Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
ARRIVE BEIJING, CHINA
Upon arrival into Beijing, you are met at your gate by an airport representative, assisted with immigration and customs, and then introduced to your A&K representative. You are then transferred to your accommodations and assisted with check-in, enjoying the remainder of the day at your leisure.
BEIJING | THE GREAT WALL & SUMMER PLACE
Explore the well-preserved and less-frequented Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China as you stroll remote battlements of this immense fortification commanding views of the surrounding countryside. Begun in 221 BC and expanded during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Great Wall remains a powerful symbol of China around the world today. This afternoon, visit the Summer Palace on a guided tour of the largest imperial garden in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a veritable museum of classical Chinese garden architecture. Fronting the shimmering waters of Kunming Lake, the palace’s stately buildings are set among pavilions, temples, pagodas, green pines and fragrant blossoms. Cap off your visit with a private boat ride on the lake (weather permitting).
BEIJING | FROM MING DYNASTY TO MODERN DAY
Set out on a guided tour of a historic temple and traditional neighborhood for a glimpse of Beijing’s past and present. Begin your morning at the Temple of Heaven, a massive complex offering a look back to the life, culture and religion of the Ming Dynasty. Next, hop a pedicab to explore a hutong, a network of traditional neighborhoods with interconnecting lanes. Later this afternoon, explore two icons of China’s past and present. Begin at the Forbidden City, the largest palatial complex in the world. This long-time center of imperial power was once home to 24 emperors. Today, the Forbidden City stands in marked contrast to the bustling, modern city just outside its walls. Next, visit Tiananmen Square, a grand monument to the nation’s present-day government.
XIAN | ARTIFACTS OF A LOST EMPIRE
Today, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Xian. Upon arrival, discover the Yangling Museum’s archaeological wonders with a brief stop en route to your accommodations. Take in the culmination of nearly 10 years of excavation as you view objects recently unearthed from an area surrounding the tomb of a Han emperor. While the actual imperial tomb of the emperor and his chief consort has yet to be opened, archaeologists have excavated more than 20 satellite tombs, yielding a treasure trove of exquisite funerary pieces. Continue to the City Wall. Dating to the early Ming period (built between 1374-1378), it is one of the few extant city walls remaining in China. After your visit, settle into your hotel.
XIAN | THE TERRA COTTA WARRIORS
Set out on a full-day, guided tour exploring the best of Xian. Begin at the famous Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses dig site. It is thought this life-size army of soldier statues was created to safeguard the emperor’s passage to the afterlife. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then visit the Great Mosque of Xian. Resembling a Buddhist Temple, it is regarded as one of the most beautiful and unusual structures in the city. Next, visit the Wild Goose Pagodas, a pair of towering historic landmarks affording panoramic views of Xian.
CHENGDU | A TASTE OF SICHUAN PROVINCE
Board a high-speed train to Chengdu, stopping to tour People’s Park and Jinli Street before transferring to your accommodations. Immerse yourself in local life and culture at the People’s Park, where area residents play traditional Chinese instruments, practice calligraphy and engage in tai chi.
CHENGDU | ENCOUNTERING THE ENDANGERED PANDA
Meet China’s furry ambassadors to the world at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Center. Take a half-day, guided tour of this facility dedicated to preserving the endangered pandas and get a rare glimpse of these iconic Chinese natives. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure exploring Chengdu.
GUILIN | DRAMATIC LANDSCAPES
This morning, fly to Guilin to experience the natural wonders of the region’s unique and varied landscapes. Begin at Reed Flute Cave, exploring its stalactites, stalagmites and cave art. Continue on to the peculiarly shaped Elephant Trunk Hill. Finally, take a short car ride to Fubo Hill, an incredible vantage point overlooking the Li River and the limestone pinnacles on the horizon. After a day of exploration, continue to your hotel in nearby Yangshuo.
GUILIN | CRUISING THE LI RIVER
Today, enjoy a relaxing tour of the countryside. Begin with a bicycle or golf cart ride through the farm villages near Yangshuo. Continue to Xingping for a ride on a bamboo raft along a tributary of the Li River. Take in the reflections of the trees and peaks as they drift past. Downstream from Xingping, proceed on foot to explore the surrounding countryside.
SHANGHAI | PORT CITY TO THE WORLD
This morning, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, you are met by an A&K representative and transferred to your accommodations for an evening at leisure.
SHANGHAI | MARKETS, GARDENS & TEA HOUSES
Delve into the culture of Shanghai with a stimulating day of exploration. Begin with a stroll through the lovely Yu Yuan Garden, an oasis of tranquility amid the bustle of the modern cityscape. Next, continue on to tour Shanghai’s old quarter, the traditional urban core of the city. After lunch at a local restaurant, browse the Shanghai Museum’s exceptional collection of historically significant art and housewares including bronzes, ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, jade, furniture and coins. Next, visit the Shanghai Observation Tower for a birds-eye view of Shanghai.
SHANGHAI | EVOLUTION OF AN EASTERN ICON
Experience the diversity of small-town and big-city life in China with a full-day, guided tour of Zhujiajiao and modern Shanghai. Begin with a stroll through Zhujiajiao, a water town in the countryside west of Shanghai. Explore its bridges spanning the bubbling streams flowing from Dianshan Lake. Enjoy a peaceful, private boat ride along the winding river, passing beneath the eaves of historic houses. Return to Shanghai for lunch at a local restaurant and a panoramic view of the Bund from the Oriental Pearl TV Tower observation deck. Finally, ride the spectacularly illuminated Bund Sightseeing Tunnel under the Huangpu district to explore the elegant French Concession area and its vast range of architecture.
This morning after breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
Enhance Your Journey
Elevate your experience with a host of options available for an additional cost.
FORBIDDEN CITY: VIP ACCESS
Gain exclusive access to a restricted hall of Beijing's Forbidden City.
BEIJING & SHANGHAI: BURGEONING ART SCENES
Delve deeper into China's emerging contemporary art market with visits to Beijing's Factory 798 and/or Shanghai's M-50 art galleries.
CHENGDU FACE-CHANGING SHOW
Take in a Chengdu Face Changing Show, a captivating form of Sichuan opera. Marvel as the actors and actresses change masks with an uncanny sleight of hand that remains a closely guarded secret to this day. Enjoy the singing, choreography, drama and humor as the opera’s story unfolds before you.
SAMPLE CHENGDU'S SICHUAN CUISINE
Discover authentic Sichuan cuisine in local restaurants secluded well off of the tourist track. Sample local favorites such as beef dishes, chili oil dumplings, egg bake cakes and buckwheat noodles. Continue on to a local market to explore regional ingredients.