420, the Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the world's largest palace complex and China's most magnificent imperial architecture, consisting of many buildings with 9,999 rooms, on a 250-acre compound, protected by a 20-foot-wide moat and a 32-foot-high wall. Now known as the Palace Museum, the Forbidden City was the exclusive domain of the imperial court and dignitaries where outside visitors were forbidden for 5 centuries. Here you will explore the imperial treasures in the grand palaces and pavilions, exquisite courtyards and gardens in what was once the residence of China's rulers.

Afterwards, join our Culture InSites™ Program for a rickshaw ride along Old Beijing's Hutongs (narrow ancient alleys) to discover the sights and sounds of local Beijing life in these traditional Chinese neighborhoods. See the locals as they go about their daily activities; and tour the maze-like alleyways and courtyard houses before it's gone forever. Highlights include visits to a traditional courtyard home, to a local market, and a leisure walk along the ""Lotus Lane"" lined with bars, restaurants and tea houses. This unique tour features a delicious lunch served at a local family home with a Chinese dumpling-making demonstration.

Return to your hotel for some free time in the afternoon. In the evening, we are gathering for a welcome dinner of a specially prepared meal of Beijing Duck, cooked to crispy perfection.      (B,L,SD)     
 
 
Day 4 Beijing
A memorable day awaits with an excursion to the Great Wall of China at the less-visited Mutianyu section.

In the morning, you take a scenic drive through the countryside and mountains to reach China's most renowned monument—the Great Wall. Since the Great Wall is the single greatest attraction of China travel, we take you to the less-visited and more "original" Mutianyu section and try to avoid other sections which are the most accessible and consequently the most crowded.

The wall was begun in the 5th century BC to keep out foreign invaders. Construction continued for centuries, eventually linking up the walls of the former independent kingdoms. The Great Wall meanders through China's northern mountain ranges from the Yellow Sea to the Gobi Desert—a distance of over 3500 miles! Chairman Mao once said "You haven't walked on the Wall, you haven't been a good Chinese". And today, you'll not only visit the Great Wall, but experience it in more ways than one—Learning some of the fascinating history and legend of this engineering marvel, riding a gondola up to the highest point for panoramic views of this ancient edifice, exploring its impressive watchtowers, ramparts, carriageways at your own pace, or, hoping on a toboggan for an exciting ride down the curvy path…today is a highlight of your China vacation.

Later, you tour the idyllic Summer Palace, once the summer retreat and playground for the imperial family and royal court during the late Qing Dynasty. Considered the finest Chinese imperial garden, the Summer Palace spans over 700 acres with breathtaking views, temples, pavilions, palaces and halls including the lavishly painted "Long Corridor". It is most associated, however, with the Empress Dowager Cixi who paid for the extravagant Marble Boat with funds meant for the modernization of the Imperial Navy.      (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 5 Beijing - Urumqi
In the morning, you visit the Temple of Heaven, the largest temple complexes in China and a paradigm of Chinese architectural balance and symbolism. One key element in China's architectural genius was the blending of the monumental with the delicate, and the Temple of Heaven is perhaps the finest expression of this mixing of near opposite.

During each winter solstice, the Ming and Qing emperors would perform rites and make sacrifices to Heaven praying for good harvest for their empire. The most striking edifice is the "Hall of Prayer of Good Harvests", which according to the emperor's Fengshui masters, is the exact point where heaven and Earth met. Built in 1420 (without the use of a single nail), this masterpiece of Ming architecture, features triple eaves, dramatically carved marble balustrades, and gorgeous glazed azure roof that symbolizes the color of heaven. This 120-foot-high structure is fixed by four inner pillars represent the seasons, and two sets of 12 columns denote the months and the traditional Chinese division of a day.

Later, you are transfer to the airport for a flight to Urumqi, capital of the vast, dry expanse of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China's remote northwest. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to your hotel centrally located in the heart of the city.      Hoi Tak Hotel  (B,L,IM)     
 
 
Day 6 Heavenly Lake - Kashgar
Xinjiang, literally the "New Frontier", is China's Alaska, a region of extremes-stunning mountain ranges, sapphire blue lakes, blasted terrain, and the deadly sweep of the Taklamakan Desert… It is divided into northern grasslands and southern deserts by the Heavenly Mountains; Kazakh nomads predominate in the northern pastures and Uighur farmers are a majority in the southern desert basin.

No city in the world is more distant from the sea than Urumqi (meaning "the beautiful pastures"); today, it is the most industrialized city on the old Silk Road. A scenic drive in the morning takes you high into the Tianshan Mountains to Heavenly Lake for a relaxing break in your journey. You have time to explore the alpine wilderness, savor the fresh air and then take a cruise on the lake. This area is home to the Kazakh and you have an opportunity to visit a local Kazakh family at their yurt home.

After dinner, you are transferred to the airport for a flight to Kashgar, a medieval town, an oasis post and a vibrant Islamic center within Chinese territory.      Kashgar Tianyuan Hotel  (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 7 Kashgar
No Silk Road trip is complete without visiting Kashgar. This oasis town is located at a great junction in the Silk Road where the northern and southern routes reunited before threaded west into Persia and on to Europe. Heading east, traders swap horses and yaks for camels to cross the vast deserts of China. Heading west, they readied their pack animals to brave the high mountain passes into central Asia. Marco Polo heralded Kashgar in the 13th century as the "Starting point from which many merchants set out to market their wares to the world".

In the morning, you take a leisure tour to the famous Sunday Bazaar, the largest open-air market in Asia that has been held here for the past 1,500 years. Every Sunday, around 100,000 people gather in the enormous Kashgar Bazaar area where you can buy anything from goats' heads and hooves to colorful painted wooden saddles. Here, you will encounter some of the many different nationalities bringing their wares into town for trade; Uygurs, Han Chinese, Kazaks, Kirgizs, Tajiks, Pakistanis, and Afghanistan. The traditional costumes and food give it an almost medieval feel and bring alive the legends of your adventure to the Silk Road. It is in this giant oasis, near the westernmost tip of China that your epic overland journey reaches its height.

Lunch at a local restaurant to sample the local flavor. Afterwards, you visit the Abakh Khoja Tomb, the holiest site in the entire Xinjiang, with a large dome of dazzling glazed green tiles. It is a masterpiece of Uygur architecture. Legend has it that Iparhan, a descendant of Abakh Khoja, exuded an enchanting natural scent as sweet as the bloom of a flower and therefore was given the name "Fragrant Concubine" by the Qing Emperor, whom she married for 28 years. Living in Beijing but missing her parents in Kashgar, She died at the age of 55. After her death, the Emperor ordered an empty coffin full of the clothes she used to wear to sent back to home town of Kashgar and that trip consumed 120 people 3 years. The original cart carrying the coffin still stands in front of the mausoleum. Later, you tour the Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China, and accommodates up to 20,000 prayers.      (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 8 Turpan
After breakfast, you are transfer to the airport for your flight to Urumqi, upon arrival, travel by motorcoach to the Oasis town of Turpan—a luxuriant staging post at the foot of the Heavenly Mountain, imprisoned in the sterile void of the surrounding terrain.

Drive to Turpan is an unforgettable and invigorating experience. En route, you pass the snow-capped Heavenly Mountain Ranges, through the remarkable Taklamakan Desert and view the massive amount of wind mills near Babancheng.

At Turpan, the northern route of the Silk Road steps into one of the deepest continental basin on Earth - the Turpan Depression at 505 ft. below sea level. It is a model Silk Road oasis, a sleepy desert down shaded by poplar trees and grape arbors, peopled by Uygur in traditional dress and irrigated by vast system of hand-dug underground channels that funnel the melting snows of the Heavenly Moutains into Turpan.

Upon arrival, you tour the ruins of Gaochang, once the prosperous kingdom of 7th century. Later, you visit Karez Wells - the remarkable underground irrigation system that were first engineered 2,000 years ago, based on a Persian design. For the past 20 centuries, the melting snow and glaciers on the Heavenly Mountain have reached Turpan through this massive underground network of tunnels and more than 3,000 miles of tunnels have been hand-dug under the desert floor at Turpan.

Tonight, you relax and sit under the vineyards for a typical Uygur meal of crispy roast lamb skewers, followed by the Uygur singing and dancing show.      Tuha Petroleum Hotel  (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 9 Turpan
In the morning, you tour the Flaming Mountains, well-known scenery in a 16th-century Chinese classics "Journey to the West". This 60-mile long bluff consists of barren red limestone and resembles a tableau of raging flames when ignited by the afternoon sun. In the novel, the monk Xuan Zang and his companion Monkey King attempted to cross the Flaming Mountains but could not penetrate the flames. The Monkey King procured a magical palm-leaf fan from Princess Iron Fan and waved it 49 times, causing heavy rains to fall and extinguish the fire. Nevertheless, the locals now add that, while attempting to cross the Flaming Mountains, Monkey King burnt his tail, and ever since then all monkeys have had red bottoms.

Then you continue to the northeast of Turpan to visit the 5-century AD Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves in stunning surroundings, high up a cliff in the Murtuk River gorge. After lunch at a local restaurant, you tour the famed Grape Gorge - a park of vineyards and fruit groves, to sample its renowned mare-nipple grapes, honeydew melons and wine of this region.

The highlight of today is to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Jiaohe Ruins. The impressive ruins lie in the Yarnaz Valley west of Turpan, on an island at the confluence of two rivers. The city, built on a high plateau, was established as a garrison during the Han Dynasty. Despite destruction in the 13th century by Mongol hordes, large fragments of actual streets and building remains including a Buddhist monastery, Buddhist statues, a row of bleached pagodas, a observation tower, government centers and even a prison.

After dinner, you are transferred to the train station for an overnight train ride to Dunhuang. Following the path of the Northern Silk Road, you journey east across the Gobi Desert into China's Gansu Province.      (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 10 Dunhuang
Wake up to the sunrise on the immense desert; you arrive in Dunhuang, a small oasis town, but in many ways the most important outpost on the Silk Road.

Dunhuang, literally means Blazing Beacon, was a vital and flourishing caravan stop, the westernmost oasis under Chinese control in the early days of Silk Road. Two thousand years ago, when Buddhist first entered China, Dunhuang lay on a principal trade route along which flowed emissaries from myriad cultures of Central Asia. The town marked a confluence of artistic styles and philosophies, becoming an important center of Buddhism and a place of devout pilgrimage. Three major trading routes from the West merged here, making it a major supply center. Dunhuang shelters one of the most significant capitals of early Buddhist art in China.

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for a rest. Later, you set off to visit the Dunhuang Museum. Afterwards, you tour the Singing Sand Dunes on a camel ride. The dunes look like a poster of the Sahara. In their deep folds, they trap underground springs, creating Crescent Moon Lake, a celebrated pool where Silk Road travelers, including Marco Polo, paused to drink. A popular saying at Dunhuang goes: "The skill of man made the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, but the Hand of God fashioned the Lake of the Crescent Moon".

Your hotel is located at the foot of the Sand Dunes and at the end of the day, you enjoy a stunning view of the sunset and the evening breeze of the desert.      Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel  (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 11 Dunhuang
On a full day excursion you visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Mogao Caves - China's richest treasure house of Buddhist paintings, statues, and manuscripts. Nearly 500 grottoes pierce the desert cliffs above a dry river valley and were created over a thousand-year period stretching from the 4th century to the 14th century AD. Nine dynasties rose and fell during this time, and the artists of each period contributed. The art illuminates a time when Dunhuang was a major center of Central Asian culture and the main contact point between China and the rest of the world.

The first caves are said to have been built in 366 AD and the last one carved out a the time of the Mongolian conquest in 1277. After that, Mogao sunk into oblivion, until the monk Wang Yuanlu settled here at the turn of the 20th century. As news spread of the survival of the caves and of Wang's discovery in 1900 of the Dunhuang manuscripts, foreign archaeologists and explorers began turning up in Dunhuang buying valuable manuscripts and scroll paintings, and removing statues. The richness of the material created a whole field of study known as "Dunhuangology".      (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 12 Hexi Corridor - Jiayuguan Pass
Follow the footsteps of the caravans on the ancient Silk Road, you travel eastward through the barren strip of the Hexi Corridor, the geographical boundary between China proper and the west, heading for the desert town of Jiayuguan Pass. En route, you drive at the foot of the snowcapped mountain of Qilian, into the deep desert, passing the barren landscape of the Gobi, the villages of earthen houses, and the ancient fortress ruins. You stop for a lunch at the Jade Pass, the last frontier of the ancient Middle Kingdom, according to a Chinese saying, even "the spring wind does not go beyond the Jade Pass". Deep into the desert you reach the ruins of Qiaowan, the dream city where the Qing Dynasty emperor ordered a palace built. Stark but fascinating desert scenery compensates for the rather bumpy journey and before you know it you are entering the cultivated fields surrounding the oasis town of Jiayuguan.

Historically, Gansu Province has been a vital conduit between China and the western world, the beginning of the Silk Road along with merchants for centuries transported their wares until shifting power and maritime trade rendered it obsolete. This area first became part of China proper in the Qin Dynasty (B.C. 221 - 206). Buddhism made its way into China through here as early as the first century BC. Gansu became the edge of China, the last link with the Middle Kingdom and therefore with civilization. The Great Wall, the most solid representation of ancient Chinese opinion of the outside world, passes through China to the greatest fortress at Jiayuguan, beyond which lay Dunhuang, and then perdition.      Jiayuguan Huayuan Hotel  (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 13 Jiayuguan Pass - Xian
After breakfast, you visit the famed Jiayuguan Pass-the single most stunning sight along the Silk Road. When the First Emperor, Qinshihuang, unified ancient sections of the wall in 221BC, Jiayuguan did mark the end of the Great Wall. Under the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368 - 1644), when the Wall achieved its final form, Jiayuguan became the garrison on the final frontier. You will learn why the Great Wall ends here: it controls the route through the Jade Pass that threaded the Silk Road between the snowcapped Qilian Mountain to the south and the Black Mountains of the Horse Mane range to the north. Jiayuguan Pass is a marvelous outpost to behold, its illustrious gate towers rising 35 feet from the desert. Several layers of formidable walls were built in the Gobi Desert. Inside is an assortment of buildings, including a temple and a theater where Qing troops were entertained. Walk on the walls and stroll along the battlements. This spectacular structure traditionally marks the barrier's westernmost extremity. In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to visit a group of tombs from Wei (AD 220 - 265) and Jin (AD 265 - 420) Dynasties. Tour the underground chambers and see the murals that depicting the daily life of the locals dating back to 2,000 years ago.

Later, you fly to Xian, the ancient capital of The Middle Kingdom and the eastern starting point of the Silk Road. Located in the Yellow River Basin in China's heartland, Xian is one of the birthplaces of civilization. It has seen 3,100 years of development and 11 dynasties, giving it equal fame with Athens, Rome and Cairo as one of the four major ancient civilization capitals. Xian reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty at 10th century with a population of one million and is rich with cultural and historical significances.      Xian Grand Noble Hotel  (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 14 Xian
Today's excursion will take you to modern China's greatest archaeological discovery - The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, which silently guarded the tomb of China's First Emperor for over 2,200 years. In 1974, a local farmer uncovered the first of three massive earth and timber vaults, while digging a well. The extensive excavation, still in progress, has yielded over 6000 life-sized terra cotta warriors, each individually sculpted, with the physical characteristics of the humans they were modeled after. Archers, infantrymen, horses and bronze chariots have also been unearthed. A Circle Vision documentary is available on site. Lunch at a local restaurant and see a noodle making demonstration.

Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), traditionally regarded as the golden age of China, was a time of patricians and intellectuals, Buddhist monks and Taoist priests, poetry and music, song and dance - a period of peace and exceptional creativity lasting 300 years. This evening, you attend a feast of culinary and cultural delights with a special Dumpling (dim sum) banquet followed by a fascinating Tang Dynasty stage show. Indulge yourself in this remarkable show and reinvent your China dream with a travel back in time to the world of China's Golden Age, then come back to the present with a greater understanding of this amazing time.      (B,L,SD)     
 
 
Day 15 Xian - Shanghai
In the morning, you tour the Wild Goose Pagoda, a Tang Dynasty landmark. This seven-story pagoda was initially constructed in 652 AD to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from India by the monk, Xuan Zang, who later translated them into Chinese. His pilgrimage to India is immortalized in the Chinese classic - The Journey to the West.

Later, you are transferred to the airport for a flight to Shanghai, China's vibrant financial and artistic center. Shanghai, literally means "above the sea", is China's largest and most dynamic city, with a population of 18 million. In the 13th century it became a minor county seat and so it remained until the mid-19th century when British commercial ambitions led to war with China. The ensuing Treaty of Nanking allowed the British to trade freely from certain ports including Shanghai. The city soon became an outpost of glamour, high living, and ultimately decadence. In the 1930s, Shanghai is renowned as "the Pearl of the East".

Some places are forever associated with a single landmark and in the case of Shanghai it is surely the Bund. Today, you take a leisure walk along the waterfront promenade of the Bund. The Bund was at the heart of colonial shanghai, flanked on one side by the Huangpu River and on the other by the hotels, banks, offices, and clubs that were the grandiose symbols of western commercial power. See the ships and barges on the Huangpu River, en route to the sea or going upstream to the interior of China. The modernistic Oriental Pearl TV tower looms in the background redefining the skyline.      Pullman Shanghai Skyway Hotel  (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 16 Shanghai
Begin your tour in the heart of old Shanghai at the 16th century city bazaar. This complex, with its classical architectural details, maze of walkways and reflecting pools, has been a marketplace and social center for over 200 years. In contrast, is the futurist Pudong area. Transformed from once fertile farmland, this new area is rapidly becoming the symbol of modern China with its world class hotels, international financial institutions, and commercial centers.

You visit to the 88th floor of the Jinmao Tower, the third tallest building in China. At 1,380 feet, it is the world's fifth tallest building, as well as home to the world's tallest hotel - the Grand Hyatt Shanghai. From its lofty platform, you enjoy a stunning view of Shanghai. Later you have a traditional Mongolian BBQ Buffet lunch. In the afternoon, you visit People's Square and tour the famed Shanghai Museum, an unique and inspiring piece of architecture, home to more than 120,000 cultural relics of ancient China, including a priceless collection of jade, bronze, ceramics, paintings, furniture, etc. After dinner, you attend an unforgettable performance of the Shanghai Acrobats.

After the performance, we drop you at the Xin Tian Di for a leisure and romantic night. Literally means "New Heaven Earth", it is Shanghai's trendiest lifestyle destination. This 2-block complex of high-end restaurants (some of Shanghai's best), bars, shops, and entertainment facilities, mostly lodged in refurbished traditional Shanghainese shikumen (stone-frame) housing, is the first phase of the Taiping Qiao Project, an urban renewal project. Busloads of domestic Chinese tourists traipse through in the evenings, Western visitors feel like they've never left home, and hip young Shanghainese flood here to enjoy the good life they feel they're due.      (B,SL,D)     
 
 
Day 17 Suzhou & Tongli
In the morning you travel by motor-coach to Suzhou, which is often referred, by the Chinese, as the "Venice of the East". Suzhou is a 2,500-year-old city renowned the world over for its traditional gardens, ancient canals and silk production. In 1997 Suzhou's classic garden was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The construction of the Grand Canal in the 7th century created a means whereby silk, the prized commodity from this region could be transported to the Northern capital, Beijing, a distance of over 600 miles. With prosperity came prestige as merchants and artisans plied their trade. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Suzhou flourished as a place of refinement, drawing an influx of scholars and merchants, who built themselves numerous elegant gardens.

The Chinese garden developed as a synthesis of two concepts linked in Taoist philosophy - scenery and serenity: the contemplation of nature in isolated meditation led to enlightenment. Therefore, the educated and wealthy built natural-looking retreats for themselves with an urban environment. The garden creates poetic and painterly concepts, and aims to improve on nature in creating a picture that looks natural but is in fact entirely artificial. For this the Chinese garden designer used four main elements: rocks, water, plants, and architecture.

Upon arrival, you visit the Garden of the Master of Fishing Nets, and experience all of the elements of a classical Chinese garden. It is said that the Master of the Nets Garden was named after one of its owners - a retired official who wished to become an accomplished fisherman. Dating to 1140, it is considered by many, the finest of all Suzhou's gardens. Although exceptional small, it succeeds, with great subtlety, in introducing every element considered crucial to the classical Chinese garden. It includes a central lake, discreet connecting corridors, pavilions with miniature courtyards, screens, delicate latticework, and above all, points which "frame a view", as if looking at a perfectly balanced photograph. The best known building is the "Pavilion for Watching the Moon", from where the moon can be viewed in a mirror, in the water, and in the sky.

Later, you tour the Silk Spinning Mill, where you will learn how silk is created from the mulberry-munching silkworms to produce thread and fine cloth. Afterwards, you travel to Tongli, a pretty little water town typical of the region. Tongli gives visitors a good idea of what Suzhou must have been like in its heyday. Reminiscent of scenes from traditional Chinese paintings, it is complete with canals, arched stone bridges, cobbled lanes, and tile-roofed wooden houses. Visit a courtyard mansion to learn about the lavish life style of its residents. Then, learn about traditional Chinese wedding customs at a local folklore museum. Take an exciting ride on a gondola and experience the charm of Tongli's waterways. You will have free time to browse and buy some local specialties along Old Street, which is lined with Ming style homes and storefronts. In the late afternoon, you travel by motor coach to Shanghai and enjoy your evening at leisure      (B,L,D)     
 
 
Day 18 Journey Home
After breakfast, you board the Maglev, the world's fastest magnetic levitation train, for your trip to the Pudong International Airport. The Maglev travels at a speed of 287mph and will cover the 20 mile distance in less than 8 minutes! Board your return flight home, and arrive in U.S.A. later today. * Maglev is available for San Francisco departures only.      (B)     
 
 
 
 
Dates & Pricing
 
 
 
Departure Return San Francisco
(SFO)
New York
(JFK)
LAND
ONLY
Discount Book Tour
(mm/dd/yyyy) (mm/dd/yyyy) Cash
Discount rate
Cash
Discount rate
Cash
Discount rate
Book by

12/31/2012
 
09/17/2012 10/04/2012 $4899 $5199 $4299 -$400 Not available
09/24/2012 10/11/2012 $4899 $5199 $4299 -$400 Not available
10/08/2012 10/25/2012 $4899 $5199 $4299 -$400 Not available
10/15/2012 11/01/2012 $4899 $5199 $4299 -$400 Not available
Departure Return San Francisco
(SFO)
New York
(JFK)
LAND
ONLY
Book by

12/31/2012
Book Tour
 
 
 
  • Tour Fare: Fares are in U.S. funds, per person, based on double occupancy.
     
  • Additional Costs: China visa processing fee, add-on airfare from your home city to Air China gateway (SFO or JFK) where applicable, optional travel insurance is additional to the tour fare. The gratuities of $8 per traveler per travel day to cover your tour guides, drivers, and porters are recommended and are at your discretion.
     
  • Special Promotion (Discount): From time to time, we run special promotion (as specified in the above “Discount” column). Depending on the tour and the time you book, additional savings may be available if your deposit payment is received before the booking deadline. Due to the popularity of this tour and the limited inventory of group seats, the tour fare and promotion discount are subject to change and will be assessed and adjusted at the middle and the end of each month.
     
  • Cash Discount Rate: A $200 per person deposit is required to secure a reservation and is payable by credit card or personal check. To take advantage of the cash discount rate, you must pay the balance due by personal check or money order. The balance payment is due 50 days prior to the departure date. The cash discount is not affected by how you pay the initial deposit.

    Unless otherwise stated you will be billed for the "Cash Discount Rate" as specified in your tour invoice. The credit card payment adds $200 on top of "Cash Discount Rate" per person. Please contact us at least one week prior to the balance payment due date if you would like to make the balance payment by a credit card, by doing so you are NOT eligible for the cash discount rate.
     
  • Flight Routing: Air inclusive packages start in San Francisco (flight duration 12 hours) or New York JFK (flight duration 13 ½ hours) to Beijing, which is Air China's hub. On the return day, you will be flying from Shanghai via Beijing to San Francisco or New York JFK. The Shanghai-Beijing flight is 2 hours 20 minutes and is part of the through fare for air inclusive packages. You can check your baggage through to SFO or JFK from Shanghai.
     
  • "Land Only" Packages: "Land Only" packages do not include international flights to and from China, and do not include airport to hotel transfers, which are straightforward and cost about $15 per ride by metered taxicab. More information about transfer by taxi and private transfer options are available upon request.

    "Land Only" tour packages include all domestic transportation and transfers within China, but does not include the Shanghai to Beijing flight at the conclusion of the tour. Our "Land Only" packages start in Beijing on Day 2 and conclude in Shanghai on Day 18. If you would like to arrange your transpacific flights to China on your own, you should arrive in Beijing (PEK) on Day 2 of the tour with hotel accommodation included (the local tour starts in the morning on Day 3) and fly back home from Shanghai (PVG) on Day 18. The listed "LAND ONLY" rate includes all China internal taxes and fees.
     
  • Single Room Supplement: $699
     
     
  • Children Discount: Children of 11 years and under may have $100-$200 off adult rate depending on the tour and departure date. Children under 2 years are considered infants, and may travel in a parent's lap. Airlines do not usually offer a seat for infants and further discounts may apply. Please contact us for details for children under 12. Children 12 years and older are considered adults for fare purposes and the adult rate applies.
     
  • Business Class Upgrade for transpacific flights from SFO with Air China is: additional $2500 for departures (January 1 - March 31, 2012). The promotional fare is subject to availability. Please contact us for upgrade from JFK and SFO for departures after April 1, 2012.
    China Single Entry Visa fee: $170 ($140 consulate charge + $30 China Spree service fee)