ARRIVE BEIJING, CHINA
Arrive in dynamic Beijing, China, and transfer to your stylish hotel in the historic district.
BEIJING | The Great Wall of China
Journey to the well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. See the wall from below and witness how it resembles the rolling spine of a dragon; then, walk or ride a cable car to the top for vistas of the surrounding countryside. After experiencing the largest of the New Seven Wonders of the World, return to your hotel, stopping en route to see sites from the 2008 Summer Olympics, such as the “Bird’s Nest” and the “Water Cube.” Return to your contemporary hotel and, tonight, enjoy a special welcome dinner.
BEIJING | Nexus of Power & Culture
Visit Tiananmen Square, the vast plaza and powerful seat of government, where a lone protester once faced down a line of tanks. Then, walk in the footsteps of ancient rulers when you explore the mesmerizing Forbidden City, China’s former imperial palace and now a vast museum housing the treasures of 24 emperors. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy an Artisan Connection in the 798 Art District, where you witness innovative works by China’s avant garde.
XIAN | Emperor Qin’s Terra Cotta Warriors
Fly to Xian and enjoy lunch on arrival. Afterward, stop at the Xian Jingwen Cattle Culture Museum, where you have an opportunity to see the curator’s private collection of precious relics. Check in to your hotel with time to relax. The next day, meet with an archaeologist during your visit to the excavation site of the Terra Cotta Warriors, a life-size clay army created under China’s first emperor to protect him in his afterlife. Thousands of soldiers have been unearthed since the site’s discovery in 1974, each bearing a unique face that speaks to the remarkable craftsmanship behind their creation. Your archaeologist provides insight into their fascinating story and shares the museum’s latest discoveries. Tonight, enjoy an evening at leisure.
SHANGHAI | City of the Future
Fly to cosmopolitan Shanghai. After lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a fascinating Neighborhood Connection when you join a local historian for a guided walking tour of the Bund, the city’s buzzy waterfront promenade. Next, ascend to the top of the World Financial Center and walk its glass Skywalk for stunning views of hyper-illuminated Shanghai. High-style, vintage design and lush bamboo gardens greet you at your hotel, where you settle in for the night.
SHANGHAI | Extraordinary Arts
Rise early as the locals do for a special Spiritual Connection, joining a tai chi master for a morning lesson at Jing An Park. Board a sampan in charming Zhujiajiao, a traditional water village, and glide through its central canal lined with boutiques. Explore more of this fast-paced city during an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, attend a performance by the Shanghai Acrobatics Troupe, complete with dazzling feats of strength, balance and athleticism.
SHANGHAI | Ancient Traditions
Dive into Shanghai’s history when you visit the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, then continue to the Shanghai Museum, famous for its collection of bronzes and ceramics. Next, explore the 16th-century Yu Garden with its picturesque pavilions and streams, cloaked in Ming history and the shade of Luohan pines. Stroll the streets of the Old Town — the original core of Shanghai — browsing its artisan stalls and myriad temples. Tonight, gather for a farewell dinner at a trendy local restaurant. On the last day, transfer to the airport and board your flight home.