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China: Lijiang & the Yangtze

Marco Polo Club Invitational: Exclusive trips, accompanied by A&K's most accomplished guides


Day 1: Arrive Beijing, China

Arrive in the dynastic capital of Beijing, the legendary seat of China’s power as well as its political and cultural hub. Transfer to your centrally located hotel.

The St. Regis Beijing
Day 2: Beijing | The Great Wall

After breakfast this morning, walk or ride a cable car to the top of the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, enjoying sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. Tonight, gather with fellow guests for a welcome dinner.

The St. Regis Beijing   |   Meals: B D
Day 3: Beijing | Homage to Heaven

Start the day with a tai chi class taught at the Temple of Heaven, an ancient sacrificial altar surrounded by pine woods and a beautiful example from the Ming period. Afterward, climb in a pedicab and ride through a hutong, an intimate neighborhood of small winding alleyways that once numbered in the thousands. This afternoon, explore Tiananmen Square, the world’s largest public square and a site of great political significance. Next, walk in the footsteps of emperors in the Forbidden City, China’s former imperial palace and now a vast museum housing imperial treasures.

The St. Regis Beijing   |   Meals: B L
Day 4: Xian | The Great Silk Road

Fly this morning to Xian, a modern city at the eastern terminus of the Great Silk Road, cloaked in over 3,000 years of history. After your arrival, explore the fascinating Yangling Museum and its Restoration Lab with recent discoveries from Han Dynasty tombs. After lunch, walk the Great Mosque and Muslim Quarter, where one of the oldest and best-preserved Islamic mosques reveals a fascinating mix of architecture. Enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Shangri-La Hotel, Xian   |   Meals: B L D
Day 5: Xian | Terra Cotta Warriors

Today you visit the excavation site of the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, the life-size army created during the Qin Dynasty to protect China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, in his afterlife. More than 8,000 soldiers are spread across three dig pits; notice the painstaking work of craftsman who gave each warrior a distinct face. Later, enter the Ancient Gate of Xian’s impressive City Wall with the option to cycle along its ramparts.

Shangri-La Hotel, Xian   |   Meals: B L
Day 6: Chengdu | Faces of Sichuan

Today, fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, where abundant natural resources and Shu handicrafts have defined the region’s charm for centuries.

Visit the A&K Philanthropy- supported Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center, a non-profit research and breeding facility where you observe the distinctive bears thriving in their natural habitat.

Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu   |   Meals: B
Day 7: Chengdu | Giant Buddha

Today you embark on a quest to the relaxed riverside city of Leshan, where a private boat ride brings you before the stone- carved Leshan Giant Buddha. At 233 feet tall, it is the largest Buddha in the world, with fingernails measuring taller than the average human.

Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu   |   Meals: B L D
Day 8: Lijiang | City of Bridges

Fly to historic Lijiang, known for its mesmerizing collection of culture, history and natural beauty. Transfer to your hotel upon arrival.

Banyan Tree Lijiang   |   Meals: B D
Day 9: Lijiang | Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

This morning, ride a cable car nearly 10,000 feet up to Spruce Meadow, a stunning plateau dressed in verdant green foliage and snowy white as you climb closer to the top. Take in awe- inspiring views of the 13-peaked Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which stands at 18,360 feet tall, and understand why the Naxi call this the gateway to heaven. At the base, experience a grand outdoor performance representing 10 ethnic groups, with the mountain still playing a role as an outstanding backdrop. After lunch, visit the traditional, rural Naxi village of Longquan and the Dragon Spring Ancestral Temple. Later, discover the village of Baisha, once the former capital of the Naxi kingdom. See Baisha’s ancient murals and meet with Dr. Ho in his clinic to learn about traditional Chinese medicine.

Banyan Tree Lijiang   |   Meals: B L D
Day 10: Lijiang | Tiger Leaping Gorge

Today, travel to the epic first bend in the Yangtze, where the river reaches barrier mountains before turning northward. Visit the charming Naxi village of Shigu followed by a drive to one of Asia’s most breathtaking sights: Tiger Leaping Gorge. Passing through the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and 9.3 miles in length, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest river canyon’s in the world.

Banyan Tree Lijiang   |   Meals: B L D
Day 11: Lijiang to Chongqing | Board the ‘Yangzi Explorer’

This morning, take a walking tour of Lijiang’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped in over 800 years of Naxi and Han traditions. Later, fly to Chongqing to board your luxury river cruiser for a three-night journey through the Three Gorges.

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B L D
Days 12-13: Cruising the Yangtze | China’s Great River

Spend two days on the Yangtze, passing through the legendary Three Gorges: Xiling, Wu and Qutang. This is perhaps the most picturesque region in China, and your voyage is enhanced with shore excursions led by expert historians and naturalists, including a visit with a local family.

Sanctuary 'Yangzi Explorer'   |   Meals: B L D
Day 14: Yichang to Shanghai | Disembark ‘Yangzi Explorer’

Disembark in Yichang. Later, fly to Shanghai where you are met by your A&K representative, and transferred to your hotel on the lively riverside Bund.

The Peninsula Shanghai   |   Meals: B L
Day 15: Shanghai | Pearl of the Orient

Explore Shanghai, China’s most dynamic city where spectacular modern skylines meet with classic street markets and gardens. Visit Zhujiajiao, a delightful shui xiang (traditional water village) harkening back to China’s past. Glide through its main canal on a sampan (wooden boat). Later, attend a Shanghai Acrobatic performance, astonished by the near-superhuman performers and their artful feats of balance and contortion.

The Peninsula Shanghai   |   Meals: B
Day 16: Shanghai | Life on the Bund

This morning, wander through the streets of Old Town and visit the Yu Garden, adorned with pavilions and punctuated by streams and pools. Later, walk the Bund, the city’s most popular promenade and a visual display of Shanghainese life. Later, explore studios and galleries in the M-50 Contemporary Art District, then gather for a farewell dinner at M on the Bund.

The Peninsula Shanghai   |   Meals: B L D
Day 17: Depart Shanghai

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals: B
Guilin & Hong Kong Post-Tour Extension

5 days; priced from $2,295; internal air priced from $775.
Available on the May 12 departure.
DAY 1:
Fly from Shanghai to Guilin and transfer to your hotel. Participate in ancient cormorant fishing. Shangri-la Hotel, Guilin
DAY 2: Enjoy bamboo rafting on the Li River, then visit Yangdi village and Yangshuo Market. Shangri-la Hotel, Guilin | Meals: B L
DAY 3: This morning, visit symbolic Elephant Trunk Hill, scenic Fubo Hill above the Li River and one of Guilin’s iconic limestone caves. The Peninsula Hong Kong | Meals: B
DAY 4: Visit a local herbal medicine market and Man Mo Temple, followed by a sampan ride through a floating village. The Peninsula Hong Kong | Meals: B L
DAY 5: Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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